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What is the Most Important Contact Center Metric?

metrics2I presented at the ICMI CC Expo last month in Long Beach. It’s always a great conference, and I look forward to it each year.

In the afternoon after my journey mapping workshop I attended a Justin Robbin’s session on metrics. Justin began by asking attendees the most important metric they tracked.

Think about it for a minute. Of everything you look at, which is the single most important item?

The first respondent said, “ASA [Average Speed to Answer],” whereas another followed up with “productivity.” This was followed by “response time,” “commission” and “occupancy.”

Do any of these resonate with you? If so, then you need to rethink your approach. Read more

What the heck IS loyalty, anyway?

Is it your Net Promoter Score (NPS)? Customers who say they’re likely to purchase again? Some other survey metric?

Or is it something else.

If you spend as much time reading customer experience (CX) reports as I do, you might pick up on a theme. Many of us actually believe that if a customer says they’ll purchase more from us, then they actually will. So we call that loyalty.
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Are you actively interfering with your mission?

hobylogoI’ve been active in HOBY Minnesota for seven years now.  HOBY is an international program that offers annual leadership seminars to high school sophomores, challenging them to log 100 hours of community service in the following year. We have a clear vision on what we need to measure.  Whereas businesses often use revenue as a primary measurement, we focus on logged community service hours.

But as with revenue, logged hours is a trailing indicator. So how do we get a sense on how we’re doing while at the seminar?

Examples Across Fields

This isn’t just a non-profit question.  My clients struggle with this, as well.  When we build our customer experience program, how do we measure how we’re doing today, so we can predict tomorrow’s results?  And most businesses get it wrong, because they focus on what feels right.

Two quick examples: Read more

Add Measurements to Your Customer Experience Metrics

I led the “Developing Customer-Focused Metrics to Drive Your Customer Experience (B2B)” Unwound Sharing Session at last week’s CXPA Insights Exchange. This was a session where participants shared what’s working for them.

As we shared our best practices, one member pointed out how we were all focusing on metrics – questionnaire-based responses from customers. And sure enough, most of the debate revolved around whether to use Net Promoter Score, the Loyalty Index, satisfaction, or another survey-based metric.  This makes sense – we often have a budget for this type of work, and this is one of the few areas where the customer experience team may actually have some control.  So it’s what we typically use to gauge how our customer experience is doing.

And what’s wrong with that?  Nothing by itself. Except that these measurements can feel disconnected for your teams that are trying to deliver a great customer experience. Telling teams to improve their Net Promoter Score is equivalent of telling managers to make their employees happier.  Both are good goals, but neither gives any direction about how to do it. Read more

4 ways to bring the customer into your journey mapping workshop

A journey mapping workshop is a powerful way to build customer intelligence and to create customer-based capabilities.

Journey mapping workshops bring together members from different parts of your company to walk through a particular customer’s journey, documenting your customer’s steps and emotions throughout. Where these workshops really show their value is by documenting how your silos impact your customer. Are there missed handoffs? Perhaps you have redundant emails coming from different departments, or conflicting incentives that lead to contradictory programs. They also show the systems and groups that impact that customer, and are a superior way to create alignment on your needs. See here for more details on how to conduct a journey mapping workshop.

Diving In

Done right, what differentiates a great journey mapping workshop from a process flow discussion is this focus on your customer. And this focus can be really hard to create.

We spend 30-50 hours a week interacting with our internal processes and procedures, and only a small fraction of that time actually talking to customers. It’s hard to leave that behind to really put yourself in your customer’s shoes. But you need to find a way to do that to make your journey mapping workshop successful.

For example, when I was leading a workshop, we started by identifying the customer steps. Our first volunteer began by, “Well, of course the first step our customer takes is to call us.”

That’s when we had to call a pause. From his perspective, what he said was true. This is his first step in the process, so it’s a natural place to begin. But by accepting this, we cut off our best opportunities to make improvements. Read more

The Metrics that Matter – Does Measuring Customer Satisfaction Pay?

