When Customer support is the problem

Nothing is 100%.  Things fail, products break, even very important services go dark from time to time.  A Customer who expects and demands perfection is certain to be disappointed pretty often, and in fact is being somewhat unreasonable, if you ask me.

With this understood and its obvious importance, then, why is Customer Support so often the place where CX takes the hardest hit?  Surely some Customers are emotional or freaking out when something doesn’t go right.  But for the most part, people understand that accidents happen and we live in an imperfect world.  As upset as a Customer may be, when they call in needing support, they’re likely entering with a good degree of generosity and goodwill, even if tinged a bit by anxiety.  So why do so many brands squander that? (more…)

By | 2021-09-22T14:55:09+00:00 September 22nd, 2021|Categories: Consulting, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts|0 Comments

For CX success, re-evaluate your purpose

May I offer a modest suggestion about CX?  Here it is:

The purpose of Customer Experience as an endeavor (a department, a practice, a field of study, etc.) is to improve the alignment between what your company says it’s all about (call it mission/vision, corporate values/principles, or simply Brand Promise) and the experience your Customers have when they interact with your brand. (more…)

By | 2021-09-15T15:04:48+00:00 September 15th, 2021|Categories: Consulting, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts|0 Comments

Let’s ask better questions

With text analytics and artificial intelligence and sentiment analysis, technology has really moved us into a new world of possibilities when it comes to understanding our Customers’ feedback in a variety of formats.  I’ve seen some pretty amazing uses of this new world of business analytics and high-level number-crunching.  The way some software out there is able to analyze and synthesize even unstructured data is pretty mind-blowing.

So why are we still doing VoC the same way? (more…)

By | 2021-09-09T12:45:59+00:00 September 1st, 2021|Categories: Consulting, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, VoC|0 Comments

Rethinking the ROI of CX

Articulating the return on investment (ROI) of Customer Experience efforts is a recurring theme among CX professionals.  As I moderate panels on webinars and sit as a guest on podcasts, listen to my peers talk, and read articles, I hear the questions all the time:  How do you define the ROI?  How do you sell CX to leadership?  I’ve even written about it myself on several occasions.

I know some of my fellow CX consultants go so far as to use the ROI of CX as their calling cards…not only engaging in the discussion but also leveraging it as the heart of their pitches to clients.  Some make bold promises and predictions, and some are simply advocates of the idea that you’ll boost your business results in some undefined (and sometimes not so undefined), yet unambiguously wonderful way with a dose of CX.  Now, of course, some are more circumspect than others, but there certainly seems to be a trend toward using things like revenues, sales, and market share as the driving reason for engaging in CX endeavors. (more…)

By | 2021-08-17T16:09:15+00:00 August 17th, 2021|Categories: Consulting, CX Culture, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, Leadership, ROI of CX|0 Comments

Set your CCO up with authority

Recently I wrote about a friend of mine, a Chief Customer Officer who was struggling with breaking through to her leadership colleagues the importance of taking action to improve the organization’s CX.  Her frustration, I surmised, was rooted mostly in a lack of support from her CEO, who, although her heart was in the right place, hadn’t strategically lined out the proper role of the CCO and set those expectations in the first place.  While that was a pretty specific instance, I’ve actually heard from a couple others who share a similar experience, so I figured I’d make a more general post about the proper care-and-feeding of your CX executives.

The advent and popularization of the role of the Chief Customer Officer is a great thing.  I’ve certainly entertained initiations to be one myself, in fact, and do some work as a Fractional CCO.  I’m grateful to see the excitement many business leaders are showing in the importance of CX in their organizations, and dedicating a role (and a staff and office) to Customer Experience goes a long way toward putting your money where your mouth is.  But it can also be a hollow gesture if not properly executed and expectations not sufficiently set.  So here’s a quick rundown of not why or that you need a CCO, but rather, how to install one: (more…)

By | 2021-08-11T15:40:20+00:00 August 11th, 2021|Categories: Consulting, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, Leadership|0 Comments

Are we conversing?

I spent the last three weeks on Reserve status with the Air Force. It’s an exercise I anticipate and enjoy every year, but it inevitably gobbles up a lot of my time when it rolls around. As such, I’ve been a more passive observer on LinkedIn, Customer Think, CXPA, Twitter, and other forums in which I usually participate more actively. The experience has been enlightening this year as I deliberately went through a lot of articles I’d saved and only now got around to reading, followed up on some messages, and felt more free to drop in with comments here-and-there. (more…)

By | 2021-08-04T18:52:42+00:00 August 4th, 2021|Categories: Consulting, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, Leadership|0 Comments

Is fear affecting your decision making?

Way back when I decided to leave active duty I took a friend, a fellow captain, to the informational meeting held by Cameron Brooks, the placement company that went on to help me land my first post-military civilian job. We had each been in the Air Force for about a decade, and I think he was just curious about what they had to say. We met up after the presentation and he was cool to the idea of making the move. I asked him why and his reply was so stark and simply stated that I remember it today: “I don’t know anything else.” (Any other life than the military, he meant.)

Now, since those days we’ve fallen out of touch so I’m not sure if his decision was the right one…only he can make that call anyway. Today I imagine he remained in the service, and now likely retired or is near it. What I do know is that my friend’s fear of doing something new kept him from jumping from active duty into a new civilian career…kept him from making a move based on analyzing an opportunity.  Not to disparage his choice—ultimately perhaps he’s better off—but fear was his driving factor. (more…)

By | 2021-06-22T15:35:32+00:00 June 22nd, 2021|Categories: Consulting, CX Strategy, Leadership|0 Comments

Keeping up with your professional network

One of the things that makes being an independent consultant different from work ‘on the inside’ is that doing things like keeping up with LinkedIn and other ‘work-related’ social networks is actually part of the job.  While it may seem a luxury to be able to find cool stuff here or find out about promotions and career moves of connections, LinkedIn and other such platforms are bread-and-butter.  It’s where we connect, sometimes where we find leads, and always where we share our insights.  If you’re not in this sort of business, LinkedIn may be something you rarely even think about or a site you hardly ever visit.  I know that, in my last corporate incarnation, I had several colleagues who never used LinkedIn, some of whom didn’t even have profiles.  I had one co-worker who insisted that she never used it because she didn’t want to give the impression to the boss that she was looking for work (she wasn’t, but still, her reasoning went, why give anybody a reason to think so?)  If you’re not as active as those of us who live and breathe business networking but still want to find a good way to stay in touch, below is an article I wrote a few years ago while I was working full-time that I think still stands up.  I’ve updated a couple of spots and of course, edited it for clarity.  Enjoy. (more…)

By | 2021-06-16T15:42:31+00:00 June 16th, 2021|Categories: Consulting, Leadership|0 Comments

Regulation as a CX opportunity

As a CX consultant and Fractional Chief Customer Officer, at times I’ve had clients and worked with companies in highly-regulated industries; from healthcare to insurance as well as others.  In the online webinar panels I moderate, I also come across senior leaders at companies in these sorts of fields all the time.  I love working and speaking with them, if for no other reason than that, within these lines of business, there’s so much potential to differentiate among competitors from a CX perspective.  In industries such as pharmaceuticals to banking and finance, if you’re in one of these greatly-overseen businesses, you’ve actually got an advantage when it comes to CX. (more…)

By | 2021-05-18T15:24:18+00:00 May 18th, 2021|Categories: Consulting, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts|0 Comments