Report: Creating and Sustaining a Customer-Centric Culture

1507_CreatingCXCulture_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Creating and Sustaining a Customer-Centric Culture. Here’s the executive summary:

Temkin Group defines culture as how employees think, believe, and act, and if an organization wants to differentiate its customer experience, it must address each one of these areas. However culture change is not easy. Culture change efforts are often impeded by common pitfalls, such as ignoring the existing culture or becoming impatient at the pace of change. To make this effort smoother, Temkin Group recommends adopting an approach we call Employee-Engaging Transformation (EET), which consists of five practices: Vision Translation, Persistent Leadership, Middle Management Activation, Grassroots Mobilization, and Captivating Communications. In this report, we’ve compiled case studies of how five organizations—Hagerty, Hilton Garden Inn, Oxford Properties, Safelite AutoGlass, and Transamerica—apply these EET practices to create and sustain their customer-centric cultures. To help your company discuss its goals around culture, use Temkin Group’s Cultural Planning Map.

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This graphics provides an overview of the details on how five companies are driving culture change.

1509_CultureCaseStudies

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The bottom line: Promoters are much more valuable than detractors.

Report: Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity, 2015

1507_StateOfEE2015_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity, 2015. 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 for any customer experience effort. Our research of more than 200 large companies shows that front-line employees are the most engaged, while back office employees are often neglected in employee engagement efforts. We also found that two-thirds of companies survey their employees at least once a year, but less than half of executives consider acting on the results as a high priority. We used Temkin Group’s Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity Assessment to gauge the maturity levels and efforts of these companies across our five competencies, called the Five I’s of Employee Engagement: Inform, Inspire, Instruct, Involve, and Incent. We found that less than one out of five companies have reached the top two levels of maturity, Enhancing and Maximizing. This percentage of very mature companies is about the same as in 2014, but the percentage of companies in the lowest two levels of maturity has dropped from 67% to 56% since last year. We also found that many companies face challenges when trying to make improvements. The lack of a clear employee engagement strategy remains the number one obstacle that’s been cited by respondents over the previous three years. We compared companies with above average employee engagement maturity with those with lower maturity and found that the leaders deliver better customer experience and also have better financial results than their counterparts.

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Here’s an excerpt from one of the 20 graphics:

1507_EECompetencyMaturityResults

Here are some additional highlights form the report:

  • The percentage of companies in the top two stages of employee engagement maturity has stayed the same since last year (19%), but the percentage of companies in the lower two sages has declined from 67% in 2014 to 56% on 2015.
  • Sixty-nine percent of large companies measure employee engagement at least annually, but only 45% of companies have executives that treat taking action on the results as a high priority.
  • The most common obstacle to success identified by respondents is the lack of a clear employee engagement strategy.
  • We compared companies with more mature employee engagement efforts with those that have less maturity. Seventy-two percent of the more mature companies have above average customer experience compared with 48% of the other companies.
  • Seventy-five percent of the more mature companies had better financial performance than their competitors’ compared with 50% of companies with lower employee engagement maturity.
  • Executives in companies with more mature employee engagement efforts are almost 3.5 times more likely to treat taking action on employee engagement studies as a high priority.
  • Companies with more mature employee engagement efforts are more than twice as likely to have their customer experience and HR organizations work together on their employee engagement efforts.
  • The report includes data for benchmarking your organization’s employee engagement competency and maturity levels.
  • Here’s a link to the 2014 study.

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The bottom line: Companies should invest more in employee engagement.

