Posts

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

Understand Your Employees’ Current-State Journey

Any wishful thinking that this crisis might blow over in a couple of weeks is pretty much shot. It now seems likely that we are facing a prolonged period of home-bound isolation, and, most tragically, the deaths of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of AmericansMarch brought with it cataclysmic changes to the way we live, work, learn, shop, and interact, and most of us are still trying to acclimate to this new normal, which carries varying levels of stress, disorientation, worry, and risk for each of us.  Read more

Is IT the ‘It Factor’ for CCOs?

Chief Customer Officers (CCOs) are popping up in boardrooms across Fortune 500 companies in ever increasing numbers. Those chosen for the position often come from Marketing or Customer Support, as those disciplines are thought of as having the most interaction with customers, making them seem like a natural fit. But are those departments really the best pipeline for filling CCO roles? I don’t think so.
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The-“Why”-Behind-CX-Pros’-Failure-to-Prove-Business-Results

The “Why” Behind CX Pros’ Failure to Prove Business Results

The-“Why”-Behind-CX-Pros’-Failure-to-Prove-Business-Results

while back, I posted here on Forrester’s prediction that 1 in 4 CX pros will lose their jobs this year. When CustomerThink reposted my thoughts on this, it generated a great conversation, with Sampson Lee, Shep Hyken, Lynn Hunsaker, Harley Manning, Bob Thompson, and others weighing in in the comments section.  

One issue that came up repeatedly was why  CX Pros don’t tie into business results. Here’s my take in a nutshell (see the post for my full response and what others had to say):  Read more

Heart of the Customer

When CX Is a Matter of Life or Death

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that customer experience (CX) is important. But even the staunchest CX advocates might not realize that CX done right can save lives.

Earlier this week in this space you met Lee Becker, Chief of Staff of the Veterans Experience Office (VEO) of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He discussed the challenges of integrating CX principles into governmental structures, and the four CX capabilities – Data, Tools, Technology, and Engagement – on which the VEO’s successful program is based.

Today we focus specifically on how the VEO is maturing its data capabilities to address trust, a fundamental component of customer loyalty and satisfaction.

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Tell me why!

This week I listened to a colleague tell me that, three years ago, the company he worked for acquired another company of near equal size within the same industry. Within the last week, one of his peers from the acquiring company, a senior director with a large team, mentioned he was not sure why the acquisition occurred, whether or not there were any benefits, and what the impact was to his team.

Because very little information was shared, this acquisition represented a bigger and more complex product catalog and operating model to many employees, including senior leaders. This individual was angry that he was forced to change processes he was already comfortable with and was quoted saying “we need to go back to what we were doing before”. Read more

Don’t Ask How to Get Executives to Care About Your CX Program; Ask Instead How You Can Support Your Executives

I go to a lot of Customer Experience (CX) events. Although I learn a lot of new things, I also hear some common concerns throughout all of them. No matter the venue, you can be certain that somebody in the audience will ask a presenter, “How can I get executives to care about customers?”

That’s the wrong question. Believe it or not, your executives actually do care about your customers. These are smart people, and they know that pleasing customers is the secret to success.

They simply don’t care about your so-called “customer experience” program. Read more

What Makes a Great Customer Experience Leader

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to interview dozens of CX leaders, and still more as we wrote our book. Combining that knowledge with some of the industry research, such as CustomerThink’s report on winning CX programs, we’ve identified three traits that separate the best customer experience leaders from the rest.

For too many, CX has fallen into a rhythm:

  1. Conduct an NPS survey
  2. Analyze the results
  3. Share the results with anybody who will listen
  4. Implement some quick wins
  5. Repeat the NPS survey
  6. Wonder why things haven’t changed

Read more