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Press Release: Heart of the Customer and Usermind Partner to Accelerate CX Innovation for Enterprises

SEATTLEJan. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Heart of the Customer (HoC), one of the nation’s leading journey mapping consultancies, and Usermind, a pioneer in Experience Orchestration (XO), today announced a strategic partnership that will revolutionize how businesses map, orchestratNe, and optimize their customer journeys.

The demand for ROI on experience-focused initiatives is higher than ever before, and Forrester predicts one in four customer experience (CX) professionals will lose their jobs in 2020 because they’re unable to show a positive business impact for their programs. Improving the CX is board-level priority in every business sector, but executives want to see results, and are looking for new strategies and technologies to achieve their goals. This innovative partnership will get it done.

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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

The Bots are Coming!

Actually, they’re already here. But are you aware of them?

Today, I’m flying back from the CCW’s Executive Exchange. I not only enjoyed speaking at the event, but also the opportunity to attend its presentations. The audience was primarily made up of contact center leaders, each having a lot to say– and do –about the overall customer experience. Based on the silence at the CX conferences I attended, I’m not sure CX has a seat at the bot design table–and this is something you should be thinking about. Read more

Reduct: A Great Tool for Sharing Your Customers’ Videos

I wrote last week about the importance of video in sharing your customers’ experience (Video Interviews=CX Impact).

A major limitation of working with video is the task of managing all of that content. Historically, our process for working with video involved:

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Video Interviews=CX Impact

I’m returning from a two-day Action Workshop, wrapping up a four-month journey mapping project. In the first day, we shared the literal voice of the customer, collected through 46 video interviews with customers. These video interviews shared the power of when the customer experience goes right, as well as the ramifications of when it goes wrong. At one point, there were audible gasps from the attendees after one former customer shared his experience with our client. Read more

Life Insurance Journey Map

Journey mapping tools don’t address the most critical challenges.

There are a ton of journey mapping tools out there. I’m most familiar with Touchpoint Dashboard, but I’ve had demos from many others. They all excel at certain components of journey mapping, but they don’t (and probably can’t) address some of the largest problems.

That’s because the biggest reasons journey maps fail have nothing to do with digital problems; they’re analog. As we’ll discuss tomorrow, the biggest problem in journey mapping is that it’s done in silos. Small teams are created to do journey mapping. Those small teams intimately learn the customer experience, but because they don’t control the critical touch points, the effort fails to drive change.

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Don’t Neglect Self-Service to Engage Customers

You probably don’t view Amazon as a competitor. That’s where you’re mistaken. 

When we look to build a better CX, it’s natural to focus on our people. After all, they are often the heart of our customer experience. 

However, while we need to ensure a strong person-to-person experience, we also need to make sure the experience is strong even when customers don’t want to talk to our people. The research shows that we’re not doing so well there. Read more

The Power of Moments: A Q&A with Chip and Dan Heath

Anybody who has read any of Chip and Dan Heath’s books know that they’re compelling and well-researched. I was lucky enough to receive a pre-release of their latest book, The Power of Moments (now available), and I highly recommend it to anybody looking to create great employee or customer experiences.

Even better, I was able to score a Q&A with the authors on the book and lessons it offers to CX professionals. But be warned – not all of them will match how you’re likely organizing your work! With that…

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B2B Customers are not just Consumers 2.0

Frequent readers of this blog know that I’m into all things journey mapping, regularly reviewing articles on the subject. So I was particularly interested in How to: Create a digital customer journey map by Henning Ogberg, the senior VP EMEA of Sugar CRM. As it’s published by B2B Marketing, it’s obviously targeted towards B2B (business-to-business) audiences.

In general, it’s a great article. I especially like four of his five tips:

  • Accept that it won’t be simple. We find this is true of journey mapping in general – not just B2B. In our recent analysis, half of all journey maps weren’t successful. While we didn’t have sufficient numbers to compare B2B vs. B2C (business-to-consumer), business journey mapping is newer, so it seems likely that there would be fewer successful journey maps in this space. Business journeys are significantly more complicated than consumer journeys, since they involve more participants over a longer amount of time.
  • Capitalize on the insight and support of your team. Yes! In the post It Takes a Broad Team to Improve Customer Journeys I talk about the importance of involving a large cross-functional team in your journey mapping initiative. Not only does this provide better input to your map, it also helps to ensure your various teams are prepared to act on the results.
  • Don’t fixate on sales. I don’t often hear this advice, but I definitely agree. Focus first on understanding your customers – then look at your business opportunities.
  • Embrace the opportunity of CRM (Customer Relationship Management). This is a timely piece, since just last week we featured our interview with Dawn Mergenthaler on how to sync up CRM and CX (Customer Experience) in your organization. It’s the only way to institutionalize the insights in your organization.

As I said, I really liked four of his five tips. Read more

Heart of the Customer in Expert Interview Series

Something different. I was recently interviewed by Netscout as part of their Expert Interview Series for CIO Brief. A copy is below. Enjoy!

Jim Tincher is the Mapper-In-Chief of HEART OF THE CUSTOMER, where he helps brands understand how hard it is to be their customer. We recently asked for his insight on how businesses can better know their customers and improve their customer experience. Here’s what he shared:

Can you tell us about the mission behind Heart of the Customer? What are your goals?

Our mission is to help change agents transform their organization to fully internalize the voice of their customer and to drive action against that. Our goals are to provide those change agents with the call to action needed to drive change.

How has the way brands engage with customers evolved since you launched your business?

Customer experience is now being taken more seriously. In the last few years we have seen the rise of the customer experience (CX) organization, charged with driving the company to build a customer-centric approach. However, we’re still at a fairly early stage, so methodologies are not yet robust. We’re in a very exciting time, as we are building the tools that will become the standard. Read more