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bad cx data

2021: The Year of CX Data

Given the year we’ve had, we need to talk hygiene. Because I suspect you’ve been neglecting it.

Not because of the sweatpants you wore in that Zoom meeting, or that you don’t always sing “Happy Birthday” twice when you wash your hands.

I mean digital hygiene, and the need to clean your data.

Each of the past five years have been hailed as the “The Year of Digital Transformation.” We thought we were working hard to digitize our experiences.

Then the pandemic hit. And we realized we weren’t doing nearly enough. New digital capabilities came up almost overnight, as agile teams worked to pivot toward emerging customer needs. E-commerce sites, digital notifications, ship from store – all capabilities that were just “in the works” a year ago were deployed quickly. Read more

What Can the CX Tech Stack Do for You?

a pyramid showing the elements of the cx tech stackCX is all about driving customer-focused change in your organization, with initiatives that drive top or bottom-line value.

And in today’s world, 10 out of 10 of those initiatives will involve technology in some way. (Actually, given all the ways we’ve gone virtual due to COVID-19, make that 12 out of 10!)

At Heart of the Customer, we know from our research that Change Makers – the most effective programs in the CX space – rely heavily on the tools in the CX Tech Stack to accelerate journey improvements and business impact, and boost the value they bring to their customers.

The good news? These tools are all readily available on the marketplace, so you can (and should) be using them, too. The CX Tech Stack is key to making a difference…and perhaps even more importantly, proving the difference you are making. Read more

An Open Letter to My Friends in IT

Dear IT colleagues,

This is our time to shine. As the world changes rapidly, your company is looking to you to deliver the digital transformations necessary to support a new reality for your customers. Those digital adoption goals set for 2025? They’ve been moved up to 2021. With urgency.

This year has shown us that a successful customer experience requires technology. There simply aren’t any projects to deliver an improved journey that can afford to overlook IT. Heart of the Customer’s research this year has also shown this to be a key differentiator for market leaders, who utilize more kinds of technology than their peers. 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

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.

Read more

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