We published this new video, which is part of Temkin Group’s efforts in making 2018 “The Year of Humanity.”
As you hopefully already know, Temkin Group has labelled 2018 The Year of Humanity. As part of our focus on this topic, we put together this infographic that focuses on how we can Humanize CX. It identifies six fundamental characteristics of human beings—Hopeful, Intuitive, Self-Centered, Emotional, Motivated, and Social—that you need to keep in mind when you’re thinking about your customers and employees. It also shows the three components of Humanize CX: Act with Purpose, Cultivate Deep Empathy, and Create Positive Memories.
Happy MLK Day!
Every year on this day I like to celebrate lessons that we can learn from Martin Luther King, Jr. This year, I’ll focus on this quote:
“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools“
This line is from King’s commencement address at Oberlin College in 1965 titled, Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution. Here’s a bit more of the speech that surrounded that quote:
“What we are facing today is the fact that through our scientific and technological genius we’ve made of this world a neighborhood. And now through our moral and ethical commitment we must make of it a brotherhood. We must all learn to live together as brothers – or we will all perish together as fools. This is the great issue facing us today. No individual can live alone; no nation can live alone. We are tied together.“
It’s amazing to me that King’s words from this speech are as relevant today as they were when he delivered them more than 50 years ago.
Unfortunately, many of our current political leaders promote partisan, divisive agendas. Instead of demonstrating genuine concern and caring for the people to whom they serve, they cater to the most ideologically extreme members of their base. As a result, it’s a challenge to accomplish even clearly humane activities like passing a DACA bill (to allow children born in the U.S. to remain in the U.S.).
Let’s choose to not follow their example. Instead of treating every interaction as if it’s a fight between “us and them,” let’s act as if every person is our brother (or sister). We can collectively make a difference.
Temkin Group has labeled 2018 The Year of Humanity. Join us in making it a reality.
To those who are already celebrating, and to those who are on the eve of it, Merry Christmas! And Happy Holidays to everyone!
To get you in the mood for the holidays and to prepare for the upcoming “Year of Humanity,” we created this short, hopefully inspiring musical video… Let Humanity Glow. Enjoy!
The bottom line: Let’s make humanity great again!
One of Temkn Group’s Four CX Core Competencies is Purposeful Leadership. To master this competency, a company must be able to affirmatively answer the question, “Do your leaders operate with a clear, well-articulated set of values?” Purposeful leaders create an engaged workforce and help their organizations deliver positive customer experiences.
This eBook contains these 25 easily adoptable tips from across the Five P’s of Purposeful Leadership. Here are the tips:
The bottom line: Purposeful leadership really matters!
Human beings are naturally empathetic, yet that tendency can get crushed when they go to work. Watch and read below…
Did you know that human beings are genetically wired for empathy? Our brains have something called mirror neurons that allow us to virtually feel what someone else is feeling. If you see your friend bump her head, then you are likely to react almost as if it had happened to you.
If people are naturally empathetic, then why aren’t most organizations, which are just collections of people, super empathetic towards their customers?
It turns out that organizations inhibit natural empathy in many ways. Here are five of those empathy inhibitors:
- Inhibitor 1: Individual Context. People view the world through their own perspectives, so your natural empathy may not match the reaction of a customer who is quite different than you. For instance, a wealthy middle-aged marketing executive in New York City has a very different lens on the world than does an 18-year old from a poor, rural community. Also, employees know a lot more about their company’s products, processes, terminology, and organizational structure. So experiences that make sense to employees can often seem very complicated to customers.
- Inhibitor 2: Human Bias. Companies often design experiences as if their customers were perfectly rational robots, but human beings aren’t like that. While people sometimes use rational thinking, which relies on logic and reason to make decisions, we more frequently use intuitive thinking, which relies on mental shortcuts and cognitive bias to make decisions. Rather than supporting customers’ unconscious decision rules like preferring to maintain the status quo, companies create experiences that slow down customers’ progress, or even derail them completely.
- Inhibitor 3: Group Think. It turns out that people who are in close quarters, like a work team, tend to conform to a consistent point of view. Since companies often use different metrics for different groups, employees are encouraged to develop a very myopic view of their team’s responsibilities. As a result, the needs of employees’ teams take up so much head space that they drown out any thoughts about the needs of customers.
- Inhibitor 4: Corporate Culture. Employees tend to conform to their surroundings. When leaders set expectations for a certain type of behavior, employees will try to meet those expectations – even if doing so hurts customers. When the Wells Fargo CEO set an unsustainable goal for the number of products sold to customers, employees across the organization tried to make it happen – even if it they knew it may not be good for customers.
- Inhibitor 5: Emotional Illiteracy. Leaders in companies rarely discuss customer emotions. It’s not their fault; most people are uncomfortable discussing emotions in any setting. Within companies, emotions are often viewed as being too “soft” or “squishy” to focus on. This lack of dialogue about emotion keeps organizations from fully understanding and addressing the needs, wants, and desires of their customers.
While these inhibitors can drain the customer empathy out of an organization, they don’t need to. Now that you know what they are you can look for them and suppress their impact.
The bottom line: You need to actively unleash employees’ natural empathy.
Temkin Group has found that the only path to sustainable customer experience differentiation is to build a customer-centric culture. How? By mastering Four Customer Experience Core Competencies.
This video provides an overview of one of those competencies, Purposeful Leadership, where the goal is for leaders to act consistently with a clear, well-articulated set of values.
We just published a Temkin Group report, Humanizing Digital Interactions.
Emotions play an integral role in how customers make decisions and form judgments. This means that how a customer feels about an interaction with a company has an enormous impact on his or her loyalty to that company. However, companies tend to ignore customer emotions, especially during digital interactions, which is problematic as customers are increasingly interacting with companies online. This report focuses on humanizing digital interactions by replicating the elements of strong human conversations.
Here are some highlights:
- We developed The Human Conversational Model, which is made up of seven elements – Intent Decoding, Contextual Framing, Empathetic Agility, Supportive Feedback, Basic Manners, Self-Awareness, and Emotional Reflection.
- We share over 35 examples of best practices from companies that are designing digital experiences across the seven elements of The Human Conversational Model.
- We demonstrate how you could apply The Human Conversational Model to three types of digital activities: opening a new bank account online, purchasing a pair of shoes through an app, and getting technical support online.
A gratifying conversation requires two processes:
- Cooperative Interface. Each participant is required to collaborate with her partner to achieve the shared goal of the conversation – be that casually catching up, gathering information, sharing knowledge, etc. This is the part of the model that a conversational partner sees and responds to, and it consists of five elements: contextual framing, intent decoding, empathetic agility, supportive feedback, and basic manners.
- Background Mindfulness. This portion of the model is not observable within what would normally be considered the scope of the conservation as it pertains to what happens internally within person. Each participant has a pre-existing notion of who he is as an individual (self-awareness) and throughout the course of the conversation, learns about how he affects other people (emotional reflection). Though not directly observable, “background mindfulness” informs the way in which each participant communicates with his current and future partners.
Here’s an overview of the Human Conversation Model along with best practices we highlight in the report:
Temkin Group defines purposeful leadership as operating consistently with a clear, well-articulated set of values. That also describes Tom. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Tom for many years, and believe that he is a great example of a purposeful leader.
While Safelite is by far the largest auto glass repair and replacement company in the U.S., the podcast does not focus on the company’s strong financial growth. Instead, Tom and I discuss Safelite’s purpose statement: Making a difference by bringing unexpected happiness to people’s everyday lives. Enjoy the podcast!
You can also download the podcast
Tom Feeney’s Bio:
Since joining Safelite Group in 1988, Tom Feeney has held several positions within the organization including senior vice president retail operations. In October 1991, Feeney was promoted to senior vice president, client sales and support and again in 2003 as executive vice president and chief client officer with responsibility for Safelite Solutions. Feeney became president and CEO of Safelite Group in 2008 and introduced a new vision for Safelite supported by two core principles: “People Powered, Customer Driven.”
As you may know, Temkin Group has labelled 2017, “The Year of Purpose.” As part of our effort to infuse more meaning and purpose to our community, we created the Elevate Purpose campaign, where we will share relevant thoughts and research.
A new piece of content is this video, The Power of Purpose. I hope that you enjoy it…
I hope that you enjoy this video and find it inspiring. If so, I invite you to join Temkin Group in making 2017 “The Year of Purpose.” To find out more, visit ElevatePurpose.com.
Here’s the executive summary:
Emotions play an essential role in how people form judgments and make decisions. Consequently, a customer’s emotional response to an experience with a company has a significant impact on their loyalty to that company. To help you improve your customer experience, we’ve compiled a list of 25 examples from companies who are tapping into customer emotions, which you can emulate at your own organization.
The eBook contains 25 tips across four areas: Experience Design, Organizational Personality, Organizational Empathy, and Customer Segmentation.
The bottom line: Apply these lessons to tap into your customers’ emotions
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:
- Paradigm of Choice. More choice can creates decision anxiety and buyer’s remorse. This key concept helps frame customer experience from an emotional (not logical) point of view. See his excellent Ted Talk and the book, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less.
- Practical Wisdom. I love this quote from Barry’s fantastic Ted Talk “Wise practitioners are like jazz musicians, able to improvise when the situation demands it. They are able to take the perspective of the people they service, and to balance the empathy of care and concern with a detachment that permits clear thinking.” It moved me so much that I wrote a post about the talk, and even researched how many U.S. workers have practical wisdom (30%). Here’s a link to the book Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing.
- Why We Work. This is Barry’s latest book, which I think is captured well in this quote “Work is structured on the assumption that we do it only because we have to… I think that this cynical and pessimistic approach to work is entirely backward. It is making us dissatisfied with our jobs — and it is also making us worse at them.” And, of course there’s a great Ted Talk.
- …And here’s a link to Barry’s appearance on the Colbert Report that I mention.
Here’s some of our research that we discuss:
- My blog post showing that compensation does not cause employee turnover.
- The Four CX Core Competencies, where we discussed employee engagement and purposeful leadership. Customer connectedness was an implicit part of our discussion throughout the conversation.
- You can see a lot of Barry’s views on work embedded within my current push for Modernize Leadership: Shifting 8 Outdated Management Practices.
The bottom line: Thank you Barry Schwartz!
We just published a Temkin Group report, Emotion-Infused Experience Design.
Emotions play an essential role in how people make decisions. Consequently, how a customer feels about their experience with a company has the most significant impact on their loyalty to that company. And yet despite their importance, both customers and companies agree that organizations do a poor job of engaging customers’ emotions. To help companies create a stronger emotional connection with customers, we’ve developed an approach called Emotion-Infused Experience Design (EIxD). To master EIxD, organizations must continuously focus on three questions: “Who exactly are these people (who happen to be our customers)?” “What is our organizational personality?” and “How do we want customers to feel?” This report offers both advice and examples about how to apply these three questions across four facets that affect emotion: senses, feelings, social, and values. And to help infuse these practices across the organization, we have also identified some strategies for how to turn employees into agents of EIxD.
Our research shows that emotion is often a missing link in customer experience. While emotions may seem ephemeral and subjective, we developed a concrete methodology you can use to design for emotion. We call this methodology “Emotion-Infused Experience Design” (EIxD), and we define it as:
An approach for deliberately creating interactions that evoke specific customer emotions.
To master EIxD, you must ask (and answer) three questions throughout the entire design process:
- Who exactly are these people (who happen to be our customers)? You cannot design emotionally engaging experiences without a solid grasp on who your target customers are—what they want, what they need, what makes them tick.
- What is our organizational personality? Research shows that people relate to companies as if they are fellow human beings rather than inanimate corporate entities.
- How do we want our customers to feel? People are inherently emotional beings, and every interaction they have with you will make them feel a certain way—whether you intend it to or not.
To address the three questions of EIxD, this report shows how to design around four elements of emotion: senses, feelings, social, and values. Here are two of the 26 figures in the report:
First of all, I hope that Stossel’s treatment is successful. And although I don’t fully agree with his analysis of the industry, I do agree with his observation “…I have to say, the hospital’s customer service stinks.” Yes, there is a problem with patient experience.
I’m reminded of this picture from a post that I wrote in 2009, which comes from Cleveland Clinic’s 2008 Annual Report.
With all of the focus on costs and liabilities, the medical system has forgotten about the soul of the patient. It’s become dehumanized.
The wellbeing of a patient often takes a back seat to rigid processes and procedures, and there’s little understanding of how to help patients make increasingly important financial/medical trade-offs. It’s not that doctors, nurses, and hospital staffs don’t care. It’s just that the entire system has conspired to de-emphasize humanity.
This problem is not unique to healthcare. In research that we did in 2013, we found that only 30% of employees have what Aristotle called “practical wisdom,” the combination of moral will and moral skill. This is the capability that Barry Schwartz explains is critical for infusing humanity within organizations.
While there are many structural issues in U.S. healthcare (which I won’t go into here), there are still many things that can be done to re-humanize the patient experience. Here are some ideas:
- Apply better experience design. Health care leaders should learn and apply the the principles of People-Centric Experience Design: align with purpose, guide with empathy, and design for memories.
- Develop a value mindset. As patients take on more of the direct financial burden for healthcare, doctors must do more than recommend treatments and procedures. They must help patients understand the value of those activities, so that they can make smart financial/medical trade-offs.
- Build decision-support technology. Patients should be able to understand the efficacy and full costs of the treatments and procedures that they are being asked to “purchase.” Health plans need to take the lead in providing tools for making this information transparent, and empowering patients to make better decisions.
The bottom line: It’s time to re-humanize healthcare
We just published a Temkin Group report, Behavioral Guide to Customer Experience Design. Here’s the executive summary:
According to recent scientific research, customers make most of their decisions using intuitive thinking instead of rational thinking. Intuitive thinking relies on unconscious heuristics and biases to make decisions efficiently, and as a result, people tend to be more affected by losses than by gains, to prefer simplicity over complexity, to be affected by their current emotional and visceral states, to be heavily influenced by those around them, to make decisions based on context, and to misjudge their past and future experiences. In this report, we identify best practices for tapping into these heuristics and biases across three areas of experience design; companies can Nudge customers in the right direction, Assist them in accomplishing their goals, and Enhance their overall experience. To incorporate intuitive thinking into experience design, companies need to follow four steps: define target customers, identify relevant heuristics and biases, select design strategies, and then test, test, test.
Here are tactics for applying these human biases in your experience design efforts that we describe in the report:
The bottom line: Embrace your customers’ natural behaviors.