Blogs

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Each year Temkin Group identifies a theme, an area of focus, that we believe is important for customer experience professionals and the organizations they work for to pay attention to. 2017 has been the “ Year of Purpose .” As we bring the year to a close, I wanted to reflect on what the Year of Purpose means to me. Personally, I was very excited about this year’s focus on purpose, as purpose runs overtly and subtly through so much of my research on employee engagement . One of the things we are learning through our own exploration of the principles emerging from the science of positive psychology is that individuals bring their own purpose to the workplace. ...
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Anybody who has read any of Chip and Dan Heath’s books know that they’re compelling and well-researched. I was lucky enough to receive a pre-release of their latest book,  The Power of Moments (now  available ), and I highly recommend it to anybody looking to create great employee or customer experiences. Even better, I was able to score a Q&A with the authors on the book and lessons it offers to CX professionals. But be warned – not all of them will match how you’re likely organizing your work! With that… You discuss the importance of creating memorable moments, with the best opportunities occurring in times of transition. In journey maps, ...
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Your CXPA Team

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By: Lesley Lykins, Executive Director, CXPA “How do you feel about this?” is the most common question I’m asked when I share with people the fact that the United States Navy will be deploying me to Afghanistan this March.  It always fascinates me that the first question is one about emotions.    I guess, to me, the questions that I always expect involve logistics and maybe first and foremost, “Why on earth are you being deployed?  Are you even in the military?”  But here it is, the United States has been at war for the past 16 years and I’ve served in the U.S. Navy on both active duty and as an active reservist since May 2001.  It is my turn to fill what ...
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Customer experience pays. There’s no shortage of research on the impact of an improved customer experience, including improved  revenue ,  profit , and, as a result,  stock price . But how do you improve your CX? By focusing on Effectiveness, Ease, and Emotion. Improving on these three factors will ensure you are improving your customers’ outcomes, as well as your own.   Effectiveness: Job #1 is to get the job done   You can’t have a great experience if customers can’t accomplish their goals in the manner they wish to. Effectiveness isn’t sexy, but it’s table stakes for customer loyalty. Unfortunately, Effectiveness initiatives are often starved ...
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Journey mapping isn’t easy. That’s why almost 2/3 of journey maps  fail to drive change .    A failed journey mapping project is a huge waste – not just because of the dollars and energy that went into it, but also because one failed journey mapping project makes it less likely that your company will try again. So here are four common reasons for failure, and what you can do about them.   1. Doing it yourself.  I’m not referring to doing it without a vendor; instead, I’m referring to keeping your journey mapping team too small. “Too many cooks in the kitchen” might be a bad way to make chili, but when it comes to journey mapping, nobody eats food ...
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If you love someone, set them free. Do your policies set free your customers and your employees? Policies are designed to protect, but sometimes they disintegrate — rather than protect — customer relationships. And customers’ mistrust of companies propels regulations, protests and negative word-of-mouth. It’s a  two-way street , so if you want your customers to trust and love your brand, show them you  trust  them and your employees as well. Southwest Airlines is an outstanding example of rising above industry norms, charting its own course, and vowing to win customers’ hearts and customers’ cash through policies that set them free. Southwest mirrors these ...
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Black Friday and its rambunctious younger sister Cyber Monday, will be upon us in no time. Retailers of all stripes will approach this key trading period with a combination of excitement, trepidation and possibly outright fear. For many this hectic weekend may be the make or break period operationally, financially and reputationally. If things go wrong then the drama is played out in front of millions of prospective customers via social media from the Twitterati whose retail dreams haven’t been realized and whose wrath knows no bounds.. Drawing on the broad and deep experiences of Customer Experience (CX) practitioners, professionals and leaders, the CXPA ...
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In the  Harvard Business Review  article, “ The New Sales Imperative ,” the CEB reports that in just the last two years the average number of people involved in a B2B purchasing decision has increased from 5.4 two years ago to 6.8 today. This change has made the journey far more complex, creating longer sales cycles and an overall more challenging sales process.   This is the chance for customer experience (CX) to make a measurable difference to your company, by bringing in CX tools such as journey mapping to a very real and very visible business problem.   A perfect opportunity. But one I don’t see many CX operations focused on.   Most CX organizations ...
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At Heart of the Customer, our team is reading Influence , the classic book by Robert Cialdini. While it’s an older book, it has a ton to offer to anybody looking to build action, including in the area of customer experience (CX). This week we’re up to Chapter 3, Commitment. Cialdini uses a ton of examples, including Chinese prison camps in Korea, fraternities, and small kids playing with toys. Through these examples, Cialdini shows how by convincing others to publicly claim their support for a specific philosophy, you are leading people to subsequently act in a manner consistent with that philosophy – even if they previously did not strongly support such a ...
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It is with great pleasure that I get to announce the winner of 2017's "Most Innovative CX Day Event" -- the Dutch Local Networking Team! The "Most Innovative CX Day Event" award is granted to one of our Local Networking Teams each year to recognize creative ways our volunteer leaders are choosing to celebrate the Customer Experience discipline every CX Day. This year, the CXPA created a unique point system to grade all 30 CX Day events planned by our Local Networking teams. Each event was evaluated by how outside-the-box they were on the venue, topic, and activities. With a near perfect score, the Dutch Network came out on top with their inventive event ...
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Customer feedback is an invaluable resource that can’t be ignored in today’s business world. Customer listening posts like surveys, client interviews, and focus groups can help you keep an honest pulse of how your business is doing, through customers' eyes. But if you're spending money on a client feedback program, chances are you probably want to get the most for what you spend. If that's the case, then you need to listen for the extra clues your clients have to share about your business and its people, beyond the final transaction and a rating on a scale of 1-10. Here are three secrets to unlock that can also keep you ahead of slip-ups. Uncover ...
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In any customer experience, certain phases have more impact than others – either positive or negative – and create a measurable impact on the rest of the relationship. Positive results lead to customer who trust you, are more willing to forgive mistakes, and are more interested in your other products or services. But if they don’t go so well, customers are more likely to stray; they pounce on every mistake, and they’re very reticent to use your other offerings. The moments that matter vary by experience, and even by individual. Effective journey maps show these Moments of Truth. But even if you don’t have a journey map – or if yours just isn’t very good – ...
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Here’s the scene: Orlando, FL, where it is currently 85 degrees Fahrenheit with 100% humidity – and that’s INSIDE the airport. My family of 7 (three kids, ages 3, 9 and 10, my two parents, my husband and myself), are en route back home after a wonderful Disney vacation that had a hiccup or two. Did you know Disney employs its own paramedics, that they don’t charge for ambulance rides to the hospital, that they give you a taxi voucher for your trip back to the park from the hospital, and lots of free Fast Passes if you experience these things? But I digress. There is a large gathering at the gate to board the aircraft, and the gate agent calls for pre-boarding ...
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Whenever I’m leading a workshop or giving a keynote, I know I can always get a laugh by putting “Comcast” and “Customer Experience” in the same sentence.   But that’s  way  too easy, so I usually skip that line. But last week I saw something that gave me a glimmer of hope for the company. They seem to be learning how to prioritize.   I received my first lesson on prioritization from a speaker at John Deere many years ago. I’ve long forgotten his name, but he spoke about how he took over a new division at the company. In his first day, his team proudly showed him their list of 20 top priorities for the year. He tried to stay silent – it was his first ...
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Many organizations are facing the challenges and successes as they adopt and drive digital transformation.  In preparation for the upcoming DX Summit in Chicago, www.dxsummit.com/2017, the DX team had some great questions for the CXPA about creating digital experiences, so we shared some of the opportunities we see from the customer experience professional’s view point.  1) What are the main challenges your company is facing using digital right now? We see confusion with organizations defining digital. Some define it as the technology transformation, some believe it is customer facing technology and some refer to it as integrating technology across ...
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Too many customer experience (CX) programs get stuck.   Stuck with no influence. No change. No leadership buy-in.   We see it all the time. As a CX leader, you’re spread so thin, trying to juggle dozens of balls at once. You’re building a new measurement program while sharing your existing scores with anybody who will listen. You’re creating new training programs. You’re in meetings to support the new portal, the new customer campaign, the Customer Advisory Board, and the new loyalty program.   You’re incredibly busy. You burn your unused vacation time just trying to keep up. But then you get to the end of the year, and the most important thing – ...
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Customer experience tools are just as important to success as a carpenter’s tools are. Despite the allure of  technologies , carpenters still need their toolkit: drill, hammer, saw, wrench, level, and so forth. Likewise, customer experience professionals need to master basic customer experience tools to get the job done. The primary job of a  customer experience leader  is to make it easy for  every  role in your company to see the customer’s perspective so clearly that it compels them to act differently. Here are 20 indispensable tools for achieving customer experience excellence: 1) Trusted Advisor 2) Stakeholders’ Language  3) Change Management ...
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Most credentialed customer experience (CX) professionals know the foundational competencies that guide the work we do: strategy, experience design, employee engagement, metrics, and voice of the customer, for example. A lot of fabulous, pioneering work has been done over the past 10 years with customer feedback, process improvements, cross-functional teaming, journey mapping, and mobile tools, for example. This is true for business and government agencies! Innovation continues to be everywhere. Change is ever-present. Competition is fierce. CX leaders have helped to keep customer needs front-and-center. That’s work to be proud of! So, in the spirit of innovation, ...
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Daniel Kahneman isn’t known as a customer experience (CX) guru. A Nobel Prize winner, sure. Brilliant psychologist and leader in behavioral economics, yes. Author of a fascinating (but really dense) book? You bet. But he’s not really known for his CX chops.   Yet, one of his findings shows why many surveys – as well as quite a bit of other CX research – is flawed from the beginning.   In this book,  Thinking, Fast and Slow,  Kahneman introduces how we have two separate minds – the experiencing mind and the remembering mind. And that we live under the “tyranny of the remembering mind.”   As its name suggests, the experiencing mind is what you feel ...
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Mystery shoppers

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I have several clients who conduct mystery shopping. I think mystery shopping is a great research tool for the right reasons and at the right time. I am interested in hearing what your thoughts are about when and why a company should conduct mystery shopping.
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