Maximizing Value From Customer Journey Mapping

1509_ValueFromCJMs_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Maximizing Value From Customer Journey Mapping. Here’s the executive summary:

Customer Journey Maps (CJMs) are a valuable tool for understanding how customers truly interact across an entire organization, but companies aren’t capturing enough value from their CJM efforts. Creating a CJM is only the first step in the process for change; the real benefit comes from using the insights from CJMs to drive action. In this report, we identify 23 best practices for using CJMs, and these practices cut across five areas: 1) Find and Fix Problems, 2) Build a Customer-centric Mindset, 3) Design Innovative Experiences, 4) Create Strategic Alignment, and 5) Refine Customer Measurement. To truly maximize value from customer journey maps, companies need to set themselves up for success by establishing organizational alignment, determining if outside help is needed, training key stakeholders in customer journey mapping, and scaling customer journey mapping techniques across the organization by employing Customer Journey Thinking.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

Here are the 23 best practices in the report:1509_CJMbestpractices

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

The bottom line: Get more value from your CJM efforts.

The Power of Customer Journey Mapping (Video)

Customer journey mapping is a valuable tool for customer experience, but Customer Journey Thinking can change your culture. Watch this short Temkin Group video to find out more…

The bottom line: Your customers are on a journey, help them

Seven Steps for Developing Customer Journey Maps

In Temkin Group’s previous report on B2B CX best practices, we provide examples of companies using a customer journey map (CJM), which is a critical CX tool. We included this graphic which is valuable for any company, B2B or B2C, that is thinking about using CJMs.

1304_CJMLet’s circle back with the basics, what is a CJM? It’s a representation of the steps and emotional states that a customer goes through during a period of time that may include some interactions with your organization. CJMs are valuable because they help identify how a customer views an organization by putting the interactions with a company in the context of the customer’s broader activities, goals and objectives. The output often includes an easy to understand graphic such as this example I’ve used from Lego for many years:

Here’s an example of a CJM we created to showcase the power of CJMs. Note how the journey represents the customer’s point of view and not just the company touchpoints.

1304_ExampleOfCJM

Often times, companies mistake a CJM for a touchpoint map, which is looking at individual interactions or “touches” with customers. The problem with this approach is that it often loses the broader context of how that touchpoint fits within the overall goal and objectives of the customer. As a matter of fact, mapping internal touchpoints is one of my 10 CX Mistakes to Avoid.

Given the importance of CJMs, I put together answers to some FAQs:

  • Do we need to do customer research? No, but I highly recommend it and the results will be much better if you do. If you assemble the right front-line employees who have day-to-day interactions with customers, then your CJM may be somewhat accurate. But very likely it will be missing some steps and perceptions of customers, especially in areas of the journey where the customer doesn’t think about the company. And if you just pull together a bunch of people in headquarters, then your CJM will often represent an oversimplified, fantasy about what customers go through. The best CJMs start with internal information to frame the effort, but spend the time to validate and update the CJM through strong customer research.
  • What type of customer research do we need to do? This is all about qualitative research. You won’t find how customers feel about the journey in your quantitative datasets. You will need to go out and speak to customers within your different segments to understand how they view the overall journey. This can include ethnographic techniques like journaling and contextual inquiry. After you have the journey defined, you can use some quantitative methods to identify how often some activities occur.
  • Do we need to hire an outside firm to do a CJM? You don’t need to, but there are some good firms with a lot of experience in this area. If your internal research organization has strong ethnography skills, then you can probably follow our seven steps above and complete it on your own. As with any activity, the vendors that have done a lot of these are going to be more skilled at the process and in making sure that the output is actionable. If you can’t afford to hire an outside firn, then it’s still worthwhile to go ahead and do the project internally as best as you can.
  • Is there a CJM that we can copy? There are a lot of examples of the physical maps, but that’s not what’s important about the process. You are doing CJMs to uncover specific insights that you will use for fixing problems, wowing customers in the future, or establishing measurement tracking systems. If you focus too much on copying someone else’s CJM, then you will often miss the nuances that are key for your customers and your company. And, more importantly, you lose the institutional learnings that come from going through the process.
  • Do we need to do a CJM for every customer segment? Yes, at least every important one. It may be that some of your customer segments follow the same journey, in which case you can combine them but you don’t want to have CJMs that are an amalgamation of multiple segments. You’ll end up with a bunch of generalities and less useful insights. It’s okay to have the output show one journey with different variations after you’ve examined each segment individually.
  • Are CJMs for the entire lifecycle of a customer or for a specific stage? Yes and yes. CJMs can be used at different levels of the customers’ journey. They can examine how customers go through a multi-year journey like the car ownership experience to a more specific journey like going on a family vacation.
  • Are CJMs good for finding mistakes to fix or for designing future state experiences? Yes and yes. CJMs can be used to identify gaps in the current state of experiences as well as helping to identify the opportunities for better future state experiences. Depending on your goal, you will likely want to adjust your customer research approach.
  • How much detail do we need? It depends on what you are trying to accomplish. The maps shown above are at a level that would help point a company into specific areas for improvement. If you wanted to redesign an area such as rebooking a flight, then you would really want to get much more granular information about the customer journey in that area.

The bottom line: Good things happen when you focus on your customers’ journey

Free Customer Experience Training For Non-Profit Organizations

1701_nonprofitscholarshipprogram2I’m really excited to announce that Temkin Group has launched its Non Profit Scholarship Program (NPSP).

During 2017, the company will provide free enrollment to its U.S. workshops for up to 20 employees of non-profit institutions. The NPSP will enable these employees to gain access to customer experience training that their organizations may not have been able to afford.

Temkin Group recently labeled 2017, “The Year of Purpose.” As part of the company’s commitment to elevating purpose, it launched the NPSP to help non-profit institutions better deliver on their missions. By providing access to its world-class customer experience workshops, Temkin Group hopes to provide employees in non-profit organizations with the skills and knowledge to deliver better experiences to their constituents, whether they’re customers, members, patients, visitors, students, or donors.

Any employee of a 501(c) organization with an operating budget of at least $10 million can apply for the NPSP at TemkinGroup.com/scholarship. Temkin Group will chose winners of the scholarships based on its assessment of the value that the workshops will have on the applicants and their organizations.

NPSP winners will be provided free tuition ($1,895 value) to attend any of Temkin Group’s public enrollment workshops in the U.S. throughout 2017. Here is the current schedule for workshops during the remainder of the year.

  • June 14 & 15, 2017 in Boston: Mapping and Improving Your Customers’ Journey. This workshop provides attendees with the insights and tools to use customer journey mapping, an important customer experience capability.
  • August 16 & 17, 2017 in Boston: Driving Customer Experience Transformation. This workshop provides attendees with the knowledge and skills to become change agents and drive their organizations to be more customer-centric.
  • October 24 & 25, 2017 in Boston: Mapping and Improving Your Customers’ Journey. This workshop provides attendees with the insights and tools to use customer journey mapping, an important customer experience capability.
  • December 4 & 5, 2017 in San Diego: Driving Customer Experience Transformation.This workshop provides attendees with the knowledge and skills to become change agents and drive their organizations to be more customer-centric.

For more information about the NPSP or to apply for a scholarship, visit TemkinGroup.com/scholarship.

Top 25 Customer Experience Matters Posts in 2016

It’s always interesting to see what people are reading, so I periodically share a list of our most popular posts. Below is a word cloud made from the titles of the 25 most-read posts from Customer Experience Matters in 2016. As you can see, there was a lot of interest in Net Promoter Score, infographics, and emotion.1612_top25postswordcloud

Here are the 25 most-read posts:

1

Report: Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2015 (note: there is an updated version)

2

ROI of Customer Experience (Infographic)

3

11 Customer Experience Trends for 2016 (The Year of Emotion)

4

Report: 2016 Temkin Experience Ratings

5

Seven Steps for Developing Customer Journey Maps

6

Emotion: The Missing Link in Customer Experience (Video)

7

CX for Smarties, A Beginner’s Guide to Customer Experience

8

Intensify Emotion: Positive Feelings Create Loyal Customers

9

Customer Experience: The Path From Fluff to Tough (Infographic)

10

Net Promoter Score and Market Share For 60 Tech Vendors

11

15 Customer Experience Factoids From 2015 (Infographic)

12

What Is The Perfect Customer Experience?

13

Five Questions That Drive Customer Journey Thinking

14

Report: ROI of Customer Experience, 2015

15

Don’t Confuse Customer Service With Customer Experience

16

Customer Experience Needs More Emotion (Infographic)

17

With Customer Service, CARES Beats ACES

18

The Ultimate Customer Experience Infographic, 2015

19

Free eBook: The 6 Laws Of Customer Experience

20

Report: The Four Customer Experience Core Competencies

21

2015 Customer Experience Excellence Awards

22

Report: Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2016

23

9 Recommendations For Net Promoter Score (NPS)

24

My Latest 9 Recommendations For NPS

25

Report: Economics of Net Promoter Score, 2016

The bottom line: I hope you enjoyed our 2016 posts, and find even more value in 2017!

2017 Customer Experience Trends, “The Year of Purpose”

2017cxIt’s once again the time of year when I publish Temkin Group’s CX trends. In my post last year, we named 2016 “The Year of Emotion.” With my previous post, we declared 2017 “The Year of Purpose.”

During this year, companies will be:

  1. Elevating Purpose. Over the past year, we’ve seen more articles discussing purpose, and leaders are beginning to recognize the role that it plays in motivating employees. At the same time, we believe that the uncertainty around the world creates an increasing desire for people to find purpose and meaning in their lives. For these reasons, we’re calling 2017 “The Year of Purpose.” In 2017, we expect to see more leaders sharpening and sharing their organization’s purpose.
  2. Operationalizing Emotion. After our push to Intensify Emotion in 2016, I’m happy to say that the needle is moving! As we anticipated, many companies started to recognize the importance of emotion, with the help of many vendors who are working to demystify this key area. In 2017, we expect to see even more organizations focus on customer emotion and start to embed these efforts in their ongoing operations.
  3. Orienting Around Customer Journeys. Customer journey mapping continues to grow in popularity as companies recognize the need to develop a more customer-oriented viewpoint. That’s why we see so much demand for our customer journey mapping workshops. However, this tool only affects a small portion of an organization. To help companies embed thinking about customer journeys into day-to-day decisions across the entire organization, we created Customer Journey Thinking©. In 2017, we expect more companies to realign their metrics, analytics, experience design, and innovation around customer journeys.
  4. Continuing… Mobile, Mobile, Mobile. Mobile continues to become an increasingly dominant interaction channel… and now can be accessed through increasingly varied types of devices (including those described as “Internet of Things”). In 2017, we expect more companies to shift to a mobile first strategy and to design customer offerings with the assumption that the primary interface may be a remote digital device.
  5. Embracing Employee Engagement. Employee engagement (EE) has been one of Temkin Group’s Four CX Core Competencies for more than six years. While EE has always been critical to how we view customer experience, companies are finally starting to recognize that it’s a limiting factor to their CX efforts. In 2017, we expect to see a jump in EE activities and we hope to see CX and human resources groups finally coming together to work on engaging employees.
  6. Federating Customer Experience. We’ve seen many companies make great strides in their CX efforts by using strong centralized teams. However, as these efforts mature, companies often find that they need to distribute CX efforts across their organizations. In 2017, we expect many companies to shift to a federated CX model by developing CX Centers of Excellence, Enterprise CX Coordination, and Distributed CX Skills and Mindset.
  7. Predicting Through Behaviors. With the rise of digital and mobile interactions, companies have more data on what their customers are doing. This behavioral data can both provide rich insights into what drives customers and fuel strong predictive models. In 2017, we expect more companies to start collecting behavioral data and then using it to predict customer attitudes and future activities.
  8. Tapping Into Speech Recognition. Text analytics tools have become mature enough that they are now frequently a staple in customer insights toolkits. As these tools mature, companies are setting their sites on the next vein of unstructured data – customer calls. At the same time, we see a rise of voice interfaces, from Comcast’s XFINITY remote control to Amazon’s Echo. In 2017, we expect more companies to increase their use of speech recognition for insights and interfaces.
  9. Smartening Self-Service. Our research shows that people prefer to handle of lot of their interactions using self-service. While companies have been enabling these capabilities for years, technology is getting better for anticipating and customizing these interactions. In 2017, we expect more companies to incorporate technologies such as virtual agents and interactive guides to enable even smarter self-service.

The bottom line: Please join us in Elevating Purpose in 2017!

Temkin Group is Coming to Australia… Join Us!

TGAustralia

For years, I’ve been getting emails asking “when will Temkin Group come to Australia?” We’ve wanted to go for a while (for both personal and professional reasons), but it just hasn’t worked with our schedules.

Well, it’s finally happening. Aimee, Karen, and I will be heading to Australia in August!

Do you want to see us while we’re there? Here are some opportunities:

  • Sydney, 3 August: Workshop: CX Leadership Bootcamp (AU$1495)
    Register for this unique learning opportunity. During this one-day intensive Temkin Group workshop, attendees will learn leading edge approaches to building a customer-centric culture and designing experiences that create lasting memories with customers. This hands-on bootcamp includes lectures, self-assessments, and small group exercises. You will be able to take many of the exercises and tools that we use in the session and use them within your organization.
  • Melbourne, 8-9 August: Conference: Customer Experience Tech Fest 
    Join me at this exciting conference where I will deliver a keynote address on how to infuse emotion back into customer experience. Come see my first speech in Australia! I’m looking forward to the entire event and hearing the other great speakers, as the agenda looks fantastic.
  • Melbourne, 11-12 AugustWorkshop: Mapping & Improving Your Customers’ Journey (AU$2595)
    Register for this unique learning opportunity. During this two-day Temkin Group workshop (which regularly sells out in the U.S.) attendees will learn how to master a very important customer experience tool, customer journey mapping. During this hands-on experience, attendees will go through the process of creating portions of a customer journey map. You will be able to use Temkin Group templates within your organization after the workshop.

We have some limited availability to work with companies beyond these times, so send us a note (info@temkingroup.com) if you’re interested in us helping your CX efforts. Some good ways to leverage our visit is to have an interactive discussion with your leadership team, deliver an educational speech, or review your CX plans. We can even deliver an in-house workshop.

We’re looking forward to seeing our Australian friends in August!

15 Top CX Posts From 2015

As the year comes to an end, I want to thank everyone who has been reading and sharing this blog. It’s a pleasure and an honor to be a part of your customer experience efforts, and I look forward to helping you drive even more success next year.

Before we move on to 2016, here are the 15 most-read posts from 2015:

  1. Seven Steps for Developing Customer Journey Maps
  2. Report: 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings
  3. Report: Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2015
  4. 8 CX Trends for 2015 (The Year of the Employee)
  5. The Ultimate Customer Experience Infographic, 2015
  6. Don’t Confuse Customer Service With Customer Experience
  7. Free eBook: The 6 Laws Of Customer Experience
  8. 9 Recommendations For Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  9. Five Questions That Drive Customer Journey Thinking
  10. Report: Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2015 (B2B)
  11. What is Customer Experience? (Video)
  12. Report: The Four Customer Experience Core Competencies
  13. Report: ROI of Customer Experience, 2014 (see updated 2015 version)
  14. 10 Customer Experience Factoids from 2014 (Infographic)
  15. Customer Experience Matters (The Video)

The bottom line: Good luck with your 2016 CX efforts!

11 Customer Experience Trends for 2016 (The Year of Emotion)

WatchRecordedWebinarIt’s once again the time of year for me to publish my CX trends. In my post last year I named 2015 “The Year of Employee.” With this post, I’m declaring 2016 “The Year of Emotion.”

1512_CXTrends4In the upcoming year, CX will continue to grow in importance for companies and an even larger number of organizations will begin their CX journeys. In this environment, we expect to see:

  1. Culture Change Intensifying. WatchRecordedWebinarPeter Drucker once said, “Culture eats strategy for lunch.” We agree and believe that customer experience is a reflection an organization’s culture and operating processes. As you can see in our video Driving CX Transformation, customer-centric culture requires mastering four CX core competenciesPurposeful LeadershipCompelling Brand ValuesEmployee Engagement, and Customer Connectedness. We saw a surge of interest in the topic of culture in 2015, and we expect even more executives to begin the long-term journey of culture change in 2016.
  2. Effort Metric Expanding.WatchRecordedWebinar Every interaction has three components: Success, Effort, and Emotion. Companies have started to use versions of an “effort” score as a key CX metric, because it provides a good mechanism for identifying areas of improvement. We expect this trend to intensify, and for effort to become a more mainstream topic next year. See the 2015 Temkin Effort Ratings.
  3. Customer Journey Designing. WatchRecordedWebinarCustomer journey mapping has become one of the most popular CX tools as it helps provide a customer-oriented viewpoint. While many of these efforts have been heavily focused on isolated mapping events, we expect to see companies use the lessons from CJM to drive more decisions and changes across their organizations. As this happens, we recommend that more companies adopt what we call Customer Journey Thinking©.
  4. Mobile, Mobile, Mobile… Continuing. Mobile continues to become a more dominant interaction channel… and through increasingly varied types of devices. In 2016, we expect more companies to get beyond the basic level of making mobile-friendly websites and launching mobile apps. Organizations will rethink their offerings and operating processes, baking in assumptions that customers and employees are continuously connected.
  5. Speech Analytics Piloting. As companies get comfortable using text analytics and collecting customer insights from unstructured data, they often focus on their largest interaction dataset: contact center calls. While the technology has limited the use of speech analytics in the past, we believe 2016 will be the tipping point and expect to see a flutter of companies with speech analytics pilots.
  6. Predictive Analytics Personalizing.WatchRecordedWebinar As companies connect rich customer feedback with reams of CRM and operational data, the value of predictive modeling will rise exponentially. In 2016, we expect to see firms that have built data hubs over the last few years investing in predictive modeling and using the insights to develop a more personalized treatment of customers.
  7. Metrics to Action Realigning. WatchRecordedWebinarVoice of the customer programs (including NPS), are a mainstream component of most CX programs. But these efforts overly focus on collecting data at the expense of taking action on the insights. The problem stems from a desire to measure and track everything, which ends up consuming much of VoC teams’ capacity and budget. Next year we expect an increasing number of companies to shift their emphasis from tracking metrics to enabling action. As this occurs, they will lower their reliance on multiple-choice ratings scales to focus more on unstructured sources (comments, contact center interactions, etc.) and will increase their use of more qualitative techniques such as customer interviews and ethnography.
  8. Value-as-a-Service Emerging. As consumers get comfortable with companies like Uber and AirBnB and use more iTunes apps and cloud-based applications, they are being trained to pay for things as they need them. The notion of buying something that you may or may not use in the future is becoming outdated. In 2016, we expect this consumer behavior to push more companies to break apart their offerings into bite-sized pieces. As this happens companies will need to earn loyalty more frequently and ensure that customers get value from the things that they purchase.
  9. Employee CX & Empathy Training. WatchRecordedWebinarAs more companies roll out their CX change efforts, we expect to see them look for ways to train large groups of employees – to teach them basic CX concepts and to instill a sense of customer empathy. Why? Because more firms realize that sustainable CX success requires engaging employees — not simply introducing processes changes and expecting “blind” compliance. In 2016, the need for this training will grow rapidly, and CX professionals will respond by working with their training departments and outside consultants.
  10. CX Profession Maturing. WatchRecordedWebinarCustomer experience has come a long way over the last few years, as CX practitioners have shared lessons learned and improved upon best practices. Nothing illustrates this maturity better than the Customer Experience Professionals Association and the increasing number of Certified Customer Experience Professionals. As this trend continues, we expect to see CX professionals become more focused on helping their organizations achieve business and brand objectives. This will change their role from experts of tools to collaborators of change.
  11. Emotion Arising. WatchRecordedWebinarOur research shows that emotion is the component of customer experience that has the largest impact on loyalty, but it is also the area where companies are least adept and often seemingly ignore. Over the past few years, neuroscience and behavioral science research has begun to fuel new techniques for affecting human emotions. In 2016, we expect to see a major jump in the number of companies that discuss, measure, and design for emotion. It will also become a hot topic at CX conferences.

CXTrend_YearOfEmotion
The bottom line: Happy 2016, and enjoy the Year of Emotion!

5 Most Popular CX Matters Posts Over 5 Years

As part of our upcoming celebration of Temkin Group’s 5th year anniversary, I took a look at the readership levels on the Customer Experience Matters® blog over the previous five years. Here the five most popular posts:

The bottom line: Thank you to everyone who reads and shares content from this blog!

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

Customer Experience Matters is a registered trademark of Temkin Group.

People-Centric Experience Design (Video)

Last year, I published a free eBook called People-Centric Experience Design (PCxD). Experiences are all about people, the customers who interact with your organization and the employees who shape those interactions. Most approaches to customer experience, from voice of the customer programs to customer journey mapping, deal with the logical, left-brain elements of customer experience. But they often fall short on the right-brain, emotional side. That’s where PCxD comes into play. It’s built on three principles:

  • Align through PURPOSE
  • Guide with EMPATHY
  • Design for MEMORIES

To help people understand PCxD, we created this short video:

The bottom line: Tap into the power of purpose, empathy, and memories.

Report: Lessons in CX Excellence, 2015

1501_LessonsInCXExcellence_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Lessons in CX Excellence, 2015. The report provides insights from 8 finalists in the Temkin Group’s 2014 CX Excellence Awards. The report, which is 98 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 2014 Customer Experience Excellence Award. Finalists are Activision Customer Care, Aetna, Crowe Horwath LLP, Dell Inc., EMC Corporation, Texas NICUSA, The Results Companies, and TouchPoint Support Services. This report provides specific examples of how these companies’ CX efforts have created value for both their customers and for their businesses. We also highlight their best practices across the four customer experience competencies—purposeful leadership, compelling brand values, employee engagement, and customer connectedness. At the end of this report, we have included all of the finalists’ detailed nomination forms to help you collect examples and ideas to apply to your own CX efforts.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

Watch Temkin Group webinar about this research.

Here are some highlights from the finalists:

  • Activision Customer Care. Activision demonstrates its commitment to creating great game player experiences in a multitude of ways, such as emphasizing the use of player feedback to identify improvement opportunities. Activision combines this dedication to listening to its players with a willingness to redesign significant interactions. For example, it revamped its “Contact Us” page to include ambassador chat and callback scheduling, which resulted in higher satisfaction and lower effort for customers.
  • Aetna. Despite being in an industry undergoing tremendous change, Aetna is focusing on its 2020 vision to make the company 100% customer-centric. It has implemented many changes to help achieve this goal, including providing service over the phone and investing in text and speech analytics to better identify customer pain points and improve the behaviors and skillsets of its call representatives. The latter effort has already resulted in reduced repeat calls, improved accuracy, and a higher Net Promoter Score (NPS).
  • Crowe Horwath. With a client engagement score towering 33 points above the accounting industry average, Crowe Horwath is seeing the pay-off of its efforts to deliver an exceptional client experience. These efforts include establishing a firm-wide governance model and measurement scorecard, implementing a closed-loop voice of the customer program, incorporating customer journey mapping to uncover moments of truth, and engaging employees through training, client-driven CX recognition programs, and an employee ambassador program.
  • Dell. Dell’s CX efforts start with an emphasis on listening to and engaging with customers and employees. Dell enlists different groups from across the company—including engineering, marketing, sales, support, and digital—to make improvements to the entire customer journey. As a result of this work, Dell has opened 16 solution centers—which gives customers a place to experience solutions—and has provided proactive support over a wide variety of social channels, simplified Dell.com for consumer and business users, and implemented more than 540 customer innovation ideas.
  • EMC Corporation. The Total Customer Experience (TCE) program at EMC works across the enterprise to enhance the company’s customer experience by listening to customer feedback, analyzing data, and taking directed action based on that feedback and data. The program also raises awareness of how every person at the company impacts customer experience. As its CX efforts have matured, the TCE team has evolved to take on more challenging tasks; its projects now include predictive CX analytics, measuring its partner experience quality, and optimizing the experience across many different customer segments and solutions.
  • The Results Companies. To support its work as a business process outsourcing provider, The Results Companies uses its own unique operating model called CX360, which allows for continuous business process refinements that improve the customer experience. Built on three pillars—people, knowledge, empowerment—CX360 has helped the company ensure that its 8,500 employees around the globe remain focused on CX. The operating model has also contributed to Results’ strong growth in new clients and year-over-year revenue.
  • Texas NICUSA/Texas.gov. Texas NICUSA provides support for Texas.gov and implements technology solutions for Texas governmental agencies. It serves over 50,000 monthly site visitors and 300 state and local governments. Its three-tiered multi-channel customer service approach includes a general customer service Help Desk (phone and online), a Service Desk to support governmental agency needs, and a group of Technology Subject Matter Experts who can provide escalated assistance to either citizens or agency employees.
  • TouchPoint Support Services. TouchPoint Support Services streamlines support services within healthcare facilities. The company’s business goals, known as Top of Mind Objectives, guide the work of its 6,800 associates, helping them to find inefficiencies and improve patient satisfaction, associate engagement, safety, unity, and budget compliance. Touchpoint uses many methods for aligning employees with these objectives, including special training for managers and frontline employees, coaching from dedicated customer experience managers (who visit sites regularly), and associate recognition programs.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

If you enjoyed this report, check out Lessons in CX Excellence, 2014 and Lessons in CX Excellence, 2013.

