My 5 Super Bowl Observations (Good For CX and Leadership)

1702_brucesuperbowlgear2I was very fortunate (as a die-hard Patriots fan) to have attended Super Bowl LI in Houston. It was the most amazing game that I’ve ever seen.

I’m still a bit numb.

After spending most of the game feeling very melancholy and wondering why I had bothered to make the trip to Houston, the Patriots did the near-impossible. They came back to win after being behind by 25 points. At one point in the game, the Falcons had a 99.6% chance of winning!

Here’s my video from right after we won…

Now that it’s been a few days, I can reflect back on the Patriots victory. Here are some of my thoughts that I also think apply to customer experience and leadership:

  1. Every player counts. Throughout the Super Bowl, playoffs, and the regular season, different Patriots players made key plays. There are 53 people on an NFL roster and more than 60 people play for the team during a year (with injuries and roster shifts). While many people focus on Tom Brady, the Patriots won because of the performance of all 60+ players. This insight drives how the Patriot’s allot their cap-limited player salaries.
  2. Do your job. Throughout the season, the Patriots repeated a mantra: Do Your Job! While it’s always easy to focus on what other people might be doing, or the hype around big games, each player will best influence the outcome if they are physically and mentally prepared. In this environment, players are motivated to prepare and they have trust in their teammates.
  3. Focus on the next play. When the Patriots were down 28 to 3, it looked bleak. The players could have put their heads down and pouted about the previous plays, but they didn’t. They went back on the field and did their best on the next play. And then the next play, and the next, and the next. The team’s success was not based on a single play (although Edelman’s catch was amazing). Instead, it came from a large number of next plays.
  4. Leadership drives culture. Getting 60+ well-paid athletes to share a common vision, and operate in a consistent manner does not happen by accident. And it’s not practical to micro manage every player’s minute-by-minute activities. This type of alignment only comes from a strong culture, which has been modeled and nurtured by Bill Belichick and the rest of the coaching staff.
  5. Live events are special. I’m sure that every Patriots fan watching or listening to the Super Bowl went crazy when we won the game, but there’s something magical about being there in person. The energy that’s created during a live event cant be replicated on TV or radio. It was a truly emotional experience that I shared with 10’s of 1,000’s of my closest Patriots friends. I was also at Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix, and felt the same massive energy when we beat the Seahawks.

The bottom line: All I can say is… Go Pats!

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.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

Here are some highlights from the winners: Read more of this post

Put Culture Change On Your 2017 CX Agenda. Here’s How.

If you’re thinking about improving your organization’s customer experience next year (and why wouldn’t you be?!?), then I hope you are also thinking about some changes in your organization’s culture. As I’ve said many, many times, your customer experience is a reflection of your culture and operating processes. It’s your culture that will sustain any improvements that you make in customer experience.

As I’m sure you know, culture change isn’t easy. People are naturally averse to change. As John Kenneth Galbraith so aptly stated, “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.”

1612_employeereactiontochange

Any chance of a successful, purposeful change in your culture needs to focus on the thoughts, beliefs, and actions of individual employees. That’s the foundation of a concept that Temkin Group introduced called Employee-Engaging Transformation (EET). EET is based on five practices: Vision Translation, Persistent Leadership, Middle Management Activation, Grassroots Mobilization, and Captivating Communications.
1610culture_blueprintforculturalchange
EET is different than typical top-down, autocratic attempts at culture change. Those efforts either just don’t work, or they create unintended negative elements in the culture.

1612_eetisdifferent

Here’s an assessment that you can use to gauge your effectiveness at applying EET.

1612_eetassessment

For more information, check out all of our rich content on culture change, starting with these two reports:

The bottom line: Culture change is a necessary ingredient of CX transformation.

Only 26% of U.S. Employees are Highly Engaged. How Engaged are Your Employees?

In our latest Employee Engagement Benchmark, we found that only 26% of U.S. employees are highly engaged.

1609ee_fewemployeesarehighlyengagedHow do we measure employee engagement?

Several years ago, we examined the attitudes that drive engagement levels of employees. Our goal was to identify a small group of key drivers and create a simple measurement for employee engagement. That led to the creation of the Temkin Employee Engagement Index (TEEI).

1609ee_teeiThe TEEI is based on the degree to which employees agree with these three statements:

  1. I understand the overall mission of my company
  2. My company asks for my feedback and acts upon my input
  3. My company provides me with the training and the tools that I need to be successful

Our research shows that engaged employees are an enormous asset. Compared with disengaged employees, highly engaged employees are more than four times as likely to recommend the company’s products and services and do something good for the company that is not expected of them, 2.5 times as likely to stay at work late if something needs to be done after the normal workday ends, and seven times as likely to recommend that a friend or relative apply for a job at their company.

If you’re looking for a simple, actionable metric around employee engagement, feel free to use the TEEI. We also have other great content on our Employee Engagement Resources Page.

The bottom line: Are you focusing enough on employee engagement?

Amazon Makes Smart Move to Positive Employee Feedback

Last year the New York Times published an article describing Amazon as having a “bruising workplace,” a performance-based environment that often brings employees to tears. It seems that Amazon is changing its ways a bit. It recently announced that it was adjusting the way it evaluates employees. A spokesperson for Amazon described the change as follows:

We’re launching a new annual review process next year that is radically simplified and focuses on our employees’ strengths, not the absence of weaknesses. We will continue to iterate and build on the program based on what we learn from our employees.

My take: Great move. There’s a growing body of research showing that people perform better when they receive positive feedback. 1611_positivitymattersIn my post Positive Psychology Meets Customer Experience, I mention an approach called “appreciative inquiry,” which is a technique for motivating employees that focuses on their strengths.

To highlight the impact of this phenomena, I analyzed our data on more than 5,000 U.S. employees. As you can see below, when bosses give more positive feedback, employees are more likely to recommend the company’s products and services, to do something good for the company that is unexpected, and make improvement recommendations.

1611_employeerespondtopositivefeedback

The bottom line: Positivity is a strong human motivator.

The Rise of Mobile CX (Infographic)

I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear that mobile customer experience is on the rise, but this infographic provides some more insights on what that shift looks like. It pulls from a variety of Temkin Group research, including: Data Snapshot: Channel Preferences Benchmark, 2016, Five C’s of Mobile VoC Disruption, Data Snapshot: Media Use Benchmark, 2016, and The State of CX Metrics, 2015.

You can download this infographic in different forms below, including in poster form.
the-rise-of-mobile-cx

You can download (and print) this infographic in different forms:

The bottom line: Make sure you have plans to be mobile first.

HR Execs: Wake Up To Employee Engagement!

Let me start by saying that HR execs are missing a big opportunity.

In the report Benchmarking HR’s Support of CX and Employee Engagement, we examine what human resources (HR) professionals are doing to support customer experience and employee engagement efforts. How? We surveyed 300 HR professionals from large companies and compared the results to a similar study we conducted in 2012.

As you can see in the graphic below, HR professionals are increasingly seeing employee engagement as an important area of focus. We also found that the percentage of HR organizations that are significantly helping their organizations become more customer-centric has more than doubled from 15% in 2012 to 31% in 2016. That’s good news, but it’s not enough.

1609ee_hrismoreinvolvedOur research shows that engaged employees are an enormous asset. Compared with disengaged employees, highly engaged employees are more than four times as likely to recommend the company’s products and services and do something good for the company that is not expected of them, 2.5 times as likely to stay at work late if something needs to be done after the normal workday ends, and seven times as likely to recommend that a friend or relative apply for a job at their company.

With all that potential value, HR professionals should be much more focused on employee engagement. It’s not only that this is a critical area, but it’s an opportunity for HR teams to become even more strategic partners within their organizations. Instead of just hiring, placing, training, compensating, and firing employees, make your workforce incredibly more valuable. What am I suggesting?

HR Orgs Should Make Employee Engagement A Top Priority

If you’re an HR professionals and wondering where to start, take a look at our employee engagement resources.

The bottom line: It’s time for HR to take the lead in employee engagement.

Guide to Organizational Culture Change (Infographic)

We regularly help companies create cultures that are more customer-centric.  So it seemed like a fun idea to create an infographic on the topic. Enjoy! You may want to see a video we created about customer-centric culture or the report, Employee-Engaging Transformation.
guide-to-organizational-culture-change

You can download (and print) this infographic in different forms:

The bottom line: The customer experience you deliver is a reflection of your culture

Infusing Humanity Into CX, Discussion With Barry Schwartz

It’s CX Day in New Zealand, so that’s reason enough to kick off Temkin Group’s CX Day celebration. I can’t think of a better way to start CX Day in The Year of Emotion, then to share my Q&A with Barry Schwartz.

During this one hour video focused on Infusing Humanity into CX, we discuss some of Barry’s key findings about people and happiness, and explore what it means for customers, employees, and leaders. Sit back and enjoy the discussion, and then follow the links below for more information.

In case you don’t know Barry (and you should!), he’s the Emeritus professor of psychology at Swarthmore College, and has spent forty years thinking and writing about the interaction between economics and morality. 

This Q&A was a real pleasure for me, because Barry has heavily influenced my thinking over the years. He’s one of the key thought leaders of our time, and I believe that all CX professionals (and all leaders) can learn from him.

Here’s some of Barry’s work that we discuss:

Here’s some of our research that we discuss:

The bottom line: Thank you Barry Schwartz!

Report: Translating Brand Promises into Employee Behaviors

1608_translatingpromisesintobehaviors_coverWe just published a Temkin Group report, Translating Brand Promises into Employee Behaviors. Here’s the executive summary:

Temkin Group has found that the companies that deliver great customer experience use their brand as a blueprint for how they treat customers, which is why Compelling Brand Values is one of our four customer experience core competencies. Too often organizations put a lot of energy into communicating the brand externally, only to fall short on connecting employees to their role in keeping brand promises. And when employees aren’t connected to these promises, they tend to be less proactive, to act inconsistently, and to care less about their work. In this report, we describe three steps that companies can use to translate their brand promises into employee behaviors: Make promises, Embrace promises, and Keep promises. To illustrate this approach, we share over 20 examples of best practices from companies including Anthem, A&W Food Services of Canada, the city of Centennial, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Quest Diagnostics. To evaluate how well your organization follows this approach, use Temkin Group’s Compelling Brand Promises Assessment.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

Here’s are two of the 15 graphics in the report:

1609_bestpracticemakeembracekeeppromises 1609_promisesmissionvalues

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

Wells Fargo: A Lesson in Leadership & Culture Gone Awry

In case you missed this in the news, Wells Fargo is under investigation for opening fraudulent accounts for its customers. During a period between 2011 and 2015, it is estimated that there were as many as 1.5 million deposit accounts and more than half a million credit card accounts opened inappropriately on behalf of customers.

As part of a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren grills Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf and makes a few very important points. Stumpf heavily, heavily pushed his organization to cross-sell products, setting a long-term goal of 8 products per household, while the industry average was around three. He regularly touted the increase in products per household (over 6.1) to investment analysts and pushed his organization for the growth to continue.

My Take: Stumpf should resign (or be fired). That sounds abrupt, but let me explain…

In this blog, I often discuss the power of culture. It’s one of the most critical drivers of the behaviors of employees across large organizations. As a matter of fact, Peter Drucker has been credited as saying, “Culture eats strategy for lunch.”

Whenever there is a consistent set of widespread actions (good or bad), then the first place you should look to explain them is the culture. One of our Six Laws of Customer Experience is that employees do what is measured, incented, and celebrated. Clearly at Wells Fargo, cross-selling new accounts to customers was measured, incented, and celebrated.

So Wells Fargo employees acted in ways that were consistent with their environment.  They acted in accordance with the company’s culture. Does that mean that the individuals who did the wrong things should be absolved of their errors? Absolutely not. They were wrong and should face the consequences for their actions. But the acts of individuals are symptoms, while the culture that encouraged those behaviors is the systemic issue.

That gets me back to Stumpf. He created (or at least nurtured) the culture across Wells Fargo, and should therefore be held accountable for the consequences. Let me put it this way, should Victor Frankenstein be held accountable for the damage caused by the monster he created? Of course!

Stumpf was rewarded handsomely for the cross-sell results of the culture he created. It’s now time for him to pay the price for the problems caused by that culture.

The bottom line: Leaders must be more mindful of the culture they create.

 

Employee Engagement Primer (Infographic)

One of Temkin Group’s four CX core competencies is Employee Engagement. That’s why Temkin Group put together an Employee Engagement Resource Page and developed this infographic.

You can download the infographic (or poster) below. I hope you enjoy it.

1609_Employee Engagement Infographic

Here are links to download versions of the infographic:

1609_Employee Engagement Poster Poster (18′ x 24″) in .pdf file or in .jpg file

1609_Employee Engagement Infographic Infographic in .pdf file or in .jpg file

The bottom line: Good things happen you engage your employees.

Report: State of Employee Engagement Maturity, 2016

1607_StateOfEE2016_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, State of Employee Engagement Maturity, 2016. 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 for any customer experience effort. As engaged employees are critical assets, it’s not surprising our data shows that customer experience leaders have more engaged employees than their peers. To understand what companies are doing to engage their employees, we surveyed more than 150 large companies and compared their responses with similar studies we’ve conducted in previous years. We found that two-thirds of companies survey their employees at least once a year, but that less than half of executives consider it a high priority to act on the results of that survey. We used Temkin Group’s Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity (EECM) Assessment to gauge the maturity levels and efforts of these companies across our five competencies, called the “Five I’s of Employee Engagement:” Inform, Inspire, Instruct, Involve, and Incent. We found that only 12% of companies have reached the top two levels of maturity, Enhancing and Maximizing, which is a drop from 2015. The lack of a clear employee engagement strategy remains the number one obstacle that companies face. We also compared companies with above average employee engagement maturity to those with lower maturity and found that employee engagement leaders enjoy better financial results than their counterparts with less engaged workforces.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

Here’s one of the 17 graphics:

1607_EECompetenciesMaturity

Here’s a link to the 2015 study.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

The bottom line: Companies should invest more in employee engagement.

Quick Take: Customer Experience: Success, Effort, and Emotion (Video)

In a recent Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org) CustomerSpark event in Dallas, I spoke about the importance of focusing on emotion. Give that we’ve called 2016 “The Year of Emotion,” this is a popular topic for Temkin Group.

Here’s a short snippet from my speech (one of several quick take videos from the event) where I discuss the three elements of customer experience, Success, Effort, and Emotion:


If you enjoyed this video, you may want to check out another one: What is Customer Experience?

I urge you to join the Intensify Emotion Movement.

IntensifyEmotionLogo

Customer-Centric Culture Change (Video)

Our research and work with clients show that customer experience is a reflection of an organization’s culture. Any company that wants to build sustainable customer experience must build a customer-centric culture. How? By mastering Employee-Engaging Transformation.

Want to know more? Watch this short video:

The bottom line: CX success almost always requires culture change

%d bloggers like this: