CX Workshop in South Beach on Dec 9th & 10th


A few openings remain for Temkin Group’s workshop in South Beach on December 9th & 10th: Driving Customer Experience Transformation. Immerse yourself in a highly interactive learning experience, taking home leading-edge approaches to customer experience management.

Simple Lessons From Great Clips’ Success

As I mentioned in my post about Amazon’s relentless customer advocacy, I recently attended the Arizona State University, Center for Services Leadership (CSL) Compete Through Service Symposium.

One of the speakers was Ray Barton, Chairman of Great Clips. He had a great story, explaining how he led the company from a little four salon outfit in 1983 to a behemoth operation with 3,300 salons and 30,000 stylists. It’s the largest and fastest growing hair care brand. Supercuts, by comparison, has 2,300 locations.

Barton was clear about what was important in his business: clarity and simplicity. He made a number of points that are valuable for many others to follow. Here’s my take on some of what he presented:

Focus on the Customer
The hair care industry was fragmented and organized around the stylist, not the customer. By focusing on customers, the company did innovative things such as opening during evenings and all day on Saturday, offering $6 haircuts, and not requiring reservations. He was clear about what his customers want: quality, convenience, and value.

  • My take: Most organizations make decisions based on internal needs. It’s powerful when you take a look at things through your customers’ eyes. Think about adopting customer journey thinking.

Four Simple Steps
Barton said that he ran the business based on four simple things: (1) Ask customers what they want, (2) Give it to them, (3) Ask them if they got what they wanted, and (4) Thank them.

  • My take: The only thing I can say is… these are the best four steps that I’ve ever seen.

Everyone is the Brand
Barton said “everyone in our organization can draw a line from them to how they affect the customer, or we don’t need them.”

  • My take: This should be true for every employee at every company. Great companies have employees that understand and embrace their role in delivering on brand promises. This is also the essence of one of our four CX core competencies, “compelling brand values.”

Growth is an Outcome
Barton believed in the rifle, versus shotgun approach to expansion. Rather than following other franchises such as Krispy Kreme and Boston Market that expanded into many different markets, he focused on building density in a few areas at a time. This provided the marketing clout and brand awareness in those areas. It also allowed the company to focus on good real-estate decisions and make sure that staff was adequately trained.

  • My take: Growth should come from successfully delivering on your brand promises. If not, then your organization may get bigger, but it will certainly lose its focus and values along the way. That’s a lesson that even Starbucks needed to learn.

Simple, Powerful Metrics
Barton described how at one point during its growth, the company lost its focus and simplicity. They simplified their brand measures from 33 columns down to 5 measures that now all fit on one page. He actually said that only two measures are really important, what he calls 30/30: 30% of stylist hours occur during weekends and 30% of new customers come back. Since then, the company has had 40 consecutive quarters of same solon sales growth.

  • My take: When it comes to metrics, less is often better. A simple set of metrics that everyone understands is a powerful way to align everyone in the organization around what’s important.

The bottom line: Simply stay focused on your customers and your brand.

Five I’s of Employee Engagement (Video)

Employee engagement is one of Temkin Group’s four CX core competencies. This video highlights our model for making improvements in what we call the Five I’s of Employee EngagementInform, Inspire, Instruct, Involve, and Incent. Also, check out our Employee Engagement Resources.

The bottom line: Employees are an under-appreciated asset.

Examining Amazon.Com’s Relentless Customer Advocacy

Last week I attended the Arizona State University, Center for Services Leadership (CSL) Compete Through Service Symposium. It was an excellent event. I was impressed by what the CSL is doing to equip future customer service/experience leaders.

One of the speakers was Mike Gathright, Director Americas Customer Services at Amazon.com. He describe Amazon.com as “The Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company,” or just EMC3. It’s no accident that Amazon.com scores so consistently high in the Temkin Experience Ratings and Temkin Customer Service Ratings. The company works on it.

I really love one of the company’s tenets, Relentlessly advocate for customers. It sounds like something that all companies should strive to do.

Gathright explained that Amazon.com has three key priorities:

  • Empower your people
  • Listen to customers
  • Invent for customers

To deliver on those priorities, the company uses a number of internal quality processes including Kaizen (continuous improvement) and Genba walk (seeing and observing the actual process or activity).

One of the quality efforts that I really like is the use of an Andon Cord. This is a concept where any employee can identify a quality problem and halt manufacturing. The implementation at Amazon.com is that any phone agent can pull the Andon cord (not a real cord), which will remove the buy button from all of its sites, immediately stopping the sale of a product. This step kicks off a process for the product team to find and solve the root cause of the problem.

To get the Andon cord going, Amazon.com celebrates its use and analyzes the savings from avoiding quality issues with products sent to customers. The company also built a tool to help associates decide if the situation they are seeing warrants them pulling the Andon cord.

Gathright also discussed the notion of one-way doors and two-way doors in the context of innovation. One-way doors are changes that you can’t undo, while two-way doors are changes that can be undone if they don’t work. He said that Amazon.com goes big and bold through two-way doors.

The company taps into its employees with a Twitter-like tool internally to crowd-source ideas. Employees submit ideas and they get voted up or down based on the likes and dislikes from associates. Gathright also said that the company believes in “hiring the right people and getting out of their way.”

To measure the effectiveness of Amazon.com’s customer service, the company asks a simple question: “Did we solve your problem?” The answer to that question is the only key metric.

When asked about the trade-off between CX and bottom line results, Gathright explained that it’s not “either/or,” it’s more like “both/and.”

The bottom line: Amazon.com is purposeful about delivering great CX.

Capitalizing on the Voice of the Customer (Infographic)

Voice of the customer programs are a cornerstone for most customer experience efforts. That’s why Temkin Group put together this infographic with insights from our research.

Here’s a poster version and you can see the full infographic below. I hope you enjoy it.

StateOfVoC_Infographic_TemkinGroup2

Here are links to download versions of the infographic:

Here are links to the research referenced in the infographic:

The bottom line: Make sure to capitalize on the voice of your customers.

Read more of this post

Formation of MaritzCX is Sign of VoC Times

In case you missed it, the VoC technology provider Allegiance was purchased by Maritz Holdings and then combined with Maritz Research (a part of the acquiring company) to form MaritzCX. Carine Clark, the CEO of Allegiance, was named CEO of the new company.

My take: First of all, I like the move for both Martiz and Allegiance. MaritzCX can offer a strong technology platform and a strong services capability. The newly formed company has the scale and capabilities to compete effectively for most large-scale VoC implementations.

Allegiance has been one of the growing class of applications that I call Customer Insight and Action (CIA) Platforms. I coined this term in 2010 while other people were calling them Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) systems. As the dynamics in the market continue to play out, these technologies are looking even more like CIA Platforms. Rather than just focusing on surveys and other forms of feedback, these systems increasingly:

  • Incorporate non-feedback data like customer profiles and transactional history
  • Distribute tailored, contextual insights across an organization
  • Provide alerts based on specific criteria
  • Support workflow associated with taking action based on the insights
  • Integrate with other applications like CRM and workforce management

The acquisition/merger is an acknowledgement that running a leading-edge VoC program requires more than a technology platform. Recent Temkin Group shows that only 11% of VoC programs within large companies have reached the top levels of maturity. These efforts aren’t easy. This graphic from our report, Text Analytics Reshapes VoCs, highlights some of the capabilities that future VoC programs will need: TAVoCChanges

To implement a world-class VoC program, companies need to undergo significant change. It takes a combination of:

  • CIA Platform for gathering customer data, uncovering insights, and sharing actionable insights across the organization.
  • Skills for defining research methodologies, managing the data flow, analyzing data, and building processes for sharing actionable insights and driving continuous improvement.
  • Governance for ensuring that the company makes changes across the company based on the flow of actionable insights.

MaritzCX is an attempt to combine those capabilities into a single provider. That’s the same motivation that led Mindshare (renamed InMoment) to acquire Empathica last year (which was a move that I liked for those companies as well).

This acquisition will push other aspiring CIA Platform vendors such as Clarabridge, Confirmit, Kampyle, Medallia, NICE, Qualtrics, ResponseTek, and Verint to strengthen their relationships with services companies.

Will there be more acquisition in the VoC arena? Absolutely. CIA Platforms are a natural extension to CRM and analytics applications, so watch for the big software players (e.g., Oracle, Salesforce.com, IBM, SAP) to get more active into this space.

The bottom line: MaritzCX is a sign of things to come.

 

 

H-E-B Earns Highest Effort Rating, Medicaid Earns Lowest

In a previous post, I defined the three elements of an experience: Success, Effort, and Emotion. We’ve been measuring each of these areas as part of our Temkin Experience Ratings for four years. So I decided to share some insights from the effort ratings component of those overall ratings (you can see this data as part of the Temkin Experience Ratings datasets).

As you can see in the charts below (from ratings of 268 companies across 19 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers):

  • H-E-BFood LionBurger KingChick-fil-APublixcredit unionsSonic Drive-InTrader Joe’sDairy QueenKroger, Little Caesar’sStarbucksPiggly Wiggly, and Regions have the highest effort ratings.
  • MedicaidEmpire (BCBS), Coventry Health CareHighmark (BCBS), Motel 6Super 8Residence InnHitachiHaierComcastUS Airways, and Chrysler have the lowest effort ratings.
  • Grocery chains and fast food chains have the highest average effort ratings while health plans, TV service providers, Internet service providers, and hotels have the lowest.
  • Led by a five point improvement in credit cards, 13 out of the 19 industries improved between 2013 and 2014.
  • Hotels dropped eight points from 2013 to 2014, by far the largest of the three industries that declined. the others: parcel delivery services and retailers.

Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: