January 29, 2016
February 9, 2016 Leave a comment
I recently completed my challenge of tweeting 100 customer experience tips in 100 days. Now I want to turn it into a challenge for you.
Take a look through the 100 tips and pick one or two that resonate with you. They can be things that you think are important that aren’t getting done, things that you want to do more of, or just things you want to keep in mind during the year.
My challenge to you is for you to make progress in those areas this year. If you are really serious about it, put a note in the comments section below with a statement listing the tips that you are committed to improving. I’ll ask you about them later in the year, sort of like your CX conscience.
Here are the 100 CX tips once again…
February 8, 2016 1 Comment
It started with punch cards, evolved to a cryptic language with phrases such as “c: DIR and CLS,” moved on to point and click, and then reached touch and pinch.
Moving mouses, typing on keyboards, pushing buttons, and touching screens has helped technology become significantly more accessible. But those approaches are still not the ultimate human interface.
While these newer interfaces have much lower learning curves, they still require learning new things. Not only do people need to understand physical interfaces, but they also need to understand logical ones. If you want to watch the TV show “Blue Bloods,” then you need to figure out both the channel and the time that it’s on.
So what’s next?
One of our 2016 CX trends is “Speech Analytics Piloting.” The technology for recognizing, understanding, and responding to human speech has evolved to the point where it can be more practically deployed. In our trends, we identified that analyzing phone calls from customers can uncover amazing insights. But the power of speech goes well beyond just listening and analyzing.
The advancement of speech technology allows companies to tap into an interface that we do naturally, speak. Anytime we force someone to take what they’re thinking and translate it into a set of physical maneuvers, we are introducing a cognitive burden. We significantly lower the burden when we ask people to do what they already know how to do.
We just installed Comcast’s Xfinity X1 Voice Remote in our home. One of the key elements is the ability to speak your commands. So if I want to watch Blue Bloods, for instance, I don’t need to know anything. All I have to say is “I want to watch Blue Bloods.” Here’s what comes up:
There was no need for me to search through TV listings or type in a bunch of commands.
While I regularly hammer Comcast for its consistently abysmal customer experience, it has done a really nice job with this interface. Here are a few key elements that make this design work:
- It’s accessible from anywhere in the system
- It doesn’t require users to learn a special language
- The landing pages anticipate customers’ next steps (we call this “Customer Journey Designing” in our 2016 CX trends)
This is not just a new Comcast feature, it’s a sign of much more to come in the future. The power of speech as an interface will propel it into many new areas.
The bottom line: Voice will become an increasingly important technology interface
February 6, 2016 Leave a comment
Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday. While my Patriots aren’t playing, I’m still planning to watch the game, as will many, many more people. I tapped onto our research of 10,000 U.S. consumers to look at the popularity of the NFL.
Football is clearly America’s primary sport. Nearly 56% of the US populations likes to watch professional football, dwarfing the next sport on the list, baseball (35%). Over the last year, however, the NFL has lost a bit of its popularity, dropping almost 2 %-points. The only sports to increase their fan bases over the previous year were hockey and soccer, and they were both very small gains.
One of the exciting parts of the Super Bowl Sunday is the television ads. It made me wonder about which companies would get the most value from buying those expensive commercial spots. So I looked at the degree to which different companies’ customer bases are NFL fans. My analysis spanned 318 companies across 20 industries, and the range of NFL fandom went from 48% to 74%.
At the top of the list are Sheraton (74%), Mercedes-Benz (72%), GM (70%), Hertz (69%), Alabama Power Company (69%), Quiznos (69%), Travelers (69%), and Merrill Lynch (69%).
At the bottom of the list are Empire BCBS (48%), DTE Gas Company (50%), Cablevision Optimum (51%), Subaru (51%), Cablevision (52%), Orange Julius (52%), Consolidated Edison of NY (52%), Southern California Gas (52%).
February 4, 2016 Leave a comment
Every year, Temkin Group publishes a lot of leading-edge customer experience research. In case you missed some of it, we decided to create this infographic with 15 of the top data factoids from across many of our reports:
You can download (and print) this infographic in different forms:
February 3, 2016 Leave a comment
Yay! I did it…
Yesterday, I completed my goal of tweeting 100 CX Tips in 100 days. If you don’t have time to read though all of the individual pieces of advice, here’s a word cloud from all 100 tips:
The bottom line: CX is built with customers, employees, and brand promises
February 1, 2016 Leave a comment
Temkin Group just published a data snapshot, Customer Experience Expectations and Plans for 2016. This annual research effort shows an increase in focus, effort, and spending on customer experience in 2016. Here’s a description of the data snapshot:
In December 2015, Temkin Group surveyed 160 respondents, each from a company with $500 million or more in annual revenues, about their customer experience efforts over the past year and their plans for 2016 and beyond. We compared the results of this survey to the results of similar surveys that we completed in Q4 of 2010, Q4 of 2011, Q4 of 2012, Q4 of 2013, and Q1 of 2015. This year’s results show that companies are planning on dedicating more money and effort to improve a variety of customer experience activities.
The data snapshot has 12 graphics with data about CX plans and expectations for 2016.
Here are a some additional findings from the research:
- 84% of firms expect CX to be more important in 2016, and only 1% expect it to be less important.
- 57% of firms expect to spend more on CX in 2016, and only 6% expect to spend less.
- 45% of firms have more than five full-time CX professionals. 37% expect to increase those employees, and only 2% expect to cut back.
- Firms plan to increase their spending the most on voice of the customer software, CX consultants, and text analytics.
- The areas that will get the most increase in focus are Web experience, CX measurement, CX insights, and customer-centric culture.
- Nearly two-thirds of organizations tie some compensation to CX metrics for customer-facing employees.
The bottom line: 2016 will be a very active year for CX management.
January 27, 2016 4 Comments
Enjoy this Temkin Group video, part of our celebration for “The Year of Emotion.”
Enjoy other Temkin Group videos
January 19, 2016 Leave a comment
We just published a Temkin Group report, Lessons in CX Excellence, 2016. The report provides insights from eight finalists in the Temkin Group’s 2015 CX Excellence Awards. The report, which is 100 pages long, includes an appendix with the finalists’ nomination forms. This report has rich insights about both B2B and B2C customer experience.
Here’s the executive summary:
This year, we chose eight organizations as finalists for Temkin Group’s 2015 Customer Experience Excellence Award. The finalists for 2015 are EMC Global Services, Hagerty, InMoment, Safelite AutoGlass, SunPower, The Results Companies, Verint, and Wheaton | Bekins. This report provides specific examples describing how these companies’ CX efforts have created value for both their customers and for their businesses. We also highlight best practices across the four customer experience competencies—purposeful leadership, compelling brand values, employee engagement, and customer connectedness. We have included all of the finalists’ detailed nomination forms at the end of this report to help you compile examples and ideas to apply to your own CX efforts.
Here are some highlights from the finalists:
- EMC’s commitment to delivering an exceptional customer experience begins at the top and filters down through the rest of the company. For over 10 years, the company’s Total Customer Experience (TCE) program embodied what it meant to be “customer-first” and helped transform the company from a leader in storage to a leader in big data, cloud, and trust technologies. In order to continue improving in the field of CX in 2015, EMC’s senior leadership sponsored the implementation of the Next Generation TCE program, with the mission to “Enhance the total customer/partner experience, leveraging a data-driven approach for continuous improvement throughout the customer/partner journey.” The Next Generation TCE program encompasses all aspects of the company, from brand promises, to engaging and recognizing employees, to providing independent research on customer’s challenges and future needs.
