Temkin Group has labeled 2018 “The Year of Humanity.” To support this theme, over the past year we have conducted research and developed content – such as this eBook – specifically aimed at helping fellow CX professionals improve the world around us. In this eBook, Humanizing Customer Experience, you will learn about:
Many large companies use Net Promoter® Score (NPS®) to evaluate their customers’ loyalty. To compare scores across organizations and industries, Temkin Group measured the NPS of 342 companies across 20 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers. Here are the highlights from this benchmark:
With an NPS of 65, USAA’s banking business earned the highest score in the study, followed closely by its insurance business and Navy Federal Credit Union.
Spectrum and Consolidated Edison of NY received the two lowest NPS, with scores of -16 and -12 respectively.
The industry average for NPS ranged from a high of 39 for auto dealers and streaming media down to a low of 0 for TV/Internet service providers.
USAA’s and Navy Federal Credit Union’s scores both outpaced the banking industry average by more than 40 points, while Motel 6’s and Super 8’s scores both fell nearly 30 points behind the hotel industry average.
Only five industries saw their average NPS increase over the past year. Of those, airlines’ and utilities’ scores increased the most, going up three points each.
Although a majority (54%) of companies’ NPS declined over the previous year, three companies – BCBS of Florida, Fairfield Inn, and Ameren Illinois Company – actually increased their NPS by more than 20 points since 2017.
18- to 24-year-old consumers give companies the lowest NPS, with an average score of 3 across all industries. Meanwhile, two age groups – consumers between the ages of 25 and 34 and those who are older than 74 – tied for giving the highest NPS, with an average score of 36 across industries.
NPS is highly correlated with customer experience. On average, customer experience leaders enjoy an NPS that is 21 points higher than the NPS of customer experience laggards.
One of the key ingredients to a customer-centric organization is Purposeful Leadership. To keep an entire company moving in tandem, leaders must articulate and commit to a clear purpose – one that aligns all employees’ day-to-day decisions and is more compelling than simply increased profits. What does that look like?
This video from Oxford Properties‘ CEO Michael Turner is a great example of Purposeful Leadership in action (thanks to Roger Pugsley for sharing it with me). As you can see, Turner doesn’t just send out emails saying that customer experience is important, he commits his time and energy to making it a reality. It’s one of the reasons that Oxford has won Temkin Group’s CX Excellence Awards.
Throughout the year, Temkin Group has been focused on making 2018, “The Year of Humanity.” As a part of our commitment to this critical theme, we developed a highly interactive workshop “Humanizing CX,” which I’ve led for 10 Customer Experience Professionals Association local networking events in cities across the U.S. and Canada.
It’s been an amazing experience to see the overwhelmingly positive response from more than 600 CX professionals.
The workshop has a simple agenda, examining how attendees can improve humanity:
As CX professionals
As a collective CX community
For those of you who have not been able to join, I thought it might be nice to capture some of the highlights of the workshop. So here goes…
Improving Humanity As Individuals
We start the workshop by examining how we, as individuals, can improve humanity based on how we interact with the world around us. Here are some highlights:
How happy are you? In order to improve humanity as individuals, you need to start by focussing on the most important person — the one you see in the mirror. Think about it, have you ever improved humanity when you were “hangry” (hungry and angry)? It’s important for us to think about our personal frame of mind, because that’s what we reflect on the people around us. That’s why we start the workshop by having people complete Temkin Group’s Happiness Assessment, which uses 5 simple questions to gauge an individual’s happiness against a benchmark of 10,000 U.S. consumers. The takeaway from this section is that you need to be mindful of your personal state in order to be a positive impact on others.
Embrace Diversity. To highlight the fact that people have lost the art of engaging effectively with people who have a differing point of view, we ran an exercise where attendees broke into pairs and had to find three things about which they totally disagree. It’s fun as the room buzzes with conversation and laughter. The individual pairs always find a bunch of interesting areas of disagreement. Afterwards, we discuss why these discussions didn’t become argumentative as do many disagreements in other parts of our lives. Here are some of the takeaways from the exercise:
These discussions were not generally about important topics. Very few of our disagreements are ever about truly important things. We just need to remember what’s truly important to us — which is not always trying to get someone else to share our opinion.
The exercise forces people to find things they agreed upon along the way. In most cases, we tend to have a lot of things that we agree upon that get pushed aside when a disagreement happens. So it’s productive to find the things that you agree on, before you dive deep into the disagreement.
We were in it together. Everyone was participating in the same exercise, which gave the group a common goal. This is similar to the previous bullet about areas of agreement, but it’s a bit more specific. We need to align around the purpose of our discussion and the greater good that might come from finding common ground.
The discussions were face-to-face, which allowed more mutual adjustments. I ask the audience if they have ever seen someone on Facebook who has a pretty sever point of view being swayed by disagreeing comments. If we disagree, the closer we can get to dealing with it face-to-face the better.
I often end this section by mentioning the need to assume positive intent. The other person may not have the same point of view as you, but they have the same right to their point of view as you do to yours.
Extend Compassion. All around us there are people who can use our love and care. We are often so distracted that we don’t even notice them. But we should. Helping other people is not only a noble activity and wonderful for the other person, but it is also great for the giver. You get an amazing feeling when you help other people. To share that feeling with the group, we had attendees pick from one of 15 charities, and Temkin Group donated $5 to each of their selections. In total, we are donating $3,000 on behalf of the CX community. Our goal in that part of the session was to have the group collectively experience the feeling of extending compassion. If we can remember that feeling, then we can look for more of those opportunities.
Express Appreciation. We asked the groups how many people felt like they spend enough time showing appreciation to the people around them. Very few people raised their hands. Expressing appreciation is another activity that pays the giver as much as it does the receiver. So we asked everyone in the group to send a message of appreciation (text/email/etc.) to a person who they feel deserves it from them. In a couple of cases, attendees sent the message to their teenage kids and received a version of this message in response “wtf. u ok? luv u back.” That’s about as good as it gets from a teenager. Our recommendation to the group was to find some time during the day, during breakfast, before or after lunch, before or after dinner, when you can consistently find 5 or 10 minutes to dedicate to sending messages of appreciation. Make it a habit!
Improving Humanity As CX Professionals
For the second part of the workshop, we focused on how we could improve humanity in our roles as CX professionals. Here’s how we flowed through that section:
Understand human beings. If you look at any part of a CX professional’s job, one thing jumps out — it’s all about people. Customers, internal stakeholders, executives, and partners are all human beings. The job of a CX professional is to influence how those people think and behave. So we start this section by providing a framework for understanding (and influencing) people, our Six Key Traits of Human Beings: Intuitive, Self-Centered, Emotional, Motivated, Hopeful, and Social.
Act with purpose. To drive change, you need to align the direction of lots of people across an organization. This requires what Temkin Group calls Purposeful Leadership. Through a dissection of a Steve Jobs speech, we helped the group understand what we call the Five Ps of Purposeful Leaders: Positive, Passionate, Persuasive, Propelling, and Persistent. We then took the group through an exercise where they compared their own leadership approach to a leader that they admire. Our goal was to get each attendee to identify one “P” that they are committed to improving.
Cultivate deep empathy. A lot of the things that CX professionals do can be described as trying to raise employees’ empathy for customers. So we started this part of the workshop with an exercise that highlighted our natural empathy, and explaining that human beings experience both cognitive and emotional empathy. As CX professionals, we need to elicit both of these when we are trying to influence other people. That’s why it’s so important to accompany customer insight data with stories about specific customers. It also turns out that employees encounter many factors that inhibit their natural empathy, so we discussed the Five Ways That Organizations Crush Customer Empathy.
Create positive memories. It turns out that loyalty isn’t based on what people experience; it’s based on what they remember about those experiences. And memories can be quite different than actual experiences. That’s because our memories aren’t like YouTube videos. Instead, our memories are more like Instagram photos that we take at interesting moments in our lives. We remember our past by creating a story that links together those selected photos. During the workshop, we discussed how to focus our efforts on affecting the moments that people remember. This is a critical component of experience design.
Improving Humanity As A Collective CX Community
In the final section of the workshop, we broke into small groups (2 to 3 people) to identify an idea about how the CX community could collectively help humanity. The groups then submitted their ideas online, which we’ve listed out on the humanity workshop page. Temkin Group is committed to selecting one of those ideas and leading it forward. Please take a look and share your ideas in the comments section on that page.
The bottom line: Please join Temkin Group in making 2018, “The Year of Humanity!“
Hopefully you know by now that Temkin Group has labelled 2018, The Year of Humanity. We’ve been trying to propel people to embrace diversity, extend compassion, and express appreciation.
We’ve been doing research as part of that effort. In our latest consumer benchmark study of 10,0000 U.S. consumers, we added questions about how often people demonstrate those three behaviors. We then analyzed their responses based on how they rated the customer experience (CX) that their organization delivers. As you can see in the graphic below:
When the level of CX improves, so does the prevalence of the three behaviors.
For companies with above average CX, at least 70% of them have employees who mostly demonstrate the behaviors.
For companies with below average CX, no more than 33% of them have employees who mostly demonstrate the behaviors.
The bottom line: Improving humanity is great for employees and customers.
Are you proud of the work that your organization is doing to deliver great customer experience or to improve its customer experience? If so, consider submitting a nomination for Temkin Group’s 6th annual Customer Experience Excellence Awards.
The award is open to all organizations around the world, whether their customers are consumers, fans, visitors, students, citizens, companies, patients, or any other group.
Temkin Group publishes a large amount of industry- and company-specific research, so we often do webinars that highlight what’s happening in customer experience in those industries. Over the next couple of months, we plan to hold free webinars in the following areas:
For the seventh year in a row, we have calculated the Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) of over 60 technology vendors and analyzed the correlation between NPS and four client loyalty behaviors – likelihood of repurchasing from that technology vendor, likelihood of trying new offerings, likelihood of forgiving the vendor if it makes a mistake, and willingness to act as a reference for the vendor. To gather this data, we surveyed 800 IT decision-makers from large North American firms about their relationships with their technology providers. Through this research, we found that:
Across the 61 tech vendors we examined, NPS ranged from +51 to -22.
VMware, IBM software products, DellEMC, and Microsoft server software earned the highest NPS, while Check Point, Splunk, and Alcatel-Lucent received the lowest.
Overall, the average NPS for the tech vendor industry stayed steady from last year, declining only slightly from 21.4 in 2017 to 21.2 this year.
Our analysis shows that NPS is strongly correlated to customers’ willingness to spend more with tech vendors, try their new products and services, forgive them after a bad experience, and act as a reference for them with prospective clients.
In addition to examining NPS, the research also provides a benchmark of several areas of loyalty. IT decision-makers are most likely to purchase more from DellEMC and Microsoft server software, try new offerings from Oracle outsourcing and Dell outsourcing, forgive Oracle outsourcing and Micro Focus if they make a mistake, and act as a reference for AWS and IBM outsourcing.
Many common beliefs about customer experience are misguided, based on oversimplifications or a lack of consideration for real-world constraints. In this series of posts, we debunk these myths.
CX Myth #3: You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure
What’s Wrong: When people talk about CX, they often repeat a popular saying “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.” That’s just not true. Most of the things we manage in life don’t have a formal measurement. Every day we wake up in the morning, get dressed, and get to work – all without any specific measurements. The same is true at work, and with CX. If we see an employee make a client upset, we don’t need a score on a customer survey to know that it’s a problem.
What’s Right: The correct saying should be “you can’t manage what you don’t understand.” Unfortunately, leaders sometimes just slap measurements on CX, which leads to the suboptimal approach of blindly managing by the numbers. When you talk with customers and employees about different aspects of customer experience, you can often discover insights that either never show up in your measurements, or appear long after you should have known about them. Ideally, you use CX measurements to enhance your understanding, not to replace it.
What You Should Do:
Increase leadership CX IQ. If you want leaders to be less metrics-centric and more successful at driving an organization towards becoming more customer-centric, then those leaders need to have a clear and consistent view of how a customer-centric organization operates. A good place to start is by having leaders review Temkin Group’s CX Competency & Maturity Model. After that, you can create measurements that map to the leaders’ understanding of CX.
Prune action-less metrics. Since leaders are often enamored with metrics, they tend to track an increasingly larger number of them over time. The growth remains unfettered, as very few organizations have a good approach for stopping measurements once they’ve been created. Every year or so, companies should have a metrics cleansing period, during which time there’s a pro-active focus on removing metrics that have not recently provided demonstrable value.
Prioritize qualitative research. The push to metrics often causes organizations to put most of their market research budget on quantitative studies that result in trackable measurements. But deep insights into customers often comes from qualitative studies that examine why customers think and behave the way that they do. Look for places to explicitly fund more qualitative studies by cutting back on the least impactful quantitative studies.
Measure collective results. CX success requires efforts across an entire organization. So watch out for measurements that isolate the activities of individual people or teams. The narrower the measurements you use, the more likely you are to de-incentivize collaborative behaviors. Focus on metrics that capture real-world team-based activities.
Look for leading indicators. Most metrics represent backwards-looking scorecards, describing how an organization performed in the past. While a retrospective view can be helpful, it’s more valuable to understand what activities will impact your organization’s future CX trajectory. Use predictive analytics to identify what activities with different customer segments will most improve your CX metrics in the future.
The bottom line: CX insights don’t always require CX metrics.
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. You can download the free eBook and see our infographic.
Did you know that the CX institute offers eLearning courses to train your entire organization on the Six Laws of CX?
Just like the laws that govern physics, there are a set of fundamental truths that explain how organizations treat their customers. We call these “The Six Laws of Customer Experience:”
Anyone looking to improve customer experience must both understand and comply with these underlying realities.
<<NOTE: Here’s an infographic that lays out all of the laws>>
The first law is Every Action Creates A Personal Reaction. Simply put, the quality of an experience is entirely in the eyes of the beholder. An experience that is delightful for one person may be terrible for another person. When it comes to customer experience, one size does not fit all.
Law #2 is People Are Instinctively Self-Centered. Everyone looks at the world through their own frame of reference, and these unique perspectives heavily influence what they do and how they do it. Customers, for instance, care about their own needs, desires, and goals. Employees, on the other hand, have a deep understanding of their company’s products, organizational structure, and processes.
The third law is Customer Familiarity Breeds Alignment. A clear vision of what customers need, want, and dislike can align decisions and actions across an organization. When employees share a common view of who the target customer is, and they have easy access to customer feedback, there will be fewer disagreements about the best ways to serve these customers.
Law #4 is Unengaged Employees Don’t Create EngagedCustomers. Walt Disney once said “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” He understood the importance of focusing on employees. The data supports that view. Companies with great customer experience tend to have significantly more engaged employees than do their peers.
Law #5 is Employees Do What Is Measured, Incented, and Celebrated. Some executives struggle to understand why their employees don’t treat customers better. But it isn’t a mystery. Employee behaviors can almost always be explained by the environment they’re in. What creates that environment? The metrics the company tracks, the activities it rewards, and the actions it celebrates. Collectively, these three factors shape how employees behave.
The final law is You Can’t Fake It. While it is possible to fool some people some of the time, most people will eventually discern what’s real and what’s not. In the case of customer experience, this means that employees will sense when customer experience is not actually a top priority, and customers will not be convinced that you are more committed to customer experience than you really are – no matter how much you spend on advertising.
The Six Laws of Customer Experience are meant to empower highly effective customer experience efforts. If you understand and follow these laws, you will be able to help your organization deliver great customer experience.
If being customer-centric matters to your organization, then why leave it to chance? Contact Temkin Group, the customer experience experts, by emailing email@example.com, or visit our website, at TemkinGroup.com.
To understand the connection between customer experience (CX) and loyalty, we examined feedback from 10,000 U.S. consumers describing both their experiences with and their loyalty to different companies. The CX scores used in this model come from the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings (TxR), which evaluated 318 companies across 20 industries. Our analysis shows that:
The correlation between CX and repurchasing is very high (Pearson correlation= 0.82).
There’s a 21-point difference in Net Promoter Score between consumers who’ve had a very good experience with a company and those who’ve had a very poor experience.
CX is made up of three components – success, effort, and emotion. While all three elements impact customer loyalty, an improvement in emotion drives the most significant increase in loyalty.
We built a model to estimate how a modest improvement in CX would impact the revenue of a typical $1 billion company across in 20 industries. On average, companies can gain $775 million over three years. Software companies stand to earn the most ($1 billion over three years), while utilities stand to earn the least ($476 million over three years).
The report contains data charts showing how loyalty levels change based on customer experience across 20 industries.
We also describe a five-step process for calculating the ROI of CX for your organization.
Download report for $195+
Here are two of the 14 graphics in the report:
Download report for $195+
Customer Experience Is Highly Correlated With Loyalty
Correlates with repurchasing
Links to Net Promoter Score
Significantly impacts emotion
CX Improvements Results: Up to $1.1B In Revenue Over Three Years
CX and Loyalty Across 20 Industries
Recommend a company
Repurchase from a company
Trust a company
Forgive a company
Try a new offering right away
Build Your Own CX ROI Model
Figures in the Report:
Customer Experience Correlates to Future Purchase Intentions
Customer Experience Correlates to Net Promoter® Scores (NPS®)
Impact of Success, Effort, and Emotion on Loyalty (Average Across 20 Industries)
Elements Used in Model to Derive Revenue Impact Based on Improvement in Customer Experience
Improvements in Customer Loyalty From Modest Improvements in Customer Experience
Revenue Increases From A Moderate Improvement in Customer Experience
Revenue Increases From A Moderate Improvement in Customer Experience (Details)
Loyalty Differences Across CX Performance Levels
Recommendations Based on Customer Experience
Likelihood to Repurchase Based on Customer Experience
Trust Based on Customer Experience
Forgiveness Based on Customer Experience
Try New Products Based on Customer Experience
Steps for Calculating the Value Of Customer Experience
Many common beliefs about customer experience are misguided, based on oversimplifications or a lack of consideration for real-world constraints. In this series of posts, we debunk these myths.
CX Myth #2: You Need A 360-Degree View of Customers
What’s Wrong: If companies had an unlimited set of resources to plow into their customer insights efforts and an equally unlimited number of people prepared to take action on those insights, then shooting for a 360-degree view of your customers would be viable. But this is not the case for most organizations. So striving to understand everything about every customer (360-degree view) pushes organizations to over-invest in data and squeezes out the critical focus on taking action on the insights.
What’s Right: Organizations need to focus their insights efforts in areas where they are prepared to take action. Rather than aiming for a 360-degree view of all customers, organizations would be better served with a more targeted approach, focusing their insights investments on understanding key customer groups during specific parts of their journeys.
What You Should Do:
Separate the notions of Detect and Diagnose, which are two parts of the Six D’s of a Voice of the Customer Program. You can track the high-level feedback from a large number of customers (“Detect”) and then use those insights to identify areas where you should dig deeper to drive action (“Diagnose”).
Identify the actions that your organization is prepared or willing to take based on customer insights. This includes items across all four action loops: immediate response, corrective action, continuous improvement, and strategic change.
Define the target customers that you need to understand in order to support actions. This should include the type of customers and the specific stages of their journey that you’re most interested in understanding.
Make it as easy as possible for people across your organization to use the insights. Tailor the information to the specific ways that people in your organization make decisions. Minimize the requirement for non-analyst users to interpret and manipulate the data to uncover actionable insights.
Whenever you’re presenting customer insights, try not spend more than 20% of the time discussing data. Use the majority of the time talking about what the data means, implications, opportunities for improvement, and next steps.
Help stakeholders across your organization understand new and more impactful ways that they can use customer insights to drive action. They may not immediately understand how to best use insights, so you may need to help them evolve through seven stages to a data-centric mindset.
The bottom line: Focus on developing the most actionable insights.
Temkin Group has been using the Temkin Well-Being Index (TWBi) since 2012 to track the overall quality of life for U.S. consumers. The TWBi is based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers in January. The overall index is an average of three measurements representing the percentage of adults (18 and older) who agree with these statements:
I am typically happy
I am healthy
I am financially secure
In our Q1 2018 survey, we also asked questions about consumers’ political views. So we thought it would be interesting to examine TWBi based on answers to the following questions:
Which of the following best describes your political preference?
How would you rate President Trump’s performance so far as president?
As you can see in the chart below, staunch republicans and fans of President Trump have the highest TWBi.