A Reminder About the Design of Little Things

At the Qualtrics Insight Summit in Salt Lake CIty last week, I was able to see Dan Ariely’s keynote speech. I’m a huge fan. Ariely is one of the leading researchers in behavioral economics, which is a field that influences a lot of the thinking that shows up in my blog.

Ariely shared a version of this graphic (that I borrowed from Ariely’s blog) that shows the percentage of people who sign up to be organ donors across different companies and asked the audience this question: Why do some of these countries have such high participation rates while others are so low?

Organ DonorsThe audience guessed that the differences were due to political, religious, or cultural norms. Everyone was wrong. It turns out that the differences can be traced to a simple thing: the design of the forms for becoming an organ donor. In the countries with high participation rates, the form provides a check mark for opting-out while the low participation rate countries use an opt-in form.

In other words,people demonstrated the same behavior across all countries—they did nothing. It just turns out that this common behavior had radically different results based on how the forms were developed.

Here are three key lessons from this example:

  1. People aren’t as thoughtful as we think. We generally believe that people make informed, logical decisions. But in many cases, especially when faced with complex decisions, they choose to do nothing.
  2. Forms can trump strategy. The people who develop the strategy for a company often make huge salaries and have big corner offices. But what about the people who design the forms? Do we even know who they are? But the best strategy can fall flat because of decisions about how a form is designed.
  3. Don’t forget the little things. A few years ago I introduced a concept called the Design of Little Things (DoLT), defined as “the small changes that can dramatically improve the customer experience of much larger investments.” Don’t think that deploying an experience is the end-point. Assume that you’re going to get it wrong and keep resources in place to learn and evolve.

The bottom line: Design experiences based on how people actually behave

Report: What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2014

1402_WhatHappensAfterGoodBadExperiences_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2014. The report, which includes 19 data charts, examines which companies and industries provide the most bad experiences, what impact those experiences have on spending, and how the negative impacts of bad experiences can be mitigated by good service recovery. The report also examines how consumers share their good and bad experiences with companies as well as with other people. Here’s the executive summary:

To understand the effect of good and bad experiences, we asked 10,000 U.S. consumers about their recent interactions with 268 companies across 19 industries. Results show that Internet services and TV services are the industries most likely to deliver a bad experience to their customers, while grocery chains are the least likely to. At the company level, Scottrade had the smallest percentage of customers reporting a recent bad experience with the company and Time Warner Cable had the highest. More than half of the customers who encountered a bad experience at a fast food chain, credit card issuer, grocery store, or hotel either decreased their spending with the company or stopped altogether. However, our data shows that a good service recovery effort can help mitigate a bad experience. Unfortunately, many firms—especially in the banking, Internet services, and TV services sectors—aren’t very good at service recovery. In addition to the consequences of bad interactions, we also examined which channels customers use to share their good and bad experiences and how these changed across age groups. We then compared these results to survey responses from the past two years. We also uncovered a negative bias inherent in how customers provide feedback. ING Direct, Residence Inn, and Fairfield Inn have the most negative bias in the feedback they receive directly from customers, while Hy-Vee and Hyundai have the most negative bias on Facebook. 

Click link to see full list of industries and companies covered in this report (.pdf).

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

One of the most interesting analyses in the report is the look at how service recovery after a bad experience affects the spending pattern of consumers. Here’s a summary of one of the charts showing just how important it is for a company to recover well after making a mistake:

1402_EconomicsOfServiceRecovery

Here are some other insights from the research:

  • Sixteen percent of consumers who have interacted with TV service and Internet service providers report having a bad experience over the previous six months. Next on the list are wireless carriers, with 12% of their customers reporting a bad experience. At the other end of the spectrum, only 3% of consumers report a bad experience with grocery chains and 4% report having a bad experience with fast food chains.
  • The five companies with the most customers reporting bad experiences are Time Warner Cable (25%), Motel 6 (22%), Coventry Health Care (21%), and Comcast (21%). There were 10 companies with only 1% or less of their customers reporting bad experiences: Scottrade, Chick-fil-A, H.E.B., Whole Foods, ShopRite, ING Direct, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, Vanguard, and True Value.
  • More than one-quarter of consumers who have a bad experience stop spending with computer makers, car rental agencies, credit card issuers, hotel chains, and software companies. The impact of bad experiences is less costly for parcel delivery services, wireless carriers, health plans, TV service providers, Internet service providers, and grocery chains, as less than 15% of their customers with bad experience stopped spending.
  • The industries that are the best at responding to a bad experience are investment firms, major appliances, retailers, and car rental agencies. The industries that are the worst at responding to a bad experience are TV service providers, wireless carriers, Internet service providers, parcel delivery services, and health plans.
  • Thirty-two percent of consumers give feedback directly to companies after a very bad experience and 23% give feedback after a very good experience.
  • Overall, 25- to 34-year-olds are the most likely to share feedback about their experiences. After a good experience 57% tell a friend directly, 28% share on Facebook, and 18% put a comment or rating on a review site. After a bad experience, 60% tell a friend directly, 31% share on Facebook, and 20% write a review.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

The bottom line: Make sure to recover quickly after a bad experience

Building Organizational Empathy: Perceive-Reflect-Adjust

Most people have an innate ability to be empathetic, but organizations tend to dampen this natural instinct. While a typical customer interaction cuts across many functional groups (a single purchase, for instance, may include contact with decisions by product management, sales, marketing, accounts payable, and legal organizations), companies push employees to stay focused on their functional areas. This myopic view is often reinforced by incentives focused on narrow domains, which creates a perceived chasm between customer empathy and employee success.

After examining much of the academic, medical, and business research on the topic of empathy, we developed a simple model for enhancing empathy that we call Perceive-Reflect-Adjust:

  • Perceive: Understand how someone else feels
  • Reflect: Examine how your actions affect those feelings
  • Adjust: Make changes to improve how someone else feels

P-R-A is a helpful model to follow for triggering individual empathy, but how can organizations apply P-R-A within their operations? By infusing it across the four customer experience core competencies:

Empathy4CompetenciesThe bottom line: Look for opportunities to Perceive, Reflect, and Adjust.

PCxD Principle #3: Design for Memories

I recently introduced a concept for enlisting the support of employees that uncovers and fulfills the needs of customers that we call People-Centric Experience Design (PCxD), defined as:

Fostering an environment that creates positive, memorable human encounters

PCxD

Principle #3: Design for Memories

When it comes to loyalty, customer experience isn’t the driving factor. That’s right, customer experience is not the key driver. What is important? Memories. People make decisions based on how they remember experiences, not on how they actually experienced them. This distinction is important because people don’t remember experiences the way they actually occur. Rather, people construct memories as stories in their mind based on the fragments of their actual experiences. An improved understanding of how people truly remember things helps you focus on designing the most important movements better. When examining the emotional reactions of people throughout an experience, it becomes apparent that five elements disproportionately drive memories:

  1. Negative Spike. A dramatic increase in negative emotion.
  2. Positive Spike. A dramatic increase in positive emotion.
  3. Negative Peak. The lowest moment of the overall experience.
  4. Positive Peak. The highest moment of the experience.
  5. Ending. How the experience is finishes.

MemoryMoments

To create more positive memories, pay the most attention to those five elements of your customers’ experience. With that in mind, here are some ideas for designing for memories:

  • Make every ending count. The fastest way to increase positive memories is by improving how you end an experience. This includes the very end of a call with an agent, the thank-you screen after someone applies for a new product, or the interaction as someone leaves a store or branch.
  • Educate employees about moments that matter. Memorial Hospital and Health System of South Bend sends employees through what it calls “Chief Moment Officer Training.” This training teaches staff members about the importance of patience experience, what their role is in providing the experience, what influence they have on the experience, and the science behind creating exceptional experiences.
  • Smoothen transitions. When a customer moves from one form of interaction to another (i.e. web to phone, online to agent, agent to agent, etc.), they tend to get concerned about the next step, and this apprehension causes negative spikes. To ease their anxiety, make sure that customers don’t feel like they are repeating themselves with each transition. Sometimes just acknowledging the transition, such as a simple statement by an agent saying, “I see you’ve been online, how can I help you,” can really help.
  • Recover quickly from mistakes. When customers have a bad experience, they often become more upset over time—especially if they expend a lot of energy trying to fix the situation. If companies do not resolve the issue quickly, such experiences often create a very negative peak. On the other hand, a quick and solid recovery can provide a memorable positive spike. You’re usually better off in the long-run (in terms of customer loyalty) resolving problems as soon as possible, even if that approach costs more in the short-term.
  • Dampen bad experiences. Even if a bad experience can’t be eliminated, you can still proactively lower the negative peak and eliminate any negative spikes. For instance, even if a contact-center is experiencing long call-wait times, customers will remember the experience more positively if a company appropriately sets their expectations or provides a call-back option.
  • Create happy surprises. The largest positive spikes often come from unexpectedly good experiences. A thank-you present for a returning customer, a nice note in a package being shipped, or a warm welcome from the branch manager upon entering a bank a bank can go a long way towards creating positive spikes.

The bottom line: Focus your energy on creating positive memories.

Olympic Opening Ceremonies, Who’s the Target Audience?

I watched part of the Olympic opening ceremonies in Sochi on TV, but fell asleep before it was over. After the long parade of athletes, I couldn’t keep my eyes open for very long. I did see some online video clips of the key pieces that I missed.

Overall, I love the concept of opening ceremonies, but often find them to be pretty boring (Beijing 2008 is the only exception in recent memory). According to an article in Forbes, Opening Ceremony At Sochi A Big Bust On TV, my experience was not unique.

My take: I have no doubt that the Olympic opening ceremonies are grand and very impressive if you’re in attendance, but is that the most important audience? Does it make sense to optimize the experience for the tens of thousands of attendees or for the hundreds of millions of people who will be viewing the event on television and online?

Identifying the target audience is a critical decision for the design of any experience. Many of these events, including Sochi, seem to be optimized for the in-person audience. That’s fine, but only if the planning committee made that decision explicitly.

Good design requires making tough decisions. It’s perfectly okay to prioritize one audience and live with a less than optimal experience for other audiences. I often say that an experience built to satisfy everyone’s needs, satisfy’s no one’s.

If I were part of a country’s Olympic committee, I would prioritize the television and online audience. Who cares if things look spectacular to 50,000 people if they are dull and boring to 250,000,000. If that’s the target audience, then you need to think about things such as:

  • Do you want to prioritize your country men and woman (who might recognize more subtle references) or the rest of the world (who may not know much about our country)?
  • What can you design that would look exciting on a screen?
  • Where do you need to put cameras so that the on-screen experience is compelling (maybe even some behind the scenes cameras to see how things are being done)?
  • What commentary do you need to feed the announcers so that they add to the excitement?
  • What online experience can you blend with the live and recorded video to make the experience more dynamic?

The bottom line: Make sure to be clear about your target audience.

Why Net Promoter Score May Not Align With Business Results

I just received a great question: “Why do companies have a very healthy growth although their NPS is low and vice versa why can growth be decreasing although the NPS is very high?” I get asked versions of this question all the time, so I decided to capture my typical answers in this blog post (check out our Net Promoter Score (NPS) Resource Page).

My take: We’ve found a high correlation between NPS and customer loyalty across a large number of industries. But that does not mean that NPS will provide a clear understanding of a company’s business results. There are many reasons why a company’s business might perform differently than its NPS might suggest. Here are some of the common reasons that I’ve seen:

  • NPS is not the ultimate question. In many situations, the amounts of promoters and detractors are roughly correlated with customer loyalty and business success, but that’s not always the case. It’s not a universally good metric as it’s not correlated to business success in all situations. For example, NPS may not be at all indicative of business success if customers are trapped because of a high switching cost, limited competition or monopolistic power of the company, unique product or service offerings, etc.
  • Comparison NPS trumps absolute NPS. In general, health plans have low NPS scores yet many of them do well financially. Customers may not be likely to recommend their health plan, but if they don’t believe that there are any better options then it will not affect their loyalty.
  • B2B roles are under-appreciated. There are different dynamics in B2B situations. If we ask treasury assistants in large companies to provide an NPS for commercial banks, we might believe that it should represent the health of a bank’s business. But what happens if CFOs, who control the banking decisions, give banks  a completely different NPS?
  • Non-customers are often overlooked. A retailer may have a high NPS, but still lose share if its products and services start appealing to a narrower audience. This type of situation is often missed, because companies tend to get considerably more feedback from existing customers than from prospective non-customers.
  • Segmentation can alter the analysis. When an organization looks at its overall NPS, it might miss important trends in different customer groups. What happens if NPS is getting lower for high value customers and getting higher for low value customers? The overall NPS could stay the same or even improve while the company’s results decline.
  • Survey design affects results. Many companies have a mismatch between the way they deploy NPS surveys and the insights they attempt to glean from the data. Companies ask the NPS questions at different times and frequencies, which can affect the overall results. If we ask NPS after a customer service event, then the results will likely be different then if we ask it periodically to a random sampling of customers.

