Posts

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

Don’t “Go the Extra Mile” in the Wrong Direction!

“What does ‘good’ look like?”

That’s a question CX leaders spend a lot of time pondering. For example, I’m often asked questions like, “How fast does our response rate need to be?”

The easy answer? “As quick as you can make it.” That’s the lazy answer, too.

It should come as no surprise that easy, lazy answers – even when they seem logical – might not be the best. But they can also seriously harm your brand.

Because nothing comes without tradeoffs.

For example, one Heart of the Customer client focused on same-day shipping for every service request. You ask for it today, they get it out to you today. That sounds better than “good,” right? It seems downright greatRead more

Six Ways to Show B2B CX Value

After more than 150 hours of interviewing CX leaders – and surveying 200+ more! – it’s clear that one thing separates the best from the rest:

The best CX programs start, end, and do everything in between, based on how their efforts will add value to the business.

Some companies start with their survey scores, then try to validate that the scores matter. Others never do that, and just hope improving survey scores will lead to higher loyalty.

The best – those we call “Change Makers” – start by understanding how the business generates value from an improved customer experience, then ensure that every activity is focused on achieving that outcome. Read more

For B2C, Cleanliness Is the New Black

Let’s not beat around the bush: $#@&*%! coronavirus trashed your journeys.

Prior to the pandemic, organizations had clear strategies on how to serve their customers, working to deliver an ever-improving experience to earn loyalty.

A better experience is still required…but how we go about providing it – and what “it” even is – has completely changed, particularly for B2C companies, where among other things, face-to-face interactions now take place mask-to-mask.

When I hosted a fireside chat earlier this month with Alison Circle, the Chief Customer Experience Officer for the Columbus Library system, she told me how difficult new protocols necessitated by the pandemic have made it to forge personal connections between staff and customers. But safety just has to come first. Read more

3 Tips to Manage the Voice of the Last Lost Customer

As CX practitioners, we work to uncover the Voice of the Customer (VoC) and use it to drive the company to improve. We combine qualitative and quantitative methods to understand what customers need and communicate this to the rest of the company to ensure we remain relevant to customers. 

But if you’ve ever worked within a B2B company, you may have come across another source of feedback that, if you’re

 not careful, can trump your VoC – the VoLLC. You may not have heard of this term – largely because I just made it up – but it’s certainly something you’ve run across. The Voice of the Last Lost Customer.  Read more

Create a Compelling CX Vision

Rallying your teams to move to a more customer-focused approach requires letting them know what needs to be done. And nothing is more effective at accomplishing that than having a compelling CX vision for what the future looks like.

A clear vision is the accelerator for customer experience (CX) change. Sure, you can improve the experience without a vision – but it will be much more difficult.

A compelling vision is Kotter’s third step in change management. (I’ve explored the first two steps here and here.) As the firm explains in 8 Steps to Accelerate Change in Your Organization, “You can’t appeal to people with data and facts alone. You must also account for how people feel. If you can provide greater meaning and purpose to their efforts, amazing things are possible.” 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

To Spur Action, Create a Sense of Urgency

I wrote last week about the importance of change management for customer experience (CX) programs, using John Kotter’s model. This post dives deeper into Step One of his approach: creating a sense of urgency.

Without a doubt, this can be challenging. If your company is doing well, it’s hard to get people’s attention. Why tinker with anything if the business is growing? Conversely, if your company is struggling – as, due to COVID-19, so many currently are – noise and anxiety make it hard to focus.

When we look at successful CX programs, this is often where they move ahead of the pack. Those programs are creating a sense of urgency while others are content to focus on survey scores.

There are infinite ways to create a sense of urgency, but below are a few approaches you can try. Read more

Chase Business Results, Not Survey Scores

We had a great discussion on LinkedIn a few weeks ago about the disconnect between customer experience and leadership. This post kicked things off:  

As I interview CX leaders and CEOs, it’s been fascinating (but not surprising) to hear the vast differences in focus. 

CX people focus on survey results; their thoughts are on how to improve the experience in order to improve survey results. Since they often can’t track the survey’s impact on revenue, costs, or retention, they spend their time on what they can measure – promoters vs. detractors.  Read more