Posts

Not Making CX Progress? Start Saying No

Too many customer experience (CX) programs get stuck. 

Stuck with no influence. No change. No leadership buy-in. 

We see it all the time. As a CX leader, you’re spread so thin, trying to juggle dozens of balls at once. You’re building a new measurement program while sharing your existing scores with anybody who will listen. You’re creating new training programs. You’re in meetings to support the new portal, the new customer campaign, the Customer Advisory Board, and the new loyalty program. 

You’re incredibly busy. You burn through your unused vacation time just trying to keep up. But when you get to the end of the year, the most important thing – customer loyalty – remains unchanged.  

A year filled with effort, but no actual change. 

That’s a problem.  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.

Read more

B2B Companies: Focus on Onboarding First

In any customer experience, certain phases have more impact than others – either positive or negative – and create a measurable impact on the rest of the relationship. Positive results lead to customers who trust you, are more willing to forgive mistakes, and are more interested in your other products or services. But if they don’t go so well, customers are more likely to stray; they pounce on every mistake, and they’re very reticent to use your other offerings.

The moments that matter vary by experience, and even by individual. Effective journey maps show these Moments of Truth. But even if you don’t have a journey map – or if yours just isn’t very good – there’s one area that is consistently important in B2B experiences: The new customer onboarding journey. Read more

You can’t have a customer journey map without a customer

At a CXPA event my good friend Lisa told me about a conversation she recently had. She was talking about the need to do some journey mapping, and mentioned how a good map takes 12-16 weeks. Her conversational partners’ response was, “What do you mean? I have the software – I can have that knocked out in a half-day.”

You can probably guess Lisa’s response, and it wasn’t positive. And Lisa’s not alone. In our survey of journey mapping best practices, CX practitioners agreed that involving customers was one of the top three requirements for a successful journey map (the other two were to involve a broad cross-functional team and to select the right journey to map). Yet, so many people seem to think it’s about the map itself.

Let’s set the record straight. Yes, the map is critical. The right map is a strategic tool in the hands of a CX leader. It helps her engage stakeholders and help them understand customers’ critical moments of truth – those points in the journey with a disproportionate impact on loyalty. And we spend a lot of time making sure that our maps clearly call out the customer needs.

What Really Drives Chnage?

But as powerful as a journey map can be, it’s the mapping itself that truly matters. Getting your teams to hear the literal voice of the customer is a critical driver of customer-focused improvements. Customers’ open-ended feedback on the journey offers a goldmine of information that can showcase where you’re building loyalty – and where you’re destroying it.

The right method of involving customers vary. I love a good digital ethnography, as reported in last week’s post. In-home (or in-office) interviews are also powerful, since they show the customer in his or her natural setting. Even a focus group can sometimes work wonders, although I’m not a huge fan of that methodology.

But the most critical component of any journey map is that it’s based on the raw voice of your customer. And that’s not going to happen in a half-day in your office.

Your Moment of Truth

In every customer journey, some interactions matter more than others. There are certain moments that cause customers to leave you, some that potentially lead to stronger engagement, and some that cause a customer to be much more expensive to serve.

 

Moments of Truth

We call these key interactions a “Moment of Truth,” and it is one of the most important findings of customer experience research, including journey mapping. Because these moments have a disproportionate impact on long-term loyalty, you need to make them a focus of your attention.

The term Moment of Truth has been used in different ways. We trace our usage back to P&G’s work. They described product packaging as being the first moment of truth – that is, the packaging often determines whether a customer decides to purchase or not.

Moments of Truth vary between customer segments. We’ve found that Moments of Truth are disproportionately found in three stages of the journey:

* The beginning

* The end

* When hand-offs occur between silos

If the beginning goes badly, it may also be the end. In P&G’s case, a bad package could mean the customer never buys. But the end of the journey has equal, if not greater, importance. As Daniel Kahneman discovered in his Nobel Prize-winning research, the ending is one of the key determinants to how we remember the journey. This can then have a very strong impact on whether we’re willing to use this company for future journeys. The third occasion likely to see a Moment of Truth is during a hand-off, which may be rife with frustrating problems for the customer. Read more

Exemplary Customer Service: It’s All About the Journey

journey_11868817_m-2015-1“The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer” – Peter Drucker

Sometimes, it seems that companies focus exclusively on the first half of this equation. Sales to new customers are exciting, and resources are appropriately targeted to land new customers. Look at the continual offers coming from TV service and internet providers.

But the second half is just as critical.  In fact, for organic growth, it’s even more so.  In The Economics of E-Loyalty, Bain & Company reports that a 5% improvement in customer loyalty leads to a growth in profitability of 25-90%.

Clearly, customer loyalty is critical, and service is central to building it. However, Forrester Research, Inc. reports that only 48% of companies say they have any kind of customer service strategy (The State of Customer Experience, 2015). If over half of companies have no strategy for serving their customers, what does this mean for the customers themselves? Read more

Slideshare – Creating a Customer-Focused Customer Experience Journey Map

For you Slideshare fans, I have uploaded a presentation on creating a customer-focused Customer Experience Journey Map.

Customer journey maps go by different names, such as customer experience maps, journey maps, and touch point maps. Journey maps serve as a visual means to identify the steps your customer goes through as they experience your product or service and the impact of each. Customer journey maps chart your customer’s experience and help you target improvements with the greatest return. By identifying those steps in the customer experience with the greatest impact, your journey map becomes a centerpiece of your customer experience planning process.

Enjoy!