Is Net Promoter (NPS) Score Bogus? WSJ Article

“Is Net Promoter (NPS) Score Misleading?” My Views About WSJ Article

There’s an article in the Wall Street Journal that is creating some commotion. It raises the question of whether or not “Net Promoter Score,” otherwise known as “NPS,” is a good measurement of customer satisfaction. Many customer experience (CX) experts say yes. They depend on NPS as a sole metric to determine customers’ perceptions and feelings about their brand. However, others debate the validity and usefulness of Net Promoter Score, saying that “the science behind NPS is bad, and it’s been oversold.” Continue Reading →

Customer Experience Tip by DoingCXRight

CX Example That Stands Out Above The Rest

I’m constantly focussed on new ways to maximize customer satisfaction (beyond price factors) and increase employee engagement. Whether I am at my day job or on vacation, my CX hat is on. I pay attention to everything, including how employees communicate with customers as well as how employees interact with one another. My recent trip was no different when visiting The Lodge At Woodloch with my family. I could write a book about my Woodloch experience, however, there’s a specific CX example that impressed me the most. Continue Reading →

Women Leadership and Customer Experience

Women Leadership & Customer Experience

There’s an increasing amount of conversations about Women and Leadership, and I love it! I believe that the next generation, including my own daughter, will have more opportunities to share their voice, without judgments, and pursue jobs that had been traditionally filled by men.

I’m writing this article for two reasons:

1. To encourage people, especially women, to build their skills and focus on a career in the Customer Experience field.

CX is not a fad. It’s here to stay and reputable companies are seeking expertise. Voxpro interviewed five women leaders who talk about the need for females in high-level customer-focused roles. I couldn’t agree more. You can read about what the ladies had to say in an informative article: “Why We Need More Women Leaders in CX.”

2. To Inspire women to pursue their passions.

I’ve learned a lot over the past 20 years working in large and small companies. I know first hand the challenges in pursuing a career while balancing parenthood. I am elated that more companies are committed to creating a culture where women matter and employee diversity is valued. Below is a recap of a recent interview of me in honor of International Women’s History month. I hope it serves as inspiration for all my readers.

Stacy Sherman and CX Leadership
Source: Schindler Elevator Corp

Interview Summary:

Q: Explain what you do in your role.

A: I’m currently the Director of Customer Experience, leading a team focussed on delivering best-in-class Customer Excellence and Employee Engagement that serves as a brand differentiator. My role includes establishing & implementing innovative Voice of Customer (VOC) initiatives that provide a deep understanding of how customers interact & feel across all touch points. I’m also leveraging data, including Voice of Employee (VOE) feedback, to enhance customer journeys, and collaborating with cross-team to “close the loop” resulting in record high customer Net Promoter (NPS) scores.

Q: Why is gender equality important?

A: Gender equality is important because all people deserve access to the same resources and opportunities. If two individuals with similar skills &  education apply for the same job or promotion, there should be no difference in the evaluation process. Unfortunately, equality has not been the case over time and I’ve witnessed this. I am very glad there is now a cultural shift so that my kids benefit in positive ways.

Q: What have you overcome to get where you are today?

A: I have overcome “inclusion” situations in past workplaces. For example, there’s been a multitude of times that I was not invited to all male meetings, even when my level or related positions were in the room and topics pertained to my job. I’ve overcome challenges by communicating tactfully with people and articulating the value I bring, so they’d understand my perspective and need for inclusion. While self-advocacy is not easy, it is essential and a contributing factor for my success.

Q: What would your advice be to the next generation of women aspiring to get advance their careers?

A: I encourage everyone, especially women, to communicate openly and honestly, and deal with uncomfortable situations head-on versus an avoidance approach. Be impeccable with your words and choose the right moments to contribute. You have 2 ears and 1 mouth. Use them accordingly. Also, always be learning and advancing your skills through formal and informal education. I obtained my MBA years ago but continue to get certifications from prestigious institutions to sustain my position as a credible thought leader. (Read more about my Rutgers CX Course)

Q: What has been the most pivotal piece of advice you’ve received in your career?

A: There will ALWAYS be obstacles. Know what you can control and focus your time and effort on those things. People often say “No” without even thinking about situations, but there IS a path to “Yes!” Be creative and figure it out!


Q: Do you have a female role model that helped you get to where you are today?

A: Executive Director Stacey Aaron-Domanico from my former job at Verizon, taught me about leadership and authenticity through her actions and words. We are still connected, and she inspires me to be amazing and genuine in everything I do.

INCREASE YOUR CX SKILLS & TRANSFORM YOUR ORGANIZATION

DoingCXRight by Stacy Sherman

 

 

*Opinions expressed are Stacy’s alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.
 

Culture and Access to Information

By and large, people perceive culture as an HR discipline. The most common perception is that culture covers the soft side of performance. Culture is about how you do things, not so much about what you do.

The big Culture misperception

This approach to culture could not be more wrong. In fact, organizational culture is about so much more than a few words in a performance review sheet.  It is about leaders expressing values, and the action guidance their cultural behaviors provide.

Let’s imagine your leadership makes a public commitment to customer-centricity. The act of stating a commitment to culture is not, in itself, culture. This is probably the biggest misperception among leaders.

Even if you make a few posters and put them on your office walls, you still do not have a values-driven or a customer-centric culture. Culture is not something you say. It is all the things you do.

Lead by Example

Employees observe leaders. All their actions signal the organizational norms to employees. These become the “rules of the game.”

What is allowed/is not allowed? How are decisions made? Who makes those decisions? What actions (or lack of actions) are rewarded?

All of these questions define the boundaries of accepted behaviors. And thus, they define culture. So, if you are a leader who wants to build a customer-centric culture, you must have the self-discipline to be consistent. You must make leadership decisions driven by the customer.

What does that mean in practice?

If you do not have an internal customer insights team, build one as soon as you can. There is a difference between having an internal team and sourcing a vendor that charges you for every survey you may want to develop.

If you are serious about customer experience, you need an internal team that is accessible to the business and serves the business’ needs.

If Culture is KingData is Queen

Currently, data is the least obvious side of customer-centric culture. In order for brands to build hospitality-infused experiences, they need to start with data and insights. These insights tell your brand your customers’ needs and preferences. As a customer experience professional without access to that information, you are blind. Or worse, you are biased to use a sample of one as a guide for the entire experience design.

Customer Data Informs Culture

In this sense, access to customer data is a defining part of customer-centric culture. When employees get to know customer preferences via surveys, they incorporate those preferences into their actions intuitively. Additionally, when employees are informed of customer actions from beacon and location data, they use that information to design spaces. Without democratizing customer data and insights, you can’t have customer-centric products and services.

Sharing insights across the organization is one side of the data coin for customer-centric organizations. The other side is how leaders themselves use these insights. If leaders do not study insights and implement them into their day-to-day decisions, they signal to employees that customer preferences are not important. Moreover, if leaders do not share survey insights with the organization, they are muting the voice of the customer.

In a customer-driven organization, leaders act on behalf of the customer. This is a pretty powerful statement, so let me repeat it. Leaders ACT ON BEHALF of their customer.

That means that leaders know the customer. They care about asking the customer his/her opinion. And they commit to acting in response to those opinions.

If you want to build a values-driven culture that focuses on the customer, you have a lot of work ahead of you. Keep in mind, it is not about one big thing you do. Rather, many everyday actions amount to one big FEELING of culture. That feeling motivates your employees to stay. And it motivates your customers to return for more experiences, co-created with them.

For guidance in building values-driven culture that focuses on the customer, learn more about our approach for CX Culture.

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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.

improve cx in organization

Want Happy Customers? Focus On Employees First.

There’s a common phrase, “Happy Employees Bring Happy Customers.” It is so true! When people feel valued and enjoy their workplace, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to delighting customers and maximizing their satisfaction and loyalty.

So, how does a company apply this principle to achieve business growth? The following are 5 effective ways that apply to all industries:

Create a Customer-Centric Organization

A centralized customer experience organization is able to monitor the quality of the experiences they deliver.

This kind of organizational setup enables teams to take action on Voice of Customer (VOC) feedback, including structured data (i.e. surveys) and unstructured sources (i.e. social media.). It helps ensure there are clear actions and ownership in the company, plus a champion of customer-first culture at the top.

Empower Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is essential to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Collecting customer feedback is great. However, this is a wasted effort if employees don’t execute on improvement plans.

Employees have a direct impact on customer experiences. In an environment with low employee engagement, success metrics like NPS scores inevitably decline. If you think about the most successful brands, they trust their employees and routinely measure their level of job happiness.

Again, if you want to delight customers, make sure employee satisfaction is included in the overall strategy.

Train Employees on CX

Every level of the organization must be educated about the importance of customer experience and how they can make a difference! This includes front line employees, managers, and executives.

Furthermore, every employee must be held accountable for delivering customer excellence. To promote accountability, I highly recommend including CX metrics in everyone’s annual objectives. Include the ability to get bonuses when employees achieve goals, similar to other key performance indicators (KPIs). I have tested this theory throughout my career and can unequivocally say that, when CX is a shared goal among all employees (not just a few) business results are significantly better.

Humanize Experiences

Emphasize the importance of humanizing customer experiences throughout your organization. This starts with meeting customer needs without over-complicating processes.

Often, small things mean the most. For instance, using simple “please” and “thank you” statements help make customers feel like they matter. It is actually the secret to Chick-fil-A’s success. Also, “eye contact and smiling go a long way in the drive-thru experience.”

When customers feel appreciated, they are more satisfied. And they are more likely to recommend brands to others. The concept is obvious. Yet, it’s surprising how often employees forget the human element when they interact with customers.

Leverage Technology The Right Way

Many companies use tools and platforms to fully understand what customers are saying across channels and touchpoints. However, they don’t always incorporate the Voice of Employee (VOE), which is a key element in building a successful customer-centric program.

Employees need to know their opinions count. When that happens, they become better performers who are more motivated to serve customers, fix their issues (“Close The Loop”), and do the right thing even when their boss isn’t looking.

If you want to drive accountability and a CX culture, focus first on employees. Then look at technology. Not the other way around.

WANT TO INCREASE YOUR CX SKILLS & TRANSFORM YOUR ORGANIZATION?

DoingCXRight by Stacy Sherman

 

 

*All opinions expressed are Stacy Sherman’s views and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

Food Services & Customer Experience Lessons

Yelp & SMS Turn Restaurant Experience From Mediocre To Great

How many times have you gone to a restaurant that does not take reservations and felt frustrated about the wait time? If you’re like me, it is too many to count.

While many companies tend to focus on customer experiences at the point people are actually using products and receiving services, brand perception and customer judgments occur much earlier in the customer journey. People don’t care if there are internal company process challenges. If expectations are not met, customers will go elsewhere.

Continue reading “Yelp & SMS Turn Restaurant Experience From Mediocre To Great”

purpose driven culture

How To Define Your Purpose And Have Unique Culture

If you Google the word “purpose” you get the definition “the reason for which something exists.” This is a challenge if you think about it in the context of an organization. And it is for this reason that so few organizations have cultures that are based on purpose. Instead, almost all of the organizations we see have visions and mission statements.

Purpose is the Foundation of Culture

Why is purpose the necessary foundation for the right organizational culture? The answer is clear. When culture is based on purpose, that purpose informs strategic, business and financial decisions. It becomes easier to see what decisions to make in the context of your organization’s purpose.

Purpose in Action

Let’s say you are a membership organization and your purpose is to serve your members. Assume you are in the meeting where you prioritize capital investments and you are looking at two technologies. The first aims to build a solution that will scale a product to reach more members in remote places. The second aims to make one event very effective.

With the purpose of serving members top-of-mind, it is easy to make the call and choose the project that impacts more members. On the other hand, if you had a vision statement, the choice might have been open to interpretation and internal political debate.

Purpose is deeply connected to the human side of business. As such, it is much harder to argue with.

Employees are Motivated by Purpose

Purpose driven culture also helps to get your employees to buy in to your vision. Purpose is inspirational. It is personal. It is also based on values and, as such, can transcend the gap between work and personal life.

When your organization is purpose based, your employees who connect with that purpose can bring their authentic selves to the job. They can be themselves. In turn, this makes them feel more connected to the organization. That naturally elevated employee engagement turns your employees into ambassadors of your brand.

Mission Statements are Not Enough

There is no mission statement that can drive the loyalty that purpose can. Big brands often forget that, and they spend more time in the boardrooms talking about strategies. Strategies come and go. Purpose is permanent. An organization with purpose can easily survive changes in management and changes in the market. Even though leadership might change, purpose stays forever.

Purpose Drives Hiring and Retention

With purpose based culture, even recruiting is easier. Candidates that share the passion for your purpose naturally demonstrate that in their interviews. It is much easier to spot and hone in on that in an interview than it is to test vision statement buy-in.

Although purpose is much harder to define and it may take a little more soul searching, taking the time to do so early on is the best investment when you launch your organization. The ROI of that time is eternal and may well save your company’s life down the line.

If you need a thought partner on getting to YOUR right answer, we are always here to help!

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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.

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.

B2B versus B2C. Which Matters More For CX?

Does Customer Experience matter more for B2C companies (business to consumer) or B2B (business to business)? The answer is they both matter equally. The reason is because people buy from people. Continue Reading →

uber customer experience doingcxright

CX Lessons From An Uber Ride

I have used Uber many times over the years. I always request a driver at the moment I need transportation. But recently, I tested out Uber’s pre-scheduling option for a ride to the airport. At the beginning of my journey, my experience was excellent. Then a glitch happened that shifted my Continue Reading →