Don’t Miss Our Upcoming CX Workshops

Report: Activating Executive Commitment to CX

We just published a Temkin Group report, Activating Executive Commitment to CX. Here’s the executive summary:

Organizations that want to drive sustainable customer experience (CX) improvements need to have senior executives who are committed to propel change throughout the entire journey. Successful transformation efforts require senior executives to set the direction, lead communication efforts, model desired behaviors, align resources, and hold the rest of the organization accountable. However, CX leaders and their teams often struggle to obtain the commitment and involvement necessary from senior executives to ensure these change efforts succeed. In this report, we provide a model for how CX teams can effectively engage their senior leaders. Here are some highlights:

  • The blueprint includes six levers CX leaders can use to gain and strengthen senior executive commitment: Create Vision Clarity, Share Compelling Opportunities, Amplify Emotional Empathy, Feed Intrinsic Motivations, Enable First Steps, and Fuel Ongoing Confidence.
  • To illustrate how these levers work, we share examples of 24 best practices from companies including Anthem, CA Technologies, Cisco, Fidelity, Microsoft, Penske Truck Leasing, and Regions Bank.
  • We provide CX leaders with an assessment they can use to identify the commitment stage of their senior executives and offer advice on which of the six levers can have the greatest impact by stage.

Download report for $195+
BuyDownload3

Here are the six levers for activating executive commitment:

  1. Create Vision Clarity. Many senior executives are enamored with the idea of customer experience, yet lack a clear picture of what CX really means for their organization. As a result, they aren’t able to persuasively advocate for the required changes. Therefore, CX teams should provide leaders with a clear understanding of where the CX efforts are heading.
  2. Share Compelling Opportunities. Senior leaders will only stay committed to a CX effort for as long as they remain convinced that it will help the organization succeed. That’s why CX leaders must continue to make and reinforce the CX business case to senior executives. This requires establishing a tangible business case and setting realistic expectations for the upside of action and the downside of inaction.
  3. Amplify Emotional Empathy. An executive who is emotionally committed to CX efforts provides a different level of support than one who is only intellectually bought-in. To gain this emotional commitment, the CX team should enhance executives’ natural empathy by bringing customers’ experiences to life for them.
  4. Feed Intrinsic Motivations. Executives are motivated by a myriad of different objectives, such as being seen as successful or reaching some self-defined goals. Intrinsic motivators – like meaning, choice, competence, and progress – can be particularly powerful levers for activating commitment. CX leaders should connect their efforts to the personal goals of executives and should make them feel good about the efforts underway.
  5. Enable First Steps. Even executives who are fully committed to the CX agenda may not know exactly what they can do to help propel the CX efforts forward, especially since they are often juggling many different priorities. It’s up to the CX leader to make it easy for the senior leaders to participate in the efforts by recommending specific, doable steps that they can take.
  6. Fuel Ongoing Confidence. CX teams need ongoing support from their executives; however, senior leaders are prone to distraction and doubt. To keep them on track, CX leaders need to keep executives informed of the progress and success of CX efforts and need to demonstrate to executives that resources are being used well and risks are being managed well.

Here are the best practices discussed in the report:

Download report for $195+BuyDownload3

2017 Temkin Customer Service Ratings: USAA and Mercedes-Benz Are On Top

Temkin Group announces the release of the 2017 Temkin Customer Service Ratings. Based on a study of 10,000 U.S consumers, the ratings benchmarks the customer service of 295 companies across 20 industriesUSAA earned the highest score in the Temkin Customer Service Ratings for the fifth year in a row. Its banking business earned the only excellent rating, while its insurance, and credit card businesses tied with Mercedes-Benz for the second highest rating. Here’s a list of all companies in the ratings.

You can see all of the high-level results on the Temkin Ratings website, or purchase a full dataset.

Purchase dataset for $295+
(see sample spreadsheet)

Highlights of the 2017 Temkin Customer Service Ratings include: Read more of this post

Amazon Buys Whole Foods: Hip, Hip Hooray For CX!

