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Top tags: Customer Effort Score  customer loyalty  Ease of doing business  Networking 


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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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 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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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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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.

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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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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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Posted By Alan Woollam, CXO Xperience Associates, Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, February 26, 2014

[Editor's Note: Congratulations on becoming a CCXP, Alan! Alan is one of our very first CCXPs and his experience applying for and taking the exam may vary slightly from yours. Please note that all candidates will receive their exam results immediately following the exam at the testing center; make sure you wait for the proctor to print off your results before leaving.]

It's finally here!

In 2013, the CXPA announced it would launch a certification program for CX professionals. The Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) is the first-ever certification program that is not tied to a specific training course in the CX industry.

Why Is It Different?

Although numerous training and educational providers offer certificates upon an individual's successful completion of their course, CXPA is the only organization that provides an independent certification program that evaluates an individual's knowledge, skills and competency based on job related criteria. Candidates' mastery in the field will be rigorously tested, and successful practitioners will earn certificates and the designation of Certified Customer Experience Professional.

So what's it really like?

I'm a strong believer in "standing in your customers' shoes" to evaluate most experiences. So putting my best foot forward, I set out on the journey to trial the whole process firsthand. I find that most customer journeys can be broken down into 3 phases.....before, during and after.

Part 1 - Before

First I went to the CXPA website and went through the Q&A. Then I downloaded the handbook, which outlines the end- end process. Fully armed with the facts and application criteria I completed the online form and hit the send button.

Later in the day I received approval. Equipped with a username & password I went online, scheduled my preferred day and promptly received a confirmation email. Damn, I'm going to have to do it now!

In preparation for the exam I followed the advice to take a look at the CX Tools on the CXPA website. They provide a helpful reminder of what good looks like and the important CX fundamental capabilities that all organizations need to put in place. On the eve of the test day I was pleased to receive a reminder about what to bring with me (registration paperwork and photo ID) Last step......check the route on Google maps and parking availability.

Part 2 - During

Finally the day of reckoning arrived. Damn.........London tube transport is on strike........the roads will be busy! Despite the delays, according to my sat nav I arrived with a whole 11mins to spare, but no training facility in site. Hmmm. There was a building going through re-construction........could that be it? I ask the security guard "what number is this building?" "264", he replied. "I'm looking for 262, but next door is a post office, do you know of a training or testing facility?" "There may be something above the post office", he said. Hmmm. No side door back door.......I entered the post office.......long queue. Hmmm. An unpainted doorway in the corner under construction. Almost looks lights on. Then a member of the post office staff comes to my rescue. "Its me you are looking is upstairs on the top floor". Relief and trepidation greet me together.

Part 3 - After

All done? Not quite. There is a short online questionnaire to rate the experience, which I duly complete like any good Customer Experience Professional! Time to leave, find my car and head home.

I make it back to the office and here we are............will I pass, who knows? Overall it was a straightforward process and test was the easy bit. There are several test centers to choose from, so I'd recommend picking one with the easiest logistics for you.

I'd encourage all English speaking members to give it a test drive, especially if you are on the first rungs of your CX career.

Below is my journey using Touchpoint Dashboard. A quick way to map any customer journey.

A big thanks to Bruce & Lesley for allowing me to share my experience of standing in candidate shoes with fellow CXPA members.

Good luck to all candidates in 2014!

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Posted By Administration, Friday, December 20, 2013
We are excited to announce that we'll soon be launching the
Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) program!

In anticipation of the launch, we're offering you
early access to the CCXP Candidate Handbook detailing the complete process for becoming a CCXP.


Certification will launch in the first quarter of 2014. At that point, you'll be able to submit an application for consideration to the CXPA.

The CCXP designation will help you distinguish yourself in the workforce, validate your CX skills, help you stand out to employers, and maximize your earnings potential. Although many vendors offer certification on their products, processes, and methodology, the CCXP is the pre-eminent certification that impartially and authoritatively evaluates an individual's CX knowledge and competence based on job-related criteria.


Candidates needs to have a bachelors degree plus 3 years of direct CX experience, or 5 years of direct CX experience if you do not have a bachelor's degree. Both members and non-members are eligible. Please check the Handbook for specific details.


If you are setting your 2014 budget right now, the cost for certification will be $495 for CXPA members and $645 for non-members.


While there is no formal training to complete before taking the exam, the CXPA provides an exam blueprint outlined in the Candidate Handbook that highlights the six competencies of CX that the exam focuses on. The Candidate Handbook also provides sample exam questions for you to test yourself.

Members of the CXPA have access to a variety of resources and best practices related to the competencies. These may also be used as tools to help you prepare for the exam. If you meet the eligibility requirements and do not feel confident in your ability to pass the exam after reviewing the aforementioned resources, the CXPA will be focusing educational content over the course of 2014 on the six competencies for members. We encourage you to check the website for updates.


