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

2014 LOCAL NETWORKING TEAM EXCELLENCE AWARD - ATLANTA

Posted By Administration, Friday, May 30, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The CXPA Local Networking Team Excellence Award is a new recognition of the immense volunteer time and energy our CXPA members put into leading and coordinating local events in over 30 cities and 5 different countries. Teams of three or more members volunteer, plan, coordinate and execute events on a quarterly basis to bring local area members and non-members together to discuss customer experience.This award recognizes the top team having demonstrated exceptional communication, well-planned and executed events, consistent team unity and overall passion for growth in their region. 

Atlanta's Local Networking Team has demonstrated excellence on all accounts, from a hugely successful event held at Chick-fil-A headquarters to a wonderful method of distributing work among team members. They have put in place processes that recognize and value sponsors while encouraging ongoing networking and strong bonds between attendees during the months when they aren't holding an event.  This team has set an incredible example for other teams across CXPA and they continuously seek to share their best practices and lessons learned. Congratulations to the Atlanta Local Networking Team including: Mike Wittenstein (Team Leader), Mark Abbas, Carol Chapman, Leigh Stokes, Lee Kent and Carlos Quintero. 

Visit the community website for words from Mike Wittenstein about the Atlanta LNEs success. 

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2014 CXPA Insight Exchange Day Two Recap

Posted By Rebecca Lee, Agent and Customer Experience, Safeco Insurance, Thursday, May 15, 2014

Day two was just as fun and energized as day one. Although we had a short day to come, it was packed with speakers, workshops, and a breakout session. Everyone had a great time getting to know one another at the networking reception the day before, so the atmosphere in the room was full of excitement. We started the morning with a networking breakfast and vendor showcase; great member-to-member conversations and a chance to talk with exhibitors in the Vendor Showcase.

Karl Sharicz (Tyco SimplexGrinell) and Diane Magers (AT&T Business Services) welcomed everyone to day to, and the last keynote was delivered by Bob Johnson, (President – Sprint Retail and Chief Service and IT officer). He shared his tips on Building a Customer-Centered Service Culture through Sprint. According to Johnson, tips to customer experience excellence are: improve the customer experience (which means extending customer satisfaction leadership); strengthen the brand (thus drive profitable growth); and generate cash (which includes reducing costs). These priorities unify the company around shared goals and have been critical to the company’ success, To read more about his keynote view, Ginger Colon’s (Editor-in-Chief, Direct Marketing News) blog titled "When Brand and Customer Experience are one”: http://cxpa.site-ym.com/blogpost/912445/187880/When-Brand-and-Customer-Experience-Are-One

The Member Show & Tell (Session Two) continued to be a big hit with the group. Everyone had another opportunity to learn about tips and tools from companies that had success within a specific topic. We selected three tables to visit during the interactive session that were focused on these main topics:

  • Voice of the Customer, Customer Insight and Understanding
  • Customer-Centric Culture
  • Customer Experience Strategy
  • Experience Design, Improvement and Innovation
  • Metrics, Measurements and ROI
  • Organizational Adoption and Accountability

In all there were 20 member-led, round-table discussions where fellow practitioners shared their tools, actions and processes.

After the Member Show & Tell, we had our last Breakout Session (with three member-led presentations).  Julie Foster, Director, merchandising and strategy from Home Depot talked about One Journey Over Time: A Simple Lesson for Us All, next Reginald Chatman, Director of SanDisk talked about Three E’s (Educate, Engage and Empower) to Transform Culture into One That is Customer-Focused and lastly, Erik Long, Principle of ZS Associates and Will carter, Manager ZS Associates From the VoC to VoX” Widening your Lens for Customer Experience Excellence.

During lunch we had a panel of speakers moderated by Bruce Temkin. The panel included, Karyn Furstman, Vice President, Customer Experience, Safeco Insurance, Kathryn Levine, VP Corporate Marketing and Customer Experience, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and George Patterson, Global VP Customer Experience & Continuous Improvement, NCR Corporation. The panel talked about their careers, current company CX work, inspiring future CX practitioners, and what they are excited about in the future. Great discussion and great questions all around.   

Our last session of the day was Rapid Innovation Showcase. We had 7 innovators who spoke for 7 minutes about CX concepts and best practices. What a great way to end the conference.

Day two was a bitter sweet end. Bruce Temkin, Parrish Arturi and Lesley Lykins closed the Insight Exchange by thanking all the volunteers and those that attend the event. A few reminders to be a CCXP and to sign up early for next year’s IE in San Diego.

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When Brand and Customer Experience Are One

Posted By Ginger Conlon, Editor-in-Chief, Direct Marketing News, Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sprint’s Bob Johnson discusses the lasting impression of CX and its impact on revenue

As customers, we all know the certainty of this: Customer experience is personal.

"Your customers have different needs and you have to do what you can to meet them,” said Bob Johnson, president of Sprint Retail and chief service and information technology officer for Sprint, during his keynote at the 2014 CXPA Insight Exchange. It’s not easy, but it’s worth the effort, he said, noting that Sprint has cut about $7 billion in costs over the past few years in part by improving the customer experience in ways that led to reductions in churn, increases in self-service, and fewer calls to its customer service and care teams.

In fact, the American Customer Satisfaction Index cites Sprint as the most-improved company in customer experience across 47 industries during the past five years.

These improvements to Sprint’s customer experience also reflect its brand image. As the telecom’s customer satisfaction bottom-two box scores decrease, so does churn. And as the top-two box scores increase, Johnson pointed out, so do marketing efficiencies, word of mouth, and retention. "It’s like free money,” he said.

But delivering a top-notch customer experience that aligns with corporate goals is no easy feat. Johnson said it requires three things: top-down support, perseverance, and a link to revenue. "It’s very hard. There’s no magic bullet,” he said. "You have to stick with it and stay passionate about it. And if you improve the customer experience, you have to show the impact to the bottom line.”

Fortunately, customer experience excellence is among Sprint CEO Dan Hesse’s top-three priorities. According to Johnson, they are: improve the customer experience (which means extending customer satisfaction leadership); strengthen the brand (thus drive profitable growth); and generate cash (which includes reducing costs). These priorities unify the company around shared goals and have been critical to the company’ success, Johnson said. This approach helps to communicate internally how employees impact the bottom line; in part, through showing that as customer satisfaction goes up, churn goes down.

A focus on customer experience pervades the organization, especially in sales, customer service and care, and IT. "There’s a great synergy between these groups,” Johnson told me when we spoke prior to his keynote. "The retail, service, and care customer experiences are all enabled by IT.” In fact, everything from the point-of-sales systems at retail, billing tools, and the systems that the service and care teams use are all run by IT.  "We want to make sure that when customers sign up it’s a great experience, when customers call the care team we want that to be a great experience, and even when they review their bill it’s a great experience—and IT support all that,” he said during his keynote.

But the customer experience isn’t just about when customers come to Sprint; it’s also about outreach. "You have to go where your customers are,” Johnson said. So Sprint created an online community to provide a place where customers can help each other, and it launched a team of "social ninjas” to help respond to customers in social channels. Currently, there are 3,300 employees who volunteer as social ninjas. Additionally, employees volunteer to send handwritten thank-you notes to customers; last year they sent 900,000 in total.

"It’s everyone’s responsibility in the company to help customers,” Johnson said. But it’s not forced. Management communicates the benefits so employees will want to take part. Clearly, it works.

But Sprint executives don’t just cross their fingers and hope for customer-centric outcomes. There are customer and operational metrics that support customer centricity; for example, post-interaction churn rates, first-call resolution, and Net Promoter Score. Additionally, care agents are compensated to own and resolve issues instead of transferring calls—and call transfers have dropped 50% since Sprint began focusing on it. The mantra is "service, solve, and satisfy.”

"The front line is the brand,” Johnson says. "Sometimes it’s the only personal interaction customers have with the company, and it leaves a lasting impression.” 

Along with inside-out customer experience initiatives, Sprint responds to customer input by making changes to, say, pricing or devices; for example, launching its unlimited data plan in 2011.

"We focus on customers’ moments of truth,” Johnson said, citing purchasing, receiving a first bill, and calling to resolve technical issues as examples. "We’re taking all customer touchpoints, mapping them to our functional peers, and saying, ‘Here’s how you affect the customer experience, and here’s where you need improve’ or ‘Thanks, keep up the good work.’” Part of this is showing the financial impact that those areas have in terms of customer experience. "I make sure my teams understand their role in customer experience,” he said.

