Report: Engaging A Tethered Workforce

1701_engagingatetheredworkforce_coverWe just published a Temkin Group report, Engaging A Tethered Workforce.  Here’s the executive summary:

Companies across a number of industries create and deliver customer experiences (CX) through a combination of traditional employees and other workers who they do not directly control – such as contractors or employees of channel partners or outsourcing partners. Despite not being directly employed by the company, these other workers – who make up what Temkin Group calls a “tethered workforce” – still play a critical role in delivering experiences that represent the company’s brand. However, tethered workers differ from typical full-time, corporate employees in ways that pose challenges to brands’ efforts to align these workers with their customer experience goals and objectives. In this report, we examine how brands are tapping into these tethered employees. Here are some highlights:

  • Companies must manage three connections: 1) Between themselves and their partners that employ the tethered workers, 2) Between their partners and the tethered employees, and 3) Between themselves and the tethered workers.
  • We share over 30 examples of best practices from across Temkin Group’s Five I’s of Employee Engagement: Inform, Inspire, Instruct, Involve, and Incent.
  • We offer brands a blueprint for engaging tethered workers with key things to think about across the three connections of tethered workforces.

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Here are the 17 best practices described in the report:

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Report Outline:

  • Delivering Experiences Through Non-Employees Is Challenging
  • Brands and Their Partners Need to Engage Tethered Workers
    • Brand and Channel or Outsourcing Partner: Collaborate for Success
    • Partner and Tethered Workers: Balance Interests
    • Brand and Tethered Workers: Forge Attachment
  • A Blueprint for Engaging Tethered Workers

 

Figures in the Report:

  1. How Tethered Workers’ Characteristics Impact the Customer Experience
  2. Engaged Employees Are Valuable Assets
  3. Employee Engagement Virtuous Cycle
  4. How Characteristics of tethered Workers Can Be Mitigated by the Five I’s of Employee Engagement
  5. Three Key Connections of Tethered Workforces
  6. 17 Practices for Engaging Tethered Workers
  7. How Partner CX Advocacy Programs Can Help
  8. Best Practices for Partners to Balance Interests
  9. Select TouchPoint Support Services Manager Training
  10. Channels for Listening to the Voice of the Employee
  11. The Oxford Commitment
  12. Oxford Properties’ Dialogue Series
  13. Recommendations for Designing an Effective Employee Recognition Program
  14. Blueprint for Engaging Tethered Workers

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Report: Lessons in CX Excellence, 2017

1701_lessonsincxexcellence_coverWe just published a Temkin Group report, Lessons in CX Excellence, 2017. The report provides insights from eight finalists in the Temkin Group’s 2016 CX Excellence Awards. The report, which has 62 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 year, we named five organizations the winners of Temkin Group’s 2016 Customer Experience Excellence Award – Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Century Support Services, Crowe Horwath, Oxford Properties, and VCA. 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. it 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 Tapping Into Customer Emotions

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

Here’s the executive summary:

Emotions play an essential role in how people form judgments and make decisions. Consequently, a customer’s emotional response to an experience with a company has a significant impact on their loyalty to that company. To help you improve your customer experience, we’ve compiled a list of 25 examples from companies who are tapping into customer emotions, which you can emulate at your own organization.

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

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

Report: Translating Brand Promises into Employee Behaviors

1608_translatingpromisesintobehaviors_coverWe just published a Temkin Group report, Translating Brand Promises into Employee Behaviors. Here’s the executive summary:

Temkin Group has found that the companies that deliver great customer experience use their brand as a blueprint for how they treat customers, which is why Compelling Brand Values is one of our four customer experience core competencies. Too often organizations put a lot of energy into communicating the brand externally, only to fall short on connecting employees to their role in keeping brand promises. And when employees aren’t connected to these promises, they tend to be less proactive, to act inconsistently, and to care less about their work. In this report, we describe three steps that companies can use to translate their brand promises into employee behaviors: Make promises, Embrace promises, and Keep promises. To illustrate this approach, we share over 20 examples of best practices from companies including Anthem, A&W Food Services of Canada, the city of Centennial, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Quest Diagnostics. To evaluate how well your organization follows this approach, use Temkin Group’s Compelling Brand Promises Assessment.

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Here’s are two of the 15 graphics in the report:

1609_bestpracticemakeembracekeeppromises 1609_promisesmissionvalues

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Report: Emotion-Infused Experience Design

1606_EmotionInfusedExperienceDesign_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Emotion-Infused Experience Design.

Emotions play an essential role in how people make decisions. Consequently, how a customer feels about their experience with a company has the most significant impact on their loyalty to that company. And yet despite their importance, both customers and companies agree that organizations do a poor job of engaging customers’ emotions. To help companies create a stronger emotional connection with customers, we’ve developed an approach called Emotion-Infused Experience Design (EIxD). To master EIxD, organizations must continuously focus on three questions: “Who exactly are these people (who happen to be our customers)?” “What is our organizational personality?” and “How do we want customers to feel?” This report offers both advice and examples about how to apply these three questions across four facets that affect emotion: senses, feelings, social, and values. And to help infuse these practices across the organization, we have also identified some strategies for how to turn employees into agents of EIxD.

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Our research shows that emotion is often a missing link in customer experience. While emotions may seem ephemeral and subjective, we developed a concrete methodology you can use to design for emotion. We call this methodology “Emotion-Infused Experience Design” (EIxD), and we define it as:

An approach for deliberately creating interactions that evoke specific customer emotions.

To master EIxD, you must ask (and answer) three questions throughout the entire design process:

  1. Who exactly are these people (who happen to be our customers)? You cannot design emotionally engaging experiences without a solid grasp on who your target customers are—what they want, what they need, what makes them tick.
  2. What is our organizational personality? Research shows that people relate to companies as if they are fellow human beings rather than inanimate corporate entities.
  3. How do we want our customers to feel? People are inherently emotional beings, and every interaction they have with you will make them feel a certain way—whether you intend it to or not.

To address the three questions of EIxD, this report shows how to design around four elements of emotion: senses, feelings, social, and values. Here are two of the 26 figures in the report:

1606_TwoPartsofEmotion1605_CokeStarbucksEmotions

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Modernize Leadership: Steve Jobs Demonstrates Purpose and Values

wordle4bIn a recent post, I discussed how management practices have become outdated and that there’s a strong need to Modernize Leadership. This change requires eight distinct shifts in how we lead organizations.

I just ran into this great video of a speech that Steve Jobs gave in September 1997. It’s really worth watching. Jobs demonstrates a few of the elements that I discuss in Modernize Leadership, and in particular he does a great job of highlighting this necessary shift:

5) Goals and Objectives to Purpose and Values

The bottom line: Tap into your purpose and values to drive simplicity

Modernize Leadership: Shifting 8 Outdated Management Practices

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Over the previous decade, I’ve had the opportunity to work with and study thousands of companies. One of the things that I’ve noticed is that the world has changed a lot, but organizational management has stayed substantially the same.

Technology has enabled entirely new practices and we’ve developed a much deeper understanding of what drives human behaviors and business success. But these new realities have not been translated into how leaders run their companies. Instead, management techniques continue to reflect outdated assumptions such as:

  • Mainstream economics works on the assumption of Homo Economicus, a model of people as rational self-interest maximizers. So “agency theory” informs management that employees can’t be trusted to act on behalf of the firm and, therefore, controls must be put in place to align their efforts.
  • Strategic planning cycles (annually, quarterly) have been established based on a constraint of limited data availability. When these processes and cycles were initially created, it was impractical to more frequently pull together meaningful insights about the business.
  • Management focus has been driven by economists like Milton Friedman who argued that corporate officials have one core responsibility: making as much money as possible for their shareholders. But the value that a company creates comes from a combination of resources contributed by different constituencies (not just investors) who’s returns should also be maximized, especially employees who contribute their knowledge and skills.

While these underlying assumptions aren’t necessarily discussed explicitly, they frame the basic structure of today’s approach to management. Well, it’s time to Modernize Leadership. We need to redefine how we run organizations based on the realities of today, which will require more inspiring leaders in the future.

To help make the shift, I plan to write individual posts that describe eight key shifts required to modernize leadership. In those posts I’ll describe the move from:

  1. Command and Control to Engage and Empower
  2. Strategize and Plan to Learn and Adjust
  3. Amass and Review to Detect and Disseminate
  4. Measure and Track to Observe and Improve
  5. Goals and Objectives to Purpose and Values
  6. Problems and Solutions to Strengths and Appreciation
  7. Process and Projects to Culture and Behaviors
  8. Price and Features to Experience and Emotions

ModernizedLeadershipOutdatedAssumptions

The bottom line: Let’s Modernize Leadership together!

Report: B2B Customer Experience Best Practices

1510_B2B CX Best Practices_COVERWe published a Temkin Group report, Business-to-Business (B2B) Customer Experience Best Practices. This report provides data on the state of customer experience (CX) in B2B as well as 20 CX best practices across five critical B2B processes. Here’s the executive summary:

Temkin Group research shows that although business-to-business (B2B) organizations are raising their customer experience (CX) ambitions, they still have a way to go before achieving their goals. Despite the fact that most large B2Bs have a low level of CX maturity, our research shows that 57% of them aspire to deliver industry-leading customer experience within three years. However, to improve their CX, B2Bs must master Temkin Group’s four customer experience core competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Compelling Brand Values, Employee Engagement, and Customer Connectedness. Our research uncovered 20 practices that B2Bs can emulate when applying those competencies across these five key business processes: sales and account management, implementation/project execution, support and issue resolution, partner alignment, and product management and innovation. 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 to chart your path to improvement.

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The report examines the state of B2B CX, including the results from large companies that completed Temkin Group’s CX Competency & Maturity Assessment:

1511_B2BCXMaturity

To help B2B organizations raise their CX maturity, we identify 20 best practices for mastering Temkin Group’s four customer experience core competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Compelling Brand Values, Employee Engagement, and Customer Connectedness. These practices are aligned with five key B2B activities: sales and account management, implementation/project execution, support and issue resolution, partner alignment, and product management and innovation:

1511_B2B5Processes

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eBook: 15 Tips for Engaging Employees

1510_15TipsToEngageEmployees_CoverIn honor of CX Day, Temkin Group is publishing a free eBook: 15 Tips for Engaging Employees. Here’s the executive summary: 

It is impossible for an organization to deliver a great customer experience without an engaged workforce. To help you engage your employees in your customer experience journey, we have compiled a list of 15 examples of how leading-edge companies are practicing what Temkin Group calls the “Five I’s of Employee Engagement”—Inform, Inspire, Instruct, Involve, and Incent—which you can modify and emulate at your own firm. 

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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.

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

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: 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.

Free eBook: People-Centric Experience Design

PCxD_eBook_COVERA few months ago, I introduced a new concept called People-Centric Experience Design™ (PCxD™), which is defined as

Fostering an environment that creates positive, memorable human encounters

Since we believe that the concept can significantly help organizations deliver better customer experience, we’ve decided to publish the concept in a free eBook.

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Experiences are all about people, the customers who interact with your organization and the employees who shape those interactions. Most approaches to customer experience, from voice of the customer programs to customer journey mapping, deal with the logical, left-brain elements of customer experience. But they often fall short on the right-brain, emotional side. That’s where PCxD comes into play.

To achieve PCxD, companies must master three principles:

  1. Align through Purpose. Just about every large organization has vision and mission statements floating around their hallways. But when it comes to making decisions on a day-to-day basis, these documents are nowhere to be found. They play NO ROLE in how the company is actually run. However, customer experience leaders operate differently. Rather than making empty promises, they create and sustain a clear sense of purpose that inspires loyalty from customers and alignment from employees.
  2. Guide with Empathy. People have a natural capacity for empathy. Unfortunately, companies often bring out people’s more selfish tendencies and suppress their empathetic ones by playing into their personal biases and arranging the organizational structure to reward self-centered behavior. For instance, while a typical customer interaction cuts across many functional groups (a single purchase, for instance, may include contact with decisions by product management, sales, marketing, accounts payable, and legal organizations), companies push employees to stay focused solely on their own functional areas. This myopic view is often reinforced by incentives focused on narrow domains, which creates a chasm between empathy and personal success. Companies must elicit human empathy, not selfishness, by sharing a deeper understanding of customers and their needs.
  3. Design for Memories. When it comes to loyalty, customer experience isn’t very important. That’s right, customer experience is not very important. What is important? Memories. People make decisions based on how they remember experiences, not on how they actually experienced them. This distinction is important because people don’t remember experiences the way they actually occur. Rather, people construct memories as stories in their mind based on the fragments of their actual experiences. An improved understanding of how people truly remember things can help you focus on improving the most important moments.

PCxD

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The bottom line: Tap into the power of purpose, empathy, and memories.