Discussing The Experience Economy With Joe Pine

TheExperienceEconomy_Ruled_2Welcome to the Experience Economy. That’s the title from an HBR article written by Joe Pine and James Gilmore in 1998. It was a seminal article, laying out the important role that experiences play in building differentiation. Pine and Gilmore went on to write an amazing book, The Experience Economy: Work Is Theater & Every Business a Stage.

The Experience Economy was more than an article or a book, it was the start of a movement. And it continues on today. As a matter of fact, Pine and Gilmore are rereleasing the book with a new forward. They’ve also created an online training series focused on helping frontline employees stage remarkable experiences.

I caught up with Joe Pine during his global travels to discuss the Experience Economy. Here are his answers to some questions I posed:

Q: How has your view of the Experience Economy shifted since you originally introduced the concept?

Pine: Interestingly, not that much! My partner Jim Gilmore and I always thought that the experience staging would grow many-fold, that every year more and more companies would embrace the Experience Economy, and it would be both caused by and cause goods and services to be increasingly commoditized. One big difference is that we used to talk about the nascent, the emerging Experience Economy — and now we say it is here. Experiences have become the predominant economic offering, what people prefer over mere goods and services. I remember having to argue with people about it, making the case of the shift into the Experience Economy; now, however, I just describe it and everyone gets it.

Q: What role does new and emerging technology play in the future of the Experience Economy?

Pine: One of the big growth arenas is in experiences that fuse the real and the virtual, including virtual reality, augmented reality, and many more possibilities I wrote about in my book Infinite Possibility. Digital technologies also enable companies to mass customize their offerings so much more than in the past, for anything that can be digitized can be customized. And that’s actually how I discovered the Experience Economy, by realizing that customizing a good turned it into a service, and customizing a service turned it into, yes, an experience! So companies can now know who their customers are, where they are, their context at this moment, and how to fulfill their individual wants, needs, and desires. The “Wow!” effect that engenders can turn such interactions into engaging experiences. I’m also enamored with the potential of 3D printing, for it makes matter programmable, effectively digitizing materials to be (almost) instantly customized to the individual.

Q: I like to talk about Experience Management as a discipline that need to be woven throughout an organization’s operating fabric. How does that mesh with your view of the Experience Economy?

Pine: I think that’s true — while companies can make progress by feel, by art rather than science, it will tend to be sporadic and lessen the chances of truly embracing today’s possibilities. Also understand that many companies aim their Experience Management activities too low, at merely making their interactions with customers nice, easy, and convenient. These are all well and good — and often very necessary before proceeding further — but do not rise to the level of staging a true, distinctive experience. As a distinct economic offering, experiences are about offering customers time well spent, not the time well saved of services. So, yes, make the service aspects of your offerings frictionless, and then use the time saved to build atop this to offerings that are engaging, memorable, and personal, experiences that customers view again as time well spent.

Q: Can you share a couple of the coolest examples you’ve seen of a company shifting it’s approach and embracing the Experience Economy?

Pine: My favorite experience stager these days is the Princess Cruise Lines unit of Carnival Corp. for its Ocean Medallion program. The Medallion is an IoT device (speaking of new technologies) that enables the cruise ship to mass customize everything on the ship — and eventually off it — to each individual guest, family, or other unit (such as wedding parties or reunions). Guests upload their passport data beforehand and then simply walk up and onto the ship without ever having to show it, as Princess crew members have tablets that identify each guest by name and picture based on their unique Medallions and welcome them aboard. Guests also specify their preferences before boarding, which Princess uses to create a mass customized itinerary that can be updated as it learns more and more about each guest. It can even learn about context, knowing for example that on the pool deck with the kids your favorite drink is an iced tea with no lemon, while in the bar with your buddies it’s a coconut mojito, and at dinner with your spouse it’s a glass of Shiraz! True, though, that as a cruise company Carnival has always been in the experience business, but now it is elevating that experience for every guest, eventually on every ship.

One of the cool things I see happening turning service providers into experience stagers is retailers, restaurateurs, and others actually charging admission for the experience! Next in Chicago, Trois Mec in LA, Noma in Copenhagen, and a host of other restaurants, for example, now have you go online to reserve a table, pay the admission fee, print out your tickets, and then present them at the reserved time for the dining experience. Even Venice, Italy, is starting to charge admission to alleviate the overcrowding in the city center.