Ultimately, customer experience for Sprint is about churn reduction, service and IT excellence, and contribution to EBITA, Johnson said. "The single biggest financial metric in telecom is churn,” he said. "If you can positively impact the customer experience, you can reduce churn, thus increase revenue.” 

 

Copyright 2014, Direct Marketing News; reprinted with permission

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Building a Customer-Centered Service Culture

Posted By Jeannie Walters, Principal, 360Connext , Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bob Johnson, President of Sprint Retail and Chief Service and Information Technology Officer, Sprint, addressed the CXPA crowd on Day 2 of the Insight Exchange. Johnson was clearly a passionate advocate about changing an organization from the inside-out to deliver a better customer experience.  

Customer experience is a very personal issue. When you merge personal and professional experiences, like staying in a hotel for business travel, it’s really personal. 

Johnson told how he arrived after a flight delay, and needed an early check-in. Room wasn’t ready, but the Loews Hotel in Atlanta switched and made it happen. He received early access to the gym when he asked for it. As customers, we appreciate this type of care. It means they’re paying attention.  

To transform the customer experience in any organization, it has to start at the top. It cannot be a grassroots effort. 

No silver bullets in a customer experience. It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of process implementation, and a lot of time! Stick with it. Stay passionate! 

Sprint’s in business to make money. If you improve the customer experience, you have to prove it has an impact on the bottom line. 

Sprint’s priorities, as laid out by CEO Dan Hesse, continue to be: 

  1. Improve the customer experience
  2. Strengthen the brand
  3. Generate cash 

Customer satisfaction goes up, and customer churn goes down. Every employee has the opportunity to improve the customer experience. This goes further and makes it somewhat of an obligation. 

We want the customers to know we are part of the community. It helps our brand before the customer even interacts with the product. 

Sprint does this by focusing on the customer – beyond service. There are several specific ways this is done:

  • Corporate social responsibility, including providing assistance to individuals who are hearing/visually impaired
  • Protecting our natural resources, including device recycling
  • Safety, including teen driving programs 

Johnson stressed the importance of understanding the customer lifecycle. It’s complicated with several distribution channels and application development. The IT platforms that generate the customer bill or the desktop applications are all part of it. 

Customers want to be contacted where they are and where they want to be. 

Sprint decided to embrace the customer hate blogs out there. Instead of being defensive, they decided to reach out to the customer and be willing to help them. The customers see they were proactive. 

Sprint and Social Media 

  • Sprint employees (outside of customer care) were asked to be Social Ninjas, including reaching out to the bloggers and complainers, and represent Sprint
  • Asked other Sprint employees to send hand-written thank you notes for loyal customers. This was a volunteer program for employees, but the response was great.
  • Nothing was mandated. There was no quota. Nothing was enforced. This was about asking employees to walk the talk from the top. Focus on the customer! 

Customer Experience Takes Time! 

Johnson started his journey in the fourth quarter of 2007.  Since then, Sprint has examined both how to improve the process and WHY there are issues in the first place. This means improving how calls are addressed and creating programs to address the issue. Sprint’s Simply Everything plan was implemented based on the volume of calls based on customer surprise on overages. 

Addressing the right number of agents at the right times meant reducing the wait time for customers who called. They changed the call routing to improve how customers were addressed. 

In 2012, they invested in a state-of-the-art, innovative desktop application for their agents. They took 46 screens in the tool down to six screens! 

They improved the quality of the surveys to customers and how often they were distributed.

Johnson also reached out to the departments needed to solve the customer problems. Marketing, technology, etc. were willing to help because the message came from the top. 

Understanding the Metrics and What Moves The Numbers 

They track calls within 90 Days of event. This helps them understand the highest volume of call reasons. Based on this, they tracked:

  • Calls per subscriber
  • Handle time
  • Transfers
  • Adjustments

They realized a huge issue was device swap and plan swaps. Customers want new phones and better plans. They tracked transfers from one agent to another because Sprint recognized this was huge pain point in the customer experience. "We focused maniacally to reduce the transfers.” 

First call resolution became a big metric to see how customer experience helped with both customer experience AND the bottom line. 

Within five years, Sprint was able to reduce both the number of call centers and the number of agents. 

Making customers happy with credits simply doesn’t work. It’s better to solve the problem and work with the customer. If Sprint makes a mistake, we give a credit, but if we can solve the problem for the customer, that’s what we do. 

Calls per subscriber went down 60%. Credits went down 80%. This means higher quality care really helped drive bottom line results. The actual dollars reduced was $7.5 BILLION.  

During this period of improvement, Sprint received several accolades from third parties. JD Power recognized Sprint for best purchase experience. ACSI, the American Customer Satisfaction Index used to rank Sprint as LAST place in the wireless industry.  Now they are number one in ANY industry.  

Customer care was being "metric-ed to death.” Agents didn’t know what was important because they were asked to hit all of them. Now there are two: First Call Resolution and Customer Satisfaction from post-call surveys. Other metrics are recorded and reviewed, but they aren’t used to confuse the agents. 

There are three priorities for agents and retail reps in the stores:

  1. Serve
  2. Solve
  3. Satisfy

Leadership also stressed that the front-line WAS THE BRAND. The agents receiving calls and the sales reps in the stores might be the only personal interaction someone has with Sprint. Communicating this was a key part of helping those on the frontline understand the critical role they play with customers. 

By understanding the lifecycle, Sprint looks at each touchpoint and maps it to the function which impacts the customer experience. They educate each group on how they can improve the customer experience directly.  

Sprint continues to evolve the experience for customers. Johnson preaches their goals at every meeting. Nobody can argue with the logic of churn reduction, service & IT excellence and contributions to the bottom line. Preach!!

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2014 CXPA Insight Exchange Day One Recap

Posted By Deirdre Sommerkamp, Director, Strategic Services, Qvidian, Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What a great day to be a Customer Experience professional! There is nothing better than being with my fellow CXPA members who deeply desire to help one another and continue to advance the CX profession.

We started the day with a networking breakfast and vendor showcase; great member-to-member conversations and a chance to talk with exhibitors in the Vendor Showcase.

Karl Sharicz (Tyco SimplexGrinell) and Diane Magers (AT&T Business Services) welcomed everyone, and the first keynote was delivered by Jeb Dasteel (SVP and CCO, Oracle). He shared Oracle’s Customer-Centric Journey through a series of acquisitions and how they made customer centricity part their DNA in sales, service, support, development, marketing and contracting. His shared key insights and lessons learned. See Nancy Porte’s (Verint) blog about Jeb’s Keynote and his top 10 here: http://cxpa.site-ym.com/blogpost/912445/187763/Oracle-s-Customer-Centric-Journey-and-Jeb-s-Top-Ten

Bruce Temin (Co-Founder & Chair, CXPA) and Parrish Arturi (Vice Chair, CXPA) provided an update on the initiatives underway across the CXPA and reminded us that CX Dayis the first Tuesday in October. This year’s CX Day is October 7. Mark your calendars! A quick show of hands revealed many of us were attending the Insight Exchange for the very first time. Bruce commented that the 2014 Insight Exchange "is 40 percent bigger than last year.” Congratulations to the 2014 Extra Mile Award Winners: Annette Gleneicki, Jeannie Walters, Leigh Stokes and Alan Woollam! For more on Bruce and Parrish’s update: http://www.cxpa.org/blogpost/912445/187746/CXPA-update-by-Bruce-Temkin-2014-Insight-Exchange

The Member Show & Tell (Session One) was a great opportunity to learn what’s working for other members and walk away with ideas we could adapt and use in our own companies. We selected three tables to visit during the interactive session that were focused on these main topics:

  • Voice of the Customer, Customer Insight and Understanding
  • Customer-Centric Culture
  • Customer Experience Strategy
  • Experience Design, Improvement and Innovation
  • Metrics, Measurements and ROI
  • Organizational Adoption and Accountability

In all there were 22 member-led, round-table discussions where fellow practitioners shared their tools, actions and processes.

Our second keynote was delivered by Alison Circle (CCXO, Columbus Metropolitan Library), and she is an entertaining storyteller! Her topic was Re-Experiencing Legacy Brands. Alison shared how the library changed customer experience and turned expectations and service upside down by changing all the rules. Her presentation was filled with humor and references we could all relate to, and I left the session in awe of the enormous transformation the library went through.

Bruce Temkin, Parrish Arturi and Lesley Lykins announced the2014 CX Innovation Award winners from a field of 14 top-notch finalists. We congratulated the winners over lunch:

  • National Car Rental
  • Safelite AutoGlass
  • Akbank
  • OKC Thunder
  • Cisco

To read more about the winners: http://t.co/PDPMCB8Xk2

After lunch, we attended two Breakout Sessions each (out of six member-led presentations). I attended, Accelerating the Customer Experience Program at Thomson Reuters, led by Nicole Gagnon and Telling Your Customer Experience Stories, led by David Shapiro (UnitedHealth Group). Both were phenomenal and packed with key takeaways. My favorite takeaway was David’s comment to, "Use compelling visuals to tell the story,” and the way he illustrated that point in his presentation.

Our last session of the day (before the Networking Reception) was M2M Unwound Sharing. I joined the session, Organizational Adoption with Customer Centric Culture, led by Megan Burns (Forrester). In this open forum we discussed customer-centric ways our companies have acted that we were proud of as well as behaviors, values, beliefs, emotional connections, self-governance and accountability.

Everyone I spoke with at the end of Day One felt energized, focused and ready for Day Two. Bring. It. On!

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Meet a Marketer Who Owns Customer Experience

Posted By Ginger Conlon, Editor-in-Chief, Direct Marketing News, Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Chief Experience Officer Alison Circle is using her marketing expertise to transform a 135-year-old institution.

Those who get the lion’s share of their information online may question the relevancy of the public library. Not so at Ohio’s Columbus Metropolitan Library, where there are 17 million visitors a year and a commitment to growth and expansion, says Alison Circle, the library’s chief experience officer.

Circle, a marketing veteran who spent nearly a decade at agency Jack Morton Worldwide, is using her marketing prowess to guide that transformation—and to ensure that Columbus Metropolitan Library continues to be relevant for the foreseeable future. During her keynote at the 2014 CXPA Insight Exchange, Circle shared the five steps that underlie her approach to creating and maintaining a customer-centric culture.

1. Change the conversation

There are few organizations more transactional than the library, Circle pointed out. "You check [books] out and check [them] in,” she said. "That’s no longer enough in this age of information.” So she’s been leading the charge to "reimagine the customer experience” and evolve and change Columbus Metropolitan Library to meet the needs of its community and customers. 

"People remember the highs and lows of their relationship with a brand, and their last interaction with it,” she said, adding that for too many library customers that last interaction was paying a fine for an overdue book. "That’s not a good experience, so we’re eliminating fines by 2015.”

That’s $800,000 in fines annually that will come to an end. "Our board of trustees said, ‘Why do we have fines?’” Circle said. Often, the cost of a book being even a day or two late means that some of the library’s customers—often at-risk children—wouldn’t have access to necessary resources. "We’re blocking our most vulnerable customers from our services,” she added. "We had to get beyond that and do something bold. We needed to find an incentive for people to be responsible and return books, not punish them for being late.”

The library, Circle noted, should be about access, not penalty. Now, a book auto-renews up to 10 times if no one else has requested it; and if someone does, the library will reach out to ask for a return. "This eliminates the shame and embarrassment of a book being late and turns around the experience for our customers,” she said.

2. Remove barriers

"We need to provide access to what our customers need when they need it,” Circle said, adding that the library is "in an ambition and aggressive rebuilding program” that includes major renovations, as well as adding several new libraries over the next few years. 

One new building opening in July will be spacious and open with lots of light and windows, instead of the often dark, brick libraries of the past. "Libraries were built as warehouse for books, to house collections,” Circle said. "We’re building them to be about connections.”

But the changes go beyond the buildings. The library has a "library on wheels” truck that brings books to the community, as well as a team that goes to the homes of at-risk families, such as teen moms and their children, and brings them books that will help them in school and life. "One of the greatest predictors of success in kindergarten is books in the home,” Circle said, noting that unfortunately, most teen parents won’t go to the library. "We can ignore it or we can do something about it, so we go to them.”

One growing area of outreach is homework assistance. Ohio has what it calls the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. Third graders need to pass a reading test to progress to fourth grade. Sixty percent of kids in Columbus recently failed the test. So the library is stepping up its efforts to help. "How is library still relevant?” Circle asked. "By helping kids pass third grade.”

3. Redefine the experience

Library renovations and rebuilds are a significant area of renewal in terms of its customer experience. One 6,000-square-foot building is expanding to 20,000 square feet with a performance space in the center of one room. Additional building renovations include a Kindergarten Readiness Zone with interactive whiteboards and other items common in today’s classrooms.

The library isn’t about books, it’s about learning, Circle said. So the customer experience at Columbus Metropolitan Library is all about how it can help its customers do just that.

4. Hire differently

"We have to change who we hire,” to fit within the library’s increasingly customer-centric culture, Circle said. But she’s "in a pickle” because as part of the local government the library has restrictions on changing the status of current staff; yet, some employees are retiring within five years and are resistant to change or don't care.

Another challenge is that the library’s own culture is that reference librarians, who work near the library entrance, typically don’t talk to children. But somebody needs to be there to greet children so they feel welcome. As a result, Circle hired a group of people this past March to work three hours after school each day to be greeters and learn kids’ names. "They’re on fire and loving it. We have people who have so much passion for what they do,” Circle says, citing the homework help staff as another example. "And they can impact the community in a positive way.”

Of the many customer-centric employees in the library’s employ, several are award-winning within the Columbus Metropolitan Library system and in the industry—and Circle makes sure to call out their accomplishments. For example, she’s created a Wall of Fame to showcase their successes. "We have a culture of appreciation, and that builds trust,” she says, especially when encouraging employees to embrace shared values.

5. Managing change

Another way Circle is building shared values is through a common language for change initiatives. She and her staff all read the book Managing Transitions and now have a shared language, and consistent four-step process methodology that illustrates the why and how of each initiative.

Circle explained that the library is shifting to focus on outcomes instead of output. "How do we take our data and tell a different story?” she asked. "We need to dig into that.” For example, how many kids who came to the library passed their third grade reading test because they came to the library? That’s difficult and potential costly to figure out, but it’s where the library is headed.

"We’re trying to dream big,” Circle said. "If we’re not envisioning greatness we’re doing a disservice to our tax payers.” 

 

Copyright 2014, Direct Marketing News; reprinted with permission

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Oracle’s Customer-Centric Journey… and Jeb’s Top Ten

Posted By Nancy Porte, VP, Customer Experience, Verint, Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Kicking off the 2014 CXPA Insight Exchange in Atlanta, Georgia today is Jeb Dasteel, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer for Oracle.  In his introduction, he was described as a shining example of "someone taking the customer experience to the next level and leveraging the power of the brand.”

Starting at Oracle in 1998, Jeb found the corporate culture was, and still is, extremely ‘engineering-oriented’.  It was aggressive and driven by its founder, Larry Ellison. Compared to today, though, life at Oracle was simpler. It was obvious who the customer was – the corporate CIO.

Oracle’s transformed greatly since those days in 1998. Their core strategies include centralized decision making, standardization and specialization. These strategies have improved the scalability of the company, but in many ways, have made it a huge challenge for being a customer-centric organization.

Oracle’s guiding principles for customer-centricity, and something that Jeb’s team works on every single day, are a relentless focus on customer feedback, ease of doing business, R&D strategy, customer engagement, employee engagement, communities, and references. Interestingly, these principles were not determined in a single meeting. Rather, over the past 10 years, the company has asked "Of all the things we’ve done, which has made the biggest difference in driving a productive, loyal relationship with our customers?” and found these were the answers.

Customer feedback – Collect feedback, both structured and unstructured, across each point in the customer lifecycle. Collect feedback across channels, communities, and segments, and create a closed loop system between that feedback and the response. The amount of information and feedback creates a big data challenge for the company; however, the outcome is customer influence on every aspect of Oracle’s business – through analysis, consultation, action, communication and closing the loop.

Ease of doing business – Some of the attributes of its organization (standardization and centralized decision making) make it hard for some customers to do business with the company. Thus, the Oracle customer experience program focuses on managing relationships, making improvements in contracting/negotiation, and providing quality customer support. As a result of its efforts, the company has seen 26% improvement in customer perception on understanding business issues and priorities, 20% improvement in buying consistently, and 23% improvement in best practices guidance from Oracle.

Research & Development Strategy – This strategy is centered on completeness (offering the customer a full solution and deep industry functionality), simplicity (integrated and optimized hardware and software engineered to work together), and Oracle running Oracle ("we are our first reference”). Because customer feedback is included in the Oracle R&D program, solutions have been focused on the customers’ needs and wants.

Customer Engagement – Oracle has discovered that when customers are involved and engaged through various groups, they are more loyal and communicative. Though there are hundreds of customer programs across Oracle, the customer experience program monitors and measures a few key programs. By doing this, Oracle found that involvement in groups is a leading indicator of where they will be in their loyalty in 12-18 months.

Employee Engagement – Three areas have been determined most critical for measuring and driving new behaviors – aligning employee feedback and customer feedback, assigning clear roles and responsibilities, and systematically driving tactical behaviors.

Customer Communities – With more than 900 independent user groups, and over 500,000 members sharing best practices and experiences, the customer groups within Oracle are very strong. While occasionally requiring assistance from the Oracle team, the power of the Oracle customer community is that it’s self-sustaining.

Customer Referencing – The reference program is Oracle customer satisfaction on display! More than 4,800 reference assets, such as case studies, videos, and digital, are in the Oracle library. In addition, an astonishing 72% of Oracle’s customer base (approx. 400,000) is referenceable!

Jeb concluded his CXPA presentation by offering a Top 10 list of learning points and recommendations to professionals developing customer experience programs in their organizations:

  1. Start with feedback
  2. Establish a simple, clear segmentation strategy
  3. Be crystal clear about what drives your customers’ loyalty
  4. Identify leading indicators
  5. Connect the dots between feedback, customer care, and referencing
  6. Systematically move from reactive to proactive behaviors
  7. Don’t try to change the culture – exploit it
  8. Manage executive engagement
  9. Make it your mission to really know your top customers
  10. Engage directly with customers.

Oracle undertook an impressive journey to become more customer-centric, and more importantly, to make customer-centricity part of its DNA. By looking at customer centricity across all areas of the company, such as sales, service and support, development, marketing, and contracting, Oracle has made an extremely positive impact on its overall customer-centricity, and offers a powerful vision on how other organizations can do the same in their own customer-centric endeavors.

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CXPA update by Bruce Temkin, 2014 Insight Exchange

Posted By Rebecca Lee, Agent and Customer Experience, Safeco Insurance , Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bruce talks about how we are all stronger as a community.

"When you sign up in the association, you are not joining a group/association, you are joining this community. What you do collectively with everyone is here to build a community, you gain the value from what you do together. Our community is thriving!”

For new members, the history of CXPA

  • April 2011: Bruce, Jeanne, Karen and Virtual
  • May 2011: Engage 33 corporate members
  • 2011 IE 940 members
  • 2012 1500 members
  • 2013 IE 2.200 members in 50 countries
  • 2014 IE 2900 members 60 countries

Why are CX professionals joining?

  • Certified CX professions
  • 57 CX tools have been viewed 7000 times
  • 9 CX Experts answered 92 questions
  • 103 local networking events in 28 cities with 2700 attendees

Newly introduced CX day in October 2013

  • 18 LNEs had 955 registrants
  • 4 google + hang outs in 4 time zones with 468 attendees
  • Webinar w/ Dan Hesse
  • Twitter lit up
  • Company celebration

What’s coming?

  • More Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) stuff
  • Best practice visits - United Health care in June and Adobe in November
  • CX day 2014 on Oct 7, 2014 & London IE Oct 7, 2014
  • 2015 Insight Exchange at Del Coronado on May 5th & 6
  • New Online CXPA community - Key investment of new platform

Parrish Arturi - Certified Customer Experience Professional Update

The CCXP launched in March 2014. 27 completed exams passing average is 87%Simple steps to get your CCXP

  • Apply
  • CXPA reviews credential
  • Register date and location for test
  • Take exam
  • Success you're a CCXP (Certified Customer Experience Professional)

What's next for CCXP?

  • Post launch adjustments based on feedback
  • Continue to orient CXPA content around CCXP companies
  • Establish a Certification Board
  • CCXPA Authorized resource and Training program (ART) will be defined
    • Address key question from members - what can I do to prepare?
    • Summer 2014 a Training and education providers: Potential CCXP's prepare

How long does your certification last: Certification will last 2 years.

To maintain the CCXP certification it will be measured on hours spent in programs, training, IE events - Continuing education units. If not lapse you have to take it again.

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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, Thursday, April 24, 2014

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, Thursday, April 24, 2014
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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