Posts

Journey Mapping: Interview with Annette Franz

Annette FranzAs part of the launch of our new website, I’m interviewing Annette Franz, author of the popular Customer Experience (CX) blog CX Journey. In addition to her blog, Annette and I volunteer together as CX Experts at the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA). We’re discussing all things journey mapping.

Jim: So Annette, let’s start.  You’ve written a lot about journey mapping, even naming your blog CX Journey.  So why do you feel that journey mapping is such an important topic?

Annette: One of the main reasons journey mapping is such an important topic is that it really sheds light on the customer experience the way it ought to be shed, from the customer’s perspective. A journey map really brings the customer experience to life, allowing people in the company to really understand what customers are going through, what their interactions are, and to create that empathy that we are talking about so much lately, that’s so important to creating a great customer experience. Read more

Webinar: Thinking is Bad

nanoRep and I recently partnered on a webinar to discuss reducing effort in your customer experience. We discuss the Customer Effort Score, simplicity, and how to use self-service to prevent customer disloyalty.  You can view a summary at http://nanorep.com/blog/VIDEO—Thinking-is-Bad-Drive-Customer-Loyalty-by-Simplifying-Your-Service-Experience.  Enjoy!

customer service letter

The future of surveys? Maybe no surveys at all

scan0002Ending the tale of being rear-ended, I found another great lesson. Geico took care of my car, having ABRA Auto Body put on a brand-new bumper. As I checked out, ABRA gave me a document to “help” me fill out my survey. Yes, they told me exactly how I should fill out my questions!

Perhaps this shouldn’t surprise me. We’ve all heard of car salespeople, retail employees and restaurant staff who game the system. But to actually create a document telling me how to fill out the scores was a new one!

Now combine gaming with survey fatigue. So many of us are becoming customer-obsessed, that we each send out more and more surveys. Each individual survey isn’t bad, but I can no longer go through a day without at least one survey request. Our local paper had a great column talking about the survey experience here.

Maybe it’s time to start thinking about the post-survey world.  What would you do if you could never use a 10-point scale again? Read more

Celebrating #CXDay

I hope you had a terrific CX Day!  I really enjoyed the online content – if you didn’t get a chance to view it, I highly recommend going to www.CXDay.org for a chance to review them. Here in Minneapolis we had an amazing event, with over 80 participants learning about what to do when your customers are tired of talking to you (survey fatigue).

20141007_182400 20141007_182405 20141007_185057

 

Who Was There?

I posted earlier about local events at Wolters Kluwer and ShopHQ.  Today I have photos from two other celebrations – at UnitedHealthcare Medicare and Retirement and Allianz Life.

united-healthcare-logoOne of the UnitedHealthcare activities was a booth in their commons area. They engaged employees in quick conversations about grounding their decisions based on VOC and stressed the importance of plain and simple language in communications. They completed by asking for a commitment of what they will do to make the experience better for our consumers.  As Lisa Wilson, Senior Director of the Member Experience explained, “We aim to keep it fun, simple and impactful!”

They also hosted several of the CXPA webinars throughout the day. Lisa wanted to make sure I said, “Thank you to the CxPA for providing such a suite of opportunities to help us raise our game here at UHC!”  Below are two photos of their day – love the selfie!

IMG_2022

IMG_2023

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allianz logo

 

 

Allianz also had a great celebration.  I’ve posted about their strong communications program in the past, and it was evident on CX Day as always. They have televisions throughout their offices, and for this day they focused exclusively on customer experience topics. I’ve included one example below, which links to more of their posters. Because this is also Customer Service week, the rest of the week they are focusing on service, with numerous activities designed to engage and recognize employees who work in Operations, including in the Call Center.

Allianz CX Day Poster

Recap

Lastly, Director of Customer Experience Barbara Norrgard explained, “We also recently ran a contest where we asked people what they are doing to achieve our aspiration and we ran the article today.” Winners were announced to the entire company, celebrated for the impact they have on the customer experience.

So there you have it – two more excellent ideas you can use for next year.  We’re down to only 363 planning days before our next CX Day!

Are you building a culture of customer experience? Or a failed ignition switch?

There has been a lot to press about the General Motors failed ignition switch.  There are many lessons to be learned about quality and manufacturing. But the most important lesson is about culture.

Culture is your most powerful tool to create change. Exploiting your culture can drive significant improvements quickly. But culture can also stymy the best-laid plans. Witness Best Buy, which thrived in the 90s and early 2000s, driven by a culture of individual innovation. But this same culture also made it hard to react when the top competitors Circuit City and Ultimate Electronics went out of business, and the new challenge was from low-cost providers Amazon and Wal-Mart. Read more

The most impactful data visualization tool is a story

What'sthestoryMany of us customer experience people are data heads. Former researchers, marketers or operations people, we use data to learn what customers want. Dashboards are one of our frequent tools, and I frequently get asked about them.

Dashboards are definitely important. A visual report on the current state of your customer experience can help drive action.

But dashboard can’t make people care. Read more

Three steps to start your customer experience program

I love getting together with my fellow customer advocates. Change-makers who want to make both their company and the entire world more customer-centric. I really enjoy sharing a cup of coffee with my fellow CX advocates, and do it at every chance I get.

A popular topic is how to start a customer experience program company, as many are stranded evangelists and are unsure how to make a change. I tell them that a successful customer experience program relies on three pillars: a leader, a team and a vision. I’ve never seen a successful program without all three.

Photo by Tom Hamster, courtesy of Creative Commons

Photo by Tom Hamster, courtesy of Creative Commons

Let’s start with the leader.

That should be you. But first you need a sponsor to give you this role, ideally the CEO. Getting the attention and the support of your CEO is typically the hardest step. To do this you need to build a case for a focus on customer experience, and you need to prove why you’re the best person for this role. I have met dozens of potential customer experience leaders who are unable to start because they have not effectively made the case. Read more

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

Create Better Customer Outcomes through Journey Mapping Workshops

This post was originally shared through the ICMI (International Customer Management Institute) newsletter. You can view the original version here.

—————-

Call center managers have seen it before. Customers form an expectation from your sales channel or marketing literature, receive a different experience through operations, and then call your contact center where they may receive a third perspective.

It’s the setup for a rough call, and an even rougher customer experience. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Great companies have found a way to create a consistent end-to-end experience. They align their silos, creating a consistent experience from start to finish. How do they do it?

Enter customer journey mapping.

Customer journey mapping is a series of techniques that map out your customer experience from start to finish. It follows your customer across silos as they go from initial awareness through the sales process into ongoing engagement.

A popular way to conduct journey mapping is through a workshop. Read more

“Don’t try to change your culture. Exploit it.”

With this statement, the CXPA Insights Exchange was off and running.

This was just one of ten customer experience lessons learned that at Oracle shared by Jeb Dasteel, their Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. But it’s the one that resonated with members, and was repeated throughout the conference. As just one bullet point in a longer speech, it didn’t get the attention it deserved. I would have loved it if he spent his entire keynote on just this one point.

Culture is a central customer experience challenge. You can’t seriously change your customer experience without factoring in your culture. We take on customer experience roles because we want to change the company – we want everybody to be as passionate about our customers as we are. And so we set about to change the culture. But perhaps we should focus more on exploiting what we already have. Read more