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In preparation for  Customer Contact Week  in Nashville, CCW shared their special report on journey mapping with me. Given our focus and expertise on journey mapping, I’m commonly asked to review these types of reports. Unlike most, however, CCW’s special report truly gets to the heart of the matter – journey mapping is not about creating a map; it's about driving customer-focused change in your organization. Most of these reports focus extensively on how to create a map, typically going into the author’s specialty. They’re sales pieces. Instead, CCW includes interviews from practitioners at Groupon, FlipKart and Urban Health Plan to give context for using ...
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Improving Customer Experience? It’s Academic. I have always been surprised by the massive wealth of data in academia that doesn’t get used. The reason, I believe, is the language. The way academic research is written is like a reading a legal brief; it’s impenetrable. You come away from it thinking the person who wrote it is very clever, but don’t understand what he or she said at all. My co-author and podcast co-host Professor Ryan Hamilton jokes that academic research is not written for a human audience. It would seem sensible to me that we change that. Funny enough, not everyone on the academic side would agree with me. Professor ...
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Understanding Customers’ Mental Budgets I won some money at a Casino recently, an unusual outcome for me. It wasn’t a huge amount, but it was a nice windfall. Did I spend it on something practical? No. Save it? Nope. Give it to charity? Not a chance. I bought a fancy new fishing reel that I had my eye on but previously had felt was too expensive. It’s excellent, and I couldn’t be happier. So why did I buy it when I won money but wouldn’t buy it when I would just have to pay for it from my usual funds? The answer is found in the concept of mental accounting, and it might have significant implications for your Customer Experience. We discussed ...
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One of the most common questions I am asked by CX leaders is, “How do I get executive buy-in for our program?” What the question reveals is that while many companies have “bought in” enough to dedicate one or more employees to focus on the experiences of customers or have funded insights programs to measure performance and identify pain points, true executive commitment still lags. And this is a problem for experience management programs because successful transformation efforts require senior executives to set direction, lead communication efforts, model desired behaviors, and hold the rest of the organization accountable. So how can you get executives more ...
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CXPA in the New Year

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Dear members, As we write this letter to you, the old year has passed, and winter has the northern hemisphere firmly in its grasp. The holidays are officially over, and the new year is upon us; a time for hunkering down with family and friends, reflection, and the setting of goals. John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” As your CXPA leadership team, we are looking towards an exciting future and during our two-day planning meeting this past November, we laid out a plan to get us there based on feedback from our membership, market changes, association sustainability ...
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I am concerned. I recently read two pieces of research about Customer Experience that worried me. The first was from  Nunwood , a UK-based research company with a Customer Experience index, and it showed that improvements in Customer Experience were not happening. The second was from  Forrester , and it said the same thing: no increases in Customer Experience improvements. With all the effort that companies are putting into improving their Customer Experience, why are there no improvements? The C-Suite want to see a return. If this continues, I am sure the investment in resources and money dedicated to the effort will stop—and rightly so. However, if ...
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One of my favorite movies in my younger days was “While You Were Sleeping” starring Sandra Bullock. I absolutely adore Sandra Bullock and must have watched it repeatedly. This holiday season as I return from a military deployment that took me away most of the year, I find myself “waking up” and just want to say to each of you, “ Wow you’ve been busy while I was away! ” When describing what it feels like to be a military reservist returning to civilian life following a deployment to a war zone, I usually borrow this analogy from a friend of mine. You know when you’re sitting with a group of friends watching a really good movie, and just as the action ...
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Digital experience in today’s 24/7 global world spans all industries — any organization where there is a need to integrate processes, data flows and business protocols to empower employees and customers to be happier and more productive. Digital natives — anyone whose childhood was filled with digital technology — have joined the workforce: they represent an ever-growing segment of purchasing power. Generations X, Y, Z are digital natives who demand digital experience. Their expectations are propelling mission-critical trends defining organizations’ success. “We’ve been trying to   do   digital, and realized we need to   be   digital,” said Doug Milliken, ...
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If you’ve ever struggled to find information on a federal government website, or felt confused while filling out an endless paper form and wondered, “Why doesn’t someone do something about this nonsense?” then December has been your month for progress in Washington, DC. This week, the President signed into law the 21 st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (IDEA). IDEA requires federal agencies to make their websites easier to use and encourages agencies to digitize forms and applications that are still paper-based. It also upholds e-signatures as a practice agencies should strive toward. If you’re a U.S. citizen who wants easier access to government ...
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According to a  report released by Field Technologies  in November, improving customer experience was reported the #1 strategic initiative for 76 percent of service organizations surveyed. While some of these field service organizations are really embracing CX and implementing a true strategy, others seem to know that CX is something they should be focusing on, so they claim to have a “CX focus” without much actual strategy or action behind it.  I was recently interviewed by   Sarah Nicastro @TheFutureOfFS. I shared my perspective about practical ways of “Turning # CX Talk Into Action.”  Read interview & get more #CustomerExperience ...
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How many words a minute can you type? 40? 60? 90? Now, if the letters, numbers, and symbols were not printed on the keys, how many would you be able to write on the correct key? 100%, right? Maybe not. You probably don’t know the answer to the second question for sure. However, participants at a study at Vanderbilt University do. The participants typed from 72 to 94 words a minute. When they were handed a blank keyboard printed on a sheet of paper and were asked to write the letters on the appropriate keys in 80 seconds, the participants got less than 60% of them correct. What’s more, the typists left 20% of the keys blank; they couldn’t even guess what ...
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Best Buy unveiled a new store format last week at its flagship location a few blocks from their corporate headquarters. I visited the store twice last week. You can find more general review at The Mama Report , including photos, as well as at the Star-Tribune . The store has opened to rave reviews, and understandably so. The new format is beautiful, and greatly increases the opportunity to play with and learn technology. The company traditionally introduces new store concepts in 1-3 stores, evaluates them, and determines which parts (if any) to scale. There are too many changes to include in one post, including such additions as a “Solutions Central” to ...
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The idea of journalist Giles Coren shouting "Yes, it's all fine" at the top of his voice every time a hipster with a clip board approaches him about his experience made me laugh out loud (The Times 30.09.17). From restaurants and cinemas to theatres and airports, he writes, people are rating their experiences as "very enjoyable", not because they actually were but rather because they are just fed up with being asked about them all the time. The writer has a point. Almost every interaction or transaction is followed by a survey. Some surveys cover overall experiences, others specific touch point interactions and some try to get it all. We are besieged by feedback ...
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Not too long ago, I had a minor outpatient procedure at a hospital. When I checked my email the next morning, there was a survey from the hospital. “What did you think of your anesthesiologist?” My first thought was that I didn’t die during the procedure, so he must have done a fine job. I can’t say much more, since I only spoke to the guy for about 30 seconds. This absurd question made me aware of how many surveys I actually receive. I’d say there are several in any given week. They have gotten annoying. But they keep coming, despite the fact that social media offers much better tools for learning what customers are thinking. Survey Overload An ...
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After just announcing the CXPA Twin Cities Network as the runner-up of 2018's "Most Innovative CX Day Event," I am incredibly excited to announce the brand new Istanbul Network as winner of this year's Most Innovative CX Day Event award! The "Most Innovative CX Day Event" award is granted to CXPA Networks (volunteer local event planners) each year to recognize creative ways our volunteer leaders are choosing to celebrate the Customer Experience discipline every CX Day, and we're especially thrilled that Istanbul takes home the award as it was also the first local CXPA event they had ever planned. CXPA uses a unique point system to grade all 24 CX Day events ...
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It is with great pleasure that I get to announce the runner-up of 2018's "Most Innovative CX Day Event" -- the Twin Cities Networking Team! The "Most Innovative CX Day Event" award is granted to CXPA Networks (volunteer local event planners) each year to recognize creative ways our volunteer leaders are choosing to celebrate the Customer Experience discipline every CX Day. CXPA uses a unique point system to grade all 24 CX Day events planned by our Networking volunteers. Each event was evaluated by how outside-the-box they were on the venue, topic, and activities. The Twin Cities group ended the race as a close 2nd place and their hard work deserves to be recognized! ...
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Does customer engagement rely solely on Marketing, Sales, Success or Service strategies? When the CEO of Air New Zealand made the mindset shift replacing We Fly Planes with We Fly People 1 , the whole company began to focus on empowering customer engagement. Keeping the aircraft clean, adjusting policies and processes, smoothing hand-offs — everything behind-the-scenes as well as customer-facing was seen in a customer-focused viewpoint. It’s driven employee engagement and customer engagement at the same time: customers noticed these changes, and within 24 months of posting the largest corporate loss in New Zealand corporate history, the business was turned ...
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James Carville, political commentator and media personality coined the phrase, “The economy, Stupid,” for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. Carville was talking to the team at the time to help them focus on the key messages for Clinton’s campaign. The slogan resurfaced in the 2008 campaign as “It’s the economy, stupid.” I decided that for people working in Customer Experience, we needed a way to stay on message, too. So, I am going to share with you some vital statistics about Customer Experience and how they deliver ROI because let’s face it, it’s about the ROI, Stupid. Measuring your results is vital to your success in Customer Experience. Many ...
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For years, federal agencies have had a problem with collecting and measuring customer feedback. If you asked why, you usually wouldn’t hear that it had anything to do with tools, technology, or talent. It had to do with a law known as the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), which put into place a mandatory, complex, inter-agency collaborative process that oftentimes took months or up to a year to complete before surveys could actually go out. That process and length of time was, and still is, a major deterrent to agencies collecting feedback and measuring customer experience. But fast forward to last Thursday night, and what may turn out to be a significant step ...
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In 2013, the Chinese government sought to diffuse social tension by imposing a ban on TV and radio ads for luxury goods. This was meant to address the country’s widening gap between the rich and poor, although Beijing also claimed to be concerned about the effect these ads had on values and creating a “bad social ethos.”   By that time, the Chinese consumer had already become the world’s top luxury spender, snatching the crown from the Japanese buyer in 2012. This is unlikely to come as much of a surprise given the country’s massive population and its swiftly rising number of affluent consumers. According to a McKinsey’s 2017 report, Chinese shoppers ...
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