banking customer experience fails

Poor Integration is Bad for Customers and Worse for Brands

Although we all have bad customer experiences, there is still a big debate about “the CX field” and whether it will survive the test of time. There is no doubt in my mind that customer experience is here to stay. The brands that catch on to this truth will be our service providers in the future.

Do you need an example to make your business case in the board room? By all means, use our recent horrible experience with TD Bank Small Businesses Banking.

Continue reading “Poor Integration is Bad for Customers and Worse for Brands”

doingcxright guest post design thinking

Design Thinking Toolkit

Editor’s Note: Below is a guest post from Customer Experience Design professional Jose Mateo. Jose shares his thoughts in the power of design thinking and the importance of creating customer-centric experiences.

For some time, applying Design Thinking as an approach to human-centered design, and examining how it amplifies (or benefits from) other frameworks, has been my obsession.

The Design Thinking Toolkit

The Design Thinking Toolkit offers a framework and a common language for design efforts. This framework is driven by a mindset that puts the customer at the center of the design effort. Applying the design thinking mindset has helped me improve, re-design, or completely re-imagine physical spaces, sites, and seamless omni-channel Customer Journeys.

Design that Doesn’t Delight

When it comes to experience design efforts, I have had successes. However, the reality is Customer Experience design efforts often flounder. In fact, I have even led and participated in efforts that had no impact.

Despite hard work, and the fact that these efforts had real potential to delight the customer, they died a slow death. Or worse, they became zombies: pet projects that burn resources and do not tangibly impact Customer Experience.

Why Do Experience Design Efforts Fail?

We know that great Customer Experiences are necessary to win with Customers and against top competitors. So, why do so many efforts fail, even though they have the potential to create better Customer Experiences? Some cite that up to 70% of Experience Design efforts do not materialize into improvements that actually touch customers.

There is a simple reason these efforts do not succeed. They do not succeed because they are not framed, funded, completed or re-purposed in the context of a clearly articulated Business Strategy.

how Customer Experience Design efforts benefit from a Business Strategy

Business Case

A well articulated Business Strategy has a Measurement System that includes Financial Metrics. These can re-confirm, amplify, or complement NPS (Net Promoter Score), CSAT (Customer Satisfaction), and other metrics that can justify Customer Experience Design efforts.

Cross Functional Alignment

Typically, the exercise to formulate a Business Strategy is sponsored by a Leader at the very top. Often, that is the CEO or the P/L owner. This effort includes participation and explicit buy-in from top functional Leaders.

That explicit buy-in is a solid base from which to acquire active cross-functional engagement. This engagement is necessary to deliver customer-centric experiences.

60% of Consultancy Services and Experience Design Professionals cite differing functional priorities as the leading cause of failures for Experience Design Efforts.

Executive Governance and Support

A Business Strategy can provide the one-time resources necessary to ensure that Experience Design improvements are implemented. Additionally, it can put in place the organizational Design and staffing changes necessary to sustain and evolve those experiences.
With so many great frameworks for getting work done, it is inevitable that there will be overlap in mindsets, approaches, and methods.  I have been exploring and actively experimenting with how Design Thinking and Strategy Formulation can inform and amplify each other to provide simple, seamless, and elegant human experiences. These are the experiences that meet real consumer needs, strengthen brand equity, and lead to sustainable, profitable growth.
In order to give your Customer Experience Design efforts a better chance to flourish, and to amplify their impact, I urge you to leverage all the skills, experiences, resources, and frameworks available to you.

Connect with Jose Mateo

For a deeper conversation on design thinking ideas, feel free to reach out at josemateo100@gmail.com or at @josemateo100

More from DoingCXRight

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All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

Can One Email Build Loyalty? #MYWESTELM

Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series about retail CX during the holiday season. See the other posts in the series here and here.

For retailers, the holiday season is make or break. As brands try to use their strengths to differentiate themselves in the crowded market space, winners and losers emerge. Today, we’re talking about one of the winners.

As consumers, we are inundated by emails offering, countless deals, and discount codes during the holiday season. Few stand out. Continue Reading →

cx stress to success

Eliminate Customer Stress with Good CX

Good customer experiences either give back customer time or alleviate customer anxiety. If a brand’s CX isn’t achieving one of those goals, the customer isn’t getting any real or perceived value.  How can brands manage stress?  Better yet, how can brands build experiences that eliminate customer stress?

Causes of Customer Stress – Feeling Out of Control

The number one driver of customer stress is lack of information. Today, customers demand information. Knowledge is power and customers want to be in control of their journeys and experiences. Who can blame them? In our fast-paced environment, time is precious. Brands that respect customer time win customer loyalty.

Spectrum’s customer experience leaves much to be desired, but their call center customer experience is a winner. Let’s walk through that journey.  When a customer calls Spectrum, the phone system states the exact length of the hold time and offers the option to receive a call back.

In this case, the customer gets relevant information to make a decision (call back later or stay on), and he/she is given a CHOICE. Information and choice alleviate CX stress.

Transparency in the moment immediately relaxes customers. It makes them feel more in control. When designing CX solutions, keep in mind the solution needs to be comprehensive in order to create value. A message that says “Your wait time will be longer than usual” is not informative enough to empower decision making. Customers do not know what the usual wait time is, so that information is useless. To build a call center solution that reduces CX stress, invest in creating a technology solution that actually offers customers value. Do not stop in the middle and deliver general “buckets” of information.

The New Jersey Transit System and Long Island Railroad are building experiences that give customers the power to manage their journeys. Customers can see wait times and buy tickets via an app. Commuters know there is nothing more stressful than worrying about catching the right train. One delay can mean missing a meeting or a kid’s school performance. The stakes are high and so is the stress. On-the-go ticket purchasing alleviates a lot of that stress. No more lines in front of kiosks that may or may not work. No more adding time to an already long commute.

Transform Customer Stress to Customer Loyalty

Stress caused by uncertainty is a real customer emotion that can drive customer loyalty and revenues if a brand manages it well. Who does not appreciate being taken care of? When patients are a brand’s customers, like in the case of Mount Sinai Hospital, the best business approach is to look across your customers’ journeys and find opportunities to bring more certainty and to empower customers with information.

One thing that I do not recommend is to manage a prenatal “school” for future parents without building out the ability to find the address for classes, schedule and purchase online. After three plus calls and going above and beyond with the person on the other end of the phone, I eventually managed to book what I needed. But do I trust the brand as much as they need me to? Will I recommend them to other expectant moms who are eager for information and recommendations? No.

In this case, Mount Sinai missed an opportunity to alleviate one customer’s stress, to promote loyalty, and to create an empowered customer. Make sure your brand doesn’t miss opportunities to turn CX stress into CX success!

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*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

What are customer personas? Why create them?

Customer Personas…What’s All The Hype?

Whether new to CX or looking to expand your current knowledge, it is important to learn about what, when, and how to develop personas so that you can serve your customers better. Knowing what personas are NOT is equally important to create desired outcomes versus hinder them. Continue Reading →

Big Fails: FedEx Omnichannel Disaster

In our Strategy, Org Design & Culture series we cover customer-focused companies that are willing to adapt, take risks and discover new ways of staying relevant. Sometimes, we encounter brands that are missing the mark on basic customer expectations. These are CX Big Fails. Failures likes these can teach CX professionals as much about the impact of CX strategy as successes can. Our teacher today is FedEx.

Among the world’s largest transportation companies, FedEx made the top 5 in the 2017 Forbes Global ranking. This is the brand that invented the real-time tracking packages service. Yet, customers CANNOT change FedEx delivery dates over the phone. I learned that first hand when I tried to complete that simple transaction last week.

Taking a Vacation from Intuitive CX

You may ask why I made a phone call if I am a customer experience professional and an innovator? Because I am always on the go and multitasking. Despite self-service, there will always be use cases for phone as a channel. My customer expectation from a brand like FedEx dictated the brand would have a chatbot system to take care of a simple transaction like changing a delivery date. A request like mine must be in the top ten questions for a delivery company.

To my surprise, there was no chatbot. When I reached the representative, she told me she did not have access to change my delivery date. I needed to go online with my tracking number, expand the More Details Link and choose Hold, On Vacation, or something like this to change my date. Kiss first call resolution goodbye. Also kiss low effort score goodbye!

Last, but not least, according to FedEx, we are to understand that “Vacation” means “Change Delivery Date.” One of the foundational principles for delivering good customer experience is to enable front line employees to do their job. Tools and resources allow a brand that cares about the customers to do that. The fact that FedEx agents are not given those tools is shocking. On top of that, the non-intuitive navigation copy guarantees additional calls (costs) to the contact center by confused customers desperate to find a common Change Delivery Date field that doesn’t exist.

Locked Out of the Customer Journey

My new (lowered) customer expectation was that I could solve my issue and that the self-service channel would be quick and seamless. As customers, we all encounter system limitations, even from brands we like and trust. At this point, I was still a fan of FedEx. A few hours later, I went online to do what I was instructed to do.

After clicking the Hold, on Vacation button, I was asked to register as a customer. This is when the fun picked up again!  When a customer registers he/she is required to verify their address. The Fedex website offers two ways to verify address: through MAIL (days after you actually needed to change a delivery date on your package), or by answering a four question survey, two of which are inquiring about the names of PAST residents of your home.

The questions are multiple choice. Offered no alternative, I tried to guess which names lived in my New York City apartment before I did. And I got locked out. At this point, I made the second call to FedEx. The customer agent said he could not help me. Period. When I asked for his supervisor, he said that he does not have one since ALL supervisors left at 10:00 pm ( I called at 10:30 pm). At the end, I was NOT ABLE to change my delivery date after having omnichannel transactions with the brand.

This is not only a failed move, it is also a bad customer experience, plain and simple. I never got a survey to share my feedback, but needless to say, if given the choice, I will never use FedEx again.

Many brands have customer journeys that are so complex that they remain unsolved. This is understandable, given the growing complexities of customer needs and expectations. To change a delivery date when you interact with an iconic courier brand should not be one such complexity. Table stakes cannot be compromised. Dominos had to change their recipe because people did not like the taste of their pizza. Similarly, FedEx needs to ensure they deliver the main value for the customer – delivering packages at the right address at the most convenient time for the customer. If they cannot even do that, they will not enter the future of services and they can kiss that top 5 ranking goodbye.

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*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

How To Journey Map by DoingCXRight

Customer Journey Maps (Part 2)

In my recent article, I wrote about “WHAT Is Journey Mapping and WHY Do It?” Once you understand the importance, you may be wondering HOW to get started and improve your CX skills. If so, you have come to the right place. Continue Reading →

Customer Journey Map. What is it? Why Do It? (Part 1)

A customer journey map is a simple concept: it is a diagram that shows the steps customer(s) go through when interacting with a company, such as shopping online, visiting a retail store and other experiences. The need for journey maps become more important as the number of touchpoints increase and get complex. Continue reading “Customer Journey Map. What is it? Why Do It? (Part 1)”

Website Optimization and Customer Experience (CX) by Stacy Sherman

If Shoppers Can’t Proceed, They’ll Leave!

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Mobile applications have changed the way people shop and buy.  Consumers love apps for convenience and unique features, while companies benefit from the ability to easily engage with people and reward loyal customers. A great example of this is

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time tips for cx experts

CX and the Gift of Time

Time is the most precious gift in life. If you think about it, time is the one thing we all want more of. As we get older and busier, time gets even more valuable to us.  Continue reading “CX and the Gift of Time”