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

To Spur Action, Create a Sense of Urgency

I wrote last week about the importance of change management for customer experience (CX) programs, using John Kotter’s model. This post dives deeper into Step One of his approach: creating a sense of urgency.

Without a doubt, this can be challenging. If your company is doing well, it’s hard to get people’s attention. Why tinker with anything if the business is growing? Conversely, if your company is struggling – as, due to COVID-19, so many currently are – noise and anxiety make it hard to focus.

When we look at successful CX programs, this is often where they move ahead of the pack. Those programs are creating a sense of urgency while others are content to focus on survey scores.

There are infinite ways to create a sense of urgency, but below are a few approaches you can try. 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

Good CX = Great Business Case

I’m returning home from a day and a half at Comcast’s headquarters, locked in a room with other marketing and CX thought leaders. (Okay, so not exactly locked in…)

They brought us to Philadelphia to share the work they’re doing in customer experience and to get our feedback and advice. But mostly to show us what they’re doing.

I came in pretty ambivalent. I’m not a customer – I wrote this post about firing them, but I’ve seen Graham Tutton speak twice (read about it here), and it appears they’re making a sincere effort to improve. What they shared today reinforces that positive belief – they really are working hard to change the trajectory. Read more

Measuring “ROE” – Return on Ease

ROI is the Holy Grail for customer experience (CX) programs – an elusive target that can validate your program and lead to greater influence.  Unfortunately, focusing on that big goal can be overwhelming. So for today, let’s target our efforts a bit more modestly, focusing on gains made through making it easier to be your customer.

Ease is the second key to a Game-Changing CX, along with Effectiveness and Emotion. While Emotion has the greatest long-term impact, don’t neglect Ease.

Who is Doing it Right?

Return on Ease (ROE) is easier (hah!) to track and to impact than emotion. Whereas different personas have different emotional drivers, their appreciation for simplicity is more consistent. It also helps that there are some great examples to lead the way: Read more

How Hard is it to Be Your Customer Book

Is Your Customer Experience Program Making Your Customer Experience Worse?

How Hard is it to Be Your Customer Book

We launched our book at this year’s CXPA Insight Exchange. We’d shipped them to the hotel ahead of time, but when I arrived, they were nowhere to be found. My tracking information showed they had been delivered, but nobody knew where they were.

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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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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.

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Business and Customer Experience Metrics

If All Customers are Important, You have a Bad B2B Customer Experience

“When all customers are important…none will be.” – Syndrome from The Incredibles (slightly paraphrased)

Are all customers worth the same to your business? No! But odds are, your CX program doesn’t recognize this.

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