Service NSW Tops My Worldwide XM Tour

I’m on my way back from Australia; the end to a very long, but wonderful road trip.

I’ve had a busy couple of months, delivering speeches and training in Salt Lake City (twice), London (twice), Orlando, Madrid, Sydney, and Melbourne, in addition to remote sessions in Paris and Philadelphia. What have I been speaking about?

  • Operationalizing Experience Management (XM). As I’ve discussed, XM will drive transformation across organizations for the next decade. But how do you turn XM into a discipline? By mastering 6 XM competencies (Lead, Realize, Activate, Enlighten, Respond, and Disrupt) and 20 XM skills. That’s been the core of my message. Stay tuned, you’ll be seeing a lot more on this topic!
  • The Human Experience Model. To deliver breakthrough experiences, it’s important to understand how people process experiences. That’s what the Human Experience Cycle is all about.
  • Five For The Fight. One of the most inspiring things we do at Qualtrics is to support 5 for the Fight, a foundation to put an end to cancer. It was center stage at all of the X4s, and I incorporated it into my discussions whenever possible.

My latest trip was to Australia, where I spoke at my third Qualtrics X4 Summit (on a third continent) this year. I really enjoyed the trip, except for the grueling flights. Why can’t we just get to Oz by clicking our heals three times?!?

Unlike my first trip to Australia a few years ago, this one was all about work (except for some nice meals with friends). But I’m not complaining. As you can see in the pictures, I got to experience Vivid Sydney, got close with some local wild life, enjoyed some good cuisine, and kicked up my heals in the Sydney office while enjoying the amazing view of Sydney Harbour.

Of course, the best part of the trip was getting to know my Australian colleagues at Qualtrics. It’s a dynamic, scrappy bunch, and they’re doing a fantastic job helping companies across the region adopt XM.

I was also able to visit several companies in Sydney and Melbourne. My last visit was with Qantas, which was a great way to end the trip. It was energizing to review their plans and to see how focused they are on XM. I’m really looking forward to seeing what they’ve accomplished during my next visit.

IMG_9152.jpegBut the most surprising part of my trip was a visit to two government offices. That’s right, government! I had the privilege of meeting with the newly appointed Minister of Customer Service for NSW, Victor Dominello. What an inspiration! He has a robust vision for improving how government operates, and is already changing the way that NSW interacts with citizens.

During our visit, he pulled out his mobile dashboard that keeps track of feedback from citizens across many government services. He not only cares about the how citizens are treated, he tracks it and holds the different agencies accountable for it.

Dominello’s aspirations are supported by a fantastic team at Service NSW. which is the organization responsible for interfacing with citizens. Their offices are cramped as you might expect in a government building, but the walls are filled with artifacts that make it look like you’re in a world-class design agency.

The team is applying leading-edge XM practices to understand citizen behavior and design experiences that help the government achieve its goals. It’s more than just improving service, the group is using XM tools to achieve objectives like better serving underprivileged groups.

While I enjoyed my entire trip, I’m happy to be heading back to Boston. Oz is great, but there’s no place like home!

The bottom line: XM is gaining momentum around the world, even Down Under!

Stop Obsessing About Organizational Alignment

I was recently asked a question that I hear a lot, how do we get alignment across our large, complex organization? This is an important question since the path to Experience Management (XM) often requires large-scale change.

I’m now just saying: Stop focusing so much on it. Instead of trying to gain full alignment before you begin, build it over time in an iterative manner that I’m calling Agile Alignment.

When people think about transformation, they often make a false assumption that alignment is required prior to change. They believe that it’s a prerequisite to get all of the key stakeholders on the same page. It isn’t.

If you have limited bandwidth (which is the case for just about everyone I’ve ever worked with), then you have to make trade-offs on where you spend your time and energy. At a simplistic level, you will be faced with deciding between trying to build alignment with people who are not pre-disposed to supporting your efforts, or focusing on driving some elements on your change agenda. My argument is that, on the margin, the latter can be much more productive than the former.

