Posts

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

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.
Read more

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.

Read more