How Much Innovation Equity Have You Earned?

Our research shows that consumers are most willing to try new offerings from Advantage (rental cars), Sony (software), Fujitsu (major appliances), Apple (software), Audi (auto dealership). Lexus (auto dealership), QVC (retailer), Foot Locker (retailer), and Activision (software).

Consumers are least willing to try new offerings from HSBC (bank), Fifth Third (bank),Time Warner (Internet service and TV service), Cox Communications (Internet service and TV service), Charter Communications (TV service), Citibank (bank and credit cards), Comcast (TV service), Sun Trust Bank (bank), and Capital One (bank).

Which group of companies do you think will fare better if they face innovative competitors?

As part of our ongoing research, we collect data on different types of loyalty. One of the areas we examine is a concept called Innovation Equity, which is the willingness of customers to try a company’s new products and services. You earn (or lose) innovation equity over time based on how customers view your company and its offerings.

Most people don’t talk about this kind of loyalty, but it’s very important. If your customers aren’t willing to try new things, then it’s very hard to expand your business into new areas or to keep up with innovative competitors. To measure Innovation Equity, we created the Temkin Innovation Equity (TIE) Index. Here’s how we calculate the TIE Index:

  • We ask customers this question: If <COMPANY> announced a new product or service, how likely would you be to try it right away?
  • They select answers between 1 (Extremely unlikely) and 7 (Extremely likely).
  • The TIE Index for a company is calculated as the percentage of customers who chose 6 or 7 minus the percentage who chose 1 , 2, or 3.

Purchase 2014 TIE Index Dataset for $195PurchaseDataButton

We calculated the TIE Index for 254 companies across 19 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers in Q1 2014. Here’s some of what we found:

  • Major appliance, hotels, and software companies have the highest average TIE Index
  • TV service providers, Internet service providers, and banks have the lowest average TIE Index
  • Advantage, USAA, MetroPCS, and QVC most outpace their industry average
  • RadioShack, Travelers, HSBC, and Fifth Third fall the furthest behind their industry average

1408_TIE_Industry1408_TIE_IndustryLeadLag

Purchase 2014 TIE Index Dataset for $195PurchaseDataButtonDownload this excel file to see what’s in the dataset

The bottom line: Start building up your Innovation Equity!

Report: Social Employee Engagement

1407_Social Employee Engagement_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Social Employee Engagement. The research shows best practices for infusing social tools into employee engagement efforts. Here’s the executive summary:

Temkin Group research shows that engaged employees are valuable assets. They try harder at work, are less likely to look for a new job, and feel more committed to helping the company succeed. We found that companies with stronger employee engagement competencies are more likely to use social tools as part of their internal efforts than other companies. For best results, companies should introduce these social capabilities into their employee engagement plans to enhance what we call the “Five I’s of Employee Engagement”: Inform, Inspire, Instruct, Involve, and Incent. We interviewed 17 companies for this report, including EMC, Fidelity Investments, Houlihan’s, Humana, Oracle, SunTrust Bank, TELUS, and USAA, and identified more than 20 best practices enabled by social tools. We also added a checklist to help organizations introduce social tools to employees.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

The report identifies best practices for using social tools across the 5 I’s of Employee Engagement:

1408_Social5Is

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

The bottom line: Tap into social tools to engage employees

Robin Williams Provides Lesson in Empathy

I’m a huge fan of Robin Williams’ work. He was a brilliant artist who unfortunately lost his battle with internal demons.

I remember many scenes from his movies and TV appearances, but nothing is more vivid to me than one of his discussions with Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting. Williams plays a psychologist who is trying to help a brilliant, yet troubled inner-city Boston kid (WIll Hunting played by Matt Damon). In this scene on a bench in the Boston Public Garden, Williams is explaining to Damon the difference between intellectual knowledge and emotional understanding.

Here’s an excerpt from the beginning….

“So if I asked you about art, you’d probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life’s work, political aspirations, him and the Pope, sexual orientation, the whole works, right? But I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling. Seen that…”

The scene provides a parallel commentary on the difference between analytics and empathy.

The bottom line: RIP Robin Williams. May the spark you brought to our lives continue to live on.

Customer Effort, Net Promoter, And Thoughts About CX Metrics

There’s been a recent uptick in people asking me about Customer Effort Score (CES), so I thought I’d share my thoughts in this post.

As I’ve written in the past, no metric is the ultimate question (not even Net Promoter Score). So CES isn’t a panacea. Even the Temkin Experience Ratings isn’t the answer to your customer experience (CX) prayers.

The choice of a metric isn’t the cornerstone to great CX. Instead, how companies use this type of information is what separates CX leaders from their underperforming peers. In our report, the State of CX Metrics, we identify four characteristics that make CX metrics efforts successful:  Consistent, Impactful, Integrated, and Continuous. When we used these elements to evaluate 200 large companies, only 12% had strong CX metrics programs.

Should we use CES and how does it relate to NPS? I hear this type of question all the time. Let me start my answer by examining the four types of things that CX metrics measure: interactions, perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors.

1408_CXMetrics

CES is a perception measure while NPS is an attitudinal measure. In general, perception measurements are better for evaluating individual interactions. So CES might be better suited for a transactional survey while NPS may be better suited for a relationship survey. You can read a lot that I’ve written about NPS on our NPS resource page.

Now, on to CES. I like the concept, but not the execution. As part of our Temkin Experience Ratings, we examine all three aspects of experience—functional, accessible, and emotional. The accessible element examines how easy a company is to work with. I highly encourage companies to dedicate significant resources to becoming easier to work with and removing obstacles that make customers struggle.

But CES uses an oddly worded question: How much effort did you personally have to put forth to handle your request? (Note: In newer versions of the methodology, they have improved the language and scaling of the question). This version of the question goes against a couple of my criteria for good survey design:

  • It doesn’t sound human. Can you imagine a real person asking that question? One key to good survey design is that questions should sound natural.
  • It can be interpreted in multiple ways. If a customer tries to do something online, but can’t, did they put forth a lot of effort? How much effort does it take to move a mouse and push some keys?!? Another key to good survey design is to have questions that can only be interpreted in one way.

If you like the notion of CES (measuring how easy or hard something is to do), then I suggest that you ask a more straight forward question? How about: How easy did you find it to <FILL IN THING>? And let customers pick a response on a scale between “very easy” and “very difficult.”

My last thought is not about CES, but more about where the world of metrics is heading. In the future, organizations will collect data from interactions and correlate them with future behaviors (like loyalty), using predictive analytics to bypass all of these intermediary metrics. Don’t throw away all of your metrics today, but consider this direction in your long-term plans.

The bottom line: There is no such thing as a perfect metric.

CX Fallacy #8: Middle Managers Are Obstacles

10CXFallacies4I recently discussed how organizations that want to improve their customer experience will need to evolve from superficial changes (fluff) to operational transformation (tough). As part of making this shift from fluff to tough, companies will need to shed some of popular myths and fallacies about CX. These myths may hold true in early stage of maturity, but they fall flat as organizations expand their CX efforts. To help in the process, I’ve assembled the top 10 CX Fallacies.

CX Fallacy #8: Middle Managers Are Obstacles

When we ask executives about which groups of employees are the toughest to change, they almost always point to middle managers. Front-line employees are willing to shift their activities when they see that it will help customers, and executives are often pretty easy to entice on to the CX bandwagon. So it’s easy to view middle managers as a problem.

But middle managers aren’t obstacles, they’re the the backbone to stability within an organization. If you want to create sustainable change, then they are a critical building block. Rather than viewing this employee group as a problem, treat them as the guardians of your success and activate them as part of your efforts.

Here are some recommendations for shedding this fallacy:

  • View your success through the eyes of middle managers. When you’re rolling out changes, don’t consider these efforts as being successful until your middle managers are fully on board. This may take some extra work, but the initial investment in time and effort will pay dividends in the speed and consistency of the ultimate roll out of the change.
  • Create group of middle manager ambassadors. identify a set of influential middle managers to provide guidance on company efforts and to promote new ideas with their peers. They may recommend slowing down some efforts, but those activities weren’t likely to succeed anyway.
  • Actively gather feedback from middle managers. Look for ways to collect feedback from middle managers, whether its analyzing their responses in employee-wide surveys or by targeting this group directly.
  • Track engagement levels of middle managers. All companies should understand the engagement levels of employees. If you use a measurement such as Temkin Group’s Employee Engagement Index, then segment the results to identify the engagement level of middle managers compared with other groups. This can be a great leading indicator for the company.
  • Train middle managers to support change efforts. Whenever you are driving change in your organization, make sure to put together specific training to help middle managers support the efforts.

The bottom line: Don’t complain about middle managers, activate them.

Report: Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2014

1407_IT_NPSBenchmark_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2014, The research examines Net Promoter Scores and the link to loyalty for 63 tech vendors based on feedback from IT decision makers. We also compared overall results to our 2013 NPS benchmark and our 2012 NPS benchmark. Here’s the executive summary:

We surveyed IT decision-makers from more than 800 large North American firms to learn about their relationships with their tech vendors. We asked them a series of questions regarding their experiences as the clients of different tech vendors, and one of the questions we posed generated Net Promoter Scores® (NPS®) for the companies. Of the 63 companies we looked at, EDS and VMware earned the highest NPS, while Autodesk and Cognizant received the lowest. The overall industry average NPS dropped for the second year in a row. Our analysis also delved into the correlation between NPS and loyalty, revealing that, compared to severe detractors, promoters are much more likely to spend more money with their tech vendors in 2014, try new products and services when they are announced, and forgive the vendor for a mistake. We compared the loyalty levels for each vendor, and we found that SunGard and IBM software have the most customers planning on increasing their purchases in 2014, while Satyam and EDS customers are the most willing to try new offerings, and Satyam has the most forgiving customers. Our research also shows that promoters are more concerned than detractors about getting lower prices.

Download report for $695 (includes Excel spreadsheet with data)
BuyDownload3

This is the third year that Temkin Group has completed the NPS study. Over that time, the average NPS in the tech industry has been dropping. NPS in for tech vendors was 33.6 in 2012 and 24.7 in 2013, falling to 23.1 in 2014.

With an NPS of 48, EDS came out with the top score followed closely by VMware with 45. Six other tech vendors received NPS of 35 or more: EMC, Microsoft servers, Oracle outsourcing, Pitney Bowes, Microsoft business applications, and Cisco.

At the other end of the spectrum, three tech vendors have negative NPS: Autodesk, Cognizant, and Wipro. Six other vendors fell below 10: Capgemini, Intuit, ADP outsourcing, CA, Infosys, and HP outsourcing.

1407_ITNPS_Companies

The report also examines the link between NPS and loyalty. Our analysis shows that promoters are more than six times likely to forgive a tech vendor if they deliver a bad experience, about seven times as likely to try a new offering from the company, and almost three times as likely to purchase more from them in 2014 than they did in 2013.

In addition to benchmarking NPS, the research measures the loyalty that large companies have for their tech vendors. Respondents have the most plans to increase spending with SunGard, IBM software, Alcatel-Lucent, and ACS. They are most likely to try new offerings from Satyam, EDS, and EMC. And if the tech vendors make a mistake, IT decision makers are most likely to forgive Satyam, EDS, Ericsson, and Alcatel-Lucent. NPS characterizes respondents as Promoters when they are very likely to recommend and Detractors when they are very unlikely to recommend.

Report details: The report includes graphics with data for NPS, 2014 purchase intentions, likelihood to forgive, likelihood to try a new offering, and areas of improvement for the 63 tech vendors that had at least 40 pieces of feedback. The excel spreadsheet includes this data (in more detail) for the 63 companies as well as for 22 other tech vendors with less than 40 pieces of feedback. It also includes the summary NPS scores from 2013. If you want to know more about the data file, download this excel spreadsheet without the data.

Download report for $695 (includes Excel spreadsheet with data)
BuyDownload3

The bottom line: When it comes to NPS, large tech vendors are heading in the wrong direction

Note: See our 2013 NPS benchmark and 2012 NPS benchmark for tech vendors as well as our page full of NPS resources.

P.S. Net Promoter Score, Net Promoter, and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, and Fred Reichheld.

Amazon Provides Best Technical Support

We examined the service and support delivered by the following technology providers:

  • Amazon (e.g., Kindle, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, Amazon Prime)
  • Apple (e.g., iPhone, iPad, iTunes, iCloud, MacBook)
  • Google (e.g., Search, Google Docs, Gmail, YouTube, Google Play, Google Drive)
  • Sony (e.g., PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4)
  • Microsoft (e.g., XBOX, WINDOWS, MSOffice, and Skype)
  • Nintendo (e.g., Wii, Wii U)
  • Samsung (e.g., Galaxy Phones, Galaxy Tablets, Galaxy Note)

We asked consumers who had recent service or support experience to rate those vendors in two areas:

  1. Thinking about your recent customer service or technical support experience from these companies, how would you rate the end-to-end experience from your first attempt to get help until your issue was resolved?
  2. How would you rate the overall quality of online resources provided by these companies for end user support (e.g., websites, chat, contact us, FAQs)?

As you can see in the graphic below, less than half of consumers rated any of the companies “excellent.” Some other tidbits:

  • Amazon.com is on top for end-to-end service as well as for its online resources.
  • Apple provides the second best end-to-end service, but the worst online resources.
  • Google is next to the bottom in both categories.
  • Microsoft is the lowest scoring for end-to-end service, but third from the bottom for its online resources.

1407_TechSupport1

The bottom line: Consumers could use better support for their technology.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,834 other followers

%d bloggers like this: