banking customer experience fails

Poor Integration is Bad for Customers and Worse for Brands

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

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

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

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”

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 →

customer-centric culture

Why You Need Culture Not Call Center Training for Customer-Centric CX

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.

 

Customer Experience Passion

HOW 1 EXPERIENCE STARTED MY CX PASSION

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”

culture hr

Culture Starts at the Top

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.

customer experience culture

Why you need a defined culture to do CX right?

When designed and built correctly, customer experience expresses an organization’s brand. So, if your brand identity is playful and your copy has a witty voice, your space design is less formal.  In other words, your brand and marketing promises serve as a guiding light to your experience team. Similarly, organizational culture serves as a goalpost for the service side of customer experience.

What Role Does Culture Play in Customer Experience?

The texture of organizational culture is made of the behaviors and ways your employees communicate with customers. Without it as a guide, employees are left to their own devices. And the delivery of good customer experiences is left to luck. Without a defined culture, your employees tend to be more transactional. They do not create interactions that grow into relationships.

Think about it. If nobody tells you HOW to do something, you will think that the most important thing is just to get the thing done. The how is not even part of your thought process. The result of this is customer experiences that feel cold – experiences that do not make a connection with the customer.

Without that connection, there is no emotion. And without emotion, there is no memorable customer experience. You need to consider how you want your customers to feel when they interact with your brand. Now determine how you deliver those feelings.  You don’t! Your employees do.

Now, how do you make sure your employees deliver the right feelings? By making them feel the SAME feelings. That is culture! When your employees feel cared for, they care for your customers. When they feel integrity is nonnegotiable, they hold the highest moral standards. And when your organization has a defined culture, you trigger this positive domino effect that reaches employees and customers.

All Memorable Brands Have a Defined Culture

Organizational culture is the factory for the feelings you want your customers to have when they interact with your brand. It is not possible to do CX right without a defined culture in place. All memorable brands have defined cultures that are over-communicated to their employees and customers. Disney, JetBlue, Ritz Carlton, Zappos, and other hospitality-driven brands all have vibrant, recognizable cultures. So, if you want to join those brands and make your customers happy, you need to start by defining yours. Mission statements are not enough.

If your organization lacks a defined culture, it seeps into every department, at every level. Without a defined culture, there are no hiring standards for culture. When people are hired primarily for their hard skills, and culture is not part of the decision process, it is impossible to drive certain culture-connected behaviors. For example, if you have a defined culture and CARING is one of your values, then, as part of the hiring process, you assess how your candidate’s score against that.

If INNOVATION is one of your guiding principles, you look for risk takers and for people who are comfortable making decisions with limited information. If HR does not know what to hire for, there can be no active belief system in the organization.

The Culture Communication Problem

Last, but definitely not least, without defined culture your communications department risks demoralizing employees without knowing it. Culture shapes the language your organization uses to explain who and what you are, and how you want customers to feel. Note the difference between simple terms like “support center” and “headquarters,” or “staff” and “employees” vs. “team members” or “brand ambassadors.” Look more closely at terms like “agent” vs. “happiness engineer” or “concierge.”

A defined culture brings a vocabulary with it. Words matter. They are the tissue of culture and they need to be used with intent.

Unfortunately, like customer experience, culture is hard to implement in a sustainable way. The good news is we are here for that! If you aspire to build a brand that delivers exceptional customer experience, reach out to us. We will be happy to guide you through the maze of culture building!

*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.

Avoid 10 Customer Experience Mistakes.

Are You Guilty Of 10 CX Mistakes?

10 Ways Companies & Employees Create Friction & How To Avoid CX Mistakes

Customer friction is a key factor in why people  abandon a website, leave a store without buying, disconnect from a monthly service plan, and the list goes on. In previous articles, I’ve written about the need to make the customer journey SIMPLE, EASY and PROBLEM-FREE. This includes the post-purchase return experience. Today, I’m pleased to share a guest post by Customer Service Expert & Author, Shep Hyken, who knows a lot about Customer Convenience. Continue Reading →

survey design cx

Why Customers Are Not Responding to Your Surveys

Every experience we go through is connected to our power as consumers. And experience surveys have become part of nearly every brand interaction we have.

Last month, I went to a museum and was solicited for feedback. My grocery store surveys me on my delivery experience. As consumers, we asked to be empowered to give feedback… we certainly got what we wished for!

So then why are we still having bad experiences? If brands care so much about our feedback, why there is no impact to our journeys?

Because basic best practice principles are not applied to survey design.

Survey Timing Matters!

When you solicit customer feedback sometimes matters more than how you ask the questions. In the case of a survey about new biometrics boarding initiatives my team and I created for JetBlue, we had a list of feedback that was most important for us.

We needed to know how our customers felt about their privacy. We also needed to know if they perceived the boarding process as faster. When we called our customer insights team, we were given the option to send an online survey a few dates after the flight. We knew that by that point in the journey, our customers would have forgotten the details of the experience. So we designed a paper survey for them to complete in real time. Was the analysis of the results painfully manual? Absolutely! But based on this approach, we were able to change the experience the very next day, and we increase NPS.

In Survey Design, Customer Context Matters

At an airline boarding gate during a POC (proof of concept), it is easy to fill out a one page survey. This can be the best approach to collecting feedback. However, the same approach can negatively impact your response rates. You must be aware of the context of your end user.

I gave birth on November 7th. On my kitchen table, two months later, I still have the paper survey Mount Sinai sent me about my birthing experience. I almost threw it out a few times, but I am keeping it since I have a lot of feedback to give (Stay tuned for that post coming soon).

No postpartum, sleep deprived woman has the time to fill out a 5 page paper survey after she gets home from the hospital. I should have received the survey as part of the hospital discharge process; or I should have received it via email to fill it out faster and submit it without having to leave my house.

The End Goal Matters

When you design a survey, you must keep in mind what you plan to do with the results. In other words, you need to be strategic and deliberate with your questions. Customer attention span is not long. Make sure the questions you really need answers to are in the beginning of your survey. Also, make sure you can actually DO something with the answers you get.

If you suspect a reason why your website users are dropping off your site, or your checking account customers are leaving your branch, make sure you list those options separately. Don’t leave “other” as an option, creating more effort for your customers to tell you your problems. If part of your goal is to visually represent the survey results, make sure you limit the number of open ended questions.

Last but not least, be aware of sending too many surveys. We all know NPS is part of the story and you need more survey data to explain why the NPS is a certain way. But avoid surveying every touch point independently. Make sure the end user only sees one feedback outreach.

If you want to learn more about surveys and CX metrics best practices, reach out to us about our Mentoring Program.

Sign Up for our newsletter to continue learning how to increase your skills and transform your organization! When you register now, you will get free access to our whitepaper on how to go from CX Novice to CX Expert.

*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.