March 10, 2014
2014 Temkin Experience Ratings evaluates the customer experience of 268 companies across 19 industries. Download free report.
Connecting Brands, Leaders, Employees, and Customers
March 9, 2014 1 Comment
In a recent Boston Globe article, Northeastern University’s athletics director Peter Roby reflected on the notion of the NCAA’s “values” given Louisville’s hiring of Bobby Petrino as its football coach. Petrino was fired by Arkansas because of a scandal involving a motorcycle accident and an improper relationship with a female employee.
Here’s an excerpt of Roby’s comments:
“If we’re going to have a conversation about values, then we should understand how those things are lived on a daily basis and what it looks like when you’ve got a set of values that underpin what your activities are… I just didn’t feel like the hiring of someone like Bobby Petrino was consistent with what we say our values are. I wanted people to understand that if we’re going to put values on paper, we better be prepared to defend them and to be held accountable for them.”
My take: Roby is absolutely right, and his comments are applicable to any organization. True values aren’t the things you write down or proclaim in a speech in front of customers, employees, and shareholders, they’re the principles that shape how you make decisions. What you do and don’t do are the only accurate measures of true values. That’s why one of our Six Laws of Customer Experience is “You Can’t Fake it.“
Without a clear set of true values, companies lack a “due North” that empowers everyone in the organization to make decisions because they understand what’s important. One of our principles of People-Centric Experience Design is Align with Purpose, an approach that would fail unless organizations have true values.
It’s okay to change your values or aspire to a new set of values, but it’s very hard to live up to them. You need to be very conscious of every decision you make and constantly look in the mirror and ask yourself, is that decision consistent with what I believe my values to be?
The bottom line: True values are defined by actions, not words
March 6, 2014 Leave a comment
We recently published the Temkin Well-Being Index (TWI), showing that U.S. consumer well-being has increased over the previous two years. TWI measures the degree to which consumers agree that they are happy, healthy, and financially secure.
In this post, I’m examining the 2014 TWI across genderations (genders by age group). As you can see in the chart below:
March 4, 2014 Leave a comment
We just published the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings. The report analyzes feedback from 10,000 U.S. consumers to rate 268 organizations across 19 industries. Congratulations to H.E.B., Trader Joe’s, Chick-fil-A, and Publix, the top firms in this year’s ratings:
Download report for FREE
You can also download the data for $395.
The Temkin Experience Ratings are based on evaluating three elements of experience:
Here are the top and bottom companies in the ratings:
In this year’s ratings, 37% of companies earned “good” or “excellent” scores, while 25% are rated as “poor” or ”very poor.” Companies with at least a “good” rating stayed flat over 2013, but have grown by 21 percentage-points since 2011. Led by credit card issuers with an average increase of 4.1 points, 15 of the 19 industries earned a higher rating in 2014 than they did in 2013. Only four industries declined over the previous year: Parcel delivery services, retailers, rental car agencies, and hotel chains.
Of the 243 companies that are included in both the 2013 and 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings, 48% of the firms increased by one point or more while 32% declined by at least one point. EarthLink, Regions, Humana, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, and Capital One improved the most. Coventry Health Care, US Cellular, Marriott, Fifth Third, and Chrysler declined the most.
Do you want to see all of the data from the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings? You can purchase an excel spreadsheet for $395…
To view all of our ratings (experience, trust, forgiveness, customer service, and web experience), visit the Temkin Ratings website…
The bottom line: Customer experience is improving, but there’s still a long way to go
March 3, 2014 Leave a comment
For the third year in a row, I spent two days at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. It’s an awesome event, providing access to a who’s who list of sports icons and analytical studs (players, owners, general managers, coaches, sportscasters, authors, geeks, etc.). My only “complaint” is that two of my favorites from previous years—Mark Cuban and Bill Simmons—weren’t at the conference this year
As a Sloan School alumn, I enjoy seeing the school continue to pull off such a world-class event. I need to give a shout out to Daryl Morey (GM of the Houston Rockets) and Jessica Gelman (VP of Customer Marketing & Strategy, The Kraft Sports Group) who have been spearheading the event from its inception. Great job!
The bottom line: I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference.
P.S. Here are some pictures from the event. Click them to see larger images.
February 27, 2014 1 Comment
At the Qualtrics Insight Summit in Salt Lake CIty last week, I was able to see Dan Ariely’s keynote speech. I’m a huge fan. Ariely is one of the leading researchers in behavioral economics, which is a field that influences a lot of the thinking that shows up in my blog.
Ariely shared a version of this graphic (that I borrowed from Ariely’s blog) that shows the percentage of people who sign up to be organ donors across different companies and asked the audience this question: Why do some of these countries have such high participation rates while others are so low?
The audience guessed that the differences were due to political, religious, or cultural norms. Everyone was wrong. It turns out that the differences can be traced to a simple thing: the design of the forms for becoming an organ donor. In the countries with high participation rates, the form provides a check mark for opting-out while the low participation rate countries use an opt-in form.
In other words,people demonstrated the same behavior across all countries—they did nothing. It just turns out that this common behavior had radically different results based on how the forms were developed.
Here are three key lessons from this example:
The bottom line: Design experiences based on how people actually behave
February 25, 2014 Leave a comment
We just published a Temkin Group report, What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2014. The report, which includes 19 data charts, examines which companies and industries provide the most bad experiences, what impact those experiences have on spending, and how the negative impacts of bad experiences can be mitigated by good service recovery. The report also examines how consumers share their good and bad experiences with companies as well as with other people. Here’s the executive summary:
To understand the effect of good and bad experiences, we asked 10,000 U.S. consumers about their recent interactions with 268 companies across 19 industries. Results show that Internet services and TV services are the industries most likely to deliver a bad experience to their customers, while grocery chains are the least likely to. At the company level, Scottrade had the smallest percentage of customers reporting a recent bad experience with the company and Time Warner Cable had the highest. More than half of the customers who encountered a bad experience at a fast food chain, credit card issuer, grocery store, or hotel either decreased their spending with the company or stopped altogether. However, our data shows that a good service recovery effort can help mitigate a bad experience. Unfortunately, many firms—especially in the banking, Internet services, and TV services sectors—aren’t very good at service recovery. In addition to the consequences of bad interactions, we also examined which channels customers use to share their good and bad experiences and how these changed across age groups. We then compared these results to survey responses from the past two years. We also uncovered a negative bias inherent in how customers provide feedback. ING Direct, Residence Inn, and Fairfield Inn have the most negative bias in the feedback they receive directly from customers, while Hy-Vee and Hyundai have the most negative bias on Facebook.
Click link to see full list of industries and companies covered in this report (.pdf).
One of the most interesting analyses in the report is the look at how service recovery after a bad experience affects the spending pattern of consumers. Here’s a summary of one of the charts showing just how important it is for a company to recover well after making a mistake:
Here are some other insights from the research:
The bottom line: Make sure to recover quickly after a bad experience
February 21, 2014 2 Comments
Most people have an innate ability to be empathetic, but organizations tend to dampen this natural instinct. While a typical customer interaction cuts across many functional groups (a single purchase, for instance, may include contact with decisions by product management, sales, marketing, accounts payable, and legal organizations), companies push employees to stay focused on their functional areas. This myopic view is often reinforced by incentives focused on narrow domains, which creates a perceived chasm between customer empathy and employee success.
After examining much of the academic, medical, and business research on the topic of empathy, we developed a simple model for enhancing empathy that we call Perceive-Reflect-Adjust:
P-R-A is a helpful model to follow for triggering individual empathy,
but how can organizations apply P-R-A within their operations? By infusing it across the four customer experience core competencies:
February 19, 2014 Leave a comment
Temkin Group has been doing large-scale consumer research for several years. As part of our ongoing studies, we track many consumer attitudes. To gauge the overall quality of life for the U.S. population, we created the Temkin Well-Being Index (TWI) based on a few of those attitudinal elements. The TWI is the average of three measurements that represent the percentage of U.S. adults (18 and older) who agree with these statements:
While we haven’t previously published any of this data, we’ve been tracking TWI for three years. As you can see in the figure below:
We’ll be examining TWI by age and gender in an upcoming post.
February 17, 2014 1 Comment
One of the Six Laws of Customer Experience is “Unengaged employees don’t create engaged customers.” That’s why Employee Engagement is one of Temkin Group’s four customer experience core competencies. To help make this point very clear, I tapped into the data from our upcoming report, Employee Engagement Benchmark Study, 2014 (see last year’s report).
As you can see in the following chart with data from more than 5,000 full time employees in the U.S., customer experience leaders have significantly more engaged employees than do customer experience laggards. When compared with companies that have CX worse than their competitors, companies with significantly better CX have 3.5 times as many highly engaged employees and less than 1/4 as many disengaged employees.
February 13, 2014 Leave a comment
I recently introduced a concept for enlisting the support of employees that uncovers and fulfills the needs of customers that we call People-Centric Experience Design (PCxD), defined as:
Fostering an environment that creates positive, memorable human encounters
When it comes to loyalty, customer experience isn’t the driving factor. That’s right, customer experience is not the key driver. What is important? Memories. People make decisions based on how they remember experiences, not on how they actually experienced them. This distinction is important because people don’t remember experiences the way they actually occur. Rather, people construct memories as stories in their mind based on the fragments of their actual experiences. An improved understanding of how people truly remember things helps you focus on designing the most important movements better. When examining the emotional reactions of people throughout an experience, it becomes apparent that five elements disproportionately drive memories:
To create more positive memories, pay the most attention to those five elements of your customers’ experience. With that in mind, here are some ideas for designing for memories:
The bottom line: Focus your energy on creating positive memories.
February 11, 2014 Leave a comment
We just published a Temkin Group report, State of the CX Profession, 2014. This is the fourth year that we’ve examined the roles of CX professionals. In addition, this is the first year that we’ve done a compensation study. Here’s the executive summary:
To better understand the mindset and roles of CX professionals, we surveyed 293 of them and then compared their responses to similar studies we conducted in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Customer experience flourished in 2013, as this year respondents reported an uptick in positive results from their CX efforts, and an overwhelming number of them (98%) believe that customer experience is a great profession to work in. Nearly nine out of ten respondents are actively working on voice of the customer programs, which is a significant increase from last year. In seven out of the 10 CX activities we examined, levels of active involvement by CX professionals have reached an all-time high. Meanwhile, customer service remains the highest focus for interactions. Respondents expect spending and hiring for CX activities to reach an record high in the coming year. On this year’s survey we included our first compensation study. We examined 131 CX professionals from large organizations and found that their medium compensation (salary plus bonus) ranged from $90,000 for mid-level individual contributors to $260,000 for CX executives.
Here’s the range of compensation that we found for five groups of CX professionals within large organizations:
Here are some additional findings from the CX professionals:
The bottom line: The CX profession is thriving.
February 9, 2014 1 Comment
I watched part of the Olympic opening ceremonies in Sochi on TV, but fell asleep before it was over. After the long parade of athletes, I couldn’t keep my eyes open for very long. I did see some online video clips of the key pieces that I missed.
Overall, I love the concept of opening ceremonies, but often find them to be pretty boring (Beijing 2008 is the only exception in recent memory). According to an article in Forbes, Opening Ceremony At Sochi A Big Bust On TV, my experience was not unique.
My take: I have no doubt that the Olympic opening ceremonies are grand and very impressive if you’re in attendance, but is that the most important audience? Does it make sense to optimize the experience for the tens of thousands of attendees or for the hundreds of millions of people who will be viewing the event on television and online?
Identifying the target audience is a critical decision for the design of any experience. Many of these events, including Sochi, seem to be optimized for the in-person audience. That’s fine, but only if the planning committee made that decision explicitly.
Good design requires making tough decisions. It’s perfectly okay to prioritize one audience and live with a less than optimal experience for other audiences. I often say that an experience built to satisfy everyone’s needs, satisfy’s no one’s.
If I were part of a country’s Olympic committee, I would prioritize the television and online audience. Who cares if things look spectacular to 50,000 people if they are dull and boring to 250,000,000. If that’s the target audience, then you need to think about things such as:
The bottom line: Make sure to be clear about your target audience.
February 5, 2014 2 Comments
CVS/Caremark announced that it will stop selling tobacco products. According to Larry Merlo, CEO of CVS:
We have about 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners helping patients manage chronic problems like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease, all of which are linked to smoking. We came to the decision that cigarettes and providing health care just don’t go together in the same setting.
My take: Given the horrible affects of tobacco (I lost my sister, an active smoker, to cancer over 15 years ago), there’s certainly commentary to be made about how this affects the public at large. But that’s not what I want to discuss. Instead, I applaud CVS for behaving consistently with what we call Purposeful Leadership, which is one of Temkin Group’s four customer experience core competencies.
We describe Purposeful Leadership as operating consistently with a clear set of values. In a large organization, leaders influence only a very, very small portion of the day-to-day decisions of their employees. That’s why values are so important, they keep the myriad of things that people do every day collectively heading in the same direction.
While it’s easy to write up something you call values or even announce them at a company meeting, the measure of true values is that they jibe with the decisions that executives make. If leaders aren’t willing to forego short-term profits to advance their values, then they aren’t really values; they’re just bumper stickers. That’s why our last law of customer experience is simply, You can’t fake it.
Here’s how the CVS/Caremark’s About Us page describes its collection of operations: “Our businesses help people on their path to better health.” Selling products like tobacco that are known to have negative health effects is not consistent with that statement. Removing those products from CVS shelves make it much more believable, and an act this is consistent with Purposeful Leadership.
The bottom line: Congratulations to Merlo and the rest of CVS/Caremark leadership for being purposeful.
February 4, 2014 Leave a comment
We just published a Temkin Group report, Introducing Employee-Engaging Transformation. This is a must-read for anyone who is trying to drive sustainable change across their organization. Here’s the executive summary:
Organizations have ambitious goals for improving their customer experience (CX). But CX change isn’t easy; it requires significant transformation across almost every aspect of operations. Therefore, given the effort required, it’s no surprise that Temkin Group research shows that less than half of large organizations rate their CX improvement efforts as effective. Our research into how large organizations successfully change uncovered a core insight: CX change must be focused on changing the way employees do their every-day jobs. We have developed an approach to CX change that we call Employee-Engaging Transformation (EET), which we define as, “Aligning employee attitudes and behaviors with the organization’s desire to change.” There are five practices required to succeed at EET: Vision Translation, Persistent Leadership, Activated Middle Management, Grassroots Mobilization, and Captivating Communications. This research shares examples of these practices in action from over a dozen large organizations, including Adobe, MetLife, Oklahoma City Thunder, Oracle, Prime Therapeutics, and Rackspace. To assess your own organization’s effectiveness in these five practices, use Temkin Group’s Employee-Engaging Transformation Assessment.
Based on our research, we developed an approach to CX change that we call Employee-Engaging Transformation (EET). We define EET as:
Aligning employee attitudes and behaviors with the organization’s desire to change.
EET represents a significant shift from how most organizations currently approach their change initiatives. To succeed with EET, organizations must master five practices:
The bottom line: Transformation requires employees to change what they do day-to-day