My CX Challenge To You

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…

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100 Customer Experience Tips in a Word Cloud

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

100 Customer Experience Tips in 105 Characters (Or Less)

I’ve decided to take on a personal challenge: Tweeting (@btemkin) a new customer experience tip for 100 straight days.

100CXtips_v2After accounting for the overhead in each tweet (like links back to this post), I’m only left with about 105 characters. Hopefully I can keep up the pace and pack insight into that limited space. I’ll be using the hashtag, #CXtip, so you can follow me on twitter (or just keep coming back to this post).

The tips will cover the four customer experience core competencies: Purposeful Leadership (PL), Compelling Brand Values (CBV), Employee Engagement (EE) and Customer Connectedness (CC).

Here are the 100 #CX Tips:

  • #CXtip 1Examine #insights for #customers’ journeys, not for individual, siloed interactions. (CC)
  • #CXtip 2: Engaged employees are extremely valuable assets. They’re worth even more of your investment. (EE)
  • #CXtip 3: You can’t fake it. Assume that customers & employees will always figure out what’s real & act accordingly. (PL)
  • #CXtip 4: Great #brands are built on making, embracing & keeping promises, so be clear about your #customer promises. (CBV)
  • #CXtip 5: #CustExp encompasses success, effort, & emotion. They all impact loyalty, but #emotion rules. (CC)
  • #CXtip 6: Don’t waste customers’ time asking them questions unless you are prepared to act on what they say. (CC)
  • #CXtip 7: #Employees are more #engaged when you ask for their feedback and act upon what they say. (EE)
  • #CXtip 8: Build commitment by appealing to #employees’ hearts, shared values & intrinsic motivations. (PL)
  • #CXtip 9: Not all customers are the same. Stop treating them as if they are. Think of using #personas. (CC)
  • #CXtip 10: What people experience is not what they remember; so take advantage of how people remember things (CC)

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eBook: 25 Tips for Amplifying Empathy

Happy CX Day 2014!

25 Tips to Amplify Empathy_COVERAs I mentioned in my 14 Customer Experience Trends for 2014, this year will be the “Year of Empathy.” Given the focus on this key area, Temkin Group created the Amplify Empathy movement. So when we were thinking about our CX Day celebration, it seemed like a perfect fit for us to do something about empathy.

That’s why we created this free eBook: 25 Tips for Amplifying Empathy.

Download free eBookDownloadButton200w

The eBook discusses these tips from a wide variety of companies:

1410_25CXTipsThe bottom line: Pick a few tips to replicate and amplify empathy in your organization

50 CX Tips: eBook and Infographic

1310_50CXTips_COVERI recently completed a series of 50 customer experience (CX) tips. To make it easier for people to read and download all of the tips, I assembled them into a free eBook: 50 CX Tips: Simple Ideas, Powerful Results.

Each of the 50 CX Tips is aligned with one or more of Temkin Group’s four customer experience core competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Compelling Brand Values, Employee Engagement, and Customer Connectedness.

The CX Tips include examples from a wide variety of companies including Adobe,, Apple, BCBS of Michigan, Becker and Poliakoff, Big Lots, BMO Financial Group, Bombardier Aerospace, CDW, Charles Schwab, Citrix, Disney, EMC, Fidelity Investments, Hampton Inn, Hilton, IBM, Intersil, Intuit, JetBlue, Microsoft, Oklahoma City Thunder, Oracle, Safelite AutoGlass,, SanDIsk, SimplexGrinnell, Southwest Airlines, Sovereign Assurance of NZ, Sprint, Starbucks, Stream Global Services, Sam’s Club, USAA, VMware, and ZocDoc.
DownloadButton200wWhile you may have a hard time applying all 50 CX TIps, you should be able to identify several that will work for your organization. I challenge you to select three or more of the CX Tips to implement. Here’s an idea: Have each of your team members pick the five CX Tips that they think would be the most powerful for your organization. Use a team meeting to discuss everyone’s selections and pick the ones you want to implement.

We also created an infographic with the 50 CX tips. Here’s a version with the top 10 CX tips (click on the graphic to get a .pdf of the full infographic).

Top10CXTips_TemkinGroupThe bottom line: A handful of CX Tips can propel your customer experience.

CX Tip #1: Help Customers Achieve Their Goals


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

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

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

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CX Tip #2: Make Employee Engagement a Key Metric


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

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

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CX Tip #3: Regularly Refresh Your Brand Promises


CX Tip #3: Regularly Refresh Your Brand Promises
(Compelling Brand Values)

Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz once said “Customers must recognize that you stand for something.” While most organizations start with a clear brand promise, the focus on short term goals can easily push them away from delivering on it. Decisions across an organization may seem reasonable in their immediate context, but they can collectively push a company off its course.

Once the brand promise is lost, organizations will often spiral out of control without the brand as their True North guiding the way. That’s what happened to Starbucks in 2007. Shultz returned to the company in early 2008 to help restore the brand promise. His assessment of the situation: “We lost our way.” The company closed more than 7,000 stores on one day for a three-hour session to re-instill the brand promise with employees.

Rather than waiting for the painful recognition that your organization has lost its way, examine your brand promise at least every two years. Even if nothing changes, the process of reaffirming your brand can be powerful. Make sure that your brand promises are recognizable, believable, compelling, and well understood by both customers and employees.

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CX Tip #4: Make Every Ending Count


CX Tip #4: Make Every Ending Count
(Customer Connectedness)

People make decisions based on how they remember experiences, not on how they actually experience them. This distinction is important because people don’t remember experiences the way they actually occur. Memories are constructed as stories people create in their minds based on fragments of their actual experiences. Noble Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman’s research identified something called the “peak-end rule,” which states that people’s memories tend to be heavily influenced by the most severe (good/bad) parts of an experience and the way it ends. So improving the way you end experiences will have a disproportional effect on what customers remember. Keep this in mind when you’re developing an approach for how service reps end a call, designing the confirmation page after an online application, training technicians to close out a job in the field, or developing the discharge process for a hospital.

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CX Tip #5: Lead with “Why” in Communications


CX Tip #5: Lead with “Why” in Communications
(Purposeful Leadership, Employee Engagement)

How does Herb Kelleher, Founder of Southwest Airlines, describe the company’s secret to success?

“If you create an environment where the people truly participate, you don’t need control. They know what needs to be done and they do it. And the more that people will devote themselves to your cause on a voluntary basis, a willing basis, the fewer hierarchies and control mechanisms you need.”

To elicit this type of connection with employees, leaders must focus their communications on answering a critical question, “why?” Most corporate communications focus on “what” and “how,” telling people what needs to be done and how they should accomplish it. This command and control pattern may elicit short-term compliance, but it’s efficacy decays quickly and it loses value completely when situations change and the “how” no longer applies. Leaders need to elicit buy-in from people by starting communications with “why,” explaining the reason that something is important to the company and to the people who are being asked to do something. To fully empower people, share “why” a goal is important and “what” success looks like and leave it up to the individuals to figure out “how” to make it happen. Click for more info

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CX Tip #6: Measure the Value of Key CX Metrics


CX Tip #6: Measure the Value of Key CX Metrics
(Customer Connectedness)

If you know the value of improving a CX metric, then it’s easier to make the case for investments. JetBlue has previously measured that every promoter is worth $33 extra dollars ($27 from referrals and $6 from loyalty) to while a detractor is worth $104 less than average. One point change in JetBlue’s NPS is worth $5 to $8 million. Temkin Group research shows that a modest increase in the Temkin Experience Ratings can result in a gain over three years of up to $382 million for US companies and up to £263 million for UK firms, depending on the industry. It’s important for companies to develop this type of analysis for their business. Click for more info

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CX Tip #7: Motivate Employees with Intrinsic Rewards


CX Tip #7: Motivate Employees with Intrinsic Rewards
(Employee Engagement)

Companies often try and force employees into doing things by slapping on metrics and measurements. While these types of extrinsic rewards can change some behaviors, they can often cause conflicts and lead to unexpected consequences. When Staples put in place a goal for $200 of add-ons per computer sold, some store employees stopped selling computers to customers who didn’t want to purchase add-ons.  Compare this outcome to inspirational coaching at Sprint, which leads to an environment where employees consistently excel and measure their performance against their best effort and compete with themselves to be their best. It turns out that people tend to be more motivated by intrinsic rewards. To build commitment from employees, stop relying so heavily on extrinsic rewards and focus on providing them with the four key intrinsic rewards: sense of meaningfulness, choice, competence, and progress. These types of rewards build an emotional, instead of a transactional, commitment from employees.

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CX Tip #8: Start Your Brand Marketing Internally


CX Tip #8: Start Your Brand Marketing Internally
(Compelling Brand Values)

Brands need to be understood and “owned” by the entire organization. That’s why it’s critical for companies to invest heavily in communicating the brand value to everyone in the company. Before BMO Financial Group’s new brand went live, it launched an internal campaign, Brilliant at the Basics, which identified eight actions that every employee could demonstrate, including “Our heads are up, not down;” “Everyone pitches in…titles don’t matter;” and “Help in choosing, not choices.” Employees were given a brand book which covered the brand principles, including a breakdown of what’s different “tomorrow from today.” The launch kit for leaders and branch managers included a DVD and materials covering key messages and talking points, along with anticipated questions and answers to prepare them to lead discussions with their teams. Click for more info

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CX Tip #9: Bring Customers to Life With Design Personas


CX Tip #9: Bring Customers to Life With Design Personas
(Customer Connectedness)

Big Lots CEO David Campisi mentioned “Jennifer” 25 times on a single earnings call. She’s not a real customer or even a real person. Jennifer is a design persona, an archetype that is representative of a key customer segment. Here’s why Campisi believes in using a design persona:

“I am confident in developing a new mentality to focus on her and all facets of our business will pay off and begin to drive positive comps over time.”

One of our 10 CX Mistakes to Avoid is Treating All Customers the Same. Organizations need to identify key customer segments and design experiences to meet their specific needs. Design personas help an organization have a common understanding of the needs of those segments.

Click for more info

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CX Tip #10: Tap Into Customer Insights from Unstructured Data


CX Tip #10: Tap Into Customer Insights from Unstructured Data
(Customer Connectedness)

As more companies thirst for customer feedback, the number of surveys has escalated. But there is a limit to customers’ willingness to complete surveys. As completion rates get more difficult to maintain, companies will become more efficient with the questions they ask, target questions at specific customers in specific situations, and stop relying as much on multiple-choice questions. Tidbit: When we asked large companies with VoC programs about the changing importance of eight listening posts, multiple choice survey questions were at the bottom of the list. Companies must learn to integrate their customer feedback with other customer data and tap into rich sources of customer insights in unstructured data such as open-ended comments, call center conversations, emails from customers, and social media. This new, deeper foundation of customer intelligence will require strengthening capabilities in text and predictive analytics. Click for more info

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