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When to survey

I know I rail on about VoC (truth be known, that’s not my strongest topic of expertise; I’m much more of a Process Engineer)…Sure, VoC and Customer Insights inform the work we do to improve and better align our Customers’ Experiences with our Brand Promise, but it’s really just the first step.

Nevertheless, I get a lot of inquiries from clients about the surveying process and techniques.  I get questions all the time about how to improve response rates, how to best formulate questions, and even whom to survey in the first place.

The timing of surveys is an interesting topic, and I’ve got a thought or two on that: […]

By |January 23rd, 2024|Categories: Consulting, CX Culture, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, VoC|

Again, about how CS is NOT CX

It’d be a little melodramatic (not beyond me, mind you) to call it the bane of my existence, but yes it’s a bit of a task that complicates my days:  Explaining, when I say I’m “in CX” or that I “do CX” that, no, I’m not a ‘contact center guy.’  I don’t do Customer Support or Service.  I’m not in “Customer Care” or whatnot.  There’s always a bit of a word-shuffle differentiating that, well, yes, all those things are part of a Customer’s Experience, and yes, they do play a huge—and important—part within CX.  Often in fact, when I work with my clients on their CX, we spend time discussing their contact centers, their Customer Support and Service and Success teams and systems.  To that end, I often say that these teams have the best insight into what your Customers are experiencing (by way of the contacts they receive from your Customers), which is the first step in addressing your Brand Alignment gaps.  But these functions are not CX, per se, if we’re talking about a CX function or department.

This kind of came up when I wrote an article a while back that seemed to ruffle some feathers.  The point, generally, of that article was that needing more support resources (by way of, for example, adding headcount to your contact center) may be a sign that something’s wrong with your systems and processes (i.e., a failure of CX).

Wow, did that strike some people!  I got some positive feedback, but many contact center folks took exception to my premise:  That adding headcount to your Customer Care teams is a sign that things are going wrong.  To be sure (and I made this point in the article, lost to some), some scaling will likely be necessary as you gain new Customers.  But the point is that it needn’t be a linear relationship, and that if your processes are tight and effective, you may not even need any new folks, even with more Customers, because you’re giving them fewer reasons to have to call by way of making your systems more Customer-friendly. […]

By |January 9th, 2024|Categories: Consulting, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts|

If it’s a surprise, you’re in trouble

A while back, I wrote an article that kind of cheekily suggested that we simply stop doing VoC.

For that matter, I kind of went on a speaking circuit with my snarky little message.

(The punch-line is, well, don’t actually stop doing VoC things like surveying your Customer or walking in your Customers’ shoes, or simply taking a look at what’s coming into your Customer Support queue…rather, if you’re not acting on what you learn there, you’re wasting your time and effort collecting those insights anyway.  So save yourself the resources if you’re not going to improve anything as a result, and just keep your head buried in the sand.  /sarcasm)

That got me thinking about the Voice of the Customer generally, but surveys in particular.  There’s a lot of ink spilled on thought-pieces about VoC and how great these insights can be if you’re asking probing questions and listening with an ear to actually learn and grow from the feedback your Customers are willing to offer.  After all, they say, feedback is a gift!

And sure, if your surveys (and other VoC devices) are offering you specifics, details, validation and verification, that’s a great thing.  Hopefully they’re giving you a great vehicle for answering those “Why?” questions you have about how you’re doing.  Likely they’re offering deeper insights into where you can go within your organization to better align your Customers’ experiences with your Brand Promise.  Ideally they’re acting like a laser, directly precisely where you need to go to deliver on that Brand Promise.  Indeed:  Don’t stop doing VoC. […]

By |December 13th, 2023|Categories: Consulting, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, VoC|


There’s an adage in the Process Engineering world that one should never automate a bad process.  I have friends who are in the automation business, and there are actually a lot of companies out there who are leveraging new technologies to streamline their operations.  But the philosophy stands:  If you’re automating, you’re wasting time and money and not getting nearly as much out of it if you haven’t already perfected those processes before you send them to the machine to run.

It reminds me of that old poster we see in the military all the time:  “Drink Coffee!” it extolls, “Do stupid things faster and with more energy.”

There’s a more direct application for us in the CX world as well, and it goes by the name Omnichannel. […]

By |November 28th, 2023|Categories: Consulting, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts|

How to impact CX from CS

It was a long time ago that I first wrote about the difference between CS and CX.  Here, define CS as Customer Support, Customer Service, Customer Success, or Customer Care (that last one is actually CC, but you get the drift).  Yes, they’re all actually different among each other, so shouldn’t always be lumped in together as the same thing, but they’re all not CX per se, so I will just for this little article.

Thinking about this, it actually rhymes with a conversation I was recently having with someone who’s in “CX” in her company’s Contact Center/Customer Care department.  I use the “quotes” here because, as you know, one of the banes of my existence is that when I say “CX” (those are genuine quote marks, not the pretend kind…I mean, literally quoting me saying that:  “See Ecks“), at least usually more than, half the time, people think I’m talking about Customer Care, Customer Support, Customer Service, the contact center, etc.  That’s an important part of the CX world, and what goes on in that organization surely impacts a brand’s CX.

But CX is not CS.  At least not just CS. […]

By |November 8th, 2023|Categories: Consulting, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts|

All I want is information

We recently needed a battery replacement in one of the household computers, so I made an appointment at the brand’s retail location in a local mall.  The process of registering and scheduling an appointment was super easy, and the appointment times were remarkably specific, so I figured I was in for a very tightly-run experience.  I also had a few other questions about other devices and things I was sort of shopping for at the store anyway, so depending on how efficient they were (fix our device while I was asking my questions and looking around), I estimated there was a possibility I could be in-and-out with everything done in one swift motion.

When I got there, they quickly checked me in and took the computer needing the new battery away and I engaged with the team member who’d greeted me.  We talked about a few questions I had and even addressed a small issue I was having with another of their branded devices I own.

After about fifteen minutes on these other matters, I inquired about the status of our battery replacement:  Was it finished, or close to finished yet?  I’m not in a huge hurry, I clarified, but if the estimated time remaining was really short (if, say, it’s open and they’re swapping it out now), I’d hang out a bit and look around the store or even stroll around the mall for a while.  On the other hand, if I still had some time to wait (if, say, it was still waiting in queue, not yet even addressed), that’s no problem at all as my gym is nearby and there are even some groceries I need to pick up while I’m out.

All I wanted to know was the status and even just a rough estimate of the expected completion time. […]

By |October 24th, 2023|Categories: Consulting, CX Culture, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, Leadership|
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