Report: Activating Middle Managers to Drive CX Change

1505_ActivatingMiddleManagers_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Activating Middle Managers to Drive CX Change. Here’s the executive summary:

It’s hard to get any group of employees to change their behavior when their managers are still reinforcing old processes, measurements, and beliefs. Middle managers show up in organizations under a variety of titles, but regardless of the descriptor, they are the ones who execute plans, lead teams, and direct collective efforts to produce results. Because of the importance of these responsibilities, Temkin Group made “Activating Middle Managers” a key strategy in its change model, Employee-Engaging Transformation. In this report, we examine five categories of best practices for successfully activating middle managers in organizational change efforts: Involve Middle Managers in Shaping the Change, Engage Middle Managers in Goal Setting, Train Middle Managers on Key Skills, Provide Middle Managers Tools to Engage their Teams, and Connect Middle Managers with Customers. In this report, we also describe the critical role that senior leaders must play across all of these strategies.

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The report contains details on 21 best practices across five categories:

1506_ActivatingMiddleManagers21BPs

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The bottom line: You can’t drive change without activating middle managers.

Report: Engaging Millennials in the Workplace

1503_Millennial Engagement_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Engaging Millennials in the Workplace, which provides five employee engagement strategies for younger workers. Here’s the executive summary:

Common estimates predict that the Millennial generation—those born between 1980 and 2000—will make up 60% of the workforce by 2020. As with each previous generation, this group of employees brings its own set of expectations, attitudes, and approaches to the job, which creates both challenges and opportunities for the organizations that employ them. Temkin Group research found that compared to other generations, Millennials desire opportunities to learn and advance their careers as well as opportunities that allow them to be creative and work flexible hours. To engage Millennials more effectively in the workplace, companies should deploy five strategies across Temkin Group’s Five I’s of Employee Engagement. These five strategies are: Expand Job Descriptions, Create Connections, Make Work Matter, Allow For Flexibility, and Develop Millennial Leaders. We also added a checklist to help HR departments drive these five strategies across their core processes.

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Here’s an overview of the five strategies:

1503_MillenialStrategies

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The bottom line: Engaging Millennials is no longer an optional focus.

Report: Employee Engagement Benchmark Study, 2015

1502_EEBenchmarkStudy15_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Employee Engagement Benchmark Study, 2015, which is our annual analysis of U.S. employees. Here’s the executive summary:

We used the Temkin Employee Engagement Index to analyze the engagement levels of more than 5,000 U.S. employees. We found that although employee engagement overall has increased over the past year, engagement levels still vary by organization, industry, and individual. Companies with stronger financial performances and better customer experience have employees who are considerably more engaged than their peers. Our research also shows that out of all the industries, the construction sector has the highest percentage of engaged employees, while the transportation and warehousing sector has the lowest. We additionally found that large companies have a lower percentage of engaged employees than smaller companies do. On an individual level, our research shows that frontline employees, high-income earners, and males tend to be more highly engaged. Given the significant value of engaged employees, we recommend that companies improve engagement levels by mastering our Five I’s of Employee Engagement: Inform, Inspire, Instruct, Involve, and Incent.

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This is the fourth year that we’ve released this study (see 2012 study, 2013 study, and 2014 study). Here are the results from the Temkin Employee Engagement Index over the previous four years:

EEBenchmarkOverview

Some of the other findings from the research include:

  • The number of highly and moderately engaged employees in the U.S. increased from 55% last year to 57% this year.
  • Compared with disengaged employees, highly engaged employees are 2.5 times as likely to stay at work late if something needs to be done after the normal workday ends, more than twice as likely to help someone at work even if they don’t ask for help, more than three times as likely to do something good for the company that is not expected of them, and more than five times as likely to recommend that a friend or relative apply for a job at their company.
  • Seventy-seven percent of employees in companies that have significantly better financial performance than their peers are highly or moderately engaged, compared with only 49% of employees in companies with lagging financial performance.
  • Companies that outpace their competitors in CX have 50% more engaged employees than those with CX that lags their peers.
  • Ninety-one percent of highly engaged employees always or almost always try their hardest at work, compared with 67% of disengaged employees.
  • 25- to 34-year-old employees are the most engaged group while 45- to 54-year-old employees are the least engaged.
  • Senior executives are 50% more likely than individual contributors to be highly or moderately engaged.
  • Of the 15 industries measured in the study, construction has the highest level of engaged employees while transportation and warehousing has the lowest.

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The bottom line: There are a lot of employees who can and should be more engaged.

Report: The Secret to B2B2C Customer Experience Success

1412_B2B2CCX_COVERWe published a Temkin Group report, The Secret to B2B2C Customer Experience Success. When a company doesn’t have sole control over the customer relationship, it has to recognize the entire system of relationships that influence the end customer’s experience, focusing on what we call B2B2C CX management. Here’s the executive summary:

Many companies reach their end customers through a variety of channel partners—from independent agents and dealerships, to resellers and distributors. Temkin Group defines B2B2C customer experience as enhancing the end customer experience in a way that satisfies the needs of channel partners. The B2B2C environment is complex and full of challenges that hamper companies’ ability to deliver great customer experience to their end customers, such as a lack of alignment with partners or a limited understanding of customers. Our research uncovered five B2B2C CX capabilities that companies require to succeed in delivering a great experience to end customers: Voice of the Partner, Customer Insights Cooperation, CX Capabilities Development, Partner Engagement, and Channel Management Collaboration. We also identified three prototypical B2B2C structures that impact how companies should apply the B2B2C CX capabilities for the most effective outcome. Use Temkin Group’s assessment to identify your company’s B2B2C structure.

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Here’s an overview of the five B2B2C CX capabilities:

B2B2CCXCapabilities

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The bottom line: Engage your partners to engage your customers.

Report: Social Employee Engagement

1407_Social Employee Engagement_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Social Employee Engagement. The research shows best practices for infusing social tools into employee engagement efforts. Here’s the executive summary:

Temkin Group research shows that engaged employees are valuable assets. They try harder at work, are less likely to look for a new job, and feel more committed to helping the company succeed. We found that companies with stronger employee engagement competencies are more likely to use social tools as part of their internal efforts than other companies. For best results, companies should introduce these social capabilities into their employee engagement plans to enhance what we call the “Five I’s of Employee Engagement”: Inform, Inspire, Instruct, Involve, and Incent. We interviewed 17 companies for this report, including EMC, Fidelity Investments, Houlihan’s, Humana, Oracle, SunTrust Bank, TELUS, and USAA, and identified more than 20 best practices enabled by social tools. We also added a checklist to help organizations introduce social tools to employees.

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The report identifies best practices for using social tools across the 5 I’s of Employee Engagement:

1408_Social5Is

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The bottom line: Tap into social tools to engage employees

Report: State of Employee Engagement Activities, 2014

Purchase reportWe just published a Temkin Group report, State of Employee Engagement Activities, 2014. This is the second year that we’ve benchmarked the employee engagement efforts within large organizations. Here’s the executive summary:

Although engaged employees are a vital component of any successful organization, we have found that only 50% of employees at large organizations feel engaged. To understand how companies are working to improve these engagement levels, we surveyed executives from more than 200 large organizations. We found that frontline employees are the most engaged, and that while most firms do measure employee engagement, less than half prioritize taking actions based on the results. The lack of a clear employee engagement strategy contributes to the fact that only 19% of companies earned a strong or very strong score on the Temkin Group Employee Engagement Competency Assessment. Employee engagement leaders enjoy stronger financial results and deliver better customer experience than employee engagement laggards, and they also have more coordinated engagement activities, more empowered CX teams, and more committed executives. Compared to 2013, this year more companies have significant employee engagement activities, but overall these activities are performed less frequently. Use our assessment and data to benchmark your employee engagement competencies and maturity.

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Here are results from companies that completed Temkin Group’s Employee Engagement Competency and Maturity Assessment::

1407_EECompetencies

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The bottom line: Companies need to pay more attention to employee engagement

Report: Raising Customer-Centricity Across the B2B Enterprise

1404_B2B CX Case Studies_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Raising Customer-Centricity Across the B2B Enterprise. The research provides in-depth case studies of five B2B firms. Here’s the executive summary:

Temkin Group research shows that good customer experience (CX) drives loyalty with business customers. These same business customers, influenced by their personal experiences as consumers, have raised their expectations in their business-to-business (B2B) relationships. While most large B2B organizations have a low level of CX maturity, our research shows that 56% of them have the goal of delivering industry-leading customer experience within three years. To understand how B2B organizations are improving their customer-centricity, we compiled case studies of five organizations that are raising the bar in CX: Ciena, Crowe Horwath, Fiserv, Genworth Financial, and Oracle. To assess your organization’s CX maturity, use Temkin Group’s Customer Experience Competency Assessment, and compare the results to data from other large B2B firms.

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The report provides 40 pages, including rich details on B2B CX and benchmark data to evaluate your B2B CX against other large organizations. Some of the data points in the report include:

  • 12% of large B2B organizations are in the highest two levels of CX maturity (out of six levels).
  • 8% of large B2B organizations have very good ratings in Compelling Brand Values, the lowest rated CX competency.
  • 79% of large B2B organizations identify “other competing priorities” as a key obstacle to CX success, compared with 65% of non-B2B firms.
  • 56% of large B2B organizations have a goal to be CX leaders in their industries within three years.

The five case studies go deep into how some great practices for infusing good CX across B2B organizations:

  • Ciena: When Ciena began its customer experience journey 18 months ago, it set out to “engage, inform, and transform” the organization. It started its journey by using deep customer insights to hone in on what matters most to customers and now focuses on strengthening its culture and continuously improving.
  • Crowe Horwath: As a professional services firm, Crowe’s employees are its customer experience. Therefore, Crowe focuses its efforts on capturing and sharing all client feedback with its employees, and it uses a variety of tactics to involve them in shaping its CX efforts.
  • Fiserv: While technology underpins the customer experience tools, analyses, and reporting that drive Fiserv’s CX efforts, the company also integrates a human element into its efforts by using employee coaching, performance management, and rewards and recognition programs to engage employees in their work.
  • Genworth Financial: The CX team at Genworth uses a combination of approaches—from customer journey mapping to service dashboards to innovation ideation—to involve employees across the organization in its customer experience efforts.
  • Oracle: Oracle continues to raise customer-centricity across its global footprint by listening, responding, and collaborating with customers to identify and take action on customer experience improvement opportunities.

The case studies highlight practices affecting all four customer experience core competencies:

1406_B2B4CXCompetencies

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The bottom line: B2B firms need to improve customer experience.

Report: Introducing Employee-Engaging Transformation

1402_EET_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Introducing Employee-Engaging Transformation. This is a must-read for anyone who is trying to drive sustainable change across their organization. Here’s the executive summary:

Organizations have ambitious goals for improving their customer experience (CX). But CX change isn’t easy; it requires significant transformation across almost every aspect of operations. Therefore, given the effort required, it’s no surprise that Temkin Group research shows that less than half of large organizations rate their CX improvement efforts as effective. Our research into how large organizations successfully change uncovered a core insight: CX change must be focused on changing the way employees do their every-day jobs. We have developed an approach to CX change that we call Employee-Engaging Transformation (EET), which we define as, “Aligning employee attitudes and behaviors with the organization’s desire to change.” There are five practices required to succeed at EET: Vision Translation, Persistent Leadership, Activated Middle Management, Grassroots Mobilization, and Captivating Communications. This research shares examples of these practices in action from over a dozen large organizations, including Adobe, MetLife, Oklahoma City Thunder, Oracle, Prime Therapeutics, and Rackspace. To assess your own organization’s effectiveness in these five practices, use Temkin Group’s Employee-Engaging Transformation Assessment.

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Based on our research, we developed an approach to CX change that we call Employee-Engaging Transformation (EET). We define EET as:

Aligning employee attitudes and behaviors with the organization’s desire to change.

EET2

EET represents a significant shift from how most organizations currently approach their change initiatives. To succeed with EET, organizations must master five practices:

  • Vision Translation: Connect Employees with the Vision. The organization clearly defines and conveys not only what the future state is, but why moving away from the current state is imperative for the organization, its employees, and its customers.
  • Persistent Leadership: Attack Ongoing Obstacles. Leaders realize that change is a long-term journey and commit to working together until the organization has fully embedded the transformation into its systems and processes.
  • Activated Middle Management: Enlist Key Influencers. Middle managers are invested in the transformation and understand their unique role in supporting their employees’ change journeys.
  • Grassroots Mobilization: Empower Employees to Change. Frontline employees operate in an environment where they help to shape and are enabled to deliver the change.
  • Captivating Communications: Share Impactful, Informative Messages. The organization shares information about the change through a variety of means that balance both the practical and the inspirational elements for each target audience.

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The bottom line: Transformation requires employees to change what they do day-to-day

Report: Benchmarking Your CX Organization

1401_BenchmarkCXOrg_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Benchmarking Your CX Organization. The research shows benchmark data from 115 large firms that completed an assessment of their CX organizations that we introduced in a previous report, Blueprint for a Successful CX Organization. Here’s the executive summary:

In a recent report, we introduced an assessment for CX organizations that examines three characteristics: Make-up of CX Core Team, Executive Commitment to CX, and Organizational Readiness for Change. To understand how companies stack up, we had 115 large companies complete the assessment. The results show that 41% of CX organizations are strong or very strong. Companies are weakest in Organizational Readiness for Change, which includes the lowest scoring individual criteria: Key stakeholders are actively involved in CX efforts. This report includes data charts to help you identify your percentile scores for the overall results as well as for each of the three characteristics.

This report is bundled together with Blueprint for a Successful CX Organization (two reports for the price of one!).

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Here are the overall results from the evaluations:

This report is bundled together with Blueprint for a Successful CX Organization (two reports for the price of one!).

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The bottom line: Is your CX organization positioned for success?

Report: Lessons in CX Excellence, 2014

1401_LessonsCX Excellence_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Lessons in CX Excellence, 2014. The report provides insights from 11 finalists in the Temkin Group’s 2013 CX Excellence Awards. The report, which is 144 pages long, 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:

The following 11 organizations are finalists in Temkin Group’s 2013 Customer Experience Excellence Awards: Adobe, AIG Asia Pacific, Cisco, Cox Communications, EMC, Findel Education Resources, Fiserv, Intuit ProTax Group, Oracle, Rackspace, and UMB Bank. This report highlights their customer experience efforts and describes their best practices across the four customer experience competencies: purposeful leadership, compelling brand values, employee engagement, and customer connectedness. Additionally, this report includes an appendix with the finalists’ detailed nomination forms to help you gather ideas and examples to improve your own CX efforts.

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Here are some highlights from the finalists:

