Last year, Temkin Group had a great time celebrating CX Day. This year, CX Day will be held on October 3rd and we’re planning another exciting celebration.
Temkin Group has labelled 2017 The Year of Purpose for customer experience. As you’ll see below, we’re continuing that theme in our CX Day plans:
The bottom line: Join Temkin Group in celebrating CX Day 2017!
Last year, Temkin Group had a great time celebrating CX Day. This year, CX Day will be held on October 5th and we’re planning another exciting celebration.
Temkin Group has labelled 2016 The Year of the Emotion for customer experience. As you’ll see below, we’re continuing that theme in our CX Day plans:
The bottom line: Join Temkin Group in celebrating CX Day 2016!
Last year, Temkin Group had a great time celebrating CX Day. This year, CX Day will be held on October 6th (1st Tuesday in October) and we’re planning another great celebration.
Temkin Group has labelled 2015 as the Year of the Employee for customer experience. As you’ll see below, we’re continuing that theme in our plans for CX Day 2015:
The bottom line: Join Temkin Group in celebrating CX Day 2015!
As part of Customer Experience Day, I interviewed Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) CEO Steve Cannon on a CXPA.org webinar called Customer Experience from the C-Suite. Cannon was energetic and informative in describing how MBUSA has infused a strong sense of CX across its organization as well as across the company’s network of 375 dealership franchisees.
One of the highlights of the webinar was when Cannon said that “customer experience is the new marketing” and is critical for fulfilling MBUSA’s brand promise, The Best or Nothing.
Here are some other highlights and lessons from the webinar:
- The CEO plays a critical role in CX. Cannon was clear on the role of the CEO in driving CX across the organization. “If the CEO doesn’t take CX personally, he’s not going to be able to convince people that it isn’t just the flavor of the month.” He called himself the “Chief conversation starter” and “Chief Evangelist.” Cannon mentioned that CX is a topic in every single town hall and when he visits a facility, he says, “Don’t give me a facility tour, give me a customer experience tour.” (Related: CX Mistake #1: Faking Executive Commitment).
- Change takes focused leadership. Cannon pointed out that historically; CX resided in too many siloes (sales, marketing, presales, etc) across MBUSA. One of the first thing Steve did was reorganize around CX, carve CX out of different business units and put them together in one unit with a General Manager who reports directly to him. (Related: State of CX Management, 2014).
- Alignment is well worth the investment of time. When CX became the MBUSA’s main objective, the executive team went offsite and spent two days debating and critically examining the organization’s CX—where they were coming from and where they were going. This meeting incorporated the voices of General Managers into MBUSA’s CX plans, making them what Cannon called “co-architects.” Afterwards, Cannon held similar meeting with the next two levels of leaders across the company. (Related: WL Gore Succeeds Without Employees).
- It all starts with employee engagement. Cannon said that Employee Engagement is a precursor to CX. Cannon stated that “MBUSA is committed to investing in people because they are the only ones who can create great CX.” And Cannon is investing in this area. He discussed the company’s Immersion Program. Over the next few years, 26,000 employees will visit the MBUSA plant in Alabama and go through a learning journey that includes driving cars and visiting the company’s brand center. (Related: The Untapped Value of Employee Engagement (Infographic)).
- CX is about culture, not a veneer. Cannon mentioned that great leaders create culture that creates great customer experience. That’s why Cannon is so proud of MBUSA leadership academy. He said that CX is in the DNA of the MBUSA, and is its higher calling. (Related: Driving Customer Experience Transformation, Made Simple).
- “Satisfaction isn’t enough.” Cannon stated that any company can satisfy customers just by operational excellence and performing a transaction right. Instead of satisfaction, MBUSA wants to delight its customers. To measure this objective, MBUSA is changing its metrics to include Net Promoter Score within a basket of other metrics. (Related: Customer Effort, Net Promoter, And Thoughts About CX Metrics).
