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Interview: Kate Nightingale of Style Psychology

Heart of the Customer’s Jim Tincher sat down with Style Psychology Founder and CEO Kate Nightingale recently, to discuss the role of emotions in the customer experience. (But it’s 2021, so of course “sat down with” means “met on Zoom.”) Below is a lightly edited transcript of that conversation. You can watch the complete video here.

Jim:
So we were on a panel together [The Art and Science of Creating Exceptional Customer Experiences, now available on demand] and we were talking about emotions in the experience. And one of the other panelists brought up the “effortless experience.” Both you and I had a visceral reaction to that book. I have my thoughts, but let’s start with you. Tell me more why you reacted to that. Read more

Five Questions To Answer for Customer Journey Mapping Success

Successful customer journey maps drive customer-focused change like improving customer experience, developing a new way to deliver value to customers, or reducing the cost to serve current customers.

Based on a 2016 study of customer experience professionals, over two-thirds of respondents did not rate their journey mapping project as successful. The reason? A lack of action from the mapping endeavor.

When we work with clients at Heart of the Customer, our goal is to drive action from the journey maps. We require our clients to work through the Five Questions as a foundation for their journey mapping. Ask yourself and your team to work through these Five Questions before launching your customer journey mapping initiative: Read more

Customer health dashboards are an effective CX tool.

Customer Health Dashboard Tips

Far tooCustomer health dashboards are an effective CX tool. many companies with CX programs cannot show that they are making a difference to the business. This prevents them from being included in decision making and contributing to the health of their companies. There’s a solution to this problem: customer health dashboards.

Customer health dashboards are foundational to measuring and improving (and proving!) the impact your CX efforts. The research Heart of the Customer undertook over the course of 2020 clearly showed that the vast majority of leading programs used customer health dashboards. Read more

Fitbit Proves Rich Emotions Can Overcome Poor Quality

Customer experience has three components: Effectiveness, Ease, and Emotion. But too often, CX programs focus only on the first two. Why? Because they’re simpler to address.

Emotion is more elusive and complicated. But it’s where true loyalty is earned (as opposed to just preventing disloyalty).

That message hit home to me when my Fitbit died…again!

I was an early adopter and have owned several Fitbits over the past decade or so. Almost all of them managed to fail shortly after the warranty expired. (Show of hands – who doesn’t love that?)

When the unit I was using  just over a year ago died, I decided to upgrade to the Versa 2 Smartwatch, hoping that the higher-end product would last a bit longer. No such luck.

Read more

young man with boombox and sunglasses

Learn Everything You Need to Know About CX From ’80s Music

I admit it – I’m a child of the ‘80s. We’ve got 150+ stations on our satellite radio, but it stays tuned to 80s on 8 or First Wave, except for those rare occasions when I stray to the ‘70s or ’90s stations. (Much to the chagrin of my wife, who has broader musical tastes. But marriage is compromise, right?  

During the pandemic, I’ve been listening even more, and it occurred to me one day recently that the music of that era informed my views about customer experience early on. 

Obviouslythe ‘80s were the decade of (the) Journey. Their sage advice taught me how important it is to put customers in control and deliver an experience Any Way You Want It  Read more

bad cx data

2021: The Year of CX Data

Given the year we’ve had, we need to talk hygiene. Because I suspect you’ve been neglecting it.

Not because of the sweatpants you wore in that Zoom meeting, or that you don’t always sing “Happy Birthday” twice when you wash your hands.

I mean digital hygiene, and the need to clean your data.

Each of the past five years have been hailed as the “The Year of Digital Transformation.” We thought we were working hard to digitize our experiences.

Then the pandemic hit. And we realized we weren’t doing nearly enough. New digital capabilities came up almost overnight, as agile teams worked to pivot toward emerging customer needs. E-commerce sites, digital notifications, ship from store – all capabilities that were just “in the works” a year ago were deployed quickly. Read more

CX Loses a Visionary

As I’m sure many of you were, I was shocked to hear of Tony Hsieh’s untimely death this past weekend.

In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, Tony is the recently-retired CEO of Zappos. In that role, he shepherded an online shoe seller with annual sales around $1 million (Zappos started as ShoeSite.com) into a massive e-commerce enterprise that sold to Amazon just 10 years later for $1.2 billion.

It’s a testament to his talent and vision that that accomplishment isn’t the most notable thing about him. (But you should still read his fascinating, candid account of how the sale went down!) Read more

Unmask the Power of Social Proof

At Heart of the Customer, we recently had a software client who wasn’t winning as many sales as they expected. We mapped their customers’ pre-sales journey and found that the company was putting out their best practices, but prospective clients were ignoring them.

They just didn’t consider our client a trusted authority.

It’s common problem among CX pros. You see customers making “bad” choices, such as not making the best use of your company’s products or services. So you create communications to share the recommended approach, but you just can’t get customers to change their behavior.

Read more

An Effortless Experience Isn’t Enough

In CX, we all focus on making the experience easier on our customers. (We even made it the title of our book.) But building loyalty isn’t as simple as removing friction.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s definitely worthwhile to simplify your customer experience. Friction is a key driver behind loyalty destruction, and your organization will benefit from streamlining processes and making it easier for customers to resolve issues.

But it won’t build fans who will go out of their way to order from you. That takes something bigger. 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