Posts

White Paper: Designing a World-Class CX Approach

What does it take to design a customer experience (CX) program that drives business results? 

The CXPA identifies six disciplines as core to an effective CX program: 

  • CX Strategy 
  • Customer-Centric Culture 
  • VOC Customer Insight & Understanding 
  • Experience Design Improvement &Innovation 
  • Metrics &Measurement ROI 
  • Organizational Adoption & Accountability 

This CX white paper, written in conjunction with Intouch Insight, walks through the six disciplines, with tips on how to use them to build a roadmap to success.

Behavioral Economics Explains Why Your Surveys are Flawed 

 

Daniel Kahneman isn’t known as a customer experience (CX) guru. A Nobel Prize winner, sure. Brilliant psychologist and leader in behavioral economics, yes. Author of a fascinating (but really dense) book? You bet. But he’s not really known for his CX chops. 

Yet, one of his findings shows why many surveys – as well as quite a bit of other CX research – is flawed from the beginning.  Read more

Why Your CEO Isn’t Impressed with Your Work 

I wrote last week about why Your CX Scorecard is Probably Measuring the Wrong Thing. Now, on a flight home from a client workshop, I have a chance to catch up on some old reading. And it turns out that your CEO likely agrees. You may not be spending time in the right areas – or, at least, not making that clear to the organization. 

Executives and CX

Walker’s The CEO View of CX includes a survey of Business-to-Business Customer Experience (CX) employees. The survey asked them about their CEO’s top areas of focus, and they selected “Competitive advantage” and “Growth, profitability and valuation” as their top two. But when presented with the same list to describe what they were focusing on, the answers were “Identifying what to do AND how to do it,” “Creating a customer-focused culture,” and “Incorporating CX capabilities throughout the org.” The same list, but completely different areas of focus identified. 

Are the two necessarily a mismatch? Of course not. All three areas of CX focus can be building blocks to accomplish the CEO’s goals. However, it’s telling that the CX employees didn’t choose the outcomes, but instead the tasks. And that puts you at risk of being marginalized.  Read more

Your CX Scorecard is Probably Measuring the Wrong Thing

“The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer.” – Peter Drucker

I love that quote. In one short sentence, Drucker summarizes what a business – and customer experience (CX) – is all about. But despite that wisdom, companies continue to focus primarily on creating customers, often forgetting that keeping them is the way to organic growth. And when they do focus on keeping customers, the focus is all too often on trying to trap them – requiring a phone call to cancel (I’m looking at you, TiVo and Comcast), or requiring contracts that assess fees to leave (Comcast, you again).

Jeannie Bliss has been beating this drum for years. We need to listen to her. What matters is new customers minus attrition, plus how much those customers spend with you. Everything else is just window dressing. Read more

CXOs: Three Ways to Help Save Your CMO’s Job

According to Forrester Research, 30% of CEOs indicated that they are going to fire their CMOs this year. The primary reason? Too many CMOs haven’t adjusted to the concept of the customer journey that fluidly moves across touch points.

According to Forrester’s Shar VanBoskirk, “Businesses are in a ‘post-digital era’ in which customers don’t think of digital experiences as separate from physical ones. Amid political and institutional uncertainty, customers value trustworthiness and positivity from the entities with which they interact.”

Marketing hasn’t kept up with your customers. Rather than seeing digital as a separate entity, they see digital tools as just another way to interact.

As a CXO, you’re in the perfect position to help CMOs catch up, improving outcomes for both your company AND your customers.

There are three primary ways you can make an impact:

  1. Help your CMO picture the overall journey, including its true promise: an improved experience. Marketing gets the customer journey concept. In fact, a large share of journey mapping initiatives originates in marketing. Unfortunately, marketing frequently concentrates on path-to-purchase and similar initiatives that focus on promotional opportunities. This leads to a belief that digital and analog touch points are simply portfolios of customer contact points.

Read more

Interview with Bob Thomas of the YMCA: Confident Employees Make Satisfied Customers

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Bob, not in the proper uniform

Bob Thomas is the chief experience officer for the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. He is responsible for engaging community members to help them meet their personal goals while ensuring a great Y experience through integrated marketing, membership sales, and healthy living programs including swim lessons, group exercise, personal training, chronic disease prevention, and healthy aging. Prior to joining the Y, Bob held marketing, sales, and sales operations leadership positions at Boston Scientific. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and English from the University of St. Thomas. Bob serves as the chair of the board of The Sheridan Story and actively volunteers at Colonial Church of Edina.

Bob recently led a rollout of new uniforms for the Y’s employees, referred to as team members. The goal was to influence team members to better engage with customers and further increase their pride in the Y brand.  Team branding creates a work environment where every decision and every behavior embodies the specific attributes of the brand. We asked him more about the move to the new uniforms.

You recently led a change to the YMCA team uniforms. Could you tell us a little about the background of the uniforms, and why it was time for a change?

About six years ago, the Y switched from their old, black-and-red logo to a dual-color logo that uses five different color combinations, which was meant to symbolize diversity and flexibility.  The change in logo came with a change in uniform: At the time the decision was made to embrace all of the colors of the new brand, so the uniforms consisted of polo shirts that came in a variety of colors, but were primarily white—which meant they showed dirt, and looked bad even after very little basic wear-and-tear. To add to that, they didn’t fit very well, and team members soon began to express their disappointment with the required uniform.  The uniform became known as the “bowling shirts.” Read more

Four steps to build an improved B2C customer experience

shopping-cart-1275480_640Serving consumers is different than serving businesses.  It’s not harder or easier – just different.  I’ve seen real challenges in the past when leaders move from B2B to B2C (or vice-versa). Here are four steps to help you get started creating a better B2C customer experience.

1. Know your customer experience (CX) goal.

I was talking with a CX leader, and asked about her customer experience vision. She responded, “We want to be the simplest, and the most flexible. Oh, and we need to keep costs low.”

That’s a pretty hard combination to hit. In fact, I’d argue it’s pretty impossible to hit all three.

Your goal should flow from your vision. Are you trying to be the easiest company to work with, the one with the closest relationships, the most flexible?  Understanding your company’s goals is the first step to creating your approach. If you don’t know where you’re going, you don’t know what steps to take next.  Read more

Guest Post: We Hold These Truths: Implementing CX Governance

1JFMNQLRE8This guest post comes from Darin Byrne, Senior Director of Professional Services at Wolters Kluwer.

As the summer goes on and the Fourth of July approaches, I’ve found myself thinking once again about the principles that our nation was founded upon. I am reminded that the signing of a document, even one as revered as the Declaration of Independence, was such a decisive point in our history – actually in the history of the world. And I’ve been pondering even more broadly about all of our governing documents, from the Magna Carta to the Constitution: how they came about and how they still affect us today. We agreed amongst ourselves what our goals were, how we would operate as a country, the checks and balances we would put in place to achieve our goals, and then we wrote them down and implemented them, and – even more amazing – we continue to adhere to them today. It really is pretty amazing.

Relating to CX

And that, of course, got me thinking about what I do every day. Because, much as we might like it to be true, a bunch of people don’t just show up to work and decide individually what they’re going to do all day—we need guidance in the way of a set of goals and principles. And while a so-called “benevolent dictator” might rule in some companies, the truth is that this is not a sustainable model for a business. In order to achieve your company goals, you have to have guiding principles, an overriding plan, and people to maintain and carry out that plan—that is, governance. Read more

Guest Post: What does your retail pricing say about you?

Shawnby Shawn Phillips

As a self-professed retail geek, I’m always noticing prices and deals that retailers offer. More than that, though, I notice what these prices really mean. What are you saying to a customer when you set the price of a product? It’s a good question, because you end up saying a lot.

Price is, of course, one of the central touchpoints of retail. But it’s a lot more complex than it seems. The customer wants to feel good about the amount they paid for their purchase, and while this can mean that they feel like they got a great deal, it can also mean that they feel like they paid a fair price for a premium product. If your customer feels like a high-quality product is priced too low, they might start to doubt the quality. Read more

Aiming for the Hearts of their Customers: Interviews with CX Professionals

Aiming for the Hearts of their CustomersOver the course of this blog I’ve interviewed a number of Customer Experience executives, working every day to improve their experience to increase loyalty. Customer Experience is still an emerging field, and these interviews gave me a great chance to hear others’ perspectives on the field, what it’s doing right, and where we can improve in understanding the customer and acting upon those insights.

I’ve gathered these interviews into a PDF for easy reading, which is attached to this post for you to download and enjoy:

Aiming for the Hearts of their Customers