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 →
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 →
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.
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
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*Opinions expressed are Stacy’s alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.
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.
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.
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
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
Connect with Jose Mateo
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.
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 →
You have some serious work to do before your customers experience your CX vision. First, you need to educate your organization on the core principles of customer experience. If the organization does not understand what customer experience is, you will not get the funding or organizational support you need to build customer-centric experiences.
This realization is particularly painful for those of us who see the inefficiencies that cause bad journeys and want to make the experience better for our customers. At this stage, though, the best advice I can give you is to wait before you move. Measure three times and cut one time.
Educate the C-Suite on CX Fundamentals
First, you need to educate your C-Suite on the concept and discipline of customer experience. Your C-Suite may or may not know what NPS is. They may use NPS already. Or, they may use NPS only for one touch point rather than the whole journey. They may identify NPS as a corporate goal that signals that CX should be a priority for the entire organization. Or not.
You need time to assess your particular scenario and start building awareness to reach the next level of understanding and organizational buy-in. This may take months or a year. However long the expected turnaround is, you need to endure it before you start solving customer problems.
Get Buy-In for Measurement
Why can’t you (or the C-Suite) expect an immediate turnaround? Because of our good old friend measurement. You do not want to do all the work and not get credit for it when it does not directly (or immediately) impact revenues or costs. You need NPS (or another CX measurement) to evaluate your work. It is important to have a CX measure so you can correlate it and tie it to productivity, to savings, or to another benchmark that is part of your current corporate measurement structure.
Go Beyond CX Training
The first part requires heavy lifting: getting your executive team to accept that you will measure NPS across the customer journey within the organization. This includes looking at cross-functionally that risks revealing some inefficiencies in their departments.
Now, you are ready to educate the teams of employees who will deliver the personalized experience you have envisioned.
How do you do that? The easy answer is training. That works for those who want to influence the culture of one division. Or, if all you are doing is running a Call Center.
However, if your organization is more complex, training alone will not help you achieve your CX goals. The entire organization needs to buy into your customer experience vision.
Don’t Limit Your CX Vision to Customer Service Providers
Imagine you want to help your customers complete an interaction with you early so they are not forced to wait later. This could be to check in for a flight or to advance register for an expo.
When you think of CX vision, this is probably not the first example that comes to mind. But remember what we spoke about last year: you may have a CX job already and not know it. So, back to our example. To remind an app user to check in early, you need your digital team to prioritize this feature on the app before other features that are on the list from other departments. To send a tailored email campaign to all your exhibitors, you need the marketing team to schedule your campaign on the right date to meet your CX needs. This could push other company messaging to a later date.
If all you do to initiate customer-centric CX in your organization is hold a customer service training, the digital and marketing teams you need to buy in will be excluded. They will not hear or understand the CX vision you are trying to implement and the value it has for the organization as a whole.
Create Customer-Centric Culture Across Departments
This is why CX professionals need to start educating everyone in the organization. And I mean everyone, from the front desk greeter, to the marketing manager, to the IT staff. To do this you need a lot of time and patience. You also need to inspire the teams and explain why it really matters to do what you want them to do when you want them to do it.
The trouble with building journeys is that you cannot do it only with one touch point. You need more in order to connect those points and build the seamless experience that truly puts the customer at the center. Educating all departments on customer-centric culture helps to do that.
Walk the Talk
So, be the brand ambassador for customer-centric culture and infuse that in every conversation you have with every person in your company. Try to customize your messaging so you do not come across as self-serving, but rather as someone who genuinely cares about the customer (as you do!).
If you need help strategizing how to put the customer at the center of your organization or if you need help getting started with CX, talk to us!
*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone. They do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.
My obsession for Customer Experience (CX) started when I received a package in the mail on a random afternoon. I was not anticipating the delivery of a large box with a label that said, “To Stacy, From Stacy.” Continue reading “HOW 1 EXPERIENCE STARTED MY CX PASSION”
Last week we started the conversation about culture by establishing that we need to define culture before we can deliver great customer experience. Today, we are talking about how to get the right culture in your organizations.
First and foremost, you need the right leader. Without a leader who believes that today’s business success is about acquiring and retaining customers, you cannot even begin the process of building a culture. Leaders who are passionate about the customer are also passionate about creating culture and employee engagement.
How Leaders Create Culture
Leaders create the culture of an organization. Their actions and words form the storytelling and folklore of the company. That is the strongest source of culture. Folklore is not designed. It is an account of what happened. In that sense, the leader at the top defines the culture of his/her company.
Dave Barger, the former CEO of JetBlue Airways, remembered the name of every employee he met. He stopped employees in the hallway to shake hands or high five. Every new hire knew the stories about Dave Barger. The CEO and his values were part of the folklore – and the identity – of the company. Airline employees knew Dave as the man who started his career as a bag handler. He was someone who walked the talk because he knew firsthand what it is like to be on the front line.
These kinds of stories can’t be choreographed. If they were, they would not be retold by employees. Nor would they be embraced.
Dave used to fly to Orlando, where JetBlue’s training center is, to meet every new employee as part of an Orientation process for new hires of all ranks. Every two weeks, he spent two days in Orlando telling the story of how the company started and sharing his passion for the industry with flight attendants, bag handlers, and support function new hires.
The Mechanics of Culture
So how was culture instituted in JetBlue’s case? Once people knew what a caring and passionate leader Dave Barger was, they wanted to emulate him. Even more, they wanted him to be proud of them. So they tried to do what he did in their small orbits of influence.
And it worked. The General Manager of Boston took care and connected with all his employees in the operation. The VP of the Contact Center made the offices in Salt Lake City a home for all her employees, supporting them through personal and family struggles. The culture “JetBlue is your family” started with the CEO. But it did not end with him.
The company culture that stimulated employee engagement and fueled customer experience could not have grown without a leader who “lived the values” every day of his life.
Culture Goal is Real
According to Lumoa “Only 13% of companies believe that HR has an impact on Customer Experience activities in the company.” This is one of the reasons so many companies have a hard time making CX part of their core value proposition. A great leader knows that culture needs both folklore to inspire, and a reward system to acknowledge when culture values are done right.
When culture is important to the leader, he/she incorporates it into a culture goal for the executive team. In JetBlue for example, HR managed the culture goal. And it accounted for 20% of the goals for all Directors. Part of the culture goal was to adopt a city station and visit the employees four times a year. What do you think happened when it rained and we still had to travel to our respective cities? We all went, since there was an incentive to do so.
Include HR in Culture Goals
HR is integral not only in the culture goal setting process, but also in the programming of events and initiatives that bring that culture to the daily lives of employees.
That programming is essential to promoting and maintaining culture in your organization, for the benefit of employees and customers, as we will explore in some exciting upcoming conversations.
Keep Culture Top of Mind
What you need to walk away knowing right now is that, when culture is top of mind for leadership, leadership supports employees who live out culture goals. Let’s carry through the JetBlue example. Under Dave Barger, caring was a culture goal. Employees earned credit for volunteering outside the organization. And employees with the most hours were honored at a gala dinner with the CEO and executive team (that means real face-time with leadership).
Compensation and rewards like this – moments of awe for employees – close the loop with the executive team. That is how we build cultures in organizations in a way that shows results in the daily life of employees and the experience of customers.
So, if you are serious about culture, hire the right leader for your organization and start building from there.
Confused about where to start? We can help you build your culture goals throughout your organizational structure, from HR to leadership, to front line employees.
*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone. They do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.