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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|

It’s not about what you want

I recently wrote an—unintended to be, but maybe could be construed as, snarky—article about not doing VoC anymore.  The upshot was that, anything you put into your VoC program is wasted time, money, and effort if you’re not doing stuff with the insights you get out of it.

You may say maybe I’m not interested in what Customers have to say, but that’s not at all what I meant.  In fact, in some of the ensuing chatter in which I’ve participated since then, I recalled an incident from last year that I still look back on and smile about.  It highlights the importance of, if not exactly humility, at least a sense of curiosity when it comes to Customer insights, and an acknowledgement that you don’t always know everything you think you know about your Customers and their preferences.

Someone posted an article about how a supermarket somewhere in Europe had created a checkout lane that deliberately runs slower.  Now, that’s not the whole story…it’s meant for shoppers who enjoy chatting up the cashier and taking it easy (and slowly) as they check out their groceries.

Or, as I thought at the time, just go ahead and jab me through the eye with that icepick. […]

By |October 10th, 2023|Categories: CX Culture, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, VoC|

It’s really just BPI

If you’ve followed me much at all, you know that my main mantra about CX is that you need to work your VoC insights, by which I mean, you have to take action on what you’ve learned there.  Otherwise (as I’ve written recently), you’re simply throwing your money away with surveys, interviews, and the like.

In fact, as I’ve also mentioned, the largest part of your CX program—the part that should receive the most attention, the most effort, the most resources, time, and energy—should be your Process Engineering efforts.  It’s not that Customer Insights or building a good CX Culture aren’t important, and not that they don’t sometimes require a lot of resources and attention themselves.  But, if I’d written my framework as a picture with cogs in a machine, the PE piece would by far be the biggest part.

That’s because it’s where the changes happen.  Sure…these changes couldn’t have been as impactful or as well-identified and directed had they not been based on Customer Insights.  And definitely it takes a culture that’s truly Customer-centric in order to get people on board with the whys of your process improvements.  But somebody’s got to do the…doing. […]

By |September 27th, 2023|Categories: Consulting, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, Process Engineering|

Maybe just stop doing VoC?

I’ve been toying with an idea recently:  Tell my clients to simply stop doing VoC.

Yes, I realize that sounds kind of controversial.  But as opposed to my usual way of doing things, that’s not why I suggest this.  In fact, I’m only (partly) sort of kidding anyway.

But here’s my reasoning:

Brands sometimes spend inordinate gobs of money and time and resources developing over-the-top tremendously complicated VoC programs.  I’m not just talking about surveys.  I’m talking AI and “sentiment analysis” and social media scraping and all that.  So excited, or desperate, or whatever, are they to discern what their Customers think about their brand, they pour all they’ve got into the function of Customer Insights.

Well, good for them.

But here’s the big question:  What are they doing with those insights? […]

By |September 12th, 2023|Categories: Consulting, CX Culture, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, Measures & Metrics, Process Engineering, ROI of CX|

No Be There

Probably one of the worst shows streaming these days is Kobra Kai, but if you’re like me, you can’t look away.  Naturally, being a Gentleman of a Particular Age™, the original Karate Kid movie was part of my growing up, so I was curious.  In the modern iteration, the acting is atrocious, the dialog is forced and clumsy, and for that matter, even the plot lines are eye-rollingly bad with all the surprise loyalty shifts and team-jumping.  But anyway, one definitely redeeming facet of the show is the frequency of throwbacks to lines and experiences from the original franchise that make you smile about a different time.  A long way to go to set up that, one of Mr. Miagi’s famous pieces of advice to a young Daniel was that the best way to win a fight is to avoid it, or, in his trademark broken English, “No Be There.”  The idea being, the best way to win a fight is to avoid it, and one way to avoid it is not to be there when it happens.  (There’s an episode where Johnny, who these days is on-again-off-again no longer a nemesis, but rather a reluctant partner of Daniel, cheekily gets the pair into a fight with some tough hockey players but conveniently spirits himself away and out of harm to leave Daniel to fend for himself.  “No be there,” he says, returning once Daniel has vanquished the menacing crew.) […]

By |August 29th, 2023|Categories: Consulting, CX Culture, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, Process Engineering|
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