December 10, 2013 1 Comment
Congratulations to Temkin Group’s 2013 Customer Experience Excellence Awards winners: AIG Asia Pacific, Cisco, EMC, Intuit, and Oracle.
Connecting Brands, Leaders, Employees, and Customers
December 9, 2013 Leave a comment
In a recent research report we used Temkin Group’s SLICE-B experience review methodology to evaluate the experience of buying a gift card online from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, CVS, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart. But those journeys don’t end when the gift card is sent; there’s an important person on the other side of those gifts—the recipient. So, to analyze the entire end-to-end gift-card experience provided by each retailer, we took a look at the experience from the viewpoint of the person who received the gift cards.
You can download a free copy of our Insight Snapshot: Gift Card Receiving Experience (.pdf) that includes screen shots of the best practices.
Here are some of the best practices that we found: Read more of this post
December 2, 2013 2 Comments
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:
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:
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
November 29, 2013 1 Comment
Earlier this week, I was in London for a Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org) Local Networking Event. Afterwards, we held the first in-person meeting of the CXPA’s UK Board of Ambassadors. It was great to see the energy and passion of CX professionals in the UK! Here are some of my observations from the trip:
The bottom line: I had a great trip to London!
November 26, 2013 Leave a comment
I’ll start with the takeaway: Better customer experience leads to more forgiving customers, more trusting customers, and higher Net Promoter Scores (and a myriad of other good things that we did not include in this post).
The 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings benchmarked the customer experience of 246 companies across 19 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers. But how does a good score relate to other measures of loyalty? I took a look at that question by examining how companies fared compared with their peers in other Temkin Ratings.
I separated the companies into five groups based on how far above or below they scored on the Temkin Experience Ratings compared with their industry averages. Using these clusters of companies, I examined their Net Promoter Scores, Temkin Forgiveness Ratings, and Temkin Trust Ratings compared to their industry averages. As you can see in the graphic below, companies with the highest performing Temkin Experience Ratings outperformed those in the bottom group by:
The bottom line: If you want more loyal customers, improve your customer experience
November 22, 2013 1 Comment
We’ve done a number of studies of the IT industry, including Tech Vendors: Benchmarking Product and Relationship Satisfaction of IT Clients, 2013, 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings of Tech Vendors, and Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2013. I examined data across these studies to analyze how being easy to work with affects loyalty.
I analyzed feedback from more than 800 IT professionals who collectively provided more than 9,000 pieces of feedback on tech vendors. As you can see in the figure below, IT buyers are more loyal when tech vendors are easy to work with.
I examined three measures of loyalty of IT decision makers to different tech vendors based on how the IT pros rated the tech vendor’s easiness to work with (on a seven point scale). Here’s some of what we found:
The bottom line: IT professionals prefer tech vendors that are easier to work with
November 19, 2013 1 Comment
We just published a Temkin Group report, Blueprint for a Successful CX Organization. The research includes five case studies and a self-test for assessing CX organizations. Here’s the executive summary:
Organizations need both formal and informal structures to drive change and improve customer experience (CX). In this report, we begin by identifying the five elements of a customer experience management group operating inside an organization: a CX core team, a reporting executive, a steering committee, a working group, and CX ambassadors. We describe how five organizations—Arizona Public Service, British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Cornerstone OnDemand, Hagerty, and Safeco Insurance—combine these essential elements to create effective CX management groups. Our research also found that CX groups come in all shapes and sizes, and that the needs of these structures vary according to the maturity level of a company’s CX efforts. Across all different structures, the success of a CX organization is based on three characteristics: make-up of the CX core team, executive commitment to CX, and organizational readiness for CX. To evaluate your CX organization against these characteristics, use Temkin Group’s CX Organization Assessment.
Our research found that CX organizations are typically made up of these five elements.
While we examined the structures of many CX organizations, it turns out that structure is not the key determination of success. Instead, the three key characteristics below are critical. The report includes a self-test for assessing these dimensions.
The bottom line: Build a successful CX organization
November 18, 2013 Leave a comment
Six months ago, I shared an analysis of my blog readership, comparing the volume of blog readers by country over the last 90 days with the GDP levels of those countries. I recently repeated the analysis which examines the top 15 countries in terms of Customer Experience Matters readership.
I think this is a relatively good gauge of global interest in customer experience, although it probably underweights regions where there might be more non-english activities around CX. Compared with the previous analysis, not a lot has changed. Here are some observations:
The bottom line: U.S., UK and New Zealand remain the most active CX Matters readers
November 13, 2013 3 Comments
We 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.
Here are the overall results for the 19 industries:
Here are some other highlights:
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.
November 12, 2013 1 Comment
Why do employees look for new jobs? We decided to dig into that question in our recent consumer survey. Our study of more than 5,000 U.S. employees showed that two-third of employees are most likely to leave for a higher paycheck. But as you can see in the slide below, those who are actively looking for a job cite different reasons for leaving than those who are not.
We examined two groups of employees, those who are very likely to look for a new job and those who are not very likely to look for a new job. The job seekers are much less likely to say that they are leaving for higher pay. They are also 2.5x more likely to leave because of their work environment and twice as likely to leave for a better boss.
November 7, 2013 Leave a comment
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
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “empathy” as “the ability to imagine oneself in another’s place and understand the other’s feelings, desires, ideas, and actions.” It turns out that most people have an innate ability to be empathetic. While people may want to help others, they are—as we describe in the Six Laws of Customer Experience—self-centered, naturally viewing the world and making decisions based on their internal perspective.
As employees, people tend to have a unique frame of reference which often includes a deeper than average understanding of their company’s products, organizational structure, and operating processes. If left unchecked, decisions will reflect this frame of reference, leading to products and interactions that often don’t meet the needs of customers who have less interest and less insight into these details of the company.
Organizational dynamics add another barrier to empathy. 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 chasm between empathy and personal success.
Here are some ideas for guiding with empathy:
The bottom line: Unleash your employees’ natural empathy
November 5, 2013 1 Comment
We 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
Here 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.
The bottom line: Make it easier to purchase gift cards
November 2, 2013 5 Comments
In case you didn’t know it already, I’m a (huge) Red Sox fan. I was very lucky to be at Fenway Park when the team won the World Series. As I’ve written in the past, live events can be powerful. This was no exception—it was an amazing experience! Here’s my picture of the team gathering on the field right after they won.
The bottom line: Congratulations to the 2013 Red Sox!
October 31, 2013 Leave a comment
Staff meeting agendas are a lot more meaningful then you might think.
One of Temkin Group’s four customer experience core competencies is Purposeful Leadership. To achieve this competency, leaders must operate with a clear, well-articulated set of values. One of the ways to test a company’s proficiency in this competency is to look at the agenda of staff meetings.
When we work with leadership teams, we like to review the previous six months of their staff meeting agendas. Why? Because the true priorities of an organization are not based on what leaders say is important, but are instead based on how leaders spend their time and make decisions. The topics covered in staff meetings represent the purist indication of what’s really important. As Sprint CEO Dan Hesse recognized, the topics in his staff meetings end up cascading across the organization.
Unfortunately, while many leaders have good intentions, they end up focusing on things that are not really their priorities. They let day-to-day operations and short-term priorities engulf their agendas. But you can make a change if you want to. How? Follow these four steps:
The bottom line: Don’t underestimate the power of your agenda
October 28, 2013 Leave a comment
We have not done our own analysis on the customer experience of Healthcare.gov, but there are widespread accounts of its “user unfriendliness.” The situation is so bad that the White House has hired a new consultant to triage the problems.
This isn’t surprising. It’s not easy to create a great customer experience, while it’s pretty simple to make a poor one. And the government especially is not known as being customer-centric (or citizen-centric). To understand what might have gone wrong, let’s examine Healthcare.gov through the lens of our Six Laws of Customer Experience. These laws define the realities about how organizations, including governments, treat their customers:
The bottom line: All Healthcare.org leaders should read the Six Laws of Customer Experience.