Posts

Learn From West Elm’s Missed Opportunity

One of the most critical findings from our 100+ interviews with CX pros over the course of 2020 was the importance of selecting one emotional outcome for your experience and using it as a design target. This is because emotions are the heart of your customer experience.

But for some reason, few programs deliberately measure and manage their emotional outcomes, even though emotions strongly outweigh effectiveness and ease. (This holds true even for B2B, as Jen Zamora of Dow so eloquently demonstrated in my interview with her.)

This omission was particularly glaring for me during my recent experience with West Elm, Williams-Sonoma’s chain of high-end, artfully designed furniture stores.

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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

Enable CX Action by Removing Barriers

On our continuing journey exploring John Kotter’s 8 Steps to Accelerate Change and how you can apply them to the CX world, we have reached the fifth step: Enable Action by Removing Barriers. (Catch up on earlier posts in the series here!)

According to our forthcoming work on understanding how companies improve their customers’ journeys, one of the top obstacles to improvement is organizational complexity. 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.

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Understand Your Employees’ Current-State Journey

Any wishful thinking that this crisis might blow over in a couple of weeks is pretty much shot. It now seems likely that we are facing a prolonged period of home-bound isolation, and, most tragically, the deaths of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of AmericansMarch brought with it cataclysmic changes to the way we live, work, learn, shop, and interact, and most of us are still trying to acclimate to this new normal, which carries varying levels of stress, disorientation, worry, and risk for each of us.  Read more

Is IT the ‘It Factor’ for CCOs?

Chief Customer Officers (CCOs) are popping up in boardrooms across Fortune 500 companies in ever increasing numbers. Those chosen for the position often come from Marketing or Customer Support, as those disciplines are thought of as having the most interaction with customers, making them seem like a natural fit. But are those departments really the best pipeline for filling CCO roles? I don’t think so.
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The-“Why”-Behind-CX-Pros’-Failure-to-Prove-Business-Results

The “Why” Behind CX Pros’ Failure to Prove Business Results

The-“Why”-Behind-CX-Pros’-Failure-to-Prove-Business-Results

while back, I posted here on Forrester’s prediction that 1 in 4 CX pros will lose their jobs this year. When CustomerThink reposted my thoughts on this, it generated a great conversation, with Sampson Lee, Shep Hyken, Lynn Hunsaker, Harley Manning, Bob Thompson, and others weighing in in the comments section.  

One issue that came up repeatedly was why  CX Pros don’t tie into business results. Here’s my take in a nutshell (see the post for my full response and what others had to say):  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