In case you missed it, Amazon.com is buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, and the news immediately drove down the stock price of competing supermarket chains.

My take: I love this move. I’m not talking about what it means for Amazon, which spent about 3% of its net worth on Whole Foods. Instead, I’m focusing on what it might mean to the supermarket customer experience (CX).

The supermarket CX has become so repetitive that consumers don’t expect too much new from it. That’s part of the reason why supermarkets perform so well in the Temkin Experience Ratings. They were the top performing industry this year. (In case you’re interested, Amazon Fresh is tied for 6th and Whole Food is tied for 11th out of 21 supermarkets in the 2017 ratings).

Supermarkets may have changed their product mix over the years, but the experience hasn’t dramatically changed in decades. The physical environment has certainly improved, becoming larger and brighter, but what a customer goes through inside of a supermarket is roughly the same.

Your grandparents went into a (probably smaller) market with a list of things they were planning to buy. They grabbed a cart and wandered up and down aisles, periodically grabbing an item to either read its label or to place it into their cart. They tended to repurchase many items, and would hunt around the store to find any new items on their list. When they were done, they’d take their cart to a check out line where a clerk would ring up their order and someone else would bag their groceries.

Maybe the biggest changes in the CX are that the clerk now scans the product instead of keying in the prices, and your grandparents likely had their groceries carried out to their cars. So, overall, the CX may have even declined slightly.

A lot has changed since your parents were small children, so it makes perfect sense that the supermarket CX is do for a makeover. And what retailer is irreverent enough to disrupt the long-held status quo? Amazon.

Let’s just imagine what some of the changes could look like when Amazon.com updates the supermarket CX:

  • You develop your list of groceries online (easily reselecting repeat items) and you’re provided with a supermarket map of the items, and informed if some of the products are out of stock. You may even be able to pick up the entire order at drive through.
  • Based on your selections and your known preferences (e.g., gluten free, nut allergy, Whole 30 diet, etc.), Amazon.com will make recommendations for products that you may want to add or replace from your list.
  • If you’re looking to cook a nice meal at home, then you can tell Alexa your menu and how many people you’re cooking for and Amazon will create a full list of ingredients. You can deselect any items you already have and it will create a new shopping list. Alexa may even suggest changes and additions to your menu.
  • Or lets say that you don’t have any idea what to make for dinner. Alexa may just come up with some suggestions based on your known preferences (and potentially on knowing the preferences of your guests as well).
  • These same capabilities will of course be available via a mobile device while you’re in the supermarket.
  • And forget checkout lines. As you leave the supermarket, all of your groceries will be remotely scanned and your Amazon Pay account will be charged.

These potential changes only describe the supermarket CX. Amazon.com may also turn these stores into pickup centers for other types of things that you order online. So there’s even more to imagine.

The bottom line: Supermarkets are overdo for a CX makeover.

How Comcast Ignored This Customer’s Journey

We recently had an experience with Comcast that shows the importance of Customer Journey Thinking™. I’m not sharing this example to pick on Comcast (although it can be an easy target for bad customer experience given its consistently poor performance in the Temkin Experience Ratings), but instead I want to get across a key lesson for all companies.

We had a problem with our cable box and the Comcast phone agent said that we could bring it to the local Comcast center and get a new one. It’s a good move by Comcast to let people self-repair as much as possible; it keeps costs down and allows customers to accelerate the corrective action.

I wasn’t sure which of the cables that plug into the cable box I needed to bring, so I just grabbed the power cable. We went to Comcast and got the new box. Voila, success!

Unfortunately, that was not the end of the story. We got the cable box home and it didn’t work. There were no instructions. It wasn’t until a Comcast repairman showed up in a couple of days that we found out that the problem wasn’t with the box, it was with the remote. We needed to reprogram our remote.

What went wrong? Comcast treated our experience as a set of isolated interactions, instead of viewing our experience as a multi-step journey. We were looking for our TV to work again, and Comcast treated us as if we wanted to get help over the phone and swap a box at the local Comcast shop.

