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LEARN MORE ABOUT ONE OF THE NEW CCXP'S, NICOLE GAGNON, SR DIRECTOR, CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE & INSIGHT, THOMSON REUTERS

Posted By Administration, 52 minutes ago

Background on Nicole’s recent CX work:
Over the past 2.5 year, I have had the opportunity to work with my colleagues within Thomson Reuters (Tax & Accounting Division) to build a customer experience discipline to best serve our customers and strengthen our customer-centric culture. This program, referred to as Customer Excellence, was built on the many existing good customer listening practices already in place. 

We listened to and worked with some of the CX pioneers who are CXPA members, and built a program focused on gaining a deep understanding of our customers, sharing this information throughout the organization, acting on customer feedback to improve experiences, while recognizing and rewarding customer-centric behavior within the organization. 

Why did you decide to become a CCXP?
In a field as new as Customer Experience, I agree with CXPA that it is important to begin to certify CX experience and competencies to help strengthen and grow the industry. This certification reinforces the discipline behind CX management work and across the six CX competencies, ensuring that CCXP holders have broad and sufficient expertise to lead CX efforts.

How did you prepare for the exam?
In the fast moving CX world, it is difficult to keep up to date on best practices and innovative programs. I prepared for the exam by reading much of the material on the CXPA website. Also useful are publications from Forrester, Bruce Temkin, and Lynn Hunsaker. 

What is your advice or recommendation to those looking to take the CCXP exam?
For those who feel their professional experience and knowledge will match a CCXP designation, my advice is to review the six CX competencies and think about the knowledge and experience you have within each area. Focus on areas where you may not have as much expertise or experience. And reach out to other CCXPs or CXPA members to gain more knowledge. We are so lucky to have a professional organization like CXPA to help us learn from each other and advance the industry.

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HOW CIENA GAINED MOMENTUM IN CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IN TWELVE MONTHS

Posted By Sandra Fornasier, Customer Advocacy Director, Ciena, 1 hour ago
Updated: Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ciena began conducting a Customer Satisfaction Program in 2001. Over the last few years, customer feedback has remained stable. Ciena consistently scored high on customer relationships, yet initiatives for continuous improvement weren’t having an impact on the overall CSAT index. In parallel, given a rapidly changing market dynamic, Ciena recognized an opportunity to expand its voice of the customer engagements. As a result, Ciena decided to revitalize and reframe its overall approach. 

First, the company created a dedicated strategic group responsible for the creation of Ciena’s Customer Experience (CX) strategy and vision. This group also took responsibility for execution of the strategy by partnering across organizations to drive action that would result in to a measurably improved CX.

Next, Ciena set out to be innovative in its approach by

  1. Obtaining deeper insights using a qualitative research study to:
    • enable Ciena to challenge basic business assumptions and define a common language,
    • explore ways to make it easier to do business with Ciena by redefining its understanding of customer-defined success measures,
    • obtain a crisper set of expectations on Ciena as a network specialist, and thus inspiring the inclusion of CX as an integral part of the company’s strategic plans and initiatives

  2. Using this more profound understanding of customer expectations, and aligning it with Ciena’s corporate values, to
    • re-design its loyalty metric to a more tailored, comparable and actionable measure of CX,
    • create an Inside Out / Outside In scorecard that would enable the direct comparison of quantitative metrics against customer perception
    • align initiatives that would have measurable impact on the CX vision

Finally, the company created momentum around Ciena’s first CX Strategy by engaging employees and defining a consistent understanding of CX for all employees. Execution of this strategy continues to be comprised of 3 parallel components.

  • ENGAGING through sponsorship and ownership:
    • Strategic CX plans for long term growth
    • CX champions in every function, executive sponsorship
    • Founded on corporate values

  • INFORMING through collective awareness:
    • Connecting our people with the Voice of Customer through a set of new communication channels.
    • Business and functionally focused Voice of Customer reporting.
    • Education and awareness through CX Sharing of Best practices.

  • TRANSFORMING through CX by purposeful design:
    • Unifying to a common vision
    • Initiatives that drive to a common goal and vision
    • Measuring impact against metrics that matter

Ciena believes that its unique approach to customer engagement, which is one of Ciena’s strategic differentiators, will help the company continue to grow revenue, gain market share and win industry awards

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BUILDING A CUSTOMER-CENTERED CULTURE THAT EMPLOYEES LOVE

Posted By Paula Skartland, Agent & Customer Experience, Safeco Distribution, Liberty Mutual Personal Insurance, 1 hour ago
Updated: Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Creating a customer-centered culture starts by winning the hearts and minds of your employees; – in a truly customer-focused culture, every single employee plays a role. Top performing organizations understand that a customer-centered culture is the engine that creates and sustains excellent customer experiences. Engaged employees lead the way because they take personal ownership in their company’s success.

A recent Temkin Report found that engaged employees are nearly six times more committed to helping their company succeed as often as those who are disengaged. Engaged employees are more likely to do something good for the company that’s unexpected of them.

It takes time and discipline to make a real and sustainable shift toward a customer-centered culture. Winning hearts and minds starts with a clear vision of how you will cultivate capabilities that place customers at the forefront. Many organizations start with a good history of caring for customers, but often need to push the restart button and refocus their efforts.

You win the mind when it’s clear what you deliver to customers and why it’s important in a real and meaningful way. Look to your brand as the North Star – it is what you promise to customers.

Like any journey, it builds over time and must continually be nourished to be sustained. Four important themes to building a customer-centric culture emerge:

  • Recognize and reward the behaviors that drive repeatable, consistent experiences.
  • Drive common language and customer-centered actions into daily routines. Employees have great insights about how to do this.
  • Listen to each other and tell stories that reinforce behaviors that keep customers front and center.
  • Make it real by sharing a common, customer-centered performance goal.

If I could impart just three things that I’ve learned about creating a customer-centered organization, it’s this:

  • It takes time.
  • Listen to, act on, and honor customer and employee feedback.
  • Every person in your organization plays a role in delivering on our promise to customers.

Start on the inside and entrust your employees with building loyalty and enthusiasm among customers. The path to a customer-centered culture begins with your employees and ends with the customer.

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WHY AND HOW TO TRANSFORM CULTURE TO BECOME CUSTOMER FOCUSED

Posted By Reginald Chatman, Director of Customer Experience, SanDisk, 1 hour ago
Updated: Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Transforming an organization into a customer-focused one is a challenge for many companies. But the importance of this journey cannot be overstated as expressed by Peter Drucker with the following (now infamous) quote:  "Culture eats strategy for breakfast!”

So although it is equally important to develop a strategy for radically improving customer experience by capturing voice of customer, putting in place metrics to measure progress, and executing improvement projects that effect process change, an organization must also ensure there is a major investment in culture. This journey should be built around "Three E’s”:  Educate, Engage, and Empower.

Educate employees about what customers think about your company and products by broadly reporting feedback captured through structured means like surveys and interviews as well as unstructured channels such as online forums and social media.

Engage employees in coming up with ideas to improve customer experience as well as participating in projects that make a difference to key customer metrics.

Finally, leaders must find ways to empower employees. As Jan Carlzon, the originator of the term "moments of truth”, stated, "Problems are solved on the spot, as soon as they arise.”  And if you empower your front line employees to do that, it will have a ripple effect on the culture at large.

Transforming culture will not be an easy journey but it is critical to the success of any efforts to radically improve customer experience.

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SAFELITE AUTOGLASS PUTS PEOPLE FIRST

Posted By Lesley Lykins, Friday, March 28, 2014
Updated: Monday, March 24, 2014

In 2008 Safelite AutoGlass headquartered in Columbus, OH redefined the company’s values and introduced the concept of PEOPLE POWERED.  They would "drive business value by putting people first and having an obsessive focus on having talented people who are inspired to deliver great results.”

