Posts

VA CX Framework

Creating a Customer-Centric Agency at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

I heard Lee Becker, Chief of Staff of the Veterans Experience Office (VEO) of the VA speak at a recent Medallia conference and was blown away by his remarks. I reached out for an interview because I wanted to share with a broader audience his thoughts on what it’s like to drive change within a massive organization, what’s at stake, and what success at the VA might mean for government services in broader terms.

A Navy Veteran with a background in medical care and case management, Lee is one of the architects behind a turnaround at the VA, and he believes the same solid customer experience (CX) principles they have implemented there can transform the way other federal agencies work, too.

“The fundamental challenge of government is figuring out how you make room for experience when financials and operations are the focus.” Read more

Journey Mapping Workshop Dallas

Why You Should Know How to Journey Map

To prepare for our upcoming Customer Journey Mapping Workshop in February in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I spoke to past workshop participants and now certified journey mappers to reflect on their most important learnings, now that they are six months in. Here is what they said: Read more

Five Questions To Answer for Customer Journey Mapping Success

Successful customer journey maps drive customer-focused change like improving customer experience, developing a new way to deliver value to customers, or reducing the cost to serve current customers.

Based on a 2016 study of customer experience professionals, over two-thirds of respondents did not rate their journey mapping project as successful. The reason? A lack of action from the mapping endeavor.

When we work with clients at Heart of the Customer, our goal is to drive action from the journey maps. We require our clients to work through the Five Questions as a foundation for their journey mapping. Ask yourself and your team to work through these Five Questions before launching your customer journey mapping initiative: 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

Learn Customer Journey Mapping

What You “Know” About Your Customers Probably Isn’t True

Learn Customer Journey MappingI received a call from a CX leader wanting to drive action in her program. I discussed how we use the voice of the customer to create an organizational drive to act, and she stopped me to say “We don’t need more voice of the customer. We know what customers want.” I asked her what Voice of the Customer (VoC) she had, and she referenced how her executives regularly talk with customers. But nobody else does. So, they “know” what customers want.

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How Hard is it to Be Your Customer Book Cover

Develop a Killer Metric to Drive CX Action

How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer Journey Mapping BookAs our book gains traction, readers tell us they appreciate our focus on starting journey mapping by targeting an identified business problem and using this to drive customer-focused change.

We interviewed dozens of CX leaders on how they did this, including Mark Smith, formerly of Element Fleet Management Corporation. Mark spoke on multiple topics, but my favorite was the need to develop a Killer Metric.

The Killer Metric isn’t NPS, Trust, or Customer Satisfaction. It’s one business KPI (Key Performance Indicator) that you use to rally the team to focus on meaningful change. He discussed how Amazon uses contacts per order – the more people call or chat, the worse the experience (in Amazon’s world – notice that Zappos, owned by Amazon, has a very different philosophy). Delta uses canceled flights, which has the biggest impacts on their customers. Read more

How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer Journey Mapping Book

What Does Journey Mapping Do for You?

How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer bookI was recently in a call, and an executive new to her company’s journey mapping initiative asked, “Exactly what does this $150k I’m spending on a journey map buy us?” Luckily, our client had a ready answer, but that’s not always the case.

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Nicole Newton and Ben London-Customer Journey Mappers

Two Days to Journey Mapping Mastery


Nicole and Ben

The Heart of the Customer blog is a place where we share our insights on journey mapping, offer best practices based on our experiences, and share CX practitioner interviews – and we don’t normally place promotional items here. We are making an exception this week; aJim Tincher and I prepare to release our journey mapping book this monthwe want to get the word out about a new Heart of the Customer offering: a two-day, hands-on journey mapping workshop that will provide all you need to map journeys that drive action in your own organization. 
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Dustin Kirkpatrick Unsplashed

Are You Ready for Your Close-Up? Using Video to Bring the Customer Experience to Life

Dustin Kirkpatrick UnsplashedThis post, written by Heart of the Customer B2B Practice Lead Nicole Newton, is the third in a week-long series about some of the ways journey mapping differs from traditional market research. Guest authors Corey Pawlak, Cathy McLane and Nicole Newton will share their expertise in recruiting and interviewing B2B customers, why 10-page reports are better than 50-page reports, and using video to bring the customer experience to life. 

Background

As a long-time marketing research practitioner, I am focused on gathering the most accurate data to answer the problem being researched. Why are sales lower than anticipated? Why is our customer retention rate lower than projected for certain product lines? What can we do to make it easier for customers to work with us?

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San Kayzn Unsplashed

How a 10-page Report Can Help You Win Your Customer

San Kayzn UnsplashedThis post, written by Heart of the Customer Project Manager Cathy McLane, is the second in a week-long series about some of the ways journey mapping differs from traditional market research. Guest authors Corey Pawlak, Cathy McLane and Nicole Newton will share their expertise in recruiting and interviewing B2B customers, why 10-page reports are better than 50-page reports, and using video to bring the customer experience to life.

As a strategic communications advisor and program manager, I’ve seen my share of customer insights reports. They’ve ranged from 50 pages with data tables on every page to succinct PowerPoint presentations that have cool animations but very few actionable insights.

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