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

8 CX Trends for 2015 (The Year of the Employee)

It’s once again the time of year for me to publish my CX trends. In my post last year, I named 2014 “The Year of Empathy.” With this post, I’m declaring 2015 “The Year of the Employee.”

We’ve recently seen a surge in the number of companies looking to build more customer-centric cultures and train their people on CX. Voice of the employee efforts are becoming an integral component of modern voice of the customer programs. Taken together, this new emphasis on culture, training, and Voice of the Employee will put employees at the center of CX attention this year

Although I published 13 CX trends for 2013 and 14 CX trends for 2014, I decided that 15 trends for 2015 would be too many to track. Instead, I’ve narrowed down the focus to these 8 key CX trends for 2015:

  1. 8cxtrendsCorporate Culture Conversations. Culture is a difficult thing to wrap your hands around, which is why most leaders don’t discuss it. But it’s critical. As Peter Drucker once said, “Culture eats strategy for lunch.” Think of culture as an invisible force that shapes how people behave, even when no one is looking. Great things can happen when culture is aligned with the objectives of the organization, as employees consistently and almost naturally propel those objectives. When culture is not aligned, however, employees need to be constantly pushed to do the right things, which is nearly impossible to sustain. As you can see in our video Driving CX Transformation, the blueprint for a customer-centric culture is based on what Temkin Group calls the four CX core competenciesPurposeful LeadershipCompelling Brand ValuesEmployee Engagement, and Customer Connectedness. In 2014, we saw an uptick in the number of executives who not only discussed culture, but also openly recognized the value that those conversations can create. In 2015, we expect to see even more executives trying to build a customer-centric culture inside of their organizations.
  2. CX Training & Engagement. This past year, we saw a surge in the number of companies focusing on CX, and we expect this trend to continue. As more firms raise their CX ambitions, an increasing number of employees will need to understand the firm’s CX aspirations, learn core CX concepts, and recognize the role that they play in making it happen. The demand for education will grow in every area of the organization, from the boardroom to newly formed CX teams to myriads of frontline employees. Thus in 2015, as companies look to provide clear CX orientation to their employees, we expect to see a sharp increase in the demand for CX training courses.
  3. Voice of the Customer Renovations. This is a continuation of a trend that I highlighted last year. One of the most powerful forces inside an organization is clear feedback from customers, which is why so many organizations are building voice of the customer (VoC) programs. While these efforts add value, we’ve found that many are based on outdated approaches and technology. To help companies modernize their VoC programs, we defined five trends that will reshape how companies deal with customer insights: 1) Deep empathy, not stacks of metrics, 2) Continuous insights, not periodic studies, 3) Customer journeys, not isolated interactions, 4) Useful prescriptions, not past descriptions, and 5) Enterprise intelligence, not customer feedback. In 2015, we expect a lot of companies to evaluate their VoC programs and find that they are not as effective as they could or should be. Given the value of customer insights, many firms will invest in major renovations to these efforts this year.
  4. Mobile Mobile Mobile Formulations. The rise of personal computing devices, from iPhone apps to Fitbits, will continue to change how consumers experience the world they live in.  That’s why mobile winds up on our list of trends again this year — it can’t be ignored. It’s hard to imagine any sector remaining unaffected by the ever-present digital devices that are able to track where we are, monitor our vital signs, share with our friends, and control our lives. In 2015, we’ll see more collaborative economy activity from providers such as Uber and Airbnb, as well as an increase of traditional companies embedding mobile devices into their existing offerings and operational processes.
  5. Brand (R)evaluations. Most companies with great customer experience also have strong brand identities. This is not a coincidence. A strong brand provides guidance and motivation for employees and clarifies CX priorities. Without a strong brand, companies lack the ability to make cohesive decisions about where to focus their CX efforts. Which is why we made Compelling Brand Values one of our four CX core competencies. As companies move beyond their initial foray into CX, advancing their CX maturity from what we call fluff to tough, many will find that their brands aren’t defined or understood well enough to guide the efforts. We expect that in 2015, many companies will hit this brand wall and recognize the need to re-evaluate their brands. In some cases, they will define new, clearer brand promises, while in other cases, they will re-assert their lost brand vows (see what Starbucks went through).
  6. Customer Journey Deliberations. You can’t read very much about CX without running into something about customer journey mapping. It’s a hot topic. That’s why Temkin Group’s customer journey mapping workshops regularly sell out. The concept is simple; you can treat a customer better if you understand how they view the world and recognize what role your organization plays in their journey. When done right, it’s a very valuable CX tool. But the value from customer journey mapping does not come from the development of a map or any specific artifact. The value comes from from using that effort to change the decisions made across an organization. We’ve identified five questions that can propel customer journey thinking—without even using a map: 1) Who is the customer? 2) What is the customer’s real goal? 3) What did the customer do right beforehand? 4) What will the customer do right afterwards? 5) What will make the customer happy? In 2015, we expect to see many more companies using customer journey maps, and we expect more mature organizations to adopt the customer journey mapping mindset.
  7. Contact Center Loyalty Aspirations. Many of an organization’s most important customer interactions occur in its contact center, yet these groups are often managed like unwanted cost centers, with a heavy focus on efficiency and avoidance. We’re starting to see a shift in this mindset. More companies are beginning to recognize what I said a couple of years ago—that contact centers must morph into relationship hubs. We’ve seen a significant uptick in service and contact center organizations’ interest in CX, and we expect this trend to continue next year. In 2015, we expect many organizations to extract insights from their contact center interactions using text analytics and speech analytics. They will also replace efficiency metrics, such as average handle times, with more customer-oriented measures. Contact center employees will also become more involved in the identification and redesign of key moments of truth.
  8. Human Resources Participation. If 2015 is the Year of the Employee, then it must also be the year that HR professionals finally jump on the CX bandwagon. How can HR groups remain relevant if they’re not actively involved (and in many cases leading) efforts focused on training and culture? They can’t. In 2015, we’ll see some HR groups stepping up to drive key areas of the CX transformation within their companies, including the critical focus on employee engagement. While these HR groups become more strategic within their companies, lagging HR groups will become relegated to more transactional activities as CX team step up and fill the leadership void.

The bottom line: 2015 will be the Year of the Employee in CX.

20 Most Popular Customer Experience Matters Posts in 2014

As the year comes to an end, it’s always interesting to look at what people have been reading. Here are the 20 posts that were read by the most people in 2014 (in alphabetical order). As I’ve noted in parenthesis, some of these posts were written in previous years.

14 Customer Experience Trends for 2014 (The Year of Empathy)
2014 Temkin Experience Ratings
9 Recommendations For Net Promoter Score (NPS) (2011)
Don’t Confuse Customer Service With Customer Experience (2009)
Five Questions That Drive Customer Journey Thinking
Free eBook: People-Centric Experience Design
Free eBook: The 6 Laws Of Customer Experience (2008)
Infographic: The Six Laws of Customer Experience
LEGO’s Building Block For Good Experiences (2009)
Net Promoter Score and Market Share For 60 Tech Vendors (2012)
Report: Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2013 (2013)
[note: See updated NPS benchmark from 2014]
Report: ROI of Customer Experience, 2014
Report: The Four Customer Experience Core Competencies (2013)
Report: What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2014
Seven Steps for Developing Customer Journey Maps (2013)
The Six Laws of Customer Experience (Video)
The Ultimate Customer Experience Infographic, 2014
USAA and Amazon Top 2014 Temkin Customer Service Ratings
What Is The Perfect Customer Experience? (2008)
Why Net Promoter Score May Not Align With Business Results

The bottom line: People read a lot of CX content in 2014.

2014 Customer Experience Excellence Award

We will be launching the 2015 CX Excellence Awards in mid-September, so keep an eye on this blog.

Congratulations to the following companies that are winners of the 2014 Temkin Group Customer Experience Excellence (CxE) Award:

Dell, EMC, and Touchpoint Support Services 

In addition to the winners, we congratulate the other finalists: Aetna, Activision, Crowe Horwath, The Results Company, and Texas.gov.

Here are some highlights from their nominations:

  • Activision Customer Care. Activision demonstrates its commitment to creating great game player experiences in a multitude of ways, such as emphasizing the use of player feedback to identify improvement opportunities. Activision combines this dedication to listening to its players with a willingness to redesign significant interactions. For example, it revamped its “Contact Us” page to include ambassador chat and callback scheduling, which resulted in higher satisfaction and lower effort for customers.
  • Aetna. Despite being in an industry undergoing tremendous change, Aetna is focusing on its 2020 vision to make the company 100% customer-centric. It has implemented many changes to help achieve this goal, including providing service over the phone and investing in text and speech analytics to better identify customer pain points and improve the behaviors and skillsets of its call representatives. The latter effort has already resulted in reduced repeat calls, improved accuracy, and a higher Net Promoter Score (NPS).
  • Crowe Horwath. With a client engagement score towering 33 points above the accounting industry average, Crowe Horwath is seeing the pay-off of its efforts to deliver an exceptional client experience. These efforts include establishing a firm-wide governance model and measurement scorecard, implementing a closed-loop voice of the customer program, incorporating customer journey mapping to uncover moments of truth, and engaging employees through training, client-driven CX recognition programs, and an employee ambassador program.
  • Dell. Dell’s CX efforts start with an emphasis on listening to and engaging with customers and employees. Dell enlists different groups from across the company—including engineering, marketing, sales, support, and digital—to make improvements to the entire customer journey. As a result of this work, Dell has opened 16 solution centers—which gives customers a place to experience solutions—and has provided proactive support over a wide variety of social channels, simplified Dell.com for consumer and business users, and implemented more than 540 customer innovation ideas.
  • EMC Corporation. The Total Customer Experience (TCE) program at EMC works across the enterprise to enhance the company’s customer experience by listening to customer feedback, analyzing data, and taking directed action based on that feedback and data. The program also raises awareness of how every person at the company impacts customer experience. As its CX efforts have matured, the TCE team has evolved to take on more challenging tasks; its projects now include predictive CX analytics, measuring its partner experience quality, and optimizing the experience across many different customer segments and solutions.
  • The Results Companies. To support its work as a business process outsourcing provider, The Results Companies uses its own unique operating model called CX360, which allows for continuous business process refinements that improve the customer experience. Built on three pillars—people, knowledge, empowerment—CX360 has helped the company ensure that its 8,500 employees around the globe remain focused on CX. The operating model has also contributed to Results’ strong growth in new clients and year-over-year revenue.
  • Texas NICUSA/Texas.gov. Texas NICUSA provides support for Texas.gov and implements technology solutions for Texas governmental agencies. It serves over 50,000 monthly site visitors and 300 state and local governments. Its three-tiered multi-channel customer service approach includes a general customer service Help Desk (phone and online), a Service Desk to support governmental agency needs, and a group of Technology Subject Matter Experts who can provide escalated assistance to either citizens or agency employees.
  • TouchPoint Support Services. TouchPoint Support Services streamlines support services within healthcare facilities. The company’s business goals, known as Top of Mind Objectives, guide the work of its 6,800 associates, helping them to find inefficiencies and improve patient satisfaction, associate engagement, safety, unity, and budget compliance. Touchpoint uses many methods for aligning employees with these objectives, including special training for managers and frontline employees, coaching from dedicated customer experience managers (who visit sites regularly), and associate recognition programs.

Background on the CxE Awards

Across all industries and sectors, organizations are findings ways to improve customer experience in a sustainable manner. The CxE Awards are meant to highlight those transformational efforts. Since customer experience is a journey, not a program, nominees will not need to have fully completed their journey to be eligible for this award.

Last year’s winners were AIG Asia Pacific, Cisco, EMC, Intuit, and Oracle. You can find best practices from across all 11 finalists and see their nomination forms in the Temkin Group report, Lessons in CX Excellence.

The awards are based on the following criteria:

  • Transformation. What improvements have been and are being made in the four customer experience core competencies?
    • Purposeful leadership: Leaders operate consistently with a clear, well-articulated set of values.
    • Compelling brand values: Brand attributes are driving decisions about how you treat customers.
    • Employee engagement: Employees are fully committed to the goals of your organization.
    • Customer connectedness: Customer feedback and insight is integrated throughout your organization.
  • Results. How is the effort creating value for customers and for the company?
  • Sustainability. How well is the company setup for ongoing success?

We assembled an expert panel of judges who really understand what it takes for an organization to become more customer-centric:

  • Ginger Conlon is editor-in-chief of Direct Marketing NewsShe develops and directs its editorial vision and content strategy across all communications platforms. She was cited as one of the “Top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros on Twitter,” by Huffington Post contributor Vala Afshar.
  • Shep Hyken is the Chief Amazement Officer at Shepard Presentations.  He is a customer service expert, speaker and author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books including The Cult of the Customer and The Amazement Revolution.
  • Ingrid Lindberg is Customer Experience Officer of Prime Therapeutics. She is a proven change management and customer strategy executive whose previous roles include Customer Experience Officer at CIGNA and Chief Marketing Officer at Ceridian Benefits Services.
  • Aimee Lucas is CX Transformist & Vice President of Temkin Group. She has over 15 years of experience improving service delivery and transforming the customer experience through people development and process improvement initiatives.
  • Bruce Temkin is CX Transformist & Managing Partner of Temkin Group. He is widely recognized as a customer experience thought leader and chairman of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org).
  • Bob Thompson is CEO and Editor-in-Chief of CustomerThink, a global online community of business leaders striving to create profitable customer-centric enterprises. He has over three decades of experience in customer-facing management and consulting roles.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answers to questions that came up:

  • We want to include confidential information, will it be shared? Do not submit any confidential information. If you are selected as a finalist, then we will share your entire nomination form in a published report. We do not share any information about companies that are not selected as finalists.
  • Is there any fee for applying? No. There are no fees of any sort for applying and no hidden fees that will affect the judging of applicants.
  • Can vendors submit applications on behalf of their clients? No. They can help prepare submissions for their clients, but the nominations must come directly from the company being nominated.
  • Can non-profit organizations apply? Absolutely. The CxE Award is meant to recognize any organization that is making significant and sustainable improvements in its customer experience, whether its a for-profit company, non-profit organization, or a government agency.
  • Is this award only for consumer-based businesses? No. The CxE Award is not only for business-to-consumer businesses, we also expect many business-to-business applicants.
  • If we are one of the winners, will we be able to put out a press release? Yes. All of the finalists and award winners will be able to refer to this award in any communications.
  • We don’t have the best customer experience in our industry, is it worth entering? Maybe. We are looking for customer experience efforts that are having a positive effect. So it is worth entering if you are making progress.
  • Will there be more than one winner? Probably. We expect that their will be multiple winners, but we will determine the number based on the nominations.
  • Can we enter if we are not in the U.S.? Yes. This award is open for entrants from around the world. The only requirement is that the nomination form must be completed in English.
  • We are doing some great things in a part of our company, but not everywhere. Is it worth applying? Yes, as long as your efforts aren’t just in one narrow area. Transformation often starts within areas of a company.
  • Can we send in more than one nomination for a company? Maybe. Since this award looks across several aspects of your CX efforts, it probably only makes sense to submit more than one if there are different efforts underway within different operating groups.
%d bloggers like this: