dominos digital strategy innovation cx bold move

CX Bold Moves: Domino’s Delivering Success and Failures

Domino’s Pizza made two CX bold moves – changing a nearly half-century old recipe and committing to digital innovation. These moves are translating into more sales and more engaged customers.

The pizza giant is placing a big bet on digital and customer experience and following through with a strategic execution. 50% of Domino’s orders are digital and two thirds of them are through mobile devices. Achieving such a meaningful channel shift is not easy (or cheap). The payoff – increased sales and revenue – makes it worthwhile. Last year Domino’s CEO Patrick Doyle told CNBC the strategy is not demonstrating impactful cost savings, but improved customer experience is driving sales up.

Thinking Beyond the Phone

Domino’s incorporated Alexa and Goggle Home as ordering channels. The in-home connected devices are a significant part of the Domino’s voice strategy to create customer experiences that drive sales. Similar to JetBlue, Domino’s believes that future customer interactions with brands will be completely digital and not tied to devices like phones. JetBlue’s facial recognition product does not require customers to have any paper, or a phone, to board a plane. Similarly, Domino’s is building the ability to order pizza using only your voice.

Going Outside the Home

After listening to customers say they want to get pizza delivery on the beach or at a game, Domino’s announced its plan to deliver pizza anywhere their customers are. The brand took a customer need and built a product around it – a smart CX move executed in a bold way.

Dennis Maloney, Domino’s CTO, stated that this product is not a case of discovering new technology. Rather, it is an example of a new use of existing technology – this is exactly how we define innovation! Of course, there are caveats around the current version of the product. The delivery spots are pre-defined and not available everywhere. But that is not really the point. The point is that Domino’s stock has gone up 5000% since 2008 based on a new recipe and this kind of digital transformation. The brand put the customer’s needs and desires at the center of its product design and it is winning, big time. It is a great CX story to move from a tweet like “worst pizza I’ve ever had” to ordering pizza on Twitter using just the pizza emoji.

Making Hard Choices

Delivering an item to customers where and when they want it satisfies a standard customer experience need, but it is complex to accomplish. Brands like Amazon and Zappos grew their customer bases on that basic offering alone. But Domino’s is not just perfecting delivery with this strategy. The brand showed the strength to throw away a 49-year-old recipe. Many brands can’t manage to make a transformation like that, and suffer the consequences (see ToysRUs and so many others). In Shift Ahead, Allen Adamson talks about how National Geographic magazine died from its refusal to acknowledge the digital trend and shift to other channels. The book also covers Playboy’s inability to reinvent when times changed. Both brands did not move fast enough and fell into oblivion.

Domino’s shifted. Domino’s made the big bet on CX. For those of us working in customer experience, this is an impressive – and inspiring – move from strategy to execution. Building hot spots and a customer journey around those hot spots is neither easy nor cheap. If it pays off, Domino’s will have created an entirely new customer segment that does not exist today.

Now that is genius. Creating a new product, and a new industry/business segment? We’re witnessing the ultimate shift to the future.

 

 

 

*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.

Driving Customer Loyalty By DoingCXRight

A Case of Doing CX Wrong

It boggles my mind when great brands make bad decisions that directly impact customer experiences. I recently encountered a situation that clearly demonstrates an example of Doing CX incorrectly. Continue Reading →

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 →

customer experience career tips

4 Career Tips for CX Professionals

In honor of the 4th of July, we have rounded up 4 career tips for CX professionals. Set aside some time during the break from work to take stock in your CX career and evaluate steps you need to advance to the next level. Continue Reading →

Big Fails: FedEx Omnichannel Disaster

In our CX Bold Moves 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 chat bot 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 chat bot. 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, this is 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.

 

 

*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 →

what is a journey map

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)”

What Is Big Data and Why Should I Care?

What is Big Data and Why Should I Care?

Big data has become part of our daily language. We read about big data. We see companies that are “experts in big data”. LinkedIn is filled with big data engineers and analysts. But what is big data, where did it come from, and why is it widely available now when it wasn’t ten years ago?

Big data is actually exactly what it sounds like. Big. Data. It is comprised of an enormous amount of 0s and 1s that carry all kinds of meaning. The volume and complexity of the data sets is so large that the Excel or Access analytical tools that we are used to no longer allow us to understand or manipulate the data. Big data is not new. It has always been available.

The big news about big data is that, now, the data no longer needs to be structured in order to be analyzed (read: less work for all of us to “prep” the data for analysis) and it is available real time vs. in weeks (read: no more need to schmooze your IT contacts to run a report for and send it a week later). I remember the days when I was in the banking industry and needed to analyze a set of trades within a month. It would take a week just to find who to talk to, build the relationship, explain what I need, and then another week to get my answers.

All of this inefficiency has been eliminated. Now, we have access to a real-time, friendly system that can answer questions about transactions as they happen. The enabler for all of this is new data storage options. In the past, it was impossible to store data in a flexible way. With the current advancements, that is now possible, making big data widely available.

This is the baseline answer to the “what is big data” question. Josh Ferguson, CTO of Mode Analytics, dives deeper to explain. “Big data is the broad name given to challenges and opportunities we have as data about every aspect of our lives becomes available. It’s not just about data though; it also includes the people, processes, and analysis that turn data into meaning.” In other words, just because we have more data, does not mean we have all the answers we need.

It is necessary to derive insights and information from the data. This is where most companies fail. They aggregate more and more data and never operationalize it. Sometimes they do not even report it. So much data is sitting dormant across all industries because there is no one engaging with it in an analytical way. Consider airlines and kiosk data. Airlines collect performance/usability data (how many days/hours the kiosk was working and/or was used), usability/UX data (which screen of the interface gets abandoned by the customer and how often), and a variety of transaction data (how quick was the kiosk response when people engaged with it). Does this data help airlines on its own, even if the data was collected for 12 months? Absolutely not.

Here is why this matters for customer experience professionals: because we can be the masters of data and control the insights and the messaging that comes from the insights. As customer experience leaders, we can recommend which kiosks should be REMOVED from the system because they barely get used (i.e. save total costs). We can build a dynamic maintenance contract to have maintenance performed only AFTER a certain usage number is reached vs. a static every 3 months maintenance cycle for all kiosks (i.e. lower maintenance costs). Consider how we can use insights that show when customers drop off. Finding that information allows a CX expert to fix the problem and increase the self-service conversion. That means more savings for the company! If a company has service agreements with partners, transaction speed data makes it possible to manage those SLAs much better. In other words, big data with the right critical thinker on top is a source of immense power and leverage. And that is why we should all care about big data.

So, the next time one of those companies approaches your organization saying it will empower your data, ask them who will be extracting the insights from that power, and make sure to build an in-house team of very smart people who can do the magic for you. Once that is set up, start asking good questions and fuel the engine of competitive advantage you can build with big data!

Learn more about Big Data

Rutgers University is offering a deep dive class on Big Data that gives you more of the tools you need to capitalize on this powerful resource. They have been kind enough to offer DoingCXRight readers 20% off the cost of the class. Sign up here to grab your discount and connect to the class.
*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.
Design Is A Key Differentiator

Design Is A Competitive Differentiator

Design is a key differentiator when creating products and customer experiences. While price matters, it is not the only criteria and sometimes irrelevant when making purchase decisions. As an example, I recently bought Continue reading “Design Is A Competitive Differentiator”

ccxp certification test prep

Let’s get you certified as a CX professional!

If you are ready to signal to the business community that you are serious about customer experience and your intention to be part of its leadership ranks, it’s time to work on earning your internationally recognized Certified Customer Experience Professional certification.

Doing so makes you a part of an elite group of certified CX professionals who lead the way in customer experience innovation and action.

The Basics of the Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) Certification Continue reading “Let’s get you certified as a CX professional!”

CX Skills Builder: How Can You Get the Budget If You Can’t Articulate Your Value to Executives?

Two weeks ago we urged you to find CX problems and fix them instead of diagnosing and mapping them. That is  Continue reading “CX Skills Builder: How Can You Get the Budget If You Can’t Articulate Your Value to Executives?”

Expert interviews About Doing CX Right

Expert Interviews on DoingCXRight

One of the reasons we launched our blog is to build a community of people who are passionate about Learning and DoingCXRight. While we have been writing articles weekly from our perspective, as we “live and breathe” CX in our jobs every day at Verizon and JetBlue, we know there is tremendous value in hearing other professional views too. That is why we are excited to announce the upcoming launch of CXCoffeeTalk, where we will feature interviews with CX professionals and Customer Experience authors across different industries. They will share expertise on important topics such as:

  • Where should CX sit in an organization?
  • What are essential customer experience skills for a career in CX?
  • What are the ideal ways to measure CX?
  • And more on how to do CXRight.

Don’t miss out on valuable knowledge sharing. Sign up to get updates on our official launch of CXCoffeeTalk as well as receive ongoing ‘How To’ tips on DoingCXRight delivered to your email inbox.

 

 

*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.

customer experience skills builder

CX Skills Builders: You May Have a CX Job and Not Know It

Last week we talked about the identity crisis of CX professionals and we urged you to fix any small problem or seam on the customer journey in order to build internal brand equity and buy in. Often, there is another scenario that is equally sub-optimal for your career development. You might be working on customer experience without recognizing it. The trouble with that is that you cannot sell your transferable skills when you don’t know that you have them. Continue reading “CX Skills Builders: You May Have a CX Job and Not Know It”

Customer Experience Skills

Top Traits of Customer Experience Leaders

It is not a coincidence that innovative companies like Disney, Apple, Zappos, and Amazon are leading brands. They share in common a priority on creating exceptional experiences and ensuring satisfaction at every point of the customer journey. They also Continue reading “Top Traits of Customer Experience Leaders”

customer experience tips fix it

CX Skills Builder: Own the Customer Experience

Often, CX professionals do not believe they impact CX design and experience for their customers. Why?  What is the cause of this disconnect?

A month ago, I got a call from an acquaintance saying that her mom got the loyalty points for flying to her destination on an airline carrier, but not coming back. When she called the carrier, the person on the phone told her that since the booking was not made via the airline website, they could not find her reservation and help her.

Who is responsible for this bad customer experience?  More importantly, who has the power, skills and authority to fix it? The answer is easy. All. Of. Us.  Who do customers perceive as the person responsible to fix their customer experience problems? The Customer Experience Director.  I realized this, pointedly, when my acquaintance reached out to me.

In this example, typical of airline industry providers, it is true that we cannot find a reservation that has been made on another channel. It is true that our systems can be better integrated, more CRM-enabled, and easier to work with. It is also true that despite existing limitations, many professionals across the organization can do something to improve the customer experience in a case like this one.

The person on the phone can come up with a creative way to find the customer reservation using another tool.  The person in charge of partnerships can work on a better integration with other booking channels.  The person managing the points tool can enhance the tool so that every customer shows the last 2 flights, regardless of where that customer booked those flights. The list of can-dos and should-dos goes on and on. Yet, these customer experience professionals do not see themselves as owning the customer experience, nor do they feel accountable to do something to improve the customer experience.

To change that, it is imperative to shift the culture in the mindset of customer experience professionals at all levels.  This is very difficult to do.

Even the CX professionals who own the customer experience on paper frequently do not feel empowered to have a real impact. They do not recognize that something as simple as the example above can become a successful project in their portfolio. Instead, customer experience professionals journey map and look at holistic pictures, often without implementing or designing for real changes to the customer experience.

It almost feels like CX professionals have an identity crisis that prevents them from acting with impact. This may be because some are afraid of angering the operation, and so take a more passive approach. A passive approach does not advance the cause of customer experience design, nor does it make it easier to make real changes and to be heard at the table next time. Customer Experience professionals need a portfolio of changes to gain legitimacy in their organizations.  The best way to do that is to find a seam in the experience and fix problems. No matter how small a problem may be, fix it. Don’t just document it, communicate it and assess it. Fix it!

It is okay to jump in and fix the customer experience because this IS your job as a CX professional. At the end of the day, if you are not fixing things you really aren’t  doing your job. Own the customer experience. Be Brave. And you will see how much your internal brand will grow, and you will watch the operation start to come to you for solutions they know will work.

Like this tip? Sign up to have our next Own the Customer Experience CX Pro Tip delivered straight to your Inbox.

Lilana Sig

 

*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.

 

CX Bold Moves: New York Times Beats Google

One of the most disrupted industries in the last 10 years is the newspaper media. Newspapers have always had a certain sophistication, history, and nostalgia associated with them. This makes it particularly hard to observe their disappearance. Of the newspaper industry’s most recognizable brands, the New York Times is one that brings an additional layer of style that makes so many of us never want to let go.

At the same time, even I, a New York Times devotee, have to admit that my interaction with the famous brand has changed. While I used to subscribe to the New York Times in 2009 and 2010, today I am a digital subscriber. Although I love the idea of the newspaper, even I stopped buying it. Although I married a man who reads the New York Times (it was one of the requirements), I am not reading the digital subscription nearly as often as I used to read the paper itself, in college.

Because of my personal affinity with the paper, I was even more happy to read that the Times’ overall digital business is growing faster than Google and that the annual growth of new online subscriptions is averaging 46% since 2011.

Now that is a noteworthy shift that not many “old school” and “traditional” businesses are able to execute.

How was the Times able to do this? By being bold and building a strategy in 2015 that they are executing flawlessly today. The Times did not wait to fade into oblivion before it chose to re-channel itself. Since April 24th, 2017, the news outlet added the millennial channel to their portfolio by joining Discover on Snapchat. This shift is arguably the most digital signaling a news brand can give to tell its customers, “I am where you are. I have not changed my core value proposition of reliable, credible news delivery. I have just adapted to the times (no pun intended) and I am doing it in a different way.”

For a brand to do what The New York Times is doing it needs courageous leaders. It needs leaders who are able to know exactly what they are selling and who are able to recognize, in time, that their customer has changed. The New York Times has earned its position in our CX Bold Moves Series for doing all of this and not having an identity crisis.

We see brands in such crisis every day. Brands that are holding on to the image of their past customer or who are so afraid of change that they say they say they are investing in a digital transformation, but all they do is hire a Digital Transformation Director with no support infrastructure around the role.

46% average annual growth only happens when an organization is focused on that goal and when leadership and funding are appropriately allocated to this big, bold, transformational move. The New York Times clearly has that focus and courage. Do you?

 

 

*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.

Where Should CX Sit at the Table?

Before we begin talking about where CX should sit in the organization, I want to clarify one thing. Customer Experience is not a single person. 

A company cannot hire one customer experience professional and expect that in a year that company will have a customer-centric corporate culture in place. CX also is not a team that has no visibility and no budget. No one has ever heard of a business successful transformation without extensive change management implications done and without vision and strategy. CX requires individuals and teams with cross functional workshops, new products and processes and heavy communications across the organization.

A CX team needs the leadership support to deliver all of those to the brand and the organization. So where in the organization should CX sit? Leadership teams across industries and geographies are trying different suboptimal approaches.

IT

Last year a non-profit health insurance company in New York approached me to ask for feedback on their CX set up. They were planning to set the CX team under the CIO. Since the corporate staff was not big, the role of CX would have been fairly elevated. Still, I advised against that organizational structure.

A customer experience transformation cannot be led by IT for several reasons. Although the world today is more and more digital, brands still are in the business of making the human, long lasting connection with the customers that will drive more sales. Our IT partners are excellent at executing a program and can definitely help with the UX part of the job, but they are not marketers or operators.  Asking IT to drive CX is just not the right choice. There is no doubt that CX cannot exist without IT. But that does not mean IT needs to lead it.

Marketing

Marketing (or in some organizations “product”) is the most common set up for CX in brands’ corporate organizations. Media and consumer goods companies usually take this approach.  At first look it makes sense to set CX in marketing. After all the purpose of CX is to deliver on the brand promises made by marketing.

This could almost work if brands did not bury my CX peers deep down in the organization so they turn into journey mapping documentation gatherers with no real impact. One fast food brand in Europe actually had the role of Head of Brand Engagement under the CMO and then had four other leaders reporting to that role, one of which was the CX Director. That CX Director was competing with the other three directors with similar roles for a piece of the authority pie.  This is equivalent to giving somebody a problem to solve with no tools to do so.

HR

One Financial Services institution in the US had arguably the least impactful set up. They actually put CX under HR! Please, do not mix customer experience with HR. I know that we all talk about the importance of employee engagement to the successful delivery of exceptional brand experiences. Although happy employees and customer-centric culture are requirements for a CX driven organization, CX is much more than that.

For a CX group to have impact and drive change, it needs to be in the customer facing part of the organization. The CX professionals need access to the customer to learn what is working and what is not. They need access to the operations to change processes and procedures. Lastly, CX professionals need tools like IT and Marketing to deliver new solutions and communicate those solutions to the customer. HR offers none of those enablers to a CX transformation.

Customer Experience

An organization that is really committed to putting the customer at its center will build (reorg) the governance structure to reflect that commitment. That means having a Customer Experience Executive that has all the customer facing divisions under him/her and funding this organization appropriately.

If that means taking funding from other parts of the organization, so be it. As a brand this signals to both the investors and the employees that a real shift of the corporate mindset is taking place. With that set up, customers also will feel the change and will reciprocate with their loyalty. To do CX right, that is the way to do it – not by hiring one person buried in the org with no seat at the table, just to check off a mark.

 

 

*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 Sell the C-Suite on Customer Experience

You finally got your big career break and you are leading a project that requires executive approval. Now what? Intuitively you know that this is a chance to make a first impression on the right people, but you have no idea how to approach this process. There is no set procedure and your leader can be good or bad at this, so going to your boss might not be the first right step. Where do you begin?

Overcommunicate – Know your audience

Begin by scheduling pre-briefings with each individual executive. Do not forget the Chief Counsel or the Chief HR Executive. When it comes to the Exec Crew, every function weighs equally. You never know who might help (or block) your business case. If you are asking for millions of dollars to build CX expertise in the enterprise, or to finally connect underlying systems that yield bad customer experience, you might find that the Chief HR executive is so passionate about customer experience that he/she is the loudest voice in the room.

Your job does not end here. You also need to assess the political capital of each executive. Who has been on the team the longest? Who has the strongest ties to the Board of Directors? The networking power of leaders can be stronger than the hierarchy of power.  It is invisible, but it cannot be underestimated.

Nothing is decided in the executive meeting/board room

The moment you realize this you will increase your success of obtaining funding for CX initiatives. You also will realize how much more work you have ahead of you to put the CX roadmap on your organization’s priority list.

The executive meeting is the ink meeting. It is the show. The real approvals and conversations that you need take place before that meeting. If these conversations do not take place, nothing gets approved. Many times, I have peers bring business cases to the executive committee without “pre-socializing” them. In the meeting, they are asked various business and political questions that they are unable to answer and nothing gets accomplished. The best case scenario is to get that approval “pushed” to the next meeting. One thing is for sure: no money or support is gained that day.

Cover all your bases

Never underestimate the power of the VPs and Directors. If you think you only need to sell CX to an executive to introduce the customer as a mindset, you are very wrong. The first thing a good Executive does is turn to his VPs and Directors and say “What do you think about this?” If you have not sold your agenda to them, the conversation is over.

Think of this work as an election campaign. Assess the benefits of each stakeholder or group in your organization. If there are losers in the landscape who, by design, will hurt, you need to acknowledge that every chance you get, in public. And you must thank them for sacrificing themselves for the greater good.

Have the keys to the gate

The Executive Assistants must be your friends. All. of. them. I know it is basic, but somehow, people still fail to follow this principle. Access is everything. Without it you have no voice, no audience. Take care of them every holiday season. Even without an occasion. Just do it.

Getting executive buy-in is not easy, but it is not an impossible task. Remember: think like a CX expert, know your Customer, personalize your message, and express empathy when you deliver your pitch. People want the same things, regardless of the setting – to be heard, considered and respected. Remember this, and design your approach accordingly.