We often assume that alignment is a precursor to change. But let me introduce a new thought: Successful change is the precursor to true alignment. In other words, you may be able to get people passively on-board with your plans, but they aren’t truly on-board until they see something is working and on the path to success.

The ideal approach for driving transformation, therefore, is an iterative process that I’m calling Agile Alignment. It goes like this:

  1. Identify key stakeholders who are actively aligned
  2. Drive successful change initiatives with those aligned stakeholders
  3. Build alignment with a larger group of stakeholders
  4. Go back to step #2

This way, you keep expanding the scope of your efforts and the breadth of your alignment over time.

The bottom line: True alignment follows success.

 

 

Is NPS A Dubious Fad?

Okay, it’s that time again. Every few years someone ignites the debate about whether Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) is a great or terrible thing. A recent article in the WSJ (The Dubious Management Fad Sweeping Corporate America) has sparked the discussion this time.

Rather than write something entirely new, I decided to share something I wrote in 2015 that addresses the issue. Before I share that post, I also suggest you take a look at these:

Below is the 2015 post, Is Net Promoter Score A Savior Or A Demon?

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Every couple of years, I get a resurgence of questions about Net Promoter® Score (NPS®). These surges typically coincide with research that shows how NPS is either an excellent predictor or a terrible predictor of company performance. That data often ignites a religious battle between the NPS lovers and NPS haters.

Well, it’s one of those times.

Let me start by saying that I’m an atheist in this NPS battle. We’ve had the opportunity to study and work with hundreds of companies that use NPS. I’ve recommended to some companies that they adopt NPS, to others that they stop using NPS, and to others that they start with a totally different set of metrics (see our VoC/NPS resource page).

Let’s look at what we know for sure about NPS…

The reality is that the metric itself is much less important than how it is used. I’d rather use a sub-optimal metric in a way that drives positive improvements across an organization, than have a perfect metric that doesn’t result in as much impact.

Here are some quick answers to key questions:

  • Is NPS the best indicator of customer loyalty and business performance? In many cases, no.
  • Can other metrics be used to drive positive change? Yes.
  • Does NPS provide an easy to understand metric that can be widely adopted? Yes.
  • Can NPS be used to make an organization more customer centric? In many cases, yes.
  • Will a company improve if it increases promoters and decreases detractors? In many cases, yes.
  • Can NPS be used inappropriately? Yes.
  • Can any metric be used inappropriately? Yes.
  • Would I ever recommend NPS for every touch point? No.
  • Should companies consider their specific business when selecting metrics? Absolutely.
  • What’s more important, the metric or the improvement process? The improvement process.

The bottom line: NPS is neither a savior nor a demon.

P.S. In case you didn’t know, NPS® and Net Promoter® are registered trademarks of Fred Reichheld, Satmetrix, and Bain & Company.

 

Exciting News From The XM Institute

The time has finally come for me to tell people to stop purchasing Temkin Group research reports. Are we eliminating them? No. Are they irrelevant? No. We’ve just decided to give them away for free on the Qualtrics XM Institute site.

That’s right, you can now get access to almost our entire research library for free. One of the reasons we joined Qualtrics was to be able to help more people and organizations. This move shows you the commitment that Qualtrics is making to help the world understand and deliver on the promise of Experience Management (XM).

One of the things you’ll notice on the XM Institute page is a filter to select reports based on Six XM Competencies. Yes, we’ve created a new model. It’s based on the following six competencies:

  • Lead. Architect, align, and sustain successful XM efforts. Driving XM transformation requires a strong program and active support from senior leadership.
  • Realize. Track and ensure that XM efforts achieve business objectives. For XM efforts to have lasting, positive impact, they must align with the overall priorities of the organization.
  • Activate. Create the appropriate skills, support, and motivation. People generally gravitate towards the status quo. To help overcome that inertia, the organization must ensure that employees have all the appropriate XM-related training and support needed.
  • Enlighten. Provide actionable insights across an organization. At the center of XM is the constant flow of data being transformed into useful information and shared with those most capable of taking the appropriate action.
  • Respond. Prioritize and drive improvements based on insights. An organization must act on what it learns by making constant improvements as insights are uncovered.
  • Disrupt. Identify and create experiences that differentiate the organization. Truly successful XM efforts go beyond simply reacting to problems to proactively developing innovative experiences that give the organization a competitive advantage.

