Report: Lessons in CX Excellence, 2018

Download Temkin Group research report, Lessons in Customer Experience Excellence, 2018We just published a Temkin Group report, Lessons in CX Excellence, 2018. The report provides insights from six winners in the Temkin Group’s 2017 CX Excellence Awards. The report, which has more than 70 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 past November, we named six organizations the winners of Temkin Group’s 2017 Customer Experience Excellence Award – AARP, Allianz Worldwide Partners, Century Support Services, Nurse Next Door Home Care Services, Reliant, and Sage. 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.
  • 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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Purchase and download Temkin Group research report, Lessons in Customer Experience Excellence, 2018

Here are some highlights from the winners:

    • When AARP established its Experience Team, AARPx, in 2016, it focused on getting the basics of customer experience right. After the team’s initial work mapping and evaluating customer interactions, it turned its attention to making customer experience a priority in enterprise-wide decisions and cultivating a customer-centric mindset. To achieve these goals, AARPx developed empathy programs that bring employees closer to their member base and diligently shared consumer insights both horizontally and vertically across the organization. The team – which is committed to an outside-in approach to business execution – has established enterprise and business unit metrics to reflect their consumer-focused AARPx engages members (the company’s name for its customers) in co-creation sessions in order to support the cross-functional teams as they develop planning and decision tools to evaluate future initiatives through a consumer lens. Ultimately, the team’s mission is to create a seamless, high value, personalized experience at every touchpoint and make sure that every product, service, process, and program is inspiring, effortless, and personally-relevant.
    • Allianz Worldwide Partners – a travel insurance company that helps 25 million customers each year – recently began mapping and reviewing its customer journey to identify the issues impacting customers and eliminate customer pain-points. At the heart of this effort lies customer feedback, and Allianz combines real-time data analysis from its voice of the customer (VoC) program with information gathered from customer service call monitoring, customer satisfaction surveys, and social media platforms to help it identify actionable insights about customer preferences or product shortcomings. As a result of this concerted listening effort, the insurer has successfully aligned its products with what customers truly want, such as coverage for existing medical conditions and a “Cancel Anytime” product to help ease the natural anxiety that arises from cancelling a trip due to unforeseen circumstances.
    • Century Support Services is one of the nation’s largest debt settlement companies, and it differentiates itself through a relentless focus on its customers’ experience. The company defines its “Why” as “improving people’s financial lives,” and this principle has led the company to put its customers at the center of its Value Creation Ecosystem. Because Century’s culture is rooted in the values of trust, experience, and integrity, it places enormous worth on the client relationship. To make this client relationship and client engagement as strong as possible, the company has worked to infuse technology and data analysis with a personal touch, creating a tailored customer journey through lifecycle marketing, customer advocacy, and customer metrics. Since the debt settlement process is often based on the unique circumstances of the customer, Century has focused on increasing touchpoints and communication across channels to keep the customer informed about the process. Century also empowers employees to step outside the box to ensure client satisfaction, and it supports these enhancement efforts by pairing historical data with key satisfaction variables, which allows it to proactively resolve issues and improve experiences.
    • Nurse Next Door Home Care Services is a private-duty home care provider that aims to deliver a unique, “happier aging” experience to clients across North America by helping them get back to doing the things they love. Nurse Next Door’s “happier aging” philosophy revolves around four core values – admire people, WOW customer experience, find a better way, and passionate about making a difference. Because the company is genuinely committed to building care around each individual customer’s needs, desires, and personality, it attracts and retains quality caregivers. To give these caregivers more direct control and autonomy in their jobs, Nurse Next Door recently instituted a mostly flat organizational structure, empowering team members to deliver the best customer experience they can. And Nurse Next Door makes sure that customers truly do feel taken care of through a “Listen 360 – NPS Survey,” which gathers feedback from clients and employees and constructs a holistic perspective of the company’s CX.
    • In the last decade, Reliant’s CX program has evolved from focusing primarily on call centers, to becoming a dedicated CX department, to finally turning into a hub-and-spoke structure that employs 15 subject matter experts – called “fanatics” – who are responsible for their department’s customer experience efforts. This structural transformation has shifted the “ownership” of CX from one external department to all departments within the organization and, with the help of a coordinated CX director, each fanatic works on aligning their department with the CX program’s vision and strategy. To create exceptional customer experiences, Reliant measures various touchpoints at both the relationship and transactional level and uses driver analysis to prioritize improvements that will most impact its customers.
    • Sage’s 2018 goal – “Customer Obsession Starts With Me” – centers around the idea that CX is everyone’s responsibility and aims to increase awareness about how CX is relevant for all roles across the organization. To help employees fully commit to this goal, Sage has developed employee CX awareness campaigns, such as “The 12 Days of CX-Mas” and “Customer Success Safari,” to highlight how employees can participate in CX initiatives. It has also just introduced “Sage Listens,” which connects employees with customers through an online, self-service portal, and “Sage Magic Moments,” which allows employees to send small, personalized gifts and notes to inspiring customers. The company also recently launched “Sage Ideas,” an online portal where customers can submit, review, and vote on ideas for customer-generated enhancements and improvements. Sage encourages employees to demonstrate Customer Obsession by closing the loop with customers and visiting them both in their place of business and via web conferencing. These conversations serve to strengthen the human connection behind the Sage brand experiences.

Download report for $195
Purchase and download Temkin Group research report, Lessons in Customer Experience Excellence, 2018

Report Outline:

  • Customer Experience Excellence Award Winners
  • The Winners Highlight the Value of Customer Experience
  • Lessons Learned Across the Four Customer Experience Competencies
    • Purposeful Leadership Best Practices
    • Compelling Brand Values Best Practices
    • Employee Engagement Best Practices
    • Customer Connectedness Best Practices
  • Appendix: CxE Award Nomination Forms


Appendix: Submissions From Six Winners Of 2017 Customer Experience Excellence Awards

  • 2017 Nomination Form: AARP
  • 2017 Nomination Form: Allianz
  • 2017 Nomination Form: Century Support Services
  • 2017 Nomination Form: Nurse Next Door
  • 2017 Nomination Form: Reliant
  • 2017 Nomination Form: Sage

Download report for $195
Purchase and download Temkin Group research report, Lessons in Customer Experience Excellence, 2018


If you enjoyed this report, check out Lessons in CX Excellence, 2017Lessons 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'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about leading-edge XM topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

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