That’s where Customer Journey Thinking (CJM) comes into play. CJM is a way to focus on customers’ journeys when you are creating a new product, service, interaction, or experience. It requires people to always ask (and answer) these five questions:

  1. Who is the customer?
  2. What is the customer’s real goal?
  3. What did the customer do right before? (repeat three times)
  4. What will the customer do right afterwards? (repeat three times)
  5. What will make the customer happy?

Let’s say we were working at Comcast when they were looking at the self-service transaction of swapping a cable box at the Comcast stores. Here’s how a simple use of the CJM might have worked.

The team working on what looked like a modem swap st the Comcast store would have gone through the questions something like this:

  1. Who is the customer?
    • Are we targeting people who regularly swap out cable boxes and programs our remotes, or is our key market people who are much less familiar with our products and processes. We need to keep in mind any steps that might not be obvious or easy to understand for this type of customer (Note: As a best practice, it would be great to name an explicit design persona that we’re focusing on for this process).
  2. What is the customer’s real goal?
    • This customer probably wants to get his/her TV to start working again.
  3. What did the customer do right before? (repeat three times)
    • Unplugged the cable box and cables and drove to the Comcast store.
    • Went online to find the local Comcast store and its operating hours.
    • Spoke to someone at Comcast (or went online) where they found out that they could swap out the box.
  4. What will the customer do right afterwards? (repeat three times)
    • Take the box home.
    • Plug the box in.
    • Try and use the television… oops, they might not know they have to reprogram their remote.
  5. What will make the customer happy?
    • Getting their TV up and running quickly without any frustrations along the way.

If you were part of the team that went through these CJM questions, then you might have realized that the in-store element was only a piece in the overall journey, and that target customers would likely run into problems.

Using that Insight, the team might have identified these types of opportunities to improve the customers’ journey:

  • Have phone agents explain (or send a link to simple instructions about) which cables to bring with you when you swap out the box and explain that you will likely have to reprogram your remote.
  • At the store, provide instructions on reprogramming the remote and explain that it is a natural part of the process.
  • Send an email to customers who swap boxes with a link to instructions (including reprogramming of remote) and a diagnostic app if the box is not working properly.

The bottom line: Companies (not just Comcast) need to obsess about their customers’ journeys.

The Four CX Core Competencies (Infographic)

Hopefully you’ve read our FREE report, The Four CX Core Competencies. It outlines the blueprint to building a customer-centric organization. We’ve created this infographic to showcase the competencies:

  1. Purposeful Leadership: Operate consistently with a clear set of values.
  2. Compelling Brand Values: Deliver on your brand promises to customers.
  3. Employee Engagement: Align employees with the goals of the organization.
  4. Customer Connectedness: Infuse customer insight across the organization.

You can also download an 18″ x 24″ poster version.

2017 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings, UK: Sony, Aldi, & Nationwide On Top

Every organization makes some mistakes, so an important area of loyalty is the willingness of customers to forgive them. That’s why Temkin Group has been measuring forgiveness for several years in the U.S.

This year we’re publishing the 2017 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings, UK, which evaluates 157 companies across 16 industries based on a survey of 5,000 UK consumers in January 2017 (see full list of companies below). At the top of the ratings are Sony, Aldi, and Nationwide. At the bottom of the list are Audi, Bank of Scotland, and Airbnb.

You can see a summary of the results in the charts below, and you can also purchase the dataset with 2017 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings, UK for all 157 companies. And it also includes industry average Temkin Forgiveness Ratings across age groups.

Download dataset for $295 (see sample file)

Read more of this post

2017 Temkin Trust Ratings (U.S.): H-E-B and Mercedes-Benz On Top

Temkin Group announces the release of the 2017 Temkin Trust Ratings. Based on a study of 10,000 U.S consumers, the ratings benchmarks the level of trust that consumers have with 329 companies across 20 industries. H-E-B and Mercedes-Benz tied for the tops spots, followed closely by USAA (for banking and insurance), and Navy Federal Credit Union. Three TV/Internet service providers earned the lowest Temkin Trust Ratings: Time Warne Cable, Comcast, and Cox Communications. Eleven of the bottom 12 companies are either TV/Internet service providers or health plans. Here’s a list of all of the companies (.pdf).

