Posts

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

What are the World’s CX Leaders Doing? Lessons from Medallia’s Exchange ‘19

I attended Medallia’s annual conference for the first time and was impressed with the quality of both the keynotes and the breakouts. While I captured many pages of notes, four findings really stuck out to me:

  1. There is no one “right” metric. Despite having NPS inventor Fred Reichheld speak the first day, participants used a variety of measurements to track their CX program. While there were certainly NPS fans, I was intrigued by other measurement systems. Bank of America didn’t share their question but did share that they only report on the % of 9s and 10s. Scotia Bank uses a multi-tiered sentiment system, while the VA uses Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Emotion (from Forrester’s model), but also adds “Trust,” which is their most important metric.
  2. Measurement isn’t restricted to metrics. Volvo Trucking discussed how they incorporate warnings from their trucks’ sensors into their programs; Bank of America incorporates product additions and subtractions, and others included calls to the call center and other business metrics that provided color to the measurement. As one breakout leader shared, “A 3 [in a 5-point scale] can mean everything’s fine, or that there’s high risk. So we bring in behavioral data to provide more meaning.”
  3. ROI can be tracked. We’ve found many CX programs shy away from tying to business metrics. Which is a huge mistake, because that’s what your cross-functional partners care about. The leaders find business problems that they can solve through CX, whether that’s client attrition, dropping of products, calls to the call center or even stock price, it is possible (and should be mandatory) to tie your work to what the business cares about.
  4. Frontline employees are starting to be incorporated. I’ve been wondering about this. CX fans have seen Bruce Temkin move from talking about CX to EX. In talks with attendees at the CXPA Insight Exchange, very few had a mandate to focus on the employee experience. But the leading brands who presented (and were likely hand-selected by Medallia) spoke elegantly about how they are engaging their front lines in the customer experience, sharing customer scores with them, as well as expanding the measurement tool to include employee engagement.

Read more

Ten B2B KPIs to Track, Starting Now (none are NPS) – Business KPIs

Measuring Customer Experience’s (CX) business impact is hard. It’s one of the biggest challenges in passing the CCXP exam. One reason is that CX pros are very customer-focused; we’re confident that if we just focus on customer needs, the ROI will take care of itself. Unfortunately, our business partners aren’t always so confident.

Read more

Trust: I Don’t Think Wells Fargo Gets it Yet

I attended an excellent conference today. The Carlson School of Management sponsored their second annual Ignite Conference which focused on “Protecting Trust in Today’s Consumer Journey.”

The opening speaker gave some great stats about trust, including research that 73% of the variance in how customers have trust with you is predicted by team members’ trust of the organization.

At the end of the day, Wells Fargo’s Chief Marketing Officer Jamie Moldafsky spoke on their journey to regain trust. It was a well-crafted speech, showcasing all that Wells Fargo was doing to admit wrong-doing and earn back the trust earned over 150+ years in business.

All in all, it was impressive. But two warning signs have me concerned that they have further to go than they think. Read more

Stuck? Here are Three Ways to Gain CX Traction

As one of the CXPA’s CX Experts, as well as a journey mapper, I’m often called by companies trying to create momentum for their CX program. Sometimes it’s a midsize manufacturer trying to start their CX program. Other times, it’s a Fortune 50 company who has a program, but seeing its influence wane.

I wrote a white paper on starting a program, in conjunction with Intouch Insight. In it, I walked through the CXPA’s six CX disciplines (CX Strategy, Customer-Centric Culture, VOC Customer Insight & Understanding, Experience Design Improvement & Innovation, Metrics & Measurement, and ROI & Organizational Adoption & Accountability). All six are critical to a successful program.

But most people who call know they need to do all this. That’s not the question. What they really want to know is: how do they build momentum? “How do I break through the noise, in order to get the company’s attention, so I can get permission to build a CX-focused design and governance program?”

If you’re stuck and can’t get the attention, focusing on all six disciplines equally is the surest way to stay stuck. To gain this attention, you need to hit your employees – and your executives – in the gut. You need to create a visceral connection to your current customer experience and its limitations. And the best way I know to do that is through visual voice of the customer. Read more

The Top 10 Reasons Customer Journey Mapping Fails

While the journey mapping practice is maturing, there’s still a lot of room for improvement. Here at Heart of the Customer, we have spent our careers researching, learning, and applying the best practices for customer journey mapping. So much so, we wrote the book on journey mapping!

Based on our 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.

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.

In the spirit of sharing best practices, we put together our Top 10 Reasons that Journey Mapping Projects Fail, a la David Letterman.

Why Journey Mapping Fails

10. Not doing your homework. Too many try to rush into journey mapping projects, without taking the time to dig out what’s already known in the organization today. And we don’t just mean existing customer research. Call center logs, operational KPIs, social media complaints – all should be included in the approach. This effort lays the groundwork to show business impact for your CX program.

9. Treating it as a market research project. Let’s be clear here. While creating journey maps uses some market research skills, there’s a clear difference between your typical market research project and best-in-class customer journey mapping. Journey mapping is more comprehensive than a typical market research project, including customer videos, action planning sessions, and graphic journey maps. Our experience is that most market research focuses on the report, while customer journey mapping focuses on the action that is a result of the mapping.

8. Boiling the ocean. In our interviews with companies who have run successful journey mapping projects, this one phrase keeps coming up over and over. Focusing on a specific scope that allows you to drive customer-focused change is critical to make a difference. Read More >

7. Forgetting executive engagement. I love the story of a bottoms-up customer engagement revolution as much as the next person. But they’re not common. Sustainable action requires sponsorship. Jumping into the program without engaging executives is a sure way to ensure your journey map sits on a shelf.

6. Leaving out the nay-sayers. The surest way to get stuck driving action is to only include the true believers in the journey mapping project. It’s rare that legal and compliance are part of journey mapping efforts. As a result, they have no context, making it easy to say no to the ideas that come out of the effort. Starting with friendly faces is a really good way to get going quickly – leading to a crashing halt when those other teams have to sign off on your changes. Involve them up front to ensure engagement when it comes time to do something.

5. No defined business problem. Don’t take on a project until you can define a business problem – including KPIs – that you want to attack. We’ll often work with companies that haven’t yet reached this level of detail, and will sometimes spend months defining the right business problem, journey and customer to map. Too often companies get so excited to do journey mapping that they don’t take the time to identify what they want to be different afterward.

4. Not including customers. It’s called customer journey mapping for a reason. Do we really have to discuss this? Apparently so, because we continually run across these maps that were done by talking to internal employees only.

3. Using a small team. “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” That’s probably true if you’re making chili. But you need a broad team to ensure success. Also see #6.

2. No governance. You don’t need governance to do journey mapping – as long as you don’t want to do anything with the results. But it’s hard to engage the organization in change without it. Executive governance ensures that changes are made – and sustained – coming out of journey mapping.

And the number one reason customer journey mapping fails?

1. It’s treated as a project. Projects have defined beginnings and endings – programs don’t. Effective journey mapping is the beginning of a continuous program to put your customers at the center of how you operate. When journey mapping is a project, it leads to some quick wins – but long-term benefits are lost.


Interested in journey mapping? Read more about our journey mapping approach, take a look through our research, and Contact Us to start a conversation.

Your Quest for Survey Data May Be Hurting Your Company

One thing we CX-ers have in common: we love our metrics. Go to any CX conference, and the room that’s filled to overflowing is probably talking about metrics.

Metrics are comfortable for us. Whether we’re talking Net Promoter Score, Customer Effort Score, or good old customer satisfaction, survey metrics give us something to share with the business. Even better, in a role that is so focused on intangibles, we have one tangible thing we can point to.

Of course, to get these metrics we need surveys. Lots of surveys. Long relationship surveys, short (but frequent) transactional surveys, and medium-length touchpoint surveys. More data to analyze and report. We need to feed the beast.

I recently ran across some research that suggests that the continuing search for these metrics may actually be hurting your company. Read more