Posts

What Makes a Great Customer Experience Leader

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to interview dozens of CX leaders, and still more as we wrote our book. Combining that knowledge with some of the industry research, such as CustomerThink’s report on winning CX programs, we’ve identified three traits that separate the best customer experience leaders from the rest.

For too many, CX has fallen into a rhythm:

  1. Conduct an NPS survey
  2. Analyze the results
  3. Share the results with anybody who will listen
  4. Implement some quick wins
  5. Repeat the NPS survey
  6. Wonder why things haven’t changed

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Defining Scope: Should You Map an End-to-End Journey or a Specific Sub-Journey?

 

Editor’s Note: As we get ready for our book launch in May, we’re previewing the major topics. This post was written by co-author Nicole Newton, HoC’s B2B Practice Lead. You can read more about our book at https://heartofthecustomer.com/book/.

Mapping the Right Journey

At Heart of the Customer, we recommend starting a journey mapping project by answering these five questions:

  1. What is the business problem or opportunity behind mapping?
  2. What is the right journey to map?
  3. Who is the right customer to map?
  4. What is the right approach to gathering the voice of your customer?
  5. Who are the right people to be on your journey mapping team?

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Stuck? Here are Three Ways to Gain CX Traction

As one of the CXPA’s CX Experts, as well as a journey mapper, I’m often called by companies trying to create momentum for their CX program. Sometimes it’s a midsize manufacturer trying to start their CX program. Other times, it’s a Fortune 50 company who has a program, but seeing its influence wane.

I wrote a white paper on starting a program, in conjunction with Intouch Insight. In it, I walked through the CXPA’s six CX disciplines (CX Strategy, Customer-Centric Culture, VOC Customer Insight & Understanding, Experience Design Improvement & Innovation, Metrics & Measurement, and ROI & Organizational Adoption & Accountability). All six are critical to a successful program.

But most people who call know they need to do all this. That’s not the question. What they really want to know is: how do they build momentum? “How do I break through the noise, in order to get the company’s attention, so I can get permission to build a CX-focused design and governance program?”

If you’re stuck and can’t get the attention, focusing on all six disciplines equally is the surest way to stay stuck. To gain this attention, you need to hit your employees – and your executives – in the gut. You need to create a visceral connection to your current customer experience and its limitations. And the best way I know to do that is through visual voice of the customer. Read more

Creating a CX Capability Interview – Part 2

We posted part 1 last week. Here’s part two of Jim’s interview with Intouch Insight:

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In part-one of our interview, Jim – founder of Heart of the Customer and Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) – provides many great insights for customer experience (CX) professionals looking to build a standout CX program across their organization.

In part-two, Jim continues the conversation with:

    • How to lead change towards a more customer-centric organization
    • The biggest CX misconception
    • The business value of great customer experience
    • Where to invest first in your CX transformation

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Interview: Building a World-Class CX Capability

I recently did an interview with Intouch Insight–see below for Part 1.

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We recently sat down with Jim Tincher, founder of Heart of the Customer and Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP), to get his take on the customer experience landscape and how it is changing in 2018.

In part-one of this two-part article series, Jim discusses several key topics around customer experience (CX):

    • The importance of Customer Experience Management (CEM)
    • Where companies should focus their efforts in the early stages of developing a CEM program
    • Key challenges CX professionals face and how to overcome those challenges
    • Innovations in technology that will shape the future of CX

Read more

White Paper: Designing a World-Class CX Approach

What does it take to design a customer experience (CX) program that drives business results? 

The CXPA identifies six disciplines as core to an effective CX program: 

  • CX Strategy 
  • Customer-Centric Culture 
  • VOC Customer Insight & Understanding 
  • Experience Design Improvement &Innovation 
  • Metrics &Measurement ROI 
  • Organizational Adoption & Accountability 

This CX white paper, written in conjunction with Intouch Insight, walks through the six disciplines, with tips on how to use them to build a roadmap to success.

Do airports care about CX? Should they?

A couple of years ago I had a layover in Philadelphia. Try as I might, I couldn’t find a good electrical outlet – the ones I could I find required sitting on the floor. Annoying.

This led me to wonder: While it’s clearly a bad experience to be stuck for a few hours without a convenient way to charge up, is it truly a customer experience issue that should concern the airport authority? Read more

Bringing the Voice of the Customer into CX Design – an Interview with Beth Berg

I met Beth Berg—a customer experience researcher—at a journey mapping round table at this year’s CXPA Insight Exchange, and really enjoyed her approach. So, I invited her to get together and discuss her approach, and she agreed.

First, tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.

My area of expertise is bringing the voice of the customer into customer experience design efforts. As part of the CX team within a company, I provide research support to our CX efforts. I work primarily via qualitative research, providing data the company can use, but I also work to bring in research conducted by other parts of the company that’s useful to our CX work, such as marketing research, analytics, and competitive intelligence.

It’s great that your company has a dedicated CX team—it sounds like they’re committed to using CX within the company. Where are you and your team brought into the CX process?

I’m fortunate to work for a company that has support for CX at the executive level. CX absolutely has a seat at the table through strategy development. We involve VPs and Senior VPs from across the company in CX design through workshops—all facilitated by a CX Architect and informed by research. Read more

Three steps to create customer-focused change

Customer experience (CX) is about change.

I wrote about this last week. But there’s a lot of confusion about the best way to create this change.

Immature CX practitioners often see themselves there to drive the business. They see their role as being on the outside, there to show the business what the customers really want. And this role feels good. “I represent the customer, and am here to show you what they want” is an easy go-to place.

It’s also a terrible way to create sustainable change.  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.