To learn all the details on the process of becoming a CCXP, please see the
Candidate Handbook. Or, you can view FAQS on our website.


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Posted By Administration, Thursday, December 12, 2013

As Vice President of Customer Experience at Vovici, a Verint Company, which provides Enterprise Feedback Management solutions, Nancy is responsible for the Voice of the Customer program, in addition to managing customer support, customer training, and CRM systems. Nancy's background is as an executive leader experienced in building corporate revenue through a loyal and reference-able customer base. She has experience in developing Voice of the Customer programs and increasing satisfaction and loyalty through differentiated customer experience. This year, Nancy and her team completed a Customer Journey Mapping program and in this interview, she highlights the lessons learned from the experience.

Q: How did you first become involved in Customer Experience?  What are you most passionate about when it comes to CX?

A: My career started as a healthcare administrator that transitioned to managing Customer Service for technology companies.  Although I didn't have job title with customer experience as part of it until a few years ago, I would say that I became involved in customer experience from the first time I worked with a patient in the hospital.  I knew from the beginning that it wasn't just the lab and x-rays that made the difference to the patient experience.  The experience and, sometimes, the outcome depended upon the manner in which the transactions were handled - and how they were made relevant to each patient.  In technology, we deal with fewer life-threatening issues but I'm still passionate about evaluating an interaction based on both the outcome and whether the issue was handled with understanding and compassion.

Q: You were awarded the Impact Award this year in part because of work done during Customer Journey Mapping.  We are focused on Customer Journey Mapping this month, and I'm curious what you find to be most important to creating a customer journey map?

A: We learned that before we could even map the customer journey, we needed to develop our customer personas.  We had a false start by trying to map a "typical" customer journey.  But there wasn't a "typical" customer! So our attempts to map it were met with frustration and, not surprisingly, a lack of insightful results!  Once we clearly defined and understood the different types of customers we were able to make progress towards mapping the journey.  I think the most important thing in developing customer journey maps is to truly understand your customers' needs, challenges, and priorities before starting to map the specific interactions and expectations.

Q: I know that you are a wonderful leader and had a team that you worked with on these projects.  What do you find crucial for a team to come together and accomplish phenomenal end results?

A: Our journey mapping team was a group of employees across different departments.  They included customer advocates who were serving on our Customer Insight Team in addition to their regular duties.  I'd say that passion and vision are the most important attributes because our team members worked on the journey mapping tirelessly.  They supported each other and offered their expertise whenever needed and each brought their own individual perspective and expertise.  Working together was a great experience for all of us - and resulted in a greater understanding of our customers!

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Posted By Administration, Friday, November 22, 2013

Patti Hoerner, Customer Experience Manager

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

As interviewed by Aimee Lucas, Customer Experience Analyst, Temkin Group and Committee Lead for the 2013 CX Impact Awards

Patti leads BCBS Michigan's internal CX strategy efforts, referred to as E4 (Educate, Equip and Empower Employees), which helps employees throughout the company better understand and empathize with the different needs and expectations of BCBSM’s customers. Through a series of initiatives, the strategy she has led empowers employees with the tools and understanding to do their jobs in ways that improve the customer experience. Aside from championing the six initiatives that comprise the E4 modules completed to date, Patti was also the internal project lead for each module. This includes Patti's efforts to drive the development of BCBSM's award-winning Customer Experience Room and the launch of the Clear and Simple program, which are helping make BCBSM easy to understand and easy to do business with for our customers. 

Aimee: Please share how you got involved with BCBSM’s customer experience efforts?
Patti: I am a former broadcaster, having spent 30 years on the radio in Chicago.  Five years ago I moved back to Michigan and was hired by our CX leader, Kathryn Levine. That opened up this fabulous career path. And it’s been a natural fit. My previous career in broadcasting is really helpful in understanding audiences and how to talk to them. 

Aimee: How important is the employee side of the CX strategy to BCBSM’s overall CX success?
Patti: In order for us to meet the business objectives around our CX work, we have had to help the organization transform from a traditional B2B, where we were extremely successful, to a B2C model. Employees are critical to our efforts to move that transformation along. We can’t drive this forward without all employees working together in concert.  I spend a lot of time walking around, observing employees at their work and thinking: "How can I help them? How is our CX work affecting them? Are we helping them enough?” I can’t guess—I have to get out in the environment to see if things are working, and if not, work to understand why.  

Aimee: What words of advice or encouragement would you offer to other CX professionals when it comes to making an impact on the Customer's experience?
Patti: You should have a spirit of fun with this. Make no mistake—this is hard work! But if you can infuse it with a real esprit de corps, it flows out across all of your work teams. This is not an easy thing we are doing, but you can have a good time. It’s fun, creative, interesting—who wouldn’t want to do it?!

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