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It’s not unusual for new customers to have lower scores than expected—but it can seem counterintuitive. After all, they just selected your company – why are they so low? You’ve gone through and removed barriers, but your customers aren’t showing the love. It might not be what you’ve done. The problem may be their reference point. The more time you spend in a company, the more your perspective shifts. We all try to maintain the “beginner’s mind,” where we see things as if they were fresh. But here’s the thing. Your customers don’t really have a beginner’s mind, either. They don’t actually judge your experience on its own merits, but by a separate reference ...
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Originally posted on LinkedIn When you're leading any type of organizational change, especially the type of change a customer experience (CX) leader is tasked to bring to an organization, you're constantly communicating with people throughout the organization about the nature of the work that needs to be done. Synthesizing and sharing data, uniting disconnected silos, and driving attention to customer needs on new products and business process improvements, for example, is just part of the daily work. "You're always selling something . " "You're always selling something ," is a gem of a phrase I picked up from the boss during my Ernst & Young ...
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Digital Containment Means Customer Service Efficiency The last time I moved to a new home, something about the truck I’d rented caught my eye: There was an auxiliary gauge providing instant, real-time feedback on my fuel economy. Now, I know it’s common for newer vehicles to offer that information via digital readout, and perhaps some larger commercial vehicles have such a gauge alongside the speedometer and tachometer. However, this one was affixed to the pillar, quite conspicuously, as if to ensure you’d notice it above all others:  Weighted down with most of one’s possessions, these trucks are not known for their fuel efficiency, and if you are ...
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What's the greatest challenge Voice of the Customer (VoC) managers face? Low survey response rates, capturing feedback at all important touch-points, selecting the right scales and questions, integration of customer data across systems, connecting the dots across VoC sources, linking VoC with operational and financial data, or driving customer experience (CX) excellence? What matters most is driving customer experience excellence . That's the purpose of VoC. All of the other efforts in the list above are means toward this end. Most VoC managers grapple with those at the expense of VoC's purpose, according to ClearAction's 5-year benchmarking of B2B customer ...
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We all like to talk. It’s part of being human. We like to share ideas and concepts. It’s natural. It’s also a terrible way to learn from your customers. This may seem obvious. But then why do so many do this wrong? I was reminded of this in a journey mapping round table I recently led. About 15 to 20 practitioners and vendors participated, going over journey mapping practices, and sharing how we all went about the process. Unfortunately, not all methodologies are created equally. Most of the participants used a very mature process, favoring open-ended approaches to discovering the voice of the customer. My company typically uses contextual (ethnographic) ...
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At a CXPA event my good friend Lisa told me about a conversation she recently had. She was talking about the need to do some journey mapping, and mentioned how a good map takes 12-16 weeks. Her conversational partners’ response was, “What do you mean? I have the software – I can have that knocked out in a half-day.”  You can probably guess Lisa’s response, and it wasn’t positive. And Lisa’s not alone. In our survey of journey mapping best practices, CX practitioners agreed that involving customers was one of the top three requirements for a successful journey map (the other two were to involve a broad cross-functional team and to select the right journey ...
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Although CCXP: Exam Preparation was written after I passed the CCXP exam in January 2017, the bulk of the research for the book took place over the Christmas break of 2016.  I spent the entire holiday locked away, reading through books and articles, trying to reverse engineer a body of knowledge for the Customer Experience domain to help me pass the exam.  I looked for common patterns of best practices and thinking which rang true to me, and began noting them down on what I call my CX Whiteboard (see image below) .   Whilst failing miserably at creating a body of knowledge, I did end up with all the information I needed to pass the exam successfully.  I ...
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Voice-of-the-customer (VoC) ROI can be elusive unless you’re adamantly driving customer experience transformation. The key to VoC maturity and ROI is not sophistication or breadth of market research. It’s about viewing VoC itself and VoC actions and metrics as value chains. What is a value chain? It's a sequence of value-adding activities. Value chain thinking is extremely valuable in customer experience management. You can easily see its power in a customer experience journey map: nothing is an island — everything has a sequence and a series of connections that build upon one an other. 1. We need to be thinking of voice of the customer as a value ...
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“I’m sorry, I’m new here.” I was loitering at reception towards the end of the day, waiting for a rather heavy rainstorm to dissipate before I ran to my car.  We had a new person up at the front-desk who was very pleasant, so I got to shoot the breeze with her while I waited. At one point the phone rang and she started trying to solve a technical problem for the individual on the other end of the line.  She was clearly struggling and apologized to the person, stating she was new on the job.  Eventually the issue was solved and the world did not end. Most people would not think anything of this interaction.  However, some people would have had a ...
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I love the book  Nudge . It’s a great reference on how to use small actions to make big changes, discussing such domains as 401(k)s, the environment, and health care. It’s a great read that has tons of applications to any change agent. Unfortunately, one of their principles of choice architecture is frequently misapplied – using incentives to change behavior. I’m not referring to the area that CX leaders get to see up close – the gaming that happens when you put too much emphasis on surveys. That’s a critical issue – but for another day. No, this post is about using fees to change customer behavior. It’s a rational approach that makes a lot of sense in ...
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Im a huge pizza fan. Its a major character flaw, and hasnt helped me in my goal to lose a little of this middle-aged weight. I normally get the expensive pizza from a local chain. But when the kids are home, Im more likely to look for a less-expensive alternative. And Dominos fits the bill. But Domino's offers more than just a way to feed the kids for twenty bucks. They offer an inspiration for customer experience (CX) that can apply to multiple kinds of experience. If you havent ordered from Domino's online, your assignment is to go do that now. Then, sometime in the next week, order another using their mobile app. Notice how they have enabled the ...
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I recently interviewed a specialty health care practitioner on behalf of a health device manufacturer. My client identified him as being less successful in equipping his patients with their device. We walked through the patient experience, from scheduling to the welcome and the examination. He shared his passion for his work, and how great it felt when he was able to help his patients. He loved his job, and it showed. But according to my client, he was far less successful at actually getting his patients to get the product that would improve their well-being. Where was the problem? We continued to discuss how the appointments typically end. Once we ...
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In our case, changing from Conga Brand Consulting to CongaCX is intended to send two messages: ❶ Our work is dedicated exclusively on the practice of Customer Experience -- like you, its our passion. ❷ The CX industry has passed the tipping point witness the growth of the CXPA , the emergence of Customer Experience Officers (CXOs) and other dedicated CX leaders, and the prominence of CX in corporate planning. CX is a recognized business discipline thats gaining traction everyday across sectors and geographies. We even see more and more ad campaigns positioned -- explicitly - around the customer experience. Speaking of planning, weve prepared a case study ...
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What is your business centered on? Investors, competition, innovation, or customers? The rule of the game is to follow the money. Sure, it comes from all these motives, but it springs from customers buying your offerings. When customers quit buying, all the rest becomes irrelevant. Centering your business on customers is therefore the logical choice. Growth is the name of the game in business. It’s the measure of health. Growth can be inorganic via acquisitions or organic via demand. Organic growth means an upward trajectory set in motion without ongoing stimuli. How can both profit and revenue grow organically? By getting things right the first ...
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A few months ago at a sales training I was giving, I talked about our offering of Brand Defector Research and its use cases in the market. A team member raised his hand: But we do not talk to Brand folks usually. I looked at my slide, I looked at the words I was using, and I noticed the word brand repeated a few times. I processed the information put forth by my team member for that brief moment and responded: You can talk to CX folks about this research. Brand is just the general term to represent the companys identity, as in we need to understand the customer experience provided by this brand, both as in by this company and its staff and tools as well as under ...
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One unforeseen result from our journey mapping best practices survey was that a surprising number of practitioners almost one-third do not use segments or personas in their journey maps. If you dont use personas in your maps, then you probably dont design around specific types of customers. And thats a real risk. Because customers are different. And if youre not using personas to capture those differences to design your experiences, its likely that you're missing some important nuances in your experience design. Lets first define personas. A persona is an archetype of a set of customers. They can be defined by demographics but thats a bad way ...
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Marketing is a critical ally in your effort to build an improved customer experience. They regularly communicate with your customers. If you dont effectively engage marketing, youre fighting an uphill battle. They also tend to have influence in the C-Suite, making it even more critical. This may explain why many CX organizations report through marketing. But even when you are part of marketing, theres a tendency for a division, especially if marketing is focused on new sales while youre trying to drive loyalty. To truly understand how marketing thinks about the customer journey, learn about the buying model they use to organize their efforts. This should ...
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One trait that sets humans apart is our drive to make sense of things. We do this so we can comprehend our shared history and make plans for the future. As professionals, we do this so we can assess the state of our businesses and strategize for growth. The new year is a time of reflection. Were still early into 2017, and I keep trying to make sense of the past year. The Year of the Customer In the business world, 2016 was hailed as the Year of the Customer . At MaritzCX, my colleagues and I released a comprehensive, actionable framework called CXEvolution that we leverage to help our clients improve the customer experience (CX) they deliver. Through ...
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Customer experience silos are kryptonite, weakening your super-friendly staff, touch-points and designs. Smooth customer experiences require silo-solving across the customer journey. If your company wants to become a customer experience super-power, standing out in your industry and reaping those financial advantages, silo-solving must be predominant in your customer experience strategy. Who Needs to Solve Silos The culprits of damaging silos are throughout your company, in every functional area. As each manager strives to keep their work manageable, theyre probably building-in silos that short-change information-sharing, smooth handoffs, and collaborative ...
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Anthem, Inc. is in the middle of customer experience (CX) resurgence. I had the chance to catch up with Natalie Schneider, VP of Customer Experience, to learn more about their efforts to help build customer empathy in their employees. Tell us a little about what led you to start working on customer experience. A few years ago we at Anthem realized that our companys growth was going to have to start coming from consumersa B2C approach, rather than what we had been doing, which was largely B2B. Once we saw that, we quickly realized that our B2C operations were completely unsatisfactoryit was a kind of "OMG" moment for us, and so we started really investing ...
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