- Engage your channel partners. Cannon was clear that dealers have the ability to amplify, accentuate, or marginalize everything MBUSA does. He explained that 2.5 points out of the 5.5 points of performance bonus that dealers can earn are related to delivering great customer experience, which results in a $40 million customer experience payout across dealers. Cannon was proud of the “Drive a Start Home” program that provides dealer employees with a Mercedes-Benz to drive for two days. (Related: Our B2B content plus an upcoming report on B2B2C CX).
Check out last year’s webinar with Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint.
The bottom line: CX leaderships requires executive leaders like Steve Cannon.
Have you been to the CXPA’s Insight Exchange or to one of our local networking events? They’re great. Why? Because CX professionals are a fantastic bunch of people. If you haven’t been to one of those events, then I highly urge that you do so in the future.
CX professionals are a happy group. In Temkin Group’s research, State of the CX Profession, 2014 (which is free for CXPA members), we found that 98% of CX professionals agree with the statement “customer experience is a great profession to be in.” Let’s face it, CX professionals are a fun, engaging community!
If we can create a lot of positive energy from pulling together dozens of CX professionals, think about the power of pulling together thousands or 10’s of thousands of them. That’s why we created Customer Experience Day (CX Day).
CX Day will be celebrated this year on October 7th (the first Tuesday in October). Last year was the first year of CX Day and it was a huge success. I expect that this year’s CX Day celebration will be even bigger and better. Make sure to visit the CXDay.org site to see all of the plans.
As you can probably tell, I’m a huge fan of CX Day. Yes, I’m a bit biased. While I pushed for the creation of CX Day, I truly believe that it is an important holiday for all CX professionals. Here are the top five reasons why I love CX Day
- It shines a light on CX professionals. Every day across the world, CX professionals are doing amazing things to improve their organizations. The CX Impact Awards will recognize some of those wonderful people, but the entire day allows all of us to feel good about what we do.
- It raises the visibility of customer experience. Our research shows that customer experience correlates to customer loyalty. That’s no surprise to CX professionals, but it’s important for a broader audience of leaders to understand the value of CX. All of the CX Day celebrations will help build awareness and our webinar with Mercedes-Benz USA’s CEO will hopefully show other senior executives why they should care about CX.
- It provides a reason to engage your organization. CX is a team effort, which is dependent on almost everyone in an organization. Lots of companies held internal parties and other celebrations to engage all their employees, either as a way to thank them or to help them understand the importance of CX. There’s a wide array of ways that companies can hold internal CX Day celebrations.
- It provides a reason to engage your customers. CX Day is a great opportunity to connect with your customers and bring them into the celebration. While you should appreciate customers every day, CX Day is an opportunity to provide them with a little extra love. This year we’ve even created an #IHeartCustomers” logo, which will be used in a fun social media campaign. Temkin Group has created an array of activities to show our thanks for everyone who follows our research.
- It reminds me of how proud I am of the CXPA. Making CX Day come to life requires a lot of effort from a lot of people. We have dozens of volunteers across the world who are working together to make CX Day a success. This large-scale collaboration is only possible because of the CXPA’s ability to provide leadership and instill a common purpose for its members.
If you’re a CX professional, then CX Day is YOUR HOLIDAY! Visit CXDay.org and find ways to join in the celebration.
The bottom line: Mark CX Day on your calendar for October 7th!
How can you create value for your customers and your organization? Innovate around your customer experience. Here are some examples of different ways to uncover CX innovation ideas:
Look for opportunities to add value around customer lifecycle events.
- Sovereign Assurance NZ’s research showed that many new parents don’t have the time to review their life insurance, but after having a new baby, it’s more important than ever to have some life insurance. The company developed a program called “Choose Precious” that offers new parents $10,000 free life insurance up until their baby’s first birthday. New parents just need to register at chooseprecious.co.nz before their baby is six‐months old. The company also rolled out its “Breathing Space” offering. Recognizing that buying a home is a big deal and that it’s difficult to get the attention of home buyers, the company offered them $25,000 free life cover for 90 days to provide interim protection until they have the time to consider their longer term protection needs.
Think about your customer’s journey before and after they interact with you.
- If a USAA member calls in to change his address, the reps are trained to understand why and deal with bigger issues. For example, if the call is from a soldier who is about to be deployed, then the rep might check to see if the member has thought about items such as a will, power of attorney, and life insurance. The USAA employee might even put a hold on the member’s car insurance, so the soldier doesn’t have to pay for an unused car while he’s deployed.
Identify problems related to how customers use your product, even if they’re not issues with your product.
- An insight into how people take medication helped Walgreens roll out a system called GlowCaps, which puts a glowing cap on pill bottles. It lights up when the bottle isn’t opened at the right time, then gives an auditory warning, then triggers an automatic phone call to remind the patient. It can also send reports to the patient’s doctors and remind the patient when it’s time to refill.
Use analytics to predict next steps and proactively help customers.
- Sprint uses a technique called Next Call Prevention. Here’s how it’s described in a 1to1 Blog: “Regardless of why a customer calls the telecom’s contact center, a customer service agent can offer to help with something else that the customer might call about in the near future–based on prompts queued from predictive analytics. If, for instance, someone whose contract is about to expire calls about a billing question, once the issue is resolved the agent could offer to arrange an upgrade to a new handset. This not only delivers a better customer experience, it also reduces costs and potentially increases sales and retention.”
Solicit ideas from employees, especially those who interact with customers.
- Telus created a platform for internal collaboration and idea exchange called “Habitat Social,” which combines micro-blogging (“Buzz”), blogging, video sharing (“Habitat Video”), personal profile pages, and a virtual world environment. The platform brings together a mix of employee-created content that supports learning efforts, company culture, and employee experience. Within Habitat Social, team members also engage in company-wide conversations about customer issues, share ideas and best practices, and identify ways to delight customers by delivering on the company’s Customers First promise.
Examine how customers actually behave.
- Supermarket chain Ralphs installed technology called QueVision, which uses infrared cameras to measure foot traffic in its markets. The system tracks body heat to figure out how many customers are shopping at any given time. This information helps managers cut down on lines by redeploying workers to the cash registers when things get busy. The technology has trimmed the average time it takes to get to the front of the line to roughly 30 seconds from the national average of four minutes.
Look at experiences through the eyes of specific customers.
- CVS uses a technology called AGNES (developed by the MIT AgeLab) which stands for stands for “Age Gain Now Empathy System.” It’s a jumpsuit that allows the person wearing it to feel what it’s like to be in your mid-70s. Bungee cords anchored to the helmet and hip restrict movement and rotation of the spine, and elastic bands from hip to wrist reduce shoulder mobility. Based on what it learned form AGNES, CVS will be making store design changes such as putting carpeting on the floors in stores to reduce slick-floor slipping and adjusting the height of checkout counters to require less bending and lifting.
No matter what approach you use to spot CX innovation ideas, it’s important that you nurture them along the way. Here are the steps that I recommend you follow to raise the likelihood of success: Who/Want/Love/Fit/Test.
- Who: Have a clear picture of the exact type of person you are focusing on with your innovation effort. Without this clarity, you may end up making decision that compromise the ultimate experience. Design personas can be a very useful tool in this stage.
- Want. The innovation should meet some unmet need, whether the customer knows he or she has it or not. To make sure you’ve found something real, articulate what the customer wants by completing these types of sentences: “I would really like to…”
- Love. As you develop different options and prototypes, identify specific elements of the experience that you think the target customers will absolutely love. Complete statements like this, “Our customer will love…” You will need to deliver on these elements in order to help drive adoption.
- Fit. Just because customers want something doesn’t make it a good thing to do. Only move ahead with options that fit with your business. How can you tell? Pick the efforts where you can say “yes” to all of the following questions: 1) Can you deliver it consistently? 2) Does it make financial sense? 3) Can you outperform the competition? 4) Is it consistent with your brand?
- Test. I can’t urge you enough to prototype as early and as often as possible. This allows you to crystalize your thinking and incorporate feedback along the way. But the key thing to test for is the love. Make sure that your target customers don’t just like what they see, but they love at least parts of it. Keep iterating until you find the love. Sometimes it just takes a few little things.
The bottom line: Make sure there’s love in your CX innovations
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 here.