  • When Adobe began its transition from a products-based company to a services company, it recognized the increased importance of providing excellent customer experience and established a central Customer Advocacy team in January 2013. One of this team’s main objectives is to make measurable improvements to top customer issues. Adobe identifies these top issues using numerous VoC listening channels and then, with full transparency, communicates these issues across the entire company. Every leader and employee can access root cause analysis, direct customer comments and feedback, action plans, and more.
  • AIG Asia Pacific uses its FEEL GOOD message to engage customers, employees, and leaders in the company’s service culture transformation efforts. AIG uses a comprehensive Voice of the Customer program—which includes a closed-loop NPS process—to keep the company focused on its customers and agents and implement meaningful changes based on their feedback. In each country, cross-functional teams concentrate on improving responsiveness to customer feedback. Teams create plans for their alert management processes and use a real-time online dashboard to quickly resolve customer issues.
  • Cisco has made Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) a corporate priority; it drives relevant and meaningful solutions that simplify complex issues for its customers. To support its EoDB focus, Cisco analyzes customer feedback and identifies trends in experience pain points, and then delivers tailored reports and suggestions to the appropriate business teams. Cisco reinforces the importance of EoDB by equipping leaders with regular program updates, factoring the success of EoDB targets into the bonus calculations of every employee, and prominently displaying an EoDB dashboard that provides real-time data feed from customer surveys.
  • In an industry notorious for poor customer service, Cox Communications stands out for its dedication to improving its customer experience. Its closed-loop feedback program has been particularly successful at repairing damaged relationships and reducing customer churn. Cox Communications established a centralized Closed-Loop Feedback (CLF) team, which is made up of agents from different functional areas who are tasked with taking ownership of customers’ issues from beginning to end.
  • The dedicated Total Customer Experience (TCE) team at EMC recently enhanced its TCE program by fine-tuning their data-driven approach to improving the company’s customer and partner experience. EMC obtains a complete view of its customers’ perceptions and behaviors by collecting data using customer journey maps and an extensive Voice of Experience (VoX) program. To augment these insights, EMC also evaluates the quality of its products and the TCE team assesses customer and partner infrastructures to ensure that EMC products suit their clients’ needs.
  • Findel Education Resources recently revamped its entire outlook on customer experience and placed the customer at the center of its business. The company started its journey towards customer-centricity by outlining the objectives it sought to achieve and the questions it wanted to ask to ensure that leaders and employees remained customer-focused. Findel instituted Employee Voice and Customer Voice programs to diagnose customer issues and benchmark the company’s progress.
  • Two years ago Fiserv established a new Customer Experience Department tasked with improving customer service and associate engagement. This department began by changing the company’s vision and mission to incorporate its new focus on customers, creating a multi-faceted customer experience roadmap, and outlining a hierarchy of needs. Since the department’s inception, CX has become the highest weighted metric on the balanced scorecards for leaders and employees, and the company has invested a great deal in internal assessment and coaching.
  • Intuit’s ProTax Group (PTG) uses customer feedback to drive changes in the business. Intuit PTG gathers customer feedback through a robust customer listening program, an extensive closed-loop program, and engaged social media communities. After collecting customer insights, the Customer Experience and Customer Market Insights team within Intuit PTG sends weekly, quarterly, and annual reports to the entire company, which broadens awareness of customer issues.
  • At Oracle, customer experience initiatives begin with a 360-degree view of customers. Oracle maintains a Customer Experience Database (CxD), which details the interactions and experiences of every customer based on their behavior on oracle.com and their interactions on social media. Oracle also utilizes its business intelligence product to add survey results to this customer profile, further expanding the company’s attitudinal and behavioral data on each customer.
  • At Rackspace, Fanatical Support forms the backbone of their customer experience efforts. Rackspace combines its customer data into a single listening and analysis hub, and undesirable scores and trends act as a catalyst for the company’s business decisions. For example, after examining this data, the company decided to merge the sales and support teams together to provide a constant customer experience.
  • UMB Bank recently established a Voice of the Customer Steering Team to support their customer-centric focus. This Steering Team uses VoC feedback to assign priority to CX issues and oversees improvements to the customer experience. The team is made up of leaders from all different business areas, such as product and sales, which ensures that all departments are fully engaged in the company’s efforts to improve customer experience.

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If you enjoyed this report, check out last year’s report, Lessons in CX Excellence.

The bottom line: There’s a lot to learn from these CX Excellence Finalists.

Report: Blueprint for a Successful CX Organization

1311_BlueprintForCXOrgStructure_COVER

We just published a Temkin Group report, Blueprint for a Successful CX Organization. The research includes five case studies and a self-test for assessing CX organizations. Here’s the executive summary:

Organizations need both formal and informal structures to drive change and improve customer experience (CX). In this report, we begin by identifying the five elements of a customer experience management group operating inside an organization: a CX core team, a reporting executive, a steering committee, a working group, and CX ambassadors. We describe how five organizations—Arizona Public Service, British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Cornerstone OnDemand, Hagerty, and Safeco Insurance—combine these essential elements to create effective CX management groups. Our research also found that CX groups come in all shapes and sizes, and that the needs of these structures vary according to the maturity level of a company’s CX efforts. Across all different structures, the success of a CX organization is based on three characteristics: make-up of the CX core team, executive commitment to CX, and organizational readiness for CX. To evaluate your CX organization against these characteristics, use Temkin Group’s CX Organization Assessment.

