Posts

CX Pros: Help Your Company & Your Customers Deal With COVID-19

The jolt that nations, and communities, all over the world have experienced in the past few weeks due to the relentless spread of COVID-19 is enough to induce whiplash. While the situation is extremely fluid, all signs point to it getting a lot worse in the U.S. before it gets better.

I’m not going to presume to address what this means for the people, and their loved ones, who are directly impacted, and suffering or even dying as a result of contracting this virus. I am devastated for my fellow human beings all over the world and here at home.

But medicine isn’t my area of expertise and I can’t alleviate that suffering, beyond, of course, taking the recommended precautions to prevent further spread of this pandemic.

Customer experience, however, is my area of expertise. And in that arena, I might be able to be of service. And you probably can be, too – more than you may realize. Read more

I Got Great Service From CenturyLink – Eventually! 

The improbable happened. I got great service from CenturyLink.  

Less improbable was the Kansas City Chiefs’ come from behind win in Super Bowl LIV.  It was the third time in as many games they came from behind to win. 

On any given weekend during football season, any NFL team can rise up and beat all odds to get a win. That is what happened on a recent Saturday with CenturyLink. And the moral of the story is horrific online experiences can be saved offline.  Read more

Heart of the Customer

When CX Is a Matter of Life or Death

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that customer experience (CX) is important. But even the staunchest CX advocates might not realize that CX done right can save lives.

Earlier this week in this space you met Lee Becker, Chief of Staff of the Veterans Experience Office (VEO) of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He discussed the challenges of integrating CX principles into governmental structures, and the four CX capabilities – Data, Tools, Technology, and Engagement – on which the VEO’s successful program is based.

Today we focus specifically on how the VEO is maturing its data capabilities to address trust, a fundamental component of customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Read more

VA CX Framework

Creating a Customer-Centric Agency at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

I heard Lee Becker, Chief of Staff of the Veterans Experience Office (VEO) of the VA speak at a recent Medallia conference and was blown away by his remarks. I reached out for an interview because I wanted to share with a broader audience his thoughts on what it’s like to drive change within a massive organization, what’s at stake, and what success at the VA might mean for government services in broader terms.

A Navy Veteran with a background in medical care and case management, Lee is one of the architects behind a turnaround at the VA, and he believes the same solid customer experience (CX) principles they have implemented there can transform the way other federal agencies work, too.

“The fundamental challenge of government is figuring out how you make room for experience when financials and operations are the focus.” Read more

Journey Mapping Workshop Dallas

Why You Should Know How to Journey Map

To prepare for our upcoming Customer Journey Mapping Workshop in February in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I spoke to past workshop participants and now certified journey mappers to reflect on their most important learnings, now that they are six months in. Here is what they said: Read more

Stop Playing CX Whack-A-Mole

“All happy customers are alike; each unhappy customer is unhappy in its own way.”

Okay, that wasn’t really my quote – I’m paraphrasing Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, where he wrote “all happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” But it does fit at least some companies’ experiences.

This is especially true with a client we’re working with right now. The happy customers sound so similar that it’s almost boring. Almost. They like the people; the product does what it’s supposed to do, and customer expectations are set appropriately. Unfortunately, that description only applies to half their customers. Read more

How Hard is it to Be Your Customer Book Cover

Develop a Killer Metric to Drive CX Action

How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer Journey Mapping BookAs our book gains traction, readers tell us they appreciate our focus on starting journey mapping by targeting an identified business problem and using this to drive customer-focused change.

We interviewed dozens of CX leaders on how they did this, including Mark Smith, formerly of Element Fleet Management Corporation. Mark spoke on multiple topics, but my favorite was the need to develop a Killer Metric.

The Killer Metric isn’t NPS, Trust, or Customer Satisfaction. It’s one business KPI (Key Performance Indicator) that you use to rally the team to focus on meaningful change. He discussed how Amazon uses contacts per order – the more people call or chat, the worse the experience (in Amazon’s world – notice that Zappos, owned by Amazon, has a very different philosophy). Delta uses canceled flights, which has the biggest impacts on their customers. Read more

What Wells Fargo (and the Rest of Us) Can Learn from Samsung

  • “Who knows what happened to us two years ago?” Wells Fargo’s Chief Marketing Officer Jamie Moldafsky (I originally wrote about this here)
  • “Who’s heard of our product, the Note 7? [pause] Yes, pretty much everybody, in every plane trip, for about a year.” Michael Lawder, SVP, Customer Care, Samsung Electronics America

Both these speakers began their speech with a similar attempt at humor to grab the audience’s attention, referencing an event that happened in late 2016, but a small difference speaks volumes to their contrasting attitudes. This small difference shows why Samsung has fully recovered while Wells Fargo continues to falter.

Problems can happen in even the best-run company. Pixar, Amazon, GE – all have experienced problems. This post isn’t about preventing problems (although many of these – particularly Wells Fargo’s problems – should have been avoidable). Instead, it’s about what to do once it happens. Read more

Is Customer Experience a Missed Opportunity?

My immediate answer to this is no – there’s a ton of good work happening to improve customers’ experience. But that’s a qualitative response, informed largely by the great work I see our clients doing.

Read more

Trust: I Don’t Think Wells Fargo Gets it Yet

I attended an excellent conference today. The Carlson School of Management sponsored their second annual Ignite Conference which focused on “Protecting Trust in Today’s Consumer Journey.”

The opening speaker gave some great stats about trust, including research that 73% of the variance in how customers have trust with you is predicted by team members’ trust of the organization.

At the end of the day, Wells Fargo’s Chief Marketing Officer Jamie Moldafsky spoke on their journey to regain trust. It was a well-crafted speech, showcasing all that Wells Fargo was doing to admit wrong-doing and earn back the trust earned over 150+ years in business.

All in all, it was impressive. But two warning signs have me concerned that they have further to go than they think. Read more