Posts

10 Questions for B2C CX Leaders

This is the first in a three-part series that explores critical questions CX leaders should be asking – and able to answer. There will be some overlap between B2C, B2B, and B2B2C issues, but I want to address each audience individually, starting here with B2C. Next week, I address B2B leaders.

One thing I’ve noticed over years of talking with hundreds of CX leaders is that their level of success usually corresponds to their level of knowledge about the health of the business.

Simply put, business leaders speak in business metrics, while CX leaders – the unsuccessful ones, that is – speak in survey scores. When I talk to one of the rare successful CX leaders, I find their vocabulary is much more aligned with other organization leaders, covering issues such as customer loyalty and share of wallet. Read more

Your Next CX Hire…Shouldn’t Be a CX Hire

As we interviewed hundreds of customer experience professionals across scores of organizations for our research initiative last year, we looked for what indicated the ability to drive impact.

We’ve documented the top items a few times in the past: linking everything to business value, understanding the technology and data, measuring and improving emotions, and using change management. Read more

Three Ways to Make Your Case

“We’ve all seen those studies where it says a one-point increase of CSAT equals this revenue, but to a Commercial Officer, a CEO, or a CFO, this doesn’t sound real. So it doesn’t put CX in a credible position. We need to prove this based on our own data: ‘These are the scores for the past year, and this is the revenue or the growth in revenue and the growth and shipments for these exact countries. And this is what it looks like. This is the correlation between the revenue and customer satisfaction and NPS.’” – 2020 interview participant

I bet that like me, you love to read research that shows that CX pays. Luckily for both of us, there’s plenty of industry data on the topic. The most compelling is Watermark Consulting’s tracking of stock prices. Read more

CX Needs Change Management

You probably moved into customer experience (CX) because of a passion for customers. You chose this space because you know that if you can improve customers’ experiences with your company, they will be happier, they’ll stay with you longer, and both the business and your customers will prosper.

But actually improving the experience is hard.

If you’re like most of the CX professionals we interviewed last year, the reality has hit you that it’s incredibly difficult to move your silos enough to substantially improve the customer experience. That’s where change management, the missing element in most CX programs, comes in. Read more

Tech Innovations Will Raise Expectations

The jostling we’ve seen in the CX tech marketplace over the past few weeks ― and discussed in previous posts ― is going to impact more than just the SaaS (software as a service) companies in play.

It’s going to impact you…and the way CX is practiced going forward.

This slew of recent transactions (such as CSG’s purchase of Kitewheel), will spur innovation and consolidation that will result in broad, new enterprise experience platforms. These offerings will pack a powerful punch by combining previously disconnected technologies and capabilities, such as journey mapping, analytics, and orchestration. Read more

Change Management, Not “Bribes,” Improves CX

This post picks up where last week‘s left off…

In giving bonuses based on overall survey results, companies are assuming that 1. teams actually know what to do in order to improve customer satisfaction and 2. they won’t do it unless incented to.

Both points in that statement need to be analyzed.

First, understanding how to drive customer satisfaction (I’m using this as a catch-all for NPS, customer effort, etc.) isn’t that easy.

When I led a CX program in the health savings account (HSA) marketplace, I asked teams what they thought the top drivers of satisfaction were. Product thought it was about features. Marketing thought it was about educating on how to use the HSA. Sales thought it was about pricing.

They were all wrong. Read more

Do the CX Buttons You Push Matter?

Research from CustomerThink, Forrester, Pointillist, and the XM Institute agree: Few CX programs can prove that their work matters to business outcomes.

This reminds me of a story from my college days.

I was visiting my buddy Rick, and we went down to the rec room in the basement of his dorm to shoot some pool. Tucked in the corner was a video game.

A little background you should know: When I was in high school, I had a paper route that included a vending machine. That meant I always had pocketsful of quarters. Which, given the era, meant lots of afternoons at an arcade, happily feeding those quarters into video games. Read more

Revealing Change Makers’ Secrets

As regular readers have probably noticed, I’ve been referencing the massive research project we undertook last year often in recent blog posts, especially while sharing learnings.

Today I want to take you behind the curtain and describe the impetus for the project, explain some of the methodology, and tell you about my motivation and goals. To do that, I need to start at the beginning.

Once upon a time, I was a customer experience failure.

Back in the olden days (olden in CX terms, anyway, as it was more than a decade ago), I led a customer experience program in a division of a large health insurance organization.

Read more

Are Your “Averages” Obscuring Your CX Opportunities?

If I could only ask you one question to determine if you’re a Change Maker, it would be this: “Tell me about your data.”

Most of the more than 100 CX pros we interviewed in the course of our research last year responded with, “What do you mean?” Or they only mentioned survey data.

But not the Change Makers.

They understand that business data is what the organization runs on. And they have a thorough understanding of the metrics that make up their customer journeys, particularly their organizations’ key performance indicators (KPIs). Read more

Journey Mapping Mistakes to Avoid

The benefits of customer journey maps – static and living – can be transformational for both your organization and your customers. But your maps won’t lead to an increase in customer loyalty or company earnings if your journey mapping process is flawed.

So why do almost two-thirds of journey mapping initiatives fail to drive change?

Because journey mapping is an art and a science, and doing it right is hard. Which makes it tempting to cut corners and rush the process.

But you’re not going to gain anything with those shortcuts if your journey mapping project turns out to be a huge waste of time and resources as a result. And there’s even more on the line than that.

One failed journey mapping project makes it that much less likely that you’ll be able to muster the internal support needed to try again. Read more