You can see all of the high-level results on the Temkin Ratings website, or purchase a full dataset.

Purchase dataset for $295+
(see sample spreadsheet)

Highlights of the 2017 Temkin Trust Ratings include: Read more of this post

Report: Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity, 2017

1706_StateOfEE2017_COVER2We just published a Temkin Group report, Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity, 2017. Here’s the executive summary of this annual review of employee engagement activities, competencies, and maturity levels for large companies:

Engaged employees are critical assets to their organization. It’s not surprising, therefore, that customer experience leaders have more engaged employees than their peers. To understand how companies are engaging their employees, we surveyed 169 large companies and compared their responses with similar studies we’ve conducted in previous years. We also asked survey respondents to complete Temkin Group’s Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity (EECM) Assessment. Highlights from our analysis of their responses include:

  • Front-line employees are viewed as the most highly engaged.
  • More than 70% of companies measure employee engagement at least annually, yet only 45% of executives consider taking action on the results a high priority.
  • Sixty-four percent of respondents believe that their social media tools have had a positive impact on their employee engagement activities, an increase from last year.
  • The top obstacle to employee engagement activities continues to be the lack of an employee engagement strategy.
  • While only 23% of companies are in the top two stages of employee engagement maturity, this is still an increase from last year.
  • When we compared companies with above average employee engagement maturity to those with lower maturity, we found that employee engagement leaders have better customer experience, enjoy better financial results, are more likely to take action on employee feedback, and face fewer obstacles than their counterparts with less engaged workforces.
  • You can use the results of the EECM Assessment to benchmark your own employee engagement activities.

Download report for $195+
BuyDownload3

Here’s an excerpt from one of the 17 graphics that shows the maturity levels of employee engagement efforts in large companies and their effectiveness across five employee engagement competencies:

Download report for $195+BuyDownload3

Sorry POTUS, But Good Business Does Require Heart

I recently read this quote attributed to President Trump:

Here, everything, pretty much everything you do in government involves heart, whereas in business most things don’t involve heart. In fact, in business you’re actually better off without it.

My take: No, no, no! This is wrong-minded, and very outdated thinking. To succeed, businesses must make emotional connections with customers, employees, and partners. The idea that success comes from being heartless promotes the debunked view that companies exist only to create value for shareholders. Here’s one of the points that I make in Modernized Leadership, which is an update to leadership theory:

Management focus has been driven by economists like Milton Friedman who argued that corporate officials have one core responsibility: making as much money as possible for their shareholders. But the value that a company creates comes from a combination of resources contributed by different constituencies (not just investors) who’s returns should also be maximized, especially employees who contribute their knowledge and skills.

POTUS is free to view his businesses as heartless entities that exist to increase his net worth. But I am hopeful that other leaders and emerging leaders don’t follow his lead. Even Jack Welch has rebutted the blind focus on shareholder value:

On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world. Shareholder value is a result, not a strategy… Your main constituencies are your employees, your customers and your products.

If you’re a leader, than I hope that you focus on engaging the hearts and minds of your employees, customers, and partners. Creating value for an entire eco-system is more sustainable and rewarding than counting your profits.

The bottom line: Businesses need even more heart.

CX Competency: Customer Connectedness (Video)

Temkin Group has found that the only path to sustainable customer experience differentiation is to build a customer-centric culture. How? By mastering Four Customer Experience Core Competencies.

This video provides an overview of one of those competencies, Customer Connectedness, where the goal is to infuse customer insight across the organization.

Here Are Four Strategies For Customer Connectedness:

CX Competency: Employee Engagement (Video)

Temkin Group has found that the only path to sustainable customer experience differentiation is to build a customer-centric culture. How? By mastering Four Customer Experience Core Competencies.

This video provides an overview of one of those competencies, Employee Engagement, where the goal is to align employees with the goals of the organization.

Here Are Five I’s of Employee Engagement:

Human Beings Are Driven By Their Personal Predictive Analytics

In yesterday’s NY Times, there’s an excellent article, We Aren’t Built to Live in the Moment (written by Martin Seligman and John Tierney). It discusses how human beings process information, and the emergence of a new field called prospective psychology. Here’s a very simplified summary of what it says…

Human beings:

  • Are distinctive from other species in our ability to focus on, value, and plan for the future.
  • Store our memories in three different components: what happened, when it happened, and where it happened.
  • Use our mental “downtime” to run many, many simulations about the future by reconfiguring the elements of our memory in different ways.
  • Tap into the results of simulations to make fast decisions by predicting the likely outcomes of different options.

My take: First of all, we pay attention to whatever Seligman says; he’s the father of the Positive Psychology movement (see the post, Positive Psychology Meets Customer Experience). This view of human psychology describes that the brain as if it is constantly running a very advanced suite of predictive analytics. Here’s why this is meaningful for CX professionals:

  • Humans’ focus on the future is what gives power to Purposeful Leadership, as it creates the motivation for people to be part of achieving something important in the future alongside other people.
  • Since people selectively reconfigure their memories, we need to design experiences to create specific memories. That’s the cornerstone of what we call “Design for Real People,” which is one of the strategies of the CX competency: Customer Connectedness.
  • The myriad of simulations provide people with an expectation that doing something good for someone else will likely lead to a good emotional outcome, which is what creates empathy.
  • To motivate customers, employees, or leaders, it’s helpful to introduce future scenarios that tap into elements of their previous experiences.

And here’s why prospective psychology is important for everyone: it determines your happiness. Like any predictive model, it needs fine tuning. If your model is always calculating the worst-case outcomes, then you’ll tend to be sad and depressed. On the other hand, if your model is looking for positive scenarios, then you’ll stay happy and motivated. We’ll be following the research to see how people can adjust their personal predictive models.

The bottom line: Pay attention to prospective psychology.

Introducing The Customer Experience (CX) Institute

I’m very excited to announce the launch of the Customer Experience (CX) Institute

The CX Institute helps organizations become customer-centric. It provides leaders across your organization (from first-line supervisors to senior executives) with the knowledge, skills, & mindset required for an organization to become more customer centric.

We developed our training to engage all levels of leaders, regardless how much they currently know about customer experience. It combines Temkin Group’s deep expertise in creating customer-centric organizations with leading-edge eLearning design techniques.

CX Institute will initially have two areas of offerings:

Read more of this post

Report: The Shift To Customer Journey Insights

We just published a Temkin Group report, The Shift To Customer Journey Insights. Here’s the executive summary:

Customer insights are critical to customer experience programs. However, current insights’ efforts tend to focus on individual interactions rather than on a customer’s entire journey, and as a result, they often fail to provide a complete picture of a customer’s experience with the company. This report helps companies shift their insights efforts from concentrating narrowly on single transactions to focusing broadly on customers’ journeys.

Here are some highlights :

  • We developed an approach to help companies create a comprehensive view of journeys called Customer Journey Insights (CJI), which is made up of five strategies: Internal Journey Alignment, Journey Data Farming, Journey Performance Tracking, Journey Visualization, and Journey Prioritization.
  • We share 20 examples of best practices from companies that are applying these strategies to develop a more complete understanding of their customers’ journeys.
  • To help companies master these strategies, we have identified three stages organizations proceed through on their path to enabling customer journeys: 1) Customer Journey Orientation, 2) Customer Journey Enablement, and 3) Customer Journey Mastery.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

Here are the best practices focused around five strategies for shifting towards customer journey insights:

  1. Internal Journey Alignment. Shift the company’s mindset away from siloed interaction success to customer goal facilitation.
  2. Journey Data Farming. Tap into adjacent data sources and make linkages across channels.
  3. Journey Performance Tracking. Overhaul metrics to measure performance across customer journeys.
  4. Journey Visualization. Create mechanisms for communicating insights in a way that reinforces the centrality of customer journeys.
  5. Journey Prioritization. Focus on the journeys, customer segments, and channels that are strategic business priorities.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

%d bloggers like this: