For a CX leader, don’t hire from within your industry

There’s a meme going around LinkedIn these days about a job posting that requires of the ideal candidate experience that’s physically impossible:  a history of use of a platform or programming language that’s longer than the language’s existence in the first place.  There’s even been a mocking job posting put up with a cascade of similar impossibilities as requirements.

But that led me to thinking:  As I’ve written about before, I sometimes browse through job postings on LinkedIn and Glassdoor in the CX field.  What I mentioned in that previous post was how disparate the actual jobs are that are all listed as “CX” in some way or another.  But the joke about a job requirement for experience that’s literally impossible to have acquired set off a bell in my mind that reminded me of another thing a lot of these CX job postings have in common:  They almost universally require extensive experience in the hiring company’s industry. (more…)

By | 2020-09-17T13:33:10+00:00 September 17th, 2020|Categories: CX Culture, CX Jobs, CX Thoughts, Leadership|0 Comments

Three uses of your feedback

I’m a big fan, as you know, of negative feedback.  I suggest that CX professionals be greedy for negative feedback.  Since slaps on the back and hoorahs from your most ardent fans don’t really help you improve, you should be eager to hear “suggestions” from your Customers as to how you can better serve them.  Fortunately, there’s rarely a shortage of such inputs.  So what do you do with this feedback?  There are three ways in which you should be using every negative piece of information you receive from your Customers, regardless of the method of transmission: (more…)

By | 2020-09-10T15:50:44+00:00 September 10th, 2020|Categories: CX Thoughts, Process Engineering, VoC|0 Comments

Dynamism over products or services

There are articles all over the place and books overloading shelves in the business section of the stores having to do with strategies and branding.  One of the theories that I find appealing is that, when it comes to strategies and visions and missions, it’s important to leave your products or services out of these guiding statements altogether.  A company that determines its goodness or place in the lives of its Customers based simply on what they produce or do is missing a bigger piece of the puzzle:  Why a Customer should care in the first place.

It has repercussions on the ground:  If you make men’s shoes, that’s great.  But your brand and your vision should likely be more than simply, “we make good/great shoes.”  One reason for this is if the maker of “good/great shoes” were to go out of business tomorrow, a competitor would simply come in and buy up whatever is left of value—be it the supply chain, the raw materials, the cobblers (or elves?), the brand logo—and run on with whatever they’d been doing all along regardless of any greater purpose the recently out-of-business company may have had.  In short, the erstwhile shoe maker wouldn’t be missed. (more…)

By | 2020-09-03T14:51:39+00:00 September 3rd, 2020|Categories: CX Culture, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, Leadership|0 Comments

Are your Customers the goal…Or just part of the machine?

We sometimes have an officious way of dealing with our Customers, almost as though they’re the problem that we have to deal with.  As Customers ourselves, we witness this all the time, and surely as CX professionals and leaders we’re also more aware of it when we see it.  It’s interesting, then, that it ever happens in the first place, considering the positions we hold and the authority we wield.

For instance, if you wanted to come up with the worst thing you can ever say to your Customer, you’d be hard pressed to beat: “Your ticket has been closed” when the issue hasn’t been resolved.  And yet, don’t we get that all the time?

I recently had a minor issue with a product and went online to submit a question about it.  I receive two emails three days later in rapid succession: (more…)

By | 2020-08-27T14:39:48+00:00 August 27th, 2020|Categories: CX Thoughts|0 Comments

Building a Customer-centric culture

Here is the final post in a series about building a world-class CX program in your organization.  I introduced the component parts here, expounded on aligning your CX strategy here, delved into the Voice of the Customer here, and showed how to put it into action with your Process Engineering program here.  Now it’s on to building and supporting a Customer-centric culture.

“Well, culture’s a tricky one.”  So a guru once said to me about this ever-important aspect of corporate success.  And it’s obviously true.  HR departments and ‘climate committees’ spend lots of time and energy spinning up theories and ideas about how to improve and foster a great corporate culture.  It’s one of those things that’s easy to identify if it’s absent, but it’s challenging to identify steps toward achieving. (more…)

By | 2020-08-19T14:54:33+00:00 August 19th, 2020|Categories: CX Culture, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, Leadership|0 Comments

Do something! Process Engineering in your CX program

This is part three of a four-part series of posts about the components of a world-class CX function.  I began last week with an overview of the structure.  Since then I’ve posted on CX strategic alignment and your Voice of the Customer program.  We come now to the action part of this series of articles where I’ll emphasize what you do to improve your CX.  In the last installation we’ll discuss what it takes to build and support a Customer-centric culture.

One of the cliché lines I use with my clients (and anybody else who’ll listen) is that without action, your Voice of the Customer (VoC) program is a lot like the weather:  Sure it impacts you, and yes everybody talks about it, but nobody ever does anything about it.  A good friend of mine and CX guru Nate Brown will often say that too many folks see VoC as the finish line instead of the starting point that it really is.  In fact, if all you’re doing with your CX data is reporting it up to leadership, it’s not likely to be doing much good.  No matter how valuable the insights gleaned from (for example, but surely not limited to) survey data, it’s not going to do you any good if you’re not doing something with it.  First of all it’s a waste of your analyst’s time and effort to simply report it up the chain or put it on a pretty slide if you’re not going to act on it.  Secondly, and more importantly, it’s kind of an insult to your Customers to ask them for their input and not use it to improve their experiences.

So how do you do that? (more…)

By | 2020-08-29T19:46:31+00:00 August 17th, 2020|Categories: CX Thoughts, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Voice of the Customer basics

This is part two of a series of posts on the four components of a good CX system.  I introduced the concept here and my first post, on CX strategic alignment, is here.  Soon I’ll write about Process Engineering and wrap up with notes on what it takes to build and maintain a Customer-centric culture.

Folks often simply boil the Voice of the Customer (VoC) down to surveying.  This is a big mistake.  You’ve heard of the expression that we need to “meet the Customers where they are” when it comes to our offerings.  Well, gathering their input should also take that approach.  Just as different needs of different Customers are differently met by our products and services, so too should we understand the individuality and unique journeys of each segment of our Customer base when it comes to soliciting their feedback. (more…)

By | 2020-08-29T19:46:43+00:00 August 14th, 2020|Categories: CX Thoughts, Uncategorized|0 Comments

CX Strategic alignment: The First Step

This post is part of a series on the four components needed for a CX organization to be successful.  An introduction to the concept can be found here, and look for briefs on the moving parts (VoC, Process Engineering, and CX Culture) coming soon.  Here we’ll kick it off with a discussion about aligning your CX strategy with your overall corporate strategy.

CX practitioners, and especially more-so leaders, talk a lot about aligning CX strategy with overall corporate strategy.  Sometimes, though, we think it’s just as easy as putting the Customers first, or centering “all” our decisions around the Customers’ experiences.
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By | 2020-08-29T19:46:57+00:00 August 12th, 2020|Categories: CX Strategy, CX Thoughts|0 Comments

CX: How it all works

In this article I’ll explain the components needed in place to elevate an organization’s Customer Experience.  I won’t go too far in depth into the four parts but rather provide an overview of how they work together with a brief explanation of what they are.  Following, in a continuation of this series of articles, I’ll explain with more specificity how these work (and work together), as they each deserve their own writings.

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By | 2020-08-10T15:31:08+00:00 August 10th, 2020|Categories: Consulting, CX Culture, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, Process Engineering, VoC|0 Comments

Do you trust your Customers?

One important facet of efficiency and positive CX is making it easy for Customers to deal with you and navigate your processes.  The reason this is important is because corporations are necessarily defensive entities:  we create processes to protect our organizations from risk and loss.  That protection can come in the form of cash-on-hand, liquidity, T&Cs, and sometimes flexibility (for us) in how we deal with our Customers.

What drives a lot of organizations in this direction is fear and avoidance of that risk.  If you’ve actually taken the time to read through the miles-long terms and conditions when dealing with just about any service provider, your eyes would likely glaze over.  These rules are put in place for no other reason than for the company to be able to avoid litigation, and in some instances even having to deal with a Customer who feels a company has done him or her wrong in the first place.  I’ve had several interactions with companies whose agents’ response when I tell them I don’t think I’m being treated fairly is basically that, Well look, sir…it was all lined out in the agreement you accepted when you engaged us in the first place.  This likely will avoid litigation (who’s going to sue over our usual disappointments anyway, right?), and for the most part, Customers will swallow that and move on from a negative experience like that.  And for that matter I think some of us write it off as a cost of doing business generally and after all, a company does have to protect itself, we may tell ourselves. (more…)

By | 2020-08-03T16:57:25+00:00 August 3rd, 2020|Categories: CX Strategy, CX Thoughts|0 Comments