Report: Lessons in CX Excellence, 2017

1701_lessonsincxexcellence_coverWe just published a Temkin Group report, Lessons in CX Excellence, 2017. The report provides insights from eight finalists in the Temkin Group’s 2016 CX Excellence Awards. The report, which has 62 pages of content, includes an appendix with the finalists’ nomination forms. This report has rich insights about both B2B and B2C customer experience.

Here’s the executive summary:

This year, we named five organizations the winners of Temkin Group’s 2016 Customer Experience Excellence Award – Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Century Support Services, Crowe Horwath, Oxford Properties, and VCA. This report highlights specific examples of how these companies’ customer experience (CX) efforts have created value for both their customers and for their businesses, describes winners’ best practices across the four customer experience competencies: purposeful leadership, compelling brand values, employee engagement, and customer connectedness. it includes all of the winners’ detailed nomination forms to help you collect examples and ideas to apply to your own CX efforts.

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Here are some highlights from the winners:

  • In 2012, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) began implementing a full-CX strategy across the entire company. BDC kicked off these efforts by defining a clear CX strategy and developing a long-term plan for the organization. The bank’s leadership team showed their support by approving a seven-digit budget aimed at helping these efforts succeed. Since 2012, the bank has worked hard to ensure that everyone throughout the organization both understands and positively contributes to the client experience. So, for example, BDC involves leaders in these efforts through its CX Governance Committee, which is made up of senior members from each business unit across the bank and meets each quarter to steer client experience efforts. And to teach employees – both client-facing and not client-facing – about its customer experience strategy, it designed and rolled out a CX training program. The bank has also created company-wide CX objectives that apply to everyone, from a corporate scorecard for leadership to individual performance reviews for other employees.
  • Century Support Services provides debt settlement services to clients with trouble making the required payments on their unsecured debts. Century recognizes that clients going through debt settlement are experiencing one of the most difficult times in their lives and has therefore made it their corporate mission to help clients resolve debt in the shortest time possible by being responsive, innovative, and professional. To provide a remarkable experience for clients, Century focuses on lifecycle marketing (keeping customers informed and involved in the debt settlement process), customer advocacy (empowering employees to do whatever it takes to satisfy clients), and customer experience metrics (collecting and distributing customer feedback). For the past year, Century has been developing initiatives inside each of these three areas of focus. For example, to execute on lifecycle marketing, Century has expanded the number of contact points it has with customers across channels, including text, portal, phone, and email. The company has improved customer advocacy by making client feedback visible to employees and granting them the authority to break down barriers to deliver a better client experience. And it has enhanced its customer experience metrics by measuring and sharing NPS and using real-time retention tracking to determine if CX efforts are successful.
  • Providing an exceptional client experience is one of Crowe Horwath’s key organizational strategies. To accomplish this goal, the company developed an Exceptional Client Experience (ECx) Strategy, which starts with a brand promise to help its clients make smart decisions that create lasting value. The overarching goal of this ECx Strategy is to foster a client-centric culture throughout the organization so that employees are motivated to deliver great CX in every interaction. More granularly, this strategy has recently focused on developing analytical models to uncover and predict areas that will result in the biggest improvement for clients, using its ambassadors to drive key strategic initiatives, aligning CX efforts with refreshed brand strategy, and giving its internal groups feedback from its new Voice of the Internal Client survey. To measure the success of its ECx strategy, Crowe surveys clients annually. It’s found that its client experience efforts are paying off as its client engagement index towers 35 percentage-points above the industry average and its employee recognition levels are 13 percentage-points higher than average.
  • Oxford Properties is devoted to consistently exceeding industry standards in service and satisfaction. At the foundation of the company’s customer service culture is The Oxford Commitment, which it broadcasts both externally to customers and internally to all employees. So, for example, this Commitment – which is the company’s brand promise to customers – appears to customers in written communications, display towers, and inspirational videos. Oxford Properties also communicates this Commitment to employees through The Dialogue Series, CX Guidelines, fold-out cards, oPositive intranet page, and at its annual internal CX conference. The company’s leadership team upholds its promise of service excellence by investing significantly in employee development and CX programs and embedding CX into the company’s corporate strategic plan. And Oxford Properties makes sure that every employee and leader focuses on delivering on The Oxford Commitment by tying performance reviews and bonus compensation programs to NPS scores.
  • VCA has always been renowned for quality medicine, but in 2012, the veterinary hospital decided to focus on delivering best-in-class client experience as well. VCA knew that to become truly client-centric, it had to make CX a core component of its culture. It kicked off its efforts by holding focus groups with its employees, clients from its own hospitals, and clients from competing hospitals. VCA combined the findings from these focus groups with a study of its existing data to define precisely what the VCA Client Experience should look like. This work resulted in nine Client “I Wants,” a Client Journey Map, and an Emotional Motif. VCA recognized that employees were the key to its success, so in 2013, it began training its 14,000 team members on how to deliver outstanding client experiences. Since then, the company has been working on ensuring that brand attributes drive its decisions, that employees feel empowered, and that metrics are in place to measure the results of its efforts. Now, in 2016, the company evaluates everything – from the hospital to the support office – through the lens of the client experience.

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If you enjoyed this report, check out Lessons in CX Excellence, 2016Lessons in CX Excellence, 2015Lessons in CX Excellence, 2014Lessons in CX Excellence, 2013.

The bottom line: There’s a lot to learn from these CX Excellence winners.

Written by 

I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey.

Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum.

My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers.

I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

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