Tapping Into The Power Of Experience Management

Last week, I gave two presentations at the Qualtrics X4 Summit that focused on how to adopt experience management (XM). Here’s a glimpse of that content…

First of all, let’s get aligned: what do you expect to see in the future?

  • More or less demanding customers? (I say more)
  • More or less demanding employees? (I say more)
  • More or less access to data and analytics? (I say more)
  • More or less time to respond to changes? (I say less)

Attendees at X4 almost universally agreed with my point of view. If we’re accurate, then organizations that succeed will have to operate differently in the future than they do today. As you’ll see below, they’ll need to adopt XM. That’s great news for X4 attendees, because it means there will be an increasing demand for XM professionals.

The Future Requires XM

How will XM help organizations compete in this changing environment? By creating the capabilities to:

  • Continuously Learn. Organizations need to more effectively sense and interpret what’s going on all around them, collecting and analyzing signals from the actions and feedback of employees, partners, vendors, customers, and even competitors.
  • Propagate Insights. Organizations need to put actionable intelligence in the hands of people across their ecosystem who can use it, creating seamless access to the right information in the right form at the right time.
  • Rapidly Adapt. Organizations will need to act on the insights they’ve uncovered at an increasingly faster pace, finding ways to create new experiences and renovate existing ones.

XM can’t be an afterthought or a veneer. It also isn’t something that one or two departments think about. For an organization to succeed in an environment with more demanding customers and employees, more access to data and analytics, and less time to respond, XM must be woven into its operating fabric.

The XM Value Pyramid

To operationalize XM, you need to understand the XM Value Pyramid. It’s made up of three components:

1903_XMValuePyramid

  • XM Platform: Your organization needs to be instrumented to collect and analyze experience data (X-data) and operational data (O-data), and then distribute the insights to facilitate action. At X4, Qualtrics announced more than 40 of these new instruments to add to our industry-leading technology. We’re increasingly applying AI and machine learning to accelerate the discovery and actionability of insights.
  • XM Practices. Organizations need to change how they operate their business in order to leverage the increasing capabilities of the XM platform. This requires a new set of competencies and activities for creating leading-edge customer experience, employee experience, brand experience and product experience. The Qualtrics XM Institute is working on a competency model to help organizations master XM Practices.
  • XM Perspectives. The combination of XM Practices and the XM Platform will help you develop strong capabilities. But you won’t gain full value unless your organization’s culture and mindset embrace the new XM operating model. At X4, I introduced five XM Perspectives listed in the next section.

Five XM Perspectives

During one of my presentations at X4, I discussed these five XM Perspectives:

  1. Lead With Purpose. Purpose aligns, motivates, and empowers customers and employees, so leaders need to communicate and embrace a consistent vision and set of values.
  2. Make Change A Habit. Organizations naturally embrace the status quo and resist change. So they need to create an environment that embraces ongoing improvements and innovation.
  3. Propel Insightful Decisions. The value of and access to analytics is growing, but people don’t often embrace the potential of these data insights. Organizations need to create a mindset for using XM data to run their business, and evolve well beyond just looking for a readout of metrics.
  4. Magnify Key Moments. Not every interaction is equal, so organizations must be comfortable identifying and disproportionally focusing on the most important ones. To understand how to improve those key moments, you need to look at them through the lens of a person’s journey.
  5. Always Focus On People. Experiences are created and consumed by human beings (customers, employees, and partners), so cater to how they think, feel, and act. People are complex, so we identified six key traits of human beings to focus on.

Charting Your XM Future

I hope that you’re as excited as I am about the power of XM. I believe that it will be the core area of organizational transformation for the next decade. Companies that thrive will embrace XM to continuously learn, propagate insights, and rapidly adapt better than their competitors.

We’re at the very early stages of XM, so there’s a lot to do. Companies won’t master XM overnight, it will take a multi-year journey to understand and embed the required platform, practices, and perspectives. That’s why we’re creating the Qualtrics XM Institute, to support you along the way.  Here are some ideas for accelerating your XM journey:

  • Build single experience skills. You can can establish XM capabilities by starting or enhancing your customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX), brand experience (BX) or product experience (PX) efforts. Look to evolve from sharing actionable insights to redesigning processes that incorporate the insights.
  • Combine CX and EX efforts. Across our research, you’ll find that CX and EX are inextricably linked. We’ve found that engaged employees are a fundamental building block to good CX. If you combine those two areas, you can build on a common platform, and establish a strong, combined set of practices and perspectives. Along these same lines, you can also add PX and BX to existing efforts.
  • Build up centers of excellence. To master XM, you’ll likely need to develop new practices and perspectives across your organization. So identify one or two to start building. Here are some good areas to consider: experience design, advanced analytics, and developing a change-minded culture,
  • Engage a strong partner. Companies that embrace XM will go through substantive change over many years. And we all know that transformation isn’t easy, or linear. Rather than trying to do it alone, look for a partner that can help you go through the transformation. Start by checking out these great companies that can help.
  • Pick a strategic XM platform. As you think about your organization’s path towards XM adoption, you’ll be able to build skills faster and deploy change more effectively if you lock into a single platform. Not surprisingly, I strongly recommend Qualtrics. While there are good point solutions in the market, there aren’t any providers that come close to Qualtrics when it comes to overall scale, architecture, trajectory, and R&D investments—components that are critical for supporting a successful long-term journey.

The bottom line: To thrive in the future, embed XM into your operating fabric.

Debriefing My Qualtrics X4 Experience

Last week I joined more than 10,000 XM enthusiasts at the Qualtrics X4 Summit in Salt Lake City. This was my fourth X4, and the first one since joining Qualtrics. I really enjoyed seeing old friends and meeting many new ones. We have some really awesome clients!

My head is still spinning from the amazing event. Over two days, we were treated to the most incredible line-up of speakers, including […] Continue Reading…

Young Women Have Lowest Level Of Well-Being

In honor of International Woman’s Day, I decided to compare the difference in well-being across gender and age by dissecting the 2018 Temkin Well-Being Index (TWBI). I examined the overall TWBI, as well as the three elements that make up the index—the percentage of consumers who agree that they are:

Typically happy
Healthy
Financially Secure

As you can see in the charts below:

Young females have the lowest level of […] Continue Reading…

The Evolving Role of CX (& XM) Leaders

Last week I spoke at a local CXPA meeting in Boston. We had a great turnout, thanks to the great work of the planning committee and the wonderful space provided by Education First.

I led a discussion about the future of CX, which I believe was applicable to all experience management (XM) leaders. One of my key messages was that we need to think of our roles differently as we […] Continue Reading…

The Engaging Power Of Employee Feedback

Does your organization listen to its employees? I mean, really listen and act on what they say. Based on what our research has uncovered, it’s likely that the true answer is “no.” Check out some data from our recent research:

In our Q3 2018 Consumer Benchmark Study, we found that 40% of full time U.S. employees strongly agrees with the statement, “My company asks for my feedback and acts upon what […] Continue Reading…

6 Winning Lessons From The New England Patriots (For All Organizations)

The New England Patriots just won the AFC Championship, earning a trip to their third straight Superbowl. As a Patriots fan, I’m thrilled. I know that many people don’t like the team, but there’s no denying that the Patriots have built a dynasty and are one of the most dominant teams in recent history (across any sport).

How do the Patriots keep achieving success? By implementing a system that creates […] Continue Reading…

The Inextricable Link Between CX & EX

If you’ve followed our research, then you know that we’ve always viewed employee engagement as a fundamental component of customer experience.  One of our Six Laws of Customer Experience is that “Unengaged employees don’t create engaged customers.” It just makes sense. How can you possibly expect to consistently deliver great customer experience with apathetic or disengaged employees?!?!

Although the connection between customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) may seem […] Continue Reading…

Anyway You Say It, Happy New Year!

Gelukkige nuwejaar, Gëzuar vitin e ri, e glëckliches nëies, aam saiid, shnorhavor nor tari, yeni iliniz mubarek, bonne année, urte berri on, Зновым годам, subho nababarsho, asgwas amegas, mbembe mbu, bonne année, sretna nova godina, bloavezh mat, честита нова година, hnit thit ku mingalar pa, kung hé fat tsoi, bon any nou, xin nian kuai le, pace e salute, sretna nova godina, šťastný nový rok, godt nytår, gelukkig Nieuwjaar, felicxan novan jaron, head uut aastat, gott nýggjár, onnellista uutta […] Continue Reading…

Closing And Welcoming The Year Of Humanity

Last year Temkin Group labelled 2018, The Year of Humanity. With all of the discord and tension throughout the world, it seemed like a good time to promote the following mindset:

Embrace diversity. Recognize our differences and find ways to treat people as individuals.
Extend compassion. Tune into the condition of the people around us and care about their well-being.
Express appreciation. Proactively look for and acknowledge the positive aspects of the world around […] Continue Reading…

My 12 (XM)AS Wishes For You

Since tomorrow is Christmas, I decided to share 12 wishes for you and your experience management (XM) efforts. Here goes…

During the upcoming year, I hope that you:

Celebrate successes. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking about the next milestone to achieve, but make sure to regularly take account of the great things that you and your team have already accomplished. You’ve earned it!
Stay positive. XM professionals, […] Continue Reading…

CX Myth #6: Compensation Drives Good CX Behaviors

Many common beliefs about customer experience are misguided, based on oversimplifications or a lack of consideration for real-world constraints. In this series of posts, we debunk these myths.

CX Myth #6: Compensation Drives Good CX Behaviors
What’s Wrong: Many organizations try to drive behavior change by tying employees’ compensation to customer experience metrics. While some level of compensation tied to CX can be helpful, it is often overdone. When you overly […] Continue Reading…

2019 XM Trends From Qualtrics Thought Leaders

This is the time of year for holiday cheer, family celebrations, and, of course, listings of annual trends!

To help me identify trends for 2019, I reached out to some of the many thought leaders across Qualtrics and asked them to share one or two of the top experience management (XM) trends they are expecting to see in the coming year.

It was a great exercise. We have some amazing people […] Continue Reading…

CX Leaders’ Employees Feel Prouder & More Appreciated

If you’ve followed our research, then you’ve likely seen a strong, almost inseparable link between between customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX). We continued to find that connection in our latest consumer benchmark.

In our Q3 2018 study, we asked 5,000+ U.S. employees to pick a word that best describes how their job makes them feel and split those responses based on how they judged the overall CX that their […] Continue Reading…

CX Myth #5: Wow Customers During Every Interaction

Many common beliefs about customer experience are misguided, based on oversimplifications or a lack of consideration for real-world constraints. In this series of posts, we debunk these myths.

CX Myth #5: Wow Customers During Every Interaction
What’s Wrong: While it may be appealing to think about creating an amazing experience every time you touch a customer, it’s just not appropriate or practical. All interactions should aim to meet your target customers’ […] Continue Reading…

Employees Want To Make A Positive Impact

What motivates employees? This may seem like a difficult question to answer, but it’s not hard at all. There’s one overwhelming answer: Making a positive difference.

In our latest consumer benchmark study, we asked more than 5,000 full-time U.S. employees to select which of eight job characteristics they felt was the most important. Here’s what we found:

Making a positive impact: 42%
Earning a lot of money: 14%
[…] Continue Reading…