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Our research found that CX organizations are typically made up of these five elements.

While we examined the structures of many CX organizations, it turns out that structure is not the key determination of success. Instead, the three key characteristics below are critical. The report includes a self-test for assessing these dimensions.

Purchase this report and you will also receive the report Benchmarking Your CX Organization.

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The bottom line: Build a successful CX organization

Report: Best Practices for Actively Listening to Employees

1308_EEListening_v1_Page_01We just published a Temkin Group report, Best Practices for Actively Listening to Employees with case Studies from Adobe, Fidelity, Microsoft, TELUS, and USAA. Here’s the executive summary:

Employees are a valuable asset, not only for what they do but also for what they know. Unfortunately, companies regularly underuse or outright ignore their insights. To understand what it takes to tap into employee knowledge, we researched best practices in employee listening. Our analysis uncovered four key areas of listening: employee satisfaction and engagement, customer experience engagement, customer experience improvement, and employee experience improvement. This report outlines case studies from five companies with robust employee listening programs: Adobe, Fidelity, Microsoft, TELUS, and USAA. These firms shared many strong practices, from structured listening programs—like Adobe’s annual employee engagement survey and USAA’s pulse polls—to interactive and adaptive efforts like TELUS’s Habitat Social online platform, Fidelity’s Voice of Customer Ambassador program, and Microsoft’s Last Mile Excellence process. We recommend implementing an employee listening blueprint that includes annual surveys, pulse surveys, and online forums.

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Here’s an overview of some of the best practices across the five case studies:

Figure4

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The bottom line: Employees are an asset, listen and learn from them

Report: State of Employee Engagement Activities, 2013

We just published a Temkin Group report, State of Employee Engagement Activities, 2013, that examines the employee engagement efforts within more than 200 large organizations. Here’s the executive summary:

Only 25 percent of employees at large organizations are highly engaged. To understand what efforts are underway to improve employee engagement, we surveyed 221 CX professionals from large organizations. While most firms measure employee engagement, less than half place a high priority on taking action based on employee feedback. A lack of a clear employee engagement strategy and the narrow reach of employee engagement activities contribute to less than one in four organizations earning strong or very strong scores on Temkin Group’s employee engagement competency assessment. When we compared companies with stronger employee experience scores to the other companies, we found that these leading firms have better financial and customer experience results. They also have more coordinated employee engagement efforts, more involvement by the CX team in these efforts, and are five times more likely to place a high priority on taking action on employee feedback.

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As part of the research, nearly 200 large organizations completed Temkin Group’s employee engagement competency assessment.  As you can see from the results below, less than one quarter of respondents earned a “strong” rating, and companies are particularly weak in one of our Five I’s of Employee Engagement: Inspire.1307_EEAssessment

Here are some additional findings from the research:

  • Seventy-five percent of companies with stronger employee engagement efforts have above average customer experience compared with 50% of companies with weaker efforts
  • Eighty percent of companies with stronger employee engagement efforts have above average financial results, compared with 53% of companies with weaker efforts
  • Ninety-four percent of respondents measure employee engagement and two-thirds measure it at least annually.
  • Only 43 percent of respondents believe that their executive team highly prioritizes taking action based on the employee engagement feedback.
  • The top obstacles to improving employee engagement are a clear employee engagement strategy and inconsistent buy-in among middle managers.
  • In 53 percent of companies with stronger employee engagement efforts, the CX group is active in the efforts compared with only 35 percent of other firms.
  • Firms with stronger employee engagement efforts are five times more likely than other firms to treat the results from employee engagement surveys as a high priority.

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The bottom line: Employee engagement is an under-appreciated corporate asset