That’s just a quick summary. We will be publishing much, much more on this model in the future. It will be the primary lens for all of our content, which is why and we’ve created categories on this blog for the Six XM Competencies.

Enjoy all of the free content on the Qualtrics XM Institute site!

Six Categories Of X&O Data Insights

Last week I attended SAP’s SAPPHIRE and CX Live events in Orlando. It was great to see 35,000 or so of my new friends. As you might expect, Experience Management (“XM”) was a dominant theme. Just about every SAP or Qualtrics keynote speech discussed XM, and it was a topic at many of the concurrent sessions. I really enjoyed seeing the XM message come to life in so many different ways.

One of the cornerstones of XM is the combination of operational data (“O-data”) and experience data (“X-data”). While each type of data can provide valuable insights on its own, the combination can unlock new levels of intelligence across an enterprise. These more inclusive datasets will increase in value as organizations expand their use of predictive analytics, as the combined data is inherently more insightful.

To help you think about where you can find valuable opportunities to combine X- and O-data within your organization, we identified the following six categories of use cases:

  • X Why: Find something happening in O-data and look for an explanation in X-data
  • O Drivers: Find something happening in X-data and look for operational situations that are causing the situation
  • X&O Predict: Build projections based on an analysis of X- & O-data
  • X&O Personalize: Adjust how you treat people based on a combination of X- & O-data
  • X&O Alert: Send alerts and other proactive information based on a combination of X- & O-data
  • X Value: Measure the value of improving experiences by examining the impact that those changes have on business results

1905_CategoriesOfXODataInsights_v2

The graphic above provides some customer experience (“CX”) and employee experience (“EX”) examples, but it’s not meant to be an exhaustive list of use cases. Hopefully the table provides you with a good sense of the insights that can be unlocked with the combination of X- and O-data.

Now that you understand some of the ways for gaining insights from X- and O-data, think about how the combination can impact your organization. If you have some ideas or examples of how it’s worked for you, leave them in the comments section of this post.  I’ll try and highlight some of the most interesting items.

The bottom line: Combine your Xs & Os to unlock more insights.

 

CX to XM: Propelling Humanity & Intelligence

As you have hopefully seen, I’m now running the Qualtrics XM Institute, where we will be producing easy-to-consume, compelling content and training that both inspires business leaders with experience management (XM) possibilities and helps them drive value from their programs. Many people have asked me recently about why we’re now focusing on XM instead of on customer experience (CX).

The quick answer is that we are still focusing a lot on CX. It will continue to be a critical component of our work. The longer explanation for this CX-to-XM transition requires me to first break down how these two domains work together.

I’ve had the opportunity to lead the CX movement for many years now, and I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish together. While CX still has a lot of room for improvement, the discipline now has a robust set of repeatable skills and practices, which are being used by a growing—and increasingly capable—community of CX professionals. We’ve come a long way over the last decade!

When I take a step back and think about how CX has changed the way leading organizations operate, it’s really reshaped their behavior along two key dimensions:

  • They have made human beings the center of focus
  • They continuously generate and act upon insights

We unlocked something powerful in CX. By combining an intensified understanding of how people think, feel, and behave with our dramatically improving capabilities to uncover and act on those insights, we’ve created an entirely new set of best practices. In fact, I believe that this combination of humanity and intelligence will form the basis of how organizations compete in the future. It will be the fundamental component that defines success or failure.

But the power of humanity and intelligence is valuable beyond just our interactions with customers. We need to take what we’ve learned in CX and extend it across the entire enterprise, from suppliers, to employees, to partners, to customers. Every part of our organization should be built on a platform of humanity and intelligence.

That’s what XM is all about—Propelling humanity and intelligence across an enterprise.

