There’s been an ongoing discussion on the CXPA’s LinkedIn group around an article listing the most effective journey mapping tools. Tools mentioned were Visio, a presentation tool and a spreadsheet. But this discussion isn’t really just about journey mapping. It goes to the heart of how we communicate with the rest of our organization. And it shows that sometimes we fall into the same traps that we try to keep the rest of the company out of: thinking about ourselves instead of our customers. Read more
I’m teaching a series of customer experience workshops for an insurance company. We were looking for an example to bring it all together. So, being a good partner, I went out and got rear-ended. Now I have a great story. (Note to my insurance company: it really wasn’t deliberate!) Read more
Given that, it’s no surprise that many efforts at teaching about customers are also digital. Citrix created a digital customer room. YouTube channels are another common approach, as are intranets. Companies create all kinds of ways for employees to learn more about customers and their needs.
So why isn’t it working? Why are companies still so disconnected from the needs of their customers? Read more
I’ve been active in HOBY Minnesota for seven years now. HOBY is an international program that offers annual leadership seminars to high school sophomores, challenging them to log 100 hours of community service in the following year. We have a clear vision on what we need to measure. Whereas businesses often use revenue as a primary measurement, we focus on logged community service hours.
But as with revenue, logged hours is a trailing indicator. So how do we get a sense on how we’re doing while at the seminar?
Examples Across Fields
This isn’t just a non-profit question. My clients struggle with this, as well. When we build our customer experience program, how do we measure how we’re doing today, so we can predict tomorrow’s results? And most businesses get it wrong, because they focus on what feels right.
Two quick examples: Read more
This post was originally shared through the ICMI (International Customer Management Institute) newsletter. You can view the original version here.
Call center managers have seen it before. Customers form an expectation from your sales channel or marketing literature, receive a different experience through operations, and then call your contact center where they may receive a third perspective.
It’s the setup for a rough call, and an even rougher customer experience. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Great companies have found a way to create a consistent end-to-end experience. They align their silos, creating a consistent experience from start to finish. How do they do it?
Enter customer journey mapping.
Customer journey mapping is a series of techniques that map out your customer experience from start to finish. It follows your customer across silos as they go from initial awareness through the sales process into ongoing engagement.
A popular way to conduct journey mapping is through a workshop. Read more
I once met with a VP of Sales for a Fortune 25 company who argued, “We don’t need to learn about our customers. We just need to execute the plan.” It’s no surprise that, while they were the market leader, they also had the highest percentages of customers who closed accounts each year. As a result the company’s revenues were growing slower than the rest of the market.
It’s easy to get caught up in executing the plan. We’re busy and taking the time to learn about customers cuts into our “productivity.” But if you don’t take that time, how do you know you’re doing the right thing?
What gets measured may get managed, but what gets celebrated gets repeated.
Improving your customer experience requires you to use every tool at your disposal. Voice of the Customer research is obviously critical. Understanding your existing Customer Satisfaction Survey or Net Promoter Scores is also important. But while they monitor your status, these alone will not create change. You need to find those bright spots in your organization where your customer is being well-served and promote them as much as possible. You need to create customer experience heroes.
Heroes define a company, showing what is important. When a company celebrates sales, they sell more – but perhaps at the expense of delivery issues. When it celebrates product management, new products come out quickly – including those without customer demand. But companies with great customer satisfaction use the Voice of the Customer data to understand their level of customer satisfaction, and then celebrates those who engage customers at a superior level. Read more
Today we have a guest post by Andrew, the Marketing Manager at GoInstant:
For all the great stuff that the internet can do, building a personal connection is much easier in person. Go to a shoe store, a car dealership, or even a McDonald’s, and you’ll notice that the human touch matters. To create great customer experiences, offline stores have learned how to cultivate strong personal connections with their customers. It’s how they provide value in a world where they can’t compete with Amazon on price. Whether it’s a smile at the cash register, or a calendar from your real estate agent, they know that great customer experiences need a bit of wonder in them. If they can provide that bit of wonder through a personal connection, loyal customers will keep coming back.
A new generation of e-commerce companies is realizing that they can also make strong personal connections with their customers. By using those connections to build unforgettable customer experiences – ones that only offline businesses had been capable of in the past – they’re competing with much more established e-commerce companies, like Amazon and Zappos, who haven’t seized on the importance of building personal connections. In other words, incredible customer service isn’t enough today. You need a more personal, human connection with your customer in order to really make their experience a great one. Read more
Bob Thompson at CustomerThink posed this question at his blog, asking 18 Customer Experience leaders (including yours truly) to comment on the topic. It’s an interesting read.
My response was off-the-cuff, and less formal than a typical post:
Wow – that is a tough one. I agree with your research – it’s interactions with humans that create the greatest delight (or, for that matter, frustration!). Where technology seems to make the greatest impact is when it enables or improves the person-to-person relationship.
I’m “thinking out loud,” but it seems that most effective technology implementations either improve a human being’s access to data (e.g., a really good system at a hotel), or allows a transaction to occur more quickly by avoiding a person (self-service systems). There are some obvious exceptions, like Amazon, but most of those have been written to death.
Loyalty programs were considered a great example of this in their earlier days. But we’re starting to see that loyalty programs don’t build emotional loyalty – they just trap a consumer. In my interviews, consulting, etc., it always comes down to the human element. So I’m not sure that I’m a lot of help in what you’re hoping to accomplish!
I guess my POV is that technology allows your transactions to occur more easily and quickly for customers. This in itself does not enable delight, except that it frees up your staff to focus on the higher-leverage points, which does create delight.
In general, there seemed to be two paths of responses. More service-oriented bloggers (such as Annette Franz Gleneicki, Bruce Tempkin and myself) focused on the ability of technology to enable delight – but primarily when partnered with a human being. Others (such as Chip Bell and Leigh Durst) focused on products that delight through technology.
What are your thoughts? What is the role of technology? You can see the entire post here.