John McCain Was Role Model For Year Of Humanity

Yesterday, with the passing of U.S. Senator John McCain, the world lost a true statesman. Even if you disagree with some of his political positions, it’s hard not to admire the way he led his life. He dedicated his adulthood to service, always looking for ways to collaborate—even with members of the opposite party.

Here are a few of his quotes that capture the essence of this perspective:

In the real world, as lived and experienced by real people, the demand for human rights and dignity, the longing for liberty and justice and opportunity, the hatred of oppression and corruption and cruelty is reality

Our shared values define us more than our differences. And acknowledging those shared values can see us through our challenges today if we have the wisdom to trust in them again.

Our political differences, now matter how sharply they are debated, are really quite narrow in comparison to the remarkably durable national consensus on our founding convictions.

John McCain was a role model for what Temkin Group has called The Year of Humanity. Throughout his life, McCain has demonstrated our key principles:

  • Embrace diversity. Recognize our differences and find ways to treat people as individuals.
  • Extend compassion. Tune into the condition of the people around us and care about their well-being.
  • Express appreciation. Proactively look for and acknowledge the positive aspects of the world around us.

I hope that John McCain’s memory will motivate all of us to treat each other with more civility.

R.I.P. John McCain.


I’ve updated this post to add John McCain’s farewell statement…

My fellow Americans, whom I have gratefully served for sixty years, and especially my fellow Arizonans,

Thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead. I have tried to serve our country honorably. I have made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.

I have often observed that I am the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now as I prepare for the end of my life. I have loved my life, all of it. I have had experiences, adventures and friendships enough for ten satisfying lives, and I am so thankful. Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life, in good or bad times, for the best day of anyone else’s.

I owe that satisfaction to the love of my family. No man ever had a more loving wife or children he was prouder of than I am of mine. And I owe it to America. To be connected to America’s causes — liberty, equal justice, respect for the dignity of all people — brings happiness more sublime than life’s fleeting pleasures. Our identities and sense of worth are not circumscribed but enlarged by serving good causes bigger than ourselves.

Fellow Americans’ — that association has meant more to me than any other. I lived and died a proud American. We are citizens of the world’s greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil. We are blessed and are a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world. We have helped liberate more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. We have acquired great wealth and power in the process.

We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.

We are three-hundred-and-twenty-five million opinionated, vociferous individuals. We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates. But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do.

Ten years ago, I had the privilege to concede defeat in the election for president. I want to end my farewell to you with the heartfelt faith in Americans that I felt so powerfully that evening.
I feel it powerfully still.

Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.

Farewell, fellow Americans. God bless you, and God bless America.

CX Leaders Demonstrate Higher Levels Of Humanity

Year of Humanity: Embrace Diversity, Extend Compassion, Express AppreciationHopefully you already seen that Temkin Group has called 2018, The Year of Humanity. We’ve been focused on finding ways to help people increase humanity as individuals, as CX professionals, and as a collective community.

In our latest survey of CX professionals, we asked respondents to estimate how often employees in their organizations demonstrate three traits of humanity:

  • Embrace diversity. Recognize our differences and find ways to treat people as individuals.
  • Extend compassion. Tune into the condition of the people around us and care about their well-being.
  • Express appreciation. Proactively look for and acknowledge the positive aspects of the world around us.

We then segmented the responses based on how they rated their company’s customer experience compared with other companies in their industry. This chart shows the data…

Company Humanity Traits Differ By Customer Experience Levels

As you can see in the chart above:

  • When it comes to all three humanity behaviors, companies with better CX have more employees demonstrating those behaviors.
  • The largest difference is with “Express Appreciation,” where there’s a 33-point gap between CX leaders and CX laggards.

What does this data mean? It demonstrates that customer experience leaders have a different culture than other companies. They tend to attract people who demonstrate these positive humanity behaviors and the environment further nurtures these behaviors.

Hopefully you are motivated to incorporate these behaviors into more of your activities and to encourage them in the people around you. Who knows… maybe you’ll even improve your organization’s customer experience.

The bottom line: All of us can (and should) improve humanity!

Humanity: You Have A Choice (Video)

We published this new video, which is part of Temkin Group’s efforts in making 2018 “The Year of Humanity.”


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.


Video Script:

Every day, every moment we have a choice…

We can be drawn into the negativity that we hear in the news and that we see in the world around us…
or we can take a different, more positive path…and stay focused on what’s most important, elevating our collective humanity.

This may seem like a lofty goal, but achieving it will only take small changes in how we interact with each other. As a matter of fact, we can raise the level of humanity by simply doing three things:

  • First, we need to embrace diversity. Let’s not only respect our differences, but also find ways to appreciate each other as wonderfully unique individuals.
  • Second, let’s extend compassion to all of the people around us who can benefit from our care and comfort.
  • And finally, we need to express appreciation. All of us should seek opportunities to look for and acknowledge the positive aspects of the world and the people around us.

That’s all it takes for us to collectively boost humanity: embrace diversity, extend compassion, and express appreciation.

You have a choice!

Please join Temkin Group in making 2018 “The Year of Humanity

Humanize Customer Experience (Infographic)

The Year of HumanityAs 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 PurposeCultivate Deep Empathy, and Create Positive Memories.

The bottom line: Think about people first in every activity and endeavor

Happy MLK Day in The Year of Humanity!

Happy MLK Day!

Martin Luther King Jr. Wikipedia Page
Source: Wikipedia

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.

Join Temkin Group in making 2018 the Year of Humantiy

Let Humanity Glow (Video)

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!

Free eBook: 25 Tips For Becoming A More Purposeful Leader

Free eBook: 25 Tips For Becoming A More Purposeful LeaderAs part of our CX Day celebration, which this year is focussed on Elevating Purpose, we’re giving away this free eBook: 25 Tips For Becoming A More Purposeful Leader.

Free ebook download

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:

25 tips for becoming a more purposeful leader

Also check out our recent video on Purposeful Leadership and the Elevate Purpose page.

The bottom line: Purposeful leadership really matters!

Five Ways That Organizations Crush Customer Empathy (Video)

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.


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.

 

 

 

 

 

Report: Humanizing Digital Interactions

humanizing digital interactionsWe 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.

Download report for $195
buy humanizing digital interactions report

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:

human conversation model for digital interactions

Download report for $195
download humanizing digital interactions

Podcast: Purposeful Leadership With Tom Feeney, Safelite CEO

As part of Temkin Group’s celebration of 2017 as The Year of Purpose, I interviewed Tom Feeney, President & CEO of Safelite Group.

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.”

The Power of Purpose (Temkin Group Video)

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…

elevate-purpose-24I 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.

Free eBook: 25 Tips For Tapping Into Customer Emotions

1609_ebook_25emotiontips_finalAs part of our CX Day celebration, we’re giving away this free eBook: 25 Tips For Tapping Into Customer Emotions.

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.

FreeDownloadButton

The eBook contains 25 tips across four areas: Experience Design, Organizational Personality, Organizational Empathy, and Customer Segmentation.

1610_25emotiontips

The bottom line: Apply these lessons to tap into your customers’ emotions

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: Emotion-Infused Experience Design

1606_EmotionInfusedExperienceDesign_COVERWe 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.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

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:

  1. 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.
  2. What is our organizational personality? Research shows that people relate to companies as if they are fellow human beings rather than inanimate corporate entities.
  3. 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:

1606_TwoPartsofEmotion1605_CokeStarbucksEmotions

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

Three Ideas to Re-Humanize Patient Experience

I was recently interviewed for an article that discusses a post where Fox News journalist John Stossel describes his experience as a lung cancer patient at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

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.

ClevelandClinicAnnualReport

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