The Future of VoC Actionable Insights: Assistance Engines

Earlier this week I gave a speech called “The Future of CX: Humanistic, Prescriptive, and Responsive.” During that session, I discussed a missing link in today’s VoC technology: Assistance Engines. Here’s a picture of the future that I have in mind.

Architecture For Prescriptive Customer Insights

Before I describe Assistance Engines, I want to go back to 2010 when I labelled VoC technologies as Customer Insight & Action (CIA) Platforms. The naming was important, because it correctly identified that vendors needed to focus more on “insight & action” than on customer feedback.

It turns out that this is still the case. In the future, VoC vendors will be completely judged by results that their clients get from taking actions on the insights that these vendors provide.

Action is the holy grail! All of the efforts around surveying, integrating data, analyzing, etc. are only as valuable as the actions that they lead to. Most of the vendors now understand this key concept, and are working feverishly to improve the actionability of the insights they provide.

Companies still have a long way to go in taking action on their VoC insights. As you can see in our recent infographic, only 24% of large companies think they are good at taking action.

To help refine the insights, most vendors are developing some sort of an Intelligence Engine. This technology combines direct customer feedback with other customer information, and then applies different analytical and machine learning approaches to create predictive insights about large groups of customers.

While this technology is helping companies to better understand their customers, the output does not often translate directly into actionable insights. Why not? Because there’s a wide gap between insights from the Intelligence Engine which are often delivered in charts and dashboards, and the types of information that employees need to make their a day-to-day decisions.

No matter how much smarter these platforms get about customers, they won’t be truly actionable until they also get smarter about employees.

That’s where Assistance Engines come into play. What is an Assistance Engine?

A set of technologies that uses analytics and machine learning to provide increasingly valuable advice to help different employees across an organization make customer-centric decisions.

Or you can think of it more simply as…

Technology that recommends employee actions based on customer insights.

Assistance Engines will provide timely, actionable insights that are embedded within role-based processes, and delivered as answers and recommendations, not as charts and numbers. This technology will also fine-tune its recommendations based on feedback from employees about the types of recommendations that they find valuable.

Think of the Assistance Engine as being like an analyst who works for the employee. A good analyst can comb through data in an Intelligence Engine, understanding her bosses needs, and translate the customer insights into a very relevant set of recommendations. Over time, the analyst gets better at anticipating what her boss needs or wants to see.

Here are some examples of insights that an Assistance Engine might deliver (think about the employee simply asking Alexa a question):

  • When a product manager is defining a new product, the Assistance Engine will recommend a set of features that a product manager should include in its next release.
  • When a contact center supervisor finds that she has 15 minutes free, the Assistance Engine can tell her which agent to spend time with and what to cover during the session.
  • When an executive is looking to improve the companies NPS, the Assistance Engine will identify the regions to focus on and the activities that should be improved in those regions.

The early use cases for Assistance Engines will likely focus on recommendations that are already being made by analysts. But instead of having someone spend a lot of time manually digging through troves of data, the Assistance Engine will simply answer end users’ questions.

Companies still have a long way to go in building out their Intelligence Engines, so we do not expect to see Assistance Engines become mainstream for several years. But the maturing of end-user responsive analytics such as IBM Watson and Amazon Analytics will help accelerate the development.

The bottom line: Actionability requires more focus on employees.

 

Report: Propelling Experience Design Across An Organization

Propelling Experience Design Across An OrganizationWe just published a Temkin Group report, Propelling Experience Design Across An Organization.

Although customer experience (CX) management has become a relatively common activity within large organizations, companies still struggle to deliver consistently positive experiences to their customers. One major issue impeding companies’ current CX efforts is that few organizations design customer interactions in a purposeful and deliberate manner. This report explores how companies can use Experience Design – which we define as a repeatable, human-centric approach for creating emotionally resonant interactions – to craft consistently excellent interactions and how they can share and spread these capabilities across the entire organization.

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Here are some highlights from this report:

  • The Experience Design process is made up of three generic phases (Clarification, Generation, Realization), each of which contains two stages (empathize and synthesize, conceptualize and materialize, scrutinize and actualize).
  • To help propel Experience Design capabilities across the organization, we developed The Federated Experience Design Model, which is made up of three tiers of employees – Experts, Boosters, and Dabblers.
  • We share over 30 examples of best practices from companies that are spreading and sharing Experience Design capabilities throughout their entire organization.
  • We also provide some tools that employees can use across the six stages of the Experience Design process.

The move towards propelling CX across an organization is part of a broader trend that we describe in the report, The Federated Customer Experience Model.

Here are two of the 22 figures in the report:

Process, Mindsets, and Skills of Experience DesignFederated Experience Design Model

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Report Outline:

  • Customers Suffer from Haphazard Experiences
  • Components of an Experience Design Methodology
    • Phase 1) Clarification: Understand the Objectives
    • Phase 2) Generation: Explore Potential Solutions
    • Phase 3) Realization: Share Solutions with Customers
  • Federating Experience Design Across an Organization
    • The role of Experts, Boosters, and Dabblers
  • Simple Experience Design Tools Support Federation

Figures in the Report:

  1. Process, Mindsets, and Skills of Experience Design
  2. Experience Design Mindsets
  3. Experience Design Skills
  4. Examples Across the Experience Design Processes
  5. Examples Across the Experience Design Processes
  6. Examples of Empathizing
  7. Three Levels of a Federated Experience Design Model
  8. Federated Experience Design Model
  9. Means of Providing Ongoing Coaching and Support
  10. IBM Design Thinking Badge Program
  11. Tools Across the Three Levels of Employees
  12. Tools for Clarification: Empathize
  13. Tools for Clarification: Synthesize
  14. Tools for Generation: Conceptualize
  15. Tools for Generation: Materialize
  16. Tools for Realization: Scrutinize and Actualize
  17. Customer Journey Maps
  18. Customer Journey Thinking™
  19. Temkin Group’s SLICE-B Experience Review Methodology
  20. Temkin Group’s SLICE-B Experience Review Assessment
  21. Empathy Maps
  22. Starbursting

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Report: The State of CX Management, 2018

The State of Customer Experience (CX) Management, 2018We just published a Temkin Group report, The State of CX Management, 2018.

Temkin Group has evaluated the state of Customer Experience (CX) management at large companies for nine years in a row. This year, the benchmark is based on a survey of 171 companies with at least $500 million in annual revenues. Respondents not only answered questions about CX management, they also completed our CX Competency and Maturity Assessment. When we analyzed organizations’ CX efforts and progress towards maturity, we found that:

  • While only 7% of companies view themselves as industry leaders in CX today, 54% aspire to be leaders within three years.
  • Only 13% of companies have reached the top two (out of six) levels of CX maturity.
  • Of the four CX Core Competencies, Compelling Brand Values continues to be the most problematic for companies.
  • Twenty-two percent of firms have at least 21 FTEs in their centralized CX groups.
  • Companies rate themselves highest for customer insights & analysis and weakest for ambassador programs.
  • Voice of the customer software and market research vendors are the most valuable CX tools and services.
  • Two-thirds of companies think that their phone agents typical deliver a good experience, while only 11% feel that way about chat bots.
  • The top obstacle that companies face is other competing priorities, which has been at the top of the list for several years.
  • When we compared CX leaders with CX laggards, we discovered that the leaders enjoy stronger financial results, are more likely to have senior executives leading company-wide CX efforts, employ more full-time CX employees, use more experience design agencies, and feel more supported by senior leaders.
  • CX leaders are more likely to describe their culture as being Customer- or Mission-Centric, while CX laggards are more likely to describe theirs as Sales- or Profit-Centric.

This report also includes an assessment that companies can use to benchmark their CX efforts and capabilities.

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Here are the results from Temkin Group’s CX Competency & Maturity Assessment:

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Report Outline:

  • Customer Experience Management Within Large Firms
  • Assessing The Four Customer Experience Core Competencies
  • Comparing CX Leaders and CX Laggards
  • Assess and Improve Your CX Competencies

 

Figures in the Report:

  1. Customer Experience Today and Future Ambitions
  2. Customer Experience Leadership and Coordination
  3. Customer Experience Coordination and Staffing
  4. Customer Experience Team Effectiveness
  5. Customer Experience Tools and Services
  6. Customer Experience Tools and Services (2016 to 2018)
  7. Quality of Customer Experience Across Different Channels
  8. Quality of Customer Experience Across Different Channels (2016 to 2018)
  9. Obstacles to Customer Experience Successes
  10. The Four Customer Experience Core Competencies
  11. Temkin Group Customer Experience Competency Assessment
  12. Results From Temkin Group’s Customer Experience Competency and Maturity Assessment
  13. Results From Temkin Group’s Customer Experience Competency and Maturity Assessment(2010 to 2018)
  14. Most Frequently Practiced Customer Experience Competency Attributes
  15. Least Frequently Practiced Customer Experience Competency Attributes
  16. Customer Experience Competency Attributes that Improved and Declined Between 2017 to 2018
  17. Overview: CX Competency Leaders Versus CX Competency Laggards
  18. Effectiveness of CX Teams, CX Leaders Versus CX Laggards
  19. Use of CX Tools and Services, CX Leaders Versus CX Laggards
  20. Effectiveness of CX Tools and Services, CX Leaders Versus CX Laggards
  21. Quality of Customer Experience Across Different Channels, CX Leaders Versus CX Laggards
  22. Obstacles to CX Success, CX Leaders Versus CX Laggards
  23. Executive Priorities, CX Leaders Versus CX Laggards
  24. Predominant Culture, CX Leaders Versus CX Laggards
  25. Percentiles of Results From Temkin Group’s CX Competency and Maturity Assessment

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Temkin Group's FREE Online Customer Experience (CX) Competency & Maturity AssessmentWant to gauge your organization’s customer experience maturity or how well it’s doing across the Four CX Core Competencies? You can access Temkin Group’s online CX Competency & Maturity Assessment… and it’s FREE.

Report: State of the CX Profession, 2018

Download report, State of the Customer Experience (CX) Profession, 2018We just published a Temkin Group report, State of the CX Profession, 2018. This is the fifth year that we’ve examined the roles of CX professionals and the third year that we’ve done a compensation study. Here’s the executive summary:

To understand the mindset and roles of customer experience professionals today, we surveyed 221 CX professionals and then compared their responses to similar studies we’ve conducted over the previous six years. We asked respondents about how their CX efforts impacted their organization last year and what their company plans to do during the coming year. This report also includes a compensation study, which is based on the 158 respondents who agreed to participate. Here are some highlights from the research:

  • Eighty-seven percent of respondents say that their customer experience efforts have had a positive business impact in 2017.
  • Ninety-six percent think that customer experience is a great profession to be in.
  • Eighty percent think that customer experience will be more important for their companies in 2018 than it was in 2017, compared to the 5% who think it will be less important.
  • Forty-eight percent expect to see an increase in their customer experience staffing levels this year, compared with only 6% that expect a decline.
  • Respondents plan to increase their spending most on voice of the customer software.
  • Respondents plan to increase their focus most on Web experiences and customer insights and analysis.
  • The total amount of compensation in our study ranges from $104,000 for mid-level individual contributors to $296,000 for CX executives.

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Here’s some data showing some of the results from the compensation study:

Compensation ranges for customer experience (CX) professionals

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Report Outline:

  • The Life of A Customer Experience Professional, Circa 2018
    • CX Professionals Have More on Their Plates in 2018
  • CX Professional Compensation Study

 

Figures in the Report:

  1. Demographics of Respondents
  2. Business Impact of CX
  3. Satisfaction with the Profession
  4. Satisfaction with Elements of their Roles
  5. Job Searching and Professional Development
  6. Key Activities of CX Professionals
  7. Change in Importance and Staffing
  8. CX Spending Levels
  9. Focus on CX Interaction Channels
  10. Focus on CX Activities
  11. Range of Compensation for CX Professionals
  12. Comparison of CX Professionals Across Job Types

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The Future of VoC: Insight & Action, Not Feedback

The vendor market for Voice of the Customer (VoC) products and services has been heating up, with numerous acquisitions and mergers. All of this is happening as companies are trying to figure out how to run successful VoC programs. It appears that we on the verge of the next stage in evolution for VoC. So I decided to step back and look at the overall market.

VoC Programs Need To Grow Up

Our research shows that nearly three-quarters of large companies rate their voice of the customer (VoC) programs as being successful (only 8% say that they’ve been unsuccessful). That’s great—infusing almost any type of customer insights into a business can add value. 

Level of Maturity for Voice of the Customer (VoC) Programs in Large Enterprises

However, companies aren’t close to reaching their full potential. Only 14% of companies have reached the the two highest levels of Temkin Group’s VoC Maturity Model.

One of the reasons for this immaturity is a simple fact: creating and managing great VoC programs isn’t easy. They take significant leadership commitment and a  variety of expertise. In many cases, however, companies don’t redesign their approach to customer insights, they simply end up updating and automating many of their historical practices.

The big change for VoC programs is that they must focus more on enabling action across their organization. We found that only 24% of large firms think they are good at making changes to the business based on the insights. For VoC programs to fully mature, they need to become hyper-focused on generating insights in the right form at the right time to help people across their organizations make better, more informed decisions.

As if that’s not enough to work on, companies will need to address Six Customer Insight Trends that will reshape VoC programs: 1) Deep Empathy, Not Stacks of Metrics; 2) Continuous Insights, Not Periodic Studies; 3) Customer Journeys, Not Isolated Interactions; 4) Useful Prescriptions, Not Past Descriptions; 5) Enterprise Intelligence, Not Customer Feedback; and 6) Mobile First, Not Mobile Responsive.

VoC Vendors Need To Grow Up

In 2010, I rejected the label “Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM)” that was being used to describe vendors that provided technology and services for VoC programs. Instead of EFM, I labeled them as Customer Insight and Action (CIA) Platforms and here’s why:

To some degree, surveying functionality is becoming a commodity. Organizations are recognizing that feedback is not valuable on its own; it only becomes valuable when it’s used as an input to insights which drive some type of action. So the focus is no longer on feedback, but on insight and action. Hence, Customer Insight and Action (CIA) Platforms.

Fast forward to 2018 and I think that CIA Platforms is still the correct name for these offerings (from vendors such as Confimit, InMoment, MaritzCX, Medallia, and Qualtrics). They continue to evolve towards this description I used in 2010:

CIA Platforms need to support closed-loop voice of the customer (VoC) programs that are going beyond structured, solicited feedback (traditional surveys). With the maturing of text analytics and the rise of social media, companies are increasingly mining insights from unstructured, unsolicited feedback like customer comments on surveys, notes and verbatims from contact center conversations, inbound emails, online chats, social media sites, customer feedback comments, etc

But new channels of feedback (also called “listening posts”) are not the only element that distinguishes CIA Platforms from their predecessors. These applications also provide actionable insights by:

  • Incorporating non-feedback data like customer profiles and transactional history
  • Distributing tailored, contextual insights across an organization
  • Providing alerts based on specific criteria
  • Supporting workflow associated with taking action based on the insights
  • Integrating with other applications like CRM and workforce management

Next Generation CIA Platforms

Okay, so we got that right eight years ago. What’s next? Here’s where I think the market is heading for enterprise CIA Platforms:

  • Advanced analytics. We’ll see a considerable increase in the use of predictive analytics and the use of speech analytics to unlock insights from invaluable contact center conversations.
  • and way smarter analytics. The current set of analytics are mostly designed for analysts to uncover insights, but we’ll see more “packaged” analytics that mask complexity to provide tailored recommendations that improve high-impact decisions across the enterprise.
  • More focus on casual users.The days of generic metrics and dashboards will hopefully be a thing of the past. The information provided to people will be specific to their roles, and will proactively highlight the information that they need to know. It may take the form of highly customized dashboards, but it could also be a monthly infographic that can be posted in the lunchroom for hourly workers.
  • Less surveys, but more data. We already see in our research that organizations are becoming less reliant on surveys. This feedback will become less about understanding what’s being said by individual customers, and more about using the insights in predictive models to extrapolate what it might mean across entire segments of customers. This will require companies to integrate feedback with lots of customer data from other systems.
  • More selective, targeted feedback. Companies will get better at strategic sampling. What is this? Being smarter about who they get feedback from and when they get that feedback. The current approach of trying to hear from as many customers a possible in as many places as possible is conceptually attractive, but it’s an inefficient use of internal resources, and it puts a strain on an even more important commodity—customers’ time and attention.
  • Easier to use, but less “self-service.” In many cases, large enterprises lack the internal skills and know how to create and sustain a strong VoC program. While the technology platforms will continue to become easier for companies to administer and use without vendor support, strong VoC programs will increasingly recognize the need to tap into externally provided support across a number of areas, including:
    • Program setup
    • Data management
    • Sampling strategies
    • Dashboard design
    • Analytics
    • Insight distribution
    • Operational redesign

The bottom line: VoC programs and vendors need a makeover.

Report: Customer Experience Expectations and Plans for 2018

Purchase and download Temkin Group report, Customer Experience Expectations and Plans for 2018We just published a Temkin Group data snapshot, Customer Experience Expectations and Plans for 2018.

In December 2017, Temkin Group surveyed 145 respondents – each from a company with $500 million or more in annual revenues – about their customer experience efforts over the past year and their plans for 2018 and beyond. We compared the results of this survey to the results of similar surveys we’ve conducted over the previous seven years. This year’s results show that companies plan on increasing the amount of money and effort they dedicate to improving a variety of customer experience activities.

Here are previous reports from 2017, 2016, and 2015.

 

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Here are some highlights from the research:

  • 86% of companies have seen a positive impact from their CX efforts in 2017.
  • 81% of companies expect CX to be more important in 2018 than it was in 2017.
  • 62% of companies expect to spend more on CX in 2018 than they did in 2017.
  • The companies that expect to increase their CX staffing in more than five times the percentage that expect to decrease it.
  • Companies plan to increase their spending the most for VoC software and chat bot vendors.
  • Companies plan to increase their focus the most on online self-service experiences, and the least on phone self-service.
  • Companies plan to increase their focus the most on solving customer service issues,  and the least on understanding bills and statement.
  • Companies plan to increase their effort the most on customer insights and analytics.
  • 21% of companies plan to compensate front-line employees based on CX metrics.
  • Compared with other companies, companies with more successful CX efforts in 2017 are employing more CX professionals, focusing more on online chat and new product experiences, and plan to spend more on speech/voice analytics vendors.

Here are the data charts in this data snapshot:

  1. Business Impact of CX
  2. Changes in the Importance of Customer Experience
  3. Changes in Spending on Customer Experience
  4. Changes in CX Staffing Levels
  5. Plans for Spending with CX Vendors
  6. Focus on CX Across Interaction Channels in 2018
  7. Plans to Increase Focus on the CX of Different Channels
  8. Focus on Customer Journeys in 2018
  9. Focus on CX Activities in 2018
  10. Plans to Increase Focus on Different CX Activities
  11. Compensation Based on CX Metrics
  12. Key Differences Between Companies With More Successful And Less Successful CX Programs

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Free eBook: The 6 Laws Of Customer Experience

Download free Temkin Group eBook, The Sx Laws of Customer ExperienceThis is an update to the original eBook that was published in 2008. It has been downloaded and read by tens of thousands of people around the world and is likely one of the most-read documents ever published on the topic of customer experience.

So enjoy the updated eBook: The 6 Laws Of Customer Experience: The Fundamental Truths That Define How Organizations Treat Customers

Download free eBook: The Six Laws of Customer Experience

Just like the three laws that govern all of physics, there are a set of fundamental truths about how customer experience operates. This eBook outlines the following 6 laws of customer experience:

  1. Every interaction creates a personal reaction.
  2. People are instinctively self-centered.
  3. Customer familiarity breeds alignment.
  4. Unengaged employees don’t create engaged customers.
  5. Employees do what is measured, incented, and celebrated.
  6. You can’t fake it.

The bottom line: To understand CX, you must first understand these laws.

NOTE: CX Institute’s CX Fundamentals eLearning module provides online training for employees across an organization to learn and apply these laws, helping organizations to become more customer-centric.

Report: Lessons in CX Excellence, 2018

Download Temkin Group research report, Lessons in Customer Experience Excellence, 2018We just published a Temkin Group report, Lessons in CX Excellence, 2018. The report provides insights from six winners in the Temkin Group’s 2017 CX Excellence Awards. The report, which has more than 70 pages of content, includes an appendix with the finalists’ nomination forms. This report has rich insights about both B2B and B2C customer experience.

Here’s the executive summary:

This past November, we named six organizations the winners of Temkin Group’s 2017 Customer Experience Excellence Award – AARP, Allianz Worldwide Partners, Century Support Services, Nurse Next Door Home Care Services, Reliant, and Sage. This report:

  • Highlights specific examples of how these companies’ customer experience (CX) efforts have created value for both their customers and for their businesses.
  • Describes winners’ best practices across the four customer experience competencies: purposeful leadership, compelling brand values, employee engagement, and customer connectedness.
  • Includes all of the winners’ detailed nomination forms to help you collect examples and ideas to apply to your own CX efforts.

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Here are some highlights from the winners: Read More …

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!

6 Levers For Executive Commitment to CX (Infographic)

In the report Activating Executive Commitment to CX, Temkin Group introduces a blueprint that CX leaders can use to gain and strengthen senior executive commitment. It’s composed of six levers: Create Vision Clarity, Share Compelling Opportunities, Amplify Emotional Empathy, Feed Intrinsic Motivations, Enable First Steps, and Fuel Ongoing Confidence. Here’s an infographic that provides an overview.

infographic of 6 levesr for gaining executive commitment to CX

You can download the graphic in several formats:

How Distributed Are CX Skills Across Organizations?

In previous research, we described how CX organizations will need to evolve towards a Federated CX Model, which is made up of three components shown below.the elements of a federated CX model

An important component of this model is the existence of distributed CX skills. To gauge where companies are in this journey, we asked large companies about the degree to which CX skills are distributed across their organizations. As you can see in the chart below:

  • Driving continuous improvement is the most distributed capability (53%)
  • Using text analytics is the least distributed capability (9%)
  • Analyzing and interpreting customer feedback data has the strongest centralized capability (83%)

How CX Capabilities are distributed across organizationsThe bottom line: Companies need to start distributing CX capabilities.

Report: Infusing Culture Throughout The New Employee Journey

Infusing culture throughout the new employee journey reportWe just published a Temkin Group report, Infusing Culture Throughout The New Employee Journey.

Here’s the executive summary:

A company’s culture reflects the attitudes and behaviors of its employees and influences almost every aspect of the employee journey and experience. However, despite its importance, many companies fail to orient new employees to their culture during onboarding. Rather than helping new hires form long-term connections with the organization and its values, companies often use this time to teach new hires about the organization’s processes. Companies instead should use their culture as a focal point during recruiting, hiring, and onboarding and then continue to emphasize it as employees acclimate to their roles. This report:

  • Explores how companies can align new employees with their culture.
  • Describes how companies can infuse culture throughout the four stages of the new hire journey: Establish Cultural Fit, Set Behavioral Expectations, Reinforce Positive Performance, and Prioritize Sustaining Culture.
  • Shares examples of best practices from a number of companies, including Adobe, Crowe Horwath, LexisNexis, Oxford Properties, Touchpoint Support Services, and Safelite Autoglass.
  • Provides a checklist companies can use to execute their culture-focused onboarding program effectively.

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Here are the best practices described in the report:infuse culture throughout the four stages of the new hire journey

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Report Outline:

  • New Employees Need More Corporate Cultural Onboarding
    • New Hire Programs Fall Short on Culture
  • Companies Should Infuse Culture Across the Entire New Hire Journey
    • Stage 1: Establish Cultural Fit
    • Stage 2: Set Behavioral Expectations
    • Stage 3: Reinforce Positive Performance
    • Stage 4: Prioritize Sustaining Culture
  • The Path Towards A Culture-Focused Onboarding Program
    • Immediate, Near-term, and Long-term actions

 

Figures in the Report:

  1. How to Shape Culture by Impacting How Employees Think, Believe, and Act
  2. Six Areas of Culture Focus
  3. Infuse Culture Throughout the Four Stages of the New Hire Journey
  4. Examples of Culture-Focused Onboarding Across the Four Stages of the New Hire Journey
  5. LexisNexis Summer Intern Program
  6. The Oxford Commitment
  7. Safelite AutoGlass Customer Driven Model
  8. Touchpoint Services Keeps Employees Learning Through Daily LineUp Meetings
  9. Recommendations for Designing an Effective Employee Recognition Program
  10. Select TouchPoint Supportive Services Manager Training
  11. Channels for Listening to Employee Feedback
  12. Actions to Take to Strengthen Company Culture

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Report: Activating Executive Commitment to CX

Activating executive commitment to customer experienceWe just published a Temkin Group report, Activating Executive Commitment to CX. Here’s the executive summary:

Organizations that want to drive sustainable customer experience (CX) improvements need to have senior executives who are committed to propel change throughout the entire journey. Successful transformation efforts require senior executives to set the direction, lead communication efforts, model desired behaviors, align resources, and hold the rest of the organization accountable. However, CX leaders and their teams often struggle to obtain the commitment and involvement necessary from senior executives to ensure these change efforts succeed. In this report, we provide a model for how CX teams can effectively engage their senior leaders. Here are some highlights:

  • The blueprint includes six levers CX leaders can use to gain and strengthen senior executive commitment: Create Vision Clarity, Share Compelling Opportunities, Amplify Emotional Empathy, Feed Intrinsic Motivations, Enable First Steps, and Fuel Ongoing Confidence.
  • To illustrate how these levers work, we share examples of 24 best practices from companies including Anthem, CA Technologies, Cisco, Fidelity, Microsoft, Penske Truck Leasing, and Regions Bank.
  • We provide CX leaders with an assessment they can use to identify the commitment stage of their senior executives and offer advice on which of the six levers can have the greatest impact by stage.

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Here are the six levers for activating executive commitment:

  1. Create Vision Clarity. Many senior executives are enamored with the idea of customer experience, yet lack a clear picture of what CX really means for their organization. As a result, they aren’t able to persuasively advocate for the required changes. Therefore, CX teams should provide leaders with a clear understanding of where the CX efforts are heading.
  2. Share Compelling Opportunities. Senior leaders will only stay committed to a CX effort for as long as they remain convinced that it will help the organization succeed. That’s why CX leaders must continue to make and reinforce the CX business case to senior executives. This requires establishing a tangible business case and setting realistic expectations for the upside of action and the downside of inaction.
  3. Amplify Emotional Empathy. An executive who is emotionally committed to CX efforts provides a different level of support than one who is only intellectually bought-in. To gain this emotional commitment, the CX team should enhance executives’ natural empathy by bringing customers’ experiences to life for them.
  4. Feed Intrinsic Motivations. Executives are motivated by a myriad of different objectives, such as being seen as successful or reaching some self-defined goals. Intrinsic motivators – like meaning, choice, competence, and progress – can be particularly powerful levers for activating commitment. CX leaders should connect their efforts to the personal goals of executives and should make them feel good about the efforts underway.
  5. Enable First Steps. Even executives who are fully committed to the CX agenda may not know exactly what they can do to help propel the CX efforts forward, especially since they are often juggling many different priorities. It’s up to the CX leader to make it easy for the senior leaders to participate in the efforts by recommending specific, doable steps that they can take.
  6. Fuel Ongoing Confidence. CX teams need ongoing support from their executives; however, senior leaders are prone to distraction and doubt. To keep them on track, CX leaders need to keep executives informed of the progress and success of CX efforts and need to demonstrate to executives that resources are being used well and risks are being managed well.

Here are the best practices discussed in the report:

best practices for engaging senior leaders in customer experience

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Report Outline:

  • Without Senior Executive Involvement, CX Efforts Falter
    • Executives Must Become Purposeful Leaders
  • Six Levers For Activating Senior Executives
    • 1) Create Vision Clarity
    • 2) Share Compelling Opportunities
    • 3) Amplify Emotional Empathy
    • 4) Feed Intrinsic Motivations
    • 5) Enable First Steps
    • 6) Fuel Ongoing Confidence
  • Strategies For Different Levels of Executive Engagement

 

Figures in the Report:

  1. Senior Executives Don’t Always Demonstrate the Right Behaviors
  2. How Senior Executives Play a Critical Role in CX Efforts
  3. Blueprint for CX Leaders: Best Practices for Engaging Senior Executives across the Six Levers
  4. HR Support of Customer-Centricity, CX Leaders Versus Other Firms
  5. Sample Design Persona for an Online Travel Agency
  6. Integrating Executive Sponsors with Other Customer-Facing Roles at Oracle
  7. Disseminating Feedback to Spur Executive Action: Ciena’s Inside Out/Outside In CX Scorecard
  8. Sandy Spring Bank: Meeting in a Box
  9. CA’s Immersion Workshops
  10. Essential Elements of CX Governance
  11. Assessing Senior Executive CX Engagement
  12. Top Levers to Use with Executives by Engagement Level

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The Four CX Core Competencies (Infographic)

Hopefully you’ve read our FREE report, The Four CX Core Competencies. It outlines the blueprint to building a customer-centric organization. We’ve created this infographic to showcase the competencies:

  1. Purposeful Leadership: Operate consistently with a clear set of values.
  2. Compelling Brand Values: Deliver on your brand promises to customers.
  3. Employee Engagement: Align employees with the goals of the organization.
  4. Customer Connectedness: Infuse customer insight across the organization.

four customer experience core competencies

You can also download an 18″ x 24″ poster version.

Report: Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity, 2017

Employee Engagement Competency and maturityWe just published a Temkin Group report, Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity, 2017. 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 to their organization. It’s not surprising, therefore, that customer experience leaders have more engaged employees than their peers. To understand how companies are engaging their employees, we surveyed 169 large companies and compared their responses with similar studies we’ve conducted in previous years. We also asked survey respondents to complete Temkin Group’s Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity (EECM) Assessment. Highlights from our analysis of their responses include:

  • Front-line employees are viewed as the most highly engaged.
  • More than 70% of companies measure employee engagement at least annually, yet only 45% of executives consider taking action on the results a high priority.
  • Sixty-four percent of respondents believe that their social media tools have had a positive impact on their employee engagement activities, an increase from last year.
  • The top obstacle to employee engagement activities continues to be the lack of an employee engagement strategy.
  • While only 23% of companies are in the top two stages of employee engagement maturity, this is still an increase from last year.
  • When we compared companies with above average employee engagement maturity to those with lower maturity, we found that employee engagement leaders have better customer experience, enjoy better financial results, are more likely to take action on employee feedback, and face fewer obstacles than their counterparts with less engaged workforces.
  • You can use the results of the EECM Assessment to benchmark your own employee engagement activities.

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Buy employee engagement competency and maturity report

Here’s an excerpt from one of the 17 graphics that shows the maturity levels of employee engagement efforts in large companies and their effectiveness across five employee engagement competencies:Employee engagement competencies

employee engagement competency assessments

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