Think of CX as the initial use case of XM. Yes, there’s still a lot to do in CX, but there are many other use cases that we should be thinking about as well, such as employee experience (EX), product experience (PX), and brand experience (BX). And all of these different experiences should be built upon the same XM foundation.

Our CX efforts have already been extending to XM. Customer journey mapping has led the way to employee journey mapping, voice of the customer programs have defined the model for voice of employee programs, and the understanding of behavioral economics and the use of experience design is being applied across many new areas.

If you’re a CX professional, I hope you’re just as excited about XM as I am. Not only will it generate even more demand for your skills and capabilities, but it also gives us the opportunity to take all we’ve learned from CX and apply it in a myriad of interesting new ways.

The bottom line: XM expands the humanity & intelligence uncovered by CX.

Complexity Is An Experience Killer

I just spent two days in Miami with a great group of executives who are part of the SAP CX Client Advisory Board. One of their presentations described the company’s technology transformation, and included a stream of activity around “decomplexing.” I loved seeing that!

Complexity ends up oozing its way into all types of experiences. Complex products, prices, or processes lead to ill-prepared employees and confused customers. A complex set of benefits leads to ill-prepared HR representatives and confused employees. A complex brand positioning leads to erratic messages and a confused marketplace.

The problem even goes beyond confusion, as complexity causes people to make mistakes — or even to think they made mistakes when they hadn’t. It generates large numbers of unproductive interactions, as people try and sort through the complexity to figure out what they want to, or need to do.

People often try and mask complexity. And while that may be effective in some situations, it ends up failing almost all the time. Why? Because complexity oozes its way into everything. It’s extremely hard to contain. A complex pricing structure can be masked with a configurator, but customers end up being confused about why they have to buy something, the price associated with the purchase, or the information on their first bill.

Organizations have a natural tendency to create complexity. They add rules and processes on top of of other rules and processes. That’s why decomplexing is a great thing to work on. It requires an explicit focus and an ongoing discipline. Making things simple is often much harder than continuing to make them complex.

Decomplexing is worth the effort.

The bottom line: Simplification is a wonderful enabler of great experiences.

The Human Experience Cycle

As you think about your experience management (XM) efforts, it’s important to understand  how people flow through the experiences in their lives — as customers, employees, patients, fans, citizens, students, etc. To help deepen that understanding, I’ve created a simple model, the Human Experience Cycle (HxC). As you can see in the chart below, the HxC is made up of five elements:

  • Expectations: What a person anticipates will happen during an experience.
  • Experiences: What actually happens to a person during an interaction.
  • Perceptions: How a person views an experience based on their expectations.
  • Attitudes: How someone feels about the organization.
  • Behaviors: How a person choses to interact with an organization.

1903_HumanExperienceCycle2

Here are some implications of the HxC:

  • Experiences are in the eyes of the beholder. How someone feels about an experience (their perception) is based on their expectations along with the actual experience. So the exact same experience can lead to different perceptions for different people. That’s why you need to think about the expectations you’re setting prior to an experience, and consider delivering different experiences based on people’s expectations.
  • Experiences are judged by the emotions they create. Our memories aren’t like video cameras, they’re more like an Instagram account where we take pictures whenever we feel strong emotions, and then we judge that experience in the future based on reviewing those pictures. That’s why it’s critical to proactively think about which emotions an experience is likely to generate, since those are the elements which will most drive perceptions.
  • Attitudes are important... Many organizations measure attitudes (e.g., a relationship Net Promoter Score) as part of their overall metrics program. This is an important area to understand, because it represents an accumulation of multiple perceptions and can often be a leading indicator of behaviors. That’s why many successful XM programs prioritize their efforts around the experiences that most highly affect attitudes.
  • …But behaviors are the goal. The success or failure of an organization is driven by what people actually do, their behaviors. Over time, you need to make sure that the attitudes you’re measuring have an actual impact on the behaviors you really care about — is NPS really driving future purchases?, or is our employee engagement measurement predicting attrition? If not, look for different attitudinal measurements that are more predictive of those important behaviors.

The bottom line:  Align your efforts around the Human Experience Cycle.