- Hagerty is one of the leading insurance providers for collector vehicles in the entire world, insuring more than one million vehicles in North America and the U.K. and employing over 600 people. Hagerty’s company-wide vision is to impact every collectible vehicle owner in the world in a positive and useful way. Their client experience strategy focuses on creating clients for life who will become partners in growth. This strategy aligns with the company’s aforementioned vision and helps Hagerty maintain a client- and agent-centered culture, and this culture includes a robust voice of the customer (VoC) program, complete with their signature Net Promoter Score® (NPS) model, a client-centered design process, and touchpoint and engagement programs aimed at celebrating clients using anniversary cards. Hagerty knows that communication is essential for executing its client experience strategy effectively, so it strives to provide effortless service and enhance relationships by doing things like alerting clients to pending storms.
- During its inception in 2014, InMoment—a CX and VoC provider—created its own internal CX program that is built on listening to and engaging customers. Every month, the company administers customer surveys to collect general feedback, see what customers love, and learn what needs to be improved. InMoment distributes this data to client service teams and product teams so they can put it into action and help shape the accessibility and interface of the products. Executive involvement at InMoment is key. The executive team regularly meets with a client advisory board to gain a deeper understanding of its customers’ experiences, amassing recommendations that the company then incorporates into business practices. One such feature created from customer feedback is a customizable client onboarding kit that gives clients an inside look into what to expect from the onboarding process. The most unique aspect of InMoment is its culture, which is centered on a concept called The Red Shoes Experience, which recognizes exceptional individuals. The company preaches about The Red Shoes Experience to both employees and to clients, and the philosophy stands on five pillars: Awareness, Gratitude, Everyone Has a Story, Respect, and Put Yourself Out There.
- To support its corporate vision of becoming the “natural choice for vehicle glass repair and replacement services in the U.S.,” Safelite AutoGlass adopted two strategic principles—People Powered and Customer Driven—which are rooted in the idea that engaged employees create loyal customers who, in turn, help the company grow. Each of these principles is built on four cornerstones, including leadership, caring, focusing, and listening. For example, when customers voiced concerns about Safelite.com, the company entirely overhauled the website, not only making it mobile-friendly, but also including features like a customizable portal where customers could save quotes and return to them at a later time, educational videos meant to walk customers through the process, and faster functionality to reduce steps when obtaining price quotes or scheduling appointments. In 2015, Safelite also expanded its predictive analytics tools to include forecasts of major weather occurrences in order to drive effective catastrophe response team labor management so techs could be available where and when the customers needed them.
- The sustainable energy company SunPower has a corporate-wide CX strategy founded on three core elements: Knowing our Customers, Creating a Branded Experience, and Driving Engagement with Customers and Employees. SunPower used a customer-validated journey map to chart emotional responses at each phase of the lifecycle, making sure to represent the stages with cross-functional stakeholders who then determined the ideal outcomes for the customer throughout the journey. To create a branded experience, the company started a Customer First! initiative and formed teams for each top issue. These teams were responsible for designing improvements with the customers in mind. They worked to align the customer experience with the brand promises and mission, “to make solar the most compelling energy choice, to put customers at the heart of all we do, to inspire our people and communities to thrive, and to build a more sustainable future.” SunPower keeps its employees and customers engaged by connecting them to each other and the company at customer council events, where homeowners can interact with each other and the employees and discuss any shortcomings or successes.
- The Results Companies’ CX functions on an operating model called CX360. This model sets forth a brand promise to continuously innovate and propose customer-centric solutions while providing unique and inspirational experiences. CX360 is founded on three guiding principles – People, Knowledge, and Empowerment. The Results Companies preaches CX360 to its 11,000+ employees who work in 17 locations across the U.S., Philippines, and Latin America. The company attributes its continued success and growth to this distinct operating model.
- Verint’s CX program combines cross-departmental customer feedback with a dedication to minimizing the amount of effort it takes for both customers and employees to achieve changes based on this feedback. Verint’s success stems from the company’s interactions with customers, who provide an outside-in perspective on Verint’s journey map, which is called the Customer Experience Wheel. This wheel—which the company displayed at its 2015 Annual User Conference—maps the emotional component of the experience across every interaction. It has improved the CX program by highlighting “moments of truth” and helping the company adapt how it monitors Verint’s progress towards customer-centricity. In October of 2015, Verint also hosted an Internal Customer Week during which employees could commend colleagues for delivering exceptional performances in the CX field, and they could commit to delivering outstanding customer service for life.
- In 2015, Wheaton | Bekins deployed a group of cross-functional employees to redesign their Customer Experience Report (CXR) by adding NPS questions, including more customer touchpoints, and uncovering more actionable data. Analysis of the CXR revealed that, of all the touchpoints, communication impacts customer perceptions of Wheaton | Bekins at least three times more than any other touchpoint. This analysis also showed that 39% of customers heard about the company through previous interactions or referrals, making this group one of the largest segments that the company serves. Wheaton | Bekins took the information from this analysis and integrated it into their Qualitative Journey Map, adjusting each step to include a communications component. The company also used these insights to create a Quality Assurance Process (QAP) to enhance the written and verbal information provided during each phase of the journey. To recognize and incent over 350 agents and 1,000 drivers, Wheaton | Bekins created a Total Quality Commitment award and a driver rating program, and both these systems operate on customer feedback from the CXR and performance data.
The bottom line: There’s a lot to learn from these CX Excellence Finalists.
P.S. Net Promoter Score, Net Promoter, and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, and Fred Reichheld.
January 18, 2016 Leave a comment
Whether or not you celebrate MLK Day (it’s a Temkin Group holiday), today is a great opportunity to reflect on some of Martin Luther King Jr.’s inspiring messages. I find that his words of change, personal accountability, and love hold true across many settings, including how we run our organizations.
This year, I’ve decided to highlight (without any additional commentary) one of his quotes that fits well in The Year of Emotion:
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.
Here’s what I’ve written about MLK in the past:
Last year, I shared four of his quotes that I find to be particularly meaningful:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
The time is always right to do what is right.
- Purposeful Leadership: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” How willing are your leaders to trade-off short-term results for longer gains in customer experience and loyalty?
- Compelling Brand Values: “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” Is your brand clear, strong and well understood enough by employees so that it empowers them to do the right thing, even if it means breaking some rules.
- Employee Engagement: “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” Are you focused enough on making sure that employees understand and are committed to the goals and direction of your organization?
- Customer Connectedness: “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.” Are you treating important customers well enough so that they are more than just satisfied, and become raving fans?
The bottom line: We can all learn from MLK.
January 15, 2016 4 Comments
People always ask about the connection between customer experience and business results. Well, here’s some visual evidence of the linkage. In this infographic, we share data from the Temkin Group research report, ROI of Customer Experience 2015.
You can download (and print) this infographic in different forms:
January 13, 2016 Leave a comment
We just published a Temkin Group data snapshot, Tech Vendors: Product and Relationship Satisfaction of IT Clients, 2016.
During Q3, 2015, 800 IT professionals from companies with at least $250 million in annual revenues rated both the products of and their relationships with 62 tech vendors. The research examines satisfaction with eight areas: product/service features, product/service quality, product/service flexibility, product/service ease of use, technical support, support of the account team, cost of ownership, and innovation of company. Some of the findings include that Intel, Google, and HP outsourcing earned the highest overall satisfaction ratings, while Unisys, Sage, and Cognizant IT services earned the lowest. When it comes to product satisfaction, Intel leads in product features, Apple and IBM IT services lead in product quality, Google leads in product flexibility, and NetApp leads in product ease of use. When it comes to relationship satisfaction, HP outsourcing leads in tech support and in cost of ownership, Intel leads in account team support, and Google leads in innovation.
This product has a report (.pdf) and a dataset (excel). The dataset has the details of Product/Service and Relationship satisfaction for the 62 tech vendors as well as for several tech vendors with sample sizes too small to be included in the published report.
As you can see in the chart below, the overall product/service & relationship satisfaction ranges from a high of 74% for Intel down to a low of 46% for Unisys.
Report details: When you purchase this research, you will receive a written data snapshot and an excel spreadsheet with more data.The dataset has the details of Product/Service and Relationship satisfaction for the 62 tech vendors as well as for several tech vendors with sample sizes too small to be included in the published report. If you want to know more about the data file, download this SAMPLE SPREADSHEET without the data (.xls).
January 11, 2016 Leave a comment
Temkin Group did a lot of research in 2015. In case you missed some of it, I’ve listed last year’s reports below. You can always find all of our research here.
Our 2015 research highlighted leading-edge best practices, uncovered key trends, provided valuable assessment tools, and shared benchmark data. I’m proud of what we accomplished last year!
And now for a little advertisement: Consider a Research & Advisory Subscription to accelerate your CX results in 2016.
January 7, 2016 Leave a comment
As we start moving ahead in 2016, The Year of Emotion, I wanted to look back at last year’s theme.
In our listing of customer experience trends for 2015, I labeled 2015 as “The Year of the Employee.” To help accelerate the focus, we created our Engage Employees campaign. I hope that you were able to find ways to focus on your employees last year, and that those efforts continue into the future.
Here is some of the relevant content that we created in 2015:
- Video: Customer Experience Matters. Shows that employee engagement is critical for customer experience.
- Report: Lessons in CX Excellence, 2015. Includes employee engagement best practices from the 8 finalists for our 2014 CX Excellence Awards.
- Report: Employee Engagement Benchmark Study, 2015. Our annual report looks at the state of employee engagement within U.S. companies.
- Report: Engaging Millennials in the Workplace. Shows how to engage the younger segment of employees.
- Report: Activating Middle Managers to Drive CX Change. Provides advice for engaging a critical, yet often overlooked group of employees.
- Post: Walmart’s Pay Increase Will Probably Lower Costs. Discusses the link between compensation and performance.
- Post: What Do People Want in a New Job? Flexibility. Examines data about why people actually look for new jobs.
- Report: Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity, 2015. Our annual study benchmarks what large organizations are doing (and not doing) to engage employees.
- Post: Employees Need to Feel Like They’re Contributing. Shows how important it is for employees to feel like they are an integral part of an organization’s success.
- Post: Winners of the Engage Employees Challenge. Shows the winning entrees in Temkin Group’s $1,000 Engage Employees Challenge.
- Report: Creating and Sustaining a Customer-Centric Culture. Provides best practices for engaging employees in culture change.
- eBook: 15 Tips for Engaging Employees. A free eBook we published on CX Day with best practices for engaging employees.
- Post: 100 Customer Experience Tips in 105 Characters (Or Less). A listing (in progress) of good ideas for CX, including employee engagement.
- Report: B2B Customer Experience Best Practices. Describes best practices for engaging employees within B2B organizations.
- Video: People-Centric Experience Design. Shows the power of providing employees with a strong sense of purpose.
- Webinar: CX Trends for 2015 (Year of the Employee). Highlights all of the 2015 CX trends and why we called it the “Year of the Employee.”
The bottom line: Employees are critical for customer experience success.
January 4, 2016 1 Comment
Okay, now that we’ve celebrated New Years, it’s time to get moving again. We’ve got a lot of CX work to do in 2016, which we’ve labeled as The Year of Emotion.
As you start down the path of making 2016 a banner year for CX in your organization, I want to share my wishes for you:
- May you focus on your customers’ needs, even when internal priorities push them to be ignored.
- May you orient your thinking on customers’ journeys, even when the organization cares about individual interactions.
- May you design for customers’ emotions, even when success and effort are often the better understood parts of an experience.
- May you develop innovative ways to treat customers, even when the status quo seems to be good enough.
- May you share customer success stories, even when there are many problems to be fixed.
- May you remain committed to driving change, even when it feels like you aren’t making very much progress.
- May you help all employees deliver on customer promises, even when some don’t directly interact with end-customers.
- May you engage the hearts and minds of employees, even when it’s easier to just send out some communications.
- May you maintain a clear sense of purpose, even when you feel too busy to think about anything except the task in front of you.
- May you find many reasons to be grateful, even when it seems like things aren’t going your way.
The bottom line: I hope that 2016 is a wonderful, memorable year for you!