Posts

Fun Read/Flawed Approach (Book Review)

As an avid reader dedicated to continually expanding my professional knowledge, I’m always interested in new books relating to customer experience. This is doubly true for the topic of journey mapping, since I contributed to one of the early books on the subject (Mapping Experiences by Jim Kalbach) and co-wrote a comprehensive guidebook (How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer? Using Journey Mapping to Drive Customer-Focused Change).

So I eagerly dug into Jerry Angrave’s new book, The Journey Mapping Playbook. Here’s what I found: it’s easy to read, is full of great information about setting up a journey mapping workshop…and it provides all the tips and tools you need to create really unfortunate outcomes for your business. Read more

For B2C, Cleanliness Is the New Black

Let’s not beat around the bush: $#@&*%! coronavirus trashed your journeys.

Prior to the pandemic, organizations had clear strategies on how to serve their customers, working to deliver an ever-improving experience to earn loyalty.

A better experience is still required…but how we go about providing it – and what “it” even is – has completely changed, particularly for B2C companies, where among other things, face-to-face interactions now take place mask-to-mask.

When I hosted a fireside chat earlier this month with Alison Circle, the Chief Customer Experience Officer for the Columbus Library system, she told me how difficult new protocols necessitated by the pandemic have made it to forge personal connections between staff and customers. But safety just has to come first. Read more

customers consumers producers

What’s in a Name? Your Ability to Please Your Customers

I’ve always been a big reader, but the pandemic has given me even more time to indulge my passion. I recently devoured Conscious Capitalism, by John Mackey and Rajendra Sisodia.

It really struck a chord with me, particularly this paragraph calling on businesses to stop using the term consumer: “Businesses must think of their customers as human beings to be served, not as consumers to be sold to. In fact, the very word consumer objectifies people, suggesting that their only role is to consume.”

Read more

Not Making CX Progress? Start Saying No

Too many customer experience (CX) programs get stuck. 

Stuck with no influence. No change. No leadership buy-in. 

We see it all the time. As a CX leader, you’re spread so thin, trying to juggle dozens of balls at once. You’re building a new measurement program while sharing your existing scores with anybody who will listen. You’re creating new training programs. You’re in meetings to support the new portal, the new customer campaign, the Customer Advisory Board, and the new loyalty program. 

You’re incredibly busy. You burn through your unused vacation time just trying to keep up. But when you get to the end of the year, the most important thing – customer loyalty – remains unchanged.  

A year filled with effort, but no actual change. 

That’s a problem.  Read more

Experiences Designed for Everybody Satisfy Nobody

In my role as Heart of the Customer’s mapper-in-chief, I get the opportunity to view a lot of journey maps. Beautiful ones, ugly ones, those built to drive change, and those that are little more than gussied-up Excel spreadsheets.

But, as mentioned in our book, one thing that continues to surprise me is how few include personas. In our research a few years back, we found that nearly one-third of the CX practitioners surveyed didn’t include segments or personas in their work.

That’s a big mistake.

Read more

The Myth of the Customer-Focused CX Leader

Back in February (which feels like a century ago!), our analyst Diane and I were at the offices of Legrand AV, interviewing VP of Customer Experience Laurie Englert and her team. During a break, I turned to Diane and said, “There’s something here. I’m not sure what it is, but something stands out as different.”

“I know what it is,” she said. “Each one of them mentioned how they talk to customers multiple times a week.”

That was it! And it definitely separated Laurie and her team from the other 82 or so CX professionals we’ve interviewed so far this year. Read more

Empathy.

A key outcome of our work at Heart of the Customer (HoC) – and the essence of CX as a discipline – is to create empathy. That’s how we help our clients better understand their customers.  

When empathy is high, organizations are more likely to serve their customers better. They invest in the right initiatives and are rewarded with loyalty, which increases profits, which inspires further efforts to improve the journey. That mutually beneficial cycle is the foundational belief behind what we do. And it’s rewarding work.  Read more

Interactive Customer Experience Map

Customer Journey Maps: The Top 10 Requirements

It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since I launched my customer experience consultancy, Heart of the Customer, way back when CX was still in its infancy.Interactive Customer Experience Map

At that time, when I first wrote Customer Journey Maps – the Top 10 Requirements, I didn’t know the post would be viewed hundreds of thousands of times, and reposted around the world. But I did know that customer experience as a discipline – given its proven ability to boost customer loyalty and company results – was here to stay.

I enjoyed revisiting and updating the post back in 2015, but in the intervening years, the world has changed, the CX industry has evolved, research methodology has gotten more nimble, and technology has advanced. (And yet, somehow, none of us has aged a day – it’s uncanny!)

So it’s time once again to refresh the content. I am proud that the underlying philosophy and framework remains solid and consistent, but I’ve tweaked some terminology, techniques, guidelines, and examples.

In short, it’s an oldie, but a goodie, and I hope that regardless of whether you’re rereading it or encountering it for the first time, you will come away with something new and helpful. 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

Exploring Customer Journey Mapping – An Interview with Jim Tincher

Today’s blog post features an interview of Jim Tincher completed by SurveySparrow, the maker of widely celebrated online survey software. They asked such great questions around Heart of the Customer’s origins, Jim’s involvement in the CXPA, and how to best use customer surveys, we felt like it had to be shared!

Read more