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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

Five Ways to Make Your Surveys Matter

Most survey programs provide information“Our Net Promoter Score (NPS) is 25, up from 22, compared to our competitive benchmark of 30.”  While those figures might be interesting, they don’t provide the context that is essential for prompting action.

As Heart of the Customer has been conducting interviews with CX pros (more than 70 so far this year!), we’ve found some common themes – notably that most programs use NPS as their measurement, and most don’t provide much context for those scores.   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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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

1 in 4 of you will loose your job this year

Why 1 in 4 of You Will Lose Your Job in 2020

1 in 4 of you will loose your job this yearYour CFO doesn’t care about your customer experience (CX) surveys. She cares about the health of the business, and it’s unlikely she sees a direct link between your survey scores and the measurements she follows.

Meanwhile, your CEO is focused on your customers, but that doesn’t mean he cares about your surveys, either. As one business leader confessed to me, “I keep seeing these survey scores saying we’re doing great. Then I meet with customers who they tell me how frustrated they are. So I don’t believe in the surveys.”

By extension, that means he doesn’t believe in his CX team.

So by focusing on customers’ scores, you’re at risk. Forrester predicts that one in four CX pros will lose their jobs in the year ahead, because they aren’t showing business impact. 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

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.

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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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Life Insurance Journey Map

Who’s the Right Customer to Map? Your Third Journey Mapping Question

 

Note: We’re celebrating the upcoming launch of our new book “How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer? Using Customer Journey Mapping to Drive Customer-Focused Change,” by Mapper-In-Chief Jim Tincher and B2B Practice Lead Nicole Newton. We’re using the launch as a cheesy excuse to walk through the Five Journey Mapping Questions.

Two weeks ago, Jim covered “What’s the Business Problem or Opportunity,” and, last week, Nicole introduced the topic of “What is the Right Journey?

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