Four principles were put into place to drive this change and hold the company accountable to the people first culture:

Leadership – Great leaders create engagement among associates who in turn deliver extraordinary results.

Focus – Concentration on ‘people’ as a key part of our business strategy positions us for success.

Caring – Sincere concern for people’s wellbeing creates loyalty, increases retention, and it’s just the right thing to do.

Talent – Having great people is the ultimate competitive advantage.

Safelite leadership did run into challenges as they rolled out this new way of thinking, but overcame those rather quickly and today have a company culture that has left no question regarding the business value of this shift.  Following our recent CXPA Best Practice Visit to Safelite AutoGlass we put a few questions to Steve Miggo, Safelite AutoGlass Senior Vice President, Operations.

  1. How big of a shift was People First when it was introduced?
  2. The shift was pretty big. We were an organization who valued tenure over talent, and frankly didn’t know how to look at talent objectively and didn’t understand the value in having a people focused strategy. We had to teach people what it meant to be a leader, what it meant to focus on people first, and what "top talent” looked like. We were always a company with a big heart, but we had to get that "caring” component down to the local level as well.

  3. How long did it take to develop the concept?
  4. The concept itself was really developed over a couple of days, but it probably took 6 months to better define it, put the right words around it, and agree on a communication plan that was easy to understand and cascade broadly.

  5. How long did it take to implement?

    In a way, we are still implementing it, because we are not all the way there in every place we do business. It was (and is) a significant culture shift and that takes time, along with constant reinforcement. It’s not a theme or a flavor of the month – in fact, we identified the core competencies we needed to have to become a people-focused business and then reinforced them by developing people programs such as hiring, development, performance management and recognition based on those skills and behaviors.

    But I would say we took about a year to really teach the concepts to our top level leaders all the way down to the front line managers. Then we took steps to make sure our people understood what to expect from their leaders (our People Pledge) and to give them permission to hold us accountable if they are not seeing us live up to it. That took another 6 months or so and it is something that we continue to talk about every day as the organization grows.

You can find out more about the Safelite AutoGlass People Powered, Customer Driven Culture on this recent recording summarizing the takeaways from the CXPA Best Practice Visit.

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CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IN INDIA

Posted By Rajbir Singh, HCL Technologies, Friday, March 28, 2014
Updated: Monday, March 24, 2014

Gandhi was an inspiring leader for India in various walks of life, including his views on customers. He once said:

"A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”

He belonged to a merchant community and had deep insights into the culture of customer service.  

In India today, customer experience is regarded very highly by most organizations and there is a lot of government and industry focus on this, but in reality consumer experience is a mixed-bag. To really understand the nature and drivers of experience, we need to look at needs of different sectors because experience varies across industries. While consumers have a great time in online retail business, it is rather poor in the financial services sector due to intensity of competition. We also need to understand the current economic scenario and how we got here. 

A recent comment by Chairman and Founder of one of the largest and most successful Telecom company, highlights current economic status very well. He openly said that he did not care much about customer service as his goal is to gain market share, as market is growing rapidly and there is need to allocate more resources to new customer acquisition. His approach got also validated by market and customer reaction when number portability was introduced and very small number of customers availed of it. Telecom sector is also highly regulated and has very few players (like most countries) and this limits competition and choice for consumers. India is in Growth phase, and organizations therefore want to focus on customer acquisition right now.  

Historically, India has gone through a rough time as an economy for most of industrial and post industrial revolution times. Especially in recent past, India has seen significant shortage of most goods as country adopted Russian model of planned economy and most of industries capacities were either tightly controlled or were nationalized. Most customers were therefore used poor service as well as shoddy quality of products and services. Most consumer facing industries including banks, utility services and retailers enjoyed monopolistic conditions and customers’ expectations were quite low. This is however changing now as couple of decades back India decided to eliminate lot of industry controls and India went through an IT, Telecom and Media Industry revolution. These exposed Indian consumers to global experiences, improved speed of business and generated lot of disposable income. Further liberalization in the banking, automotive, retail and food industries has led to huge transformation of the quality of products, services and infrastructure, leading to rise in expectations of consumers. Recent growth in the Online industries, Internet penetration and Social Media has also provided more information and control in hands of consumers, fueling the sense of entitlement. 

Another major change in India is rising literacy levels as well as increasing share of youth in demography. Youth is lot more optimistic about future and is more demanding and is willing to fight for its rights. This has also impacted the consumers’ expectations and organizations willingness to surrender to that. Government has also been playing ball and has introduced legislation to protect interests of Indian consumers by launching special Courts only to address consumer complaints.

Above GREEN arrow, describes the direction of experience in India over last few decades.

Let us examine Experience trends in few industries to develop deeper insights into Current State of Customer Experience:

Retail:

  • Retail sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in India. Traditional retail has been dominated by mom&pop shops like most other emerging economies. These shops have traditionally done well in managing customer relationship. However over last few years, with increasing urbanization, this relationship has become more transactional as demand has outstripped supply and retailer has moved to position of power. Most retail goods are produced by few large manufacturers and there is very little value add that a retailer can do, except providing short term credit.
  • In recent times, online and large retailers have entered the economy. Most large retail outlets are crowded and experience takes a back seat. Emphasis is lot more on pricing and availability than on experience. Guess these are important needs of customers today.

Financial Services

  • Traditionally Public Sector (government owned) companies were key provider of services. There was long wait time for most services and good relationship was key to getting good service.
  • Now online services and private sector banks/insurance companies have transformed this space. While customer trust is still low and transparency is very limited, increasing competition and maturity of markets will bring greater focus on customer service.

Public Utilities

  • Electricity and Water utilities were also traditionally owned by Government and with introduction of private players, this has also seen improved availability of service, though transparency has come down, leading to poor trust of suppliers.

Similar trends can be observed in other consumer facing industries like Tourism and Hospitality, Healthcare and many others. 

Another major trend impacting experience is rapid growth of social media and internet. Most consumers have easy access to information, reviews and recommendation and are now able to post their own feedback on the net. Internet also provides them a forum to access information about senior management and they use that to escalate issues. 

With increasing competition, digitization of business models, rapid penetration of Internet and rising aspirations of people, we expect companies to lay greater emphasis on Customer Experience and it will become a key competitive advantage for the leaders and innovators.

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THE OFTEN OVERLOOKED, BUT VERY VALUABLE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE RESOURCE

Posted By Kelly Ohaver, Client Experience Manager, City of Centennial, Friday, March 28, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Executive support for customer experience is unquestionably important. However, it is also wise to remember how important front line staff are to the customer experience. The front line staff interact daily with our customers and ultimately know our customers best. Organizations that leverage the power of this often untapped valuable resource stand to benefit.

In 2013, in an effort to tap into this resource, The Client Experience Manager at the City of Centennial, Colorado formed a Front Line Advisory Group (a.k.a. "FLAG”). The FLAG is a group of 10 individuals from eight different functional areas in the City, who meet regularly to discuss service related opportunities for improvement and share insight from their daily interactions with customers. The FLAG has developed and launched multiple projects, from designing a map of the most frequently inquired about community destinations to transporting and promoting a portable kiosk to improve access to City services in the community. In addition to spurring the generation of creative and innovative service ideas, a few intangible outcomes developed in the form of increased employee engagement among front line employees, organization adoption as others presented ideas to the FLAG, and breaking through organizational silos to build a stronger connection between contract and employee staff.

A service-oriented culture is vital to the long term success of any customer experience strategy, and effectively engaging front line staff as a catalyst for organizational adoption is one way to start building a service-oriented culture. Front line staff understand customers and their needs, and they also have a strong focus on resolving customer concerns. A natural bi-product of engaging and empowering front line staff from multiple functional areas is a stronger emphasis on the customer throughout the organization.