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

X4_ImageLast 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 President Obama, Oprah, Sir Richard Branson, Ashton Kutcher, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, and Imagine Dragons’ lead singer Dan Reynolds. Add to that an Imagine Dragons concert, skateboard exhibition by Tony Hawk and his friends, and a dance contest to support 5 for the Fight (including tWitch). And yes, there were also a bunch of fantastic industry speakers.

There were so many extraordinary experiential elements around the event, including the environment for my two speeches. One of my talks was in a very large open space where attendees listened through headsets and the other was in an informal setting that was part of a private lounge for senior leaders. (Note: I’ll write another post to share some of that content).

Here are some of my favorite X4 moments:

  • Oprah was just purely amazing and inspiring. She talked a lot about the importance of “intention,” having clarity of your personal purpose (I am totally bought into the power of purpose). Some other lessons from her include, “your legacy is every life you touch,”  “notice what you have, not what you don’t have, and you will recognize the abundance around you,” and you need to acknowledge and validate other people. Her closing question challenged all of us: How do you use your true self in service of the world? And, I’m still chuckling about her discussion with Ryan Smith about Barnaby.
  • President Obama was so chill. He looked calm and loose, which made it very entertaining. He discussed his approach for making difficult decisions: “setup a process to figure the thing out with facts, data, and reason.” He made sure that the people in his administration were there for the right reason; not personal gain, but achieving their common mission. He required everyone to have integrity at their core. One of my favorite moments was when Obama quoted from The Departed. He discussed a scene where Mark Wahlberg’s character is asked who are you? and answers “I’m the guy doing my job. You must be the other guy.” Obama said that his staff would often use the phrase “Don’t be the other guy.” He also left us with an important charge, “focus more on our common hopes, dreams, and values, not on the things that pull us apart, and we can accomplish great things.
  • Adam Silver really surprised me. I’m a big fan of his work with the NBA, and have seen him speak at the MIT Sports Analytics Conference. But I never knew he was such a data guy. He discussed XM, like a pro. He clearly articulated how the combination of SAP and Qualtrics would help the NBA. He even discussed X-and O-data!
  • Sir Richard Branson was truly authentic. He seems like a great person to work for. He discussed how you purposely help more and more people as you get successful, expanding the circles from yourself, to your family, to your community, to the world. He called the American holiday system “a total disgrace” for not allowing workers to have more time off.  Branson believes that “every day is a fantastic learning experience,” and he also believes in promoting from within and delegating. This is what he had to say about brand, “you are only as good as your reputation, and you will need to zealously protect it.” He will only get into a new business if employees will be really proud and customers will sing its praise.
  • Bill McDermott explained why SAP & Qualtrics makes so much sense. He described SAP as a company with ‘a great brand and a good heart.’ Not only is that the type of company I want to work for, but it’s also how I would love to be personally viewed by other people. McDermott labeled XM as “the ultimate category” for enterprise software. He summed up the acquisition with a quote from Jerry Maguire, “Qualtrics completes us.” You can see a lot of what he said in this really good article.
  • Qualtrics employees delivered awesome content. Ryan And Jared Smith did a great job sharing the XM vision and highlighting amazing new capabilities in our XM platform. I was really proud of all of the Qualtrics speakers that I was able to see. The overall storyline at the event was that organizations often fail because they get blindsided; they lack good instrumentation. In order to deliver breakthrough experiences, you need more XM instrumentation.
  • Our new offerings are incredible. We announced a crazy number of game-changing additions to the Qualtrics XM Platform. We’re using AI in many areas across the platform, including to analyze data and create automated alerts about potential problems and opportunities. And our new mobile experience is pretty cool as well. Here are links to some of the other announcements:

I’ll end this post with a shout out to our XM Breakout Artist Winners:

  • CX: American Express
  • EX: Coca-Cola
  • PX: Belkin
  • BX: Sofi
  • XM: L.L.Bean

The bottom line: X4 was amazing; I’m already looking forward to next year.

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 well-being.
  • Males between the ages of 25- and 34-years-old have the highest level of well-being.
  • Both males and females experience a decline in their well-being in their 30’s and 40’s.
  • The largest gender well-being gap is with 25- to 34-year-olds, where males are 13-points higher.
  • Females who are 18- to 34-years-old feel less happy, healthy, and financially secure than males of the same age.
  • Females who are 35-years-old and older are happier than their male peers.
  • At every age level, females feel less financially secure than males.

1903_TWBIByAgeGender.png

1903_TWBIComponentsByAgeGender

The bottom line: Lets find ways to raise women’s well-being.

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.

image1

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 push our organizations to even higher levels of CX/XM maturity. Here’s how the role of CX/XM leaders need to change:

  • Early stages of maturity: WHAT WE DO. In the early stages of maturity, you need to build a strong team, a clear message, and a solid work plan. You need to enlist a few external supporters, but a large majority of the effort is driven by your team.
  • Middle stages of maturity: HOW WE INFLUENCE. Once you have some momentum and clarity around priorities, your team needs to shift focus from being doers to being facilitators. You need to build a much broader coalition of supporters and collaborators, and support them as they make changes within their organizations.
  • Advance stages of maturity: HOW CX/XM THRIVES. Once you’ve hit the larger stages of maturity, you need to make sure that good CX/XM practices are not only being deployed, but they’re being embraced. You should be helping leaders across the organization to embed the new practices within their core operations, and find ways to continuously improve on them. Deploying good CX/XM approaches isn’t good enough, as those activities must be nurtured so they don’t get stale over time.

I hope you are able to lead your organization to the advanced stages of maturity. If you do, you’ll likely need to change your approach many times along the way.

The bottom line: CX/XM leaders’ job description shifts from doing to nurturing.

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 I say.”
  • In the report, Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity, 2018, we found that only 40% of executives within large organizations  put a high priority on taking action based on results from employee engagement studies.

Does it really matter? Yes! While there is enormous value from using employee feedback to improve your business, the true win might be in how it improves the engagement level of those employees.

To understand this phenomena, we examined the relationship between how employees think their company listens to and acts on their feedback, and the degree to which those employees are willing to do something good for their company even if it’s not expected of them. Eighty-two percent of employee who strongly agree that their company takes action on their feedback are likely to do something good for the company, compared with only 30% of those who do not agree.

We decided to dig deeper into the data and look at how this relationship differs across employee roles. As you can see in the chart below:

  • Executives (87%) are the most likely to do something good for the company if their feedback is acted upon.
  • Financial services sales or relationship management employees (19%) are the least likely to do something good for the company if their feedback is not acted upon.
  • The “do-good gap” is largest for B2B sales or relationship workers, where there’s a 65-point difference in employees’ likelihood to do something good for the company based on how the company deals with their feedback.

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The bottom line: Employee feedback is an under-appreciated gift.

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 winning teams. Every year there’s a different set of players, coaches, and schemes, but the team has embedded a consistent approach and culture through its longtime owner (Bob Kraft), head coach (Bill Belichick), and quarterback (Tom Brady). While there’s a ton of different things we can learn learn from the Patriots’ success, I’ve identified six key lessons that will be valuable for almost any organization…

Lesson #1: Build a cohesive team, don’t just rely on a few great players.

Over the course of a season, 60+ different players play in a game for an NFL team. Even if you have a few superstars doing great work, the team won’t succeed unless dozens of other players work in a highly coordinated fashion. The Patriots do a great job of recognizing that each player has the potential to help or hurt a team’s chances of winning, so they sign players who will fit in their overall system and train them on a variety of roles.

There is an old saying about the strength of the wolf is the pack, and I think there is a lot of truth to that. On a football team, it’s not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.” – Bill Belichick

Lesson #2: Focus on your next step, not the vast future.

The Patriots are famous for saying that they’re focused on the next game, unwilling to spend too much time thinking about all of the future twists and turns that may happen in their season. This clear focus on what’s in front of them allows the team to hyper focus on preparing for the next opponent on the schedule.

“Every game is an important game for us. Doesn’t matter what’s the next week – who we play, whether it’s a bye week, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween, Columbus Day. We don’t care. We’re just trying to go out there and win a game.” – Tom Brady

Lesson #3: Learn from the past, don’t dwell on it.

The Patriots don’t overly focus on previous games, whether it’s celebrating a win or lamenting a loss. They only look backwards for the purpose of identifying how they may be able to improve in the future.

“I don’t care about three years ago… I don’t care about two years ago. I don’t care about last year. The only things I care about is this week” – Tom Brady

Lesson #4: Constantly improve, instead of aiming for instant success.

I’m always amazed how the Patriots seem to play their best football at the end of the season. Early in this season I didn’t think the team was nearly good enough to go to the Superbowl, but the team has managed to play like the best team in football over the last two playoff games. I believe that this is a result of Belichick’s and Brady’s relentless focus on improvement.

We’ll continue to work hard to do a better job in every area going forward. I don’t know where those little things will come from but we’ll continue to be diligent on them.” -Bill Belichick

Things don’t correct themselves, you’ve got to go out there and work hard to correct them.” – Tom Brady

Lesson #5: Prepare to “do your job,” rather than talking about it.

The Patriots are known for the saying, “Do Your Job.” This is about making sure that the entire team understands the overall goals and each member recognizes their specific role in helping the team achieve them. Rather than engaging in too much dialogue with the press or making other public comments, the Patriots get ready to do their jobs. It’s powerful when every person in an organization focuses on being prepared, which only happens when they know that all of their their coaches and teammates are doing the same. 

Whatever success I’ve had it is because I’ve tried to understand the situation of the player. I think the coach’s duty is to avoid complicating matters.” -Bill Belichick

Mentally, the only players who survive in the pros are the ones able to manage all their responsibilities.” -Tom Brady

Lesson #6: Look for talent, but hire for much more.

Tom Brady was selected 199th in the 2000 NFL draft, but has become one of the greatest football players of all time. There have been a lot of players who’ve had more raw talent than Brady, but his desire to win and work ethic has propelled him to the top. That’s why you need to look for employees who aren’t only talented, but they also have the character and motivation to learn, adapt, and succeed.

Talent sets the floor, character sets the ceiling.” – Bill Belichick

“A lot of times I find that people who are blessed with the most talent don’t ever develop that attitude, and the ones who aren’t blessed in that way are the most competitive and have the biggest heart.” – Tom Brady

The bottom line: We can all learn from the Patriots winning ways.

The Inextricable Link Between CX & EX

CXEX_LinkedIn.pngIf 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 obvious to many people, it’s important that we periodically test the linkage. So we took a look at the data from our survey that drove the report, State of CX Management, 2018.

We started by splitting the 194 respondents from companies that have 1,000 or more employees into three groups based on how they rated the customer experience that their organizations currently delivers compared with their competitors:

  • 51 companies that deliver considerably above average CX (“CX Leaders“)
  • 61 companies that deliver slightly above average CX (“CX Moderates“)
  • 82 companies that deliver average or below average CX (“CX Laggards“)

We compared their responses to Temkin Group’s 20-question CX Competency & Maturity Assessment. As you can see in the chart below:

  • The percentage of CX Leaders who earned “good” or “very good” employee engagement ratings is more than 5-times larger than the percentage of CX Laggards.
  • Most organizations have a long way to go on EX; less than 40% of CX Leaders are good at it–and they’re the best!
  • CX Leaders significantly outperformed CX Laggards across all five employee engagement behaviors in our assessment. Here are the gaps in the percentages of companies that either “always” or “almost always” demonstrate these behaviors:
    • My company celebrates and rewards the employees who exemplify its core values (32 %-point gap)
    • My company actively solicits and acts upon employee feedback (35 %-point gap)
    • Managers are evaluated based on the engagement level of their employees (38 %-point gap)
    • The human resources organization is actively involved in strategic initiatives (36 %-point gap)
    • My company provides employees with industry-leading training (31 %-point gap)

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The bottom line: EX is a fundamental enabler of CX.