Three Ideas to Re-Humanize Patient Experience

I was recently interviewed for an article that discusses a post where Fox News journalist John Stossel describes his experience as a lung cancer patient at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

First of all, I hope that Stossel’s treatment is successful. And although I don’t fully agree with his analysis of the industry, I do agree with his observation “…I have to say, the hospital’s customer service stinks.” Yes, there is a problem with patient experience.

I’m reminded of this picture from a post that I wrote in 2009, which comes from Cleveland Clinic’s 2008 Annual Report.

ClevelandClinicAnnualReport

With all of the focus on costs and liabilities, the medical system has forgotten about the soul of the patient. It’s become dehumanized.

The wellbeing of a patient often takes a back seat to rigid processes and procedures, and there’s little understanding of how to help patients make increasingly important financial/medical trade-offs. It’s not that doctors, nurses, and hospital staffs don’t care. It’s just that the entire system has conspired to de-emphasize humanity.

This problem is not unique to healthcare. In research that we did in 2013, we found that only 30% of employees have what Aristotle called “practical wisdom,” the combination of moral will and moral skill. This is the capability that Barry Schwartz explains is critical for infusing humanity within organizations.

While there are many structural issues in U.S. healthcare (which I won’t go into here), there are still many things that can be done to re-humanize the patient experience. Here are some ideas:

  • Apply better experience design. Health care leaders should learn and apply the the principles of People-Centric Experience Design: align with purpose, guide with empathy, and design for memories.
  • Develop a value mindset. As patients take on more of the direct financial burden for healthcare, doctors must do more than recommend treatments and procedures. They must help patients understand the value of those activities, so that they can make smart financial/medical trade-offs.
  • Build decision-support technology. Patients should be able to understand the efficacy and full costs of the treatments and procedures that they are being asked to “purchase.” Health plans need to take the lead in providing tools for making this information transparent, and empowering patients to make better decisions.

The bottom line: It’s time to re-humanize healthcare

 

Epidemic of Emotionless Experience Design

As I’ve discussed many times on this blog, customers experience interactions across three dimensions, Success, Effort, and Emotion. So how effective are companies at proactively designing for those elements? Not very.

In our latest CX management study, we surveyed 252 companies with at least $100 million in annual revenues and asked them about their experience design effectiveness. As you can see in the graphic below:

  • Only about one in 10 companies is very good at proactively designing for any aspect of customer experience.
  • More companies are good at designing for success (completion on interactions) than effort or emotion, but less than half of companies consider themselves good in this area.
  • Emotion is the weakest link, as only about one-third of companies think they are good at proactive emotional design.

1604_ExperienceDesignEffectiveness_v2

If companies don’t improve their experience design skills, then their customer experience will never be better than inconsistent. And the biggest problem is emotion, which happens to drive the most loyalty.

If you want to fix this problem, we’ve got some help. Keep an eye on this blog for a new Temkin Group report on emotional experience design, which we’ll be publishing in a couple of weeks.

The bottom line: Join the Intensity Emotion Movement!

Quick Take: The Power of Customer Journey Thinking (Video)

In a recent Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org) CustomerSpark event in Dallas, I spoke about the importance of focusing on emotion. Given that we’ve called 2016 “The Year of Emotion,” this is a popular topic for Temkin Group.

Here’s a short snippet from my speech (one of several quick take videos from the event), which focuses on the power of Customer Journey Thinking™:

 

Want more information on Customer Journey Thinking? Check out the post, Five Questions That Drive Customer Journey Thinking.

And don’t forget to join the Intensify Emotion Movement.
IntensifyEmotionLogo

Quick Take: Start Talking About Emotion (Video)

In a recent Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org) CustomerSpark event in Dallas, I spoke about the importance of focusing on emotion. Give that we’ve called 2016 “The Year of Emotion,” this is a popular topic for Temkin Group.

Here’s a short snippet from my speech (one of several quick take videos from the event) where I discuss why we need to Start Talking About Emotion:

 

For more information on the Five A’s of an emotional response, check out this post: Customer Responses, From Angry To Adoring.

And, I urge you to join the Intensify Emotion Movement.

IntensifyEmotionLogo

Quick Take: We Need More Qualitative Research (Video)

In a recent Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org) CustomerSpark event in Dallas, I spoke about the importance of focusing on emotion. Give that we’ve called 2016 “The Year of Emotion,” this is a popular topic for Temkin Group.

Here’s a short snippet from my speech (one of several quick take videos from the event), where I discuss that We Need More Qualitative Research:

 

I urge you to join the Intensify Emotion Movement.

IntensifyEmotionLogo

How Loyal Are Starbucks Customers?

Starbucks changed its loyalty program, which is causing some backlash from customers. So I decided to examine our data on the loyalty of US consumers to the coffee shop giant.

My take: As you can see below, Starbucks ranks 23rd out of 293 companies in the 2015 Temkin Loyalty Index.

1604_StarbucksLoyalty

Starbuck’s loyalty ranks 5th out of 22 fast food chains, only falling behind Chick-fil-A, Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen, Panera Bread, and Papa John’s. When I examined the detailed loyalty levels of the 22 fast food chains, Starbucks ends up:

  • 3rd in likelihood to repurchase
  • Tied for 4th in likelihood to forgive after a mistake
  • Tied for 6th in trustability
  • 7th in likelihood of customer to recommend
  • Tied for 7th in likelihood to try new products

Starbucks’ strongest area of loyalty is the repurchasing of its customers. Hopefully for the coffee giant, consumers will grow to like its new loyalty program. But the company needs to watch what happens very carefully, and make changes if the backlash continues. Otherwise, it risks affecting one of its strongest assets: customers who buy its coffee over and over again.

The bottom line: Loyalty is harder to earn than it is to lose.

USAA, Credit Unions and Publix Top 2016 Temkin Trust Ratings

We just published the 2016 Temkin Trust Ratings, the sixth year of the ratings. It uses feedback from 10,000 U.S. consumers to rate the level of trust that consumers have with 294 organizations across 20 industries (see .pdf with full list). You can see all of the company data on the Temkin Ratings website.

Download dataset for $295 (see sample file)

For the second straight year, USAA (for banking and insurance) took the top two spots. The next highest scoring companies are credit unions, Publix, Mercedes-Benz, USAA (credit cards), Chick-fil-A, Amazon.com, Residence Inn, H-E-B, Lexus, and BJ’s Wholesale Club.

Also for the second year in a row, Comcast earned the lowest two spots in the Temkin Trust Ratings for its TV service and Internet service businesses. But many of its competitors also earn very poor ratings. The next lowest rated companies are Charter Communications (for Internet service and TV service), Time Warner (for Internet service and TV service), and Cox Communications.

1604_TTR_TopBottomOrgs

Additional highlights of the 2016 Temkin Trust Ratings: Read more of this post

Our CX Data Doesn’t Match Industry Benchmarks, Now What?

I am often asked some version of this question:

We just saw the <Temkin Experience Ratings, Temkin Group’s NPS benchmarkForrester’s CXi, JD Powers, The ASCI> and it is completely different from what our internal data is telling us. How should we reconcile the two data points?

Given that I created several of those industry measurements, it’s fair for people to ask me that question. Here’s my answer…

Different Measurement Systems Deliver Different Results

There is no perfect or “ultimate” customer measurement system, since we can never know what every customer is thinking at every moment in time. So all measurement systems are, by definition, somewhat flawed. This is an important point, because we need to let go of the desire to identify which one has the “right” information.

Every customer measurement system can differ along a number of dimensions. In particular, these are often key differences between your internal system and industry benchmark studies:

  1. Who’s being surveyed? Temkin Experience Ratings, for instance, asks questions to randomly selected consumers who have interacted with companies. Internal measurements are often less random, since they may neglect people who haven’t provided contact information or people who are no longer customers.
  2. When are they being surveyed? Temkin Experience Ratings, for instance, asks questions during January. Internal measurements may ask questions throughout the year, after specific interactions, or during specific periods of time.
  3. What’s being asked? Temkin Experience Ratings, for instance, asks three questions, covering Success, Effort and Emotion), on a seven point scale. Internal measurements can be almost anything, including Net Promoter Score that is standardized on an 11-point scale, but we’ve seen companies use 7- and 10-point scales as well.
  4. How is the metric calculated? Temkin Experience Ratings, for instance, is an average of net scores for Success, Effort, and Emotion, which are calculated by taking the percentage of 6s and 7s, and then subtracting the percentage of 1s, 2s, and 3s. Internal measurements may be average scores, they may be segmented by different customer groups, they may be top box or top 2 box, or just about anything.

Given that internal measurement systems are typically different than industry measurements across those four items, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they often deliver different results.

My Take: Rely on Your Internal Data

Instead of trying to find which one of the metrics is correct, I recommend that you:

  • Understand the difference between the internal and external measurement systems (starting with the four items above).
  • Learn what you can from each of them. Maybe the Temkin Experience Ratings shows that you are lower with the general population, but your data shows that you are really doing well with high value customers.
  • Improve your internal measurement system. Most companies we’ve seen have significant opportunities for improving their internal customer measurement systems. Make sure the focus is on building a system that drives improvement, not one that just keeps score.
  • Whenever you can, rely on your internal data. Why? Because you can do more segmentation of the results, track changes to specific customers over time, and go deeper into questions about what’s driving the data. These are all things you may need to drive improvements.

The bottom line: Focus on improving, not on reconciling metrics

Quick Take: Customer Experience: Success, Effort, and Emotion (Video)

In a recent Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org) CustomerSpark event in Dallas, I spoke about the importance of focusing on emotion. Give that we’ve called 2016 “The Year of Emotion,” this is a popular topic for Temkin Group.

Here’s a short snippet from my speech (one of several quick take videos from the event) where I discuss the three elements of customer experience, Success, Effort, and Emotion:


If you enjoyed this video, you may want to check out another one: What is Customer Experience?

I urge you to join the Intensify Emotion Movement.

IntensifyEmotionLogo

Analytics Obstacle to Avoid: Forgetting to Be Relevant

Every day, analysts find a myriad of insights that could provide significant value for their organizations. Unfortunately, many (very possibly most) of them are ignored. What’s getting in the way?

In a recent webinar for Clarabridge, I discussed five customer analytics mistakes to avoid. One of the mistakes is “Forgetting to be relevant.” Rather than trying to replicate my entertaining banter, I put together this figure showing an example of the obstacle… and the opportunity to overcome it.

1604_AnalyticsObstacleRelevancyThe key lesson is described in the graphic:

Analytical findings must be translated into meaningful terms for the people who need to take action on the insights.

And remember…

  • Analytics are meaningless unless they lead to action.
  • You need to translate insights into a language that stakeholders understand.
  • People want to know what’s in it for them.

The bottom line: You may need to focus less on the analytics, and more on the business.

Winners: 2016 CX Vendor Excellence Awards

2016CxVEBadgeCongratulations!

Temkin Group announces the winners the 2016 Customer Experience Vendor Excellence AwardsMaritzCX, Medallia, Potentiate, Rant & Rave, and Walker Information.

Read more of this post

Report: Customer-Infused Process Improvement

1604_CustomerInfusedProcessImprovement_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Customer-Infused Process Improvement, which provides five strategies for instilling customers’ needs into process improvement methodologies. Here’s the executive summary:

Process improvement and customer experience have traditionally served different roles in a company. However, these two disciplines are starting to intersect as customer experience looks to process improvement to operationalize key customer interactions and process improvement needs customer experience to provide customer-focused insights and continually monitor new processes. Temkin Group proposes that companies bring these two approaches together into Customer-Infused Process Change. This report highlights five strategies critical to driving this new approach: Prioritize Improvements Across Customer Journeys, Embrace Deep Customer Empathy, Involve Customers in Solution Development, Innovate to Meet Latent Needs, and Measure Success with Customer-Focused Metrics. To make process improvement efforts more customer-centric, organizations need to infuse these strategies across all aspects of process improvement.

Download report for $195
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It’s time for process improvement to become more focused on customers. Rather than abandoning existing process improvement methodologies, Temkin Group recommends bringing a customer orientation into your efforts. We call this approach Customer-Infused Process Change (CiPC), which we define as:

Driving improvements based on a deep understanding of customer needs.

The report provides best practices across five strategies of CiPC:

  1. Prioritize Improvements Across Customer Journeys: By understanding customer interactions in the context of their broader journeys, companies can invest in process improvements projects that have the most impact on the customer’s experience.
  2. Embrace Deep Customer Empathy: In order to effect sustainable changes, employees impacted by redesigned processes need to understand why these changes are important to customers.
  3. Involve Customers in Solution Development: Process improvement efforts must have resources available to ensure that ongoing, incremental changes can be made based on this customer input.
  4. Innovate to Meet Latent Needs: Customers can’t always articulate what they want; instead, they often describe a slightly improved version of what they already know.
  5. Measure Success with Customer-Focused Metrics: Companies can’t measure the success of process improvement efforts with internally focused, operational metrics.

1604_CustomerInfusedProcess5Strategies

Download report for $195
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The bottom line: Process improvements need more customer insights.

CX Metrics: Immature, But Improving (Infographic)

Here are some of insights from the report, State of CX Metrics, 2015.

2016TemkinGroupINFOGRAPHIC_CXMetrics

You can download (and print) this infographic in different forms:

Report: What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2016

1603_WhatHappensAfterGoodBadExperiences_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2016. This is our annual analysis of which companies deliver the most and least bad experiences, how consumers respond after those experience (in terms of sharing those experiences and changing their purchase behaviors), and the effect of service recovery (see last year’s report).

Here’s the executive summary:

We asked 10,000 U.S. consumers about their recent interactions with 315 companies across 20 industries, and compared results with similar studies over the previous five years. More than 20% of the customers of Internet service providers and TV service providers reported a bad experience, considerably above the rates for any other industry. Air Tran Airways, Time Warner Cable (TV service and Internet service), Comcast (TV service), and HSBC delivered bad experience to at least one-quarter of their customers. At the same time, less than 3% of Michael’s, Advance Auto Parts, Whole Foods, Publix, Subway, Vanguard, Trader Joe’s, and GameStop customers report having bad experiences. We examined the combination of the volume of bad experiences and the resulting revenue impact and created a Revenues at Risk Index for all 20 industries. At the top of the list, TV service providers and rental car agencies stand to lose at least 6.5% of their revenue from bad experiences. Conversely, less than 2% of the revenues for retailers and supermarket chains are at risk. The companies that recovered very poorly after a bad experience lost sales from 63% of their customers, more than 2.5 times as many as companies that recovered very well. Companies that do a very good job at recovering after a bad experience have more customers who increase spending than those who decrease spending. After a very bad or very good experience, consumers are more likely to give feedback directly to the company than they are to post on Facebook, Twitter, or third party rating sites. Regardless of the channel, consumers are more likely to discuss a very bad experience than a very good one. While the way that consumers give feedback has not changed much since last year, the volume of Twitter usage grew for both positive and negative experiences. Piggly Wiggly, US Cellular, Fifth Third, The Hartford, TriCare, and PSE&G face the potential for the most negatively biased feedback from customers.

Download report for $195
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Here are excerpted versions of 4 (out of 15) graphics in the report: Read more of this post

Examining Massive Decline in Customer Experience (Ratings)

In the 2016 Temkin Experience Ratings (TxR), we found that the average ratings for all 20 industries declined between 2015 and 2016 (see graphic). Here are some observations:

  • Across the 20 industries, TxR dropped by an average of 5.2 points between 2015 and 2016.
  • Three industries dropped by less than 4 points (banks, software, and wireless carriers), while five dropped by more than 6 points (investment firms, auto dealers, airlines, rental cars, and health plans).
  • Hotels are the only industry to improve since 2014.
  • Of the 12 industries that have been in the ratings for all six years, five have declined from 2011 (Internet Service Providers declined the most, down 7 points). Banks and computers improved the most since 2011 (up 5 points).
  • The percentage of good and excellent companies dropped from 37% in 2015 to 18% in 2016.
  • Of the 271 companies in both the 2015 and 2016 TxR, 85% declined by 1-point or more, while 6% increased by 1-point or more.
  • Coventry Health Care, Con Edison, True Value, Consumers Energy, and Fox Rent A Car had the highest level of improvement in TxR between 2015 and 2016.
  • Volkswagen, Fairfield Inn, Fujitsu, Commonwealth Edison, Humana, BMW dealers, and Bed, Bath & Beyond had the largest decline in TxR between 2015 and 2016.

1603_TxRIndustryChanges5Years

What’s going on?

As I mentioned last year when we saw our first major decline (10 out of 19 industries dropped), the issue has to do with consumer perceptions. Companies aren’t getting worse at CX. As a matter of fact, our data shows that large companies are putting more effort into CX and are actually getting better.

This year, something else seems to have kicked in as well. It looks like there’s a widespread decline in consumer sentiment, as you’ll see when we publish this year’s Temkin Well-Being Index.

What should you do about it? 

Forget the noise about the overall decline, there’s nothing you can do about consumer attitudes. But with consumers comparing your company to the best companies across all industries, you probably need to set your CX sights a bit higher. Keeping up with mediocre peers is a losing strategy.

As the gap between customer expectations and existing CX grows, there will be more opportunities to improve CX and expand your business. But only some companies will be able to take advantage of this growing CX thirst; others will see an exodus of increasingly disappointed customers. Choose your path.

The bottom line: Hopefully consumers will feel more positive next year!

 

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