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FACE TO FACE AT A LOCAL NETWORKING EVENT NEAR YOU

Posted By Mike Wittenstein, Principal and Lead Experience Designer, Storyminers and Leigh Stokes, VP, Digital , Friday, March 28, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

In just two short years, the CXPA has launched Local Networking Events in over 30 cities in 6 countries. These events have brought clients and vendors together, helped professionals find jobs, and answered questions for front-line practitioners. The events are valuable and have become a cornerstone of the CXPA’s own experience and a true value for its members. 

Recently, Director of Member Engagement, Lesley Lykins was in Atlanta planning for the Insight Exchange at the same time Atlanta was holding their end-of-winter LNE at Chick-fil-A’s Hatch Innovation Center. Our event went over extremely well. Response was so strong that an encore meeting is being scheduled for May. She asked our Atlanta team to share some thoughts on LNEs, volunteer, and best practices.

Doing four events a year for a new organization is hard work. Over the last two years, we’ve figured out a couple of things to make that easier for everyone:

  • Appoint one leader for each event and have everyone else pitch in (that takes the burden off one person and helps prevent burn-out). Much like a lead cyclist or lead goose, the leader takes the brunt of the oncoming wind, but knows that they get a break afterwards.
  • Just ask people to help. They’ll usually say yes. We’ve asked for help at the check-in desk, solicited greeters, and gotten a photographer this way. When a volunteer’s responsibilities are focused and easy, it’s easy for them to to help.
  • Write a run-of-show document that details what’s happening on a timeline and who is responsible for each task. We’ll gladly share ours as example others can adapt.
  • We start each planning meeting with ‘good news since we last spoke’. It keeps us in touch with each other personally and provides the opportunity to show support.
  • If you’re the leader, find out what others on your team need (even if it’s not CXPA-related), then do your best to provide it for them.

For a few thoughts on our recent event you can check out the video below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBPHgFmhecY

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BECOMING A CCXP

Posted By Tabitha Dunn, CCXP, Managing Director, Customer Insights, Citrix Systems, Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I love the idea of our Customer Experience field having an independent certification, so I approached the opportunity to take the test with excitement and some trepidation (I'm a bit of a nervous test taker, you see). Having the certification in place gives many CX professionals something to aspire to as an achievement and a measure of their success. I won't say it was easy (it wasn't) but it was definitely worth it.

I would recommend reading through the certification framework and taking the sample test prior to the certification, to ensure you feel prepared to answer questions in all six areas. It was easy to find a testing center near me and I found the experience of the testing itself to be straightforward. The time given was sufficient to take the test and review my answers, which is important, since the questions will challenge you and make you think.

I hope that having the CCXP designation establishes those certified as capable of leading and helping CX initiatives all across the CX disciplines. I believe that having this in place is the next step in proving CX as a field of expertise in its own right and that will help all of us in creating and having better customer experiences. I'm excited to be a part of the next stage in our CX evolution!

Watch the CCXP Educational Webinar featuring Parrish Arturi, Vice Chair of the CXPA and Senior Vice President of Customer Experience at Fidelity Investment.

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MOMENTUM AROUND CX STRATEGY AT SPRINT

Posted By David Fairchild, Customer Experience, Sprint, Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sprint's customer experience efforts largely have focused in three strategic areas in recent months, namely the customer service experience, the network experience, and the purchase experience.

First, Sprint has recently completed several major initiatives that empower our customers to better manage their wireless service needs on their own and at their convenience through online and on-device-based tools.

Second, Sprint continues to improve the network experience for our customers through our Network Vision LTE expansion, through our newly introduced Spark ultra-high-speed data service capable of transmission speeds at more than 1 Gigabit per second, and through other ongoing network improvements.

Finally, Sprint is dramatically changing the purchase experience through our new Family Plan that lets our customers add up to ten people to their plan for rates as low as $25 per month per line and through our new Sprint Easy Pay option that lets our customers get any current smartphone or feature phone they choose for 24 monthly payments and no down payment.

As Sprint continues its progress in these three strategic experience areas, we are confident these efforts will help us achieve our goals of creating more customer-promoters of our brand, making things easy for our customers, and improving profitability.

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