 

 

*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.

new year tips doingcxright

What You Need To Do To Start 2018 Right

It is the end of December and we are all in reflective moods. Did I do enough to break into the field of Customer Experience? Did I build the right team with complementary skilled, engaged members? Did I do enough to build/maintain/scale the customer experience culture of my organization?

 

December is filled with doubts, feelings of failure and an urgent need to succeed. I can assure all of us with confidence that we all did what we could and that it is time to relax and spend some quality time with our loved ones. For any goals you did not achieve in 2017, there is always 2018 – so let’s make sure we start the new year right.

 

If you are a  job seeker
There are a few basic rules we learn in school that remain true throughout our careers. The steps for looking for a job are the same regardless of the level you are at. I know many Director level professionals who are looking for a job with a resume that has not been updated for the last ten years.

 

Write your resume (and bio if you are at a senior level). You are not too busy for that. This is one of the first steps we all have to take when we start a job search. The second step is to learn the language and concepts of the field you are pivoting intoCXPA is the best place to start that journey. If you join for $195 per year you will get access to a library of webinars, papers, experts, and a mentorship program that will allow you to connect with more senior professionals in the field who can help you with your education and job search.
By engaging with the customer experience community you might find that you are not as interested in your original goals search. Knowledge is power and that holds true in the job search process more than anywhere else.

 

For the team leaders
We all CARE about our teams. In , Frances Frei and Anne Morriss write that “[i]n most cases, the culprit is good people behaving badly, not bad people behaving badly.” Senior managers and directors do not want to be bad leaders. Unfortunately, many are. Why is that the case?  The answer is vulnerability.

 

Although it sounds like a cliché for those who still have not listened to Brene Brown’s TED Talk, it is worth spending twenty minutes this holiday season getting really comfortable with vulnerability. The hardest thing to do is to get your team together and ask each one of them what aren’t you doing well for them. Nobody is perfect and there are effort awards in life, even if we fail.

 

The fact that you show that you care will make your team appreciate you more. The difference between caring and showing that you care is demonstrating vulnerability. Give it a chance. 20 minutes.

 

For the organizations leaders
In the last few years. leaders have felt the pressure to master the meaning of customer experience culture. Depending on the maturity level of the organization the Chief Officers aim either to implement or scale their version of customer experience culture. Although we all know the theory, very few leaders walk the talk of culture.  The reason for that is that culture has real cost implications.

 

Leaders are struggling to meet the expectations of shareholders, employees and customers. On the surface, culture looks like a cost item that only covers employees. Very few leaders internalize and leverage the downstream effect of happy employees, happy customers, happy shareholders.

 

For the C-suit readers a TED Talk unfortunately would not be enough to prep for 2018. One of the favorite books of Warren Buffett, though, might be a good holiday read. will provide you with eight scenarios of what CEOs were able to accomplish when they did NOT listen to Wall Street. Capital allocation is not taught in our MBA programs and it is the biggest challenge that needs to be met before we start talking about culture (or the execution of culture).

 

Regardless of how you decide the spend the next two weeks, keep one thing in mind – the plan doesn’t have to be fully fleshed out before you start moving. Having the right aspirations and desires to be better versions of ourselves is more than half the battle. If you are reading this, that means you are striving to be better in 2018. That means you will. Onward and upward we all go!
*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.

When Not To Invest In Self-Service Technology?

Every progressive brand today aspires to have more self-service. Very few implement self-service successfully. Self-service is a new tool to optimize a company’s workforce by removing transactions from the system. All industries are looking at self-service as a strategy of the future.

Hospitals, airlines, and hotels are installing kiosks to self check-in while grocery stores and taxi companies are implementing self-service check out with digital payment products. The list goes on and on. What differentiates a successful use of self-service as a building block of innovation from a failed implementation that adds more effort for the customer that leaves him/her angry and frustrated?

Successful self-service is self-sufficient. It enables customers to meet all their needs by themselves. If users can do only some of the steps of the whole process alone then self-service adds costs to the business, adds complexity and effort to the experience. For example, if a customer can print his/her food voucher when there is a delay, but cannot rebook him/herself (i.e. still needs to call customer service) then all the brand has accomplished is to add steps for the customer to get the same value he/she could have done before with ONLY a phone call.

Another thing to be aware of with self-service is what type of labor is optimized and what labor is part of the self-service solution. The business case of self-service might not work if the solution requires incremental (and expensive) IT resources while removing existing (and cheaper) unskilled resources. As Matthew Dixon says in  :  “[t]he challenge is not in getting today’s customer to try self-service. The challenge lies in getting today’s customer to avoid channel switching from self-service to a live phone call… the self-service battle isn’t about getting customers to go, it’s about getting them to stay.” It is important to launch the solution that solves all the needs of the customer before launching a technology solution to avoid getting the wrong results.

Design for 80% of the customer base, not the high touch 5% – 10%.  The 5% base solution is more expensive and most probably will break the business case.  Be ready for all the people who will question the design that will NOT cover 100% of the customers. Questions about the exceptions will keep coming up: “What is the customer does not have a credit card? What if the customer does not speak English? What if …?” The answer to all of them is: “They will go to the full service option at that touch point. They will not self-serve.” Be strong and keep the focus on the goals of self-service – to alleviate, not eliminate, the calls to the contact center; to allow the employees to offer a better service to those people who do not have a credit card and/or do not speak English. It is counterintuitive, but by not solving for them through self-service, we are building a better service for the exceptions as well.

Be brave! Some people will not like the self-service design. You will hear a lot of push back about de-humanizing the experience for the customers. Anjali Lai from Forrester studied the emotions of brand interactions (see below) and was able to show that there is no significant difference in the perception of the customers when they self-serve (from interacting with a live person).

What is more human? To have a human tell a customer that he/she is not able to solve the problem, because the process is not designed well or that they will be put on a brief call to speak to another person, or having self-service solutions that empower customers to create their own experiences in a personalized and independent way (without telling their names and confirmation numbers 2 or more times).

Self-service is an integral part of the future, but unless self-service is designed and executed in a strategic and empathetic manner it can drive more costs and complaints than savings and satisfaction. The basic value creation mandate is critical in this business strategy: unless self-service creates real value for the customer he/she will not embrace it.

So ask yourself, if you were the customer, would you gain anything from doing a task yourself vs. getting help from the company? As the company, do you gain anything by self-serving? Is it faster, easier or simpler? If you cannot answer yes to any of those questions, do not invest in self-service technology.

 

*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.

Rutgers Customer Experience Course

How To Improve Your CX Skills

Delivering great customer experiences has become a top priority for many companies. Given the increased focus, employees with CX skills are in great demand. While on the job training and reading books provide great learnings, completing a formal education program can accelerate one’s knowledge. Earlier this year, I began exploring academic programs that would expand my understanding of CX best practices as well as provide an opportunity to meet people across different industries who have instituted successful customer-centric programs at their workplace. After evaluating different schools, I ended up attending Rutgers University. Having completed the course and received my certification recently, I can confidently recommend Rutgers for several reasons:

  • The class content is very relevant and applicable. Students gain access to helpful tools and templates that they can bring back to their jobs to make an impact.
  • Classes are taught by top executives and leaders with CX expertise. The speakers all share meaningful examples that reinforce various lessons around developing personas, journey maps, use cases, measurement, culture and more. 
  • The program offers much flexibility. People can take the course online or offline in a classroom setting. 
  • It is a real, university-backed program – not a seminar or conference.

If you are interested in learning more about my personal experience with the program, feel free to contact me at: doingcxright@gmail.com. If you have detailed questions about the course and want to sign up, visit Rutgers’s website: >here

We got our readers a 20% discount off the total tuition cost for the CX course as well as three other courses: Cyber Security, Design Thinking, and Big Data. Simply join our free blog to grab the promo code to save during program registration. We look forward to hearing from you.

All About DoingCXRight

 

*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.

Liliana Petrova in front of NYU Stern students

Am I A Good Candidate For A Customer Experience Role?

“When the student is ready, the master will appear.” – Unknown

People often ask me what experience they need to be a good fit for customer experience roles. When I spoke at NYU Stern recently, I was faced with the same questions. Students with varied backgrounds wanted to know if they were a good match for roles in my team.

Today, we go over the key skills that make you successful in a customer experience team, but keep in mind that you are in charge of your career and at selling yourself across disciplines and industries. Use this post as a guide, not as the sole source of your research.

Empathy

Although this is a soft skill, I believe empathy is the most important one for the role of customer experience professional. You can have all the technical skills in the world, but if you cannot walk in the shoes of your customers (or employees) you will fail to recognize their needs or to design intuitive experiences.

Without empathy you are blind and deaf to the service world.

The logical question is how do I know I have empathy? Try online personality self-assessment tests. You can even go with Briggs Myers as a start. When you take these quizzes, remember to be honest with yourself. If you do not score high on empathy, that does not make you a bad person, though it may be a good sign you should pursue a career that does not focus on customer experience.

Marketing

I am purposefully using the most generic marketing word in terms of roles and experiences here. Any type of marketing background helps make a successful customer experience professional. If you have marketing experience, that means you are aware of the notion of brand image, strategy and/or values.

Since these represent the guiding light for creating customer experiences that meet the promises made by the brand, you will be one step ahead of other candidates that must learn brand management thinking from the ground up as part of their customer experience job.

Critical thinking

I could have used the term “process thinking” here, but again I am leaving it more open to allow more of you to think of the transferrable skills you possess and how those translate to a successful customer experience career.

In the customer experience world, we assess and redesign processes through journey mapping (sequentially documenting each transaction between the customer with the brand as they consume the company’s product or services). For this reason, you will see process improvement, mapping, thinking as requirements for customer experience roles.
Even if you do not have those specific skills listed on your resume, you can still apply for a customer experience position if you are a critical and analytical thinker. My experience transforming the budget management process in National Grid in my first role after college was not part of a continuous improvement role, but it accomplished the exact same goal.

IT

A developer or an IT architect can absolutely become a customer experience professional! If you are empathetic and eager to be more customer-focused, I urge you to show your passion to your business stakeholders and work on transitioning to more customer-facing roles.

It may take time and the right partner on the business side, but the transition from IT to customer-facing roles is absolutely doable. I faced a similar challenge when I was trying to move from finance to marketing. It took time, but in the end, it happened. Having an individual from IT on a customer experience team is a great competitive advantage for a company. CX leaders who understand the cross-functional nature of integrated and memorable digital and in-person customer experiences will be open to welcoming an IT professional onto their team.

I told the NYU students that the customer experience professional role is a complex one that is exciting, and more challenging than many business roles. The cross-functional nature of the field, combined with the implied innovation and change management for success and impact require the customer experience team members to be comfortable with less formal structures than other career paths.

As customer experience professionals, we live in the gray with less overtly defined goals and objectives. We are entrepreneurs, change agents and disruptors. It can get lonely sometimes. But then again, show me a leaders who was not lonely at some point in his or her life.

Liliana Petrova

 

*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.

doing cx right, doing CEX right

Meet Doing CX Right

Are you passionate about Customer Experience (CX)?

Are you confused about where to begin transforming your organization to be more customer-centric? Are you wondering if you should even do this transformation or if Customer Experience is just another buzz word that will disappear in a few years? Are you a start up that has reached a point where your sales representatives have become complaint agents, and you do not know how to scale to gain repeat happy customers?

If you have asked yourself these and related questions, then you have come to the right place. We are two thought leaders, who are passionate about everything CX and have much to share given over 15+ years of experience. (Learn about us >Here.) Our goal is to provide readers with relevant and actionable information, as well as foster a community for continued knowledge sharing.

While we don’t know where this journey will take us, we are committed to making a difference and excited to publicly launch today, October 3, 2017, also known National CX Day. We look forward to your feedback as “Voice of the Customer” matters in everything we do.

 

 

*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.