Heart of the Customer's Customer Experience ModelWhat’s your top customer experience priority? If you’re like most of the 290 respondents to the Temkin Group’s survey of customer experience professionals, “customer experience measurement and metrics” are a big priority. 81% said they expect to put more effort into this area next year, with 79% putting more effort into “customer insights and analytics,” and 73% doing more around their “voice of the customer program.”

Effective metrics are central to a Customer Intelligence program, your first step in creating a great customer experience. This is the first of a series of articles to discuss popular relationship metrics and whether they might make sense for your business. We’ll start with that old standby, satisfaction.

In this series I’m focusing on relationship metrics – those once-a-year measurements that are not part of a transaction. Customer satisfaction is a great measurement to use when measuring a transaction or touch point – but when does it make sense to use it for measuring the strength of your customer relationship? Read more

Does your customer or employee come first? Answer: Yes

iStock_000025403053XXLargeThis is a question that my fellow bloggers love to debate – do you focus on customers to drive change, or prioritize employee engagement to develop a sustainable customer-focused culture?

This continues my review of the 2013 Temkin Award Winners and how they match the Heart of the Customer model. As I reviewed the award winners, it quickly becomes obvious that this really isn’t an either/or question.  Both are critical to success. Let’s look at how three award winners drive both employee and customer engagement. Read more

“No, Bill. You don’t want wider seats.”

At a recent dinner party I explained what I do for a living. One attendee responded, “Well, then can you please call Delta, and tell them I want wider seats?”

I responded, “Actually, you don’t.  People say they want wider seats, but their behavior says that they really don’t.”

“Oh, you mean the hypothetical general public doesn’t want wider seats?”

“No, Bill.”  I responded. “I mean that you specifically don’t want wider seats.”

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Surveys Don’t Tell the Full Story

The problem with many customer experience surveys is that they recommend the equivalent of “make my seats wider.” It’s a common practice to ask customers to rate importance for different factors, then compare that to satisfaction. But it just doesn’t work.  Since you measure each item in isolation, everything is free.  And so there’s nothing to ensure that respondents’ answers match their actual behaviors. Expensive things like wider seats have just as much weight as free peanuts.

To show what I mean, let’s play this out.  I call Delta and somehow find the magical IVR prompts to reach the right person. She hears my plea and responds, “My goodness – you’re right!  We’ve been looking at this wrong! We’ll fix that immediately.”  So they remove one chair from each row to allow for wider seats.  What will happen? Will travelers flock to Delta to take advantage of the space?

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Customer Experience is a Partnership – Interview with Robin Schribman, VP of Customer Insight and Customer Experience, Thomson Reuters

Aiming for the Heart of their Customers

This is the fifth in our Aiming for the Hearts of their Customers interview series, with seven Minnesota customer experience leaders sharing their strategy for the coming year. In this article, we catch up with Robin Schribman, VP of Customer Insight and Customer Experience at Thomson Reuters.

You can see all of the interviews here:

Overview

Robin SchribmanThomson Reuters is a global B2B information, software and news company, with customer experience roles within each of their professional business units. Robin’s role, in the Global Brand Marketing Group is to focus on customer experience and insight that includes content creation, guidelines and integration efforts.  She has specific responsibilities for customer insight in the financial and risk business. Read more

Setting the Customer Experience Stage – Interview with Dave Kirsch, CEO of Shipper’s Supply

Aiming for the Heart of their CustomersWe’re starting off 2014 with the interview series Aiming for the Hearts of their Customers. These interviews showcase the current state and 2014 plans for seven customer experience leaders in Minnesota. You can see all of the interviews here:

Overview

Shipper’s Supply is an 85-year-old distributor of everything a manufacturer needs to create a great impression, from the actual shipping supply to the automation equipment needed to package products.

This is the first in the series Aiming for the Hearts of their Customers. I chose Shipper’s Supply to begin the series because they are in the very beginning of their customer experience journey, and serve as a great case study of this phase. CEO Dave Kirsch shared the history behind their approach and how they are beginning their focus.

Building Customer Intelligence

DKirsch Read more