The bottom line: NPS can be an effective metric in many situations, but only if used correctly

Report: Lessons in CX Excellence, 2014

1401_LessonsCX Excellence_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Lessons in CX Excellence, 2014. The report provides insights from 11 finalists in the Temkin Group’s 2013 CX Excellence Awards. The report, which is 144 pages long, includes an appendix with the finalists’ nomination forms. Here’s the executive summary:

The following 11 organizations are finalists in Temkin Group’s 2013 Customer Experience Excellence Awards: Adobe, AIG Asia Pacific, Cisco, Cox Communications, EMC, Findel Education Resources, Fiserv, Intuit ProTax Group, Oracle, Rackspace, and UMB Bank. This report highlights their customer experience efforts and describes their best practices across the four customer experience competencies: purposeful leadership, compelling brand values, employee engagement, and customer connectedness. Additionally, this report includes an appendix with the finalists’ detailed nomination forms to help you gather ideas and examples to improve your own CX efforts.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

Here are some highlights from the finalists:

  • When Adobe began its transition from a products-based company to a services company, it recognized the increased importance of providing excellent customer experience and established a central Customer Advocacy team in January 2013. One of this team’s main objectives is to make measurable improvements to top customer issues. Adobe identifies these top issues using numerous VoC listening channels and then, with full transparency, communicates these issues across the entire company. Every leader and employee can access root cause analysis, direct customer comments and feedback, action plans, and more.
  • AIG Asia Pacific uses its FEEL GOOD message to engage customers, employees, and leaders in the company’s service culture transformation efforts. AIG uses a comprehensive Voice of the Customer program—which includes a closed-loop NPS process—to keep the company focused on its customers and agents and implement meaningful changes based on their feedback. In each country, cross-functional teams concentrate on improving responsiveness to customer feedback. Teams create plans for their alert management processes and use a real-time online dashboard to quickly resolve customer issues.
  • Cisco has made Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) a corporate priority; it drives relevant and meaningful solutions that simplify complex issues for its customers. To support its EoDB focus, Cisco analyzes customer feedback and identifies trends in experience pain points, and then delivers tailored reports and suggestions to the appropriate business teams. Cisco reinforces the importance of EoDB by equipping leaders with regular program updates, factoring the success of EoDB targets into the bonus calculations of every employee, and prominently displaying an EoDB dashboard that provides real-time data feed from customer surveys.
  • In an industry notorious for poor customer service, Cox Communications stands out for its dedication to improving its customer experience. Its closed-loop feedback program has been particularly successful at repairing damaged relationships and reducing customer churn. Cox Communications established a centralized Closed-Loop Feedback (CLF) team, which is made up of agents from different functional areas who are tasked with taking ownership of customers’ issues from beginning to end.
  • The dedicated Total Customer Experience (TCE) team at EMC recently enhanced its TCE program by fine-tuning their data-driven approach to improving the company’s customer and partner experience. EMC obtains a complete view of its customers’ perceptions and behaviors by collecting data using customer journey maps and an extensive Voice of Experience (VoX) program. To augment these insights, EMC also evaluates the quality of its products and the TCE team assesses customer and partner infrastructures to ensure that EMC products suit their clients’ needs.
  • Findel Education Resources recently revamped its entire outlook on customer experience and placed the customer at the center of its business. The company started its journey towards customer-centricity by outlining the objectives it sought to achieve and the questions it wanted to ask to ensure that leaders and employees remained customer-focused. Findel instituted Employee Voice and Customer Voice programs to diagnose customer issues and benchmark the company’s progress.
  • Two years ago Fiserv established a new Customer Experience Department tasked with improving customer service and associate engagement. This department began by changing the company’s vision and mission to incorporate its new focus on customers, creating a multi-faceted customer experience roadmap, and outlining a hierarchy of needs. Since the department’s inception, CX has become the highest weighted metric on the balanced scorecards for leaders and employees, and the company has invested a great deal in internal assessment and coaching.
  • Intuit’s ProTax Group (PTG) uses customer feedback to drive changes in the business. Intuit PTG gathers customer feedback through a robust customer listening program, an extensive closed-loop program, and engaged social media communities. After collecting customer insights, the Customer Experience and Customer Market Insights team within Intuit PTG sends weekly, quarterly, and annual reports to the entire company, which broadens awareness of customer issues.
  • At Oracle, customer experience initiatives begin with a 360-degree view of customers. Oracle maintains a Customer Experience Database (CxD), which details the interactions and experiences of every customer based on their behavior on oracle.com and their interactions on social media. Oracle also utilizes its business intelligence product to add survey results to this customer profile, further expanding the company’s attitudinal and behavioral data on each customer.
  • At Rackspace, Fanatical Support forms the backbone of their customer experience efforts. Rackspace combines its customer data into a single listening and analysis hub, and undesirable scores and trends act as a catalyst for the company’s business decisions. For example, after examining this data, the company decided to merge the sales and support teams together to provide a constant customer experience.
  • UMB Bank recently established a Voice of the Customer Steering Team to support their customer-centric focus. This Steering Team uses VoC feedback to assign priority to CX issues and oversees improvements to the customer experience. The team is made up of leaders from all different business areas, such as product and sales, which ensures that all departments are fully engaged in the company’s efforts to improve customer experience.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

If you enjoyed this report, check out last year’s report, Lessons in CX Excellence.

The bottom line: There’s a lot to learn from these CX Excellence Finalists.

Report: The State of CX Metrics, 2013

1312_StateOfCXMetrics2013_COVER_Page_01We just published a Temkin Group report, The State of CX Metrics, 2013. The research shows how large organizations are using CX metrics. Here’s the executive summary:

Companies with stronger CX metrics programs are more likely to be customer experience leaders. We asked over 170 large companies about their use of customer experience (CX) metrics and compared their answers with similar studies from 2011 and 2012. We found that although companies view CX metrics as important, only 12% of respondents received at least “good” ratings in Temkin Group’s assessment. Our self-test examines four areas: consistency (does the company use common CX metrics across the organization?), impact (do the CX metrics inform important decisions?), integration (are trade-offs made between CX and financial metrics?), and continuity (do leaders regularly examine the CX metrics?). The analysis shows that while interaction-satisfaction and likelihood-to-recommend metrics are on the rise, companies do a particularly poor job of measuring non-customers (non-buyers and defectors), the emotional response of customers, and mobile and cross-channel interactions. Customer service remains the best-measured portion of the lifecycle, and it has consistently improved over all three years. Companies rate themselves the lowest in making trade-offs between CX and financial metrics, but this area has still improved since last year. Our research also uncovered that more than eight out of ten NPS users report positive results. Ultimately, to fully measure customer experience, companies need to develop measurements that link behaviors, attitudes, perceptions, and interactions.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

We’ve done similar studies in 2011 and 2012. Here are the results from our CX Metrics Assessment over the previous three years:

figure14

Here are some additional findings from the research:

  • Seventy-three percent of CX metrics leaders have above average customer experience compared with only 45% of CX metrics laggards.
  • The two most widely used CX metrics are interaction satisfaction and likelihood to recommend. More than 80% of respondents use each of these metrics.
  • Customer service is the highest rated area of measurement across the customer lifecycle, an area that companies have steadily improved on since 2011.
  • More than 60% of companies think they do a good job collecting CX metrics on phone calls, but less than 30% feel that way about wireless devices and cross-channel interactions.
  • Only 30% of respondents think they do a good job measuring customer’s emotional response after an interaction, but that’s an increase from 25% in 2011.
  • Less than 30% of respondents think they are good at tying compensation to CX metrics and making trade-offs between financial and CX metrics.
  • Forty percent of companies review CX metrics more frequently than quarterly.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

The bottom line: CX metrics are being used, but not very effectively

A&W Canada Sparks Customer Empathy With Real-Time Feedback

I recently had a discussion with Nancy Wuttunee, Senior Director Operating Excellence at A&W Food Services of Canada, about a new feedback system the company is using in its restaurants. The approach is a great example of Guiding with Empathy, one of the principles of People-Centric Experience Design (PCxD).

A&W Canada uses a vendor named Benbria to help it collect feedback via in-store kiosks and a mobile app, displaying the results in real time to employees behind the counter. Customers are asked to give a thumbs-up or thumbs down to three questions:

  • Was your food hot and tasty?
  • Was the service fast and friendly?
  • Was the restaurant clean?

AWCanadaBenbria

Wuttunee is very encouraged by the results of the system, which was initially piloted at six company-owned stores in Ottawa, and is now in 50 locations and is being rolled out to all of its 800 restaurants. She told me “We’re calling it “Guest Connect,” and that’s what it’s giving to us. The front room employees already have the conversations, but this lets the kitchen stay focused on the guest experience as well.”

One of the surprises that Wuttunee described is that the stores get a lot more thumbs-up than thumbs-down. Unlike normal feedback sources that are often negatively based, this system captures a lot of positive sentiment. So the company built a culture that welcomes a thumbs-down as an opportunity to use the information for improvement.

Here’s what intrigued me about A&W Canada’s approach to sparking customer empathy:

  • A simple real-time scorecard. Customers are asked to rate three things and the number of thumbs ups and thumbs down are listed on the board for employees to see. There’s no trending or advanced analytics, employees can see how customers are viewing their efforts in an ongoing way­­—and use their judgment in making adjustments. The scoreboard is reset at the beginning of each day.
  • No goals or incentives. Companies often jump at the opportunity to slap incentives on every customer measurement, but A&W Canada has resisted the temptation. There are no specific goals attached to these scores, they are just used for employees to understand the experiences of their customers.
  • Behind the scenes management. The daily data feeds aren’t just forgotten, as management receives daily reports. Data and trends are analyzed to spot potential issues at specific stores or during specific shifts as well as to identify successful stores that might have practices worth sharing.
  • Consistency with the overall culture. Wuttunee explained that, “A&W Canada has a climate in the restaurant where employees feel valued and feel like they are members of a team.” So this program is not an isolated “gimmick” to engage employees. The company has an extensive focus on employee engagement, which is demonstrated in its “Climate Goals,” the following seven behaviors that the company believes are required to achieve its mission:

1) I constantly find ways to create an excellent and delightful experience for each of our guests.
2) We listen to understand each other.
3) I invite and share feedback that enables us to improve.
4) I embrace change and actively support innovation.
5) We work together as partners pursuing common goals and shared success.
6) We use our differences as a source of creativity and learning.
7) I recognize and celebrate our big and small wins.

The bottom line: Help employees hear the voice of your customers

Report: Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2013

1311_NPSBenchmarkStudy_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2013. This study of 10,000 U.S. consumers benchmarks Net Promoter® Score (NPS®) for 269 companies across 19 industries. Click to download list of companies (.pdf).

Here’s the executive summary: We measured the Net Promoter Score for 269 companies across 19 industries. USAA took the top three spots with NPS of 60 or more for its credit card, banking, and insurance businesses. At the other end of the list, HSBC earned the two lowest scores, with NPS below -20 for its banking and credit card units. Auto dealers (38) and groceries (30) have the highest average NPS, while TV service providers, Internet service providers, and health plans are below 10. In 18 of the 19 industries, consumers who are under 25 represent the lowest (or tied for lowest) NPS scores. Compared with detractors, promoters are more likely to want lower prices and less likely to want customer service improvements. To help you implement a successful NPS program, we’ve included eight tips, such as don’t believe in an “ultimate question” and use control charts, not pinpointed goals. The industries included in this report are airlines, auto dealers, banks, computer makers, credit card issuers, fast food chains, grocery chains, health plans, hotel chains, insurance carriers, Internet service providers, investment firms, major appliance makers, parcel delivery services, rental car agencies, retailers, software firms, TV service providers, and wireless carriers.

This is our second annual NPS benchmark. Check out last year’s results.

Download report and data for $395
BuyDownload3

Here are the overall results for the 19 industries:

2013NPSResults_TemkinGroup

Here are some other highlights:

  • USAA earned the highest NPS scores on the list for three of its business—66 for insurance and credit cards and 65 for banking. Other companies with NPS above 50 are Amazon.com, H.E.B., Chick-fil-A, Apple, Audi, credit unions, and Nordstrom.
  • HSBC earned the lowest two NPS scores across all companies with a -42 for banking and -24 for credit cards. Other companies with NPS of -10 or below are Time Warner Cable, Citibank, Super 8, Charter Communications, and Motel 6.
  • Auto dealers earned the highest average NPS (38) followed by grocery chains (30), hotel chains (29), and software firms (29).
  • TV service providers (2), Internet service providers (5), and health plans (9) are the only industries with averages below 10.
  • USAA’s three businesses earned NPS levels that are 40 or more points above their industry averages. Three other firms are 30 or more points above their peers: A credit union (banking), Amazon.com (retail), and H.E.B. (groceries).
  • HSBC’s NPS is 55 points below the industry average for banks and Super 8 is 42 points below the hotel industry. Four other firms are 30 or more points below their industry averages: Motel 6 (hotels), HSBC (credit cards), US Airways (airlines), and 7-Eleven (retail).

Download report and data for $395
BuyDownload3

The bottom line: Find out why customers do and don’t recommend you.