And I’ll also mention hospitals, of which so many are taking on experience-related themes or purpose statements, such as Holy Redeemer in Philadelphia with “My. Life. Story.”, Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph, MO, with “LIve Life Well”, or Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, OR, with “Personalize. Humanize. Demystify.” I work more in healthcare than any other industry for the basic reason that research shows that the better the patient experience, the better the outcomes, and that is what healthcare is truly about.

Q: What advice do you have for a non-traditional experience company like a chemical manufacturer or shipping company to embrace the Experience Economy?

Pine: It may seem like a stretch, but even B2B manufacturers or service providers. First, they can understand a basic principle that in today’s Experience Economy, the experience IS the marketing. So they can stage marketing experiences that generate demand for their offerings., such as CASE Construction Equipment does with its Tomahawk Experience Center in the north woods of Wisconsin, or the World of Whirlpool on the banks of the Chicago River.

Any company can also turn mundane interactions into engaging encounters by understanding that work IS theatre. It’s not a metaphor — work as theatre — but a model for work, understanding that whenever workers are in front of customers, they are on stage and need to act in a way that engages those customers. In shipping, a costumed UPS route driver performs an act of theatre with every package she delivers, while FedEx’s overnighting is absolutely, positively theatre when its employees deliberately rush about to convey the impression of speed as the essence of the company.

Whenever I work with B2B companies I also make the same point as earlier that mass customizing their goods turns them into services, and their services into experiences — and that B2B customers can far better gauge the value of such customization than consumers can. Moreover, no business customer buys their offerings because they want their offerings; they are always the means to an end. If you supply the end rather than the means — and that means focusing (as healthcare should) on outcomes, not inputs — then you will gain much more economic value. In fact, you can then go beyond staging experiences to guiding transformations for your individual customers. And there is no greater economic value you can create than to help customers achieve their aspirations.

The bottom line: Make sure to read the book!

Exciting News From The XM Institute

The time has finally come for me to tell people to stop purchasing Temkin Group research reports. Are we eliminating them? No. Are they irrelevant? No. We’ve just decided to give them away for free on the Qualtrics XM Institute site.

That’s right, you can now get access to almost our entire research library for free. One of the reasons we joined Qualtrics was to be able to help more people and organizations. This move shows you the commitment that Qualtrics is making to help the world understand and deliver on the promise of Experience Management (XM).

One of the things you’ll notice on the XM Institute page is a filter to select reports based on Six XM Competencies. Yes, we’ve created a new model. It’s based on the following six competencies:

  • Lead. Architect, align, and sustain successful XM efforts. Driving XM transformation requires a strong program and active support from senior leadership.
  • Realize. Track and ensure that XM efforts achieve business objectives. For XM efforts to have lasting, positive impact, they must align with the overall priorities of the organization.
  • Activate. Create the appropriate skills, support, and motivation. People generally gravitate towards the status quo. To help overcome that inertia, the organization must ensure that employees have all the appropriate XM-related training and support needed.
  • Enlighten. Provide actionable insights across an organization. At the center of XM is the constant flow of data being transformed into useful information and shared with those most capable of taking the appropriate action.
  • Respond. Prioritize and drive improvements based on insights. An organization must act on what it learns by making constant improvements as insights are uncovered.
  • Disrupt. Identify and create experiences that differentiate the organization. Truly successful XM efforts go beyond simply reacting to problems to proactively developing innovative experiences that give the organization a competitive advantage.

That’s just a quick summary. We will be publishing much, much more on this model in the future. It will be the primary lens for all of our content, which is why and we’ve created categories on this blog for the Six XM Competencies.

Enjoy all of the free content on the Qualtrics XM Institute site!

The Human Experience Cycle

As you think about your experience management (XM) efforts, it’s important to understand  how people flow through the experiences in their lives — as customers, employees, patients, fans, citizens, students, etc. To help deepen that understanding, I’ve created a simple model, the Human Experience Cycle (HxC). As you can see in the chart below, the HxC is made up of five elements:

  • Expectations: What a person anticipates will happen during an experience.
  • Experiences: What actually happens to a person during an interaction.
  • Perceptions: How a person views an experience based on their expectations.
  • Attitudes: How someone feels about the organization.
  • Behaviors: How a person choses to interact with an organization.

1903_HumanExperienceCycle2

Here are some implications of the HxC:

  • Experiences are in the eyes of the beholder. How someone feels about an experience (their perception) is based on their expectations along with the actual experience. So the exact same experience can lead to different perceptions for different people. That’s why you need to think about the expectations you’re setting prior to an experience, and consider delivering different experiences based on people’s expectations.
  • Experiences are judged by the emotions they create. Our memories aren’t like video cameras, they’re more like an Instagram account where we take pictures whenever we feel strong emotions, and then we judge that experience in the future based on reviewing those pictures. That’s why it’s critical to proactively think about which emotions an experience is likely to generate, since those are the elements which will most drive perceptions.
  • Attitudes are important... Many organizations measure attitudes (e.g., a relationship Net Promoter Score) as part of their overall metrics program. This is an important area to understand, because it represents an accumulation of multiple perceptions and can often be a leading indicator of behaviors. That’s why many successful XM programs prioritize their efforts around the experiences that most highly affect attitudes.
  • …But behaviors are the goal. The success or failure of an organization is driven by what people actually do, their behaviors. Over time, you need to make sure that the attitudes you’re measuring have an actual impact on the behaviors you really care about — is NPS really driving future purchases?, or is our employee engagement measurement predicting attrition? If not, look for different attitudinal measurements that are more predictive of those important behaviors.

The bottom line:  Align your efforts around the Human Experience Cycle.

CX Myth #5: Wow Customers During Every Interaction

CX Myths: Debunking Misleading Beliefs About 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 #5: Wow Customers During Every Interaction

What’s Wrong: While it may be appealing to think about creating an amazing experience every time you touch a customer, it’s just not appropriate or practical. All interactions should aim to meet your target customers’ success, effort, and emotional expectations, but in many cases they aren’t looking to be wowed. And if we put the same energy into all interactions, then we are underinvesting in the situations that matter the most to our customers.

What’s Right: Customer experience is not about wowing customers, it’s about delivering on your brand promises. Otherwise, companies that wanted to be great at customer experience would face an endless escalation of costs as they continue to layer on wow-inducing elements across their customers’ lifecycle. You need to understand how you want to be differentiated in your customers’ eyes (brand promises), and make investments in customer experience that bring those differences to life.

What You Should Do:

  • Elevate your brand promises. If you don’t know what makes you special, then you will never be able to effectively prioritize your resources. Start by making clear brand promises, then embrace those promises by helping all employees understand what those promises mean and what role they personally play in making the promises come to life. Finally, keep the promises by holding each other accountable to them on an ongoing basis and measuring yourself against them.
  • Master key moments. A handful of moments disproportionately impact your customers’ perceptions of your organization, and therefore disproportionately impact their loyalty. First identify these moments, and then invest in making those moments emotionally resonant experiences that reinforce your brand promises.
  • Focus on customer expectations. Delivering a great experience does not mean being better than your competitors. Their brand promises may be different than yours, or they may not be setting the right bar for key moments. Instead, measure yourself against your customers’ expectations. Are you exceeding your brand promises in the eyes of your key customers? If the answer is “an easy yes,” then you may want to consider even more aggressive brand promises.

The bottom line: Don’t try and wow customers, live up to your brand promises.

Employees Want To Make A Positive Impact

What motivates employees? This may seem like a difficult question to answer, but it’s not hard at all. There’s one overwhelming answer: Making a positive difference.

In our latest consumer benchmark study, we asked more than 5,000 full-time U.S. employees to select which of eight job characteristics they felt was the most important. Here’s what we found:

  • Making a positive impact: 42%
  • Earning a lot of money: 14%
  • Advancing your career: 13%
  • Building stronger skills: 12%
  • Using your judgment: 8%
  • Being seen as a top performer: 6%
  • Making friends at work: 3%
  • Impressing your family and friends: 2%

Making a positive impact is also the most important job characteristic across all age groups. As you can see below, it becomes increasingly more important as employees get older. For the youngest employees, being seen as a top performer comes in a close second place, but nothing is even close with older employees.

1811_JobImportanceByAge_v1

We also asked employees about the elements of their job that they enjoy. The chart below shows that once again, making a positive impact comes out on top across age groups and increases with age. For younger employees, building stronger skills is a very close second. As employees get older, using your judgement becomes an increasingly enjoyable element of their job.

1811_JobEnjoymentByAge_v1

The bottom line: Help employees feel like they’re making a positive impact.

eBook: Humanizing Customer Experience

Temkin Group eBook: Humanizing Customer Experience (CX)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:

  • The Six Key Traits Of Human Beings that are important to understand how people think, feel, and act.
  • How individuals can improve humanity by embracing diversity, extending compassion, and expressing appreciation.
  • Three strategies for CX professionals to improve humanity: act with purpose, create positive memories, and cultivate deep empathy.

Temkin Group eBook: Humanizing Customer Experience (CX)

 

Propelling Experience Design (Infographic)

In the report Propelling Experience Design Across An Organization, we examine how companies can best use a very important skill, experience design. This infographic provides an overview.

Here are links to download different versions of the infographic:

Here are some of the reports with data included in the infographic:

Report: The Customer Journeys That Matter The Most

Few organizations deliver outstanding experiences to their customers. In fact, only 6% of companies earned an “excellent” score in the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings. To better understand which types of interactions are most likely to affect the customer’s perception of an organization, we asked customers to identify the most problematic journeys across 19 different industries. In this report, we:

  • Examine feedback from 10,000 U.S. consumers about their journeys with 318 companies across 19 industries.
  • Identify which customer journeys consumers think most need improvement and look at how those responses differ across age groups.
  • Evaluate how different customer journeys impact five loyalty behaviors: likelihood to recommend the company, likelihood to repurchase from the company, likelihood to forgive the company if it makes a mistake, likelihood to trust the company, and likelihood of trying new offerings from the company.
  • One of the key findings across industries is that journeys that touch customer service are often the most prevalent and the most impactful on customer loyalty.

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Here’s the first figure in the report, which has a total of 58 figures (three detailed graphics for each of the industries):

Most Problematic Customer Journeys Across Industries

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Report Outline:

  • Why Focus On Customer Journeys?
  • Examining Customer Journeys Across 19 Industries
    • Banking Customer Journeys
    • Computers & Tablets Customer Journeys
    • Insurance Customer Journeys
    • Investment Customer Journeys
    • Credit Card Customer Journeys
    • Health Plan Customer Journeys
    • TV & Internet Service Customer Journeys
    • Parcel Delivery Customer Journeys
    • Wireless Carriers Customer Journeys
    • Airline Customer Journeys
    • Hotels & Rooms Customer Journeys
    • Retail Customer Journeys
    • Fast Food Chains Customer Journeys
    • Rental Car Customer Journeys
    • Supermarket Customer Journeys
    • TV & Appliance Customer Journeys
    • Auto Dealers Customer Journeys
    • Software Customer Journeys
    • Utility Customer Journeys

 

Figures in the Report:

  1. Most Problematic Customer Journeys Across Industries
  2. Banking: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  3. Banking: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  4. Banking: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  5. Computers & Tablets: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  6. Computers & Tablets: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  7. Computers & Tablets: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  8. Insurance: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  9. Insurance: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  10. Insurance: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  11. Investments: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  12. Investments: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  13. Investments: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  14. Credit Cards: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  15. Credit Cards: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  16. Credit Cards: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  17. Health Plans: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  18. Health Plans: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  19. Health Plans: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  20. TV & Internet Service: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  21. TV & Internet Service: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  22. TV & Internet Service: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  23. Parcel Delivery: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  24. Parcel Delivery: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  25. Parcel Delivery: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  26. Wireless Carriers: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  27. Wireless Carriers: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  28. Wireless Carriers: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  29. Airlines: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  30. Airlines: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  31. Airlines: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  32. Hotels & Rooms: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  33. Hotels & Rooms: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  34. Hotels & Rooms: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  35. Retailers: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  36. Retailers: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  37. Retailers: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  38. Fast Food: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  39. Fast Food: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  40. Fast Food: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  41. Rental Cars & Transport: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  42. Rental Cars & Transport: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  43. Rental Cars & Transport: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  44. Supermarkets: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  45. Supermarkets: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  46. Supermarkets: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  47. TVs & Appliances: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  48. TVs & Appliances: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  49. TVs & Appliances: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  50. Auto Dealers: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  51. Auto Dealers: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  52. Auto Dealers: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  53. Software Firms: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  54. Software Firms: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  55. Software Firms: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  56. Utilities: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  57. Utilities: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  58. Utilities: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups

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Making AI Customer-Centric

Making AI Customer-Centric (Temkin Group Report)Temkin Group just published a new report, Making AI Customer-Centric. Here’s the executive summary:

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – often in the form of chatbots and intelligent virtual assistants – is becoming more widespread in customer experience. However, despite its prevalence, few companies are employing AI in the right scenarios or using it to its fullest potential. In this report, Temkin Group creates a model and shares best practices for AI-Driven Interfaces (AIDI), which we define as digital interactions with customers that are being directly manipulated by machine learning algorithms.

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To successfully deploy customer-centric AI, companies need to:

  • Integrate the elements of the Human Conversational Model into the design of AIDI.
  • Bring together Five Ingredients: Conversational Design, Targeted Use Cases, Optimized Data Aggregation, Responsive AI Engine, and Continuous Tuning.
  • Determine Organizational AI Readiness before deployment by tying AI to business strategy, auditing data sources, assessing employee skills, and planning for agent/AIDI interactions.

Five Ingredients of Customer-Centric AI

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Report Outline:

  • Current AI Efforts Miss the Mark
  • Five Ingredients For Customer-Centric AI
    • Ingredient #1: Conversational Design
    • Ingredient #2: Targeted Use Cases
    • Ingredient #3: Optimized Data Aggregation
    • Ingredient #4: Responsive AI Engine
    • Ingredient #5: Continuous Tuning
  • Determine Organizational AI Readiness

 

Figures in the Report:

  1. Artificial Intelligence Terminology
  2. Five Ingredients for Customer-Centric AI
  3. The HumanConversational Model
  4. American Express Platinum: Handoff to live agent
  5. Organizational Personality
  6. Organizational Personality: U.S. Army’s SGT STAR
  7. Attributes of Good Initial AI Use Cases
  8. How AI Supports Contact Center Agents
  9. NorthFace: Identify Intent in the Moment
  10. Questions For Determining Organizational AI Readiness
  11. Changing Responsibilities for AI Development

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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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5 Promises That Define B2B Customer Success

We work with many of the largest technology companies, helping them bolster the experiences they deliver to customers, often focusing on their (business-to-business) B2B relationships.

With the shift from on-premise to cloud-based software, technology providers have had to focus even more on customer experience. Why? Because customers buy more incrementally and make renewal decisions more frequently, forcing tech vendors to ensure that customers are continuously getting value.

This shift is not unique to the technology industry. Many B2B companies are realizing that customers aren’t buying products. Instead, customers are making purchases in the expectation that they will achieve some value from the provider’s products and services. We call this a shift to “Value-As-A-Service (VaaS).”

In the world of VaaS, B2B companies must change how they interact with customers. Instead of relying on sales-oriented account management teams, they are creating customer success organizations. These groups are focused on making sure that customers achieve the value and outcomes they expect.

Unfortunately, many customer success organizations still look a lot like old fashioned account management groups. While there are many changes that need to be made, one of the things that can help is to commit to delivering on a set of customer promises. To help organizations start this process, we’ve identified a set of five promises that customer success organizations should make and keep:

  1. Understand My Business: Know how your products/services will help your clients business succeed.
  2. Find & Share Relevant Best Practices: Expose clients to meaningful opportunities for them to create new value with your products and/or services
  3. Prevent Known Issues & Obstacles: Make recommendations that will avoid problems in the future.
  4. Orchestrate Value Across Your Silos: Provide seamless access to appropriate resources across your organization.
  5. Don’t Surprise Me: Anticipate client’s upcoming needs and let them know what to expect during their entire lifecycle.

The bottom line: B2B loyalty depends on customer success.

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 …

Patients Deserve Better Designed Experiences

I’ve recently spent some time visiting different hospitals, luckily not as a patient. There are a lot of amazing things that happen in hospitals, as the medical field continues to push the envelope on diagnostics and treatments. Many diseases that were once fatal are now being cured or at least managed.

While medicine is getter much better, patient experience remains very problematic.

In some cases, a patient’s medical experience can be like getting a scrumptious steak dinner (great medical treatment) delivered on dirty paper plate (poor experience). In the worst case (continuing this metaphor), the plate has bacteria and causes the patient to get sick. There’s a lot of research to suggest that the a patient’s experience plays an important role in how their body reacts to medical treatment.

I’ve been pleased to see a growing number of hospitals hire Patient Experience Officers. While the existence of that role is not a panacea for change, it at least demonstrate a willingness to make investments in this critical area. The bigger question, however, is how committed are hospitals to making the requires changes?

As I like saying to anyone who will listen, the experience you deliver is a reflection of your culture and operating processes. If you want to create a better patient experience, then you must change many aspects of how your hospital and its leaders operates.

How does a hospital become more patient-centric? By mastering the Four CX Core Competencies:

  • Purposeful Leadership: Operate consistently with a clear set of values.
  • Compelling Brand Values: Deliver on your brand promises to patients.
  • Employee Engagement: Align employees with the goals of the organization.
  • Customer Connectedness: Infuse patient insights into every decision.

Since this is only a post and not a book or report, I will focus the rest of what I write on one of the component strategies of Customer Connectedness called Design for Real People. Too many patient experiences are not designed, or even examined, proactively. They just happen.

Instead of leaving patient experience to chance (which typically does not work out well), Design For Real People by creating experiences that tap into patients’ emotions and behaviors. How do you do this? Well, we’ve got three approaches:

1) Establish Deep Empathy

Human beings are naturally empathetic, but something happens when we go to work. The dynamics of work and the environment we’re surrounded by can severely dampen the empathy for patients and their families. This is true for doctors, nurses, orderlies, administrators, and even volunteers. Take a look at the video, Five Ways That Organizations Crush Customer Empathy.

  • My advice: You need to amplify empathy on an ongoing basis and look really deeply at the needs of patients and their families whenever you’re designing processes, procedures, services, room layouts, or anything that will impact the experience. Make sure to actively talk about patients emotions and examine their entire journey. Download the free eBook, 25 Tips for Amplifying Empathy, for a bunch of valuable ideas.

2) Create Positive Memories

It turns out that people do not remember experiences the way that they actually occur. Our memory is not an on-demand video recorder, but instead its more like an Instagram account that is capturing some key moments along the way. One of the key studies that identified this phenomena was done by by Daniel Kahneman with colonoscopy patients. His research uncovered what he called the “Peak-End Rule’ which states that what a person remembers about an experience is the average of the peak emotion they felt throughout the experience, and the way that they feel at the experience ends. We’ve extended this rule to also include another key moment, rapid emotional spikes.

  • My advice: While there are many key moments for driving patient memories, the one that jumps to mind is the discharge experience. It’s the last experience that patients and their caregivers have in the hospital and it might be the most haphazard part of the overall experience. Patients don’t know when they are actually going to leave, don’t know what the steps are before they leave, and often given a pile of papers at the last minute. Bring together some previous patients with a few doctors and nurses and co-create a new experience. It can only get better.

3) Facilitate Intuitive Decisions

Human beings have two modes of thinking, rational and intuitive. To lighten our cognitive burden, people make most decisions using intuitive thinking—which is fast, automatic, and emotional—as opposed to rational thinking—which is slow, effortful, and logical. Unfortunately, most organizations exclusively focus on patient’s rational thinking. Since intuitive thinking relies on unconscious heuristics and biases to make decisions efficiently, hospitals must examine how they support these mental shortcuts.

  • My advice: Get familiar with human biases. For instance, did you know that people have a default bias, meaning we will most likely pick the option that requires the least action. When you are creating or evaluating any experience, make sure you are making it easy for patients to intuitively make the right decisions.

I hope that you’re motivated to actively apply customer experience practices to your patient interactions. There are a lot of great tools and practices that will help improve the lives of your patients and caregivers.

The bottom line: Patient experience matters!

This post is part of the Customer Experience Professionals Association’s Blog Carnival “Celebrating Customer Experience.” It is part of a broader celebration of Customer Experience Day. Check out posts from other bloggers at www.cxpa.org/blogs/cxpa-admin/2017/09/27/cxdayblogcarnival

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

Download report for $195+buy infusing culture report