Customer Experience Matters (The Video)

CX Day is less than one week away!

As part of Temkin Group’s CX Day celebration, we created a new video, Customer Experience Matters® . It shows the value and power of customer experience. Share it, share it, share it!

The bottom line: Customer experience really matters

Customer Experience Matters is a registered trademark of Temkin Group

Report: Creating and Sustaining a Customer-Centric Culture

1507_CreatingCXCulture_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Creating and Sustaining a Customer-Centric Culture. Here’s the executive summary:

Temkin Group defines culture as how employees think, believe, and act, and if an organization wants to differentiate its customer experience, it must address each one of these areas. However culture change is not easy. Culture change efforts are often impeded by common pitfalls, such as ignoring the existing culture or becoming impatient at the pace of change. To make this effort smoother, Temkin Group recommends adopting an approach we call Employee-Engaging Transformation (EET), which consists of five practices: Vision Translation, Persistent Leadership, Middle Management Activation, Grassroots Mobilization, and Captivating Communications. In this report, we’ve compiled case studies of how five organizations—Hagerty, Hilton Garden Inn, Oxford Properties, Safelite AutoGlass, and Transamerica—apply these EET practices to create and sustain their customer-centric cultures. To help your company discuss its goals around culture, use Temkin Group’s Cultural Planning Map.

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This graphics provides an overview of the details on how five companies are driving culture change.

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The bottom line: Promoters are much more valuable than detractors.

Report: Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity, 2015

1507_StateOfEE2015_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity, 2015. 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. Our research of more than 200 large companies shows that front-line employees are the most engaged, while back office employees are often neglected in employee engagement efforts. We also found that two-thirds of companies survey their employees at least once a year, but less than half of executives consider acting on the results as a high priority. We used Temkin Group’s Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity 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 less than one out of five companies have reached the top two levels of maturity, Enhancing and Maximizing. This percentage of very mature companies is about the same as in 2014, but the percentage of companies in the lowest two levels of maturity has dropped from 67% to 56% since last year. We also found that many companies face challenges when trying to make improvements. The lack of a clear employee engagement strategy remains the number one obstacle that’s been cited by respondents over the previous three years. We compared companies with above average employee engagement maturity with those with lower maturity and found that the leaders deliver better customer experience and also have better financial results than their counterparts.

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Here’s an excerpt from one of the 20 graphics:

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Here are some additional highlights form the report:

  • The percentage of companies in the top two stages of employee engagement maturity has stayed the same since last year (19%), but the percentage of companies in the lower two sages has declined from 67% in 2014 to 56% on 2015.
  • Sixty-nine percent of large companies measure employee engagement at least annually, but only 45% of companies have executives that treat taking action on the results as a high priority.
  • The most common obstacle to success identified by respondents is the lack of a clear employee engagement strategy.
  • We compared companies with more mature employee engagement efforts with those that have less maturity. Seventy-two percent of the more mature companies have above average customer experience compared with 48% of the other companies.
  • Seventy-five percent of the more mature companies had better financial performance than their competitors’ compared with 50% of companies with lower employee engagement maturity.
  • Executives in companies with more mature employee engagement efforts are almost 3.5 times more likely to treat taking action on employee engagement studies as a high priority.
  • Companies with more mature employee engagement efforts are more than twice as likely to have their customer experience and HR organizations work together on their employee engagement efforts.
  • The report includes data for benchmarking your organization’s employee engagement competency and maturity levels.
  • Here’s a link to the 2014 study.

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

Report: Activating Middle Managers to Drive CX Change

1505_ActivatingMiddleManagers_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Activating Middle Managers to Drive CX Change. Here’s the executive summary:

It’s hard to get any group of employees to change their behavior when their managers are still reinforcing old processes, measurements, and beliefs. Middle managers show up in organizations under a variety of titles, but regardless of the descriptor, they are the ones who execute plans, lead teams, and direct collective efforts to produce results. Because of the importance of these responsibilities, Temkin Group made “Activating Middle Managers” a key strategy in its change model, Employee-Engaging Transformation. In this report, we examine five categories of best practices for successfully activating middle managers in organizational change efforts: Involve Middle Managers in Shaping the Change, Engage Middle Managers in Goal Setting, Train Middle Managers on Key Skills, Provide Middle Managers Tools to Engage their Teams, and Connect Middle Managers with Customers. In this report, we also describe the critical role that senior leaders must play across all of these strategies.

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The report contains details on 21 best practices across five categories:

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The bottom line: You can’t drive change without activating middle managers.

CX for Smarties, A Beginner’s Guide to Customer Experience

We’re often asked to help people who have recently taken on new responsibilities in customer experience (which is commonly abbreviated as CX). Since it’s important for anyone in the field to understand the core principles of CX, I’ve put together this post and called it “CX for Smarties.” Anyone who cares enough about CX to read this post is not a dummy.

What is CX?

This video shows the definition of CX (the perception that customers have of their interactions with an organization) as well as three elements of an experience (success, effort, and emotion).

Why Should You Care About CX?

This graphic from the report “The ROI of Customer Experience, 2016” shows the connection between CX and loyalty. This “Ultimate CX Infographic” also provides some of the compelling economics of CX:

1610_cxmattersinfographic_posterHow Do Organizations Affect CX?

To understand how companies create customer experience, you need to understand The Six Laws of CX (free eBook), which are described below in the short video and infographic.

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How Do You Build A Customer-Centric Culture?

Temkin Group’s research has shown that customer experience leaders demonstrate four CX core competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Compelling Brand Values, Employee Engagement, and Customer Connectedness. This video is a great way to learn about what it takes to deliver great CX:

Most companies have not mastered these competencies and remain in lower levels of CX maturity. This chart is from a post that discusses the shift from early levels of CX maturity (fluff) versus upper levels (tough).

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If you’re looking for help, Temkin Group can provide the insights, advice, and training to propel your customer experience efforts.

The bottom line: Hopefully you’ve become a CX smarty!

 

What is Customer Experience? (Video)

Some years it’s difficult to decide on the content for my first post. But this year it was very easy. This new video is the perfect way to start off my blog in 2015.

In my recent post Customer Experience = Success + Effort + Emotion, I reiterated the definition of customer experience (CX): “the perception that customers have of their interactions with an organization.”

Written words are great, but I wanted people to fully understand the essence of CX, so I created this video, What is Customer Experience?

The bottom line: CX seems like a simple concept, but it’s often misunderstood.


CX Sparks: Guides For Stimulating Customer Experience DiscussionsThis video is a great introduction to a discussion with your team. That’s why we’ve created a CX Sparks guide that you can download and use to lead a stimulating discussion.

 


The Script

Customer experience seems like a simple concept, but people interpret it in many different ways. Hopefully I can clear that up.

Let’s start with a basic definition. Customer Experience is the “perception that customers have of their interactions with your organization.”

The word “perception” is critical, because customer experience is in the eyes of the beholder. It’s not what you do as a company, or how your employees think about what they do. It’s how your customers think and feel about what you do.

“Interactions” is plural for a reason. It’s not about just one interaction or a single type of interaction like customer service or sales. Customer experience encompasses all of the interactions with your organization, and it includes everything from TV ads to monthly billing statements.

Customers perceive these “interactions” along three dimensions: “success”, “effort”, and “emotion”.  They perceive success based on whether or not they are able to achieve what they want to do. They perceive effort based on how easy or hard it is for them to do what they want to do. And their emotion is altered based on how the interactions make them feel.

The customer experience that your organization delivers is a reflection of your culture and operating processes. If you don’t make changes internally, then any externally-focused improvements will be short-lived.

That’s why companies with great customer experience tend to have more engaged employees, a stronger sense of their brand promises, executives who lead in a purposeful way, and a deeper understanding of their customers.

To learn more about customer experience and how to improve it within your organization, contact Temkin Group, the customer experience experts, by emailing info@temkingroup.com, or visit our website, at www.TemkinGroup.com

The Six Laws of Customer Experience (Video)

This video explains The Six Laws of Customer Experience. By understanding these fundamental truths about how people and organizations behave, companies can make smarter decisions about what they do, and how they do it.

I published the 6 Laws of CX several years ago, yet it remains equally relevant today and is one of the most popular documents about customer experience, with over 100K downloads.

For more information, take a look at the 6 Laws of CX Infographic or download the free eBook.

The bottom line: Make sure to understand and conform with the 6 Laws of CX.

Report: Benchmarking Your CX Organization

1401_BenchmarkCXOrg_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Benchmarking Your CX Organization. The research shows benchmark data from 115 large firms that completed an assessment of their CX organizations that we introduced in a previous report, Blueprint for a Successful CX Organization. Here’s the executive summary:

In a recent report, we introduced an assessment for CX organizations that examines three characteristics: Make-up of CX Core Team, Executive Commitment to CX, and Organizational Readiness for Change. To understand how companies stack up, we had 115 large companies complete the assessment. The results show that 41% of CX organizations are strong or very strong. Companies are weakest in Organizational Readiness for Change, which includes the lowest scoring individual criteria: Key stakeholders are actively involved in CX efforts. This report includes data charts to help you identify your percentile scores for the overall results as well as for each of the three characteristics.

This report is bundled together with Blueprint for a Successful CX Organization (two reports for the price of one!).

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Here are the overall results from the evaluations:

This report is bundled together with Blueprint for a Successful CX Organization (two reports for the price of one!).

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The bottom line: Is your CX organization positioned for success?

Infographic: The Six Laws of Customer Experience

See our UPDATED INFOGRAPHIC.

I recently published the list of my most-read posts from 2013. The item on the top of the list is the free eBook: Six Laws of Customer Experience: The Fundamental Truths That Define How Organizations Treat Customers. Since its initial publication in 2008, this eBook continues to be the most-read piece of content that I’ve published. Factoring in the many syndicated versions of the report (it’s been translated into at least five languages), this eBook has been downloaded by well over 100,000 people.

The six laws of customer experience are meant to empower highly effective customer experience efforts. By understanding these fundamental truths about how people and organizations behave, companies can make smarter decisions about what they do, and how they do it. If you want to create sustainable CX change, then you need to understand and conform with these laws.

In case you haven’t read this very short eBook, here’s an infographic that captures the six laws:

The bottom line: You need to understand the 6 laws of customer experience.

Report: Blueprint for a Successful CX Organization

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We just published a Temkin Group report, Blueprint for a Successful CX Organization. The research includes five case studies and a self-test for assessing CX organizations. Here’s the executive summary:

Organizations need both formal and informal structures to drive change and improve customer experience (CX). In this report, we begin by identifying the five elements of a customer experience management group operating inside an organization: a CX core team, a reporting executive, a steering committee, a working group, and CX ambassadors. We describe how five organizations—Arizona Public Service, British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Cornerstone OnDemand, Hagerty, and Safeco Insurance—combine these essential elements to create effective CX management groups. Our research also found that CX groups come in all shapes and sizes, and that the needs of these structures vary according to the maturity level of a company’s CX efforts. Across all different structures, the success of a CX organization is based on three characteristics: make-up of the CX core team, executive commitment to CX, and organizational readiness for CX. To evaluate your CX organization against these characteristics, use Temkin Group’s CX Organization Assessment.

Purchase this report and you will also receive the report Benchmarking Your CX Organization.

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Our research found that CX organizations are typically made up of these five elements.

While we examined the structures of many CX organizations, it turns out that structure is not the key determination of success. Instead, the three key characteristics below are critical. The report includes a self-test for assessing these dimensions.

Purchase this report and you will also receive the report Benchmarking Your CX Organization.

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The bottom line: Build a successful CX organization

CX Tip #3: Regularly Refresh Your Brand Promises

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CX Tip #3: Regularly Refresh Your Brand Promises
(Compelling Brand Values)

Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz once said “Customers must recognize that you stand for something.” While most organizations start with a clear brand promise, the focus on short term goals can easily push them away from delivering on it. Decisions across an organization may seem reasonable in their immediate context, but they can collectively push a company off its course.

Once the brand promise is lost, organizations will often spiral out of control without the brand as their True North guiding the way. That’s what happened to Starbucks in 2007. Shultz returned to the company in early 2008 to help restore the brand promise. His assessment of the situation: “We lost our way.” The company closed more than 7,000 stores on one day for a three-hour session to re-instill the brand promise with employees.

Rather than waiting for the painful recognition that your organization has lost its way, examine your brand promise at least every two years. Even if nothing changes, the process of reaffirming your brand can be powerful. Make sure that your brand promises are recognizable, believable, compelling, and well understood by both customers and employees.

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CX Tip #8: Start Your Brand Marketing Internally

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CX Tip #8: Start Your Brand Marketing Internally
(Compelling Brand Values)

Brands need to be understood and “owned” by the entire organization. That’s why it’s critical for companies to invest heavily in communicating the brand value to everyone in the company. Before BMO Financial Group’s new brand went live, it launched an internal campaign, Brilliant at the Basics, which identified eight actions that every employee could demonstrate, including “Our heads are up, not down;” “Everyone pitches in…titles don’t matter;” and “Help in choosing, not choices.” Employees were given a brand book which covered the brand principles, including a breakdown of what’s different “tomorrow from today.” The launch kit for leaders and branch managers included a DVD and materials covering key messages and talking points, along with anticipated questions and answers to prepare them to lead discussions with their teams. Click for more info

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CX Tip #24: Define Competencies for Living the Brand

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CX Tip #24: Define Competencies for Living the Brand
(Compelling Brand Values)

Microsoft defined six values to support its corporate mission: To enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential Of the values created towards this mission, a Passion for Customers, Partners, and Technology. To foster its values, Microsoft has developed a set of key competencies (core, leadership & profession specific) that every employee is measured against in terms of their proficiency in demonstrated behaviors. The competencies help to plan careers, build necessary capabilities for success in a role, and inform performance reviews. “Customer Focus” is core competency for all employees, measured on a 5 point proficiency scale. Click for more info

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CX Tip #35: Make Your Brand Values Explicit

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CX Tip #35: Make Your Brand Values Explicit
(Compelling Brand Values)

Based on customer research, Safelite AutoGlass has identified five brand values—Trustworthy, Reliable, Safe, Innovative, Helpful/approachable. These have been translated into how customers are treated in a variety of ways, including how phones are answered by contact center associates to the “5 Ts” that their field technicians use to highlight their helpfulness and approachability:  1) Time: Call customers in advance to notify them of arrival time. 2) Touch: Shake hands, make eye contact and engage the customer. 3) Technical excellence: Doing it right the first time, every time. 4) Talk: Tell the customer what we’re going to do and do it. 5) Thanks: Show appreciation for choosing Safelite. Click for more info

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CX Tip #40: Measure Yourself Against Your Brand Promises

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CX Tip #40: Measure Yourself Against Your Brand Promises
(Compelling Brand Values)

Intersil, a semiconductor manufacturer, regularly surveys customers to measure its performance in meeting the company’s brand promise to be “Simply Smarter.” The organization has a formal process for reviewing the results and taking action if it finds that the company is not living up to its brand promise. In one survey, Intersil foiund that cusotmers were having a hard time finding information on its website. The company identified this as a breaking of the promise to be “Simply Smarter” so it invested in updating the usability of its online experience. Click for more info

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