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

Report: Best and Worst of Online Gift Card Purchasing Experiences

1311_OnlineGiftCardExperience_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Best and Worst of Online Gift Card Purchasing Experiences. The research uses Temkin Group’s SLICE-B Experience Review methodology to evaluate eight retailers. Here’s the executive summary:

Gift cards are an important component of a retailer’s offering, but how effectively do their websites support the sale of these items? To evaluate the user-friendliness of the online gift card purchasing process, we used Temkin Group’s SLICE-B experience review methodology to asses the user experience at eight large retailers: CVS, Walgreens, Target, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Starbucks, and Dunkin’ Donuts. Walmart earned the top score for its exceptional functionality, while the user could not complete the purchasing goal at either Target or Walgreens. The positive and negative elements of the experience varied across companies, but many failed to provide a printable order summary, a recognizable starting point, or a confirmation that the gift card had been received.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3Here are the overall results of our SLICE-B experience review that examines six elements of the experience: Start, Locate, Interact, Complete, End, and Brand coherence.

1311_OnlineGiftCardResults

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

The bottom line: Make it easier to purchase gift cards

Report: State of VoC Programs, 2013

1310_StateOfVoC2013_CoverWe just published a Temkin Group report, State of Voice of the Customer (VoC) Programs, 2013. The research shows how large organizations are using VoC programs. Here’s the executive summary:

For the third year, Temkin Group benchmarked the voice of customer (VoC) programs within large organizations. These efforts continue to deliver successful results as companies have increased staffing and plan to spend more in areas such as customer insight and action platforms and text mining. We also found that executives are taking a more active role in VoC programs. When it comes to sources of insight, the use of mobile feedback has more than doubled since last year. Looking ahead, companies plan to focus less on multiple-choice surveys and more on interaction history and predictive analytics. Respondents also completed Temkin Group’s VoC Competency and Maturity Assessment, which examines capabilities across what we call the 6 Ds: Detect, Disseminate, Diagnose, Discuss, Design, and Deploy. While only twenty percent of companies have reached the two highest levels of VoC maturity, this level represents a significant increase from last year. When we compared high scoring VoC programs with others, we found that they spend more on analytics, use more data sources, and employ more full time employees.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

Once again, we found that an overwhelming number of companies report that VoC programs deliver positive business results, fueling an increase in focus on VoC. The most spending momentum is in software for managing VoC programs—which Temkin Group calls Customer Insight & Action Platforms—and text analytics. In both of these areas, more than 40% of firms plan to increase spending, while less that 6% are planning a decrease.

Companies are also expanding the staff on their VoC teams. Thirty-six percent of companies have more than five full-time employees dedicated to their VoC efforts, up from 31% last year. Sixty percent have three or more employees, an increase from 52% in 2012. The number of companies soliciting feedback via mobile phones has more than doubled from nine percent last year to 20% this year and is poised to continue rising. When asked to estimate the importance of different sources of customer insights three years down the road, more than 70% of respondents said that social media, customer interaction history, and predictive analytics will become more important. Multiple-choice surveys, the historical mainstay of VoC programs, received the least positive outlook.

We split the companies into two groups based on their overall scores in our VoC Competency and Maturity Assessment (see below) and compared the top half of the companies (with more mature VoC programs) to the bottom half of the companies (with less mature VoC programs). Ninety-two percent of companies with more mature VoC programs report that their VoC efforts are successful; as opposed to only 58% of less mature programs. These better VoC efforts also spend more on analytics, use more data sources, have more full-time staff, and enjoy more executive support.

The report has tools and data for benchmarking your VoC program. Here’s how companies performed in our VoC Competency and Maturity Assessment that assesses the 6 D’s of VoC programs:

1310_VoCMaturity

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

The bottom line: Companies should increase their VoC maturity levels.

Contact Centers Must Morph into Relationship Hubs

I originally published this content in an article on CMSWire

CallCenterToRelationshipHub2For years, companies have relied on their contact centers to deal with customer interactions—from technical support to requesting medical coverage—but contact centers are on the verge of a major change. Driven by a shift in technology capabilities and consumer behavior, leading companies are refocusing contact centers from handling individual calls to building customer loyalty. These changes will morph contact centers into Relationship Hubs. How will Relationship Hubs be different? They will:

  • Enable journeys, not just handle interactions. Relationship Hubs will assist customers in achieving their goals. If a USAA member calls in to change his address, the reps are trained to understand why and deal with bigger issues. For example, if the call is from a soldier who is about to be deployed, then the rep might check to see if the member has thought about items such as a will, power of attorney and life insurance. The USAA employee might even put a hold on the member’s car insurance, so the soldier doesn’t have to pay for an unused car while he’s deployed.
  • Focus on customer success, not just cut costs. The success metrics for Relationship Hubs will be tied to long-term customer loyalty. Belgacom, a Belgium telecom provider, changed its key call center metric from average handle time to a combination of two metrics—one on first call resolution and the other on likelihood of customers to recommend the company. The new approach reduced the overall volume of calls by 20 percent and also drove higher customer and employee ratings.
  • Have multichannel conversations, not just answer phone calls. Rather than just answering phone calls, Relationship Hubs will handle conversations that cut across all remote channels, including chat, email, Twitter, etc. They will integrate customer management systems to recognize customers across different interactions in different channels over an extended time period. Relationship Hubs will treat customers as if they know them.
  • Blend with self-service, not just deflect calls. Relationship Hubs will offer a seamless connection between self-service and assisted service. Customers can ask questions to virtual agent “Jenn” on Alaska Airline’s website, but even this type of natural language processing powered self-service application can’t deal with every customer situation. When customers get stuck along a self-service path, they will be able to continue with an agent (via chat, call, etc.) who knows exactly what they’ve already tried to do.
  • Route to best agents, not just to available ones. Companies will use analytics to select agents who are most likely to be successful with specific interactions. When a call comes into TriCare Management, its routing system predicts which of its available agents is best suited to meet the needs of that caller. The predictive engine can make decisions to optimize metrics such as customer satisfaction or first call resolution.
  • Predict needs, not just respond to requests. Relationship Hubs will use analytics to better understand customers. Sprint uses a technique called Next Call Prevention. Customer service agents can proactively offer to help with something that customers are likely to contact Sprint about in the near future. The conversation is guided by prompts queued from predictive analytics. If, for instance, someone with an expiring contract calls about a billing, prompts encourage the agent to arrange an upgrade to a new handset.
  • Gain business insight, not just analyze interaction quality. Relationship Hubs will tap into rich customer conversations to identify opportunities to make improvements across the company. For example, Symantec examined issues with the download insurance it sold for Norton Antivirus products that allowed customers to reinstall a purchased product. The analysis showed that the offering generated hundreds of thousands of support calls so the software maker decided to offer re-downloading for free. This change reduced contact rates and improved customer service ratings.
  • Evolve based on feedback, not just survey customers. Relationship Hubs will continuously improve based on customer feedback. Nicor National’s CX team reaches out to customers of its call center within 48 hours of their interaction. The call between the customer and CX team is recorded and can be shared back to employees for coaching/feedback. Listening to the call with the rep provides an opportunity for the CX team to coach account reps based on customer feedback. Members of the CX team initiate “you need to hear this” messages for both positive customer feedback and improvement opportunities.
  • Engage agents, not just hire people. Relationship Hubs will treat agents as assets and will only succeed with highly engaged employees. Contact center supervisors at Hershey Entertainment invest time to sit one-on-one with agents and talk on a weekly basis. The discussion includes some performance review, but most of the dialogue focuses on what’s going on in the employee’s world and what Hershey or the supervisor can do to make the agent’s life any easier. The company’s leadership team recognized the need to rebalance work tasks to ensure that supervisors have time for these discussions.

The bottom line: Morph your contact center into a Relationship Hub.

CX Tip #1: Help Customers Achieve Their Goals

50CXTips6b_65

CX Tip #1: Help Customers Achieve Their Goals
(Customer Connectedness)

Don’t push your products and agendas on customers. Instead, find out what they want and create experiences that fit your company into their journey. Wayne Peacock, Executive Vice President of Member Experience at USAA has said:

“We want to create experiences around what members are trying to accomplish, not just our products. If a member is buying a car, then we would historically see that as a change in auto insurance. We are changing that to an auto event – to help the member find the right car, buy it at a discount, get a loan, insurance, etc. and do that in any channel and across channels. There’s enormous value for members and for USAA if we can facilitate that entire experience.” Click for more info

See full list of CX Tips

CX Tip #2: Make Employee Engagement a Key Metric

50CXTips6b_65

CX Tip #2: Make Employee Engagement a Key Metric
(Employee Engagement)

Since 2007, Bombardier Aerospace’s annual employee engagement and enablement survey has given all employees a voice within the organization. In 2012, 93% of employees completed the survey. Managers are evaluated based on the engagement levels of their employees. To create an environment that ensures performance, every leader has an annual target for employee engagement. Click for more info

See full list of CX Tips

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,618 other followers

%d bloggers like this: