Posts

A New Era for Journey Orchestration

Journey orchestration is the ability to deliberately create individual journeys for customers based on your data, sending the right messages at the right time to the right customer.

Platforms from Salesforce, Adobe, and others incorporate this capability into their platforms, and third-party offerings from Thunderhead, Kitewheel, Usermind, and Pointillist work across systems, without having to put everything into your CRM.

It still surprises me how slowly the marketplace has grown since Heart of the Customer first began offering journey orchestration capabilities almost two years ago. According to Owler, the four cross-platform companies I named above have a combined estimated revenue of less than $50 million.

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Orchestrate…or Risk Becoming Irrelevant

Customer experience (CX) is about more than surveys.

CX is about understanding customers through operational and financial metrics, reaching into each individual’s journey, and making a difference.

So now might be a good time to ask for a raise, because you’re going to be doing a lot more!

Leaders in the CX space are spending money consolidating disconnected CX technologies into enterprise experience platforms. Your job as a CX leader is to lean in and take advantage of the upward momentum, and spread the reach of what CX is all about in your company. Read more

Don’t “Go the Extra Mile” in the Wrong Direction!

“What does ‘good’ look like?”

That’s a question CX leaders spend a lot of time pondering. For example, I’m often asked questions like, “How fast does our response rate need to be?”

The easy answer? “As quick as you can make it.” That’s the lazy answer, too.

It should come as no surprise that easy, lazy answers – even when they seem logical – might not be the best. But they can also seriously harm your brand.

Because nothing comes without tradeoffs.

For example, one Heart of the Customer client focused on same-day shipping for every service request. You ask for it today, they get it out to you today. That sounds better than “good,” right? It seems downright greatRead more

Follow the Chain of CX Value to Drive Impact

Done right, CX is a business discipline where organizations thrive by investing in an improved customer experience. That notion is largely accepted, even though it’s not always practiced.

The challenge there is knowing where to invest.

Success requires finding the sweet spot where an improved experience leads your customers to spend more with you, stick around longer, and/or engage with you in less-costly ways.

So how do you find that sweet spot?

By working the issue backward and managing it working forward, through the Chain of CX Value.

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What Is a Living Journey Map?

Once you find out what a living journey map can do, you won’t have any trouble understanding why it’s so important to the success of your CX initiatives.

So what can it do?

Unlike a static journey map, a living journey map doesn’t remain fixed in particular point in time. It changes and evolves as your journey does, tracking updates in customer/operational data and KPIs across the entire journey as you implement improvements. This allows you not only to see what’s working, but to prove it with the kind of hard business data the C-suite is eager to see. (And who here isn’t eager to please the C-suite?) Read more

Fitbit Proves Rich Emotions Can Overcome Poor Quality

Customer experience has three components: Effectiveness, Ease, and Emotion. But too often, CX programs focus only on the first two. Why? Because they’re simpler to address.

Emotion is more elusive and complicated. But it’s where true loyalty is earned (as opposed to just preventing disloyalty).

That message hit home to me when my Fitbit died…again!

I was an early adopter and have owned several Fitbits over the past decade or so. Almost all of them managed to fail shortly after the warranty expired. (Show of hands – who doesn’t love that?)

When the unit I was using  just over a year ago died, I decided to upgrade to the Versa 2 Smartwatch, hoping that the higher-end product would last a bit longer. No such luck.

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Fun Read/Flawed Approach (Book Review)

As an avid reader dedicated to continually expanding my professional knowledge, I’m always interested in new books relating to customer experience. This is doubly true for the topic of journey mapping, since I contributed to one of the early books on the subject (Mapping Experiences by Jim Kalbach) and co-wrote a comprehensive guidebook (How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer? Using Journey Mapping to Drive Customer-Focused Change).

So I eagerly dug into Jerry Angrave’s new book, The Journey Mapping Playbook. Here’s what I found: it’s easy to read, is full of great information about setting up a journey mapping workshop…and it provides all the tips and tools you need to create really unfortunate outcomes for your business. Read more

3 Tips to Manage the Voice of the Last Lost Customer

As CX practitioners, we work to uncover the Voice of the Customer (VoC) and use it to drive the company to improve. We combine qualitative and quantitative methods to understand what customers need and communicate this to the rest of the company to ensure we remain relevant to customers. 

But if you’ve ever worked within a B2B company, you may have come across another source of feedback that, if you’re

 not careful, can trump your VoC – the VoLLC. You may not have heard of this term – largely because I just made it up – but it’s certainly something you’ve run across. The Voice of the Last Lost Customer.  Read more

customers consumers producers

What’s in a Name? Your Ability to Please Your Customers

I’ve always been a big reader, but the pandemic has given me even more time to indulge my passion. I recently devoured Conscious Capitalism, by John Mackey and Rajendra Sisodia.

It really struck a chord with me, particularly this paragraph calling on businesses to stop using the term consumer: “Businesses must think of their customers as human beings to be served, not as consumers to be sold to. In fact, the very word consumer objectifies people, suggesting that their only role is to consume.”

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Ideas are Your Fuel for an Improved CX

Think about the last time you led brainstorming to improve your customer experience (CX). Did you give people Post-It Notes and have them shout out ideas while they put them on the wall?

Doing that is a ton of fun. But it’s also a terrible way to develop ideas. So, stop doing it. 

You reply, “But this approach is a staple of design thinking. Everybody’s doing it! Why shouldn’t I?  Read more