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Interview with Laurie Englert – Customer Experience is a Team Sport

Laurie Englert HeadshotA new digital experience can make or break success for a manufacturer.  But what do you do when you discover that many of your customers’ pain points are analog?

That’s the situation that Laurie Englert was in. And the way she answered it was by creating an environment where customer experience is everybody’s job.

Laurie is the VP of Marketing at Milestone AV, a leading manufacturer of audiovisual mounting and display solutions. She is part of the commercial team whose primary customers are the independent dealers and distributors who sell and/or install their products into schools, corporations, hotels, stadiums and basically any other commercial application.

Building a cross-functional customer experience team

Milestone’s customer experience journey began as a web project. Two years ago they began building their digital experience, and Laurie co-created a customer experience team with her VP of IT. Read more

BCBSM Customer Experience Room

CX people are digital, customers and employees are analog

BCBSM-Customer-Experience-Room-3-300x199There’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

What’s the customer experience focus for 2015?

Yesterday, four of the CXPA’s CX experts spoke about the year in review, and what customer experience has in store for 2015.  Is it the role of emotions?  Employee engagement? Crowdsourcing journey maps?  Watch the Google Hangout with Jim, Tabitha Dunn, Lynn Hunsaker, and Peter Haid as they discuss.

What do you do when your CEO doesn’t believe in CX?

CEOLast year I interviewed a customer experience leader for my blog. During the interview this person had a basic assumption that the CEO was completely bought into the CX program. So I finally stopped and asked, “What do you do when your CEO isn’t on board? How do you get him or her to believe in the business case?” This question caught my interviewee by surprise, as they obviously hadn’t spent any time thinking about this question. After a few seconds, the response was, “Well, then you quit, and go somewhere else where the CEO is on board.”

Of course, this isn’t an option for all CX aspiring and current leaders. We’re dealing with senior leadership at various levels of support and engagement. So I asked some of my CX practitioner friends what they would do. Most were unwilling to go on record, but two did respond with materials I could share. Read more

Are you building a culture of customer experience? Or a failed ignition switch?

There has been a lot to press about the General Motors failed ignition switch.  There are many lessons to be learned about quality and manufacturing. But the most important lesson is about culture.

Culture is your most powerful tool to create change. Exploiting your culture can drive significant improvements quickly. But culture can also stymy the best-laid plans. Witness Best Buy, which thrived in the 90s and early 2000s, driven by a culture of individual innovation. But this same culture also made it hard to react when the top competitors Circuit City and Ultimate Electronics went out of business, and the new challenge was from low-cost providers Amazon and Wal-Mart. Read more

Go analog to create customer empathy with a customer experience room

Customer Experience RoomThere’s no question about it – we live in a digital world. Checking our Facebook statuses, watching our videos, sending texts, our instincts are becoming digital.

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

The most impactful data visualization tool is a story

What'sthestoryMany of us customer experience people are data heads. Former researchers, marketers or operations people, we use data to learn what customers want. Dashboards are one of our frequent tools, and I frequently get asked about them.

Dashboards are definitely important. A visual report on the current state of your customer experience can help drive action.

But dashboard can’t make people care. Read more

Add Measurements to Your Customer Experience Metrics

I led the “Developing Customer-Focused Metrics to Drive Your Customer Experience (B2B)” Unwound Sharing Session at last week’s CXPA Insights Exchange. This was a session where participants shared what’s working for them.

As we shared our best practices, one member pointed out how we were all focusing on metrics – questionnaire-based responses from customers. And sure enough, most of the debate revolved around whether to use Net Promoter Score, the Loyalty Index, satisfaction, or another survey-based metric.  This makes sense – we often have a budget for this type of work, and this is one of the few areas where the customer experience team may actually have some control.  So it’s what we typically use to gauge how our customer experience is doing.

And what’s wrong with that?  Nothing by itself. Except that these measurements can feel disconnected for your teams that are trying to deliver a great customer experience. Telling teams to improve their Net Promoter Score is equivalent of telling managers to make their employees happier.  Both are good goals, but neither gives any direction about how to do it. Read more

Does your customer or employee come first? Answer: Yes

iStock_000025403053XXLargeThis is a question that my fellow bloggers love to debate – do you focus on customers to drive change, or prioritize employee engagement to develop a sustainable customer-focused culture?

This continues my review of the 2013 Temkin Award Winners and how they match the Heart of the Customer model. As I reviewed the award winners, it quickly becomes obvious that this really isn’t an either/or question.  Both are critical to success. Let’s look at how three award winners drive both employee and customer engagement. Read more

Minnesota event – Learn the power of recognition with Achievers and Heart of the Customer

Join Achievers and Heart of the Customer at this local networking event.

Achievers’ inspires Employee Success™. Their software helps global companies dramatically increase employee engagement, retention, and performance to drive overall business success. Join Achievers Founder and Chief Evangelist Razor Suleman and Jim Tincher as they share how great companies use recognition to drive their missions, including creating a great customer experience.

Achievers-HotC Minnesota Event