Report: B2B Customer Experience Best Practices

1510_B2B CX Best Practices_COVERWe published a Temkin Group report, Business-to-Business (B2B) Customer Experience Best Practices. This report provides data on the state of customer experience (CX) in B2B as well as 20 CX best practices across five critical B2B processes. Here’s the executive summary:

Temkin Group research shows that although business-to-business (B2B) organizations are raising their customer experience (CX) ambitions, they still have a way to go before achieving their goals. Despite the fact that most large B2Bs have a low level of CX maturity, our research shows that 57% of them aspire to deliver industry-leading customer experience within three years. However, to improve their CX, B2Bs must master Temkin Group’s four customer experience core competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Compelling Brand Values, Employee Engagement, and Customer Connectedness. Our research uncovered 20 practices that B2Bs can emulate when applying those competencies across these five key business processes: sales and account management, implementation/project execution, support and issue resolution, partner alignment, and product management and innovation. To assess your organization’s CX maturity, use Temkin Group’s Customer Experience Competency Assessment and compare the results to data from other large B2B firms to chart your path to improvement.

Download report for $195

The report examines the state of B2B CX, including the results from large companies that completed Temkin Group’s CX Competency & Maturity Assessment:


To help B2B organizations raise their CX maturity, we identify 20 best practices for mastering Temkin Group’s four customer experience core competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Compelling Brand Values, Employee Engagement, and Customer Connectedness. These practices are aligned with five key B2B activities: sales and account management, implementation/project execution, support and issue resolution, partner alignment, and product management and innovation:


Download report for $195

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 referring 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 along 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: 15 Tips for Engaging Employees

1510_15TipsToEngageEmployees_CoverIn honor of CX Day, Temkin Group is publishing a free eBook: 15 Tips for Engaging Employees. Here’s the executive summary: 

It is impossible for an organization to deliver a great customer experience without an engaged workforce. To help you engage your employees in your customer experience journey, we have compiled a list of 15 examples of how leading-edge companies are practicing what Temkin Group calls the “Five I’s of Employee Engagement”—Inform, Inspire, Instruct, Involve, and Incent—which you can modify and emulate at your own firm. 


Report: Creating and Sustaining a Customer-Centric Culture

1507_CreatingCXCulture_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Creating and Sustaining a Customer-Centric Culture. Here’s the executive summary:

Temkin Group defines culture as how employees think, believe, and act, and if an organization wants to differentiate its customer experience, it must address each one of these areas. However culture change is not easy. Culture change efforts are often impeded by common pitfalls, such as ignoring the existing culture or becoming impatient at the pace of change. To make this effort smoother, Temkin Group recommends adopting an approach we call Employee-Engaging Transformation (EET), which consists of five practices: Vision Translation, Persistent Leadership, Middle Management Activation, Grassroots Mobilization, and Captivating Communications. In this report, we’ve compiled case studies of how five organizations—Hagerty, Hilton Garden Inn, Oxford Properties, Safelite AutoGlass, and Transamerica—apply these EET practices to create and sustain their customer-centric cultures. To help your company discuss its goals around culture, use Temkin Group’s Cultural Planning Map.

Download report for $195

This graphics provides an overview of the details on how five companies are driving culture change.


Download report for $195

The bottom line: Promoters are much more valuable than detractors.

Winners of the Engage Employees Challenge

logoThank you to everyone who has pledged to Engage Employees and who has participated in the Engage Employees Challenge where we asked people to provide examples of how they are engaging employees within their organizations.

Temkin Group has selected four winners who are each being sent a $250 gift certificate to Here are their great ideas:

Nancy Gallant: Employee Engagement Model

As part of the Change Management Planning Team which supports a number of Customer Contact Centres across the country we have been demonstrating the value of engaging employees to increase the rate of adoption of change. To achieve this we have developed an Employee Engagement Model with engagement activities across the Planning, Implementation, and Benefits Realization phases of projects.

A key ingredient is the creation of Champions of Change amongst the employees. To do this we created the following employee groups:

  • Employee Action Teams: Frontline & Management teams that are impacted by the change. Responsible for providing insight and recommendations on training, communication and implementation of ‘initiative’ at stages of the change.
  • Employee Engagement Advisory Council (EEAC): A subset of the Employee Action Teams are selected to join members of the project team and business representatives at this council. The Advisory council acts similar to a steering committee and is responsible for reviewing and signing off on communication, training, and benefits realization recommendations to sponsors.

Following details employee involvement across the phases of the project lifecycle:

  • Planning:
    • Validate the current state assessment with EEAC & Action Teams
    • Complete a PCM assessment with EEAC. The goal to this activity is to identify desired behaviours, mindset and attitudes for employees & identify strategies to mitigate impact to employees.
    • Conduct Action Teams (management and frontline): gather feedback and recommendations on implementation, communication and training.
    • Learning & Communication assessment: Review & confirm learning & communication assessments with EEAC. Ensure close loop with EEAC as changes are made
  • Implementation:
    • Pilot with cross section of frontline and leaders from the EEAC and Action Teams :
      • Gather feedback from pilot group identifying areas of opportunities and recommendations for addressing any opportunities.
      • Incorporate learnings & feedback into the training i.e. support tools, FAQs, etc.
      • Continuous close loop with EEAC and Action teams as changes are made
    • Monitor results post launch:
      • Gather and assess feedback from Action Teams & EEAC
      • Continuous close loop with EEAC & Action teams on any identified gaps
  • Benefits Realization:
    • Based on assessment of progress towards key project success measures EEAC confirms if desired behaviours, mindset and attitudes have been achieved
    • Close the loop with Action Teams & EEAC

Sibylle Huffman: Pat on the Back

Employees love to be recognized, not just for big successes and long nights spend on projects, but also their every day efforts. In my group we have implemented giving ‘Pats on the Back’ many years ago to improve morale and teamwork. The concept was simple. All my staff were asked to do is to give a ‘Pat on the Back’ to a coworker, staff member, or peer for any act of kindness and support given to one another, regardless of how big or small the gesture may be. In return, anyone who earned 5 ‘Pats on the Back’ received a $25 gift card to a place of their choice. Building an environment where support and positive attitudes are encouraged creates an infectious atmosphere and culture that makes them feel appreciated and constantly motivates employees to do more. When gift cards are handed out to the staff, it’s a big deal. The team gathers together and every recipient receives a round of applause while the gift card is handed to them, creating another moment of pride.The team has become an incredibly cohesive, supportive, and high functioning group. A small gesture, and oftentimes just a simple ‘thank you’ can go a very long way in making employees feel valued and subsequently engaged. I have found many times that the key to success is consistency. Our groups philosophy of giving ‘Pats on the Back’ is spreading throughout the organization. Choose your attitude in the office and don’t forget to say thank you for the big and little things that way to frequently go unnoticed because we are all too busy. I pledge to Engage Employees!!

Roger Pugsley: oPositive Intranet Site

We have implemented an Intranet site we call “oPositive”. Picture a Pinterest lookalike site allowing employees to post stories with Facebook functionality (other employees can like, comment or share stories).

Employees are sharing an average of 50 stories per month on anything to do with CX: best practices, successes, customer feedback or recognizing their peers who have exceeded customer expectations.

It’s fun, uplifting, and very engaging!

We also mine the stories to identify winners of our annual “Customer Service Excellence” and “Story Teller” Awards. We have great people with great ideas. We therefore leverage oPositive content to feed “Site Initiatives We Love” to share great ideas and best practices with other sites across our portfolio. Collaboration is alive and well at Oxford!

Lisa Hrnken Ramirez: New Employee Scavenger Hunt

At NetSpend, we like to engage employees from their first day on the job. We created a new employee “scavenger hunt” using the mobile app Scavify. The hunt guides new employees through a series of tasks that connect them to other employees, our mission and our customers. Activities include having lunch with someone in another department, taking pictures with a tenured employee, listening to customer service calls and using our product features to name a few. Now new employees have a fun way to learn about the company, their fellow employees and our customers. New employees also get to show their unique personalities as the upload pictures of themselves accomplishing the tasks.

The bottom line: An engaged employee is worth the investment.

Want to Improve Well-Being? Sleep for 7 to 8 Hours

One of the themes from the positive psychology movement is the importance of sleep. Research has shown that happiness is very reliant on people getting enough sleep. Check out Ariana Huffington’s excellent Ted Talk where she identifies sleep as a critical ingredient to success.

We decided to test that theory in our most recent study of 10,000 U.S. consumers. We examined the degree to which consumers agree with a series of statements about their well-being, and then compared responses from people based on the typical amount of sleep they get. As you can see below, people who get 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night are the most well off. 


People who get 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night are the most likely to feel as if they are:

  • Happy
  • Loved and appreciated
  • Healthy
  • Financially secure
  • Physically fit

The bottom line: There’s almost nothing more precious than 7 to 8 hours of sleep.

Employees Need to Feel Like They’re Contributing

How people feel about what they are doing (intrinsic motivation) is a key to sustaining their focus, energy, and commitment. One of the ways for companies to tap into this intrinsic motivation is to find ways for employees to feel as if they are contributing to the organization’s success (which is consistent with lessons from positive psychology).

As you can see in the chart below, people who believe they are contributing are:

  • More than twice as likely to help someone at work
  • Almost four times as likely to do something unexpectedly good for the company
  • More than twice as likely to make a recommendation
  • More than twice as likely to recommend that a friend apply for a job
  • 36% less likely to look for a new job
  • 30% less likely to take more than one sick day


The bottom line: When people feel like they contribute, they contribute even more.

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