Decoding the Customer https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com Interviews and perspectives from global customer experience experts Thu, 17 Oct 2019 10:36:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.3 In the age of empowered consumers, brands must put customers at the center of their business. Customer experience and business strategy expert, Julia Ahlfeldt CCXP, profiles the world’s top customer-centric change makers to bring you insights on how the customer experience revolution is taking hold in businesses around the globe. Whether you are new to CX, a seasoned professional looking to expand your knowledge or someone who is just interested in learning how empowered customers are transforming the business landscape, this show will take you inside the latest topics and trends in the world of customer experience. Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean episodic Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional Julia@julia-ahlfeldt.com Julia@julia-ahlfeldt.com (Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional) © 2017 Julia Ahlfeldt Podcasting Topics, trends and insights on customer experience (CX) Decoding the Customer http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/Julia_Thumbnail.jpg https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com TV-G What is service design: CX Mini Masterclass – E58 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/what-is-service-design-cx-mini-masterclass-e58/ Thu, 17 Oct 2019 10:36:50 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1556 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/what-is-service-design-cx-mini-masterclass-e58/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/what-is-service-design-cx-mini-masterclass-e58/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of service design and why this is important for teams that are working on customer journey improvement. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains how most brands these days provide a mix of goods and services and why service design plays a critical role in bringing customer journeys to life. If you want to learn about service design and its place in a CX professional's toolkit, then this episode is for you. Goods vs. services To understand service design, we need to clarify the difference between goods and services in the marketplace. Goods are tangible items of value, like cars, sweaters or cartons of milk. Services are intangible items of value like expert advice or training. If we were to look at the consumer marketplace 100 years ago, most brands would have provided either a good or a service, with a few providing a hybrid of the two. In the modern marketplace, the reverse is true. Most organizations provide both goods and services. A medical clinic is a classic example of the goods/services hybrid; they provide a combination of tangible products in the form of medicine with medical consultation that is a service. SaaS providers are an excellent example of the hybrid of goods and services that is so pervasive in the modern marketplace. Brands like Google, Hubspot and others provide a good through their software, but they also provide a suite of services around that software to enhance its usage. Yes, there are definitely still organizations out there that provide just a product or just a service, but these are now the outliers. And with consumers doing so much more through digital channel in particular, it's given rise to a whole ecosystem of services to support customers. Defining service design Episode 57 looked into design thinking, which was essentially born out of product design. While modern design thinking can also be used to creatively problem solve for service-based solutions, actually providing experiences that are based on a blend of goods and services is a complex undertaking. That is where service design comes in. Service design is the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between the service provider and its customers. Wikipedia Service design is where teams lift up the hood and look at all the parts that are needed to make an experience happen. CX teams can dream up the most amazing customer experience in the world, but if the rest of the organization isn't equipped to deliver that experience, it’s all for not. So, service design is where we get to turn our perspective inwards to the people, processes and technology that make experiences happen. Service design clarifies the roles, responsibilities and inter-dependencies that are needed to deliver an experience. Service design unpacks this in terms of interactions that the customer sees and the layers of behind the scenes actions functions that are necessary. Wondering how to actually do service design? Stay tuned for episode 59... Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in cust...

This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of service design and why this is important for teams that are working on customer journey improvement. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains how most brands these days provide a mix of goods and services and why service design plays a critical role in bringing customer journeys to life. If you want to learn about service design and its place in a CX professional’s toolkit, then this episode is for you.

Goods vs. services

To understand service design, we need to clarify the difference between goods and services in the marketplace. Goods are tangible items of value, like cars, sweaters or cartons of milk. Services are intangible items of value like expert advice or training. If we were to look at the consumer marketplace 100 years ago, most brands would have provided either a good or a service, with a few providing a hybrid of the two. In the modern marketplace, the reverse is true. Most organizations provide both goods and services.

A medical clinic is a classic example of the goods/services hybrid; they provide a combination of tangible products in the form of medicine with medical consultation that is a service. SaaS providers are an excellent example of the hybrid of goods and services that is so pervasive in the modern marketplace. Brands like Google, Hubspot and others provide a good through their software, but they also provide a suite of services around that software to enhance its usage. Yes, there are definitely still organizations out there that provide just a product or just a service, but these are now the outliers. And with consumers doing so much more through digital channel in particular, it’s given rise to a whole ecosystem of services to support customers.

Defining service design

Episode 57 looked into design thinking, which was essentially born out of product design. While modern design thinking can also be used to creatively problem solve for service-based solutions, actually providing experiences that are based on a blend of goods and services is a complex undertaking. That is where service design comes in.

Service design is the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between the service provider and its customers.

Wikipedia

Service design is where teams lift up the hood and look at all the parts that are needed to make an experience happen. CX teams can dream up the most amazing customer experience in the world, but if the rest of the organization isn’t equipped to deliver that experience, it’s all for not. So, service design is where we get to turn our perspective inwards to the people, processes and technology that make experiences happen.

Service design clarifies the roles, responsibilities and inter-dependencies that are needed to deliver an experience. Service design unpacks this in terms of interactions that the customer sees and the layers of behind the scenes actions functions that are necessary.

Wondering how to actually do service design? Stay tuned for episode 59…

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including B2B CX strategy) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of service design and why this is important for teams that are working on customer journey improvement. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt,



















This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of service design and why this is important for teams that are working on customer journey improvement. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains how most brands these days provide a mix of goods and services and why service design plays a critical role in bringing customer journeys to life. If you want to learn about service design and its place in a CX professional's toolkit, then this episode is for you.







Goods vs. services



To understand service design, we need to clarify the difference between goods and services in the marketplace. Goods are tangible items of value, like cars, sweaters or cartons of milk. Services are intangible items of value like expert advice or training. If we were to look at the consumer marketplace 100 years ago, most brands would have provided either a good or a service, with a few providing a hybrid of the two. In the modern marketplace, the reverse is true. Most organizations provide both goods and services.



A medical clinic is a classic example of the goods/services hybrid; they provide a combination of tangible products in the form of medicine with medical consultation that is a service. SaaS providers are an excellent example of the hybrid of goods and services that is so pervasive in the modern marketplace. Brands like Google, Hubspot and others provide a good through their software, but they also provide a suite of services around that software to enhance its usage. Yes, there are definitely still organizations out there that provide just a product or just a service, but these are now the outliers. And with consumers doing so much more through digital channel in particular, it's given rise to a whole ecosystem of services to support customers.



Defining service design



Episode 57 looked into design thinking, which was essentially born out of product design. While modern design thinking can also be used to creatively problem solve for service-based solutions, actually providing experiences that are based on a blend of goods and services is a complex undertaking. That is where service design comes in.



Service design is the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between the service provider and its customers. Wikipedia



Service design is where teams lift up the hood and look at all the parts that are needed to make an experience happen. CX teams can dream up the most amazing customer experience in the world, but if the rest of the organization isn't equipped to deliver that experience, it’s all for not. So, service design is where we get to turn our perspective inwards to the people, processes and technology that make experiences happen.



Service design clarifies the roles, responsibilities and inter-dependencies that are needed to deliver an experience. Service design unpacks this in terms of interactions that the customer sees and the layers of behind the scenes actions functions that are necessary.



Wondering how to actually do service design? Stay tuned for episode 59...



Want to keep learning about CX?



If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX po...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
The role of design thinking in CX management: CX Mini Masterclass – E57 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-role-of-design-thinking-in-cx-management-cx-mini-masterclass-e57/ Thu, 10 Oct 2019 16:05:33 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1544 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-role-of-design-thinking-in-cx-management-cx-mini-masterclass-e57/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-role-of-design-thinking-in-cx-management-cx-mini-masterclass-e57/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of design thinking and how this methodology can be used to craft new experiences, refine journeys or build solutions around the needs of other stakeholders. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains the 5 key phases of the design thinking approach and how CX professionals can incorporate this into their repertoire. If you want to learn about the relationship between design thinking and CX management, then this episode is for you. Not just another business buzzword You've probably heard the term "design thinking" before. Unlike "customer experience" or "user experience" (UX was the subject of episode 56), the concept of design thinking has been around for a bit longer. It also has a much less nebulous definition. Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.Tim Brown, Executive Chair of IDEO The origins of design thinking start in the late 1950s and early 1960s as creativity techniques for designers and engineers. Through the 1960s and 1970s design thinking methods and theories began to take hold in the fields of industrial design, architecture and product design. By the 1980s and 1990s people began talking about this in terms of human-centered design. During this time, design thinking firms such as IDEO came into being and the most innovative and forward-thinking organizations started to embed design-centered business management. From 2000 onward, we’ve seen the steady rise of design thinking as a proper business discipline that can be applied by organizations to many different contexts. The 5-step methodology Design thinking aims to solve problems at the intersection of three things: desirability, viability and feasibility. Design thinking methodologies push teams to balance these competing forces. Unlike CX, which doesn't have a set approach or methodology, classic design thinking has an adaptable 5-step approach. This is often represented as a double diamond. Empathize - arguably the most important phase of the process. This is all about understanding the user, their needs, feelings and perspective through research. When we talk about putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes, we’re essentially talking about establishing empathy. How can we build something for someone if we don’t understand who they are?Define - probably the step that most organizations neglect. Once we understand the user through empathizing, we need to leverage that information to establish their point of view and express the problem we want to solve. The more specific, the better. In design thinking the problem is often posed as a “How Might We” statement that give clues about the user and their needs. An example problem statement might sound something like: How might we provide quick and healthy meal options to the busy working mom on the go, this statement could experience several rounds of re-framing to make it more and more specific. Einstein once said that if he had an hour to solve a problem, he’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem. Einstein was onto something. Ideation - this is what people often think about when they envision design thinking. They imagine word clouds and post-it notes and all kinds of creative ideas flying around. Stages 1 and 2 are all about honing in on the user and the challenge, but ideation is where teams want to go wide again, imagine the possibilities and generate lots of options. Ideation is wonderful. It’s creative, exploratory and can be a lot of fun.Prototype - after ideation teams need to pick one idea to work on. Prototyping can take many forms: storyboarding, building with legos or crafting a small 3-d model. The important point is to make the idea real so that a user can begin to interact with it.

This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of design thinking and how this methodology can be used to craft new experiences, refine journeys or build solutions around the needs of other stakeholders. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains the 5 key phases of the design thinking approach and how CX professionals can incorporate this into their repertoire. If you want to learn about the relationship between design thinking and CX management, then this episode is for you.

Not just another business buzzword

You’ve probably heard the term “design thinking” before. Unlike “customer experience” or “user experience” (UX was the subject of episode 56), the concept of design thinking has been around for a bit longer. It also has a much less nebulous definition.

Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.

Tim Brown, Executive Chair of IDEO

The origins of design thinking start in the late 1950s and early 1960s as creativity techniques for designers and engineers. Through the 1960s and 1970s design thinking methods and theories began to take hold in the fields of industrial design, architecture and product design. By the 1980s and 1990s people began talking about this in terms of human-centered design. During this time, design thinking firms such as IDEO came into being and the most innovative and forward-thinking organizations started to embed design-centered business management. From 2000 onward, we’ve seen the steady rise of design thinking as a proper business discipline that can be applied by organizations to many different contexts.

The 5-step methodology

Design thinking aims to solve problems at the intersection of three things: desirability, viability and feasibility. Design thinking methodologies push teams to balance these competing forces. Unlike CX, which doesn’t have a set approach or methodology, classic design thinking has an adaptable 5-step approach. This is often represented as a double diamond.

  1. Empathize – arguably the most important phase of the process. This is all about understanding the user, their needs, feelings and perspective through research. When we talk about putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes, we’re essentially talking about establishing empathy. How can we build something for someone if we don’t understand who they are?
  2. Define – probably the step that most organizations neglect. Once we understand the user through empathizing, we need to leverage that information to establish their point of view and express the problem we want to solve. The more specific, the better. In design thinking the problem is often posed as a “How Might We” statement that give clues about the user and their needs. An example problem statement might sound something like: How might we provide quick and healthy meal options to the busy working mom on the go, this statement could experience several rounds of re-framing to make it more and more specific. Einstein once said that if he had an hour to solve a problem, he’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem. Einstein was onto something.
  3. Ideation – this is what people often think about when they envision design thinking. They imagine word clouds and post-it notes and all kinds of creative ideas flying around. Stages 1 and 2 are all about honing in on the user and the challenge, but ideation is where teams want to go wide again, imagine the possibilities and generate lots of options. Ideation is wonderful. It’s creative, exploratory and can be a lot of fun.
  4. Prototype – after ideation teams need to pick one idea to work on. Prototyping can take many forms: storyboarding, building with legos or crafting a small 3-d model. The important point is to make the idea real so that a user can begin to interact with it.
  5. Testing – this is where teams share their prototype with a user to gather feedback. Testing presents an opportunity to gain more perspective about the end-user. Feedback may help teams realize that they need to go back and learn more about their user, reframe their question, pick another idea to prototype or make refinements to their existing prototype. All of those outcomes are OK.

If a team comes out of testing and goes back to square one, that’s still a win because at least they didn’t launch something that was going to be a total flop with their audience. Design thinking encourages teams to go through this process quickly with several iterations so that the investment of time doesn’t tempt teams to become attached to an idea that might not strike the magic balance of desirability, feasibility and viability.

Design thinking and CX

Design thinking has some obvious and not so obvious applications in the world of customer experience. It’s easy to see how this could be a powerful approach for innovating journey improvements or defining new products and services.

Beyond the obvious applications within customer experience innovation, design thinking can help teams bolster the organizational ecosystems that help journeys happen. How many of us have had an employee onboarding experience or a vendor management experience that was user unfriendly to the extreme? Not only are these experiences super annoying for the end user, but they also throw noise into the system that slows things down. Design thinking can be used in the context of employee experience, organizational alignment or stakeholder management.

Because of it’s emphasis on empathy and framing the user’s point of view, design thinking is an inherently outside-in way of looking at things, so it’s a great approach for CX professionals to use. If the 5-step methodology seems overwhelming, don’t worry. It’s also OK to leverage components of the approach as and when appropriate.

Regardless of whether or not you use the 5-steps in a structured approach or integrate bits and pieces into your daily work, it will make a difference and complement your efforts to instill customer-centricity.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including B2B CX strategy) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of design thinking and how this methodology can be used to craft new experiences, refine journeys or build solutions around the needs of other stakeholders. Show host and customer experience expert,














This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of design thinking and how this methodology can be used to craft new experiences, refine journeys or build solutions around the needs of other stakeholders. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains the 5 key phases of the design thinking approach and how CX professionals can incorporate this into their repertoire. If you want to learn about the relationship between design thinking and CX management, then this episode is for you.







Not just another business buzzword



You've probably heard the term "design thinking" before. Unlike "customer experience" or "user experience" (UX was the subject of episode 56), the concept of design thinking has been around for a bit longer. It also has a much less nebulous definition.



Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.Tim Brown, Executive Chair of IDEO



The origins of design thinking start in the late 1950s and early 1960s as creativity techniques for designers and engineers. Through the 1960s and 1970s design thinking methods and theories began to take hold in the fields of industrial design, architecture and product design. By the 1980s and 1990s people began talking about this in terms of human-centered design. During this time, design thinking firms such as IDEO came into being and the most innovative and forward-thinking organizations started to embed design-centered business management. From 2000 onward, we’ve seen the steady rise of design thinking as a proper business discipline that can be applied by organizations to many different contexts.



The 5-step methodology



Design thinking aims to solve problems at the intersection of three things: desirability, viability and feasibility. Design thinking methodologies push teams to balance these competing forces. Unlike CX, which doesn't have a set approach or methodology, classic design thinking has an adaptable 5-step approach. This is often represented as a double diamond.







* Empathize - arguably the most important phase of the process. This is all about understanding the user, their needs, feelings and perspective through research. When we talk about putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes, we’re essentially talking about establishing empathy. How can we build something for someone if we don’t understand who they are?* Define - probably the step that most organizations neglect. Once we understand the user through empathizing, we need to leverage that information to establish their point of view and express the problem we want to solve. The more specific, the better. In design thinking the problem is often posed as a “How Might We” statement that give clues about the user and their needs. An example problem statement might sound something like: How might we provide quick and healthy meal options to the busy working mom on the go, this statement could experience several rounds of re-framing to make it more and more specific. Einstein once said that if he had an hour to solve a problem, he’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem. Einstein was onto something. * Ideation - this is what people often think about when they envision design thinking. They imagine word clouds and post-it notes and all kinds o...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
CX vs. UX: CX Mini Masterclass – E56 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/cx-vs-ux-cx-mini-masterclass-e56/ Thu, 03 Oct 2019 16:19:15 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1536 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/cx-vs-ux-cx-mini-masterclass-e56/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/cx-vs-ux-cx-mini-masterclass-e56/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass provides clarity on the difference between user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX). Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, provides a definition of each and then explains the roles of CX vs. UX teams and how their work can complement one another. If you are looking to understand the distinction between UX and CX, then this episode is for you. Navigating the buzzwords User experience (UX) is a buzzword in the business world. It's sometimes confused with customer experience. As the field of customer experience continues to gain momentum, it’s important to understand how other disciplines like user experience fit into the picture, so that CX professionals can effectively collaborate with these teams and help business leaders understand what’s what. Customer experience and user experience are related. We could think of them as cousins and good friends. Related, but still different. If we want to make a comparison between customer experience and user experience, the most logical place to start is with a definition of each. Understanding CX On CX Day, the CXPA released a great video with a definition of customer experience. The definition that I use is similar to the CXPA. I cover this in detail in episode 14, but as a quick refresher, we can think of a brand’s customer experience as all the ways that a consumer interfaces with that particular brand. Customer experience is the combined effect of things like touchpoints, products, service support, communication, plus a whole bunch of other things. While the definition of a brand's customer experience is all encompassing, we must remember that as customers move through their lives, their individual journeys will include experiences beyond the confines of just one brand. Customer journeys don’t happen in a vacuum, they happen in the real world where people talk with their friends, read online reviews and interact with any number of other entities before or after they interface with your brand. Defining UX I'm pleased that the CXPA has provided some clarity around the definition of CX. The professional community needed this clarity, and it's probably safe to say that the UX community could benefit form the same. There are a wide range of definitions out there. One of the most commonly referenced definitions is from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). They've defined UX as a person’s perceptions and responses resulting from the use and or anticipated use of a product, system or service. We could also interpret this as how a customer feels about every interaction they have with what’s in front of them while they’re using it. CX vs. UX While UX and CX both pertain to a person’s interactions and their responses, user experience tends to look at this through the lens of an interaction with a particular system or touchpoint. And in practice, user experience assessment or user interface design normally hone in on an individual’s interactions with a specific thing. This makes UX essentially a subset of CX, and it explains why user experience maps often feel like a zoomed in look at a particular facet of the customer journey. In the business world, UX has gained notoriety as a practice for improving user experiences in the digital space. The definition of user experience isn’t necessarily restricted to the digital realm, but this is why people so often associate user experience design with developing tech solutions. It’s obvious that UX plays an important role in CX. With more and more of our experiences happening in the digital world, it’s crucial that UX and CX teams for work together. We don't always need to think of things in terms of CX vs. UX. In fact there are many opportunities for the two fields of work to collaborate and complement each other. For example, CX teams can help UX teams understand the bigger picture by incorporating customer experience principl...

This CX Mini Masterclass provides clarity on the difference between user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX). Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, provides a definition of each and then explains the roles of CX vs. UX teams and how their work can complement one another. If you are looking to understand the distinction between UX and CX, then this episode is for you.

Navigating the buzzwords

User experience (UX) is a buzzword in the business world. It’s sometimes confused with customer experience. As the field of customer experience continues to gain momentum, it’s important to understand how other disciplines like user experience fit into the picture, so that CX professionals can effectively collaborate with these teams and help business leaders understand what’s what.

Customer experience and user experience are related. We could think of them as cousins and good friends. Related, but still different. If we want to make a comparison between customer experience and user experience, the most logical place to start is with a definition of each.

Understanding CX

On CX Day, the CXPA released a great video with a definition of customer experience. The definition that I use is similar to the CXPA. I cover this in detail in episode 14, but as a quick refresher, we can think of a brand’s customer experience as all the ways that a consumer interfaces with that particular brand. Customer experience is the combined effect of things like touchpoints, products, service support, communication, plus a whole bunch of other things.

While the definition of a brand’s customer experience is all encompassing, we must remember that as customers move through their lives, their individual journeys will include experiences beyond the confines of just one brand. Customer journeys don’t happen in a vacuum, they happen in the real world where people talk with their friends, read online reviews and interact with any number of other entities before or after they interface with your brand.

Defining UX

I’m pleased that the CXPA has provided some clarity around the definition of CX. The professional community needed this clarity, and it’s probably safe to say that the UX community could benefit form the same. There are a wide range of definitions out there. One of the most commonly referenced definitions is from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). They’ve defined UX as a person’s perceptions and responses resulting from the use and or anticipated use of a product, system or service. We could also interpret this as how a customer feels about every interaction they have with what’s in front of them while they’re using it.

CX vs. UX

While UX and CX both pertain to a person’s interactions and their responses, user experience tends to look at this through the lens of an interaction with a particular system or touchpoint. And in practice, user experience assessment or user interface design normally hone in on an individual’s interactions with a specific thing. This makes UX essentially a subset of CX, and it explains why user experience maps often feel like a zoomed in look at a particular facet of the customer journey.

In the business world, UX has gained notoriety as a practice for improving user experiences in the digital space. The definition of user experience isn’t necessarily restricted to the digital realm, but this is why people so often associate user experience design with developing tech solutions.

It’s obvious that UX plays an important role in CX. With more and more of our experiences happening in the digital world, it’s crucial that UX and CX teams for work together. We don’t always need to think of things in terms of CX vs. UX. In fact there are many opportunities for the two fields of work to collaborate and complement each other. For example, CX teams can help UX teams understand the bigger picture by incorporating customer experience principles or the vision for the overall customer journey into UX design. UX teams can help organizations understand, create and refine experiences. The UX team might be the CX team’s best ally for establishing a robust insights-to-action feedback loop or instilling design thinking into a company’s way of working.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including B2B CX strategy) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass provides clarity on the difference between user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX). Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, provides a definition of each and then explains the roles of CX vs.













This CX Mini Masterclass provides clarity on the difference between user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX). Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, provides a definition of each and then explains the roles of CX vs. UX teams and how their work can complement one another. If you are looking to understand the distinction between UX and CX, then this episode is for you.







Navigating the buzzwords



User experience (UX) is a buzzword in the business world. It's sometimes confused with customer experience. As the field of customer experience continues to gain momentum, it’s important to understand how other disciplines like user experience fit into the picture, so that CX professionals can effectively collaborate with these teams and help business leaders understand what’s what.



Customer experience and user experience are related. We could think of them as cousins and good friends. Related, but still different. If we want to make a comparison between customer experience and user experience, the most logical place to start is with a definition of each.



Understanding CX



On CX Day, the CXPA released a great video with a definition of customer experience. The definition that I use is similar to the CXPA. I cover this in detail in episode 14, but as a quick refresher, we can think of a brand’s customer experience as all the ways that a consumer interfaces with that particular brand. Customer experience is the combined effect of things like touchpoints, products, service support, communication, plus a whole bunch of other things.



While the definition of a brand's customer experience is all encompassing, we must remember that as customers move through their lives, their individual journeys will include experiences beyond the confines of just one brand. Customer journeys don’t happen in a vacuum, they happen in the real world where people talk with their friends, read online reviews and interact with any number of other entities before or after they interface with your brand.



Defining UX



I'm pleased that the CXPA has provided some clarity around the definition of CX. The professional community needed this clarity, and it's probably safe to say that the UX community could benefit form the same. There are a wide range of definitions out there. One of the most commonly referenced definitions is from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). They've defined UX as a person’s perceptions and responses resulting from the use and or anticipated use of a product, system or service. We could also interpret this as how a customer feels about every interaction they have with what’s in front of them while they’re using it.



CX vs. UX



While UX and CX both pertain to a person’s interactions and their responses, user experience tends to look at this through the lens of an interaction with a particular system or touchpoint. And in practice, user experience assessment or user interface design normally hone in on an individual’s interactions with a specific thing. This makes UX essentially a subset of CX, and it explains why user experience maps often feel like a zoomed in look at a particular facet of the customer journey.



In the business world,]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Great customer experience starts from the top: CX Mini Masterclass – E55 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/great-customer-experience-starts-from-the-top-cx-mini-masterclass-e55/ Thu, 26 Sep 2019 14:20:16 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1529 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/great-customer-experience-starts-from-the-top-cx-mini-masterclass-e55/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/great-customer-experience-starts-from-the-top-cx-mini-masterclass-e55/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explores how leaders can champion the customer mandate. Great customer experience starts with the goals, data and a vision. Special guest and CX thought leader Stephanie Thum shares practical tips on on how to kick start CX alignment and how leaders can be prepared for the most common hurdles along the way. If you’ve been looking for some fresh ideas on fostering alignment, or some food for thought that you can send to your business’s leadership team, then this episode is for you.  Insights from a special guest Stephanie has amassed deep expertise through her diverse professional background in the field of customer experience. While she’s often best known for her experience as one of the US federal government's first agency CX leads, she has also been a practitioner and consultant in the B2B world, working with small and mid-sized companies and was one of the founding members of the CXPA. She's a CCXP and has remained active with the association, even spending some time as part of the association's HQ team. She's written an ebook, Where Customer Experience Practices Haven't Landed in Business. If you'd like to get in touch, connect with her via LinkedIn or Twitter. Stephanie Thum, CCXP The starting block for great customer experience Data and metrics are a logical place to start. Many organizations live and breathe "the numbers", so leaders are already primed to pay attention. Plus, most organizations are sitting on mountains of data. The next step is to identify how this data can be used to understand the customer and foster organizational accountability (e.g. as KPIs - see episode 53 for a deep dive on KPIs).  Next, leaders should foster awareness and rally department leaders around these figures. Easier said than done, but Stephanie shares the story of a manufacturing CEO who started a weekly stand-up meetings with his plant manager, HR leader, and lead customer service rep to go over the data. The company's customer experience management efforts evolved from there. Once leaders are begin supporting CX, they can take the message to their teams, sharing results and helping individuals understand how their day to day responsibilities impact the bigger picture of CX.  6 expert tips Great customer experiences may start at the top, but rallying the rest of the organization, won't be without a few challenges along the way. Stephanie provided her insights on what to look out for, and how to respond: Get comfortable being uncomfortable If the numbers aren’t great, get comfortable explaining the reasons why Align your management teams Present CX as a triage tool, not a policing mechanismKeep going, no matter whatWhen the numbers are great, celebrate! When the numbers aren’t so great, don’t point fingers If you'd like additional insights from Stephanie, be sure to read her full article on this topic. Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including customer insights, CX measurement, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch...

This CX Mini Masterclass explores how leaders can champion the customer mandate. Great customer experience starts with the goals, data and a vision. Special guest and CX thought leader Stephanie Thum shares practical tips on on how to kick start CX alignment and how leaders can be prepared for the most common hurdles along the way. If you’ve been looking for some fresh ideas on fostering alignment, or some food for thought that you can send to your business’s leadership team, then this episode is for you. 

Insights from a special guest

Stephanie has amassed deep expertise through her diverse professional background in the field of customer experience. While she’s often best known for her experience as one of the US federal government’s first agency CX leads, she has also been a practitioner and consultant in the B2B world, working with small and mid-sized companies and was one of the founding members of the CXPA. She’s a CCXP and has remained active with the association, even spending some time as part of the association’s HQ team. She’s written an ebook, Where Customer Experience Practices Haven’t Landed in Business. If you’d like to get in touch, connect with her via LinkedIn or Twitter.

Stephanie Thum, CCXP

The starting block for great customer experience

Data and metrics are a logical place to start. Many organizations live and breathe “the numbers”, so leaders are already primed to pay attention. Plus, most organizations are sitting on mountains of data. The next step is to identify how this data can be used to understand the customer and foster organizational accountability (e.g. as KPIs – see episode 53 for a deep dive on KPIs). 

Next, leaders should foster awareness and rally department leaders around these figures. Easier said than done, but Stephanie shares the story of a manufacturing CEO who started a weekly stand-up meetings with his plant manager, HR leader, and lead customer service rep to go over the data. The company’s customer experience management efforts evolved from there.

Once leaders are begin supporting CX, they can take the message to their teams, sharing results and helping individuals understand how their day to day responsibilities impact the bigger picture of CX. 

6 expert tips

Great customer experiences may start at the top, but rallying the rest of the organization, won’t be without a few challenges along the way. Stephanie provided her insights on what to look out for, and how to respond:

  1. Get comfortable being uncomfortable
  2. If the numbers aren’t great, get comfortable explaining the reasons why
  3. Align your management teams
  4. Present CX as a triage tool, not a policing mechanism
  5. Keep going, no matter what
  6. When the numbers are great, celebrate! When the numbers aren’t so great, don’t point fingers

If you’d like additional insights from Stephanie, be sure to read her full article on this topic.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including customer insights, CX measurement, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass explores how leaders can champion the customer mandate. Great customer experience starts with the goals, data and a vision. Special guest and CX thought leader Stephanie Thum shares practical tips on on how to kick start CX ali...













This CX Mini Masterclass explores how leaders can champion the customer mandate. Great customer experience starts with the goals, data and a vision. Special guest and CX thought leader Stephanie Thum shares practical tips on on how to kick start CX alignment and how leaders can be prepared for the most common hurdles along the way. If you’ve been looking for some fresh ideas on fostering alignment, or some food for thought that you can send to your business’s leadership team, then this episode is for you. 







Insights from a special guest



Stephanie has amassed deep expertise through her diverse professional background in the field of customer experience. While she’s often best known for her experience as one of the US federal government's first agency CX leads, she has also been a practitioner and consultant in the B2B world, working with small and mid-sized companies and was one of the founding members of the CXPA. She's a CCXP and has remained active with the association, even spending some time as part of the association's HQ team. She's written an ebook, Where Customer Experience Practices Haven't Landed in Business. If you'd like to get in touch, connect with her via LinkedIn or Twitter.



Stephanie Thum, CCXP



The starting block for great customer experience


Data and metrics are a logical place to start. Many organizations live and breathe "the numbers", so leaders are already primed to pay attention. Plus, most organizations are sitting on mountains of data. The next step is to identify how this data can be used to understand the customer and foster organizational accountability (e.g. as KPIs - see episode 53 for a deep dive on KPIs). 
Next, leaders should foster awareness and rally department leaders around these figures. Easier said than done, but Stephanie shares the story of a manufacturing CEO who started a weekly stand-up meetings with his plant manager, HR leader, and lead customer service rep to go over the data. The company's customer experience management efforts evolved from there.
Once leaders are begin supporting CX, they can take the message to their teams, sharing results and helping individuals understand how their day to day responsibilities impact the bigger picture of CX. 



6 expert tips



Great customer experiences may start at the top, but rallying the rest of the organization, won't be without a few challenges along the way. Stephanie provided her insights on what to look out for, and how to respond:



* Get comfortable being uncomfortable * If the numbers aren’t great, get comfortable explaining the reasons why * Align your management teams * Present CX as a triage tool, not a policing mechanism* Keep going, no matter what* When the numbers are great, celebrate! When the numbers aren’t so great, don’t point fingers



If you'd like additional insights from Stephanie, be sure to read her full article on this topic.



Want to keep learning about CX?



]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Prioritizing customer journey improvement: CX Mini Masterclass – E54 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/prioritizing-customer-journey-improvement-cx-mini-masterclass-e54/ Thu, 19 Sep 2019 16:03:43 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1520 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/prioritizing-customer-journey-improvement-cx-mini-masterclass-e54/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/prioritizing-customer-journey-improvement-cx-mini-masterclass-e54/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass provides a simple and straightforward approach to prioritizing customer journey improvements. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains why this is an important step for fostering organizational alignment. Julia then takes you through her prioritization methodology and discusses some key considerations. If you are looking to make sense of your laundry list of journey fixes, then this episode is for you. Starting customer journey improvement wisely When teams map the customer journey, they often end up with a long list of customer journey improvement opportunities. Being confronted with a massive list of issues is a tough place to be. For teams that are just starting their customer-centric evolution, picking the right place to start can make or break the momentum of your CX change movement. The good news is that there is a straightforward answer. The first task at hand is to prioritize the journey improvements, based on the customer impact, then evaluate the cost/benefit as a secondary step. Organizations normally jump straight into advocating for the business's needs, but as with all things CX, we should anchor our decisions in the customer's needs. A winning formula I suggest an initial assessment of customer journey improvement opportunities based on two criteria: Number of customer (or potential customers) affected. Figure out how many consumers interface with the broken aspect of the journey.The degree to which the current broken experience goes against the organizations customer promise, experience principles or the definition of what good looks like. Establish a rating scale to "score" the experience. I suggest a scale of 1-10, but you could use a different scale, as long as the largest number rating is assigned to the worst experience. Once you've quantified these parameters for each of your identified customer experience issues, multiply the number of affected customers, by the experience rating to get your customer journey improvement prioritization score. The higher the score, the more urgent the journey improvement. # affected X experience rating = prioritization score This methodology highlights issues that might seem minor, but could impact a huge number of customers or potential customers, as well as those that might impact a small number of customers, but with potentially brand damaging results. Once your team has evaluated potential journey journey fixes from a customer impact perspective, they can further refine the list based on cost, level of complexity, etc. Journeys are constantly evolving, and there will be multiple factors to consider, but the point here is that CX teams should take the outside-in view first. Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including B2B CX strategy) or get in touch via email. 

This CX Mini Masterclass provides a simple and straightforward approach to prioritizing customer journey improvements. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains why this is an important step for fostering organizational alignment. Julia then takes you through her prioritization methodology and discusses some key considerations. If you are looking to make sense of your laundry list of journey fixes, then this episode is for you.

Starting customer journey improvement wisely

When teams map the customer journey, they often end up with a long list of customer journey improvement opportunities. Being confronted with a massive list of issues is a tough place to be. For teams that are just starting their customer-centric evolution, picking the right place to start can make or break the momentum of your CX change movement. The good news is that there is a straightforward answer.

The first task at hand is to prioritize the journey improvements, based on the customer impact, then evaluate the cost/benefit as a secondary step. Organizations normally jump straight into advocating for the business’s needs, but as with all things CX, we should anchor our decisions in the customer’s needs.

A winning formula

I suggest an initial assessment of customer journey improvement opportunities based on two criteria:

  1. Number of customer (or potential customers) affected. Figure out how many consumers interface with the broken aspect of the journey.
  2. The degree to which the current broken experience goes against the organizations customer promise, experience principles or the definition of what good looks like. Establish a rating scale to “score” the experience. I suggest a scale of 1-10, but you could use a different scale, as long as the largest number rating is assigned to the worst experience.

Once you’ve quantified these parameters for each of your identified customer experience issues, multiply the number of affected customers, by the experience rating to get your customer journey improvement prioritization score. The higher the score, the more urgent the journey improvement.

# affected X experience rating = prioritization score

This methodology highlights issues that might seem minor, but could impact a huge number of customers or potential customers, as well as those that might impact a small number of customers, but with potentially brand damaging results.

Once your team has evaluated potential journey journey fixes from a customer impact perspective, they can further refine the list based on cost, level of complexity, etc. Journeys are constantly evolving, and there will be multiple factors to consider, but the point here is that CX teams should take the outside-in view first.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including B2B CX strategy) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass provides a simple and straightforward approach to prioritizing customer journey improvements. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains why this is an important step for fostering organizational alignme...












This CX Mini Masterclass provides a simple and straightforward approach to prioritizing customer journey improvements. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains why this is an important step for fostering organizational alignment. Julia then takes you through her prioritization methodology and discusses some key considerations. If you are looking to make sense of your laundry list of journey fixes, then this episode is for you.







Starting customer journey improvement wisely



When teams map the customer journey, they often end up with a long list of customer journey improvement opportunities. Being confronted with a massive list of issues is a tough place to be. For teams that are just starting their customer-centric evolution, picking the right place to start can make or break the momentum of your CX change movement. The good news is that there is a straightforward answer.



The first task at hand is to prioritize the journey improvements, based on the customer impact, then evaluate the cost/benefit as a secondary step. Organizations normally jump straight into advocating for the business's needs, but as with all things CX, we should anchor our decisions in the customer's needs.



A winning formula



I suggest an initial assessment of customer journey improvement opportunities based on two criteria:



* Number of customer (or potential customers) affected. Figure out how many consumers interface with the broken aspect of the journey.* The degree to which the current broken experience goes against the organizations customer promise, experience principles or the definition of what good looks like. Establish a rating scale to "score" the experience. I suggest a scale of 1-10, but you could use a different scale, as long as the largest number rating is assigned to the worst experience.



Once you've quantified these parameters for each of your identified customer experience issues, multiply the number of affected customers, by the experience rating to get your customer journey improvement prioritization score. The higher the score, the more urgent the journey improvement.



# affected X experience rating = prioritization score



This methodology highlights issues that might seem minor, but could impact a huge number of customers or potential customers, as well as those that might impact a small number of customers, but with potentially brand damaging results.



Once your team has evaluated potential journey journey fixes from a customer impact perspective, they can further refine the list based on cost, level of complexity, etc. Journeys are constantly evolving, and there will be multiple factors to consider, but the point here is that CX teams should take the outside-in view first.



Want to keep learning about CX?



If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.



And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.



Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Customer experience KPIs: CX Mini Masterclass – E53 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-experience-kpis-cx-mini-masterclass-e53/ Thu, 12 Sep 2019 15:54:25 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1515 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-experience-kpis-cx-mini-masterclass-e53/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-experience-kpis-cx-mini-masterclass-e53/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of customer experience KPIs and how these can be used to foster organizational alignment. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains the role of KPIs in driving accountability, which types of KPIs are the most effective, and some common pitfalls. If you want to quickly understand the role and the importance of KPIs in customer experience management, then this episode is for you. Blog post coming soon! Hi there listener! Please check back in the next day or two for a summary write up of this episode. Sometimes life gets busy. Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including B2B CX strategy) or get in touch via email. 

This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of customer experience KPIs and how these can be used to foster organizational alignment. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains the role of KPIs in driving accountability, which types of KPIs are the most effective, and some common pitfalls. If you want to quickly understand the role and the importance of KPIs in customer experience management, then this episode is for you.

Blog post coming soon!

Hi there listener! Please check back in the next day or two for a summary write up of this episode. Sometimes life gets busy.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including B2B CX strategy) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of customer experience KPIs and how these can be used to foster organizational alignment. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains the role of KPIs in driving accountability,











This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of customer experience KPIs and how these can be used to foster organizational alignment. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains the role of KPIs in driving accountability, which types of KPIs are the most effective, and some common pitfalls. If you want to quickly understand the role and the importance of KPIs in customer experience management, then this episode is for you.







Blog post coming soon!



Hi there listener! Please check back in the next day or two for a summary write up of this episode. Sometimes life gets busy.



Want to keep learning about CX?



If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.



And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.



Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including B2B CX strategy) or get in touch via email






















]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Electricity and customer-centricity: interview with Chris Ahlfeldt – E52 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/electricity-and-customer-centricity-interview-with-chris-ahlfeldt-e52/ Thu, 05 Sep 2019 15:58:31 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1507 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/electricity-and-customer-centricity-interview-with-chris-ahlfeldt-e52/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/electricity-and-customer-centricity-interview-with-chris-ahlfeldt-e52/feed/ 0 Energy industry expert, Chris Ahlfeldt, shares his insights on how the energy industry is handling customer-centricity and the world of empowered consumers. Chris and show host, Julia, discuss how the electricity industry is changing, what this means for consumers, and how organizations are evolving (or not!). If you’re looking to understand how CX is playing out in the energy industry and other highly regulated markets, or want a window into how non-CXers are facing customer-centric change, then stay tuned. Customer-centricity in a unique context Electricity is the silent enabler of business, governments and most aspects of our lives. If you’ve ever experienced a power outage, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. We often take electricity for granted, and don’t think about it, until it isn’t there. Historically, electricity has been supplied by large power producers and utilities. These entities were often monopolies, and if they weren’t owned and operated by the government, they were, at a minimum, highly regulated. But in recent years, things have changed significantly. Technology has empowered individual consumers to more effectively control how much power they consume, and they have more options for getting their electricity, including generating this themselves and selling it back to the utility – something that morphs their role from consumer to supplier. Consumer activism is also on the rise, and with it, pressures that power producers shift to sustainable, lower emission options. As has happened within many other sectors, these changes and other market-disrupting forces have created the perfect storm to bring about a rise in customer-centricity. Unlike other industries where marketing or customer-facing operations teams could champion change, those teams aren't as prominent in this sector. As a result, change falls on the shoulders of the engineers, innovators and policy-makers. The energy industry faces other uphill challenges as the hierarchical structures of the incumbent organizations are so ill-matched for customer-centric evolution. Yet, we can see green shoots of change. The unexpected champions of CX We might not think of engineers or technical folks as natural CXers, but Chris Ahlfeldt is a great example of how those outside of the field of CX work can also help advocate for customer-centricity. Chris is my husband, and while he's not a CX expert, he hears me talk about my work regularly. Over the years, he’s learned enough to understand how CX applies to his area of work. And as it turns out, that's enough for him to be able to understand the implications of his work on customer experience and why that's something all businesses (including utilities) should care about. Chris has learned about customer experience in the same way that others in an unrelated department would, by hearing consistent reinforcing messages and participating in discussions about it. The fact that he's embraced these concepts and applies them to his own work is a testament to the fact that as CX professionals, we need to communicate, communicate, communicate with our stakeholders! You might be surprised at who becomes a champion for the cause! Insights from an accomplished energy expert It was a real treat to have Chris join me on the show, and not just because he's been such a key behind-the-scenes supporter of the program. Chris was also able to share some fascinating insights about how customer experience is being applied to the energy sector, tapping into his wealth of knowledge to do this. Chris Ahlfeldt Chris Ahlfeldt has over a decade of experience working globally in the sustainability and clean energy industries. Since founding Blue Horizon ECS he’s helped clients identify opportunities and overcome pressing challenges within the rapidly changing energy and socially responsible investment industries. He’s also shaped early-stage policy and market decisions on clean energy t...

Energy industry expert, Chris Ahlfeldt, shares his insights on how the energy industry is handling customer-centricity and the world of empowered consumers. Chris and show host, Julia, discuss how the electricity industry is changing, what this means for consumers, and how organizations are evolving (or not!). If you’re looking to understand how CX is playing out in the energy industry and other highly regulated markets, or want a window into how non-CXers are facing customer-centric change, then stay tuned.

Customer-centricity in a unique context

Electricity is the silent enabler of business, governments and most aspects of our lives. If you’ve ever experienced a power outage, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. We often take electricity for granted, and don’t think about it, until it isn’t there. Historically, electricity has been supplied by large power producers and utilities. These entities were often monopolies, and if they weren’t owned and operated by the government, they were, at a minimum, highly regulated. But in recent years, things have changed significantly. Technology has empowered individual consumers to more effectively control how much power they consume, and they have more options for getting their electricity, including generating this themselves and selling it back to the utility – something that morphs their role from consumer to supplier. Consumer activism is also on the rise, and with it, pressures that power producers shift to sustainable, lower emission options. As has happened within many other sectors, these changes and other market-disrupting forces have created the perfect storm to bring about a rise in customer-centricity.

Unlike other industries where marketing or customer-facing operations teams could champion change, those teams aren’t as prominent in this sector. As a result, change falls on the shoulders of the engineers, innovators and policy-makers. The energy industry faces other uphill challenges as the hierarchical structures of the incumbent organizations are so ill-matched for customer-centric evolution. Yet, we can see green shoots of change.

The unexpected champions of CX

We might not think of engineers or technical folks as natural CXers, but Chris Ahlfeldt is a great example of how those outside of the field of CX work can also help advocate for customer-centricity. Chris is my husband, and while he’s not a CX expert, he hears me talk about my work regularly. Over the years, he’s learned enough to understand how CX applies to his area of work. And as it turns out, that’s enough for him to be able to understand the implications of his work on customer experience and why that’s something all businesses (including utilities) should care about.

Chris has learned about customer experience in the same way that others in an unrelated department would, by hearing consistent reinforcing messages and participating in discussions about it. The fact that he’s embraced these concepts and applies them to his own work is a testament to the fact that as CX professionals, we need to communicate, communicate, communicate with our stakeholders! You might be surprised at who becomes a champion for the cause!

Insights from an accomplished energy expert

It was a real treat to have Chris join me on the show, and not just because he’s been such a key behind-the-scenes supporter of the program. Chris was also able to share some fascinating insights about how customer experience is being applied to the energy sector, tapping into his wealth of knowledge to do this.

Chris Ahlfeldt

Chris Ahlfeldt has over a decade of experience working globally in the sustainability and clean energy industries. Since founding Blue Horizon ECS he’s helped clients identify opportunities and overcome pressing challenges within the rapidly changing energy and socially responsible investment industries. He’s also shaped early-stage policy and market decisions on clean energy through work on renewable energy policy, climate change finance, off-grid electrification, and social impact projects in various countries.

For more information about Chris’ work, check out his blog, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business define customer experience strategy that delivers results, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

]]>
Energy industry expert, Chris Ahlfeldt, shares his insights on how the energy industry is handling customer-centricity and the world of empowered consumers. Chris and show host, Julia, discuss how the electricity industry is changing,







Energy industry expert, Chris Ahlfeldt, shares his insights on how the energy industry is handling customer-centricity and the world of empowered consumers. Chris and show host, Julia, discuss how the electricity industry is changing, what this means for consumers, and how organizations are evolving (or not!). If you’re looking to understand how CX is playing out in the energy industry and other highly regulated markets, or want a window into how non-CXers are facing customer-centric change, then stay tuned.







Customer-centricity in a unique context



Electricity is the silent enabler of business, governments and most aspects of our lives. If you’ve ever experienced a power outage, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. We often take electricity for granted, and don’t think about it, until it isn’t there. Historically, electricity has been supplied by large power producers and utilities. These entities were often monopolies, and if they weren’t owned and operated by the government, they were, at a minimum, highly regulated. But in recent years, things have changed significantly. Technology has empowered individual consumers to more effectively control how much power they consume, and they have more options for getting their electricity, including generating this themselves and selling it back to the utility – something that morphs their role from consumer to supplier. Consumer activism is also on the rise, and with it, pressures that power producers shift to sustainable, lower emission options. As has happened within many other sectors, these changes and other market-disrupting forces have created the perfect storm to bring about a rise in customer-centricity.



Unlike other industries where marketing or customer-facing operations teams could champion change, those teams aren't as prominent in this sector. As a result, change falls on the shoulders of the engineers, innovators and policy-makers. The energy industry faces other uphill challenges as the hierarchical structures of the incumbent organizations are so ill-matched for customer-centric evolution. Yet, we can see green shoots of change.



The unexpected champions of CX



We might not think of engineers or technical folks as natural CXers, but Chris Ahlfeldt is a great example of how those outside of the field of CX work can also help advocate for customer-centricity. Chris is my husband, and while he's not a CX expert, he hears me talk about my work regularly. Over the years, he’s learned enough to understand how CX applies to his area of work. And as it turns out, that's enough for him to be able to understand the implications of his work on customer experience and why that's something all businesses (including utilities) should care about.



Chris has learned about customer experience in the same way that others in an unrelated department would, by hearing consistent reinforcing messages and participating in discussions about it. The fact that he's embraced these concepts and applies them to his own work is a testament to the fact that as CX professionals, we need to communicate, communicate, communicate with our stakeholders! You might be surprised at who becomes a champion for the cause!



Insights from an accomplished energy expert



It was a real treat to have Chris join me on the show, and not just because he's been such a key behind-the-scenes supporter of the program. Chris was also able to share some fascinating insights about how customer experience is being applied to the energy sector, tapping into his wealth of knowledge to do this.



Chris Ahlfeldt


]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
The basics of B2B CX: CX Mini Masterclass – E51 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/twe-basics-of-b2b-cx-cx-mini-masterclass-e51/ Thu, 29 Aug 2019 15:10:39 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1497 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/twe-basics-of-b2b-cx-cx-mini-masterclass-e51/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/twe-basics-of-b2b-cx-cx-mini-masterclass-e51/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of what makes experience management unique for organizations in the business to business space. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains the fundamentals of B2B CX, how this differs from B2C experience management and what approaches are applicable to both. If you are keen for a snappy summary of B2B CX, then this episode is for you. A growing focus on B2B CX Episode 49 covered how the field of CX is growing and evolving, specifically with regards to the evolution of customer success teams and the role that these teams play in customer experience. The rise of the Customer Success function is rooted in the unique needs of CX within the B2B world, which is an important topic in and of itself. It’s generally accepted that CX gained traction in the B2C world first, but as B2B companies start focusing on customer experience, we need to understand how customer experience management might differ within this context. Key differences and considerations The core fundamental of CX management are 90-95% the same whether you are talking about B2C or B2B, save for a couple of differences. These differences are also the basis of key considerations for how to manage B2B CX: The customer is not an individual, but rather a community of stakeholders - The biggest difference is that in the B2B space, companies aren’t dealing with an individual as their customer, but rather a group of stakeholders within the customer’s organization. To effectively manage the relationship, supplier organizations need to understand the wants, needs and drivers of all of their key customer stakeholders, recognizing that these will probably differ from individual to individual. Be wary of an over-emphasis on the needs of the customer’s decision-maker (e.g. the CEO). This person might be key for sign-off at the time of customer acquisition, but they might be removed from the relationship for the rest of the enterprise-level journey. Other stakeholders could become influential voices in re-purchase decisions. So it’s worth the time and effort to do a little stakeholder mapping on B2B customers.Fewer, but more complex, relationships - While B2B customer relationships might be more high maintenance given the number of stakeholders, the good news is that most B2B business models have a smaller customer base. These relationships are also likely to be deeper and more complex, hence the rise of Customer Success teams to help manage these relationships. If your customer base runs in the hundreds or thousands, not millions, it will change the way that you define experiences, communicate with your customers and solicit feedback. What works in the B2C world, might not be applicable in B2B, but the depth of the relationship opens up a new world of possibilities for experience management. B2B customer organizations are ultimately serving another customer, so pressures move backwards through the value chain - In B2C CX, the buck stops with the consumer. In the B2B world, enterprise product and service providers need to understand the wants and needs of the end consumer, as well as how these play out in terms of supporting B2B customers to deliver experiences to their customers. Whatever their customers want will inform what they ask of their suppliers. Leveraging best practices from B2C What learnings can CX practitioners leverage from the world of B2C CX? The short answer is pretty much everything, as long as the approach is tweaked for the context of the 3 key differences mentioned above. Beyond that, it’s generally good practice to treat individual B2B customer stakeholders in the same way that a brand would treat any end consumer. B2B stakeholders are consumers in their own right. We know that consumer expectations are on the rise, and individual stakeholders within a business are unlikely to check these expectations at the parking lot when they go into work.

This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of what makes experience management unique for organizations in the business to business space. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains the fundamentals of B2B CX, how this differs from B2C experience management and what approaches are applicable to both. If you are keen for a snappy summary of B2B CX, then this episode is for you.

A growing focus on B2B CX

Episode 49 covered how the field of CX is growing and evolving, specifically with regards to the evolution of customer success teams and the role that these teams play in customer experience. The rise of the Customer Success function is rooted in the unique needs of CX within the B2B world, which is an important topic in and of itself.

It’s generally accepted that CX gained traction in the B2C world first, but as B2B companies start focusing on customer experience, we need to understand how customer experience management might differ within this context.

Key differences and
considerations

The core fundamental of CX management are 90-95% the same
whether you are talking about B2C or B2B, save for a couple of differences.
These differences are also the basis of key considerations for how to manage
B2B CX:

  • The customer is not an individual, but rather a community of stakeholders – The biggest difference is that in the B2B space, companies aren’t dealing with an individual as their customer, but rather a group of stakeholders within the customer’s organization. To effectively manage the relationship, supplier organizations need to understand the wants, needs and drivers of all of their key customer stakeholders, recognizing that these will probably differ from individual to individual. Be wary of an over-emphasis on the needs of the customer’s decision-maker (e.g. the CEO). This person might be key for sign-off at the time of customer acquisition, but they might be removed from the relationship for the rest of the enterprise-level journey. Other stakeholders could become influential voices in re-purchase decisions. So it’s worth the time and effort to do a little stakeholder mapping on B2B customers.
  • Fewer, but more complex, relationships – While B2B customer relationships might be more high maintenance given the number of stakeholders, the good news is that most B2B business models have a smaller customer base. These relationships are also likely to be deeper and more complex, hence the rise of Customer Success teams to help manage these relationships. If your customer base runs in the hundreds or thousands, not millions, it will change the way that you define experiences, communicate with your customers and solicit feedback. What works in the B2C world, might not be applicable in B2B, but the depth of the relationship opens up a new world of possibilities for experience management.
  • B2B customer organizations are ultimately serving another customer, so pressures move backwards through the value chain – In B2C CX, the buck stops with the consumer. In the B2B world, enterprise product and service providers need to understand the wants and needs of the end consumer, as well as how these play out in terms of supporting B2B customers to deliver experiences to their customers. Whatever their customers want will inform what they ask of their suppliers.

Leveraging best practices from B2C

What learnings can CX practitioners leverage from the world of B2C CX? The short answer is pretty much everything, as long as the approach is tweaked for the context of the 3 key differences mentioned above. Beyond that, it’s generally good practice to treat individual B2B customer stakeholders in the same way that a brand would treat any end consumer. B2B stakeholders are consumers in their own right. We know that consumer expectations are on the rise, and individual stakeholders within a business are unlikely to check these expectations at the parking lot when they go into work. If you want to deliver a great B2B customer experience, this starts with the individual experience for each of your stakeholders.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including B2B CX strategy) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of what makes experience management unique for organizations in the business to business space. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains the fundamentals of B2B CX,










This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of what makes experience management unique for organizations in the business to business space. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains the fundamentals of B2B CX, how this differs from B2C experience management and what approaches are applicable to both. If you are keen for a snappy summary of B2B CX, then this episode is for you.







A growing focus on B2B CX



Episode 49 covered how the field of CX is growing and evolving, specifically with regards to the evolution of customer success teams and the role that these teams play in customer experience. The rise of the Customer Success function is rooted in the unique needs of CX within the B2B world, which is an important topic in and of itself.



It’s generally accepted that CX gained traction in the B2C world first, but as B2B companies start focusing on customer experience, we need to understand how customer experience management might differ within this context.



Key differences and
considerations



The core fundamental of CX management are 90-95% the same
whether you are talking about B2C or B2B, save for a couple of differences.
These differences are also the basis of key considerations for how to manage
B2B CX:



* The customer is not an individual, but rather a community of stakeholders - The biggest difference is that in the B2B space, companies aren’t dealing with an individual as their customer, but rather a group of stakeholders within the customer’s organization. To effectively manage the relationship, supplier organizations need to understand the wants, needs and drivers of all of their key customer stakeholders, recognizing that these will probably differ from individual to individual. Be wary of an over-emphasis on the needs of the customer’s decision-maker (e.g. the CEO). This person might be key for sign-off at the time of customer acquisition, but they might be removed from the relationship for the rest of the enterprise-level journey. Other stakeholders could become influential voices in re-purchase decisions. So it’s worth the time and effort to do a little stakeholder mapping on B2B customers.* Fewer, but more complex, relationships - While B2B customer relationships might be more high maintenance given the number of stakeholders, the good news is that most B2B business models have a smaller customer base. These relationships are also likely to be deeper and more complex, hence the rise of Customer Success teams to help manage these relationships. If your customer base runs in the hundreds or thousands, not millions, it will change the way that you define experiences, communicate with your customers and solicit feedback. What works in the B2C world, might not be applicable in B2B, but the depth of the relationship opens up a new world of possibilities for experience management. * B2B customer organizations are ultimately serving another customer, so pressures move backwards through the value chain - In B2C CX, the buck stops with the consumer. In the B2B world, enterprise product and service providers need to understand the wants and needs of the end consumer, as well as how these play out in terms of supporting B2B customers to deliver experiences to their customers. Whatever their customers want will inform what they ask of their suppliers.



Leveraging best practices from B2C



What learnings can CX practitioners leverage from the world of B2C CX? The short answer is pretty much everything, as long as the approach is tweaked for the context of the 3 key differences mentioned abo...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
CX in Government: CX Mini Masterclass – E50 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/cx-in-government-cx-mini-masterclass-e50/ Thu, 22 Aug 2019 15:08:00 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1476 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/cx-in-government-cx-mini-masterclass-e50/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/cx-in-government-cx-mini-masterclass-e50/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explores 3 trends that are on the rise with how governments are embracing CX practices. Special guest and CX thought leader Stephanie Thum speaks about how this trend is gaining global momentum, the importance of adapting government experiences for the modern world, and the growing influence of oversight bodies to ensure that governments are doing right by consumers. If you’re wondering how CX is being applied beyond the private sector, then this episode is for you.  Insights from a special guest Stephanie has amassed deep expertise through her diverse professional background in the field of customer experience. While she’s often best known for her experience as one of the US federal government's first agency CX leads, she has also been a practitioner and consultant in the B2B world, working with small and mid-sized companies and was one of the founding members of the CXPA. She's a CCXP and has remained active with the association, even spending some time as part of the association's HQ team. She's written an ebook, Where Customer Experience Practices Haven't Landed in Business. If you'd like to get in touch, connect with her via LinkedIn or Twitter. Stephanie Thum, CCXP CX beyond the private sector When we think about customer experience, the default is often to consider the implications for the private sector, but consumers don’t check their expectations at the door when they go to the DMV, grab a book at the library or go for a hike in a national park. And they certainly don’t forget these experiences when they go to the ballot box. Consumer expectations are on the rise across the board, and the public sector is also responding.  Trends in government CX Stephanie shares 3 trends for how CX is taking hold within governmental organizations: Global momentum - CX is being embraced by governments and public sector agencies around the world. The governments of New South Wales in Australia and the City of Dublin in Ireland are just two examples of how government agencies are getting serious about CX by establishing permanent roles and putting funding behind government CX initiatives. Adapting experiences for the modern world - Historically, citizens have had to engage with governments through formal in-person formats like city council meetings. That's just not always conducive to the modern digital consumer lifestyle. As a response, governments are looking at how they can use things like opt-in online surveys to engage with consumers and understand what's important to them. The rise of oversight bodies - The government accountability office and inspector general's office are two examples of how the US federal government is establishing permanent ongoing customer advocacy among agencies. These oversight bodies keep tabs on fraud, waste and abuse, along with government CX pain points such as customer wait times. Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including customer insights, CX measurement, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or ...

This CX Mini Masterclass explores 3 trends that are on the rise with how governments are embracing CX practices. Special guest and CX thought leader Stephanie Thum speaks about how this trend is gaining global momentum, the importance of adapting government experiences for the modern world, and the growing influence of oversight bodies to ensure that governments are doing right by consumers. If you’re wondering how CX is being applied beyond the private sector, then this episode is for you. 

Insights from a special guest

Stephanie has amassed deep expertise through her diverse professional background in the field of customer experience. While she’s often best known for her experience as one of the US federal government’s first agency CX leads, she has also been a practitioner and consultant in the B2B world, working with small and mid-sized companies and was one of the founding members of the CXPA. She’s a CCXP and has remained active with the association, even spending some time as part of the association’s HQ team. She’s written an ebook, Where Customer Experience Practices Haven’t Landed in Business. If you’d like to get in touch, connect with her via LinkedIn or Twitter.

Stephanie Thum, CCXP

CX beyond the private sector

When we think about customer experience, the default is often to consider the implications for the private sector, but consumers don’t check their expectations at the door when they go to the DMV, grab a book at the library or go for a hike in a national park. And they certainly don’t forget these experiences when they go to the ballot box. Consumer expectations are on the rise across the board, and the public sector is also responding. 

Trends in government CX

Stephanie shares 3 trends for how CX is taking hold within governmental organizations:

  • Global momentum – CX is being embraced by governments and public sector agencies around the world. The governments of New South Wales in Australia and the City of Dublin in Ireland are just two examples of how government agencies are getting serious about CX by establishing permanent roles and putting funding behind government CX initiatives.
  • Adapting experiences for the modern world – Historically, citizens have had to engage with governments through formal in-person formats like city council meetings. That’s just not always conducive to the modern digital consumer lifestyle. As a response, governments are looking at how they can use things like opt-in online surveys to engage with consumers and understand what’s important to them.
  • The rise of oversight bodies – The government accountability office and inspector general’s office are two examples of how the US federal government is establishing permanent ongoing customer advocacy among agencies. These oversight bodies keep tabs on fraud, waste and abuse, along with government CX pain points such as customer wait times.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including customer insights, CX measurement, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass explores 3 trends that are on the rise with how governments are embracing CX practices. Special guest and CX thought leader Stephanie Thum speaks about how this trend is gaining global momentum,












This CX Mini Masterclass explores 3 trends that are on the rise with how governments are embracing CX practices. Special guest and CX thought leader Stephanie Thum speaks about how this trend is gaining global momentum, the importance of adapting government experiences for the modern world, and the growing influence of oversight bodies to ensure that governments are doing right by consumers. If you’re wondering how CX is being applied beyond the private sector, then this episode is for you. 







Insights from a special guest



Stephanie has amassed deep expertise through her diverse professional background in the field of customer experience. While she’s often best known for her experience as one of the US federal government's first agency CX leads, she has also been a practitioner and consultant in the B2B world, working with small and mid-sized companies and was one of the founding members of the CXPA. She's a CCXP and has remained active with the association, even spending some time as part of the association's HQ team. She's written an ebook, Where Customer Experience Practices Haven't Landed in Business. If you'd like to get in touch, connect with her via LinkedIn or Twitter.



Stephanie Thum, CCXP



CX beyond the private sector


When we think about customer experience, the default is often to consider the implications for the private sector, but consumers don’t check their expectations at the door when they go to the DMV, grab a book at the library or go for a hike in a national park. And they certainly don’t forget these experiences when they go to the ballot box. Consumer expectations are on the rise across the board, and the public sector is also responding. 



Trends in government CX



Stephanie shares 3 trends for how CX is taking hold within governmental organizations:



* Global momentum - CX is being embraced by governments and public sector agencies around the world. The governments of New South Wales in Australia and the City of Dublin in Ireland are just two examples of how government agencies are getting serious about CX by establishing permanent roles and putting funding behind government CX initiatives. * Adapting experiences for the modern world - Historically, citizens have had to engage with governments through formal in-person formats like city council meetings. That's just not always conducive to the modern digital consumer lifestyle. As a response, governments are looking at how they can use things like opt-in online surveys to engage with consumers and understand what's important to them. * The rise of oversight bodies - The government accountability office and inspector general's office are two examples of how the US federal government is establishing permanent ongoing customer advocacy among agencies. These oversight bodies keep tabs on fraud, waste and abuse, along with government CX pain points such as customer wait times.



Want to keep learning about CX?



If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.



]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
What is customer success: CX Mini Masterclass – E49 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/what-is-customer-success-cx-mini-masterclass-e49/ Wed, 14 Aug 2019 15:34:49 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1485 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/what-is-customer-success-cx-mini-masterclass-e49/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/what-is-customer-success-cx-mini-masterclass-e49/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explains customer success within the context of customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains the typical function of B2B customer success teams, clarifies how this differs from traditional customer service in the B2C world, and then explores the role of customer success in CX. If you are keen to learn more about the heart and soul of the customer journey in B2B CX, then this episode is for you. What is customer success? Customer success teams are mostly a feature in the B2B world, often where there is an ongoing client need or subscription based service offering. These teams are responsible for protecting and cultivating the client relationship, as well as delivering client outcomes. Once a sales team has acquired the customer, the relationship is often transitioned to the customer success team, which is responsible for keeping customers happy and engaged. These teams are also usually tasked with onboarding new clients as well as retaining, renewing and growing their business. Customer success teams are the beating heart of the client’s customer journey once the sales process is complete. How this differs from customer service Unlike traditional B2C customer service, which is a reactive function, responding to specific customer issues or queries, customer success teams usually have some proactive ongoing engagement with their clients in addition to solving issues when they arise. B2C customer service teams are rarely tasked with growing a customer’s business. Retention, yes, growth, rarely. Customer success teams on the other hand are also responsible for understanding a client’s needs and then deepening their relationship with the brand through other products and services if appropriate. CS and CX If you are struggling with the distinction, a safe way to think about it is that the CX function is often strategic in nature, while the customer success team is usually more tactical. CX management encompasses the entire journey, whereas customer success is responsible for delivering value once a potential customer becomes an actual customer. Both CS and CX will work towards the same end goal, but through slightly different means. The customer success team is one of the most if not the most important touchpoint for a customer in the B2B setting. Besides a client’s interactions with the product or service itself, customer success teams are probably the most important point of contact with the brand. That’s a huge responsibility. In terms of CX management, customer success teams will be an important source of customer insights and they can be a powerful voice for customer advocacy within the organization, but just as CX teams are typically separate from customer service teams, it’s important to create a distinction between the two in the B2B setting. If not, you run the risk of the rest of the business viewing CX as “that team’s responsibility”, which is a slippery slope. Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulti...

This CX Mini Masterclass explains customer success within the context of customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains the typical function of B2B customer success teams, clarifies how this differs from traditional customer service in the B2C world, and then explores the role of customer success in CX. If you are keen to learn more about the heart and soul of the customer journey in B2B CX, then this episode is for you.

What is customer success?

Customer success teams are mostly a feature in the B2B world, often where there is an ongoing client need or subscription based service offering. These teams are responsible for protecting and cultivating the client relationship, as well as delivering client outcomes.

Once a sales team has acquired the customer, the relationship is often transitioned to the customer success team, which is responsible for keeping customers happy and engaged. These teams are also usually tasked with onboarding new clients as well as retaining, renewing and growing their business. Customer success teams are the beating heart of the client’s customer journey once the sales process is complete.

How this differs from customer service

Unlike traditional B2C customer service, which is a reactive function, responding to specific customer issues or queries, customer success teams usually have some proactive ongoing engagement with their clients in addition to solving issues when they arise.

B2C customer service teams are rarely tasked with growing a customer’s business. Retention, yes, growth, rarely. Customer success teams on the other hand are also responsible for understanding a client’s needs and then deepening their relationship with the brand through other products and services if appropriate.

CS and CX

If you are struggling with the distinction, a safe way to think about it is that the CX function is often strategic in nature, while the customer success team is usually more tactical. CX management encompasses the entire journey, whereas customer success is responsible for delivering value once a potential customer becomes an actual customer. Both CS and CX will work towards the same end goal, but through slightly different means.

The customer success team is one of the most if not the most important touchpoint for a customer in the B2B setting. Besides a client’s interactions with the product or service itself, customer success teams are probably the most important point of contact with the brand. That’s a huge responsibility.

In terms of CX management, customer success teams will be an important source of customer insights and they can be a powerful voice for customer advocacy within the organization, but just as CX teams are typically separate from customer service teams, it’s important to create a distinction between the two in the B2B setting. If not, you run the risk of the rest of the business viewing CX as “that team’s responsibility”, which is a slippery slope.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including including B2B CX strategy ) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass explains customer success within the context of customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains the typical function of B2B customer success teams,









This CX Mini Masterclass explains customer success within the context of customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains the typical function of B2B customer success teams, clarifies how this differs from traditional customer service in the B2C world, and then explores the role of customer success in CX. If you are keen to learn more about the heart and soul of the customer journey in B2B CX, then this episode is for you.







What is customer success?



Customer success teams are mostly a feature in the B2B world, often where there is an ongoing client need or subscription based service offering. These teams are responsible for protecting and cultivating the client relationship, as well as delivering client outcomes.



Once a sales team has acquired the customer, the relationship is often transitioned to the customer success team, which is responsible for keeping customers happy and engaged. These teams are also usually tasked with onboarding new clients as well as retaining, renewing and growing their business. Customer success teams are the beating heart of the client’s customer journey once the sales process is complete.



How this differs from customer service



Unlike traditional B2C customer service, which is a reactive function, responding to specific customer issues or queries, customer success teams usually have some proactive ongoing engagement with their clients in addition to solving issues when they arise.



B2C customer service teams are rarely tasked with growing a customer’s business. Retention, yes, growth, rarely. Customer success teams on the other hand are also responsible for understanding a client’s needs and then deepening their relationship with the brand through other products and services if appropriate.



CS and CX



If you are struggling with the distinction, a safe way to think about it is that the CX function is often strategic in nature, while the customer success team is usually more tactical. CX management encompasses the entire journey, whereas customer success is responsible for delivering value once a potential customer becomes an actual customer. Both CS and CX will work towards the same end goal, but through slightly different means.



The customer success team is one of the most if not the most important touchpoint for a customer in the B2B setting. Besides a client’s interactions with the product or service itself, customer success teams are probably the most important point of contact with the brand. That’s a huge responsibility.



In terms of CX management, customer success teams will be an important source of customer insights and they can be a powerful voice for customer advocacy within the organization, but just as CX teams are typically separate from customer service teams, it’s important to create a distinction between the two in the B2B setting. If not, you run the risk of the rest of the business viewing CX as “that team’s responsibility”, which is a slippery slope.



Want to keep learning about CX?



If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.



And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
CX change management in action: CX Mini Masterclass – E48 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/cx-change-management-in-action-cx-mini-masterclass-e48/ Thu, 08 Aug 2019 16:08:15 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1470 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/cx-change-management-in-action-cx-mini-masterclass-e48/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/cx-change-management-in-action-cx-mini-masterclass-e48/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass demonstrates what CX change looks like in action. Special guest and CX thought leader Nate Brown makes the case for why CX professionals must become proficient in change management methodologies. He then takes a practical look at one of the most popular change management models, John Kotter’s 8-step approach, outlining ideas and recommendations for CX professionals at each step of the way. Insights from a special guest I can’t think of a better guide for this immersive tour of change management. Nate is the co-founder of CX Accelerator, a virtual community for experience professionals. And while Customer Service is his primary expertise, Nate is able to leverage experience in professional services, marketing, and sales to connect dots and solve the big problems.  From authoring and leading a Customer Experience program, to journey mapping, to building and managing a complex contact center, Nate is always learning new things and sharing with the community.  Beyond Nate’s expertise bringing together the CX community, he’s also in an in-house CX practitioner role, on the front lines of driving CX change, so he’s here to bring a great balance of theory and practice. You can follow Nate on Twitter using handle @CustomerIsFirst or LinkedIn. His CX Primer is an excellent resource for those looking to learn more about CX. Nate's CX Accelerator is is the kindest, most helpful digital community of CX professionals in the world.  Join them be encouraged, learn new things, and meet fantastic people who share a common bond of creating exceptional experiences! Nate Brown CX change through the lens of the Kotter model Nate shared his perspective on the practical application of change management with John Kotter's 8-step model. This is one of the most popular change management models out there, and a model highlighted by Diane Magers in episode 44 (a great overview of change management theory for anyone looking to learn more about this topic). Nate took listeners through each step of change, highlighting practical ideas and actions: Create a sense of urgency - brands that lead in CX are gobbling up market share across sectors. This can be used to help galvanize leaders and teams to move towards change. Build a guiding coalition - for CX it's important to build a guiding coalition with representation from across the organization's business functions. CX doesn't work in isolation, so the guiding coalition should be cross-functional. CX change makers should also pay close attention to where their organization's power core sits - that's the first place you should look to foster buy in and support. Form a strategic vision and initiatives - Don't let Voice of Customer (VOC) efforts become a false finish line. VOC can help inform strategy, but it's not the strategy itself. CX teams need to take customer insights and then translate these into real changes within the organization. Enlist a volunteer army - CX should be a movement, not a project. Let's be honest, it's difficult to rally a volunteer army around a project. Focus on the purpose of CX. Helping people is something that teams can support. Enable action by removing barriers - CX leaders should be looking at opportunities to reduce effort for customers and employees. When was the last time your organization looked at employee effort? Generate short terms wins - CX movements don't always focus on short term wins, but these are key for gaining momentum. Customer insights can be a great place to start if you want to identify the low hanging fruit. Sustain acceleration - Define your milestones to keep teams engaged and excited about the CX movement. CX leaders need to strike the balance between recognizing short term wins and not proclaiming victory too early. Institute change - CX change needs to be embedded in employee experience in order for it to become sustainable. If you do this, it will help override old (bad) habits and institute l...

This CX Mini Masterclass demonstrates what CX change looks like in action. Special guest and CX thought leader Nate Brown makes the case for why CX professionals must become proficient in change management methodologies. He then takes a practical look at one of the most popular change management models, John Kotter’s 8-step approach, outlining ideas and recommendations for CX professionals at each step of the way.

Insights from a special guest

I can’t think of a better guide for this immersive tour of change management. Nate is the co-founder of CX Accelerator, a virtual community for experience professionals. And while Customer Service is his primary expertise, Nate is able to leverage experience in professional services, marketing, and sales to connect dots and solve the big problems.  From authoring and leading a Customer Experience program, to journey mapping, to building and managing a complex contact center, Nate is always learning new things and sharing with the community. 

Beyond Nate’s expertise bringing together the CX community, he’s also in an in-house CX practitioner role, on the front lines of driving CX change, so he’s here to bring a great balance of theory and practice.

You can follow Nate on Twitter using handle @CustomerIsFirst or LinkedIn. His CX Primer is an excellent resource for those looking to learn more about CX. Nate’s CX Accelerator is is the kindest, most helpful digital community of CX professionals in the world.  Join them be encouraged, learn new things, and meet fantastic people who share a common bond of creating exceptional experiences!

Nate Brown

CX change through the lens of the Kotter model

Nate shared his perspective on the practical application of change management with John Kotter’s 8-step model. This is one of the most popular change management models out there, and a model highlighted by Diane Magers in episode 44 (a great overview of change management theory for anyone looking to learn more about this topic).

Nate took listeners through each step of change, highlighting practical ideas and actions:

  1. Create a sense of urgency – brands that lead in CX are gobbling up market share across sectors. This can be used to help galvanize leaders and teams to move towards change.
  2. Build a guiding coalition – for CX it’s important to build a guiding coalition with representation from across the organization’s business functions. CX doesn’t work in isolation, so the guiding coalition should be cross-functional. CX change makers should also pay close attention to where their organization’s power core sits – that’s the first place you should look to foster buy in and support.
  3. Form a strategic vision and initiatives – Don’t let Voice of Customer (VOC) efforts become a false finish line. VOC can help inform strategy, but it’s not the strategy itself. CX teams need to take customer insights and then translate these into real changes within the organization.
  4. Enlist a volunteer army – CX should be a movement, not a project. Let’s be honest, it’s difficult to rally a volunteer army around a project. Focus on the purpose of CX. Helping people is something that teams can support.
  5. Enable action by removing barriers – CX leaders should be looking at opportunities to reduce effort for customers and employees. When was the last time your organization looked at employee effort?
  6. Generate short terms wins – CX movements don’t always focus on short term wins, but these are key for gaining momentum. Customer insights can be a great place to start if you want to identify the low hanging fruit.
  7. Sustain acceleration – Define your milestones to keep teams engaged and excited about the CX movement. CX leaders need to strike the balance between recognizing short term wins and not proclaiming victory too early.
  8. Institute change – CX change needs to be embedded in employee experience in order for it to become sustainable. If you do this, it will help override old (bad) habits and institute lasting change.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including customer insights, CX measurement, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass demonstrates what CX change looks like in action. Special guest and CX thought leader Nate Brown makes the case for why CX professionals must become proficient in change management methodologies.












This CX Mini Masterclass demonstrates what CX change looks like in action. Special guest and CX thought leader Nate Brown makes the case for why CX professionals must become proficient in change management methodologies. He then takes a practical look at one of the most popular change management models, John Kotter’s 8-step approach, outlining ideas and recommendations for CX professionals at each step of the way.







Insights from a special guest



I can’t think of a better guide for this immersive tour of change management. Nate is the co-founder of CX Accelerator, a virtual community for experience professionals. And while Customer Service is his primary expertise, Nate is able to leverage experience in professional services, marketing, and sales to connect dots and solve the big problems.  From authoring and leading a Customer Experience program, to journey mapping, to building and managing a complex contact center, Nate is always learning new things and sharing with the community. 



Beyond Nate’s expertise bringing together the CX community, he’s also in an in-house CX practitioner role, on the front lines of driving CX change, so he’s here to bring a great balance of theory and practice.



You can follow Nate on Twitter using handle @CustomerIsFirst or LinkedIn. His CX Primer is an excellent resource for those looking to learn more about CX. Nate's CX Accelerator is is the kindest, most helpful digital community of CX professionals in the world.  Join them be encouraged, learn new things, and meet fantastic people who share a common bond of creating exceptional experiences!



Nate Brown



CX change through the lens of the Kotter model


Nate shared his perspective on the practical application of change management with John Kotter's 8-step model. This is one of the most popular change management models out there, and a model highlighted by Diane Magers in episode 44 (a great overview of change management theory for anyone looking to learn more about this topic).
Nate took listeners through each step of change, highlighting practical ideas and actions:

* Create a sense of urgency - brands that lead in CX are gobbling up market share across sectors. This can be used to help galvanize leaders and teams to move towards change.
* Build a guiding coalition - for CX it's important to build a guiding coalition with representation from across the organization's business functions. CX doesn't work in isolation, so the guiding coalition should be cross-functional. CX change makers should also pay close attention to where their organization's power core sits - that's the first place you should look to foster buy in and support.
* Form a strategic vision and initiatives - Don't let Voice of Customer (VOC) efforts become a false finish line. VOC can help inform strategy, but it's not the strategy itself. CX teams need to take customer insights and then translate these into real changes within the organization.
* Enlist a volunteer army - CX should be a movement, not a project. Let's be honest, it's difficult to rally a volunteer army around a project.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Positivity as a key to exceptional customer experience: interview with Matt Prowse – E47 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/positivity-as-a-key-to-exceptional-customer-experience-interview-with-matt-prowse-e47/ Thu, 01 Aug 2019 14:07:07 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1456 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/positivity-as-a-key-to-exceptional-customer-experience-interview-with-matt-prowse-e47/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/positivity-as-a-key-to-exceptional-customer-experience-interview-with-matt-prowse-e47/feed/ 0 Matt Prowse, director of Customer Experience at IAG, Australia's largest insurer, shares his experience leveraging positivity to rally teams around the customer. Matt (aka "the happiest man in insurance") and show host, Julia Ahlfeldt discuss the power of positivity, what it takes to get leadership support and how shifting a team's mindset can gear an organization to deliver exceptional customer experience. If you’re seeking inspiration about how team positivity, customer insights and good news stories can be harnessed to create real change, then this episode is for you. The happiest man in insurance I met Matt at a conference last year. We were both speakers, and listening to him recount his work, I was struck by both his innovative approaches, as well as his energy and dedication to the customer experience profession. It can be easy for customer experience teams to get mired in the negativity of what's not working with the customer journey. But it's just as important to focus on the positive...and that's exactly what Matt has done. Matt may be known as the happiest man in insurance, but do not be mistaken, Matt is all about substance. He is a seasoned customer experience professional, with a degree in marketing and a diverse, cross-functional professional background that he can pull from. Matt is a Customer Experience evangelist charged with bringing the voices of customers and colleagues into organisations through stories. In his current role he is helping Australia’s largest general insurer IAG to be customer-led and data-driven through the creation of customer-centred routines, rhythms and resources. He has managed Customer Connection programs at organisations like FOXTEL, Rolling Stone Magazine, Sydney Morning Herald and most recently IAG. Throughout his career, he’s been a champion for the customer, and more recently he’s become an advocate for positivity as a means to foster customer-centric change. Connect with Matt here:  www.linkedin.com/in/mattprowse Matt Prowse – Customer Experience Director, IAG Shrugging off negativity After working at FOXTEL, one of Australia's major media brands and being bombarded on a daily basis with negative news, Matt decided to turn a 180 and focus on the positivity, both in his personal and professional life. As Matt has written about, our brains are hard-wired to seek out negative messaging. But this negative messaging also suppresses our creativity, problem solving and ability to connect with others. To unlock the power of positivity, we have to change the way we communicate, and this extends to how we talk about customer experience. Most Voice of Customer (VOC) programs are geared around opportunities for experience improvement. It's important for teams to understand which aspects of the customer journey need to be improved, but that doesn't mean those are the only messages that teams should focus on. To balance the positive with the negative, Matt started a program called "IAG with thanks", inviting senior leaders to call customers who had reported a positive experience and then engage with them about their recent interactions with the brand. Senior leaders can then send a personalized thank you to the front line team members. You need engaged teams to deliver exceptional experiences As Matt's "IAG with thanks" program gained momentum, it also opened up other opportunities for back office teams to connect with customers and teams directly supporting the customer. Rather than sending PowerPoint slides with survey results, Matt invites cross functional teams to see customer feedback firsthand and engage with the employees who are at the coalface of customer experience. This approach has helped rally all teams around the customer and get everyone thinking about their contribution to the customer experience, regardless of how many degrees they may be removed from the actual experience. If you want to enable teams to design and deli...

Matt Prowse, director of Customer Experience at IAG, Australia’s largest insurer, shares his experience leveraging positivity to rally teams around the customer. Matt (aka “the happiest man in insurance”) and show host, Julia Ahlfeldt discuss the power of positivity, what it takes to get leadership support and how shifting a team’s mindset can gear an organization to deliver exceptional customer experience. If you’re seeking inspiration about how team positivity, customer insights and good news stories can be harnessed to create real change, then this episode is for you.

The happiest man in insurance

I met Matt at a conference last year. We were both speakers, and listening to him recount his work, I was struck by both his innovative approaches, as well as his energy and dedication to the customer experience profession. It can be easy for customer experience teams to get mired in the negativity of what’s not working with the customer journey. But it’s just as important to focus on the positive…and that’s exactly what Matt has done.

Matt may be known as the happiest man in insurance, but do not be mistaken, Matt is all about substance. He is a seasoned customer experience professional, with a degree in marketing and a diverse, cross-functional professional background that he can pull from. Matt is a Customer Experience evangelist charged with bringing the voices of customers and colleagues into organisations through stories. In his current role he is helping Australia’s largest general insurer IAG to be customer-led and data-driven through the creation of customer-centred routines, rhythms and resources. He has managed Customer Connection programs at organisations like FOXTEL, Rolling Stone Magazine, Sydney Morning Herald and most recently IAG.

Throughout his career, he’s been a champion for the customer, and more recently he’s become an advocate for positivity as a means to foster customer-centric change. Connect with Matt here:  www.linkedin.com/in/mattprowse

Matt Prowse – Customer Experience Director, IAG

Shrugging off negativity

After working at FOXTEL, one of Australia’s major media brands and being bombarded on a daily basis with negative news, Matt decided to turn a 180 and focus on the positivity, both in his personal and professional life. As Matt has written about, our brains are hard-wired to seek out negative messaging. But this negative messaging also suppresses our creativity, problem solving and ability to connect with others. To unlock the power of positivity, we have to change the way we communicate, and this extends to how we talk about customer experience.

Most Voice of Customer (VOC) programs are geared around opportunities for experience improvement. It’s important for teams to understand which aspects of the customer journey need to be improved, but that doesn’t mean those are the only messages that teams should focus on. To balance the positive with the negative, Matt started a program called “IAG with thanks”, inviting senior leaders to call customers who had reported a positive experience and then engage with them about their recent interactions with the brand. Senior leaders can then send a personalized thank you to the front line team members.

You need engaged teams to deliver exceptional experiences

As Matt’s “IAG with thanks” program gained momentum, it also opened up other opportunities for back office teams to connect with customers and teams directly supporting the customer. Rather than sending PowerPoint slides with survey results, Matt invites cross functional teams to see customer feedback firsthand and engage with the employees who are at the coalface of customer experience.

This approach has helped rally all teams around the customer and get everyone thinking about their contribution to the customer experience, regardless of how many degrees they may be removed from the actual experience. If you want to enable teams to design and deliver exceptional customer experience, you have to create this team cohesion, and Matt has achieved this through the power of positivity.

Laying the foundation

Matt has had incredible success engaging employees and bringing all teams closer to the customer, but he was very clear that there was some groundwork needed to get there. Here are some of his tips for CX leaders:

  • Garner senior leadership support by demonstrating results. Don’t be shy in sharing these.
  • Leverage cross-functional champions within the business. In Matt’s case, a senior leader from the communications team had a profound experience speaking to a customer and helped advocate for “IAG with thanks”.
  • Invite teams to engage with the customer, but don’t make this mandatory, or you’ll risk it becoming a tick box.

Episode Sponsor

This episode was sponsored by CX University, a CX training company offering a broad array of CX learning options, including e-learning modules and CCXP practice exams. CXU is an accredited resource and training provider and their resources and they offer a flexible and affordable monthly subscription model. Listeners of this CX podcast can get 10% off their first month’s subscription by entering the discount code PODCAST10 at checkout.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business define customer experience strategy that delivers results, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

]]>
Matt Prowse, director of Customer Experience at IAG, Australia's largest insurer, shares his experience leveraging positivity to rally teams around the customer. Matt (aka "the happiest man in insurance") and show host,













Matt Prowse, director of Customer Experience at IAG, Australia's largest insurer, shares his experience leveraging positivity to rally teams around the customer. Matt (aka "the happiest man in insurance") and show host, Julia Ahlfeldt discuss the power of positivity, what it takes to get leadership support and how shifting a team's mindset can gear an organization to deliver exceptional customer experience. If you’re seeking inspiration about how team positivity, customer insights and good news stories can be harnessed to create real change, then this episode is for you.







The happiest man in insurance



I met Matt at a conference last year. We were both speakers, and listening to him recount his work, I was struck by both his innovative approaches, as well as his energy and dedication to the customer experience profession. It can be easy for customer experience teams to get mired in the negativity of what's not working with the customer journey. But it's just as important to focus on the positive...and that's exactly what Matt has done.



Matt may be known as the happiest man in insurance, but do not be mistaken, Matt is all about substance. He is a seasoned customer experience professional, with a degree in marketing and a diverse, cross-functional professional background that he can pull from. Matt is a Customer Experience evangelist charged with bringing the voices of customers and colleagues into organisations through stories. In his current role he is helping Australia’s largest general insurer IAG to be customer-led and data-driven through the creation of customer-centred routines, rhythms and resources. He has managed Customer Connection programs at organisations like FOXTEL, Rolling Stone Magazine, Sydney Morning Herald and most recently IAG.



Throughout his career, he’s been a champion for the customer, and more recently he’s become an advocate for positivity as a means to foster customer-centric change. Connect with Matt here:  www.linkedin.com/in/mattprowse



Matt Prowse – Customer Experience Director, IAG



Shrugging off negativity



After working at FOXTEL, one of Australia's major media brands and being bombarded on a daily basis with negative news, Matt decided to turn a 180 and focus on the positivity, both in his personal and professional life. As Matt has written about, our brains are hard-wired to seek out negative messaging. But this negative messaging also suppresses our creativity, problem solving and ability to connect with others. To unlock the power of positivity, we have to change the way we communicate, and this extends to how we talk about customer experience.



Most Voice of Customer (VOC) programs are geared around opportunities for experience improvement. It's important for teams to understand which aspects of the customer journey need to be improved, but that doesn't mean those are the only messages that teams should focus on. To balance the positive with the negative, Matt started a program called "IAG with thanks", inviting senior leaders to call customers who had reported a positive experience and then engage with them about their recent interactions with the brand. Senior leaders can then send a personalized thank you to the front line team members.



You need engaged teams to deliver exceptional experiences



]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Moments of Truth: CX Mini Masterclass – E46 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/moments-of-truth-cx-mini-masterclass-e46/ Thu, 25 Jul 2019 14:17:19 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1453 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/moments-of-truth-cx-mini-masterclass-e46/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/moments-of-truth-cx-mini-masterclass-e46/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explains customer "Moments of Truth". Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares where the concept came from, and how you can use your understanding of Moments of Truth to improve customer journeys and foster loyalty. These moments can make or break a customer journey, so if you’ve heard this term used as a buzzword, but want to learn how to translate jargon into business results, then this episode is for you. Moments of Truth Just like the term “touchpoint”, "Moment of Truth" (MOT) is another one of the super popular CX buzzwords. I hear it used to describe all sort of things, often incorrectly. (Check out Episode 16 for an overview of what touchpoints really are!) The good news is that the concept of the Moment of Truth is one that has been around for a while and has a pretty clearly documented meaning. This concept was coined by Jan Carlzon, the former CEO of Scandinavian Airlines. He spoke of these as “any time a customer comes into contact with a business, however remote, they have an opportunity to form an impression.” Within this broad definition there are especially crucial moments of truth along the journey. These crucial moments happen when a customer has invested a lot of time, energy, money or emotion in a particular outcome, and that outcome is about to come to fruition. MOTs have a significant impact on customer sentiment or satisfaction. We can even think of them as a sort of “tipping point” for the journey. Within the airline example, the check-in counter experience is a quintessential crucial moment of truth. There are so many steps that lead up to the day of travel. From booking tickets to packing bags, customers typically invest a lot of time, energy and money in their trip before they even get to the airport. All this time, expectations and emotions are mounting. If the customer is greeted at check in with a friendly smile and a complementary upgrade because they are a frequent flier, they’ll be floating on cloud 9 all the way to their final destination. If, on the other hand, the check in agent scowls at the customer and informs them they've been bounced because the flight was oversold, it would set a horrible tone for their trip. The interactions at the check in counter take just an instant, but it’s so much more than that to the customer. Identifying the MOTs Journeys can have multiple moments of truth. To identify the most important MOTs, start by mapping the customer journey and evaluating the accumulation of customer effort along the way, searching for those points when the effort crescendos into an outcome. Another way to look at this is in terms of “jobs to be done”. Most customer journeys involve little achievements along the way to fulfilling some greater need. Look for these smaller achievements, and you’ll also probably find the moments of truth. In the airline travel journey there are a good handful of key MOTs. Arriving in your seat on the plane and retrieving your bags upon arrival are two other examples of key moments of truth. Each of these moments presents an important emotional fork in the road. The outcomes could reaffirm the customer's brand loyalty and make their effort seem worth it, or it could leave them upset and erode their relationship with the brand. Designing key memorable moments Once CX professionals identify those crucial moments of truth, it’s time to define what good looks like. Organizations should assess the moments through the lens of what they know customers like or dislike, as well as through the lens of their brand’s aspirations. The Virgin branded airlines have really nailed this balance. Their check in experience is seamless, modern and highly digitized with friendly service staff on hand to assist. These are the building blocks of a good check-in experience, but they’ve also added great branded touches like sleek kiosks, red carpets and mood lighting to all of their check...

This CX Mini Masterclass explains customer “Moments of Truth”. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares where the concept came from, and how you can use your understanding of Moments of Truth to improve customer journeys and foster loyalty. These moments can make or break a customer journey, so if you’ve heard this term used as a buzzword, but want to learn how to translate jargon into business results, then this episode is for you.

Moments of Truth

Just like the term “touchpoint”, “Moment of Truth” (MOT) is another one of the super popular CX buzzwords. I hear it used to describe all sort of things, often incorrectly. (Check out Episode 16 for an overview of what touchpoints really are!) The good news is that the concept of the Moment of Truth is one that has been around for a while and has a pretty clearly documented meaning. This concept was coined by Jan Carlzon, the former CEO of Scandinavian Airlines. He spoke of these as “any time a customer comes into contact with a business, however remote, they have an opportunity to form an impression.”

Within this broad definition there are especially crucial moments of truth along the journey. These crucial moments happen when a customer has invested a lot of time, energy, money or emotion in a particular outcome, and that outcome is about to come to fruition. MOTs have a significant impact on customer sentiment or satisfaction. We can even think of them as a sort of “tipping point” for the journey.

Within the airline example, the check-in counter experience is a quintessential crucial moment of truth. There are so many steps that lead up to the day of travel. From booking tickets to packing bags, customers typically invest a lot of time, energy and money in their trip before they even get to the airport. All this time, expectations and emotions are mounting. If the customer is greeted at check in with a friendly smile and a complementary upgrade because they are a frequent flier, they’ll be floating on cloud 9 all the way to their final destination. If, on the other hand, the check in agent scowls at the customer and informs them they’ve been bounced because the flight was oversold, it would set a horrible tone for their trip. The interactions at the check in counter take just an instant, but it’s so much more than that to the customer.

Identifying the MOTs

Journeys can have multiple moments of truth. To identify the most important MOTs, start by mapping the customer journey and evaluating the accumulation of customer effort along the way, searching for those points when the effort crescendos into an outcome. Another way to look at this is in terms of “jobs to be done”. Most customer journeys involve little achievements along the way to fulfilling some greater need. Look for these smaller achievements, and you’ll also probably find the moments of truth.

In the airline travel journey there are a good handful of key MOTs. Arriving in your seat on the plane and retrieving your bags upon arrival are two other examples of key moments of truth. Each of these moments presents an important emotional fork in the road. The outcomes could reaffirm the customer’s brand loyalty and make their effort seem worth it, or it could leave them upset and erode their relationship with the brand.

Designing key memorable moments

Once CX professionals identify those crucial moments of truth, it’s time to define what good looks like. Organizations should assess the moments through the lens of what they know customers like or dislike, as well as through the lens of their brand’s aspirations.

The Virgin branded airlines have really nailed this balance. Their check in experience is seamless, modern and highly digitized with friendly service staff on hand to assist. These are the building blocks of a good check-in experience, but they’ve also added great branded touches like sleek kiosks, red carpets and mood lighting to all of their check-in areas to set the tone and mark the beginning of the customer’s travel journey with them. Memorable MOTs will look different for each brand and journey, but CX professionals can take inspiration from these best in class examples.

Related image
Virgin Australia’s check-in counter in Perth

Virgin America’s former check-in area in Dallas

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including VOC research and customer insight) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass explains customer "Moments of Truth". Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares where the concept came from, and how you can use your understanding of Moments of Truth to improve customer journeys and fos...







This CX Mini Masterclass explains customer "Moments of Truth". Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares where the concept came from, and how you can use your understanding of Moments of Truth to improve customer journeys and foster loyalty. These moments can make or break a customer journey, so if you’ve heard this term used as a buzzword, but want to learn how to translate jargon into business results, then this episode is for you.







Moments of Truth



Just like the term “touchpoint”, "Moment of Truth" (MOT) is another one of the super popular CX buzzwords. I hear it used to describe all sort of things, often incorrectly. (Check out Episode 16 for an overview of what touchpoints really are!) The good news is that the concept of the Moment of Truth is one that has been around for a while and has a pretty clearly documented meaning. This concept was coined by Jan Carlzon, the former CEO of Scandinavian Airlines. He spoke of these as “any time a customer comes into contact with a business, however remote, they have an opportunity to form an impression.”



Within this broad definition there are especially crucial moments of truth along the journey. These crucial moments happen when a customer has invested a lot of time, energy, money or emotion in a particular outcome, and that outcome is about to come to fruition. MOTs have a significant impact on customer sentiment or satisfaction. We can even think of them as a sort of “tipping point” for the journey.



Within the airline example, the check-in counter experience is a quintessential crucial moment of truth. There are so many steps that lead up to the day of travel. From booking tickets to packing bags, customers typically invest a lot of time, energy and money in their trip before they even get to the airport. All this time, expectations and emotions are mounting. If the customer is greeted at check in with a friendly smile and a complementary upgrade because they are a frequent flier, they’ll be floating on cloud 9 all the way to their final destination. If, on the other hand, the check in agent scowls at the customer and informs them they've been bounced because the flight was oversold, it would set a horrible tone for their trip. The interactions at the check in counter take just an instant, but it’s so much more than that to the customer.



Identifying the MOTs



Journeys can have multiple moments of truth. To identify the most important MOTs, start by mapping the customer journey and evaluating the accumulation of customer effort along the way, searching for those points when the effort crescendos into an outcome. Another way to look at this is in terms of “jobs to be done”. Most customer journeys involve little achievements along the way to fulfilling some greater need. Look for these smaller achievements, and you’ll also probably find the moments of truth.



In the airline travel journey there are a good handful of key MOTs. Arriving in your seat on the plane and retrieving your bags upon arrival are two other examples of key moments of truth. Each of these moments presents an important emotional fork in the road. The outcomes could reaffirm the customer's brand loyalty and make their effort seem worth it, or it could leave them upset and erode their relationship with the brand.



Designing key memorable moments



Once CX professionals identify those crucial moments of truth, it’s time to define what good looks like. Organizations should assess the moments through the lens of what they know customers like ...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Changing how we think about customers: CX Mini Masterclass – E45 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/changing-how-we-think-about-customers-cx-mini-masterclass-e45/ Thu, 18 Jul 2019 15:38:11 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1417 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/changing-how-we-think-about-customers-cx-mini-masterclass-e45/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/changing-how-we-think-about-customers-cx-mini-masterclass-e45/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass makes the case for why CX practitioners need to help flip the script on how organizations think about customers. Special guest and CX thought leader Stephanie Thum provides practical tips on how to influence the way that teams regard customers. Insights from a special guest Stephanie has amassed deep expertise through her diverse professional background in the field of customer experience. While she’s often best known for her experience as one of the US federal government's first agency CX leads, she has also been a practitioner and consultant in the B2B world, working with small and mid-sized companies and was one of the founding members of the CXPA. She's a CCXP and has remained active with the association, even spending some time as part of the association's HQ team. She's written an ebook, Where Customer Experience Practices Haven't Landed in Business. If you'd like to get in touch, connect with her via LinkedIn or Twitter. Stephanie Thum, CCXP Why we need to think about customers differently Historically, businesses and government agencies have viewed customers as a source of business risk. These themes can easily take center stage in leadership and management discussions, positioning customers as adversaries. Stephanie shares that while it's important to recognize and manage risk, organizations must also view customers for what they are: real people. Through humanizing customers, organizations can position customers as partners and remind themselves of who and what they are working for.  How to influence the mindset shift Making that change, however, is easier said than done. Fortunately, Stephanie has shared some practical and engaging ways to initiate the shift: Democratize the data - share customer experience data in a widespread manner throughout your organization in a way that creates a reaction from people. Even if the reactions aren't what you had hoped for, the purpose is to get people regularly talking about customers, as they would profit, staffing, technology, etc. There are endless ways of sharing data, such as circulating survey results or playing a call recording at a team meeting and then troubleshooting experience solutions.Start a conversation through a story - share stories about real customer experiences. Storytelling has been a part of the human experience since time immemorial. Customer anecdotes not only humanize quantitative data, they also help people relate back to their own personal customer experiences. Include customers in the business - bring customers into your organization's activities. Customers aren't outsiders to your business, they are part of it. Look for opportunities to include customers in advisory boards, speak at company events or attend customer appreciation days. This will bridge the divide between employees and customers, and may help surface ideas on how to improve products or experiences. Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including customer insights, CX measurement,

This CX Mini Masterclass makes the case for why CX practitioners need to help flip the script on how organizations think about customers. Special guest and CX thought leader Stephanie Thum provides practical tips on how to influence the way that teams regard customers.

Insights from a special guest

Stephanie has amassed deep expertise through her diverse professional background in the field of customer experience. While she’s often best known for her experience as one of the US federal government’s first agency CX leads, she has also been a practitioner and consultant in the B2B world, working with small and mid-sized companies and was one of the founding members of the CXPA. She’s a CCXP and has remained active with the association, even spending some time as part of the association’s HQ team. She’s written an ebook, Where Customer Experience Practices Haven’t Landed in Business. If you’d like to get in touch, connect with her via LinkedIn or Twitter.

Stephanie Thum, CCXP

Why we need to think about customers differently

Historically, businesses and government agencies have viewed customers as a source of business risk. These themes can easily take center stage in leadership and management discussions, positioning customers as adversaries. Stephanie shares that while it’s important to recognize and manage risk, organizations must also view customers for what they are: real people. Through humanizing customers, organizations can position customers as partners and remind themselves of who and what they are working for. 

How to influence the mindset shift

Making that change, however, is easier said than done. Fortunately, Stephanie has shared some practical and engaging ways to initiate the shift:

  • Democratize the data – share customer experience data in a widespread manner throughout your organization in a way that creates a reaction from people. Even if the reactions aren’t what you had hoped for, the purpose is to get people regularly talking about customers, as they would profit, staffing, technology, etc. There are endless ways of sharing data, such as circulating survey results or playing a call recording at a team meeting and then troubleshooting experience solutions.
  • Start a conversation through a story – share stories about real customer experiences. Storytelling has been a part of the human experience since time immemorial. Customer anecdotes not only humanize quantitative data, they also help people relate back to their own personal customer experiences.
  • Include customers in the business – bring customers into your organization’s activities. Customers aren’t outsiders to your business, they are part of it. Look for opportunities to include customers in advisory boards, speak at company events or attend customer appreciation days. This will bridge the divide between employees and customers, and may help surface ideas on how to improve products or experiences.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including customer insights, CX measurement, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass makes the case for why CX practitioners need to help flip the script on how organizations think about customers. Special guest and CX thought leader Stephanie Thum provides practical tips on how to influence the way that teams ...











This CX Mini Masterclass makes the case for why CX practitioners need to help flip the script on how organizations think about customers. Special guest and CX thought leader Stephanie Thum provides practical tips on how to influence the way that teams regard customers.







Insights from a special guest



Stephanie has amassed deep expertise through her diverse professional background in the field of customer experience. While she’s often best known for her experience as one of the US federal government's first agency CX leads, she has also been a practitioner and consultant in the B2B world, working with small and mid-sized companies and was one of the founding members of the CXPA. She's a CCXP and has remained active with the association, even spending some time as part of the association's HQ team. She's written an ebook, Where Customer Experience Practices Haven't Landed in Business. If you'd like to get in touch, connect with her via LinkedIn or Twitter.



Stephanie Thum, CCXP



Why we need to think about customers differently


Historically, businesses and government agencies have viewed customers as a source of business risk. These themes can easily take center stage in leadership and management discussions, positioning customers as adversaries. Stephanie shares that while it's important to recognize and manage risk, organizations must also view customers for what they are: real people. Through humanizing customers, organizations can position customers as partners and remind themselves of who and what they are working for. 



How to influence the mindset shift



Making that change, however, is easier said than done. Fortunately, Stephanie has shared some practical and engaging ways to initiate the shift:



* Democratize the data - share customer experience data in a widespread manner throughout your organization in a way that creates a reaction from people. Even if the reactions aren't what you had hoped for, the purpose is to get people regularly talking about customers, as they would profit, staffing, technology, etc. There are endless ways of sharing data, such as circulating survey results or playing a call recording at a team meeting and then troubleshooting experience solutions.* Start a conversation through a story - share stories about real customer experiences. Storytelling has been a part of the human experience since time immemorial. Customer anecdotes not only humanize quantitative data, they also help people relate back to their own personal customer experiences. * Include customers in the business - bring customers into your organization's activities. Customers aren't outsiders to your business, they are part of it. Look for opportunities to include customers in advisory boards, speak at company events or attend customer appreciation days. This will bridge the divide between employees and customers, and may help surface ideas on how to improve products or experiences.



Want to keep learning about CX?



If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.



]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Experience-led change management: CX Mini Masterclass – E44 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/experience-led-change-management-cx-mini-masterclass-e44/ Thu, 11 Jul 2019 18:36:59 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1415 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/experience-led-change-management-cx-mini-masterclass-e44/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/experience-led-change-management-cx-mini-masterclass-e44/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explains the role of change management in customer-centric business transformation, and why CX practitioners need to hone their skills in this competency. Special guest and CX thought leader Diane Magers provides an overview of change management and some of the most popular frameworks. Julia shares her plans for future topics and more guest experts. Insights from a special guest Diane has been part of the CX movement since the get-go. She was one of the founding members of the CXPA, and served for 3 years as the association’s interim CEO. After guiding the association through a critical time in its evolution, she announced that the would be moving on to focus on her CX advisory practice, Experience Catalysts. Leveraging expertise gained through holding senior CX roles at blue chip organizations such at AT&T and Sysco Foods, she helps organizations realize customer-centric transformation. To learn more about Diane's work as an expert business advisor, speaker and facilitator, connect with her via LinkedIn. Diane Magers CCXP CX is change management Organizations are ill equipped and unprepared to make the changes needed for customer-centric transformation to be successful. For established businesses, the scale of change is massive. Diane speaks about this as a "level 3" change, which is more akin to transformation than a simple process change (aka "level 1"). CX professionals need to be thinking about the intention and planning of CX initiatives, as well as the bigger picture of sustaining change to core structures within the operating model. Within this context, CX professional must become adept at change management, but this is a new discipline for many. The good news is that change management is an established field of work and there are many models that CX professionals can call on. Diane shared a few of these change management models with listeners: Kurt Lewin's model - This approach suggests change through specific phases involving, "unfreezing", changing and then "re-freezing" John Kotter's model - This popular approach involves 8 steps to change, starting with creating a sense of urgency and ending with instituting change Prosci's ADKAR model - This approach includes 5 steps for facilitating change: awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' model - Best known for her work on death and dying, Kuber-Ross' approach can also be applied to how we understand the emotional response to change Diane stresses that regardless of which model you chose to use, just be sure to have a plan. Focus on the "why" and accept that change needs to be intentionally managed or it won't stick. Change plans should be living. As organizations evolve, the change plans should also adapt. Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including customer insights, CX measurement, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email. 

This CX Mini Masterclass explains the role of change management in customer-centric business transformation, and why CX practitioners need to hone their skills in this competency. Special guest and CX thought leader Diane Magers provides an overview of change management and some of the most popular frameworks. Julia shares her plans for future topics and more guest experts.

Insights from a special guest

Diane has been part of the CX movement since the get-go. She was one of the founding members of the CXPA, and served for 3 years as the association’s interim CEO. After guiding the association through a critical time in its evolution, she announced that the would be moving on to focus on her CX advisory practice, Experience Catalysts. Leveraging expertise gained through holding senior CX roles at blue chip organizations such at AT&T and Sysco Foods, she helps organizations realize customer-centric transformation. To learn more about Diane’s work as an expert business advisor, speaker and facilitator, connect with her via LinkedIn.

Diane Magers CCXP

CX is change management

Organizations are ill equipped and unprepared to make the changes needed for customer-centric transformation to be successful. For established businesses, the scale of change is massive. Diane speaks about this as a “level 3” change, which is more akin to transformation than a simple process change (aka “level 1”). CX professionals need to be thinking about the intention and planning of CX initiatives, as well as the bigger picture of sustaining change to core structures within the operating model.

Within this context, CX professional must become adept at change management, but this is a new discipline for many. The good news is that change management is an established field of work and there are many models that CX professionals can call on.

Diane shared a few of these change management models with listeners:

  • Kurt Lewin’s model – This approach suggests change through specific phases involving, “unfreezing”, changing and then “re-freezing”
  • John Kotter’s model – This popular approach involves 8 steps to change, starting with creating a sense of urgency and ending with instituting change
  • Prosci’s ADKAR model – This approach includes 5 steps for facilitating change: awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement
  • Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ model – Best known for her work on death and dying, Kuber-Ross’ approach can also be applied to how we understand the emotional response to change

Diane stresses that regardless of which model you chose to use, just be sure to have a plan. Focus on the “why” and accept that change needs to be intentionally managed or it won’t stick. Change plans should be living. As organizations evolve, the change plans should also adapt.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including customer insights, CX measurement, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass explains the role of change management in customer-centric business transformation, and why CX practitioners need to hone their skills in this competency. Special guest and CX thought leader Diane Magers provides an overview of...










This CX Mini Masterclass explains the role of change management in customer-centric business transformation, and why CX practitioners need to hone their skills in this competency. Special guest and CX thought leader Diane Magers provides an overview of change management and some of the most popular frameworks. Julia shares her plans for future topics and more guest experts.







Insights from a special guest



Diane has been part of the CX movement since the get-go. She was one of the founding members of the CXPA, and served for 3 years as the association’s interim CEO. After guiding the association through a critical time in its evolution, she announced that the would be moving on to focus on her CX advisory practice, Experience Catalysts. Leveraging expertise gained through holding senior CX roles at blue chip organizations such at AT&T and Sysco Foods, she helps organizations realize customer-centric transformation. To learn more about Diane's work as an expert business advisor, speaker and facilitator, connect with her via LinkedIn.



Diane Magers CCXP



CX is change management


Organizations are ill equipped and unprepared to make the changes needed for customer-centric transformation to be successful. For established businesses, the scale of change is massive. Diane speaks about this as a "level 3" change, which is more akin to transformation than a simple process change (aka "level 1"). CX professionals need to be thinking about the intention and planning of CX initiatives, as well as the bigger picture of sustaining change to core structures within the operating model.
Within this context, CX professional must become adept at change management, but this is a new discipline for many. The good news is that change management is an established field of work and there are many models that CX professionals can call on.
Diane shared a few of these change management models with listeners:

* Kurt Lewin's model - This approach suggests change through specific phases involving, "unfreezing", changing and then "re-freezing"
* John Kotter's model - This popular approach involves 8 steps to change, starting with creating a sense of urgency and ending with instituting change
* Prosci's ADKAR model - This approach includes 5 steps for facilitating change: awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement
* Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' model - Best known for her work on death and dying, Kuber-Ross' approach can also be applied to how we understand the emotional response to change

Diane stresses that regardless of which model you chose to use, just be sure to have a plan. Focus on the "why" and accept that change needs to be intentionally managed or it won't stick. Change plans should be living. As organizations evolve, the change plans should also adapt.



Want to keep learning about CX?



If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.



And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible ...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Digital customer experience will change the way we bank: interview with Luisa Mazinter – E43 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/digital-customer-experience-will-change-the-way-we-bank-interview-with-luisa-mazinter-e43/ Fri, 05 Jul 2019 16:58:35 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1431 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/digital-customer-experience-will-change-the-way-we-bank-interview-with-luisa-mazinter-e43/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/digital-customer-experience-will-change-the-way-we-bank-interview-with-luisa-mazinter-e43/feed/ 0 CMO of TymeBank, Luisa Mazinter shares insights on how her organization is shaking up consumer banking. Luisa and show host, Julia Ahlfeldt discuss how TymeBank is looking at customer needs differently, what it means to build a value proposition that appeals to attitudes rather than demographic market segments, and how passion and purpose have been the leadership team’s guiding light. If you’re seeking inspiration about the power of looking at customer-centricity with fresh eyes, then this episode is for you. Digital customer experience as a catalyst for change As is the case in many markets around the world, the South African banking sector is amid a significant time of change. Episode 9 featured an interview with Charl Nel and Shaun Ray form Capitec Bank (check out part 1 here and part 2 here). Until recently, Capitec has been the new kid on the block, challenging the status quo of banking with a value proposition focused on ease and simplicity. Capitec has grown steadily since their launch in 2001 but during the course of the last year, an even newer breed of banks have come knocking at the door, ready to nip a the heels of Capitec and the established banking brands. Leading the change has been TymeBank, South Africa’s first digital bank which officially launched in early 2019. TymeBank has no branches and its core banking system is hosted securely in the Cloud. This reduces its overheads and delivers significant cost-savings that are passed on to its customers. Through a distribution partnership with retailers Pick n Pay and Boxer, TymeBank has kiosks located at stores across the South Africa. Customers can open an account at these kiosks in under five minutes. An important part of Tyme’s value proposition is their combination of low banking fees paired with competitive interest returns, something their lean operations enable them to do. A CMO's perspective A digital bank without a traditional branch network certainly represents a paradigm shift in the world of banking, and the leadership team at TymeBank has put the customer at the center of everything since day one. No one is better positioned to share insights about this than Luisa Mazinter. Luisa is the Chief Marketing Officer of TymeBank. She’s been with them since 2017, and her professional background has certainly primed her for this unique job. She has had a vast and diverse career including being the Chief Innovation Officer at Mortimer Harvey, an adjunct faculty member at GIBS Business School, and consultant on strategy and change to some of Africa’s biggest brands. Luisa Mazinter, CMO of TymeBank Key takeaways Luisa shared a lot of insights about how the team at TymeBank has approached things differently. And the great thing is that these can be applied to nearly any industry context. Look at customer needs, not productsCreate a CVP that appeals to attitudes, don't get hung up on demographic segmentsEnsure that as you grow the business, you hire people with a shared passion for the purpose and valuesIf you are a small/agile company, look for simple ways to maintain the cultureKeep a pulse on customer interactions through data, report back on this and act accordinglyThink not only about how customers benefit form your products, but how they benefit from your impact in the marketplace Episode Sponsor This episode was sponsored by CX University, a CX training company offering a broad array of CX learning options, including e-learning modules and CCXP practice exams. CXU is an accredited resource and training provider and their resources and they offer a flexible and affordable monthly subscription model. Listeners of this CX podcast can get 10% off their first month's subscription by entering the discount code PODCAST10 at checkout. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist,

CMO of TymeBank, Luisa Mazinter shares insights on how her organization is shaking up consumer banking. Luisa and show host, Julia Ahlfeldt discuss how TymeBank is looking at customer needs differently, what it means to build a value proposition that appeals to attitudes rather than demographic market segments, and how passion and purpose have been the leadership team’s guiding light. If you’re seeking inspiration about the power of looking at customer-centricity with fresh eyes, then this episode is for you.

Digital customer experience as a catalyst for change

As is the case in many markets around the world, the South African banking sector is amid a significant time of change. Episode 9 featured an interview with Charl Nel and Shaun Ray form Capitec Bank (check out part 1 here and part 2 here). Until recently, Capitec has been the new kid on the block, challenging the status quo of banking with a value proposition focused on ease and simplicity. Capitec has grown steadily since their launch in 2001 but during the course of the last year, an even newer breed of banks have come knocking at the door, ready to nip a the heels of Capitec and the established banking brands.

Leading the change has been TymeBank, South Africa’s first digital bank which officially launched in early 2019. TymeBank has no branches and its core banking system is hosted securely in the Cloud. This reduces its overheads and delivers significant cost-savings that are passed on to its customers. Through a distribution partnership with retailers Pick n Pay and Boxer, TymeBank has kiosks located at stores across the South Africa. Customers can open an account at these kiosks in under five minutes. An important part of Tyme’s value proposition is their combination of low banking fees paired with competitive interest returns, something their lean operations enable them to do.

A CMO’s perspective

A digital bank without a traditional branch network certainly represents a paradigm shift in the world of banking, and the leadership team at TymeBank has put the customer at the center of everything since day one. No one is better positioned to share insights about this than Luisa Mazinter. Luisa is the Chief Marketing Officer of TymeBank. She’s been with them since 2017, and her professional background has certainly primed her for this unique job. She has had a vast and diverse career including being the Chief Innovation Officer at Mortimer Harvey, an adjunct faculty member at GIBS Business School, and consultant on strategy and change to some of Africa’s biggest brands.

Luisa Mazinter, CMO of TymeBank

Key takeaways

Luisa shared a lot of insights about how the team at TymeBank has approached things differently. And the great thing is that these can be applied to nearly any industry context.

  • Look at customer needs, not products
  • Create a CVP that appeals to attitudes, don’t get hung up on demographic segments
  • Ensure that as you grow the business, you hire people with a shared passion for the purpose and values
  • If you are a small/agile company, look for simple ways to maintain the culture
  • Keep a pulse on customer interactions through data, report back on this and act accordingly
  • Think not only about how customers benefit form your products, but how they benefit from your impact in the marketplace

Episode Sponsor

This episode was sponsored by CX University, a CX training company offering a broad array of CX learning options, including e-learning modules and CCXP practice exams. CXU is an accredited resource and training provider and their resources and they offer a flexible and affordable monthly subscription model. Listeners of this CX podcast can get 10% off their first month’s subscription by entering the discount code PODCAST10 at checkout.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business define customer experience strategy that delivers results, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

]]>
CMO of TymeBank, Luisa Mazinter shares insights on how her organization is shaking up consumer banking. Luisa and show host, Julia Ahlfeldt discuss how TymeBank is looking at customer needs differently, what it means to build a value proposition that a...












CMO of TymeBank, Luisa Mazinter shares insights on how her organization is shaking up consumer banking. Luisa and show host, Julia Ahlfeldt discuss how TymeBank is looking at customer needs differently, what it means to build a value proposition that appeals to attitudes rather than demographic market segments, and how passion and purpose have been the leadership team’s guiding light. If you’re seeking inspiration about the power of looking at customer-centricity with fresh eyes, then this episode is for you.







Digital customer experience as a catalyst for change



As is the case in many markets around the world, the South African banking sector is amid a significant time of change. Episode 9 featured an interview with Charl Nel and Shaun Ray form Capitec Bank (check out part 1 here and part 2 here). Until recently, Capitec has been the new kid on the block, challenging the status quo of banking with a value proposition focused on ease and simplicity. Capitec has grown steadily since their launch in 2001 but during the course of the last year, an even newer breed of banks have come knocking at the door, ready to nip a the heels of Capitec and the established banking brands.



Leading the change has been TymeBank, South Africa’s first digital bank which officially launched in early 2019. TymeBank has no branches and its core banking system is hosted securely in the Cloud. This reduces its overheads and delivers significant cost-savings that are passed on to its customers. Through a distribution partnership with retailers Pick n Pay and Boxer, TymeBank has kiosks located at stores across the South Africa. Customers can open an account at these kiosks in under five minutes. An important part of Tyme’s value proposition is their combination of low banking fees paired with competitive interest returns, something their lean operations enable them to do.



A CMO's perspective



A digital bank without a traditional branch network certainly represents a paradigm shift in the world of banking, and the leadership team at TymeBank has put the customer at the center of everything since day one. No one is better positioned to share insights about this than Luisa Mazinter. Luisa is the Chief Marketing Officer of TymeBank. She’s been with them since 2017, and her professional background has certainly primed her for this unique job. She has had a vast and diverse career including being the Chief Innovation Officer at Mortimer Harvey, an adjunct faculty member at GIBS Business School, and consultant on strategy and change to some of Africa’s biggest brands.



Luisa Mazinter, CMO of TymeBank



Key takeaways



Luisa shared a lot of insights about how the team at TymeBank has approached things differently. And the great thing is that these can be applied to nearly any industry context.



* Look at customer needs, not products* Create a CVP that appeals to attitudes, don't get hung up on demographic segments* Ensure that as you grow the business, you hire people with a shared passion for the purpose and values* If you are a small/agile company, look for simple ways to maintain the culture* Keep a pulse on customer interactions through data,]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Closing the customer feedback loop: CX Mini Masterclass – E42 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/closing-the-customer-feedback-loop-cx-mini-masterclass-e42/ Thu, 30 May 2019 15:47:47 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1395 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/closing-the-customer-feedback-loop-cx-mini-masterclass-e42/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/closing-the-customer-feedback-loop-cx-mini-masterclass-e42/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explains what it means to close the customer feedback loop. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares strategies for closing the loop and teaches you how this can augment your VOC program and fortify relationships with customers. Julia shares her plans for a short hiatus during June, but will be back with more great episodes in July! If you’ve been gathering feedback, but are looking for a way to immediately turn this into a tangible CX improvement, this episode is for you. From VOC to action During the month of May, Julia's shows have focused on customer insights and understanding. Episode 39 covered the definition of Voice of the Customer and why customer insight and understanding are so important, plus some of the most popular methodologies for gathering VOC data. Episode 40 explained how to use insights to build a persona. And episode 41 looked at leveraging employee insights to augment your VOC program. To cap off a month of focusing on VOC, it only seems right to explore closed loop feedback. This is one of the most effective ways that organizations can move to immediately act on customer insights, plus it enables you to strengthen your relationships with customers. So what is closed loop feedback? Simply put, closed loop feedback means getting back to a customer, after they’ve provided feedback about their experience. Usually this entails letting the customer know that they’ve been heard, communicating the actions that have been taken (or will be taken), and if appropriate, finalizing resolution. Closing the loop can happen after either prompted or unprompted feedback. I.e. getting back to customers after you’ve asked them for their feedback (surveys or interviews) or after feedback was organically provided by the customer (social media or customer support). Closing the customer feedback loop vs. insights-to-action frameworks It’s important to distinguish between an organization’s insights to action feedback loop, which is the internal framework for aggregating findings and operationalizing these as improvements, and closing the feedback loop, which is the external process for engaging with customers after feedback has been provided. You can also think of these in terms of macro and micro frameworks. Closed loop feedback often deals with customer relationships on a micro or individual level, whereas internal insights to action loops tackle macro issues that are causing negative experiences. The two are related and support each other, but are different. The impact of closing the loop Closing the feedback loop has multiple benefits. Firstly, it lets customers know that they’ve been heard and that organizations care. All too often feedback lands up in a black hole and we never hear about it, but when organizations do follow-up, it lets customers know they are more than just a help desk ticket number. It also enables organizations to really deliver a top-notch experience. Think about it, when was the last time that a brand responded to let you know that you had been heard, to validate your customer feedback and to let you know that issue resolution was in the works? Sadly, I think this happens too infrequently, but when it does, customers love it. It’s an opportunity to turn an angry detractor into a raving brand advocate. You’ll know that you are hitting the mark when customers validate that the loops have been closed. This might not always end in resolution, but hopefully it will more often than not. Over time, you should see an improvement in loyalty scores like NPS, and enhancement in business value drivers like lower churn and higher customer referrals. Small steps can add up to a lot, and don’t underestimate the power of closing the loop with your customers. Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews,

This CX Mini Masterclass explains what it means to close the customer feedback loop. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares strategies for closing the loop and teaches you how this can augment your VOC program and fortify relationships with customers. Julia shares her plans for a short hiatus during June, but will be back with more great episodes in July! If you’ve been gathering feedback, but are looking for a way to immediately turn this into a tangible CX improvement, this episode is for you.

From VOC to action

During the month of May, Julia’s shows have focused on customer insights and understanding. Episode 39 covered the definition of Voice of the Customer and why customer insight and understanding are so important, plus some of the most popular methodologies for gathering VOC data. Episode 40 explained how to use insights to build a persona. And episode 41 looked at leveraging employee insights to augment your VOC program.

To cap off a month of focusing on VOC, it only seems right to explore closed loop feedback. This is one of the most effective ways that organizations can move to immediately act on customer insights, plus it enables you to strengthen your relationships with customers.

So what is closed loop feedback? Simply put, closed loop feedback means getting back to a customer, after they’ve provided feedback about their experience. Usually this entails letting the customer know that they’ve been heard, communicating the actions that have been taken (or will be taken), and if appropriate, finalizing resolution. Closing the loop can happen after either prompted or unprompted feedback. I.e. getting back to customers after you’ve asked them for their feedback (surveys or interviews) or after feedback was organically provided by the customer (social media or customer support).

Closing the customer feedback loop vs. insights-to-action frameworks

It’s important to distinguish between an organization’s insights to action feedback loop, which is the internal framework for aggregating findings and operationalizing these as improvements, and closing the feedback loop, which is the external process for engaging with customers after feedback has been provided. You can also think of these in terms of macro and micro frameworks. Closed loop feedback often deals with customer relationships on a micro or individual level, whereas internal insights to action loops tackle macro issues that are causing negative experiences. The two are related and support each other, but are different.

The impact of closing the loop

Closing the feedback loop has multiple benefits. Firstly, it lets customers know that they’ve been heard and that organizations care. All too often feedback lands up in a black hole and we never hear about it, but when organizations do follow-up, it lets customers know they are more than just a help desk ticket number.

It also enables organizations to really deliver a top-notch experience. Think about it, when was the last time that a brand responded to let you know that you had been heard, to validate your customer feedback and to let you know that issue resolution was in the works? Sadly, I think this happens too infrequently, but when it does, customers love it. It’s an opportunity to turn an angry detractor into a raving brand advocate.

You’ll know that you are hitting the mark when customers validate that the loops have been closed. This might not always end in resolution, but hopefully it will more often than not. Over time, you should see an improvement in loyalty scores like NPS, and enhancement in business value drivers like lower churn and higher customer referrals. Small steps can add up to a lot, and don’t underestimate the power of closing the loop with your customers.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including VOC research and customer insight) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass explains what it means to close the customer feedback loop. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares strategies for closing the loop and teaches you how this can augment your VOC program and fortify rela...

























This CX Mini Masterclass explains what it means to close the customer feedback loop. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares strategies for closing the loop and teaches you how this can augment your VOC program and fortify relationships with customers. Julia shares her plans for a short hiatus during June, but will be back with more great episodes in July! If you’ve been gathering feedback, but are looking for a way to immediately turn this into a tangible CX improvement, this episode is for you.







From VOC to action



During the month of May, Julia's shows have focused on customer insights and understanding. Episode 39 covered the definition of Voice of the Customer and why customer insight and understanding are so important, plus some of the most popular methodologies for gathering VOC data. Episode 40 explained how to use insights to build a persona. And episode 41 looked at leveraging employee insights to augment your VOC program.



To cap off a month of focusing on VOC, it only seems right to explore closed loop feedback. This is one of the most effective ways that organizations can move to immediately act on customer insights, plus it enables you to strengthen your relationships with customers.



So what is closed loop feedback? Simply put, closed loop feedback means getting back to a customer, after they’ve provided feedback about their experience. Usually this entails letting the customer know that they’ve been heard, communicating the actions that have been taken (or will be taken), and if appropriate, finalizing resolution. Closing the loop can happen after either prompted or unprompted feedback. I.e. getting back to customers after you’ve asked them for their feedback (surveys or interviews) or after feedback was organically provided by the customer (social media or customer support).



Closing the customer feedback loop vs. insights-to-action frameworks



It’s important to distinguish between an organization’s insights to action feedback loop, which is the internal framework for aggregating findings and operationalizing these as improvements, and closing the feedback loop, which is the external process for engaging with customers after feedback has been provided. You can also think of these in terms of macro and micro frameworks. Closed loop feedback often deals with customer relationships on a micro or individual level, whereas internal insights to action loops tackle macro issues that are causing negative experiences. The two are related and support each other, but are different.



The impact of closing the loop



Closing the feedback loop has multiple benefits. Firstly, it lets customers know that they’ve been heard and that organizations care. All too often feedback lands up in a black hole and we never hear about it, but when organizations do follow-up, it lets customers know they are more than just a help desk ticket number.



It also enables organizations to really deliver a top-notch experience. Think about it, when was the last time that a brand responded to let you know that you had been heard, to validate your customer feedback and to let you know that issue resolution was in the works? Sadly,]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Employees are your VOC secret weapon: CX Mini Masterclass – E41 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/employees-are-your-voc-secret-weapon-cx-mini-masterclass-e41/ Thu, 23 May 2019 15:19:01 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1389 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/employees-are-your-voc-secret-weapon-cx-mini-masterclass-e41/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/employees-are-your-voc-secret-weapon-cx-mini-masterclass-e41/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explains how to leverage employees to bolster your VOC (Voice of Customer) efforts. Employees often have a unique perspective into the lives and experiences of customers. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, teaches listeners how different employee groups can add value to VOC and research programs, as well as how to engage with these teams to gather insights. If you’ve been looking for a way to super charge your customer insight efforts and engage teams in the process, this episode is for you. Employees and VOC Episode 39 covered the definition of Voice of the Customer and why customer insight and understanding are so important, plus some of the most popular methodologies for gathering VOC data. Many of these programs are outward looking, which makes sense. This CX competency is called Voice of Customer after all, but employees can also add richness to an organization's understanding of its customers. Before diving into the ways that employee insights about the customer can augment VOC, it's important to state the obvious: the employee perspective should never be your only window into the Voice of Customer. Organizations often either over-rely on their employees for customer insights, or ignore them altogether. But you can strike the right balance. The value of different perspectives Employees do provide a special perspective into the customer experience. This can take several different forms. The most obvious is the perspective of front-line teams. These employees live and breathe the customer experience. They often have an excellent pulse on what delights and irks customers, as well as where experiences are working or not. These teams can offer extra context that helps us understand customers. If survey data leaves your scratching your head, then customer-facing teams might be able to help you understand the back story. Employees can also provide insight through their organic feedback on what they see as a customer’s preferences, decision drivers or sentiment. This qualitative insight should then be validated with other data, which is an important step, as individual employees normally lack the macro view of broader trends within a customer base. Employees who work behind the scenes still support experiences, and may have unique insight into patterns of customer behavior that shed light on what’s working and what’s not. These findings should be compared against other qualitative research to determine the impact on things like sentiment. Additionally, all employees are consumers in their own right. In the age of the customer, brands aren’t just pitted against their direct competitors, but rather the next best customer experience out there. In this sense, employees' experiences as consumers are also valuable, regardless of whether or not they are customers of their organizations' products/services. Again, the key is to make sure that these insights augment other research, and that employee driven VOC findings are vetted with another data source. Engaging employees for VOC insights There are several ways to engage with employees to gather their insights about customers and customer experience Collaboration platforms - Shared platforms like Yammer or Slack that are already in use by the organization, can be a great way for employees to share customer insights as they see them. Just be careful that this doesn't become a channel for venting. Call to action in existing employee communications - Leverage existing employee communication tools to ask for feedback. Think about adding a CTA button in the company newsletter or a question in the annual employee survey. You could also ask team leaders to add customer insights as a discussion item in team huddles or quarterly department meetings.Targeted conversations - If you are looking to dive deep into a specific topic, think about engaging with teams in a very targeted way.

This CX Mini Masterclass explains how to leverage employees to bolster your VOC (Voice of Customer) efforts. Employees often have a unique perspective into the lives and experiences of customers. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, teaches listeners how different employee groups can add value to VOC and research programs, as well as how to engage with these teams to gather insights. If you’ve been looking for a way to super charge your customer insight efforts and engage teams in the process, this episode is for you.

Employees and VOC

Episode 39 covered the definition of Voice of the Customer and why customer insight and understanding are so important, plus some of the most popular methodologies for gathering VOC data. Many of these programs are outward looking, which makes sense. This CX competency is called Voice of Customer after all, but employees can also add richness to an organization’s understanding of its customers.

Before diving into the ways that employee insights about the customer can augment VOC, it’s important to state the obvious: the employee perspective should never be your only window into the Voice of Customer. Organizations often either over-rely on their employees for customer insights, or ignore them altogether. But you can strike the right balance.

The value of different perspectives

Employees do provide a special perspective into the customer experience. This can take several different forms. The most obvious is the perspective of front-line teams. These employees live and breathe the customer experience. They often have an excellent pulse on what delights and irks customers, as well as where experiences are working or not. These teams can offer extra context that helps us understand customers. If survey data leaves your scratching your head, then customer-facing teams might be able to help you understand the back story.

Employees can also provide insight through their organic feedback on what they see as a customer’s preferences, decision drivers or sentiment. This qualitative insight should then be validated with other data, which is an important step, as individual employees normally lack the macro view of broader trends within a customer base.

Employees who work behind the scenes still support experiences, and may have unique insight into patterns of customer behavior that shed light on what’s working and what’s not. These findings should be compared against other qualitative research to determine the impact on things like sentiment.

Additionally, all employees are consumers in their own right. In the age of the customer, brands aren’t just pitted against their direct competitors, but rather the next best customer experience out there. In this sense, employees’ experiences as consumers are also valuable, regardless of whether or not they are customers of their organizations’ products/services. Again, the key is to make sure that these insights augment other research, and that employee driven VOC findings are vetted with another data source.

Engaging employees for VOC insights

There are several ways to engage with employees to gather their insights about customers and customer experience

  • Collaboration platforms – Shared platforms like Yammer or Slack that are already in use by the organization, can be a great way for employees to share customer insights as they see them. Just be careful that this doesn’t become a channel for venting.
  • Call to action in existing employee communications – Leverage existing employee communication tools to ask for feedback. Think about adding a CTA button in the company newsletter or a question in the annual employee survey. You could also ask team leaders to add customer insights as a discussion item in team huddles or quarterly department meetings.
  • Targeted conversations – If you are looking to dive deep into a specific topic, think about engaging with teams in a very targeted way. You could do this through interviews or an employee focus group.

Be aware of the internal inflection point

Since employees are so close to the pulse of the experience and are customers themselves, employees can be an excellent source of insight on innovation and improvements to the journey. Game changing innovations such as Amazon Prime came from the humble beginnings of the employee suggestion box. This is where voice of customer begins its inflection point inward towards solution-mode.

The jump from insights to innovation can be a short one, but for the most part you should try to keep these conversations focused on observations and insights. Save solution development for another conversation.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including VOC research and customer insight) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass explains how to leverage employees to bolster your VOC (Voice of Customer) efforts. Employees often have a unique perspective into the lives and experiences of customers. Show host and customer experience expert,




















This CX Mini Masterclass explains how to leverage employees to bolster your VOC (Voice of Customer) efforts. Employees often have a unique perspective into the lives and experiences of customers. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, teaches listeners how different employee groups can add value to VOC and research programs, as well as how to engage with these teams to gather insights. If you’ve been looking for a way to super charge your customer insight efforts and engage teams in the process, this episode is for you.







Employees and VOC



Episode 39 covered the definition of Voice of the Customer and why customer insight and understanding are so important, plus some of the most popular methodologies for gathering VOC data. Many of these programs are outward looking, which makes sense. This CX competency is called Voice of Customer after all, but employees can also add richness to an organization's understanding of its customers.



Before diving into the ways that employee insights about the customer can augment VOC, it's important to state the obvious: the employee perspective should never be your only window into the Voice of Customer. Organizations often either over-rely on their employees for customer insights, or ignore them altogether. But you can strike the right balance.



The value of different perspectives



Employees do provide a special perspective into the customer experience. This can take several different forms. The most obvious is the perspective of front-line teams. These employees live and breathe the customer experience. They often have an excellent pulse on what delights and irks customers, as well as where experiences are working or not. These teams can offer extra context that helps us understand customers. If survey data leaves your scratching your head, then customer-facing teams might be able to help you understand the back story.



Employees can also provide insight through their organic feedback on what they see as a customer’s preferences, decision drivers or sentiment. This qualitative insight should then be validated with other data, which is an important step, as individual employees normally lack the macro view of broader trends within a customer base.



Employees who work behind the scenes still support experiences, and may have unique insight into patterns of customer behavior that shed light on what’s working and what’s not. These findings should be compared against other qualitative research to determine the impact on things like sentiment.



Additionally, all employees are consumers in their own right. In the age of the customer, brands aren’t just pitted against their direct competitors, but rather the next best customer experience out there. In this sense, employees' experiences as consumers are also valuable, regardless of whether or not they are customers of their organizations' products/services. Again, the key is to make sure that these insights augment other research, and that employee driven VOC findings are vetted with another data source.



Engaging employees for VOC insights



There are several ways to engage with employees to gather their insights about customers and customer experience



* Collaboration platforms - Shared platforms like Yammer or Slack that are already in use by the organization, can be a great way for employees to share customer insights as they see them.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Bring customer insight to life through personas: CX Mini Masterclass – E40 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/bring-customer-insight-to-life-through-personas-cx-mini-masterclass-e40/ Thu, 16 May 2019 14:36:23 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1379 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/bring-customer-insight-to-life-through-personas-cx-mini-masterclass-e40/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/bring-customer-insight-to-life-through-personas-cx-mini-masterclass-e40/feed/ 0           This CX Mini Masterclass explains how to put your Voice of Customer (VOC) insights to work through personas. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, teaches listeners how to build a persona and shares ideas on how organizations can leverage personas to foster customer-centric change. If you’ve been looking for a way to maximize the value from your customer insight efforts and would like to help teams empathize with customers, this episode is for you. A versatile CX tool Episode 39 covered the definition of Voice of the Customer and why customer insight and understanding are so important, plus some of the most popular methodologies for gathering VOC data. But customer insight is only as good as what you use it for. Once you’ve gone through the effort of gathering information, it’s time to put that to work. The challenge with VOC research is that organizations will often employ multiple methodologies, and while each will unearth different insights, you still need a way to bring everything together. The good news is that customer personas are an excellent tool for bringing the customer insight to life through a format that is relatable. So what is a persona? A persona is essentially a fictitious personification of a customer segment. Personas often incorporate demographic data, as well as insights on customer wants and needs, as well as perspectives that are pervasive within a segment. Think of the persona almost like a character who represents the typical customer within a segment. Teams often give these personas names so that they are even more relatable. And in some cases, these persona characters can become fixtures within the business and key features of conversations about product innovation or journey evolution. (I.e. What would our persona "Jessica" think about this new product?) Building the persona with customer insight I suggest building the customer persona through a couple of different layers of customer insight: Demographics and characteristics - information like age, occupation, income, family status, where the person lives, etc., will help paint a picture of the persona’s life. This helps teams conceptualize who the persona is and what his or her consumer habits might be. Teams may want to add deeper contextual insights around the persona's favorite brands or what products feature prominently in their life. Motivations and Drivers - insight about the persona’s aspirations and fears, along with their wants and needs will provide clarity around their goals and "jobs to be done". This information can be gleaned from focus groups, surveys or interviews and will help teams understand what products, services or experiences might attract or repel a particular customer group. Specific journey or experience perceptions - insight into how a persona might react to a specific product, service or experience. This might also include their opinions about how the experience relates their goals or fears. This is where teams can tailor the persona format and content for their use. If you are struggling to bridge the gap between VOC insights and drivers, click here to download my empathy map template. Using your persona Personas have long been used by marketing teams, but CX professionals also quickly adopted this tool to help foster customer-centric change, and there are many applications. One of the most popular is as a key input for customer journeys. If you are creating a customer journey, it’s important to identify whose journey you are mapping, so that you can integrate customer emotions and identify which touchpoints they use. Additionally, when teams share a customer journey, including a persona makes the journey much more tangible for the reader. The applications for personas extend far beyond just customer journeys. Once teams can relate to the individuals within a customer segment, it's easier to anticipate their likes and dislikes,...  

 

 

 

 

This CX Mini Masterclass explains how to put your Voice of Customer (VOC) insights to work through personas. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, teaches listeners how to build a persona and shares ideas on how organizations can leverage personas to foster customer-centric change. If you’ve been looking for a way to maximize the value from your customer insight efforts and would like to help teams empathize with customers, this episode is for you.

A versatile CX tool

Episode 39 covered the definition of Voice of the Customer and why customer insight and understanding are so important, plus some of the most popular methodologies for gathering VOC data. But customer insight is only as good as what you use it for. Once you’ve gone through the effort of gathering information, it’s time to put that to work. The challenge with VOC research is that organizations will often employ multiple methodologies, and while each will unearth different insights, you still need a way to bring everything together.

The good news is that customer personas are an excellent tool for bringing the customer insight to life through a format that is relatable.

So what is a persona? A persona is essentially a fictitious personification of a customer segment. Personas often incorporate demographic data, as well as insights on customer wants and needs, as well as perspectives that are pervasive within a segment. Think of the persona almost like a character who represents the typical customer within a segment. Teams often give these personas names so that they are even more relatable. And in some cases, these persona characters can become fixtures within the business and key features of conversations about product innovation or journey evolution. (I.e. What would our persona “Jessica” think about this new product?)

Building the persona with customer insight

I suggest building the customer persona through a couple of different layers of customer insight:

  • Demographics and characteristics – information like age, occupation, income, family status, where the person lives, etc., will help paint a picture of the persona’s life. This helps teams conceptualize who the persona is and what his or her consumer habits might be. Teams may want to add deeper contextual insights around the persona’s favorite brands or what products feature prominently in their life.
  • Motivations and Drivers – insight about the persona’s aspirations and fears, along with their wants and needs will provide clarity around their goals and “jobs to be done”. This information can be gleaned from focus groups, surveys or interviews and will help teams understand what products, services or experiences might attract or repel a particular customer group.
  • Specific journey or experience perceptions – insight into how a persona might react to a specific product, service or experience. This might also include their opinions about how the experience relates their goals or fears. This is where teams can tailor the persona format and content for their use.

If you are struggling to bridge the gap between VOC insights and drivers,
click here to download my empathy map template.

Using your persona

Personas have long been used by marketing teams, but CX professionals also quickly adopted this tool to help foster customer-centric change, and there are many applications. One of the most popular is as a key input for customer journeys. If you are creating a customer journey, it’s important to identify whose journey you are mapping, so that you can integrate customer emotions and identify which touchpoints they use. Additionally, when teams share a customer journey, including a persona makes the journey much more tangible for the reader.

The applications for personas extend far beyond just customer journeys.
Once teams can relate to the individuals within a customer segment, it’s easier to anticipate their likes and dislikes, and to see experiences through the customer’s eyes. As such, personas can be used in employee training and onboarding to help team members understand and empathize with customers. Personas can also be used as a tool to frame up customer POV during product innovation or experience design. Personas can be used in employee engagement as subtle reinforcement to keep all teams connected to the customer.

There isn’t a magic number for how many personas you need. Best practice is generally to focus on the largest and most important segments and to keep the total number of personas to manageable quantity. Teams might be able to remember a cast of 4-8 characters, but anything beyond that gets confusing.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including VOC research and customer insight) or get in touch via email

]]>
          This CX Mini Masterclass explains how to put your Voice of Customer (VOC) insights to work through personas. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, teaches listeners how to build a persona and shares ideas on...
 

 

 

 











This CX Mini Masterclass explains how to put your Voice of Customer (VOC) insights to work through personas. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, teaches listeners how to build a persona and shares ideas on how organizations can leverage personas to foster customer-centric change. If you’ve been looking for a way to maximize the value from your customer insight efforts and would like to help teams empathize with customers, this episode is for you.







A versatile CX tool



Episode 39 covered the definition of Voice of the Customer and why customer insight and understanding are so important, plus some of the most popular methodologies for gathering VOC data. But customer insight is only as good as what you use it for. Once you’ve gone through the effort of gathering information, it’s time to put that to work. The challenge with VOC research is that organizations will often employ multiple methodologies, and while each will unearth different insights, you still need a way to bring everything together.



The good news is that customer personas are an excellent tool for bringing the customer insight to life through a format that is relatable.



So what is a persona? A persona is essentially a fictitious personification of a customer segment. Personas often incorporate demographic data, as well as insights on customer wants and needs, as well as perspectives that are pervasive within a segment. Think of the persona almost like a character who represents the typical customer within a segment. Teams often give these personas names so that they are even more relatable. And in some cases, these persona characters can become fixtures within the business and key features of conversations about product innovation or journey evolution. (I.e. What would our persona "Jessica" think about this new product?)



Building the persona with customer insight



I suggest building the customer persona through a couple of different layers of customer insight:



* Demographics and characteristics - information like age, occupation, income, family status, where the person lives, etc., will help paint a picture of the persona’s life. This helps teams conceptualize who the persona is and what his or her consumer habits might be. Teams may want to add deeper contextual insights around the persona's favorite brands or what products feature prominently in their life. * Motivations and Drivers - insight about the persona’s aspirations and fears, along with their wants and needs will provide clarity around their goals and "jobs to be done". This information can be gleaned from focus groups, surveys or interviews and will help teams understand what products, services or experiences might attract or repel a particular customer group. * Specific journey or experience perceptions - insight into how a persona might react to a specific product, service or experience. This might also include their opinions about how the experience relates their goals or fears. This is where teams can tailor the persona format and content for their use.



If you are struggling to bridge the gap between VOC insights and drivers,
click here to download my empathy map template.



Using your persona



Personas have long been used by marketing teams, but CX professionals also quickly adopted this tool to help foster customer-centric change,]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Understanding Voice of Customer: CX Mini Masterclass – E39 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/understanding-voice-of-customer-cx-mini-masterclass-e39/ Thu, 09 May 2019 16:39:29 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1367 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/understanding-voice-of-customer-cx-mini-masterclass-e39/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/understanding-voice-of-customer-cx-mini-masterclass-e39/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explains the Voice of Customer (VOC), how this differs from CX metrics and measures and why understanding customers is key to business success. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares an overview of the most popular VOC methodologies and approaches, as well as some practical ideas on how insights can be used to improve CX. If you’ve been looking for clarity on how to shape an effective program for customer insights, this episode is for you. Distinguishing between Voice of Customer and CX metrics It’s important to clarify the distinction between customer insight and CX metrics. Organizations will sometimes lump CX metrics in with insights and Voice of the Customer, and this is a mistake. These are both important inputs to a CX management framework, and while they are complementary, they are also distinct, serving different purposes. Voice of Customer, which is also referred to as Voice of the Customer, “VOC” or customer insight and understanding serves to clarify our knowledge of the context of the customer: Who they are, what they care about, what motivates them, as well as what are their needs and how they look to fulfill these through the marketplace. Think of voice of customer or customer insight as inputs into the design or ongoing refinement of the customer journey. While VOC findings might go as far as exploring how customers perceive or experience your organization’s products and services, VOC isn't a scorecard on the current delivery of the customer experience. That’s where CX metrics and measures come in. Metrics and measures give the business some insight into performance against customer experience objectives, and what this means in terms of impact on the bottom line. For a comprehensive definition of metrics, measures and business value, be sure to check out episode 28. For the purposes of today’s conversation, we can think of CX metrics and measures as an evaluation of how things are going or as outputs of the existing journey. Metrics and measures might provide some insight into how customers are reacting to experiences, but there are limitations. Quantitative score-based metrics like NPS and CSAT don’t tell us much about who our customers are or what they are thinking. This is why organizations must have programs in place to both understand customers and measure delivery of the journey. For more information on metrics and measures, be sure to check out episodes 31, 32 and 33, which dive into this topic in great detail. Customer insight methodologies It's undeniable that businesses need to understand their customers, but there are many ways to do this, each with benefits and drawbacks. I like to think of these methodologies in terms of 3 categories: Observational - this involves gathering data about a customer’s environment and their actions to get more context about who they are and what they do. Findings are great for establishing customer segments, understanding commonalities among consumers and how they navigate the customer journey. Example approaches: ethnographic research, analysis of demographic trends, analysis of customer actions or behaviors against outcomes.Listening - this includes the evaluation of organic customer-driven commentary (not prompted). Findings can provide rich insights about what customers are thinking, what they value and what they prioritize. This information can be used to improve or innovate customer experiences and provide context around likes/dislikes. Example approaches: analysis of social media feedback or unprompted inbound feedback through support channels, building journey case studies. Asking - this includes methodologies that incorporate asking questions to prompt responses that provide information about customer opinions or perspectives. These approaches are especially effective for deep-dives into topics that might be identified through observational or listening methodologies.

This CX Mini Masterclass explains the Voice of Customer (VOC), how this differs from CX metrics and measures and why understanding customers is key to business success. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares an overview of the most popular VOC methodologies and approaches, as well as some practical ideas on how insights can be used to improve CX. If you’ve been looking for clarity on how to shape an effective program for customer insights, this episode is for you.

Distinguishing between Voice of Customer and CX metrics

It’s important to clarify the distinction between customer insight and CX metrics. Organizations will sometimes lump CX metrics in with insights and Voice of the Customer, and this is a mistake. These are both important inputs to a CX management framework, and while they are complementary, they are also distinct, serving different purposes.

Voice of Customer, which is also referred to as Voice of the Customer, “VOC” or customer insight and understanding serves to clarify our knowledge of the context of the customer: Who they are, what they care about, what motivates them, as well as what are their needs and how they look to fulfill these through the marketplace. Think of voice of customer or customer insight as inputs into the design or ongoing refinement of the customer journey. While VOC findings might go as far as exploring how customers perceive or experience your organization’s products and services, VOC isn’t a scorecard on the current delivery of the customer experience.

That’s where CX metrics and measures come in. Metrics and measures give the business some insight into performance against customer experience objectives, and what this means in terms of impact on the bottom line. For a comprehensive definition of metrics, measures and business value, be sure to check out episode 28. For the purposes of today’s conversation, we can think of CX metrics and measures as an evaluation of how things are going or as outputs of the existing journey. Metrics and measures might provide some insight into how customers are reacting to experiences, but there are limitations. Quantitative score-based metrics like NPS and CSAT don’t tell us much about who our customers are or what they are thinking. This is why organizations must have programs in place to both understand customers and measure delivery of the journey. For more information on metrics and measures, be sure to check out episodes 31, 32 and 33, which dive into this topic in great detail.

Customer insight methodologies

It’s undeniable that businesses need to understand their customers, but there are many ways to do this, each with benefits and drawbacks. I like to think of these methodologies in terms of 3 categories:

  1. Observational – this involves gathering data about a customer’s environment and their actions to get more context about who they are and what they do. Findings are great for establishing customer segments, understanding commonalities among consumers and how they navigate the customer journey. Example approaches: ethnographic research, analysis of demographic trends, analysis of customer actions or behaviors against outcomes.
  2. Listening – this includes the evaluation of organic customer-driven commentary (not prompted). Findings can provide rich insights about what customers are thinking, what they value and what they prioritize. This information can be used to improve or innovate customer experiences and provide context around likes/dislikes. Example approaches: analysis of social media feedback or unprompted inbound feedback through support channels, building journey case studies.
  3. Asking – this includes methodologies that incorporate asking questions to prompt responses that provide information about customer opinions or perspectives. These approaches are especially effective for deep-dives into topics that might be identified through observational or listening methodologies. Findings can yield incredibly valuable windows into the mindset of customers. Example approaches: surveys, customer interviews, focus groups.

Of these 3 categories, the asking methodologies are often the most popular, as they are easier for research teams to manage and control. But we must be aware that asking questions always seeds some bias, and that consumers don’t always do what they say they’ll do. Listening methodologies had a lot of potential, but are sometimes quite difficult, as unprompted customer feedback can be messy. This is why organizations should use a mix of all three methodologies to create a robust and comprehensive understanding of who their customers are and what they want.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including VOC research and customer insight) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass explains the Voice of Customer (VOC), how this differs from CX metrics and measures and why understanding customers is key to business success. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt,



















This CX Mini Masterclass explains the Voice of Customer (VOC), how this differs from CX metrics and measures and why understanding customers is key to business success. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares an overview of the most popular VOC methodologies and approaches, as well as some practical ideas on how insights can be used to improve CX. If you’ve been looking for clarity on how to shape an effective program for customer insights, this episode is for you.







Distinguishing between Voice of Customer and CX metrics



It’s important to clarify the distinction between customer insight and CX metrics. Organizations will sometimes lump CX metrics in with insights and Voice of the Customer, and this is a mistake. These are both important inputs to a CX management framework, and while they are complementary, they are also distinct, serving different purposes.



Voice of Customer, which is also referred to as Voice of the Customer, “VOC” or customer insight and understanding serves to clarify our knowledge of the context of the customer: Who they are, what they care about, what motivates them, as well as what are their needs and how they look to fulfill these through the marketplace. Think of voice of customer or customer insight as inputs into the design or ongoing refinement of the customer journey. While VOC findings might go as far as exploring how customers perceive or experience your organization’s products and services, VOC isn't a scorecard on the current delivery of the customer experience.



That’s where CX metrics and measures come in. Metrics and measures give the business some insight into performance against customer experience objectives, and what this means in terms of impact on the bottom line. For a comprehensive definition of metrics, measures and business value, be sure to check out episode 28. For the purposes of today’s conversation, we can think of CX metrics and measures as an evaluation of how things are going or as outputs of the existing journey. Metrics and measures might provide some insight into how customers are reacting to experiences, but there are limitations. Quantitative score-based metrics like NPS and CSAT don’t tell us much about who our customers are or what they are thinking. This is why organizations must have programs in place to both understand customers and measure delivery of the journey. For more information on metrics and measures, be sure to check out episodes 31, 32 and 33, which dive into this topic in great detail.







Customer insight methodologies



It's undeniable that businesses need to understand their customers, but there are many ways to do this, each with benefits and drawbacks. I like to think of these methodologies in terms of 3 categories:



* Observational - this involves gathering data about a customer’s environment and their actions to get more context about who they are and what they do. Findings are great for establishing customer segments, understanding commonalities among consumers and how they navigate the customer journey. Example approaches: ethnographic research, analysis of demographic trends,]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Delivering luxury customer experience in the safari industry: interview with Troy Smith – E38 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/delivering-luxury-customer-experience-in-the-safari-industry-interview-with-troy-smith-e38/ Thu, 02 May 2019 18:12:05 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1349 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/delivering-luxury-customer-experience-in-the-safari-industry-interview-with-troy-smith-e38/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/delivering-luxury-customer-experience-in-the-safari-industry-interview-with-troy-smith-e38/feed/ 0 Troy Smith, the owner and managing director of True Africa, shares his perspective on understanding customer needs and delivering compelling experiences to upmarket customers in the safari travel industry. Troy sheds light on the reality of delivering 5-star in the remote African bush and brings the discussion to life through some unforgettable real life experiences. Troy and show host Julia discuss how the travel industry has been disrupted and how to harness digital as a CX enabler. Julia shares her theme for May's CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will focus on understanding customers. Expert insights It's critical for any business to understand its customers. This is something that we - as CX professionals - are constantly saying, but it's always inspiring to see this mantra in action. Troy Smith, in his element on safari in Northern Tanzania Troy Smith is the Managing Director and owner of True Africa, a company that specializes in tailored African safari itineraries to suit guests in the upper-mid range to luxury segments. Originally from Australia and having previously worked at top safari camps in both Kenya and South Africa, Troy took over the reins at True Africa 7 years ago. With a strong background in marketing and business development, Troy has combined his passion for travel in East and Southern African and built a burgeoning business in the luxury safari sector. Troy is based in True Africa's Cape Town office, but has vast experience across the continent – everything from a ‘close encounter’ with a hippo while in a mokoro in the Okavango Delta, to exhilarating walking safaris in Zambia and watching the herds zig-zag across the Serengeti’s plains, he understands safaris incredibly well and leads his team in their efforts of matching clients with the right destination for their safari experiences. Troy and his team work with networks of safari camps, lodges, guides and ground teams to build the perfect trip for each customer. And it's paid off. During our conversation Troy remarked that they don't do as much marketing as some of their competitors. Why? Well, it's because they enjoy a steady stream of repeat customers and referrals. His business is living proof that if you deliver a great experience, the rest falls into place...pretty much what every CX professional has been telling their executive team since the term "CX" was coined. It's easy to see why Troy's team has a strong base of repeat customers Key takeaways: making luxury customer experience a reality in the African bush During our conversation, Troy and I talked about what it means to deliver bespoke 5-star safari experiences. Here are some of the highlights: Listen to customer needs, and act on what you hear - Troy's team takes the time to listen to what a customer wants and then the build an experience around that. Say that you likes elephants, and not only will he find the lodge with best herds, his team will also make sure that this theme permeates your pre and post travel communications. They also look for opportunities to deliver tiny moments of delight. Troy says that these small but meaningful additions to the experience are a pleasant surprise for any customer. One might expect that high end customers would anticipate this treatment, but he says that's not usually the case. You can't expect surprise and delight, but you can revel in it.Manage expectations and massage the journey - There are practicalities of delivering a customer experience in Africa that are out of everyone's hands. Monsoons, check. Unpredictable transportation, check. Spotty power supply, check. My husband and I have a saying that "there is no such thing as a half day of travel in Africa," but we only came to this realization after we got here. Troy and his team need to help their guests understand that things won't run as they would in New York or London, but to make that a part of the journey as well.

Troy Smith, the owner and managing director of True Africa, shares his perspective on understanding customer needs and delivering compelling experiences to upmarket customers in the safari travel industry. Troy sheds light on the reality of delivering 5-star in the remote African bush and brings the discussion to life through some unforgettable real life experiences. Troy and show host Julia discuss how the travel industry has been disrupted and how to harness digital as a CX enabler. Julia shares her theme for May’s CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will focus on understanding customers.

Expert insights

It’s critical for any business to understand its customers. This is something that we – as CX professionals – are constantly saying, but it’s always inspiring to see this mantra in action.

Troy Smith, in his element on safari in Northern Tanzania

Troy Smith is the Managing Director and owner of True Africa, a company that specializes in tailored African safari itineraries to suit guests in the upper-mid range to luxury segments. Originally from Australia and having previously worked at top safari camps in both Kenya and South Africa, Troy took over the reins at True Africa 7 years ago. With a strong background in marketing and business development, Troy has combined his passion for travel in East and Southern African and built a burgeoning business in the luxury safari sector.

Troy is based in True Africa’s Cape Town office, but has vast experience across the continent – everything from a ‘close encounter’ with a hippo while in a mokoro in the Okavango Delta, to exhilarating walking safaris in Zambia and watching the herds zig-zag across the Serengeti’s plains, he understands safaris incredibly well and leads his team in their efforts of matching clients with the right destination for their safari experiences. Troy and his team work with networks of safari camps, lodges, guides and ground teams to build the perfect trip for each customer.

And it’s paid off. During our conversation Troy remarked that they don’t do as much marketing as some of their competitors. Why? Well, it’s because they enjoy a steady stream of repeat customers and referrals. His business is living proof that if you deliver a great experience, the rest falls into place…pretty much what every CX professional has been telling their executive team since the term “CX” was coined.

It’s easy to see why Troy’s team has a strong base of repeat customers

Key takeaways: making luxury customer experience a reality in the African bush

During our conversation, Troy and I talked about what it means to deliver bespoke 5-star safari experiences. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Listen to customer needs, and act on what you hear – Troy’s team takes the time to listen to what a customer wants and then the build an experience around that. Say that you likes elephants, and not only will he find the lodge with best herds, his team will also make sure that this theme permeates your pre and post travel communications. They also look for opportunities to deliver tiny moments of delight. Troy says that these small but meaningful additions to the experience are a pleasant surprise for any customer. One might expect that high end customers would anticipate this treatment, but he says that’s not usually the case. You can’t expect surprise and delight, but you can revel in it.
  • Manage expectations and massage the journey – There are practicalities of delivering a customer experience in Africa that are out of everyone’s hands. Monsoons, check. Unpredictable transportation, check. Spotty power supply, check. My husband and I have a saying that “there is no such thing as a half day of travel in Africa,” but we only came to this realization after we got here. Troy and his team need to help their guests understand that things won’t run as they would in New York or London, but to make that a part of the journey as well. They have proactively identified parts of the journey at are most prone to potential hiccups, and built in a plan B to make sure that an unexpected delay turns into an impromptu trip to a local market rather than sitting in a hot, dusty land cruiser for 2 hours.
  • Build rapport with your partners – Troy spends a lot of his time on the road visiting camps and meeting with tour teams and property owners. He’s also built relationships with these stakeholders over the years and these relationships have fostered trust and common goals. With this, Troy and his team know that their customers are in good hands, and that if something goes wrong, the teams on the ground will be accountable for making it right. Compassion, respect, mutual accountability and occasional tough love are all ingredients to help keep these relationships healthy.

The African bush provides some truly unique opportunities to surprise and delight customers

Digital as a disruptor and enabler

Troy and I discussed how digital technology has moved a lot of the travel industry into a space where the experiences are either online or self-service. This has been slower to come in the safari industry, because information about local travel in Africa is hard to come by (in some places more than others). Those wanting a truly customized experience still need to rely on experts to help them. Even as the digital world has disrupted the traditional travel sector, he sees the safari industry as a corner of this industry that hasn’t been as affected, something that he doesn’t think will change anytime soon.

One-in-a-lifetime safari experiences aren’t so easy to book on Expedia

That said, Troy and his team are looking for ways to appropriately integrate digital enablers into their customer experience. For the time being, connectivity constraints at their partner camps and lodges mean that digital engagement mostly happens before and after travel. But that hasn’t stopped his team for exploring ways that they can leverage innovation to improve customer experience. They identified itinerary-building as a bottleneck in the customer journey and engaged an app-development company to create a customized program to help them automate the process of building itinerary documentation (once the customer trip has been conceptually defined by the team of experts). Removing a time-consuming manual task has enabled the team to focus on engaging with customers, listening to their needs and delivering better overall service. It goes to show that digital innovation can be just as powerful behind the scenes.

Behind the scenes digital innovation enables Troy’s team to focus on what’s important…the customer

Episode Sponsor

This episode was sponsored by CX University, a CX training company offering a broad array of CX learning options, including e-learning modules and CCXP practice exams. CXU is an accredited resource and training provider and their resources and they offer a flexible and affordable monthly subscription model. Listeners of this CX podcast can get 10% off their first month’s subscription by entering the discount code PODCAST10 at checkout.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business define customer experience strategy that delivers results, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

]]>
Troy Smith, the owner and managing director of True Africa, shares his perspective on understanding customer needs and delivering compelling experiences to upmarket customers in the safari travel industry. Troy sheds light on the reality of delivering ...












Troy Smith, the owner and managing director of True Africa, shares his perspective on understanding customer needs and delivering compelling experiences to upmarket customers in the safari travel industry. Troy sheds light on the reality of delivering 5-star in the remote African bush and brings the discussion to life through some unforgettable real life experiences. Troy and show host Julia discuss how the travel industry has been disrupted and how to harness digital as a CX enabler. Julia shares her theme for May's CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will focus on understanding customers.







Expert insights



It's critical for any business to understand its customers. This is something that we - as CX professionals - are constantly saying, but it's always inspiring to see this mantra in action.



Troy Smith, in his element on safari in Northern Tanzania



Troy Smith is the Managing Director and owner of True Africa, a company that specializes in tailored African safari itineraries to suit guests in the upper-mid range to luxury segments. Originally from Australia and having previously worked at top safari camps in both Kenya and South Africa, Troy took over the reins at True Africa 7 years ago. With a strong background in marketing and business development, Troy has combined his passion for travel in East and Southern African and built a burgeoning business in the luxury safari sector.



Troy is based in True Africa's Cape Town office, but has vast experience across the continent – everything from a ‘close encounter’ with a hippo while in a mokoro in the Okavango Delta, to exhilarating walking safaris in Zambia and watching the herds zig-zag across the Serengeti’s plains, he understands safaris incredibly well and leads his team in their efforts of matching clients with the right destination for their safari experiences. Troy and his team work with networks of safari camps, lodges, guides and ground teams to build the perfect trip for each customer.



And it's paid off. During our conversation Troy remarked that they don't do as much marketing as some of their competitors. Why? Well, it's because they enjoy a steady stream of repeat customers and referrals. His business is living proof that if you deliver a great experience, the rest falls into place...pretty much what every CX professional has been telling their executive team since the term "CX" was coined.



It's easy to see why Troy's team has a strong base of repeat customers



Key takeaways: making luxury customer experience a reality in the African bush



During our conversation, Troy and I talked about what it means to deliver bespoke 5-star safari experiences. Here are some of the highlights:



* Listen to customer needs, and act on what you hear - Troy's team takes the time to listen to what a customer wants and then the build an experience around that. Say that you likes elephants, and not only will he find the lodge with best herds, his team will also make sure that this theme permeates your pre and post travel communications. They also look for opportunities to deliver tiny moments of delight. Troy says that these small but meaningful additions to the experience are a pleasant surprise for any customer. One might expect that high end customers would anticipate this treatment, but he says that's not usually the case. You can't expect surprise and delight,]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Customer experience culture starts with hiring: CX Mini Masterclass – E37 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-experience-culture-starts-with-hiring-cx-mini-masterclass-e37/ Thu, 25 Apr 2019 15:28:46 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1340 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-experience-culture-starts-with-hiring-cx-mini-masterclass-e37/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-experience-culture-starts-with-hiring-cx-mini-masterclass-e37/feed/ 0       This CX Mini Masterclass explains how an organization's recruiting practices set the stage for its customer experience culture. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares ideas and practical tips on how to align your organization's hiring practices to its CX strategy. If you’ve been pulling hard on that employee training lever and aren’t seeing the results that you want to see in terms of culture change, this episode is for you. Not just a strategy for tough times For the month of April, my mini masterclasses have been be exploring ideas and best practices for delivering great customer experience, even amid a challenging business environment. When the going gets tough, it’s natural for organizations to look for places they can trim back on their expenses to defend the bottom line. Unfortunately, I often see things like employee engagement on the chopping block. Obviously, as CX professionals, we need to help leaders understand that these types of cuts might jeopardize the success of future CX strategies. If you lose that argument and need to look for ways to bolster your customer-centric culture without incurring additional costs, then I suggest reviewing how your organization’s hiring practices align to its CX objectives. In reality, this type of culture alignment shouldn’t need to wait for a time when the business climate is challenging and budgets are under pressure, but I’ve chosen to feature it here, because it’s something that – if you haven’t done it already – can be an intervention taken when budgets are tight. Forget training, customer experience culture starts with hiring The alignment of HR practices to CX strategy is the foundation of customer experience culture. You can’t foster and authentically customer-centric culture if your HR strategy is at odds with your CX strategy. These two must be aligned, and supported by things like who and how you recruit new team members. In my opinion, this particular step is even more vital to your customer experience culture than ongoing training. Why? Well, because if you get people with the right attitudes into your business in the first place, you don’t need to spend as much energy on things like soft skills training and mindset change. That’s not to say that training and employee engagement don’t play an important role, especially for fostering culture alignment among employees who were hired before your organization set out on its customer-centric journey. What I'm saying is that fostering your desired customer experience culture is infinitely easier if you start out with people who are already inclined to this. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It's relatively easy to teach someone a new skill. Teaching someone to empathize or care is a totally different kettle of fish. How to align recruiting and CX Aligning your hiring practices to your customer experience strategy boils down to three main things: Ensure that role descriptions include the skills, behaviors and expectations that tie back to your customer experience strategy. Ideally each department in your organizations should have some CX related KPIs and goals, which can be cascaded down to team and individual level. Once there is a clear line between every team or department and your organization’s customer-centric goals, it shouldn’t be difficult to bake these into the role description and job postings. Make sure that you screen for culture and values fit. In my interview with Desirree Madison-Biggs, the head of CX at Airbnb, we spoke at length about how they have successfully fostered a customer experience culture. She emphasized their values screening interviews as an important step for making sure they get people with the right mindset joining their team, and you can do the same for your organization. If you haven't already done this, start by connecting the dots between vision,  

 

 

This CX Mini Masterclass explains how an organization’s recruiting practices set the stage for its customer experience culture. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares ideas and practical tips on how to align your organization’s hiring practices to its CX strategy. If you’ve been pulling hard on that employee training lever and aren’t seeing the results that you want to see in terms of culture change, this episode is for you.

Not just a strategy for tough times

For the month of April, my mini masterclasses have been be exploring ideas and best practices for delivering great customer experience, even amid a challenging business environment. When the going gets tough, it’s natural for organizations to look for places they can trim back on their expenses to defend the bottom line. Unfortunately, I often see things like employee engagement on the chopping block. Obviously, as CX professionals, we need to help leaders understand that these types of cuts might jeopardize the success of future CX strategies. If you lose that argument and need to look for ways to bolster your customer-centric culture without incurring additional costs, then I suggest reviewing how your organization’s hiring practices align to its CX objectives.

In reality, this type of culture alignment shouldn’t need to wait for a time when the business climate is challenging and budgets are under pressure, but I’ve chosen to feature it here, because it’s something that – if you haven’t done it already – can be an intervention taken when budgets are tight.

Forget training, customer experience culture starts with hiring

The alignment of HR practices to CX strategy is the foundation of customer experience culture. You can’t foster and authentically customer-centric culture if your HR strategy is at odds with your CX strategy. These two must be aligned, and supported by things like who and how you recruit new team members.

In my opinion, this particular step is even more vital to your customer experience culture than ongoing training. Why? Well, because if you get people with the right attitudes into your business in the first place, you don’t need to spend as much energy on things like soft skills training and mindset change. That’s not to say that training and employee engagement don’t play an important role, especially for fostering culture alignment among employees who were hired before your organization set out on its customer-centric journey. What I’m saying is that fostering your desired customer experience culture is infinitely easier if you start out with people who are already inclined to this.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s relatively easy to teach someone a new skill. Teaching someone to empathize or care is a totally different kettle of fish.

How to align recruiting and CX

Aligning your hiring practices to your customer experience strategy boils down to three main things:

  1. Ensure that role descriptions include the skills, behaviors and expectations that tie back to your customer experience strategy. Ideally each department in your organizations should have some CX related KPIs and goals, which can be cascaded down to team and individual level. Once there is a clear line between every team or department and your organization’s customer-centric goals, it shouldn’t be difficult to bake these into the role description and job postings.
  2. Make sure that you screen for culture and values fit. In my interview with Desirree Madison-Biggs, the head of CX at Airbnb, we spoke at length about how they have successfully fostered a customer experience culture. She emphasized their values screening interviews as an important step for making sure they get people with the right mindset joining their team, and you can do the same for your organization. If you haven’t already done this, start by connecting the dots between vision,/mission/purpose and customer-centric behaviors. Once you’ve defined this, then you can add something like a situational interview to help screen candidates for values fit. Remember, it’s much easier to teach someone a new skill than to overhaul a mindset.
  3. Make sure that your recruiting experience are reflective of your brand values or experience principles. Candidates are consumers too. Perhaps the person being considered for a role is actually a customer or a prospective customer. Regardless of whether or not they join your organization, consider how the experience might impact their relationship with the brand. The last thing you want to do is turn someone into a vocal detractor. Carefully consider how the hiring team can emanate the brand values, regardless of the outcome.

Cross-functional collaboration for customer experience culture

It takes time to align an organization’s hiring practices to its CX goals. As customer experience practitioners, we need to be cross-functional in everything that we do. That means engaging teams like HR to be our collaborative partners as we foster organizational customer-centricity and a customer experience culture.

For inspiration on how to engage with HR and other teams, I’d highly suggest checking out Episode 3, which features my interview with Desirree from Airbnb. I’d also recommend Episode 21, which includes insights from Marnitz Van Heerden of Hollard Insurance. In our interview, Marnitz speaks about how he’s engaged stakeholders across his organization to the extent that they’ve been able to move from a centralized CX approach to managing customer experience through a federated model (where CX is effectively owned by each of the different business teams).

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including employee engagement, leadership alignment and CX culture change) or get in touch via email

]]>
      This CX Mini Masterclass explains how an organization's recruiting practices set the stage for its customer experience culture. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares ideas and practical tips on how to align...
 

 











This CX Mini Masterclass explains how an organization's recruiting practices set the stage for its customer experience culture. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares ideas and practical tips on how to align your organization's hiring practices to its CX strategy. If you’ve been pulling hard on that employee training lever and aren’t seeing the results that you want to see in terms of culture change, this episode is for you.







Not just a strategy for tough times



For the month of April, my mini masterclasses have been be exploring ideas and best practices for delivering great customer experience, even amid a challenging business environment. When the going gets tough, it’s natural for organizations to look for places they can trim back on their expenses to defend the bottom line. Unfortunately, I often see things like employee engagement on the chopping block. Obviously, as CX professionals, we need to help leaders understand that these types of cuts might jeopardize the success of future CX strategies. If you lose that argument and need to look for ways to bolster your customer-centric culture without incurring additional costs, then I suggest reviewing how your organization’s hiring practices align to its CX objectives.



In reality, this type of culture alignment shouldn’t need to wait for a time when the business climate is challenging and budgets are under pressure, but I’ve chosen to feature it here, because it’s something that – if you haven’t done it already – can be an intervention taken when budgets are tight.



Forget training, customer experience culture starts with hiring



The alignment of HR practices to CX strategy is the foundation of customer experience culture. You can’t foster and authentically customer-centric culture if your HR strategy is at odds with your CX strategy. These two must be aligned, and supported by things like who and how you recruit new team members.



In my opinion, this particular step is even more vital to your customer experience culture than ongoing training. Why? Well, because if you get people with the right attitudes into your business in the first place, you don’t need to spend as much energy on things like soft skills training and mindset change. That’s not to say that training and employee engagement don’t play an important role, especially for fostering culture alignment among employees who were hired before your organization set out on its customer-centric journey. What I'm saying is that fostering your desired customer experience culture is infinitely easier if you start out with people who are already inclined to this.



An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It's relatively easy to teach someone a new skill. Teaching someone to empathize or care is a totally different kettle of fish.



How to align recruiting and CX



Aligning your hiring practices to your customer experience strategy boils down to three main things:



* Ensure that role descriptions include the skills, behaviors and expectations that tie back to your customer experience strategy. Ideally each department in your organizations should have some CX related KPIs and goals, which can be cascaded down to team and individual level. Once there is a clear line between every team or department and your organization’s customer-centric goals, it shouldn’t be difficult to bake these into the role description and job postings. * Make sure that you screen for culture and values fit. In https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1336 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-strategy-vs-business-risk-cx-mini-masterclass-e36/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-strategy-vs-business-risk-cx-mini-masterclass-e36/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explains investigates how to find the balance between mitigating business risk without derailing your customer strategy. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, takes you through a practical approach for evaluating customer impact and shares ways that you can engage with business teams to realize this. If you’ve ever found yourself pulling your hair out trying to get a compliance or legal team to “think customer”, this episode is for you. A tough environment puts risk in the spotlight When the going gets tough, it’s natural for organizations to looks for ways they can mitigate loses and fend off potential disruptions. That makes sense, but it doesn’t mean that an organization needs to let the risk mitigation or legal teams completely take the reins of the business. These teams are often tasked with identifying and fending off any possible risk, and they’re usually not tasked with measuring this against the impact on customer experience or customer lifetime value. Balancing risk and customer strategy Even if a business isn’t in defensive-mode it’s important to find the balance between protecting customers, employees and the brand while delivering experiences that create value for both the business and customers.  This starts with including some sort of customer impact assessment in the organization’s business planning and operational change processes. All too often I find that organizations will make changes to systems, processes, platforms, and even products, without fully evaluating what this means for the customer. In practice, this means that businesses sometimes implement changes to their business that result in bad experiences which have an adverse impact on loyalty. So how do you prevent these things from happening? The answer is to bring a customer impact assessment into the business planning process, so issues get flagged before they happen, and the teams responsible for mitigating risk have some sort of counter balance for customer experience. It isn’t that theses teams don’t care about the customer, it’s just that they aren’t focused on the customer, so you have to find a way to shine the spotlight on the customer experience and show them how to empathize while they analyze. A practical approach for analytical teams One way to do this is to implement a customer assessment for any new business risk policy. The details of this will be unique for each business, but this approach incorporates procedural consistency and logic, elements that should resonate strongly with analytically-minded teams. First off, evaluate if the new risk policy is designed to protect employees, customers or other individuals from harm. If so, your customer impact assessment can be pretty short. If the risk of harm is real and material, the new policy is probably worth implementing, even if it does result in a hiccup to the customer journey in the short term. The brand damaging effects would probably far outweigh a slight inconvenience to the customer. If the new risk mitigation policy isn’t related to some sort of brand damaging health and safety issue, then it's likely dealing with a policy that is meant to protect business continuity. This is where organizations can easily get blinded by looking out for their own issues without considering the customer. Customer experience professionals need to figure out how to weigh this against the impact on customer experience and the bottom line. You can evaluate the impact by evaluating the new risk policy against a couple of criteria: Will the policy affect customer retention, and if so, what is the value of these lost customers? Will the new policy prevent new customer acquisition, and if so what is the opportunity cost of those potential customers? Will the new policy impact on customer satisfaction? If there is an impact, to what extent? What is the level of severity?

This CX Mini Masterclass explains investigates how to find the balance between mitigating business risk without derailing your customer strategy. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, takes you through a practical approach for evaluating customer impact and shares ways that you can engage with business teams to realize this. If you’ve ever found yourself pulling your hair out trying to get a compliance or legal team to “think customer”, this episode is for you.

A tough environment puts risk in the spotlight

When the going gets tough, it’s natural for organizations to looks for ways they can mitigate loses and fend off potential disruptions. That makes sense, but it doesn’t mean that an organization needs to let the risk mitigation or legal teams completely take the reins of the business. These teams are often tasked with identifying and fending off any possible risk, and they’re usually not tasked with measuring this against the impact on customer experience or customer lifetime value.

Balancing risk and customer strategy

Even if a business isn’t in defensive-mode it’s important to find the balance between protecting customers, employees and the brand while delivering experiences that create value for both the business and customers. 

This starts with including some sort of customer impact assessment in the organization’s business planning and operational change processes. All too often I find that organizations will make changes to systems, processes, platforms, and even products, without fully evaluating what this means for the customer. In practice, this means that businesses sometimes implement changes to their business that result in bad experiences which have an adverse impact on loyalty.

So how do you prevent these things from happening? The answer is to bring a customer impact assessment into the business planning process, so issues get flagged before they happen, and the teams responsible for mitigating risk have some sort of counter balance for customer experience. It isn’t that theses teams don’t care about the customer, it’s just that they aren’t focused on the customer, so you have to find a way to shine the spotlight on the customer experience and show them how to empathize while they analyze.

A practical approach for analytical teams

One way to do this is to implement a customer assessment for any new business risk policy. The details of this will be unique for each business, but this approach incorporates procedural consistency and logic, elements that should resonate strongly with analytically-minded teams.

First off, evaluate if the new risk policy is designed to protect employees, customers or other individuals from harm. If so, your customer impact assessment can be pretty short. If the risk of harm is real and material, the new policy is probably worth implementing, even if it does result in a hiccup to the customer journey in the short term. The brand damaging effects would probably far outweigh a slight inconvenience to the customer.

If the new risk mitigation policy isn’t related to some sort of brand damaging health and safety issue, then it’s likely dealing with a policy that is meant to protect business continuity. This is where organizations can easily get blinded by looking out for their own issues without considering the customer. Customer experience professionals need to figure out how to weigh this against the impact on customer experience and the bottom line.

You can evaluate the impact by evaluating the new risk policy against a couple of criteria:

  • Will the policy affect customer retention, and if so, what is the value of these lost customers?
  • Will the new policy prevent new customer acquisition, and if so what is the opportunity cost of those potential customers?
  • Will the new policy impact on customer satisfaction? If there is an impact, to what extent? What is the level of severity? Will it ultimately lead to a decreased share of wallet or will it damage word of mouth recommendations?

This last batch of evaluation questions looks at the “slow burn” impact, while the first 2 looks at the immediate financial ramifications. It’s important to look at both.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

 

 

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including employee engagement, leadership alignment and CX culture change) or get in touch via email

]]> This CX Mini Masterclass explains investigates how to find the balance between mitigating business risk without derailing your customer strategy. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, takes you through a practical approach for evalu...














This CX Mini Masterclass explains investigates how to find the balance between mitigating business risk without derailing your customer strategy. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, takes you through a practical approach for evaluating customer impact and shares ways that you can engage with business teams to realize this. If you’ve ever found yourself pulling your hair out trying to get a compliance or legal team to “think customer”, this episode is for you.








A tough environment puts risk in the spotlight



When the going gets tough, it’s natural for organizations to looks for ways they can mitigate loses and fend off potential disruptions. That makes sense, but it doesn’t mean that an organization needs to let the risk mitigation or legal teams completely take the reins of the business. These teams are often tasked with identifying and fending off any possible risk, and they’re usually not tasked with measuring this against the impact on customer experience or customer lifetime value.



Balancing risk and customer strategy



Even if a business isn’t in defensive-mode it’s important to find the balance between protecting customers, employees and the brand while delivering experiences that create value for both the business and customers. 



This starts with including some sort of customer impact assessment in the organization’s business planning and operational change processes. All too often I find that organizations will make changes to systems, processes, platforms, and even products, without fully evaluating what this means for the customer. In practice, this means that businesses sometimes implement changes to their business that result in bad experiences which have an adverse impact on loyalty.



So how do you prevent these things from happening? The answer is to bring a customer impact assessment into the business planning process, so issues get flagged before they happen, and the teams responsible for mitigating risk have some sort of counter balance for customer experience. It isn’t that theses teams don’t care about the customer, it’s just that they aren’t focused on the customer, so you have to find a way to shine the spotlight on the customer experience and show them how to empathize while they analyze.



A practical approach for analytical teams



One way to do this is to implement a customer assessment for any new business risk policy. The details of this will be unique for each business, but this approach incorporates procedural consistency and logic, elements that should resonate strongly with analytically-minded teams.



First off, evaluate if the new risk policy is designed to protect employees, customers or other individuals from harm. If so, your customer impact assessment can be pretty short. If the risk of harm is real and material, the new policy is probably worth implementing, even if it does result in a hiccup to the customer journey in the short term. The brand damaging effects would probably far outweigh a slight inconvenience to the customer.



If the new risk mitigation policy isn’t related to some sort of brand damaging health and safety issue, then it's likely dealing with a policy that is meant to protect business continuity. This is where organizations can easily get blinded by looking out for their own issues without considering the customer. Customer experience professionals need to figure out how to weigh this against the impact on customer experience and the bottom line.



You can evaluate the impact by evaluating the new risk policy against ...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Customer Service without subservience: CX Mini Masterclass – E35 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-service-without-subservience-cx-mini-masterclass-e35/ Thu, 11 Apr 2019 17:03:18 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1325 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-service-without-subservience-cx-mini-masterclass-e35/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-service-without-subservience-cx-mini-masterclass-e35/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explains how to fortify your organization's service culture through the concept of customer service without subservience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains this concept and its role in helping organizations address team morale, especially in challenging business environments. If you’ve been pondering how to re-frame or re-ignite the service culture in your organization, this episode is for you. Turning the focus to customer service In episode 15, I provided an overview of the difference between customer experience and customer service. Beyond this, I haven't really featured customer service on the podcast. To be honest, I engage carefully with the concept of customer service in my work, and that's an intentional choice. One that I think is common of many CX professionals. For far too long, our craft and profession was boxed within the confines of "customer service". Yes, service has an important impact on customer experience, but it is just one piece of the puzzle. And of all the "levers to pull" for improving customer experience, the service lever has been pulled the most often. Service will only take you so far in improving customer experience, but it is still important. In this episode, I explore the role of having a service culture and how to bolster this, even when the going gets tough. Service amid adversity During the month of April, I'm focusing the show on best practices for delivering great customer experience, even amid a challenging business environment. A tough business environment makes it more difficult for teams to be service oriented and deliver good experiences. Why? This boils down to a couple of factors. Firstly, when there is political or economic uncertainty, it hits people’s morale, both in their personal and professional lives. This means that team members may be slightly distracted by their own individual challenges, whether that’s a bonus in jeopardy or some disparaging things they’re hearing in the news. It is more difficult to look after the needs of others when you are concerned about your own future. A challenging economic climate or a tough business environment also impacts the morale of customers. Customers maybe facing their own challenges which cause them to be irritable, less patient and possibly prone to lashing out. It’s just that much more difficult to be service oriented when the person you are serving is seemingly disrespectful or treating you poorly. In this context, it's easy to see how both overall morale and service culture could be under pressure when the going gets tough. Restoring honor, dignity and purpose One way to combat this is with a concept that I call "service without subservience". This is about restoring the dignity in service, by helping customer facing teams, and even supporting teams understand that they are on a level playing field with the customer. Mantras like the customer is always right, can make teams feel powerless and maybe even subservient, but if we re-frame service as a respected and revered duty that rises above the fray in the pursuit of mutually beneficial outcomes, then we can begin to fortify our service culture. Ritz Carlton, a brand globally renowned for its service, puts this beautifully when they talk about service as “ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen”. This puts both the customer and the staff on a level playing field and positions service with the dignity that it deserves. Putting this into action Instilling a mindset of service without subservience requires 3 main components: Celebrating the honor in service and the contribution of each role to the customer journey: Organizations can do this by acknowledging the impact of individual or team level contributions and by highlighting good news stories about how these contributions turn into outcomes. Recognition can and should take many different forms,

This CX Mini Masterclass explains how to fortify your organization’s service culture through the concept of customer service without subservience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains this concept and its role in helping organizations address team morale, especially in challenging business environments. If you’ve been pondering how to re-frame or re-ignite the service culture in your organization, this episode is for you.

Turning the focus to customer service

In episode 15, I provided an overview of the difference between customer experience and customer service. Beyond this, I haven’t really featured customer service on the podcast. To be honest, I engage carefully with the concept of customer service in my work, and that’s an intentional choice. One that I think is common of many CX professionals. For far too long, our craft and profession was boxed within the confines of “customer service”. Yes, service has an important impact on customer experience, but it is just one piece of the puzzle. And of all the “levers to pull” for improving customer experience, the service lever has been pulled the most often. Service will only take you so far in improving customer experience, but it is still important.

In this episode, I explore the role of having a service culture and how to bolster this, even when the going gets tough.

Service amid adversity

During the month of April, I’m focusing the show on best practices for delivering great customer experience, even amid a challenging business environment.

A tough business environment makes it more difficult for teams to be service oriented and deliver good experiences. Why? This boils down to a couple of factors. Firstly, when there is political or economic uncertainty, it hits people’s morale, both in their personal and professional lives. This means that team members may be slightly distracted by their own individual challenges, whether that’s a bonus in jeopardy or some disparaging things they’re hearing in the news. It is more difficult to look after the needs of others when you are concerned about your own future.

A challenging economic climate or a tough business environment also impacts the morale of customers. Customers maybe facing their own challenges which cause them to be irritable, less patient and possibly prone to lashing out. It’s just that much more difficult to be service oriented when the person you are serving is seemingly disrespectful or treating you poorly. In this context, it’s easy to see how both overall morale and service culture could be under pressure when the going gets tough.

Restoring honor, dignity and purpose

One way to combat this is with a concept that I call “service without subservience”. This is about restoring the dignity in service, by helping customer facing teams, and even supporting teams understand that they are on a level playing field with the customer. Mantras like the customer is always right, can make teams feel powerless and maybe even subservient, but if we re-frame service as a respected and revered duty that rises above the fray in the pursuit of mutually beneficial outcomes, then we can begin to fortify our service culture. Ritz Carlton, a brand globally renowned for its service, puts this beautifully when they talk about service as “ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen”. This puts both the customer and the staff on a level playing field and positions service with the dignity that it deserves.

Putting this into action

Instilling a mindset of service without subservience requires 3 main components:

Celebrating the honor in service and the contribution of each role to the customer journey: Organizations can do this by acknowledging the impact of individual or team level contributions and by highlighting good news stories about how these contributions turn into outcomes. Recognition can and should take many different forms, but the key here is to help people make the connection between the purpose of their work and how this both honorable and valued.

Empowering staff to take control of situations: No one likes to feel powerless. When you empower teams and individuals to do good, they will. It’s important that teams follow policies and procedures, but if you rally your team around a common goal and establish clarity on values and behaviors, you can rest assured that people will (for the most part) do the right thing. Perhaps this means allowing team members to make specific recommendations to the customer or to take ownership of how they resolve a question or query. The key here is to be very clear on the expectations, and then to support team members on the decisions they make. If people are worried that their choices will constantly be scrutinized, this won’t succeed.

Enable employees to define their boundaries: In Episode 5, I spoke with Laura Jack about the role of compassion in customer experience. She highlighted that teams, especially those at the coal face of customer experience, need to practice self-care. This is key maintaining employee morale and mitigating burnout. In the context of service boundaries, this might mean encouraging individuals to create self-defined parameters for when they need to take a break and get re-centerd, or enabling team members to collectively define the approach and then support each other when dealing with confrontational customers. When employees take control of their boundaries, is helps prevent scenarios where they might feel belittled or victimized.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including employee engagement, leadership alignment and CX culture change) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass explains how to fortify your organization's service culture through the concept of customer service without subservience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains this concept and its role in helping o...












This CX Mini Masterclass explains how to fortify your organization's service culture through the concept of customer service without subservience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains this concept and its role in helping organizations address team morale, especially in challenging business environments. If you’ve been pondering how to re-frame or re-ignite the service culture in your organization, this episode is for you.







Turning the focus to customer service



In episode 15, I provided an overview of the difference between customer experience and customer service. Beyond this, I haven't really featured customer service on the podcast. To be honest, I engage carefully with the concept of customer service in my work, and that's an intentional choice. One that I think is common of many CX professionals. For far too long, our craft and profession was boxed within the confines of "customer service". Yes, service has an important impact on customer experience, but it is just one piece of the puzzle. And of all the "levers to pull" for improving customer experience, the service lever has been pulled the most often. Service will only take you so far in improving customer experience, but it is still important.



In this episode, I explore the role of having a service culture and how to bolster this, even when the going gets tough.



Service amid adversity



During the month of April, I'm focusing the show on best practices for delivering great customer experience, even amid a challenging business environment.



A tough business environment makes it more difficult for teams to be service oriented and deliver good experiences. Why? This boils down to a couple of factors. Firstly, when there is political or economic uncertainty, it hits people’s morale, both in their personal and professional lives. This means that team members may be slightly distracted by their own individual challenges, whether that’s a bonus in jeopardy or some disparaging things they’re hearing in the news. It is more difficult to look after the needs of others when you are concerned about your own future.



A challenging economic climate or a tough business environment also impacts the morale of customers. Customers maybe facing their own challenges which cause them to be irritable, less patient and possibly prone to lashing out. It’s just that much more difficult to be service oriented when the person you are serving is seemingly disrespectful or treating you poorly. In this context, it's easy to see how both overall morale and service culture could be under pressure when the going gets tough.



Restoring honor, dignity and purpose



One way to combat this is with a concept that I call "service without subservience". This is about restoring the dignity in service, by helping customer facing teams, and even supporting teams understand that they are on a level playing field with the customer. Mantras like the customer is always right, can make teams feel powerless and maybe even subservient, but if we re-frame service as a respected and revered duty that rises above the fray in the pursuit of mutually beneficial outcomes, then we can begin to fortify our service culture. Ritz Carlton, a brand globally renowned for its service, puts this beautifully when they talk about service as “ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen”. This puts both the customer and the staff on a level playing field and positions service with the dignity that it de...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Insight on emerging consumer experience trends: interview with Ilenia Vidili – E34 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/insight-on-emerging-consumer-experience-trends-interview-with-ilenia-vidili-e34/ Thu, 04 Apr 2019 16:43:28 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1310 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/insight-on-emerging-consumer-experience-trends-interview-with-ilenia-vidili-e34/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/insight-on-emerging-consumer-experience-trends-interview-with-ilenia-vidili-e34/feed/ 0 Ilenia Vidili, founder of the Smarter Crew, shares her insights on emerging consumer trends, including how mobile devices are transforming customer journeys, the importance of experience personalization and the role of tech in experience innovation. Ilenia and show host Julia discuss the balance between knowing your customer and not getting "creepy", how to use purpose to connect with consumers and tips for a winning mobile customer experience. Julia shares her theme for April's CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will focus on navigating customer-centricity in challenging business environments. Expert insights CX professional need to keep a pulse on what's changing in the consumer world. It can be easy to get stuck in customer-centric transformation work, but we can't forget to keep our eye on the horizon. Doing this enables us to help our businesses (or clients) evolve for the future needs of customers. I spoke with Ilenia Vidili to hear hear thoughts about what trends are impacting the consumer landscape. Ilenia Vidili Ilenia is a consultant and trainer with extensive experience working in various multinationals and start-ups across different industries. Fascinated about strategies, brands and consumer behavior of the digital era, she believes that companies should start disrupting the way they interact with their customers. She also believes this will be the key that unlocks their future. She is the proud founder of The Smarter Crew, an innovative company that helps organizations make customer experience their competitive advantage Key takeaways: consumer experience trends During our conversation, Ilenia and I covered many different topics related to consumer experience trends. Here are some of the highlights: Personalization is key - as consumer attention spans get shorter, brands will need to work harder to earn a share of consumer consciousness. One way to do this is to offer personalized content, communication, products, etc. This will not only help consumers feel important - something that most people subconsciously seek - but it also counter acts information overload and increases the likelihood that consumers will view what's presented as relevant and engage with it.Brands need to build a real connection with consumers - trust is an important commodity these days. Brands can come and go more quickly, and organizations need to earn consumer trust. While it may seem simple and obvious, one of the ways to do this is to ask consumers about their wants and needs. Consumers are 62% more likely to buy from a company that asks their opinion. So not only does this generate valuable insights, but it also helps consumers feel connected with brands, which in turn builds trust.Consumer expectations are on the rise - our always-on mobile culture has meant that customers expect immediate responses to questions and issues. This in turn means that brands need to have a robust strategy and plan for quick and responsive engagement with consumers, especially via social media. The good news is that brands can also use social media engagement to understand consumer wants and needs.Technology presents huge opportunities - innovations such as facial recognition present major opportunities for brands to engage with, and learn from, customers. Apps such as Sephora's Virtual Artist app utilize facial recognition and augmented reality to deliver a fun and engaging customer experience. This also presents an opportunity for brands to learn about consumers' likes and dislikes based on their facial expressions, identify customers across digital and non-digital channels, and to more deeply understand the path to purchase. A purpose vs a cause - while we shouldn't group all Millennials into one bucket, we can glean some broad brushstroke generational trends. One of those trends is that Millennial consumers prioritize knowing the truth. They want authentic communication from brands,

Ilenia Vidili, founder of the Smarter Crew, shares her insights on emerging consumer trends, including how mobile devices are transforming customer journeys, the importance of experience personalization and the role of tech in experience innovation. Ilenia and show host Julia discuss the balance between knowing your customer and not getting “creepy”, how to use purpose to connect with consumers and tips for a winning mobile customer experience. Julia shares her theme for April’s CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will focus on navigating customer-centricity in challenging business environments.

Expert insights

CX professional need to keep a pulse on what’s changing in the consumer world. It can be easy to get stuck in customer-centric transformation work, but we can’t forget to keep our eye on the horizon. Doing this enables us to help our businesses (or clients) evolve for the future needs of customers. I spoke with Ilenia Vidili to hear hear thoughts about what trends are impacting the consumer landscape.

Ilenia Vidili

Ilenia is a consultant and trainer with extensive experience working in various multinationals and start-ups across different industries. Fascinated about strategies, brands and consumer behavior of the digital era, she believes that companies should start disrupting the way they interact with their customers. She also believes this will be the key that unlocks their future. She is the proud founder of The Smarter Crew, an innovative company that helps organizations make customer experience their competitive advantage

Key takeaways: consumer experience trends

During our conversation, Ilenia and I covered many different topics related to consumer experience trends. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Personalization is key – as consumer attention spans get shorter, brands will need to work harder to earn a share of consumer consciousness. One way to do this is to offer personalized content, communication, products, etc. This will not only help consumers feel important – something that most people subconsciously seek – but it also counter acts information overload and increases the likelihood that consumers will view what’s presented as relevant and engage with it.
  • Brands need to build a real connection with consumers – trust is an important commodity these days. Brands can come and go more quickly, and organizations need to earn consumer trust. While it may seem simple and obvious, one of the ways to do this is to ask consumers about their wants and needs. Consumers are 62% more likely to buy from a company that asks their opinion. So not only does this generate valuable insights, but it also helps consumers feel connected with brands, which in turn builds trust.
  • Consumer expectations are on the rise – our always-on mobile culture has meant that customers expect immediate responses to questions and issues. This in turn means that brands need to have a robust strategy and plan for quick and responsive engagement with consumers, especially via social media. The good news is that brands can also use social media engagement to understand consumer wants and needs.
  • Technology presents huge opportunities – innovations such as facial recognition present major opportunities for brands to engage with, and learn from, customers. Apps such as Sephora’s Virtual Artist app utilize facial recognition and augmented reality to deliver a fun and engaging customer experience. This also presents an opportunity for brands to learn about consumers’ likes and dislikes based on their facial expressions, identify customers across digital and non-digital channels, and to more deeply understand the path to purchase.
  • A purpose vs a cause – while we shouldn’t group all Millennials into one bucket, we can glean some broad brushstroke generational trends. One of those trends is that Millennial consumers prioritize knowing the truth. They want authentic communication from brands, and they seek to align themselves with brands that have a clear purpose. This is different from a cause, as purpose reflects a profound reason for being and permeates all aspects of the business, whereas a cause (often related to marketing and corporate giving) can be seen as superficial.

It all comes back to mobile

My conversation with Ilenia started an ended on the topic of mobile experience. This wasn’t intentional, but the topic of mobile interactions is central to ANY conversation about customer experience these days. Mobile devices catalyzed the Age of the Customer, and have continued become more deeply entrenched in our consumer journeys. Getting the mobile experience “right” is not an option, it is a requirement for the future success of any brand.

Ilenia shared some insights on how organizations can get mobile “right”, citing research from a study conducted by Google. This study showed that key moments for mobile engagement include those when consumers are looking to know, go, buy, and do. Google calls these micro moments, and they are loaded with intent, context and immediacy. Know moments reflect when consumers are in research mode. Go moments reflect when consumers are quickly looking for something relevant. Buy moments are when a consumer is in purchase-mode. Finally, do moments are when consumers are looking to solve or do something (e.g. search “how to fix my washing machine”).

These micro moments are the new battlefield for businesses. During these moments, brands need to be present, useful and quick. The organizations behind these brands will have to anticipate these moments and be ready to respond with helpful engagement or content. Doing so will help them earn the trust of the next generation of consumers.

Episode Sponsor

This episode was sponsored by CX University, a CX training company offering a broad array of CX learning options, including e-learning modules and CCXP practice exams. CXU is an accredited resource and training provider and their resources and they offer a flexible and affordable monthly subscription model. Listeners of this CX podcast can get 10% off their first month’s subscription by entering the discount code PODCAST10 at checkout.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business define customer experience strategy that delivers results, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

]]>
Ilenia Vidili, founder of the Smarter Crew, shares her insights on emerging consumer trends, including how mobile devices are transforming customer journeys, the importance of experience personalization and the role of tech in experience innovation.










Ilenia Vidili, founder of the Smarter Crew, shares her insights on emerging consumer trends, including how mobile devices are transforming customer journeys, the importance of experience personalization and the role of tech in experience innovation. Ilenia and show host Julia discuss the balance between knowing your customer and not getting "creepy", how to use purpose to connect with consumers and tips for a winning mobile customer experience. Julia shares her theme for April's CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will focus on navigating customer-centricity in challenging business environments.







Expert insights



CX professional need to keep a pulse on what's changing in the consumer world. It can be easy to get stuck in customer-centric transformation work, but we can't forget to keep our eye on the horizon. Doing this enables us to help our businesses (or clients) evolve for the future needs of customers. I spoke with Ilenia Vidili to hear hear thoughts about what trends are impacting the consumer landscape.



Ilenia Vidili



Ilenia is a consultant and trainer with extensive experience working in various multinationals and start-ups across different industries. Fascinated about strategies, brands and consumer behavior of the digital era, she believes that companies should start disrupting the way they interact with their customers. She also believes this will be the key that unlocks their future. She is the proud founder of The Smarter Crew, an innovative company that helps organizations make customer experience their competitive advantage



Key takeaways: consumer experience trends



During our conversation, Ilenia and I covered many different topics related to consumer experience trends. Here are some of the highlights:



* Personalization is key - as consumer attention spans get shorter, brands will need to work harder to earn a share of consumer consciousness. One way to do this is to offer personalized content, communication, products, etc. This will not only help consumers feel important - something that most people subconsciously seek - but it also counter acts information overload and increases the likelihood that consumers will view what's presented as relevant and engage with it.* Brands need to build a real connection with consumers - trust is an important commodity these days. Brands can come and go more quickly, and organizations need to earn consumer trust. While it may seem simple and obvious, one of the ways to do this is to ask consumers about their wants and needs. Consumers are 62% more likely to buy from a company that asks their opinion. So not only does this generate valuable insights, but it also helps consumers feel connected with brands, which in turn builds trust.* Consumer expectations are on the rise - our always-on mobile culture has meant that customers expect immediate responses to questions and issues. This in turn means that brands need to have a robust strategy and plan for quick and responsive engagement with consumers, especially via social media. The good news is that brands can also use social media engagement to understand consumer wants and needs.* Technology presents huge opportunities - innovations such as facial recognition present major opportunities for brands to engage with, and learn from, customers. Apps such as Sephora's Virtual Artist app utilize facial recognition and augmented reality to deliver a fun and engaging customer experience.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Taking on Net Promoter Score: CX Mini Masterclass – E33 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/taking-on-net-promoter-score-cx-mini-masterclass-e33/ Thu, 28 Mar 2019 16:29:26 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1301 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/taking-on-net-promoter-score-cx-mini-masterclass-e33/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/taking-on-net-promoter-score-cx-mini-masterclass-e33/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass provides in-depth insight about Net Promoter Score (NPS). Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, sheds light on why this metric receives so much heat, explains some common pitfalls with its use, and share her perspective how it can be applied correctly. If you’re looking to learn more about the CX industry’s most loved and hated metric, this episode is for you. Understanding Net Promoter Score I covered an overview of Net Promoter Score (NPS) along with 2 other popular CX Metrics in episode 31, but it warrants repeating here, before we dive into the pros and cons. NPS was developed by Fred Reichheld, and introduced to the world in a 2003 Harvard Business review article titled “One Number You Need to Grow”.  Net promoter score is intended to be applied as a loyalty metric, and is measured by asking survey respondents to rate on a scale from 0 to 10 “How likely is it that you would recommend our [company/product/service] to a friend or colleague?” Ratings of 9 or 10 are considered promoters, ratings of 0 to 6 are considered detractors, and ratings of 7 or 8 are regarded as neutral. NPS is calculated as: % of promoters - % of detractors. The resulting score can range from -100 to 100. Check out the Temkin Group's annual NPS research for some context around typical score rages among various industries. A love/hate relationship with NPS NPS has captured the attention of, and resonated with, business leaders. Perhaps it was because NPS was introduced through the Harvard Business Review, or because it was created by someone from a reputable top consulting firm, or because of the alluring simplicity of understanding the customer through just one number. I'm not 100% sure of the reason, but either way, this score seems to have won over the hearts and minds of executives. For all of its faults and flaws, NPS has helped put customer experience in the spotlight and on executives' radar. Personally, I don’t think that NPS deserves this pedestal with business decision-makers, but that’s the current reality. If I had a time machine and could go back to 2003, I’d ask Fred Reichheld not to position NPS as a holy grail of customer loyalty or experience assessment tools. This positioning has been the source of its misuse and the cause of great frustrations within the customer experience professional community. When I engage with members of the CX professional community about NPS, I see CX leaders who feel almost shackled to a metric that they cannot fully control. They are often forced to be measured by a number that is influenced by a multitude of different factors. I understand their frustration as they endeavor to drive change within businesses that are obsessed with a score...a score that had been hailed as a predictor of things like retention and spend, but in reality is not. Again, some days I really wish that I had that time machine, but until I do, I think the best alternative is to provide some clarity around the pitfalls of NPS so that teams can avoid these. Common pitfalls Touchpoint-specific application: Net promoter score is often incorrectly applied as a metric for specific touchpoints. For example, after a service call out, a company might send a customer a text message survey asking them how likely they would be to recommend the company. A customer's view is shaped by many interactions, not just one. Sure, the most recent service interaction might feature prominently, because it’s fresh in the customer's mind, but they will also be referencing previous experiences and what they’ve heard from others. For this reason, NPS is not effective as a satisfaction measure for specific channels or touchpoints. This measuring approach also excludes those customers who haven’t had a service call out. They are still customers and their opinion matters too! Incorrect methodology: When, where and how you ask this NPS question can influence the results.

This CX Mini Masterclass provides in-depth insight about Net Promoter Score (NPS). Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, sheds light on why this metric receives so much heat, explains some common pitfalls with its use, and share her perspective how it can be applied correctly. If you’re looking to learn more about the CX industry’s most loved and hated metric, this episode is for you.

Understanding Net Promoter Score

I covered an overview of Net Promoter Score (NPS) along with 2 other popular CX Metrics in episode 31, but it warrants repeating here, before we dive into the pros and cons. NPS was developed by Fred Reichheld, and introduced to the world in a 2003 Harvard Business review article titled “One Number You Need to Grow”.  Net promoter score is intended to be applied as a loyalty metric, and is measured by asking survey respondents to rate on a scale from 0 to 10 “How likely is it that you would recommend our [company/product/service] to a friend or colleague?” Ratings of 9 or 10 are considered promoters, ratings of 0 to 6 are considered detractors, and ratings of 7 or 8 are regarded as neutral. NPS is calculated as: % of promoters – % of detractors. The resulting score can range from -100 to 100. Check out the Temkin Group’s annual NPS research for some context around typical score rages among various industries.

A love/hate relationship with NPS

NPS has captured the attention of, and resonated with, business leaders. Perhaps it was because NPS was introduced through the Harvard Business Review, or because it was created by someone from a reputable top consulting firm, or because of the alluring simplicity of understanding the customer through just one number. I’m not 100% sure of the reason, but either way, this score seems to have won over the hearts and minds of executives. For all of its faults and flaws, NPS has helped put customer experience in the spotlight and on executives’ radar.

Personally, I don’t think that NPS deserves this pedestal with business decision-makers, but that’s the current reality. If I had a time machine and could go back to 2003, I’d ask Fred Reichheld not to position NPS as a holy grail of customer loyalty or experience assessment tools. This positioning has been the source of its misuse and the cause of great frustrations within the customer experience professional community.

When I engage with members of the CX professional community about NPS, I see CX leaders who feel almost shackled to a metric that they cannot fully control. They are often forced to be measured by a number that is influenced by a multitude of different factors. I understand their frustration as they endeavor to drive change within businesses that are obsessed with a score…a score that had been hailed as a predictor of things like retention and spend, but in reality is not. Again, some days I really wish that I had that time machine, but until I do, I think the best alternative is to provide some clarity around the pitfalls of NPS so that teams can avoid these.

Common pitfalls

Touchpoint-specific application: Net promoter score is often incorrectly applied as a metric for specific touchpoints. For example, after a service call out, a company might send a customer a text message survey asking them how likely they would be to recommend the company. A customer’s view is shaped by many interactions, not just one. Sure, the most recent service interaction might feature prominently, because it’s fresh in the customer’s mind, but they will also be referencing previous experiences and what they’ve heard from others. For this reason, NPS is not effective as a satisfaction measure for specific channels or touchpoints. This measuring approach also excludes those customers who haven’t had a service call out. They are still customers and their opinion matters too!

Incorrect methodology: When, where and how you ask this NPS question can influence the results. In its purest form, as a broad-based market loyalty metric, NPS should be applied to a survey of the general consumer population (regardless of whether or not they are you customer). It should use the exact question language as established by the methodology’s creators. It needs to be the leading question in the survey, not tucked at the end after other impression-prompting questions. It also shouldn’t include color coding or other visual indications that may bias responses.

The wrong metric for the job: Many organizations leverage NPS as a performance assessment of overall customer experience or as a KPI for customer-facing teams. A consumer’s impression of a brand is influenced by a multitude of factors and a history of experiences. Knowing this, it’s easy to understand why NPS wouldn’t be the the best KPI for service or CX teams. When it is used in this way, teams can become resentful and frustrated that their efforts aren’t moving the dial.

The right mindset about NPS

If measured correctly, NPS will give you a temperature check on overall consumer loyalty towards your brand. The power of this is that it provides a window into loyalty based both on firsthand experience as well as word of mouth, including prospective, current and past customers…all of the stakeholders that make up the consumer marketplace.

If you are thinking to yourself, this is sounding less like a CX metric, then you might be onto something. A friend and colleague recently said that NPS belongs in the marketing department, not the customer experience team. I believe there’s a lot of wisdom to that. Even is you are measuring NPS correctly, the key is in how it’s used. This requires a change in mindset at the senior level, but it is worth the effort to help leadership teams see NPS for what it is.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including CX measurement, insights, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass provides in-depth insight about Net Promoter Score (NPS). Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, sheds light on why this metric receives so much heat, explains some common pitfalls with its use,










This CX Mini Masterclass provides in-depth insight about Net Promoter Score (NPS). Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, sheds light on why this metric receives so much heat, explains some common pitfalls with its use, and share her perspective how it can be applied correctly. If you’re looking to learn more about the CX industry’s most loved and hated metric, this episode is for you.







Understanding Net Promoter Score



I covered an overview of Net Promoter Score (NPS) along with 2 other popular CX Metrics in episode 31, but it warrants repeating here, before we dive into the pros and cons. NPS was developed by Fred Reichheld, and introduced to the world in a 2003 Harvard Business review article titled “One Number You Need to Grow”.  Net promoter score is intended to be applied as a loyalty metric, and is measured by asking survey respondents to rate on a scale from 0 to 10 “How likely is it that you would recommend our [company/product/service] to a friend or colleague?” Ratings of 9 or 10 are considered promoters, ratings of 0 to 6 are considered detractors, and ratings of 7 or 8 are regarded as neutral. NPS is calculated as: % of promoters - % of detractors. The resulting score can range from -100 to 100. Check out the Temkin Group's annual NPS research for some context around typical score rages among various industries.



A love/hate relationship with NPS



NPS has captured the attention of, and resonated with, business leaders. Perhaps it was because NPS was introduced through the Harvard Business Review, or because it was created by someone from a reputable top consulting firm, or because of the alluring simplicity of understanding the customer through just one number. I'm not 100% sure of the reason, but either way, this score seems to have won over the hearts and minds of executives. For all of its faults and flaws, NPS has helped put customer experience in the spotlight and on executives' radar.



Personally, I don’t think that NPS deserves this pedestal with business decision-makers, but that’s the current reality. If I had a time machine and could go back to 2003, I’d ask Fred Reichheld not to position NPS as a holy grail of customer loyalty or experience assessment tools. This positioning has been the source of its misuse and the cause of great frustrations within the customer experience professional community.



When I engage with members of the CX professional community about NPS, I see CX leaders who feel almost shackled to a metric that they cannot fully control. They are often forced to be measured by a number that is influenced by a multitude of different factors. I understand their frustration as they endeavor to drive change within businesses that are obsessed with a score...a score that had been hailed as a predictor of things like retention and spend, but in reality is not. Again, some days I really wish that I had that time machine, but until I do, I think the best alternative is to provide some clarity around the pitfalls of NPS so that teams can avoid these.



Common pitfalls



Touchpoint-specific application: Net promoter score is often incorrectly applied as a metric for specific touchpoints. For example, after a service call out, a company might send a customer a text message survey asking them how likely they would be to recommend the company. A customer's view is shaped by many interactions, not just one. Sure, the most recent service interaction might feat...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Measuring customer experience through leading and lagging indicators: CX Mini Masterclass – E32 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/measuring-customer-experience-through-leading-and-lagging-indicators-cx-mini-masterclass-e32/ Thu, 21 Mar 2019 14:30:12 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1285 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/measuring-customer-experience-through-leading-and-lagging-indicators-cx-mini-masterclass-e32/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/measuring-customer-experience-through-leading-and-lagging-indicators-cx-mini-masterclass-e32/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explains the role of leading and lagging indicators in measuring customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares examples for how you can build a balanced view of customer experience with the right mix of CX metrics and measures. If you are wondering how to move beyond a one-metric view of CX, this episode is for you. Holistically measuring customer experience When organizations begin monitoring and evaluating customer experience, there is a natural tendency to latch onto one number. Often this number is one of the 3 most popular mainstream CX metrics: CSAT, NPS or CES. These metrics are useful, but they have their limitations, and it's unrealistic to assume that you can understand the full picture of CX through just these number s alone. Organizations should track and evaluate their CX performance through a number of metrics and measures that can be brought together to create a more comprehensive view. I recommend creating this holistic view through a combination of leading and lagging indicators. Defining leading and lagging indicators So what are leading and lagging indicators? Leading indicators What are they: measures that precede or feed into a customer experience. These should indicate whether or not an experience will be successful. If we think of customer experience like baking a cake, these would be your inputs or ingredients. Examples: wait time, processing time, product availability, system downtime, product quality - these are all things that might contribute to customer experienceHow can they be used to manage CX: leading indicators help predict the outcomes of experiences and many of them can be measured and monitored before experiences even happen. These can be used to proactively intervene when experiences start going sideways. Additionally, these measures can be leveraged to set department or individual KPIs for teams that operationally contribute to experiences. Lagging indicators What are they: metrics or measures that a customer experience. These should indicate whether or not an experience was successful. These indicators would tell us whether or not the cake was delicious and possibly how that impacted our relationship with the person we fed it to. Examples: customer satisfaction (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS), customer effort score (CES), first contact resolution, customer retention, average spend - these are all things that might come out of or be affected by a specific customer experienceHow can they be used to manage CX: lagging indicators help us understand "how we did". The experience happened and is in the past, but we can use these indicators to evaluate the result and the impact. Lagging indicators are important for monitoring progress (i.e. over time you would want these metrics to improve), and for tracking the impact of customer experience efforts. Lagging indicators such as retention and spend can be especially helpful for tying CX back to business value. Use this template to map your 5 most important leading and lagging indicators. Ease of gathering can help you prioritize. Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience managem...

This CX Mini Masterclass explains the role of leading and lagging indicators in measuring customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares examples for how you can build a balanced view of customer experience with the right mix of CX metrics and measures. If you are wondering how to move beyond a one-metric view of CX, this episode is for you.

Holistically measuring customer experience

When organizations begin monitoring and evaluating customer experience, there is a natural tendency to latch onto one number. Often this number is one of the 3 most popular mainstream CX metrics: CSAT, NPS or CES. These metrics are useful, but they have their limitations, and it’s unrealistic to assume that you can understand the full picture of CX through just these number s alone.

Organizations should track and evaluate their CX performance through a number of metrics and measures that can be brought together to create a more comprehensive view. I recommend creating this holistic view through a combination of leading and lagging indicators.

Defining leading and lagging indicators

So what are leading and lagging indicators?

  • Leading indicators
    • What are they: measures that precede or feed into a customer experience. These should indicate whether or not an experience will be successful. If we think of customer experience like baking a cake, these would be your inputs or ingredients.
    • Examples: wait time, processing time, product availability, system downtime, product quality – these are all things that might contribute to customer experience
    • How can they be used to manage CX: leading indicators help predict the outcomes of experiences and many of them can be measured and monitored before experiences even happen. These can be used to proactively intervene when experiences start going sideways. Additionally, these measures can be leveraged to set department or individual KPIs for teams that operationally contribute to experiences.
  • Lagging indicators
    • What are they: metrics or measures that a customer experience. These should indicate whether or not an experience was successful. These indicators would tell us whether or not the cake was delicious and possibly how that impacted our relationship with the person we fed it to.
    • Examples: customer satisfaction (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS), customer effort score (CES), first contact resolution, customer retention, average spend – these are all things that might come out of or be affected by a specific customer experience
    • How can they be used to manage CX: lagging indicators help us understand “how we did”. The experience happened and is in the past, but we can use these indicators to evaluate the result and the impact. Lagging indicators are important for monitoring progress (i.e. over time you would want these metrics to improve), and for tracking the impact of customer experience efforts. Lagging indicators such as retention and spend can be especially helpful for tying CX back to business value.

Use this template to map your 5 most important leading and lagging indicators. Ease of gathering can help you prioritize.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including CX measurement, insights, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass explains the role of leading and lagging indicators in measuring customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares examples for how you can build a balanced view of customer experience with t...







This CX Mini Masterclass explains the role of leading and lagging indicators in measuring customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares examples for how you can build a balanced view of customer experience with the right mix of CX metrics and measures. If you are wondering how to move beyond a one-metric view of CX, this episode is for you.







Holistically measuring customer experience



When organizations begin monitoring and evaluating customer experience, there is a natural tendency to latch onto one number. Often this number is one of the 3 most popular mainstream CX metrics: CSAT, NPS or CES. These metrics are useful, but they have their limitations, and it's unrealistic to assume that you can understand the full picture of CX through just these number s alone.



Organizations should track and evaluate their CX performance through a number of metrics and measures that can be brought together to create a more comprehensive view. I recommend creating this holistic view through a combination of leading and lagging indicators.



Defining leading and lagging indicators



So what are leading and lagging indicators?



* Leading indicators * What are they: measures that precede or feed into a customer experience. These should indicate whether or not an experience will be successful. If we think of customer experience like baking a cake, these would be your inputs or ingredients. * Examples: wait time, processing time, product availability, system downtime, product quality - these are all things that might contribute to customer experience* How can they be used to manage CX: leading indicators help predict the outcomes of experiences and many of them can be measured and monitored before experiences even happen. These can be used to proactively intervene when experiences start going sideways. Additionally, these measures can be leveraged to set department or individual KPIs for teams that operationally contribute to experiences. * Lagging indicators * What are they: metrics or measures that a customer experience. These should indicate whether or not an experience was successful. These indicators would tell us whether or not the cake was delicious and possibly how that impacted our relationship with the person we fed it to. * Examples: customer satisfaction (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS), customer effort score (CES), first contact resolution, customer retention, average spend - these are all things that might come out of or be affected by a specific customer experience* How can they be used to manage CX: lagging indicators help us understand "how we did". The experience happened and is in the past, but we can use these indicators to evaluate the result and the impact. Lagging indicators are important for monitoring progress (i.e. over time you would want these metrics to improve), and for tracking the impact of customer experience efforts. Lagging indicators such as retention and spend can be especially helpful for tying CX back to business value.



Use this template to map your 5 most important leading and lagging indicators. Ease of gathering can help you prioritize.



Want to keep learning about CX?



If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.



And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning,]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
3 Common customer experience metrics explained: CX Mini Masterclass – E31 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/3-common-customer-experience-metrics-explained-cx-mini-masterclass-e31/ Thu, 14 Mar 2019 17:23:00 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1275 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/3-common-customer-experience-metrics-explained-cx-mini-masterclass-e31/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/3-common-customer-experience-metrics-explained-cx-mini-masterclass-e31/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of 3 of the most common customer experience metrics currently in use among businesses: Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score (CES). Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains what these metrics are and how they are measured and used. If you are looking to cut through the confusion of metric acronyms, this episode is for you. A heightened focus on metrics Nothing gets the CX community more riled up than a conversation about CX metrics. If you want to spark a lively debate at a conference or on social media, just ask a group of CX professionals for their opinions about CX metrics. Why is this? CX metrics have been the way that customer experience teams defend and demonstrate their contribution to the business. These tangible results have also provided the platform for CX leaders to bridge the gap between the nebulous aspects of customer engagement that often drive customer happiness, but have historically been regarded as the fluffy stuff by business leaders, and tangible business value. CX metrics and measures are critical to the success of of customer centric work, and it shouldn't be surprising that they ignite such passion within the professional community. Metrics will undoubtedly evolve with the profession, but for the moment there are several metrics that are widely in use. Regardless of the ongoing debate, it's important for any CX professional to understand what these metrics are an how they are currently used. The big 3 customer experience metrics Love them ore hate them, there are 3 customer experience metrics that currently dominate the scene. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) - This metric is widely used and gauges a customer's perceived level of satisfaction after a particular interaction. Scores are gathered through a survey and can involve different variations of question language, but is something along the lines of “overall, how satisfied were you with [X] experience”. The respondent then provides their satisfaction score on a range from very unsatisfied to very satisfied (usually as a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10). Survey results are aggregated to show the percentage of respondents at the top, bottom or middle of the response scale. Unfortunately, CSAT alone won’t tell us why someone is satisfied or unsatisfied, so CSAT survey questions can be accompanied by a follow-up question asking the respondent to expand on the reasoning behind their score.Net Promoter Score (NPS) - This metric was developed by Fred Reichheld, and introduced to the world in a 2003 Harvard Business review article titled “One Number You Need to Grow”.  Net promoter score is intended to be applied as a loyalty metric, and is measured by asking survey respondents to rate on a scale from 0 to 10 “How likely is it that you would recommend our [company/product/service] to a friend or colleague?” Ratings of 9 or 10 are considered promoters, ratings of 0 to 6 are considered detractors, and ratings of 7 or 8 are regarded as neutral. NPS is calculated as: % of promoters - % of detractors. The resulting score can range from -100 to 100. Check out the Temkin Group's annual NPS research for some context around typical score rages among various industries.Customer Effort score (CES) - This CX metric is a relatively new kid on the block, but it’s gaining popularity as a way to evaluate a customer’s perception on convenience and ease of use. These are factors which are broadly valued by consumers and applicable to most customer experiences. Customer effort score is gathered through a survey question asking customers to provide their perception of effort. I.e. “on a scale from ‘very easy’ to ‘very difficult’, how easy was it to interact with [X company].” As with CSAT, Customer effort score is usually reported as the percentage of respondents who rate a high, medium or low level of ease. Like NPS and CSAT,

This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of 3 of the most common customer experience metrics currently in use among businesses: Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score (CES). Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains what these metrics are and how they are measured and used. If you are looking to cut through the confusion of metric acronyms, this episode is for you.

A heightened focus on metrics

Nothing gets the CX community more riled up than a conversation about CX metrics. If you want to spark a lively debate at a conference or on social media, just ask a group of CX professionals for their opinions about CX metrics. Why is this?

CX metrics have been the way that customer experience teams defend and demonstrate their contribution to the business. These tangible results have also provided the platform for CX leaders to bridge the gap between the nebulous aspects of customer engagement that often drive customer happiness, but have historically been regarded as the fluffy stuff by business leaders, and tangible business value. CX metrics and measures are critical to the success of of customer centric work, and it shouldn’t be surprising that they ignite such passion within the professional community.

Metrics will undoubtedly evolve with the profession, but for the moment there are several metrics that are widely in use. Regardless of the ongoing debate, it’s important for any CX professional to understand what these metrics are an how they are currently used.

The big 3 customer experience metrics

Love them ore hate them, there are 3 customer experience metrics that currently dominate the scene.

  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) – This metric is widely used and gauges a customer’s perceived level of satisfaction after a particular interaction. Scores are gathered through a survey and can involve different variations of question language, but is something along the lines of “overall, how satisfied were you with [X] experience”. The respondent then provides their satisfaction score on a range from very unsatisfied to very satisfied (usually as a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10). Survey results are aggregated to show the percentage of respondents at the top, bottom or middle of the response scale. Unfortunately, CSAT alone won’t tell us why someone is satisfied or unsatisfied, so CSAT survey questions can be accompanied by a follow-up question asking the respondent to expand on the reasoning behind their score.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) – This metric was developed by Fred Reichheld, and introduced to the world in a 2003 Harvard Business review article titled “One Number You Need to Grow”.  Net promoter score is intended to be applied as a loyalty metric, and is measured by asking survey respondents to rate on a scale from 0 to 10 “How likely is it that you would recommend our [company/product/service] to a friend or colleague?” Ratings of 9 or 10 are considered promoters, ratings of 0 to 6 are considered detractors, and ratings of 7 or 8 are regarded as neutral. NPS is calculated as: % of promoters – % of detractors. The resulting score can range from -100 to 100. Check out the Temkin Group’s annual NPS research for some context around typical score rages among various industries.
  • Customer Effort score (CES) – This CX metric is a relatively new kid on the block, but it’s gaining popularity as a way to evaluate a customer’s perception on convenience and ease of use. These are factors which are broadly valued by consumers and applicable to most customer experiences. Customer effort score is gathered through a survey question asking customers to provide their perception of effort. I.e. “on a scale from ‘very easy’ to ‘very difficult’, how easy was it to interact with [X company].” As with CSAT, Customer effort score is usually reported as the percentage of respondents who rate a high, medium or low level of ease. Like NPS and CSAT, customer effort score is relative to the customer’s expectations and their personal perception of the experience, but it does allow organizations to zero in on how customers feel about the level of ease of their interactions with an organization.

Many businesses leverage these scores to understand and evaluate the success of their CX management efforts. It’s crucial to note that these customer experience metrics only provide a small window into overall customer experience delivery. An over-reliance on one score is a dangerous path for CX teams. Keep in mind that these metrics should be utilized and reviewed in conjunction with CX measures and business value drivers to create a more comprehensive view. If you are confused about the difference between CX Metrics, measures and business value drivers, check out episode 28, which features CXPA CEO Diane Magers providing clarity on the distinction between these.

There’s more to come on CX metrics and measures! Stay tuned for more CX Mini Masterclasses in March on this topic.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including CX measurement, insights, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of 3 of the most common customer experience metrics currently in use among businesses: Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score (CES).











This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of 3 of the most common customer experience metrics currently in use among businesses: Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score (CES). Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains what these metrics are and how they are measured and used. If you are looking to cut through the confusion of metric acronyms, this episode is for you.







A heightened focus on metrics



Nothing gets the CX community more riled up than a conversation about CX metrics. If you want to spark a lively debate at a conference or on social media, just ask a group of CX professionals for their opinions about CX metrics. Why is this?



CX metrics have been the way that customer experience teams defend and demonstrate their contribution to the business. These tangible results have also provided the platform for CX leaders to bridge the gap between the nebulous aspects of customer engagement that often drive customer happiness, but have historically been regarded as the fluffy stuff by business leaders, and tangible business value. CX metrics and measures are critical to the success of of customer centric work, and it shouldn't be surprising that they ignite such passion within the professional community.



Metrics will undoubtedly evolve with the profession, but for the moment there are several metrics that are widely in use. Regardless of the ongoing debate, it's important for any CX professional to understand what these metrics are an how they are currently used.



The big 3 customer experience metrics



Love them ore hate them, there are 3 customer experience metrics that currently dominate the scene.



* Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) - This metric is widely used and gauges a customer's perceived level of satisfaction after a particular interaction. Scores are gathered through a survey and can involve different variations of question language, but is something along the lines of “overall, how satisfied were you with [X] experience”. The respondent then provides their satisfaction score on a range from very unsatisfied to very satisfied (usually as a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10). Survey results are aggregated to show the percentage of respondents at the top, bottom or middle of the response scale. Unfortunately, CSAT alone won’t tell us why someone is satisfied or unsatisfied, so CSAT survey questions can be accompanied by a follow-up question asking the respondent to expand on the reasoning behind their score.* Net Promoter Score (NPS) - This metric was developed by Fred Reichheld, and introduced to the world in a 2003 Harvard Business review article titled “One Number You Need to Grow”.  Net promoter score is intended to be applied as a loyalty metric, and is measured by asking survey respondents to rate on a scale from 0 to 10 “How likely is it that you would recommend our [company/product/service] to a friend or colleague?” Ratings of 9 or 10 are considered promoters, ratings of 0 to 6 are considered detractors, and ratings of 7 or 8 are regarded as neutral. NPS is calculated as: % of promoters - % of detractors. The resulting score can range from -100 to 100. Check out the Temkin Group's annual NPS research for some context around typical score rages among various industries.* Customer Effort score (CES) - This CX metric is a relatively new kid on the block, but it’s gaining popularity as a way to evaluate a customer’s perception on convenience and ease of use. These are factors which are broadly valued by consumers and applicable to most customer experiences.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Realizing customer value: interview with Arvida CEO Bill McDonald – E30 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/realizing-customer-value-interview-with-arvida-ceo-bill-mcdonald-e30/ Thu, 07 Mar 2019 14:18:43 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1254 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/realizing-customer-value-interview-with-arvida-ceo-bill-mcdonald-e30/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/realizing-customer-value-interview-with-arvida-ceo-bill-mcdonald-e30/feed/ 0 Bill McDonald, CEO of the Arvida Group, shares his insights on translating customer value into business value within the context of the retirement community industry. Bill and show host Julia discuss how consumer needs evolve with generations, the complexities of managing multiple types of buyers, and how Arvida's purpose of "transforming the aging experience" defines the organization's goals. Julia shares her plan for March's CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will focus in CX metrics and measurement. CX and the "Silver Tsunami" Baby boomers represent a major population group in most economies. It's a generation that is fast approaching retirement, and in the US alone the population of people 65+ will grow 90% between 2010 and 2040. As baby boomers age up and the "silver tsunami" approaches, there is a heightened focus on the types of experiences these consumers will be looking for in their retirement. Many retirees opt, or need, to change their living situation to align with changes in their life while aging. It's a huge decision, and one that can impact the most important facets of a retiree's life. I had the opportunity to speak with Bill McDonald, CEO of the Arvida Group about how his organization is preparing for the coming wave of older consumers, and the role of customer experience in this. Insights from an industry expert Bill is an experienced leader in the retirement community (aka retirement village) industry. He has held a number of senior executive roles in the New Zealand and Australian retirement sector including General Manager of ING’s retirement assets division in New Zealand and Regional Operations Manager for Stockland Limited in Victoria, Australia. Bill McDonald, CEO Arvida Group Bill entered the industry as acting CEO for a community owned organisation in county Victoria, Australia where he successfully guided the organisation through the accreditation process. Bill subsequently joined the Buxton Group to assist in the development and operation of the acclaimed Rylands facilities in Melbourne. The development projects won multiple awards from the Urban Development Institute of Australia and Australian Institute of Building. They are recognized as benchmark retirement operations in Australia and internationally. Bill is focused on building a retirement and aged care business that aligns with the demands of today as well as those of the future, through the principles of resident well-being and positive community interaction. It's this focus on the customer that sets Bill and his team apart. Industry and consumer trends To realize the principles of resident well-being, the team at Arvida needs to keep their finger on the pulse of changes in the industry and consumer preferences. Here are some highlights of insights about Baby Boomers from my conversation with Bill: A do-it-yourself generation - if Baby Boomers can't find a solution to what they're looking for, they're likely to create one for themselves. This means that retirement villages and other industries offering services to this generation need to stay attune to the needs of customers or the consumers might end up developing a competing offerStaying integrated with the world - retirement products and services that "isolate" this generation of consumers from the rest of the community or marketplace won't be appealingEnjoying the fruits of their labor - those in the silver tsunami seem less concerned with leaving an inheritance behind for their children and would like to enjoy the retirement they've worked forHigher service standards - unlike the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers tend to have higher service standards and are more likely to express disappointment with a provider Purpose and values shine through The Arvida Group owns and operates a network of retirement villages across New Zealand. The business has been around for 4 years and grew through the acquisition of existing retirement villages...

Bill McDonald, CEO of the Arvida Group, shares his insights on translating customer value into business value within the context of the retirement community industry. Bill and show host Julia discuss how consumer needs evolve with generations, the complexities of managing multiple types of buyers, and how Arvida’s purpose of “transforming the aging experience” defines the organization’s goals. Julia shares her plan for March’s CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will focus in CX metrics and measurement.

CX and the “Silver Tsunami”

Baby boomers represent a major population group in most economies. It’s a generation that is fast approaching retirement, and in the US alone the population of people 65+ will grow 90% between 2010 and 2040. As baby boomers age up and the “silver tsunami” approaches, there is a heightened focus on the types of experiences these consumers will be looking for in their retirement.

Many retirees opt, or need, to change their living situation to align with changes in their life while aging. It’s a huge decision, and one that can impact the most important facets of a retiree’s life. I had the opportunity to speak with Bill McDonald, CEO of the Arvida Group about how his organization is preparing for the coming wave of older consumers, and the role of customer experience in this.

Insights from an industry expert

Bill is an experienced leader in the retirement community (aka retirement village) industry. He has held a number of senior executive roles in the New Zealand and Australian retirement sector including General Manager of ING’s retirement assets division in New Zealand and Regional Operations Manager for Stockland Limited in Victoria, Australia.

Bill McDonald, CEO Arvida Group

Bill entered the industry as acting CEO for a community owned organisation in county Victoria, Australia where he successfully guided the organisation through the accreditation process. Bill subsequently joined the Buxton Group to assist in the development and operation of the acclaimed Rylands facilities in Melbourne. The development projects won multiple awards from the Urban Development Institute of Australia and Australian Institute of Building. They are recognized as benchmark retirement operations in Australia and internationally.

Bill is focused on building a retirement and aged care business that aligns with the demands of today as well as those of the future, through the principles of resident well-being and positive community interaction. It’s this focus on the customer that sets Bill and his team apart.

Industry and consumer trends

To realize the principles of resident well-being, the team at Arvida needs to keep their finger on the pulse of changes in the industry and consumer preferences. Here are some highlights of insights about Baby Boomers from my conversation with Bill:

  • A do-it-yourself generation – if Baby Boomers can’t find a solution to what they’re looking for, they’re likely to create one for themselves. This means that retirement villages and other industries offering services to this generation need to stay attune to the needs of customers or the consumers might end up developing a competing offer
  • Staying integrated with the world – retirement products and services that “isolate” this generation of consumers from the rest of the community or marketplace won’t be appealing
  • Enjoying the fruits of their labor – those in the silver tsunami seem less concerned with leaving an inheritance behind for their children and would like to enjoy the retirement they’ve worked for
  • Higher service standards – unlike the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers tend to have higher service standards and are more likely to express disappointment with a provider

Purpose and values shine through

The Arvida Group owns and operates a network of retirement villages across New Zealand. The business has been around for 4 years and grew through the acquisition of existing retirement villages. As a relatively new organization, the Arvida team had the opportunity and challenge of defining their purpose and building customer experience around this.

Arvida’s purpose is to “transform the aging experience”, and Bill explained that the rest of the business is molded around this objective. They’ve made a point to move away from the traditional hierarchical structures that are pervasive in the healthcare sector, and have rather focused on instilling the “attitude of living well” and empowered teams to contribute to customer happiness and well-being. Small changes such as enabling staff to wear their own clothes rather than uniforms and removing buzzers, have all contributed to a better experience.

The Arvida team seeks to understand and continually evolve customer needs through the lens of their employees. Bill explained that their values underpin their success and that employee engagement is a hugely important aspect of their customer experience strategy. While the brand doesn’t have a major presence on social media (yet), their internal social platform, Yammer, has taken off and been an amazing tool for keeping the team connected, engaged and learning from each other.

Customer value delivers business value

Bill is the the CEO, so ultimately he’s accountable for delivering financial results to keep Arvida’s board and shareholders happy. So how does CX translate into bottom line results for this business?

By focusing on their attitude of living well, rather than the typical clinical KPIs and measures of the retirement community industry, it has freed the team to define and deliver better experiences. This in turn translated into better occupancy rates, transformed their ability to gain certifications, and enabled them to implement premium pricing. These results link directly to business and shareholder value.

Sometimes CX teams can get wrapped up in customer experience metrics, but Bill’s team seems to have bypassed the typical CX dashboard. By giving teams strategic direction and fostering the right culture, Arvida has delivered value to both customers and shareholders. These support each other as contribution to the bottom line fuels business advocacy for customer experience.

Episode Sponsor

This episode was sponsored by CX University, a CX training company offering a broad array of CX learning options, including e-learning modules and CCXP practice exams. CXU is an accredited resource and training provider and their resources and they offer a flexible and affordable monthly subscription model. Listeners of this CX podcast can get 10% off their first month’s subscription by entering the discount code PODCAST10 at checkout.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business define customer experience strategy that delivers results, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

]]>
Bill McDonald, CEO of the Arvida Group, shares his insights on translating customer value into business value within the context of the retirement community industry. Bill and show host Julia discuss how consumer needs evolve with generations,







Bill McDonald, CEO of the Arvida Group, shares his insights on translating customer value into business value within the context of the retirement community industry. Bill and show host Julia discuss how consumer needs evolve with generations, the complexities of managing multiple types of buyers, and how Arvida's purpose of "transforming the aging experience" defines the organization's goals. Julia shares her plan for March's CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will focus in CX metrics and measurement.







CX and the "Silver Tsunami"



Baby boomers represent a major population group in most economies. It's a generation that is fast approaching retirement, and in the US alone the population of people 65+ will grow 90% between 2010 and 2040. As baby boomers age up and the "silver tsunami" approaches, there is a heightened focus on the types of experiences these consumers will be looking for in their retirement.




Many retirees opt, or need, to change their living situation to align with changes in their life while aging. It's a huge decision, and one that can impact the most important facets of a retiree's life. I had the opportunity to speak with Bill McDonald, CEO of the Arvida Group about how his organization is preparing for the coming wave of older consumers, and the role of customer experience in this.



Insights from an industry expert



Bill is an experienced leader in the retirement community (aka retirement village) industry. He has held a number of senior executive roles in the New Zealand and Australian retirement sector including General Manager of ING’s retirement assets division in New Zealand and Regional Operations Manager for Stockland Limited in Victoria, Australia.



Bill McDonald, CEO Arvida Group



Bill entered the industry as acting CEO for a community owned organisation in county Victoria, Australia where he successfully guided the organisation through the accreditation process. Bill subsequently joined the Buxton Group to assist in the development and operation of the acclaimed Rylands facilities in Melbourne. The development projects won multiple awards from the Urban Development Institute of Australia and Australian Institute of Building. They are recognized as benchmark retirement operations in Australia and internationally.



Bill is focused on building a retirement and aged care business that aligns with the demands of today as well as those of the future, through the principles of resident well-being and positive community interaction. It's this focus on the customer that sets Bill and his team apart.



Industry and consumer trends



To realize the principles of resident well-being, the team at Arvida needs to keep their finger on the pulse of changes in the industry and consumer preferences. Here are some highlights of insights about Baby Boomers from my conversation with Bill:



* A do-it-yourself generation - if Baby Boomers can't find a solution to what they're looking for, they're likely to create one for themselves. This means that retirement villages and other industries offering services to this generation need to stay attune to the needs of customers or the consumers might end up developing a competing offer* Staying integrated with the world - retirement products and services that "isolate" this generation of consumers from the rest of the community or marketplace won't be appealing* Enjoying the fruits of their labor - those in the silver tsunami seem less concerned with leaving an inheritance behind fo...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Demystifying customer experience strategy: CX Mini Masterclass – E29 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/demystifying-customer-experience-strategy-cx-mini-masterclass-e29/ Thu, 28 Feb 2019 09:00:58 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1244 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/demystifying-customer-experience-strategy-cx-mini-masterclass-e29/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/demystifying-customer-experience-strategy-cx-mini-masterclass-e29/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of customer experience strategy. What may seem like an abstract concept is actually rooted in tangible fundamentals. Special guest Ben Motteram clarifies CX strategy, takes listeners through the key components and outlines how you can turn this into an actionable framework. Insights from a special guest Ben Motteram is a customer experience specialist based in Melbourne with over 20 years experience developing and implementing customer acquisition and retention strategies within some of Australia’s largest organisations. Through his consulting company, CXpert, Ben now assists clients in areas such as CX strategy, Voice of the Customer, and employee engagement. In December 2018, Ben was the only Australian named on a list of global thought leaders to follow on Twitter and his blog has been independently recognized for its insight on all things CX.  Ben Motteram Understanding customer experience strategy The words "strategy" and "strategic" are used a lot in the business world, but what do these really mean? In it's simplest terms, Ben defines strategy as the statement of a goal and a high level plan about how that goal will be achieved. (That's not so scary, now is it!) Ben frames this up as a map showing where you want to go and how you want to get there. Normally in CX, we start with the customer, but as Ben points out, with a CX strategy, you actually want to start with the organization, and then link this back to customer insights. Ben defines the key steps to building your CX strategy as follows: Acknowledge the company vision, mission, purpose and goals - you need to ensure that your CX strategy flows from this, and is aligned to the company's overarching goals. Take the time to document company objectives before you launch into the rest of your CX strategy. If you skip this step, you may find later that the CX strategy clashes with the business objectives and fails to gain traction or support.  Understand what matters to your customers - leverage existing sources of insight such as social media feedback, information from employees, etc. to build a picture of who your customers are and what they want. This information will help ensure that your CX strategy unites both the organization's goals and the customer's goals, and that your efforts are focused where they will have the greatest impact. If you're struggling with where to start, Ben suggests developing a list of what your customers don't like, and base your strategy around eliminating those things from the customer experience. Define your CX vision - this should take the shape of a statement that is simple, clear, inspiring and realistic. It should be something that can unite the organization around a common goal, and the company needs to be able to consistently deliver on this vision. As an example, Amazon's CX vision is "to be earth's most customer-centric company, and to be a place where people can find and discover anything they might want to buy online". Develop your CX principles - these are the criteria against which new experiences, products or offers should be reviewed. They should help guide the organization to be customer-centric as the lens through which business decisions are made. Ben advises limiting these to a maximum of 4, so as not to overwhelm teams. These principles should be simple. Think along the lines of "we go the extra mile" or "we're there when it matters most". Before rolling these out, sanity-check them with what they might mean for both employees and customers. Are they clear and realistic? Create your strategic priorities - this is what you are going to focus on in the short term to achieve your CX vision, or the route you will take to get to your goal. In contrast to the CX vision and principles, these should be quite specific and will change over time. Identify your CX enablers - these are the systems and processes that will enable the success of your CX strategy.

This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of customer experience strategy. What may seem like an abstract concept is actually rooted in tangible fundamentals. Special guest Ben Motteram clarifies CX strategy, takes listeners through the key components and outlines how you can turn this into an actionable framework.

Insights from a special guest

Ben Motteram is a customer experience specialist based in Melbourne with over 20 years experience developing and implementing customer acquisition and retention strategies within some of Australia’s largest organisations. Through his consulting company, CXpert, Ben now assists clients in areas such as CX strategy, Voice of the Customer, and employee engagement. In December 2018, Ben was the only Australian named on a list of global thought leaders to follow on Twitter and his blog has been independently recognized for its insight on all things CX. 

Ben Motteram

Understanding customer experience strategy

The words “strategy” and “strategic” are used a lot in the business world, but what do these really mean? In it’s simplest terms, Ben defines strategy as the statement of a goal and a high level plan about how that goal will be achieved. (That’s not so scary, now is it!) Ben frames this up as a map showing where you want to go and how you want to get there. Normally in CX, we start with the customer, but as Ben points out, with a CX strategy, you actually want to start with the organization, and then link this back to customer insights.

Ben defines the key steps to building your CX strategy as follows:

  • Acknowledge the company vision, mission, purpose and goals – you need to ensure that your CX strategy flows from this, and is aligned to the company’s overarching goals. Take the time to document company objectives before you launch into the rest of your CX strategy. If you skip this step, you may find later that the CX strategy clashes with the business objectives and fails to gain traction or support. 
  • Understand what matters to your customers – leverage existing sources of insight such as social media feedback, information from employees, etc. to build a picture of who your customers are and what they want. This information will help ensure that your CX strategy unites both the organization’s goals and the customer’s goals, and that your efforts are focused where they will have the greatest impact. If you’re struggling with where to start, Ben suggests developing a list of what your customers don’t like, and base your strategy around eliminating those things from the customer experience.
  • Define your CX vision – this should take the shape of a statement that is simple, clear, inspiring and realistic. It should be something that can unite the organization around a common goal, and the company needs to be able to consistently deliver on this vision. As an example, Amazon’s CX vision is “to be earth’s most customer-centric company, and to be a place where people can find and discover anything they might want to buy online”.
  • Develop your CX principles – these are the criteria against which new experiences, products or offers should be reviewed. They should help guide the organization to be customer-centric as the lens through which business decisions are made. Ben advises limiting these to a maximum of 4, so as not to overwhelm teams. These principles should be simple. Think along the lines of “we go the extra mile” or “we’re there when it matters most”. Before rolling these out, sanity-check them with what they might mean for both employees and customers. Are they clear and realistic?
  • Create your strategic priorities – this is what you are going to focus on in the short term to achieve your CX vision, or the route you will take to get to your goal. In contrast to the CX vision and principles, these should be quite specific and will change over time.
  • Identify your CX enablers – these are the systems and processes that will enable the success of your CX strategy. Examples of CX enablers would be things like CX dashboards, CX governance and employee engagement programs. 

Bringing it all together

To create a visual representation of this CX strategy, Ben uses the analogy of a house to capture and reflect the different components. Within this context, the company purpose, goals and CX vision will be positioned at the top, with the principles and then strategic priorities flowing down from these. CX enablers are positioned as the foundation of the strategy.

Ben’s CX Strategy Framework – a template that you can use for your organization

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including employee engagement, leadership alignment and CX strategy) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of customer experience strategy. What may seem like an abstract concept is actually rooted in tangible fundamentals. Special guest Ben Motteram clarifies CX strategy,












This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of customer experience strategy. What may seem like an abstract concept is actually rooted in tangible fundamentals. Special guest Ben Motteram clarifies CX strategy, takes listeners through the key components and outlines how you can turn this into an actionable framework.







Insights from a special guest




Ben Motteram is a customer experience specialist based in Melbourne with over 20 years experience developing and implementing customer acquisition and retention strategies within some of Australia’s largest organisations. Through his consulting company, CXpert, Ben now assists clients in areas such as CX strategy, Voice of the Customer, and employee engagement. In December 2018, Ben was the only Australian named on a list of global thought leaders to follow on Twitter and his blog has been independently recognized for its insight on all things CX. 



Ben Motteram



Understanding customer experience strategy


The words "strategy" and "strategic" are used a lot in the business world, but what do these really mean? In it's simplest terms, Ben defines strategy as the statement of a goal and a high level plan about how that goal will be achieved. (That's not so scary, now is it!) Ben frames this up as a map showing where you want to go and how you want to get there. Normally in CX, we start with the customer, but as Ben points out, with a CX strategy, you actually want to start with the organization, and then link this back to customer insights.
Ben defines the key steps to building your CX strategy as follows:

* Acknowledge the company vision, mission, purpose and goals - you need to ensure that your CX strategy flows from this, and is aligned to the company's overarching goals. Take the time to document company objectives before you launch into the rest of your CX strategy. If you skip this step, you may find later that the CX strategy clashes with the business objectives and fails to gain traction or support. 
* Understand what matters to your customers - leverage existing sources of insight such as social media feedback, information from employees, etc. to build a picture of who your customers are and what they want. This information will help ensure that your CX strategy unites both the organization's goals and the customer's goals, and that your efforts are focused where they will have the greatest impact. If you're struggling with where to start, Ben suggests developing a list of what your customers don't like, and base your strategy around eliminating those things from the customer experience.
* Define your CX vision - this should take the shape of a statement that is simple, clear, inspiring and realistic. It should be something that can unite the organization around a common goal, and the company needs to be able to consistently deliver on this vision. As an example, Amazon's CX vision is "to be earth's most customer-centric company, and to be a place where people can find and discover anything they might want to buy online".
* Develop your CX principles - these are the criteria against which new experiences, products or offers should be reviewed. They should help guide the organization to be customer-centric as the lens through which business decisions are made. Ben advises limiting these to a maximum of 4, so as not to overwhelm teams. These principles should be simple.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Metrics, Measures and CX business value: CX Mini Masterclass – E28 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/metrics-measures-and-cx-business-value-cx-mini-masterclass-e28/ Thu, 21 Feb 2019 16:51:30 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1236 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/metrics-measures-and-cx-business-value-cx-mini-masterclass-e28/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/metrics-measures-and-cx-business-value-cx-mini-masterclass-e28/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explains the difference between CX measures and metrics, as well as how these can be leveraged to demonstrate CX business value. Special guest and CX thought leader Diane Magers clarifies these concepts and their role in customer-centric business practices. Insights from a special guest Diane has been part of the CX movement since the get-go. She was one of the founding members of the CXPA, and is currently serving as the association’s interim CEO, along with her role as an independent business advisor, speaker and facilitator within the CX professional community. Before this, she held senior CX roles at blue chip organizations such at AT&T and Sysco Foods. To learn more about Diane's work with the CXPA, her CX advisory practice Experience Catalysts, or to get in touch about she can help your organization realize customer-centric goals, connect with her via LinkedIn. Diane Magers CCXP CX business value Many CX professionals confuse the terms "metrics", "measures" and "value", but it's important to clarify what these are and how they apply to customer experience management. Diane broke down her definitions of each: Measures - anything you can count (e.g. number of clients that come into your store, call length, frequency of purchase) Metrics - outcomes of something that's happened, including a customer's perception of those outcomes (e.g. customer satisfaction, customer effort score) Value - the financial levers that you can pull in an organization and/or the resulting financial impact (e.g. cost to serve, revenue, expense, profit per customer) Diane emphasizes that as CX professionals, we must translate CX speak into C-suite speak. This means creating the connection between our CX metrics and related measures, and the financial measures that executives are about. Without this connection, our efforts are doomed to be sidelined and not get the attention they need to succeed. Diane suggests looking at the causation between CX metrics tied to CX projects and financial outcomes. Finding ways to articulate the connection between CX efforts and business value goes a long way to earn the attention, respect, and hopefully support of executive stakeholders.   Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including customer insights, CX measurement, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email. 

This CX Mini Masterclass explains the difference between CX measures and metrics, as well as how these can be leveraged to demonstrate CX business value. Special guest and CX thought leader Diane Magers clarifies these concepts and their role in customer-centric business practices.

Insights from a special guest

Diane has been part of the CX movement since the get-go. She was one of the founding members of the CXPA, and is currently serving as the association’s interim CEO, along with her role as an independent business advisor, speaker and facilitator within the CX professional community. Before this, she held senior CX roles at blue chip organizations such at AT&T and Sysco Foods. To learn more about Diane’s work with the CXPA, her CX advisory practice Experience Catalysts, or to get in touch about she can help your organization realize customer-centric goals, connect with her via LinkedIn.

Diane Magers CCXP

CX business value

Many CX professionals confuse the terms “metrics”, “measures” and “value”, but it’s important to clarify what these are and how they apply to customer experience management. Diane broke down her definitions of each:

  • Measures – anything you can count (e.g. number of clients that come into your store, call length, frequency of purchase)
  • Metrics – outcomes of something that’s happened, including a customer’s perception of those outcomes (e.g. customer satisfaction, customer effort score)
  • Value – the financial levers that you can pull in an organization and/or the resulting financial impact (e.g. cost to serve, revenue, expense, profit per customer)

Diane emphasizes that as CX professionals, we must translate CX speak into C-suite speak. This means creating the connection between our CX metrics and related measures, and the financial measures that executives are about. Without this connection, our efforts are doomed to be sidelined and not get the attention they need to succeed.

Diane suggests looking at the causation between CX metrics tied to CX projects and financial outcomes. Finding ways to articulate the connection between CX efforts and business value goes a long way to earn the attention, respect, and hopefully support of executive stakeholders.  

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including customer insights, CX measurement, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass explains the difference between CX measures and metrics, as well as how these can be leveraged to demonstrate CX business value. Special guest and CX thought leader Diane Magers clarifies these concepts and their role in custom...










This CX Mini Masterclass explains the difference between CX measures and metrics, as well as how these can be leveraged to demonstrate CX business value. Special guest and CX thought leader Diane Magers clarifies these concepts and their role in customer-centric business practices.







Insights from a special guest



Diane has been part of the CX movement since the get-go. She was one of the founding members of the CXPA, and is currently serving as the association’s interim CEO, along with her role as an independent business advisor, speaker and facilitator within the CX professional community. Before this, she held senior CX roles at blue chip organizations such at AT&T and Sysco Foods. To learn more about Diane's work with the CXPA, her CX advisory practice Experience Catalysts, or to get in touch about she can help your organization realize customer-centric goals, connect with her via LinkedIn.



Diane Magers CCXP



CX business value


Many CX professionals confuse the terms "metrics", "measures" and "value", but it's important to clarify what these are and how they apply to customer experience management. Diane broke down her definitions of each:

* Measures - anything you can count (e.g. number of clients that come into your store, call length, frequency of purchase)
* Metrics - outcomes of something that's happened, including a customer's perception of those outcomes (e.g. customer satisfaction, customer effort score)
* Value - the financial levers that you can pull in an organization and/or the resulting financial impact (e.g. cost to serve, revenue, expense, profit per customer)

Diane emphasizes that as CX professionals, we must translate CX speak into C-suite speak. This means creating the connection between our CX metrics and related measures, and the financial measures that executives are about. Without this connection, our efforts are doomed to be sidelined and not get the attention they need to succeed.
Diane suggests looking at the causation between CX metrics tied to CX projects and financial outcomes. Finding ways to articulate the connection between CX efforts and business value goes a long way to earn the attention, respect, and hopefully support of executive stakeholders.  



Want to keep learning about CX?



If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.



And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.



Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including customer insights, CX measurement, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
The link between CX and employee experience: CX Mini Masterclass – E27 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-link-between-cx-and-employee-experience-cx-mini-masterclass-e27/ Thu, 14 Feb 2019 10:39:35 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1161 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-link-between-cx-and-employee-experience-cx-mini-masterclass-e27/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-link-between-cx-and-employee-experience-cx-mini-masterclass-e27/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explains the relationship between employee experience and customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares 3 examples of the tangible links between EX and CX. If you are looking to understand employee experience as the foundation for customer-centric culture, this episode is for you. A heightened focus on employee experience Employee Experience is getting increasing amounts of attention from the CX professional community, and with good reason: it’s a key enabler of CX. Employees are a key pillar of an organization’s operating model - the engine that delivers customer experiences. If the components of the operating model aren't functioning, can't work in harmony or aren't aligned to common goals, then the outcomes suffer. Pillars of the business operating model Understanding the link This connection might seem abstract, but there are plenty of ways that we can see the tangible link between customer experience and employee experience. The following examples are just 3 of many ways that we see employee experience "shine through". Employees are the face of a brand - When experiences involve an in-person component, the employee or brand representative becomes the face of the brand. As more of our experiences move into the digital realm, these interactions are becoming both fewer and more complex. This means that each in-person interaction has a greater impact within the overall customer journey. It's not a stretch to understand how employees who feel valued, supported and part of the brand would be more likely to provide a better representation of the brand.There is a human behind every customer experience - Digital experiences have to be programmed by someone, and even AI-driven experiences were at some point coded by a person. The intentions, care, and the employee's level of understanding of the customer will all shine through eventually. This is why it’s important for team members to be engaged with their responsibilities, understand how they are connected to the customer and to feel positive ownership for their contributions. Employee experience is the kernel for this personal accountability.Employee experience can support change management - Customers are constantly changing, and CX teams are often responsible for helping businesses evolve to keep pace. Proper change management is critical to success. The book, The Influential Mind (one of my favorite books about influencing CX change), shares results from studies showing that people who feel more comfortable and stable in their environment are more likely to take a leap of faith towards a decision that will be beneficial in the long term, even if that means jeopardizing some immediate gratification. There is a clear connection to CX and change in the workplace. If you are asking a team member to use a new system or try something that is out of their comfort zone - for the benefit of improved CX, they are more likely to do this if they feel safe, secure, and supported in their environment. On the other hand, if team members are preoccupied with possible punishment if they mess up or stressed about other uncertainties in their environment, they are less likely to go along with the suggested change. A positive employee experience provides a stronger foundation for fostering agile teams that are open to being part of, rather than resisting, customer-centric change. These 3 examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Employee experience manifests itself in so many aspects of CX, but hopefully these have sparked some thinking about the important link between the two. Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University.

This CX Mini Masterclass explains the relationship between employee experience and customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares 3 examples of the tangible links between EX and CX. If you are looking to understand employee experience as the foundation for customer-centric culture, this episode is for you.

A heightened focus on employee experience

Employee Experience is getting increasing amounts of attention from the CX professional community, and with good reason: it’s a key enabler of CX. Employees are a key pillar of an organization’s operating model – the engine that delivers customer experiences. If the components of the operating model aren’t functioning, can’t work in harmony or aren’t aligned to common goals, then the outcomes suffer.

Pillars of the business operating model

Understanding the link

This connection might seem abstract, but there are plenty of ways that we can see the tangible link between customer experience and employee experience. The following examples are just 3 of many ways that we see employee experience “shine through”.

  • Employees are the face of a brand – When experiences involve an in-person component, the employee or brand representative becomes the face of the brand. As more of our experiences move into the digital realm, these interactions are becoming both fewer and more complex. This means that each in-person interaction has a greater impact within the overall customer journey. It’s not a stretch to understand how employees who feel valued, supported and part of the brand would be more likely to provide a better representation of the brand.
  • There is a human behind every customer experience – Digital experiences have to be programmed by someone, and even AI-driven experiences were at some point coded by a person. The intentions, care, and the employee’s level of understanding of the customer will all shine through eventually. This is why it’s important for team members to be engaged with their responsibilities, understand how they are connected to the customer and to feel positive ownership for their contributions. Employee experience is the kernel for this personal accountability.
  • Employee experience can support change management – Customers are constantly changing, and CX teams are often responsible for helping businesses evolve to keep pace. Proper change management is critical to success. The book, The Influential Mind (one of my favorite books about influencing CX change), shares results from studies showing that people who feel more comfortable and stable in their environment are more likely to take a leap of faith towards a decision that will be beneficial in the long term, even if that means jeopardizing some immediate gratification. There is a clear connection to CX and change in the workplace. If you are asking a team member to use a new system or try something that is out of their comfort zone – for the benefit of improved CX, they are more likely to do this if they feel safe, secure, and supported in their environment. On the other hand, if team members are preoccupied with possible punishment if they mess up or stressed about other uncertainties in their environment, they are less likely to go along with the suggested change. A positive employee experience provides a stronger foundation for fostering agile teams that are open to being part of, rather than resisting, customer-centric change.

These 3 examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Employee experience manifests itself in so many aspects of CX, but hopefully these have sparked some thinking about the important link between the two.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including employee engagement, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass explains the relationship between employee experience and customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares 3 examples of the tangible links between EX and CX.







This CX Mini Masterclass explains the relationship between employee experience and customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares 3 examples of the tangible links between EX and CX. If you are looking to understand employee experience as the foundation for customer-centric culture, this episode is for you.







A heightened focus on employee experience



Employee Experience is getting increasing amounts of attention from the CX professional community, and with good reason: it’s a key enabler of CX. Employees are a key pillar of an organization’s operating model - the engine that delivers customer experiences. If the components of the operating model aren't functioning, can't work in harmony or aren't aligned to common goals, then the outcomes suffer.



Pillars of the business operating model



Understanding the link



This connection might seem abstract, but there are plenty of ways that we can see the tangible link between customer experience and employee experience. The following examples are just 3 of many ways that we see employee experience "shine through".



* Employees are the face of a brand - When experiences involve an in-person component, the employee or brand representative becomes the face of the brand. As more of our experiences move into the digital realm, these interactions are becoming both fewer and more complex. This means that each in-person interaction has a greater impact within the overall customer journey. It's not a stretch to understand how employees who feel valued, supported and part of the brand would be more likely to provide a better representation of the brand.* There is a human behind every customer experience - Digital experiences have to be programmed by someone, and even AI-driven experiences were at some point coded by a person. The intentions, care, and the employee's level of understanding of the customer will all shine through eventually. This is why it’s important for team members to be engaged with their responsibilities, understand how they are connected to the customer and to feel positive ownership for their contributions. Employee experience is the kernel for this personal accountability.* Employee experience can support change management - Customers are constantly changing, and CX teams are often responsible for helping businesses evolve to keep pace. Proper change management is critical to success. The book, The Influential Mind (one of my favorite books about influencing CX change), shares results from studies showing that people who feel more comfortable and stable in their environment are more likely to take a leap of faith towards a decision that will be beneficial in the long term, even if that means jeopardizing some immediate gratification. There is a clear connection to CX and change in the workplace. If you are asking a team member to use a new system or try something that is out of their comfort zone - for the benefit of improved CX, they are more likely to do this if they feel safe, secure, and supported in their environment. On the other hand, if team members are preoccupied with possible punishment if they mess up or stressed about other uncertainties in their environment, they are less likely to go along with the suggested change. A positive employee experience provides a stronger foundation for fostering agile teams that are open to being part of, rather than resisting, customer-centric change.



These 3 examples are just the tip of the iceberg.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Delivering customer delight in the digital age: interview with Adrian Swinscoe – E26 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/delivering-customer-delight-in-the-digital-age-interview-with-adrian-swinscoe-e26/ Thu, 07 Feb 2019 12:23:30 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1141 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/delivering-customer-delight-in-the-digital-age-interview-with-adrian-swinscoe-e26/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/delivering-customer-delight-in-the-digital-age-interview-with-adrian-swinscoe-e26/feed/ 0 Adrian Swinscoe, customer experience thought leader, Forbes contributor, and business advisor provides his perspective on finding the balance between humans and tech in delivering CX. Adrian and Julia discuss what it takes to achieve customer delight in our increasingly digital world and why the tag line "powered by humans" is becoming a thing that brands now tout. Julia shares her plan for February's CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will feature other CX thought leaders.   Customer delight and the delicate balance between humans and tech In a world where we are spending increasing amounts of time on our phones, and the digital world has infiltrated nearly all aspects of our lives, it can be easy to fall prey to the mantra that tech is best. But that isn’t always the case. Yes, technology can be an incredible enabler of great customer experience. Seamless app experiences, VOC solutions that help businesses decipher customer feedback, customization algorithms, and the social media platforms have all helped turbo-charge many aspects of customer experience. But this doesn’t mean that the human element has lost its place. Behind every experience there is a human, and sometimes human intervention is the most effective and efficient way to deliver customer experiences and (hopefully) customer delight. I sat down with Adrian Swinscoe to unpack this topic and explore how organizations can find the balance between humans and tech. Top tips for balanced customer experiences Understand the tech/touch continuum - Adrian suggests that experiences fall on two spectra: high/low tech and high/low touch. When you plot these together, you get a quadrant of high/low/tech/touch possibilities. Use this framework to understand the natural "fit" for experiences, based on what customers want. If customers are looking for a tangible sensory experience, then low tech/high touch might be the answer. If they are looking for convenience, then high tech/low touch might be better. Acknowledge that human led experiences are sometimes more efficient - Routing customers through endless IVRs and dealing with multiple repeat calls can be more complicated (and costly) than just having one person resolve and issue on the spot. Tech solutions are often pitched on the basis of efficiency gains, but look before you leap. Things are not always as they seem. Don't be all things to all people - Yes, it's important to be where customers are, but with the proliferation of different digital channels, it can be challenging for companies to deliver great experiences through ALL possible touchpoints. Pick those where you can deliver customer delight, and focus your energy there. It's OK to say "no" to new channels that aren't compatible with your brand or business. Humility can foster brand affinity Adrian shared research on the Pratfall Effect, which is our human tendency to prefer some level of imperfection.  We gravitate towards people, leaders and brands that display their imperfections and are open about vulnerability. In the quest to deliver great experiences and test out tech innovations, brands can (and will) stumble. The takeaway here is that these mistakes - when managed appropriately - can enhance brand affinity. Within businesses, CX leaders can also learn from this phenomenon. Leaders who are open about their mistakes and share their vulnerability with team members and employees, may earn more of their respect in the long run. Where to find more insights from Adrian I really enjoyed speaking with Adrian and could have picked his brain for hours. He is truly a wealth of knowledge, and the good news is that there are plenty of ways that you can keep learning from Adrian's work and expertise. He published a bestselling book in 2016, How to Wow: 68 Effortless Ways to Make Every Customer Experience Amazing (Pearson). He is also a fellow podcaster, and his show, The RARE Business Podcast, is well worth checking out. Adrian Swinscoe, customer experience thought leader, Forbes contributor, and business advisor provides his perspective on finding the balance between humans and tech in delivering CX. Adrian and Julia discuss what it takes to achieve customer delight in our increasingly digital world and why the tag line “powered by humans” is becoming a thing that brands now tout. Julia shares her plan for February’s CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will feature other CX thought leaders.

 

Customer delight and the delicate balance between humans and tech

In a world where we are spending increasing amounts of time on our phones, and the digital world has infiltrated nearly all aspects of our lives, it can be easy to fall prey to the mantra that tech is best. But that isn’t always the case. Yes, technology can be an incredible enabler of great customer experience. Seamless app experiences, VOC solutions that help businesses decipher customer feedback, customization algorithms, and the social media platforms have all helped turbo-charge many aspects of customer experience. But this doesn’t mean that the human element has lost its place. Behind every experience there is a human, and sometimes human intervention is the most effective and efficient way to deliver customer experiences and (hopefully) customer delight.

I sat down with Adrian Swinscoe to unpack this topic and explore how organizations can find the balance between humans and tech.

Top tips for balanced customer experiences

  • Understand the tech/touch continuum – Adrian suggests that experiences fall on two spectra: high/low tech and high/low touch. When you plot these together, you get a quadrant of high/low/tech/touch possibilities. Use this framework to understand the natural “fit” for experiences, based on what customers want. If customers are looking for a tangible sensory experience, then low tech/high touch might be the answer. If they are looking for convenience, then high tech/low touch might be better.
  • Acknowledge that human led experiences are sometimes more efficient – Routing customers through endless IVRs and dealing with multiple repeat calls can be more complicated (and costly) than just having one person resolve and issue on the spot. Tech solutions are often pitched on the basis of efficiency gains, but look before you leap. Things are not always as they seem.
  • Don’t be all things to all people – Yes, it’s important to be where customers are, but with the proliferation of different digital channels, it can be challenging for companies to deliver great experiences through ALL possible touchpoints. Pick those where you can deliver customer delight, and focus your energy there. It’s OK to say “no” to new channels that aren’t compatible with your brand or business.

Humility can foster brand affinity

Adrian shared research on the Pratfall Effect, which is our human tendency to prefer some level of imperfection.  We gravitate towards people, leaders and brands that display their imperfections and are open about vulnerability. In the quest to deliver great experiences and test out tech innovations, brands can (and will) stumble. The takeaway here is that these mistakes – when managed appropriately – can enhance brand affinity.

Within businesses, CX leaders can also learn from this phenomenon. Leaders who are open about their mistakes and share their vulnerability with team members and employees, may earn more of their respect in the long run.

Where to find more insights from Adrian

I really enjoyed speaking with Adrian and could have picked his brain for hours. He is truly a wealth of knowledge, and the good news is that there are plenty of ways that you can keep learning from Adrian’s work and expertise. He published a bestselling book in 2016, How to Wow: 68 Effortless Ways to Make Every Customer Experience Amazing (Pearson). He is also a fellow podcaster, and his show, The RARE Business Podcast, is well worth checking out. You can also follow Adrian on Twitter, LinkedIn, or get in touch through the contact details on his website.

Episode Sponsor

This episode was sponsored by CX University, a CX training company offering a broad array of CX learning options, including e-learning modules and CCXP practice exams. CXU is an accredited resource and training provider and their resources and they offer a flexible and affordable monthly subscription model. Listeners of this CX podcast can get 10% off their first month’s subscription by entering the discount code PODCAST10 at checkout.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business define customer experience strategy that delivers results, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

]]>
Adrian Swinscoe, customer experience thought leader, Forbes contributor, and business advisor provides his perspective on finding the balance between humans and tech in delivering CX. Adrian and Julia discuss what it takes to achieve customer delight i... Adrian Swinscoe, customer experience thought leader, Forbes contributor, and business advisor provides his perspective on finding the balance between humans and tech in delivering CX. Adrian and Julia discuss what it takes to achieve customer delight in our increasingly digital world and why the tag line "powered by humans" is becoming a thing that brands now tout. Julia shares her plan for February's CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will feature other CX thought leaders.

 
Customer delight and the delicate balance between humans and tech


In a world where we are spending increasing amounts of time on our phones, and the digital world has infiltrated nearly all aspects of our lives, it can be easy to fall prey to the mantra that tech is best. But that isn’t always the case. Yes, technology can be an incredible enabler of great customer experience. Seamless app experiences, VOC solutions that help businesses decipher customer feedback, customization algorithms, and the social media platforms have all helped turbo-charge many aspects of customer experience. But this doesn’t mean that the human element has lost its place. Behind every experience there is a human, and sometimes human intervention is the most effective and efficient way to deliver customer experiences and (hopefully) customer delight.

I sat down with Adrian Swinscoe to unpack this topic and explore how organizations can find the balance between humans and tech.
Top tips for balanced customer experiences

* Understand the tech/touch continuum - Adrian suggests that experiences fall on two spectra: high/low tech and high/low touch. When you plot these together, you get a quadrant of high/low/tech/touch possibilities. Use this framework to understand the natural "fit" for experiences, based on what customers want. If customers are looking for a tangible sensory experience, then low tech/high touch might be the answer. If they are looking for convenience, then high tech/low touch might be better.
* Acknowledge that human led experiences are sometimes more efficient - Routing customers through endless IVRs and dealing with multiple repeat calls can be more complicated (and costly) than just having one person resolve and issue on the spot. Tech solutions are often pitched on the basis of efficiency gains, but look before you leap. Things are not always as they seem.
* Don't be all things to all people - Yes, it's important to be where customers are, but with the proliferation of different digital channels, it can be challenging for companies to deliver great experiences through ALL possible touchpoints. Pick those where you can deliver customer delight, and focus your energy there. It's OK to say "no" to new channels that aren't compatible with your brand or business.

Humility can foster brand affinity
Adrian shared research on the Pratfall Effect, which is our human tendency to prefer some level of imperfection.  We gravitate towards people, leaders and brands that display their imperfections and are open about vulnerability. In the quest to deliver great experiences and test out tech innovations, brands can (and will) stumble. The takeaway here is that these mistakes - when managed appropriately - can enhance brand affinity.

Within businesses, CX leaders can also learn from this phenomenon. Leaders who are open about their mistakes and share their vulnerability with team members and employees, may earn more of their respect in the long run.
Where to find more insights from Adrian
I really enjoyed speaking with Adrian and could ha...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
3 actionable tips for influencing customer centric change: CX Mini Masterclass – E25 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/3-actionable-tips-for-influencing-customer-centric-change-cx-mini-masterclass-e25/ Thu, 31 Jan 2019 17:51:47 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1134 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/3-actionable-tips-for-influencing-customer-centric-change-cx-mini-masterclass-e25/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/3-actionable-tips-for-influencing-customer-centric-change-cx-mini-masterclass-e25/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass includes actionable tips for influencing customer centric change from show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt. Customer experience strategy must be supported by the business in order to take hold. CX professionals must carefully navigate how to  affect change within their organization, and in this episode Julia takes listeners through her top 3 recommendations for how to effectively influence change. A CX leader and a diplomat Customer experience leaders can have brilliant ideas, but they must also be able to foster buy-in and support to effectively influence change. As a professional community, we spend a lot of time discussing and debating the functional side of our profession, and this is great, but we must also support each other in the "softer" competencies of leadership that can be just as important. I view business diplomacy and influence as part of these softer leadership competencies. As I know that many are preparing for the year ahead, I thought it was an apt time to curate and share my top 3 recommendations for actionable interventions to foster support and influence real change. 1. Speak the language of your stakeholders It's important to understand how decision-makers in your organization frame their world and address priorities so that you can help make CX one of these priorities. In many cases, decision-makers speak the language of financial metrics, so think about how you can frame CX outcomes in these terms. Your ideas will be more likely to resonate with your audience and garner their support. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is one of many metrics that you can use to align to the case for CX to financial metrics. If you'd like to learn more about CLV, episode 22 covers this topic in detail. 2. Establish a stakeholder management plan This may sound simple or obvious, but a proactive stakeholder management plan can go a long way to helping you effectively engage with others in your organization. Plus, once you document this as a formalized plan, you can share it with your team. If you are looking for ideas on templates for stakeholder management plans, here is a nice template and another example. Curious about what a stakeholder plan look like in action? In episode 21, I spoke with Marnitz Van Heerden from Hollard insurance about his journey influencing customer centric change. He explained how he leveraged the SCARF model and several other approaches to win over his colleagues and foster support for CX. 3. Communicate customer centric initiatives with empathy We all know that communication is key, but for my final recommendation, I'm suggesting that you reflect on how you communicate your plan, and to introduce empathy into your communication. Take the time to acknowledge your audience's hopes and fears, and how these might evolve during the change process. Also, be open with your organization about the possible impact of CX changes so that people can property prepare. This 3rd point was inspired by a Harvard Business Review article that I recently read. You can read the article here. Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your busines... This CX Mini Masterclass includes actionable tips for influencing customer centric change from show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt. Customer experience strategy must be supported by the business in order to take hold. CX professionals must carefully navigate how to  affect change within their organization, and in this episode Julia takes listeners through her top 3 recommendations for how to effectively influence change.

A CX leader and a diplomat

Customer experience leaders can have brilliant ideas, but they must also be able to foster buy-in and support to effectively influence change. As a professional community, we spend a lot of time discussing and debating the functional side of our profession, and this is great, but we must also support each other in the “softer” competencies of leadership that can be just as important. I view business diplomacy and influence as part of these softer leadership competencies. As I know that many are preparing for the year ahead, I thought it was an apt time to curate and share my top 3 recommendations for actionable interventions to foster support and influence real change.

1. Speak the language of your stakeholders

It’s important to understand how decision-makers in your organization frame their world and address priorities so that you can help make CX one of these priorities. In many cases, decision-makers speak the language of financial metrics, so think about how you can frame CX outcomes in these terms. Your ideas will be more likely to resonate with your audience and garner their support. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is one of many metrics that you can use to align to the case for CX to financial metrics. If you’d like to learn more about CLV, episode 22 covers this topic in detail.

2. Establish a stakeholder management plan

This may sound simple or obvious, but a proactive stakeholder management plan can go a long way to helping you effectively engage with others in your organization. Plus, once you document this as a formalized plan, you can share it with your team. If you are looking for ideas on templates for stakeholder management plans, here is a nice template and another example. Curious about what a stakeholder plan look like in action? In episode 21, I spoke with Marnitz Van Heerden from Hollard insurance about his journey influencing customer centric change. He explained how he leveraged the SCARF model and several other approaches to win over his colleagues and foster support for CX.

3. Communicate customer centric initiatives with empathy

We all know that communication is key, but for my final recommendation, I’m suggesting that you reflect on how you communicate your plan, and to introduce empathy into your communication. Take the time to acknowledge your audience’s hopes and fears, and how these might evolve during the change process. Also, be open with your organization about the possible impact of CX changes so that people can property prepare. This 3rd point was inspired by a Harvard Business Review article that I recently read. You can read the article here.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including CX strategy, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass includes actionable tips for influencing customer centric change from show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt. Customer experience strategy must be supported by the business in order to take hold.
A CX leader and a diplomat
Customer experience leaders can have brilliant ideas, but they must also be able to foster buy-in and support to effectively influence change. As a professional community, we spend a lot of time discussing and debating the functional side of our profession, and this is great, but we must also support each other in the "softer" competencies of leadership that can be just as important. I view business diplomacy and influence as part of these softer leadership competencies. As I know that many are preparing for the year ahead, I thought it was an apt time to curate and share my top 3 recommendations for actionable interventions to foster support and influence real change.
1. Speak the language of your stakeholders
It's important to understand how decision-makers in your organization frame their world and address priorities so that you can help make CX one of these priorities. In many cases, decision-makers speak the language of financial metrics, so think about how you can frame CX outcomes in these terms. Your ideas will be more likely to resonate with your audience and garner their support. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is one of many metrics that you can use to align to the case for CX to financial metrics. If you'd like to learn more about CLV, episode 22 covers this topic in detail.
2. Establish a stakeholder management plan
This may sound simple or obvious, but a proactive stakeholder management plan can go a long way to helping you effectively engage with others in your organization. Plus, once you document this as a formalized plan, you can share it with your team. If you are looking for ideas on templates for stakeholder management plans, here is a nice template and another example. Curious about what a stakeholder plan look like in action? In episode 21, I spoke with Marnitz Van Heerden from Hollard insurance about his journey influencing customer centric change. He explained how he leveraged the SCARF model and several other approaches to win over his colleagues and foster support for CX.
3. Communicate customer centric initiatives with empathy
We all know that communication is key, but for my final recommendation, I'm suggesting that you reflect on how you communicate your plan, and to introduce empathy into your communication. Take the time to acknowledge your audience's hopes and fears, and how these might evolve during the change process. Also, be open with your organization about the possible impact of CX changes so that people can property prepare. This 3rd point was inspired by a Harvard Business Review article that I recently read. You can read the article here.
Want to keep learning about CX?
If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes<...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Evaluating customer experience impact for business decisions: CX Mini Masterclass – E24 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/evaluating-customer-experience-impact-for-business-decisions-cx-mini-masterclass-e24/ Thu, 24 Jan 2019 15:46:55 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1125 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/evaluating-customer-experience-impact-for-business-decisions-cx-mini-masterclass-e24/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/evaluating-customer-experience-impact-for-business-decisions-cx-mini-masterclass-e24/feed/ 0 This edition of Julia’s CX Mini Masterclass series explores best practices for evaluating customer impact when making major business decisions. Building on the concept of customer journey on-ramps/off-ramps, show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt explains how you can leverage your knowledge of the customer journey to prioritize business initiatives, create a CX roadmap, and guide your organization towards making customer-centric decisions which will ultimately drive profitability. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure CX professionals are often the guardians of the customer journey within their organization. This comes with the responsibility of ensuring that the organization continually evolves towards customer-centricity, which is no small task. CX professionals may be able to influence changes that are deliberately made with the customer experience in mind. But businesses are constantly evolving and changing, launching new products and implementing revised systems, and most of these of these changes fall outside of the remit of a centralized CX team. This business evolution has an impact on resulting customer experiences, so it is equally important, though more challenging, to ensure that decisions made by other teams within the organization are done with the customer in mind. Without this, CX professionals, will constantly find themselves "fixing" a broken customer journey. It is much more effective to foster awareness about customer experience impact to help the business proactively and deliberately evolve towards customer-centricity than to be in a constant mode of fire-fighting. The good news is that CX professionals can leverage their understanding of the customer journey, Customer Lifetime Value, and the financial ramifications of on-ramps and off-ramps to help businesses understand customer experience impact and make the right choices. Build your CX roadmap to demonstrate value In episode 21 I spoke with Marnitz Van Heerden of Hollard insurance who described how his organization has evolved from one with a centralized CX team, to a federated model, whereby responsibility for customer experience is distributed across the business teams. The federated model is the ultimate goal for many businesses, but the reality on the ground is that most CX practitioners still operate in an environment where CX is managed centrally. In this case, CX practitioners have to plan and prioritize their efforts. If you’ve ever mapped the customer journey, you know that it can be daunting to tackle a long laundry list of pain points within the customer journey. I suggest starting by evaluating your journey in terms of the on-ramps and off-ramps. Look at where you have your busiest off-ramp, or where you are losing the most customers. You should consider this as your starting point for affecting CX change, because it’s where you’ll be able to demonstrate business value. So if for example, if your customer journey research indicates that customers are off-ramping at sign-up or after their first month of usage of your product, look into which one of these represents the bigger impact in terms of opportunity cost or lost customer assets, and tackle that one first if you can. As you improve the experience and are able to impact on the flow of the off-ramp, you can show how each retained customer, through their CLV, reflects money which didn’t walk out the door. Proactively evaluating customer experience impact One of the tough realities of the business world is that decisions are often made in a vacuum. Operations, IT and other teams will make decisions or launch initiatives with their own KPIs in mind. These objectives may ore may not directly align with CX. This is where things can get interesting, because an IT or ops team might be really excited about a new platform or process that will help them achieve their department goals, while being oblivious to what this means for CX. This edition of Julia’s CX Mini Masterclass series explores best practices for evaluating customer impact when making major business decisions. Building on the concept of customer journey on-ramps/off-ramps, show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt explains how you can leverage your knowledge of the customer journey to prioritize business initiatives, create a CX roadmap, and guide your organization towards making customer-centric decisions which will ultimately drive profitability.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

CX professionals are often the guardians of the customer journey within their organization. This comes with the responsibility of ensuring that the organization continually evolves towards customer-centricity, which is no small task. CX professionals may be able to influence changes that are deliberately made with the customer experience in mind. But businesses are constantly evolving and changing, launching new products and implementing revised systems, and most of these of these changes fall outside of the remit of a centralized CX team. This business evolution has an impact on resulting customer experiences, so it is equally important, though more challenging, to ensure that decisions made by other teams within the organization are done with the customer in mind. Without this, CX professionals, will constantly find themselves “fixing” a broken customer journey. It is much more effective to foster awareness about customer experience impact to help the business proactively and deliberately evolve towards customer-centricity than to be in a constant mode of fire-fighting.

The good news is that CX professionals can leverage their understanding of the customer journey, Customer Lifetime Value, and the financial ramifications of on-ramps and off-ramps to help businesses understand customer experience impact and make the right choices.

Build your CX roadmap to demonstrate value

In episode 21 I spoke with Marnitz Van Heerden of Hollard insurance who described how his organization has evolved from one with a centralized CX team, to a federated model, whereby responsibility for customer experience is distributed across the business teams. The federated model is the ultimate goal for many businesses, but the reality on the ground is that most CX practitioners still operate in an environment where CX is managed centrally. In this case, CX practitioners have to plan and prioritize their efforts.

If you’ve ever mapped the customer journey, you know that it can be daunting to tackle a long laundry list of pain points within the customer journey. I suggest starting by evaluating your journey in terms of the on-ramps and off-ramps. Look at where you have your busiest off-ramp, or where you are losing the most customers. You should consider this as your starting point for affecting CX change, because it’s where you’ll be able to demonstrate business value. So if for example, if your customer journey research indicates that customers are off-ramping at sign-up or after their first month of usage of your product, look into which one of these represents the bigger impact in terms of opportunity cost or lost customer assets, and tackle that one first if you can. As you improve the experience and are able to impact on the flow of the off-ramp, you can show how each retained customer, through their CLV, reflects money which didn’t walk out the door.

Proactively evaluating customer experience impact

One of the tough realities of the business world is that decisions are often made in a vacuum. Operations, IT and other teams will make decisions or launch initiatives with their own KPIs in mind. These objectives may ore may not directly align with CX. This is where things can get interesting, because an IT or ops team might be really excited about a new platform or process that will help them achieve their department goals, while being oblivious to what this means for CX. The key is to insert customer-centric thinking into that vacuum!

CX professionals can do this by helping their colleagues understand how their efforts impact the customer experience, so they can factor it into their decision-making criteria. The goal is to mitigate business changes that might inadvertently create a negative experience, and gradually get others in the organization to be thinking about things in a more customer-centric way.

My suggestion here would be to first use your customer journey to identify what elements of customer experience are most likely to upset or delight your customers. Whatever moves the needle either extremely positive or extremely negative, can be used to help other teams evaluate the impact of their efforts. Next, try to include this as a formal component of the planning process. Whether that takes the shape of a customer impact assessment as part of CapEx approval or some sort of CX rating that has to be incorporated into new project approvals, see if you can establish some governance that gets teams to proactively acknowledge how their projects, initiatives and other business changes might affect customer experience.

It’s also important to incorporate CLV so that leaders understand the financial ramifications of customer impact. Often this is overlooked, only for teams to realize later that their $1 million in efficiency savings cost the business $10 in lost customers. When the the vetting of new projects includes a business case with a customer element, this is much more difficult to ignore.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available anytime and anywhere, all on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services  (including CX strategy, leadership alignment and CX business case assessments) or get in touch via email

]]> This edition of Julia’s CX Mini Masterclass series explores best practices for evaluating customer impact when making major business decisions. Building on the concept of customer journey on-ramps/off-ramps, show host and customer experience expert,
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
CX professionals are often the guardians of the customer journey within their organization. This comes with the responsibility of ensuring that the organization continually evolves towards customer-centricity, which is no small task. CX professionals may be able to influence changes that are deliberately made with the customer experience in mind. But businesses are constantly evolving and changing, launching new products and implementing revised systems, and most of these of these changes fall outside of the remit of a centralized CX team. This business evolution has an impact on resulting customer experiences, so it is equally important, though more challenging, to ensure that decisions made by other teams within the organization are done with the customer in mind. Without this, CX professionals, will constantly find themselves "fixing" a broken customer journey. It is much more effective to foster awareness about customer experience impact to help the business proactively and deliberately evolve towards customer-centricity than to be in a constant mode of fire-fighting.

The good news is that CX professionals can leverage their understanding of the customer journey, Customer Lifetime Value, and the financial ramifications of on-ramps and off-ramps to help businesses understand customer experience impact and make the right choices.
Build your CX roadmap to demonstrate value
In episode 21 I spoke with Marnitz Van Heerden of Hollard insurance who described how his organization has evolved from one with a centralized CX team, to a federated model, whereby responsibility for customer experience is distributed across the business teams. The federated model is the ultimate goal for many businesses, but the reality on the ground is that most CX practitioners still operate in an environment where CX is managed centrally. In this case, CX practitioners have to plan and prioritize their efforts.

If you’ve ever mapped the customer journey, you know that it can be daunting to tackle a long laundry list of pain points within the customer journey. I suggest starting by evaluating your journey in terms of the on-ramps and off-ramps. Look at where you have your busiest off-ramp, or where you are losing the most customers. You should consider this as your starting point for affecting CX change, because it’s where you’ll be able to demonstrate business value. So if for example, if your customer journey research indicates that customers are off-ramping at sign-up or after their first month of usage of your product, look into which one of these represents the bigger impact in terms of opportunity cost or lost customer assets, and tackle that one first if you can. As you improve the experience and are able to impact on the flow of the off-ramp, you can show how each retained customer, through their CLV, reflects money which didn’t walk out the door.
]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean On-ramps, off-ramps and customer experience ROI: CX Mini Masterclass – E23 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/on-ramps-off-ramps-and-customer-experience-roi-cx-mini-masterclass-e23/ Thu, 17 Jan 2019 08:11:18 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1056 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/on-ramps-off-ramps-and-customer-experience-roi-cx-mini-masterclass-e23/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/on-ramps-off-ramps-and-customer-experience-roi-cx-mini-masterclass-e23/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explains how you can use your customer journey map and understanding of when customers engage or disengage with a brand to demonstrate customer experience ROI. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, will teach you about the power of customer on-ramps and off-ramps, and how you can use these to develop the business case for customer experience management.   The circular journey At the end of the day consumers have many ongoing needs in their lives. Whether that’s putting food on the table or managing their finances, these needs don’t go away. The more journeys I map, the more I believe that most of our needs are ongoing in some way. That’s why I have become a proponent of circular maps as a way of visualizing the nature of experiences around these continual needs. One of the added benefits of circular maps is that you can use them to easily show where a consumer decides to engage or disengage with a specific brand. I call these "on-ramps" and "off-ramps". They represent opportunities to potentially gain or lose customers. Connection to customer experience ROI In episode 22, I covered Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), and defined this as the monetary value  - often measured in contribution to profit - that is derived from a customer during the course of that customer’s relationship with the company or organization. Anytime a customer engages with a brand or takes an on-ramp, there is a financial upside, and each time a customer decides to disengage with a brand, the business takes a financial hit. This creates a way to overlay ROI onto the customer journey, and it should make your executive team's ears perk up. Using on-ramps and off-ramps You can use your understanding of on-ramps and off-ramps to build the business case for change: Off-ramps - show how many customers leave because of a specific experience or series of experiences, and what this disengagement costs the business. This will help you motivate for fixing pain points along the journey, and give you a framework to evaluate the impact after the fact. On-ramps - use your journey map to show when, where and why customers are likely start engaging with your brand during their customer journey, and what these new customers are potentially worth to the business. This will help you motivate for investing in engaging experiences that will attract and retain customers. This view of on-ramps and off-ramps can help organizations evaluate the impact of business decisions so they can prioritize those which that minimize the risk of losing customers and maximize the potential of gaining new customers. This is also a great way to show the value of the journey map as a way to put your map to good use. Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services  (including CX strategy, leadership alignment and CX business case assessments) or get in touch via email. 

This CX Mini Masterclass explains how you can use your customer journey map and understanding of when customers engage or disengage with a brand to demonstrate customer experience ROI. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, will teach you about the power of customer on-ramps and off-ramps, and how you can use these to develop the business case for customer experience management.

 

The circular journey

At the end of the day consumers have many ongoing needs in their lives. Whether that’s putting food on the table or managing their finances, these needs don’t go away. The more journeys I map, the more I believe that most of our needs are ongoing in some way. That’s why I have become a proponent of circular maps as a way of visualizing the nature of experiences around these continual needs.

One of the added benefits of circular maps is that you can use them to easily show where a consumer decides to engage or disengage with a specific brand. I call these “on-ramps” and “off-ramps”. They represent opportunities to potentially gain or lose customers.

Connection to customer experience ROI

In episode 22, I covered Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), and defined this as the monetary value  – often measured in contribution to profit – that is derived from a customer during the course of that customer’s relationship with the company or organization. Anytime a customer engages with a brand or takes an on-ramp, there is a financial upside, and each time a customer decides to disengage with a brand, the business takes a financial hit. This creates a way to overlay ROI onto the customer journey, and it should make your executive team’s ears perk up.

Using on-ramps and off-ramps

You can use your understanding of on-ramps and off-ramps to build the business case for change:

  • Off-ramps – show how many customers leave because of a specific experience or series of experiences, and what this disengagement costs the business. This will help you motivate for fixing pain points along the journey, and give you a framework to evaluate the impact after the fact.
  • On-ramps – use your journey map to show when, where and why customers are likely start engaging with your brand during their customer journey, and what these new customers are potentially worth to the business. This will help you motivate for investing in engaging experiences that will attract and retain customers.

This view of on-ramps and off-ramps can help organizations evaluate the impact of business decisions so they can prioritize those which that minimize the risk of losing customers and maximize the potential of gaining new customers. This is also a great way to show the value of the journey map as a way to put your map to good use.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services  (including CX strategy, leadership alignment and CX business case assessments) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass explains how you can use your customer journey map and understanding of when customers engage or disengage with a brand to demonstrate customer experience ROI. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt,
This CX Mini Masterclass explains how you can use your customer journey map and understanding of when customers engage or disengage with a brand to demonstrate customer experience ROI. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, will teach you about the power of customer on-ramps and off-ramps, and how you can use these to develop the business case for customer experience management.

 
The circular journey
At the end of the day consumers have many ongoing needs in their lives. Whether that’s putting food on the table or managing their finances, these needs don’t go away. The more journeys I map, the more I believe that most of our needs are ongoing in some way. That’s why I have become a proponent of circular maps as a way of visualizing the nature of experiences around these continual needs.

One of the added benefits of circular maps is that you can use them to easily show where a consumer decides to engage or disengage with a specific brand. I call these "on-ramps" and "off-ramps". They represent opportunities to potentially gain or lose customers.
Connection to customer experience ROI
In episode 22, I covered Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), and defined this as the monetary value  - often measured in contribution to profit - that is derived from a customer during the course of that customer’s relationship with the company or organization. Anytime a customer engages with a brand or takes an on-ramp, there is a financial upside, and each time a customer decides to disengage with a brand, the business takes a financial hit. This creates a way to overlay ROI onto the customer journey, and it should make your executive team's ears perk up.
Using on-ramps and off-ramps
You can use your understanding of on-ramps and off-ramps to build the business case for change:

* Off-ramps - show how many customers leave because of a specific experience or series of experiences, and what this disengagement costs the business. This will help you motivate for fixing pain points along the journey, and give you a framework to evaluate the impact after the fact.
* On-ramps - use your journey map to show when, where and why customers are likely start engaging with your brand during their customer journey, and what these new customers are potentially worth to the business. This will help you motivate for investing in engaging experiences that will attract and retain customers.

This view of on-ramps and off-ramps can help organizations evaluate the impact of business decisions so they can prioritize those which that minimize the risk of losing customers and maximize the potential of gaining new customers. This is also a great way to show the value of the journey map as a way to put your map to good use.
Want to keep learning about CX?
If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX ...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Calculating Customer Lifetime Value: CX Mini Masterclass – E22 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/calculating-customer-lifetime-value-cx-mini-masterclass-e22/ Fri, 11 Jan 2019 06:50:41 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1054 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/calculating-customer-lifetime-value-cx-mini-masterclass-e22/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/calculating-customer-lifetime-value-cx-mini-masterclass-e22/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass covers the concept of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), how to calculate this, and why it’s an important metric for the CX profession. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, will help you understand how to leverage CLV to demonstrate the ROI of customer experience and foster buy-in for customer-centric strategy.   Understanding Customer Lifetime Value Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is the monetary value  - often measured in contribution to profit - that is derived from a customer during the course of that customer’s relationship with the company or organization. CLV is a great way to help executives conceptualize the financial upside of customer-centric strategies. One of the most prominent and respected thought leaders in the field of customer experience, Jeanne Bliss, often talks about how businesses should regard customers as assets, and customer lifetime value is a great way of positioning customers as assets because it associates a monetary figure with each customer. In episode 21, I interviewed Marnitz Van Heederden, who shared the inspiring story of how he kick started customer-centric change in his business by demonstrating customer value. How to calculate CLV To calculate this metric, one should look at the average profit yielded from each customer (or the revenue minus the costs) in a given year, multiplied by the average number of years that a customer is retained. If the relationships have a shorter time-frame, you could just as easily quantify this terms of weeks or months, though most businesses can and should look at these relationships from a long-term perspective, so I recommend years as the unit of measure in most cases. CLV = average customer profit per year * average length of retention in years So if the average customer generates $100 of profit for the company each year, and normal duration of the customer relationship (aka retention) is 2 years, the mean CLV among the company's customer base would be $200. It's not a stretch to see how this approach helps CX professionals position customers as assets, which is important if you want the business to start making customer-centric strategy decisions. If you are stumped for how to quantify a profit figure for each customer, I suggest phone-a-friend to one of your colleagues in finance and ask for their help. You'll want to gather the average revenue figures and the ballpark operating cost for each customer relationship. If the value of relationships is something that typically grows over time, you could also include this as a growth factor during the course of the average duration of the relationship. CLV = average customer profit in year one * (1 + rate of growth in customer profit each year) ^ average length of retention in years Best uses for this metric Customer lifetime value isn't a magic number, but it does have a lot of potential applications, and can be very useful for demonstrating the ROI for overarching customer-centric strategies. Major department-level initiatives that impact customer spend, cost of maintaining the customer relationship and efforts that impact customer base growth or retention, should all roll up into CLV, so you can use this metric as a way to connect and unite broad customer-centric objectives into a bottom-line impact through CLV. I'd suggest looking for ways to utilize this metric in dashboards that are assessed alongside financial results in major business performance or strategic reviews. If you can tie major business change efforts back to CLV as either a projection or a post-mortem, that's great. It will help executives and department leaders understand how their actions connect back to customer-centric strategy. Limitations Just be aware that customer lifetime value is slow to change, is a lagging indicator, and is influenced by a lot of different factors. It may be difficult to pinpoint how minute or incremental changes to the customer journey impact CLV...

This CX Mini Masterclass covers the concept of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), how to calculate this, and why it’s an important metric for the CX profession. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, will help you understand how to leverage CLV to demonstrate the ROI of customer experience and foster buy-in for customer-centric strategy.

 

Understanding Customer Lifetime Value

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is the monetary value  – often measured in contribution to profit – that is derived from a customer during the course of that customer’s relationship with the company or organization. CLV is a great way to help executives conceptualize the financial upside of customer-centric strategies. One of the most prominent and respected thought leaders in the field of customer experience, Jeanne Bliss, often talks about how businesses should regard customers as assets, and customer lifetime value is a great way of positioning customers as assets because it associates a monetary figure with each customer. In episode 21, I interviewed Marnitz Van Heederden, who shared the inspiring story of how he kick started customer-centric change in his business by demonstrating customer value.

How to calculate CLV

To calculate this metric, one should look at the average profit yielded from each customer (or the revenue minus the costs) in a given year, multiplied by the average number of years that a customer is retained. If the relationships have a shorter time-frame, you could just as easily quantify this terms of weeks or months, though most businesses can and should look at these relationships from a long-term perspective, so I recommend years as the unit of measure in most cases.

CLV = average customer profit per year * average length of retention in years

So if the average customer generates $100 of profit for the company each year, and normal duration of the customer relationship (aka retention) is 2 years, the mean CLV among the company’s customer base would be $200. It’s not a stretch to see how this approach helps CX professionals position customers as assets, which is important if you want the business to start making customer-centric strategy decisions.

If you are stumped for how to quantify a profit figure for each customer, I suggest phone-a-friend to one of your colleagues in finance and ask for their help. You’ll want to gather the average revenue figures and the ballpark operating cost for each customer relationship.

If the value of relationships is something that typically grows over time, you could also include this as a growth factor during the course of the average duration of the relationship.

CLV = average customer profit in year one * (1 + rate of growth in customer profit each year) ^ average length of retention in years

Best uses for this metric

Customer lifetime value isn’t a magic number, but it does have a lot of potential applications, and can be very useful for demonstrating the ROI for overarching customer-centric strategies. Major department-level initiatives that impact customer spend, cost of maintaining the customer relationship and efforts that impact customer base growth or retention, should all roll up into CLV, so you can use this metric as a way to connect and unite broad customer-centric objectives into a bottom-line impact through CLV.

I’d suggest looking for ways to utilize this metric in dashboards that are assessed alongside financial results in major business performance or strategic reviews. If you can tie major business change efforts back to CLV as either a projection or a post-mortem, that’s great. It will help executives and department leaders understand how their actions connect back to customer-centric strategy.

Limitations

Just be aware that customer lifetime value is slow to change, is a lagging indicator, and is influenced by a lot of different factors. It may be difficult to pinpoint how minute or incremental changes to the customer journey impact CLV, so don’t expect tweaks to the customer experience to make big waves with CLV. This metric has limited potential as a tool to quantify cause and effect from smaller scale changes.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including CX strategy, leadership alignment and CX business case assessments) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass covers the concept of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), how to calculate this, and why it’s an important metric for the CX profession. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt,
This CX Mini Masterclass covers the concept of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), how to calculate this, and why it’s an important metric for the CX profession. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, will help you understand how to leverage CLV to demonstrate the ROI of customer experience and foster buy-in for customer-centric strategy.

 
Understanding Customer Lifetime Value
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is the monetary value  - often measured in contribution to profit - that is derived from a customer during the course of that customer’s relationship with the company or organization. CLV is a great way to help executives conceptualize the financial upside of customer-centric strategies. One of the most prominent and respected thought leaders in the field of customer experience, Jeanne Bliss, often talks about how businesses should regard customers as assets, and customer lifetime value is a great way of positioning customers as assets because it associates a monetary figure with each customer. In episode 21, I interviewed Marnitz Van Heederden, who shared the inspiring story of how he kick started customer-centric change in his business by demonstrating customer value.
How to calculate CLV
To calculate this metric, one should look at the average profit yielded from each customer (or the revenue minus the costs) in a given year, multiplied by the average number of years that a customer is retained. If the relationships have a shorter time-frame, you could just as easily quantify this terms of weeks or months, though most businesses can and should look at these relationships from a long-term perspective, so I recommend years as the unit of measure in most cases.
CLV = average customer profit per year * average length of retention in years
So if the average customer generates $100 of profit for the company each year, and normal duration of the customer relationship (aka retention) is 2 years, the mean CLV among the company's customer base would be $200. It's not a stretch to see how this approach helps CX professionals position customers as assets, which is important if you want the business to start making customer-centric strategy decisions.

If you are stumped for how to quantify a profit figure for each customer, I suggest phone-a-friend to one of your colleagues in finance and ask for their help. You'll want to gather the average revenue figures and the ballpark operating cost for each customer relationship.

If the value of relationships is something that typically grows over time, you could also include this as a growth factor during the course of the average duration of the relationship.
CLV = average customer profit in year one * (1 + rate of growth in customer profit each year) ^ average length of retention in years
Best uses for this metric
Customer lifetime value isn't a magic number, but it does have a lot of potential applications, and can be very useful for demonstrating the ROI for overarching customer-centric strategies. Major department-level initiatives that impact customer spend, cost of maintaining the customer relationship and efforts that impact customer base growth or retention, should all roll up into CLV, so you can use this metric as a way to connect and unite broad customer-centric objectives into a bottom-line impact through CLV.

I'd suggest looking for ways to utilize this metric in dashboards that are assessed alongside financial results in major business performance or strategic reviews. If you can tie major business change efforts back to CLV as either a projection or a post-mortem, that's great. It will help executives and department leaders understand how their actions connect back to customer-centric strategy.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Fostering support for CX Strategy: interview with Marnitz Van Heerden – E21 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/fostering-support-for-cx-strategy-interview-with-marnitz-van-heerden-e21/ Thu, 03 Jan 2019 09:15:12 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1052 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/fostering-support-for-cx-strategy-interview-with-marnitz-van-heerden-e21/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/fostering-support-for-cx-strategy-interview-with-marnitz-van-heerden-e21/feed/ 0 Marnitz Van Heerden, the Group Head of Customer Experience a Hollard Insurance shares his perspective on how to realize CX strategy and influence change. Marnitz discusses how his approach to engaging stakeholders has changed with the business' CX evolution. Julia and Marnitz explore what it means to move beyond the numbers and help teams authentically engage with CX strategy and purpose. Julia shares her plan for episodes to kick off 2019.   Kicking the beehive 2.0 Marnitz is a CX leader at one of South Africa's largest Insurance companies and the #2 national provider of short term insurance. When he started his role at Hollard 8 years ago, CX was still considered a largely operational function. During his tenure at the company, he has driven the evolution of CX from operational to strategic, and most recently into a decentralized (or "federated") model, whereby CX is owned by business teams rather than by a dedicated central function. Marnitz has been successful in fostering buy-in for CX strategy, but this wasn't all sunshine and roses. Marnitz refers to this process as "pushing the boulder uphill", and he started by proving the numbers because in his words, "money talks". To do this, he positioned customers as assets, and then built business cases around CX strategy to attract, retain and grow relationships with customers. Early on, Marnitz recognized that the business case alone would not foster wide-scale adoption of CX, and that he would need to hone his stakeholder management and diplomacy skills if he wanted to see his CX strategy flourish. The SCARF model During our conversation, Marnitz shared several of his tactics for engaging with stakeholders to foster buy-in for CX. Customer experience management is new to many in the business world, and people are often resistant to change, so it's important for CX professionals to wear their "diplomat hat" when engaging with teams that are new to CX strategy. When Marnitz started off influencing change through the centralized CX team, he used the SCARF model to engender buy-in and drive change through the organization. This model addresses the most common needs and concerns in a work setting: Status Certainty Autonomy Relatedness Fairness By assuring team members that CX strategy would not erode these attributes, and by demonstrating how it could, in many cases, enhance and individual's experience through this framework, Marnitz and his team won over stakeholders and garnered widespread support as CX moved from an operational function within the COO's directive, to a strategic function within the marketing vertical. Transition to a federated approach Ultimately CX strategy and vision must be owned by the entire business, not by one team. Most recently, Marnitz has led Hollard through a transition to a decentralized approach to CX, meaning that customer experience management is defined and deployed by each business team within the organization. This transition required a different type of stakeholder engagement, as Marnitz was now aiming to engage buy-in and foster ownership among his peers. To do this, he led the process of helping the business teams define what good looks like so that they can truly own that definition and be accountable for the outcomes. Following this, he has pivoted to influencing change through supporting his colleagues as they implement CX strategy and their other goals. This has meant further refining his approach, which he now defines as an authentic relationship building approach. Inspiring CX strategy and change It was inspiring hearing how Marnitz has led Hollard through its CX evolution, and how he has grown through this journey as well. Marnitz's story started with a clear vision and strategy, and he started things by proving the value of CX and positioning customers as assets. In my upcoming CX Mini Masterclass episodes, I'll be exploring customer value and how you can help your business understand t... Marnitz Van Heerden, the Group Head of Customer Experience a Hollard Insurance shares his perspective on how to realize CX strategy and influence change. Marnitz discusses how his approach to engaging stakeholders has changed with the business’ CX evolution. Julia and Marnitz explore what it means to move beyond the numbers and help teams authentically engage with CX strategy and purpose. Julia shares her plan for episodes to kick off 2019.

 

Kicking the beehive 2.0

Marnitz is a CX leader at one of South Africa’s largest Insurance companies and the #2 national provider of short term insurance. When he started his role at Hollard 8 years ago, CX was still considered a largely operational function. During his tenure at the company, he has driven the evolution of CX from operational to strategic, and most recently into a decentralized (or “federated”) model, whereby CX is owned by business teams rather than by a dedicated central function.

Marnitz has been successful in fostering buy-in for CX strategy, but this wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Marnitz refers to this process as “pushing the boulder uphill”, and he started by proving the numbers because in his words, “money talks”. To do this, he positioned customers as assets, and then built business cases around CX strategy to attract, retain and grow relationships with customers.

Early on, Marnitz recognized that the business case alone would not foster wide-scale adoption of CX, and that he would need to hone his stakeholder management and diplomacy skills if he wanted to see his CX strategy flourish.

The SCARF model

During our conversation, Marnitz shared several of his tactics for engaging with stakeholders to foster buy-in for CX. Customer experience management is new to many in the business world, and people are often resistant to change, so it’s important for CX professionals to wear their “diplomat hat” when engaging with teams that are new to CX strategy.

When Marnitz started off influencing change through the centralized CX team, he used the SCARF model to engender buy-in and drive change through the organization. This model addresses the most common needs and concerns in a work setting:

  • Status
  • Certainty
  • Autonomy
  • Relatedness
  • Fairness

By assuring team members that CX strategy would not erode these attributes, and by demonstrating how it could, in many cases, enhance and individual’s experience through this framework, Marnitz and his team won over stakeholders and garnered widespread support as CX moved from an operational function within the COO’s directive, to a strategic function within the marketing vertical.

Transition to a federated approach

Ultimately CX strategy and vision must be owned by the entire business, not by one team. Most recently, Marnitz has led Hollard through a transition to a decentralized approach to CX, meaning that customer experience management is defined and deployed by each business team within the organization.

This transition required a different type of stakeholder engagement, as Marnitz was now aiming to engage buy-in and foster ownership among his peers. To do this, he led the process of helping the business teams define what good looks like so that they can truly own that definition and be accountable for the outcomes. Following this, he has pivoted to influencing change through supporting his colleagues as they implement CX strategy and their other goals. This has meant further refining his approach, which he now defines as an authentic relationship building approach.

Inspiring CX strategy and change

It was inspiring hearing how Marnitz has led Hollard through its CX evolution, and how he has grown through this journey as well. Marnitz’s story started with a clear vision and strategy, and he started things by proving the value of CX and positioning customers as assets. In my upcoming CX Mini Masterclass episodes, I’ll be exploring customer value and how you can help your business understand this business case and make decisions that will benefit CX in the long run.

Episode Sponsor

This episode was sponsored by CX University, a CX training company offering a broad array of CX learning options, including e-learning modules and CCXP practice exams. CXU is an accredited resource and training provider and their resources and they offer a flexible and affordable monthly subscription model. Listeners of this CX podcast can get 10% off their first month’s subscription by entering the discount code PODCAST10 at checkout.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business define customer experience strategy that delivers results, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

]]>
Marnitz Van Heerden, the Group Head of Customer Experience a Hollard Insurance shares his perspective on how to realize CX strategy and influence change. Marnitz discusses how his approach to engaging stakeholders has changed with the business' CX evol... Marnitz Van Heerden, the Group Head of Customer Experience a Hollard Insurance shares his perspective on how to realize CX strategy and influence change. Marnitz discusses how his approach to engaging stakeholders has changed with the business' CX evolution. Julia and Marnitz explore what it means to move beyond the numbers and help teams authentically engage with CX strategy and purpose. Julia shares her plan for episodes to kick off 2019.

 
Kicking the beehive 2.0
Marnitz is a CX leader at one of South Africa's largest Insurance companies and the #2 national provider of short term insurance. When he started his role at Hollard 8 years ago, CX was still considered a largely operational function. During his tenure at the company, he has driven the evolution of CX from operational to strategic, and most recently into a decentralized (or "federated") model, whereby CX is owned by business teams rather than by a dedicated central function.

Marnitz has been successful in fostering buy-in for CX strategy, but this wasn't all sunshine and roses. Marnitz refers to this process as "pushing the boulder uphill", and he started by proving the numbers because in his words, "money talks". To do this, he positioned customers as assets, and then built business cases around CX strategy to attract, retain and grow relationships with customers.

Early on, Marnitz recognized that the business case alone would not foster wide-scale adoption of CX, and that he would need to hone his stakeholder management and diplomacy skills if he wanted to see his CX strategy flourish.
The SCARF model
During our conversation, Marnitz shared several of his tactics for engaging with stakeholders to foster buy-in for CX. Customer experience management is new to many in the business world, and people are often resistant to change, so it's important for CX professionals to wear their "diplomat hat" when engaging with teams that are new to CX strategy.

When Marnitz started off influencing change through the centralized CX team, he used the SCARF model to engender buy-in and drive change through the organization. This model addresses the most common needs and concerns in a work setting:

* Status
* Certainty
* Autonomy
* Relatedness
* Fairness

By assuring team members that CX strategy would not erode these attributes, and by demonstrating how it could, in many cases, enhance and individual's experience through this framework, Marnitz and his team won over stakeholders and garnered widespread support as CX moved from an operational function within the COO's directive, to a strategic function within the marketing vertical.
Transition to a federated approach
Ultimately CX strategy and vision must be owned by the entire business, not by one team. Most recently, Marnitz has led Hollard through a transition to a decentralized approach to CX, meaning that customer experience management is defined and deployed by each business team within the organization.

This transition required a different type of stakeholder engagement, as Marnitz was now aiming to engage buy-in and foster ownership among his peers. To do this, he led the process of helping the business teams define what good looks like so that they can truly own that definition and be accountable for the outcomes. Following this, he has pivoted to influencing change through supporting his colleagues as they implement CX strategy and their other goals. This has meant further refining his approach, which he now defines as an authentic relationship building approach.
Inspiring CX strategy and change
It was inspiring hearing how Marnitz has led Hollard through its CX evolution, and how he has grown through this journey as well.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
How to map the customer journey: CX Mini Masterclass – E20 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/how-to-map-the-customer-journey-cx-mini-masterclass-e20/ Thu, 27 Dec 2018 10:43:49 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1050 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/how-to-map-the-customer-journey-cx-mini-masterclass-e20/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/how-to-map-the-customer-journey-cx-mini-masterclass-e20/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass is the third of a 3-part installment on the topic of the customer journey mapping. Building on the insights from parts 1 and 2, show host and CX expert Julia Ahlfeldt explores best practices for how to map the customer journey. She shares practical ideas for how to keep teams focused while leaving space for creativity as you map the journey. This episode will set you on the path to leading a great journey mapping session that will foster buy-in and support for customer-centric change. Creating the mosaic Journey mapping is like creating a mosaic. When you think about how to map the customer journey, approach it as a process of bringing together lots of different pieces of information to create a bigger picture. The key is to understand both the bigger picture that you are aiming for and the "tiles" that you'll need to gather to create your mosaic. (Incidentally, most team use post-it notes to gather information, so I find that the mosaic/tile analogy works quite well as a way to explain the process to team members.) As the smaller pieces of information come together, the map will begin to take shape and the "picture" will emerge. You may want to adjust your vision of the output as things evolve, but it is really helpful to start with some idea of the desired end result. The very first step is to identify the type of map that you are aiming for (if not, check out episode 18 which covers the different types of maps, as this step is key to the success of your mapping efforts). Once you've done this, think about how your map will be used and what visual representation will be most useful for your team. There are so many different formats, and no single right answer, so look for examples that will resonate with your audience and fulfill the desired use of the map. As an example of the inspirations that you can easily find, here are several sample maps that I found online: These maps are quite different, and would have distinct uses. Whichever map you choose, remember to keep it simple and always positioned from the customer's perspective. Gather your mosaic tiles Once you have a vision for your map, understand what types of information you'll need to gather. These are your mosaic tiles. Again, this needs to align with the intended use of you map, but common types of information often include customer actions, emotions, sentiments, touch points, moments of truth, expectations, outcomes, etc. I often start by creating a grid layout with the journey phases at the top and the information categories on the vertical axis, as a framework to start gathering and categorizing your journey data. If you are unsure about how to create this layout, don't worry! I've provided a sample template that you can download and use as a guideline for mapping. Click here to download my journey mapping template Tips for how to map the customer journey Once you have your plan in place, it's time to engage with teams and make the journey mapping happen. Here are some tips and suggestions for how to make this engagement as successful as possible. Provide clear direction - Give your colleagues some structure to work with, and be there to gently guide them back on track when they start looking at things from the business' point of view. This will happen. Give creative licence - Allow team members to be creative and be flexible with how the map may evolve as your colleagues provide input Share customer insights - Make sure that you have customer insights at the ready and that your persona and empathy map are front-and-center as a reminder of the lens through which the journey should be developed Assemble the right supplies - Set the stage for journey mapping and make sure that you have plenty of post-it notes, markers, paper, whiteboard space, etc. Have fun! - All work and no play makes for a boring journey map. This is your time to engage teams with the customer, This CX Mini Masterclass is the third of a 3-part installment on the topic of the customer journey mapping. Building on the insights from parts 1 and 2, show host and CX expert Julia Ahlfeldt explores best practices for how to map the customer journey. She shares practical ideas for how to keep teams focused while leaving space for creativity as you map the journey. This episode will set you on the path to leading a great journey mapping session that will foster buy-in and support for customer-centric change.

Creating the mosaic

Journey mapping is like creating a mosaic. When you think about how to map the customer journey, approach it as a process of bringing together lots of different pieces of information to create a bigger picture. The key is to understand both the bigger picture that you are aiming for and the “tiles” that you’ll need to gather to create your mosaic. (Incidentally, most team use post-it notes to gather information, so I find that the mosaic/tile analogy works quite well as a way to explain the process to team members.) As the smaller pieces of information come together, the map will begin to take shape and the “picture” will emerge. You may want to adjust your vision of the output as things evolve, but it is really helpful to start with some idea of the desired end result.

The very first step is to identify the type of map that you are aiming for (if not, check out episode 18 which covers the different types of maps, as this step is key to the success of your mapping efforts). Once you’ve done this, think about how your map will be used and what visual representation will be most useful for your team. There are so many different formats, and no single right answer, so look for examples that will resonate with your audience and fulfill the desired use of the map.

As an example of the inspirations that you can easily find, here are several sample maps that I found online:

These maps are quite different, and would have distinct uses. Whichever map you choose, remember to keep it simple and always positioned from the customer’s perspective.

Gather your mosaic tiles

Once you have a vision for your map, understand what types of information you’ll need to gather. These are your mosaic tiles. Again, this needs to align with the intended use of you map, but common types of information often include customer actions, emotions, sentiments, touch points, moments of truth, expectations, outcomes, etc.

I often start by creating a grid layout with the journey phases at the top and the information categories on the vertical axis, as a framework to start gathering and categorizing your journey data. If you are unsure about how to create this layout, don’t worry! I’ve provided a sample template that you can download and use as a guideline for mapping.

Click here to download my journey mapping template

Tips for how to map the customer journey

Once you have your plan in place, it’s time to engage with teams and make the journey mapping happen. Here are some tips and suggestions for how to make this engagement as successful as possible.

  • Provide clear direction – Give your colleagues some structure to work with, and be there to gently guide them back on track when they start looking at things from the business’ point of view. This will happen.
  • Give creative licence – Allow team members to be creative and be flexible with how the map may evolve as your colleagues provide input
  • Share customer insights – Make sure that you have customer insights at the ready and that your persona and empathy map are front-and-center as a reminder of the lens through which the journey should be developed
  • Assemble the right supplies – Set the stage for journey mapping and make sure that you have plenty of post-it notes, markers, paper, whiteboard space, etc.
  • Have fun! – All work and no play makes for a boring journey map. This is your time to engage teams with the customer, so all the better if you can make this an enjoyable experience.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when figuring out how to map the customer journey, especially if this is your first time making a map. Journey maps are living documents and should evolve with the needs of customers. Enjoy the process and don’t lose your way in the pursuit of perfection.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including journey mapping workshops!) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass is the third of a 3-part installment on the topic of the customer journey mapping. Building on the insights from parts 1 and 2, show host and CX expert Julia Ahlfeldt explores best practices for how to map the customer journey....
Creating the mosaic
Journey mapping is like creating a mosaic. When you think about how to map the customer journey, approach it as a process of bringing together lots of different pieces of information to create a bigger picture. The key is to understand both the bigger picture that you are aiming for and the "tiles" that you'll need to gather to create your mosaic. (Incidentally, most team use post-it notes to gather information, so I find that the mosaic/tile analogy works quite well as a way to explain the process to team members.) As the smaller pieces of information come together, the map will begin to take shape and the "picture" will emerge. You may want to adjust your vision of the output as things evolve, but it is really helpful to start with some idea of the desired end result.

The very first step is to identify the type of map that you are aiming for (if not, check out episode 18 which covers the different types of maps, as this step is key to the success of your mapping efforts). Once you've done this, think about how your map will be used and what visual representation will be most useful for your team. There are so many different formats, and no single right answer, so look for examples that will resonate with your audience and fulfill the desired use of the map.

As an example of the inspirations that you can easily find, here are several sample maps that I found online:



These maps are quite different, and would have distinct uses. Whichever map you choose, remember to keep it simple and always positioned from the customer's perspective.
Gather your mosaic tiles
Once you have a vision for your map, understand what types of information you'll need to gather. These are your mosaic tiles. Again, this needs to align with the intended use of you map, but common types of information often include customer actions, emotions, sentiments, touch points, moments of truth, expectations, outcomes, etc.

I often start by creating a grid layout with the journey phases at the top and the information categories on the vertical axis, as a framework to start gathering and categorizing your journey data. If you are unsure about how to create this layout, don't worry! I've provided a sample template that you can download and use as a guideline for mapping.
Click here to download my journey mapping template

Tips for how to map the customer journey
Once you have your plan in place, it's time to engage with teams and make the journey mapping happen. Here are some tips and suggestions for how to make this engagement as successful as possible.

* Provide clear direction - Give your colleagues some structure to work with, and be there to gently guide them back on track when they start looking at things from the business' point of view. This will happen.
* Give creative licence - Allow team members to be creative and be flexible with how the map may evolve as your colleagues provide input
* Share customer insights - Make sure that you have customer insights at the ready and that your persona and ...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Prepare for customer journey mapping: CX Mini Masterclass – E19 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/prepare-for-customer-journey-mapping-cx-mini-masterclass-e19/ Thu, 20 Dec 2018 17:02:05 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1047 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/prepare-for-customer-journey-mapping-cx-mini-masterclass-e19/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/prepare-for-customer-journey-mapping-cx-mini-masterclass-e19/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass is the second of a 3-part installment on the topic of the customer journey mapping. Show host and CX expert Julia Ahlfeldt shares practical tips and ideas for how to prepare for journey mapping, including planning what data sources you'll need and how to structure your mapping team. This episode will help you lay the foundation for a successful journey mapping effort that will yield the best possible outcomes. Set the stage for customer journey mapping People often want to dive straight into journey mapping, and that enthusiasm is great, but if you want to get the most our of your journey mapping efforts, it's best to do a bit of preparation. The good news is that this preparation is fairly straightforward, and needn't be overwhelming. Here are the steps you need to take to prepare for building a great journey map. Note that these steps assume that you've already decided on the type of journey map that you are looking to create. If you haven't already done that, but sure to go back and check out episode 18, and the show notes, which will help you clarify which type of map is best suited for your needs. Once you've sorted that out, you can roll up your sleeves and get planning. Identify whose journey you are mapping Journeys are about the experiences of the end user. You want to create a visualization of experiences from the customer's perspective, not the company's. To do this, it's imperative that you identify a user. This could be a fictional representation of the larger customer base or a particular segment. I suggest making this "customer" real and relate-able by developing a customer persona that will remind you and your mapping team whose journey you are mapping. Bring in the voice of the customer Since journey mapping is all about looking at the experiences from the customer's perspective, it's important to understand that perspective. Unless you have the luxury of bringing real customers into the mapping process (which is great if you can do it, but uncommon in my experience), you'll need to incorporate their perspective through some sort of proxy. Usually this takes the form of customer data and insights. Here are some suggestions on data sources that are helpful for establishing the voice of the customer: Social media - Great for understanding sentiment, attitudes and motivations throughout the journey Previous customer research - Helpful for understanding what customer do/don't like Focus groups - Can help clarify opinions about specific aspects of the journey and what customers are thinking/feeling before and after interactions Operational activity data - Clarifies how customers navigate various touchpoints (note that this only works for touchpoints that generate a data trail, so it will rarely give you a full picture, but is helpful nonetheless) You don't need all of this data to map the journey, but you do need some form of insight from the customer's perspective. Ideally, enough to make an empathy map, which will give your team guidance on what customers are thinking and feeling throughout the journey. Click here to download my empathy map template If you don't have enough information to build a basic persona and share some insights about the customer's perspective, go out and gather it before you dive into mapping, or you'll end up with a very inward-looking map. Assemble your journey mapping dream team Once you have your customer insights, it's time to think about your collaborators for the journey mapping. You'll want to work with team members who will help you create the best map and be partners when it comes time to socialize the outputs within your organization, so choose carefully. You will probably want team member with firsthand insight into the customer experience, team members who play a major role in defining and delivering experiences, and team members who will be able to help you drive customer-centric change. This CX Mini Masterclass is the second of a 3-part installment on the topic of the customer journey mapping. Show host and CX expert Julia Ahlfeldt shares practical tips and ideas for how to prepare for journey mapping, including planning what data sources you’ll need and how to structure your mapping team. This episode will help you lay the foundation for a successful journey mapping effort that will yield the best possible outcomes.

Set the stage for customer journey mapping

People often want to dive straight into journey mapping, and that enthusiasm is great, but if you want to get the most our of your journey mapping efforts, it’s best to do a bit of preparation. The good news is that this preparation is fairly straightforward, and needn’t be overwhelming. Here are the steps you need to take to prepare for building a great journey map.

Note that these steps assume that you’ve already decided on the type of journey map that you are looking to create. If you haven’t already done that, but sure to go back and check out episode 18, and the show notes, which will help you clarify which type of map is best suited for your needs. Once you’ve sorted that out, you can roll up your sleeves and get planning.

Identify whose journey you are mapping

Journeys are about the experiences of the end user. You want to create a visualization of experiences from the customer’s perspective, not the company’s. To do this, it’s imperative that you identify a user. This could be a fictional representation of the larger customer base or a particular segment. I suggest making this “customer” real and relate-able by developing a customer persona that will remind you and your mapping team whose journey you are mapping.

Bring in the voice of the customer

Since journey mapping is all about looking at the experiences from the customer’s perspective, it’s important to understand that perspective. Unless you have the luxury of bringing real customers into the mapping process (which is great if you can do it, but uncommon in my experience), you’ll need to incorporate their perspective through some sort of proxy. Usually this takes the form of customer data and insights. Here are some suggestions on data sources that are helpful for establishing the voice of the customer:

  • Social media – Great for understanding sentiment, attitudes and motivations throughout the journey
  • Previous customer research – Helpful for understanding what customer do/don’t like
  • Focus groups – Can help clarify opinions about specific aspects of the journey and what customers are thinking/feeling before and after interactions
  • Operational activity data – Clarifies how customers navigate various touchpoints (note that this only works for touchpoints that generate a data trail, so it will rarely give you a full picture, but is helpful nonetheless)

You don’t need all of this data to map the journey, but you do need some form of insight from the customer’s perspective. Ideally, enough to make an empathy map, which will give your team guidance on what customers are thinking and feeling throughout the journey.

Click here to download my empathy map template

If you don’t have enough information to build a basic persona and share some insights about the customer’s perspective, go out and gather it before you dive into mapping, or you’ll end up with a very inward-looking map.

Assemble your journey mapping dream team

Once you have your customer insights, it’s time to think about your collaborators for the journey mapping. You’ll want to work with team members who will help you create the best map and be partners when it comes time to socialize the outputs within your organization, so choose carefully. You will probably want team member with firsthand insight into the customer experience, team members who play a major role in defining and delivering experiences, and team members who will be able to help you drive customer-centric change.

If you have plentiful information about the journey and a concise group of journey mapping collaborators in mind, you might be able to structure your journey mapping efforts as a “sprint” workshop with a small group. Set aside a day or two to create your first draft of the map with this small team. If you would like to engage a large group of collaborators, I suggest developing your map as an iterative process. Think about building your draft map on the wall of a boardroom and then inviting teams to contribute individually over the course of a week or two. Both of these approaches work, but are best suited to different scenarios.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including journey mapping workshops!) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass is the second of a 3-part installment on the topic of the customer journey mapping. Show host and CX expert Julia Ahlfeldt shares practical tips and ideas for how to prepare for journey mapping,
Set the stage for customer journey mapping
People often want to dive straight into journey mapping, and that enthusiasm is great, but if you want to get the most our of your journey mapping efforts, it's best to do a bit of preparation. The good news is that this preparation is fairly straightforward, and needn't be overwhelming. Here are the steps you need to take to prepare for building a great journey map.

Note that these steps assume that you've already decided on the type of journey map that you are looking to create. If you haven't already done that, but sure to go back and check out episode 18, and the show notes, which will help you clarify which type of map is best suited for your needs. Once you've sorted that out, you can roll up your sleeves and get planning.
Identify whose journey you are mapping
Journeys are about the experiences of the end user. You want to create a visualization of experiences from the customer's perspective, not the company's. To do this, it's imperative that you identify a user. This could be a fictional representation of the larger customer base or a particular segment. I suggest making this "customer" real and relate-able by developing a customer persona that will remind you and your mapping team whose journey you are mapping.
Bring in the voice of the customer
Since journey mapping is all about looking at the experiences from the customer's perspective, it's important to understand that perspective. Unless you have the luxury of bringing real customers into the mapping process (which is great if you can do it, but uncommon in my experience), you'll need to incorporate their perspective through some sort of proxy. Usually this takes the form of customer data and insights. Here are some suggestions on data sources that are helpful for establishing the voice of the customer:

* Social media - Great for understanding sentiment, attitudes and motivations throughout the journey
* Previous customer research - Helpful for understanding what customer do/don't like
* Focus groups - Can help clarify opinions about specific aspects of the journey and what customers are thinking/feeling before and after interactions
* Operational activity data - Clarifies how customers navigate various touchpoints (note that this only works for touchpoints that generate a data trail, so it will rarely give you a full picture, but is helpful nonetheless)

You don't need all of this data to map the journey, but you do need some form of insight from the customer's perspective. Ideally, enough to make an empathy map, which will give your team guidance on what customers are thinking and feeling throughout the journey.
Click here to download my empathy map template
If you don't have enough information to build a basic persona and share some insights about the customer's perspective, go out and gather it before you dive into mapping, or you'll end up with a very inward-looking map.
Assemble your journey mapping dream team
Once you have your customer insights, it's time to think about your collaborators for the journey mapping. You'll want to work with team members who will help you create the best map and be partners when it comes time to socialize the outputs within y...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Customer journey map – start here: CX Mini Masterclass – E18 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-journey-map-start-here-cx-mini-masterclass-e18/ Thu, 13 Dec 2018 16:02:53 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1037 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-journey-map-start-here-cx-mini-masterclass-e18/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-journey-map-start-here-cx-mini-masterclass-e18/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass is the first of a 3-part installment on the topic of the customer journey map. Show host and CX expert Julia Ahlfeldt provides an overview of the different types of maps, the kind of information that is normally included in a journey map, and how maps can be utilized to help organizations achieve their customer-centric goals. This episode will help you cut through the confusion and prepare for the first step in creating a customer journey map. The first step to creating a customer journey map Customer journey mapping is a major buzz word in the business world, and for good reason. Journey maps are an important strategic focal point for businesses that are looking to affect customer-centric change. Why? Well, because in order to improve customer experience, you have to understand the experience so that you can clarify what's working and what's not. It's also important to establish a common language to that teams can effectively collaborate around solutions, and journey maps help with just that. In my previous CX Mini Masterclass episode, I explored the definitions of touchpoints, experiences, and journeys. If you are interested in the conceptual theory behind journey maps, I'd highly suggest that you check out that episode and the accompanying shownotes, here. This episode takes you through the first step towards creating a journey map, which is clarifying which type of map is best suited for your needs. The different types of maps There are many different kinds of maps. I've broken them down into 3 main categories and highlighted the potential use for each: Customer lifecycle map - This is the highest level of customer journey map. It explores a customer's experience fulfilling a need in their life, and the various stages of doing so. Ideally, a lifecycle map should fit on one page and be something that anyone in the business can pick up ans easily understand. If an organization has never mapped the journey before, or is documented the customer experience as part of launching a new CX function or rolling out a new brand-wide customer strategy, I typically suggest that they start with the customer lifecycle. The sub-journey map - These journeys are essentially a zoomed-in view of 1 or 2 phases of the lifecycle map. These maps can become a bit more granular and may ultimately extend onto a couple of pages, but it’s important to keep the detail under control so that the final output isn’t overwhelming for readers. For teams that have already mapped the customer lifecycle, are looking to understand a specific sequence of experiences in more detail or trying to pinpoint opportunities to improve customer interactions, sub-journey maps are a great option User experience map - These maps are the most detailed and granular of the experience visualizations. User experience maps help you define your taxonomy and interface with a customer by understanding the "flow" of the various tasks the user will undertake through different touchpoints. I’ve included UX maps as a category of journey maps, but this is where experience visualizations can become more inward looking. They are often used when a team is launching a new experience and can be a great reference point for wireframes, functional specifications and content strategies Choosing your map Before you and your team dive into journey mapping, it's important to clarify your motivation for creating a customer journey map. Reflect on why you want to create the map and how you think it will be used. There is often a temptation to dive into sub journey maps or UX maps, but if your organization hasn't clarified the high level journey, think about doing this first. It will help set the tone for future mapping efforts. If your organization has already made a lifecycle map, think about the purpose for your next level of map and that will help you steer things in the right direction. If you are curious about what to do next, stay tuned... This CX Mini Masterclass is the first of a 3-part installment on the topic of the customer journey map. Show host and CX expert Julia Ahlfeldt provides an overview of the different types of maps, the kind of information that is normally included in a journey map, and how maps can be utilized to help organizations achieve their customer-centric goals. This episode will help you cut through the confusion and prepare for the first step in creating a customer journey map.

The first step to creating a customer journey map

Customer journey mapping is a major buzz word in the business world, and for good reason. Journey maps are an important strategic focal point for businesses that are looking to affect customer-centric change. Why? Well, because in order to improve customer experience, you have to understand the experience so that you can clarify what’s working and what’s not. It’s also important to establish a common language to that teams can effectively collaborate around solutions, and journey maps help with just that.

In my previous CX Mini Masterclass episode, I explored the definitions of touchpoints, experiences, and journeys. If you are interested in the conceptual theory behind journey maps, I’d highly suggest that you check out that episode and the accompanying shownotes, here. This episode takes you through the first step towards creating a journey map, which is clarifying which type of map is best suited for your needs.

The different types of maps

There are many different kinds of maps. I’ve broken them down into 3 main categories and highlighted the potential use for each:

  • Customer lifecycle map – This is the highest level of customer journey map. It explores a customer’s experience fulfilling a need in their life, and the various stages of doing so. Ideally, a lifecycle map should fit on one page and be something that anyone in the business can pick up ans easily understand. If an organization has never mapped the journey before, or is documented the customer experience as part of launching a new CX function or rolling out a new brand-wide customer strategy, I typically suggest that they start with the customer lifecycle.
  • The sub-journey map – These journeys are essentially a zoomed-in view of 1 or 2 phases of the lifecycle map. These maps can become a bit more granular and may ultimately extend onto a couple of pages, but it’s important to keep the detail under control so that the final output isn’t overwhelming for readers. For teams that have already mapped the customer lifecycle, are looking to understand a specific sequence of experiences in more detail or trying to pinpoint opportunities to improve customer interactions, sub-journey maps are a great option
  • User experience map – These maps are the most detailed and granular of the experience visualizations. User experience maps help you define your taxonomy and interface with a customer by understanding the “flow” of the various tasks the user will undertake through different touchpoints. I’ve included UX maps as a category of journey maps, but this is where experience visualizations can become more inward looking. They are often used when a team is launching a new experience and can be a great reference point for wireframes, functional specifications and content strategies

Choosing your map

Before you and your team dive into journey mapping, it’s important to clarify your motivation for creating a customer journey map. Reflect on why you want to create the map and how you think it will be used. There is often a temptation to dive into sub journey maps or UX maps, but if your organization hasn’t clarified the high level journey, think about doing this first. It will help set the tone for future mapping efforts.

If your organization has already made a lifecycle map, think about the purpose for your next level of map and that will help you steer things in the right direction.

If you are curious about what to do next, stay tuned…my next 2 mini masterclasses for the month of December will unpack just that! These episodes will be released each Thursday.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including journey mapping workshops!) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass is the first of a 3-part installment on the topic of the customer journey map. Show host and CX expert Julia Ahlfeldt provides an overview of the different types of maps, the kind of information that is normally included in a j...
The first step to creating a customer journey map
Customer journey mapping is a major buzz word in the business world, and for good reason. Journey maps are an important strategic focal point for businesses that are looking to affect customer-centric change. Why? Well, because in order to improve customer experience, you have to understand the experience so that you can clarify what's working and what's not. It's also important to establish a common language to that teams can effectively collaborate around solutions, and journey maps help with just that.

In my previous CX Mini Masterclass episode, I explored the definitions of touchpoints, experiences, and journeys. If you are interested in the conceptual theory behind journey maps, I'd highly suggest that you check out that episode and the accompanying shownotes, here. This episode takes you through the first step towards creating a journey map, which is clarifying which type of map is best suited for your needs.
The different types of maps
There are many different kinds of maps. I've broken them down into 3 main categories and highlighted the potential use for each:

* Customer lifecycle map - This is the highest level of customer journey map. It explores a customer's experience fulfilling a need in their life, and the various stages of doing so. Ideally, a lifecycle map should fit on one page and be something that anyone in the business can pick up ans easily understand. If an organization has never mapped the journey before, or is documented the customer experience as part of launching a new CX function or rolling out a new brand-wide customer strategy, I typically suggest that they start with the customer lifecycle.
* The sub-journey map - These journeys are essentially a zoomed-in view of 1 or 2 phases of the lifecycle map. These maps can become a bit more granular and may ultimately extend onto a couple of pages, but it’s important to keep the detail under control so that the final output isn’t overwhelming for readers. For teams that have already mapped the customer lifecycle, are looking to understand a specific sequence of experiences in more detail or trying to pinpoint opportunities to improve customer interactions, sub-journey maps are a great option
* User experience map - These maps are the most detailed and granular of the experience visualizations. User experience maps help you define your taxonomy and interface with a customer by understanding the "flow" of the various tasks the user will undertake through different touchpoints. I’ve included UX maps as a category of journey maps, but this is where experience visualizations can become more inward looking. They are often used when a team is launching a new experience and can be a great reference point for wireframes, functional specifications and content strategies

Choosing your map
Before you and your team dive into journey mapping, it's important to clarify your motivation for creating a customer journey map. Reflect on why you want to create the map and how you think it will be used. There is often a temptation to dive into sub journey maps or UX maps, but if your organization hasn't clarified the high level journey, think about doing this first. It will help set the tone for future mapping efforts.

]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Airline customer experience management: interview with Iain Meaker – E17 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/airline-customer-experience-management-interview-with-iain-meaker-e17/ Thu, 06 Dec 2018 14:41:03 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1021 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/airline-customer-experience-management-interview-with-iain-meaker-e17/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/airline-customer-experience-management-interview-with-iain-meaker-e17/feed/ 0 Iain Meaker, the Executive Manager for Tourism & Hospitality at Comair/British Airways shares his thoughts on what's unique about airline customer experience management and the broader travel industry. Iain discusses how the organization's purpose statement of "we lift you up" permeates the business and provides a platform for employee and shareholder engagement. Julia and Iain explore how Comair has grown and innovated around the needs of customers and what it means to operate multiple brands under one roof. Julia shares her plan for more CX Mini Masterclass episodes during the rest of December. Airline customer experience management isn't for the faint of heart The travel experience is an incredibly relatable one. We all travel, whether it's our daily commute or a flight to a holiday destination, moving from point A to point B is a universal human experience. Given the breadth of consumer travel, it means that brands in this industry need to service the full spectrum of customers and face an endless set of expectations to live up to. Comair is in the travel business, with one of the most complex forms of travel - airline travel - at the core of their offering. The organization operates British Airways in South Africa, along with a regional discount carrier and package holiday provider, Kulula. The brand also operates the highly successful SLOW lounges, a luxury lounge experience available to premium BA fliers and through selected partner businesses. Among consumer travel experiences, the air travel experience can be a particularly difficult one to deliver. Not only do brands have to face a broad spectrum of consumer expectations, they also have to contend with factors like weather and 3rd party providers, that are out of their direct control. And when air travel goes wrong, it can elicit an emotionally-charged response from consumers. After all, we normally travel to get somewhere, not just because we enjoy being in transit, so when things don't go to plan, it can impact our lives and be very upsetting. For this reason, airline customer experience management isn't for the faint of heart, and I take my hat off to those brands that are surviving, and in the case of Comair, thriving. Customer-led innovation Part of Comair's recipe for success is their ability to think laterally innovate around customer needs, even if that means expanding beyond the confines of the traditional airline value proposition. Comair's SLOW lounge is a prime example of this. The organization launched its own brand of lounges, and has expanded the experience to include a co-working space and an open-to-the public fine dining restaurant next to their SLOW in the city lounge (which isn't even at an airport - it's in Sandton, Johannesburg's financial center). The evolution of this offer was inspired by the needs of customers. The Cape Town - Johannesburg flight route is one of the top 10 busiest in the world. There are many customers transiting between these two cities, and Comair identified the need for an "office away from the office". It's pretty innovative for an airline to get into the business of co-working spaces, but Comair's lounges have been a huge hit with customers. Many brands under one roof Comair has the added challenge of operating many brands under one roof, especially since these brands serve different segments of the market. The SLOW lounge is very clearly a premium offer, while Kulula is more akin to a discount carrier like Southwest Airlines in the US. Without a strong element of cohesion, it would be easy for an organization operating such diverse brands to feel that it had "multiple personalities", but Comair has avoided this through its uniting purpose statement of "we lift you up". It's a mantra that permeates all of their brand strategies and operations, including the company culture and employee engagement. Employee engagement is a huge area of focus for customer-centric brands. Iain Meaker, the Executive Manager for Tourism & Hospitality at Comair/British Airways shares his thoughts on what’s unique about airline customer experience management and the broader travel industry. Iain discusses how the organization’s purpose statement of “we lift you up” permeates the business and provides a platform for employee and shareholder engagement. Julia and Iain explore how Comair has grown and innovated around the needs of customers and what it means to operate multiple brands under one roof. Julia shares her plan for more CX Mini Masterclass episodes during the rest of December.

Airline customer experience management isn’t for the faint of heart

The travel experience is an incredibly relatable one. We all travel, whether it’s our daily commute or a flight to a holiday destination, moving from point A to point B is a universal human experience. Given the breadth of consumer travel, it means that brands in this industry need to service the full spectrum of customers and face an endless set of expectations to live up to. Comair is in the travel business, with one of the most complex forms of travel – airline travel – at the core of their offering. The organization operates British Airways in South Africa, along with a regional discount carrier and package holiday provider, Kulula. The brand also operates the highly successful SLOW lounges, a luxury lounge experience available to premium BA fliers and through selected partner businesses.

Among consumer travel experiences, the air travel experience can be a particularly difficult one to deliver. Not only do brands have to face a broad spectrum of consumer expectations, they also have to contend with factors like weather and 3rd party providers, that are out of their direct control.

And when air travel goes wrong, it can elicit an emotionally-charged response from consumers. After all, we normally travel to get somewhere, not just because we enjoy being in transit, so when things don’t go to plan, it can impact our lives and be very upsetting. For this reason, airline customer experience management isn’t for the faint of heart, and I take my hat off to those brands that are surviving, and in the case of Comair, thriving.

Customer-led innovation

Part of Comair’s recipe for success is their ability to think laterally innovate around customer needs, even if that means expanding beyond the confines of the traditional airline value proposition. Comair’s SLOW lounge is a prime example of this. The organization launched its own brand of lounges, and has expanded the experience to include a co-working space and an open-to-the public fine dining restaurant next to their SLOW in the city lounge (which isn’t even at an airport – it’s in Sandton, Johannesburg’s financial center).

The evolution of this offer was inspired by the needs of customers. The Cape Town – Johannesburg flight route is one of the top 10 busiest in the world. There are many customers transiting between these two cities, and Comair identified the need for an “office away from the office”. It’s pretty innovative for an airline to get into the business of co-working spaces, but Comair’s lounges have been a huge hit with customers.

Many brands under one roof

Comair has the added challenge of operating many brands under one roof, especially since these brands serve different segments of the market. The SLOW lounge is very clearly a premium offer, while Kulula is more akin to a discount carrier like Southwest Airlines in the US. Without a strong element of cohesion, it would be easy for an organization operating such diverse brands to feel that it had “multiple personalities”, but Comair has avoided this through its uniting purpose statement of “we lift you up”. It’s a mantra that permeates all of their brand strategies and operations, including the company culture and employee engagement.

Employee engagement is a huge area of focus for customer-centric brands. As a customer experience professional, I find that my CX strategy advisory work often circles back to team culture and accountability, so it should should come as no surprise that a leading customer-centric travel brand like Comair has employee engagement as a key area of focus. (For more on employee engagement, check out my conversation with Jason Bradshaw, Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia in episode 12.)

Fostering shareholder support

Comair’s success has been aided by their shareholder support for customer experience. Time and time again, I speak with executives who are struggling to implement CX management due to a lack of shareholder support. Without investor and board-level buy-in CX initiatives will flounder or be sidelined in favor of strategies that deliver short term results (sometimes at the expense of brand integrity or long term customer loyalty). Comair has engaged its shareholders to support CX, and the leadership team has continually made the case for investment in the evolution of Comair’s various customer journeys. Look no further than the organization’s 2018 annual report, which includes just about as much emphasis on customers and other stakeholders as I’ve ever seen. This, alongside financial results that are the proof in the pudding: Comair has an unbroken record of profitability since the company’s inception 71 years ago. It’s an inspiring case study for airline customer experience management.

Episode Sponsor

This episode was sponsored by CX University, a CX training company offering a broad array of CX learning options, including e-learning modules and CCXP practice exams. CXU is an accredited resource and training provider and their resources and they offer a flexible and affordable monthly subscription model. Listeners of this CX podcast can get 10% off their first month’s subscription by entering the discount code PODCAST10 at checkout.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business define customer experience strategy that delivers results, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

]]>
Iain Meaker, the Executive Manager for Tourism & Hospitality at Comair/British Airways shares his thoughts on what's unique about airline customer experience management and the broader travel industry. Iain discusses how the organization's purpose stat... Iain Meaker, the Executive Manager for Tourism & Hospitality at Comair/British Airways shares his thoughts on what's unique about airline customer experience management and the broader travel industry. Iain discusses how the organization's purpose statement of "we lift you up" permeates the business and provides a platform for employee and shareholder engagement. Julia and Iain explore how Comair has grown and innovated around the needs of customers and what it means to operate multiple brands under one roof. Julia shares her plan for more CX Mini Masterclass episodes during the rest of December.


Airline customer experience management isn't for the faint of heart
The travel experience is an incredibly relatable one. We all travel, whether it's our daily commute or a flight to a holiday destination, moving from point A to point B is a universal human experience. Given the breadth of consumer travel, it means that brands in this industry need to service the full spectrum of customers and face an endless set of expectations to live up to. Comair is in the travel business, with one of the most complex forms of travel - airline travel - at the core of their offering. The organization operates British Airways in South Africa, along with a regional discount carrier and package holiday provider, Kulula. The brand also operates the highly successful SLOW lounges, a luxury lounge experience available to premium BA fliers and through selected partner businesses.

Among consumer travel experiences, the air travel experience can be a particularly difficult one to deliver. Not only do brands have to face a broad spectrum of consumer expectations, they also have to contend with factors like weather and 3rd party providers, that are out of their direct control.

And when air travel goes wrong, it can elicit an emotionally-charged response from consumers. After all, we normally travel to get somewhere, not just because we enjoy being in transit, so when things don't go to plan, it can impact our lives and be very upsetting. For this reason, airline customer experience management isn't for the faint of heart, and I take my hat off to those brands that are surviving, and in the case of Comair, thriving.
Customer-led innovation


Part of Comair's recipe for success is their ability to think laterally innovate around customer needs, even if that means expanding beyond the confines of the traditional airline value proposition. Comair's SLOW lounge is a prime example of this. The organization launched its own brand of lounges, and has expanded the experience to include a co-working space and an open-to-the public fine dining restaurant next to their SLOW in the city lounge (which isn't even at an airport - it's in Sandton, Johannesburg's financial center).

The evolution of this offer was inspired by the needs of customers. The Cape Town - Johannesburg flight route is one of the top 10 busiest in the world. There are many customers transiting between these two cities, and Comair identified the need for an "office away from the office". It's pretty innovative for an airline to get into the business of co-working spaces, but Comair's lounges have been a huge hit with customers.
Many brands under one roof
Comair has the added challenge of operating many brands under one roof, especially since these brands serve different segments of the market. The SLOW lounge is very clearly a premium offer, while Kulula is more akin to a discount carrier like Southwest Airlines in the US. Without a strong element of cohesion, it would be easy for an organization operating such diverse brands to feel that it had "multiple personalities", but Comair has avoided this through its uniting purpose stateme...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Customer touchpoints, experiences and journeys…oh my! CX Mini Masterclass – E16 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-touchpoints-experiences-and-journeys-oh-my-cx-mini-masterclass-e16/ Thu, 29 Nov 2018 16:56:24 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1011 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-touchpoints-experiences-and-journeys-oh-my-cx-mini-masterclass-e16/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-touchpoints-experiences-and-journeys-oh-my-cx-mini-masterclass-e16/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explores the concepts of customer touchpoints, experiences and journeys. The term touchpoint is so commonly misused. In this episode, show host and CX expert, Julia Ahlfeldt provides clarity around the correct definition and the role of customer touchpoints in experiences and journeys.     The customer touchpoint controversy In my first CX Mini Masterclass episode, I explored the definition of CX. In the second CX Mini Masterclass, I looked at the difference between customer experience and customer service. This episode tackles a concept that is so frequently misrepresented in CX, that I personally believe it's a surefire way to identify someone who doesn't know what they are talking about with CX: customer touchpoints. People often use this business buzzword when they are actually describing a customer experience, so in this episode I also covered how touchpoints related to experiences and journeys. Here are my definitions of each: Customer touchpoint - these are the channel of interaction or the conduits for customer experiences. For example, If I call my bank the call center is a touchpoint. If I use and app to order something online, the app is the touchpoint. Customer experiences - The culmination of actions or interactions that a consumer has while they are fulfilling various consumer needs in their lives. When these actions and interactions are prompted by the customer, it's often as the result of a specific "job to be done" that the customer has identified. For example, I might call my bank to check in the status of a recent credit card payment, or perhaps I use an online shopping app to buy a Christmas gift for my mom. Both of these are examples of customer experiences. Customer Journeys - This is the series of experiences that a customer has as they are trying to fulfill some greater goal or objective in their life (though it doesn't necessarily have to be something they are actively acknowledging this as a "goal"). For example, I might want to maintain a good credit rating and therefore want to check that my credit card payment posted on time. Or I might be shopping for that Christmas gift for my mom because I want to be a thoughtful daughter. The Christmas gift journey in particular, is likely to include interactions with multiple brands, which is an important thing for journey-mappers to remember. Customer experiences don't happen in a vacuum. The consumer ecosystem is vast an includes a whole ecosystem of stakeholders. It's important to note in the examples listed above that each journey probably includes many different experiences, and that each experience probably incorporates lots of different micro interactions. There isn't a set "scale" for journeys. When mapping journeys and experiences, you can zoom in or zoom out as needed. The examples of customer experiences that I've listed above have enough steps and interactions that you could probably even map them as little "sub-journeys" or "episodes" on their own right. If your head is spinning, don't worry. I've got several CX Mini Masterclass episode in the works dedicated to practical how-to's about journey mapping. Stay tuned in December! Ways to keep learning about CX If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of ...

This CX Mini Masterclass explores the concepts of customer touchpoints, experiences and journeys. The term touchpoint is so commonly misused. In this episode, show host and CX expert, Julia Ahlfeldt provides clarity around the correct definition and the role of customer touchpoints in experiences and journeys.

 

 

The customer touchpoint controversy

In my first CX Mini Masterclass episode, I explored the definition of CX. In the second CX Mini Masterclass, I looked at the difference between customer experience and customer service. This episode tackles a concept that is so frequently misrepresented in CX, that I personally believe it’s a surefire way to identify someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about with CX: customer touchpoints. People often use this business buzzword when they are actually describing a customer experience, so in this episode I also covered how touchpoints related to experiences and journeys. Here are my definitions of each:

  • Customer touchpoint – these are the channel of interaction or the conduits for customer experiences. For example, If I call my bank the call center is a touchpoint. If I use and app to order something online, the app is the touchpoint.
  • Customer experiences – The culmination of actions or interactions that a consumer has while they are fulfilling various consumer needs in their lives. When these actions and interactions are prompted by the customer, it’s often as the result of a specific “job to be done” that the customer has identified. For example, I might call my bank to check in the status of a recent credit card payment, or perhaps I use an online shopping app to buy a Christmas gift for my mom. Both of these are examples of customer experiences.
  • Customer Journeys – This is the series of experiences that a customer has as they are trying to fulfill some greater goal or objective in their life (though it doesn’t necessarily have to be something they are actively acknowledging this as a “goal”). For example, I might want to maintain a good credit rating and therefore want to check that my credit card payment posted on time. Or I might be shopping for that Christmas gift for my mom because I want to be a thoughtful daughter. The Christmas gift journey in particular, is likely to include interactions with multiple brands, which is an important thing for journey-mappers to remember. Customer experiences don’t happen in a vacuum. The consumer ecosystem is vast an includes a whole ecosystem of stakeholders.

It’s important to note in the examples listed above that each journey probably includes many different experiences, and that each experience probably incorporates lots of different micro interactions. There isn’t a set “scale” for journeys. When mapping journeys and experiences, you can zoom in or zoom out as needed. The examples of customer experiences that I’ve listed above have enough steps and interactions that you could probably even map them as little “sub-journeys” or “episodes” on their own right.

If your head is spinning, don’t worry. I’ve got several CX Mini Masterclass episode in the works dedicated to practical how-to’s about journey mapping. Stay tuned in December!

Ways to keep learning about CX

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass explores the concepts of customer touchpoints, experiences and journeys. The term touchpoint is so commonly misused. In this episode, show host and CX expert, Julia Ahlfeldt provides clarity around the correct definition and th...
This CX Mini Masterclass explores the concepts of customer touchpoints, experiences and journeys. The term touchpoint is so commonly misused. In this episode, show host and CX expert, Julia Ahlfeldt provides clarity around the correct definition and the role of customer touchpoints in experiences and journeys.

 

 
The customer touchpoint controversy
In my first CX Mini Masterclass episode, I explored the definition of CX. In the second CX Mini Masterclass, I looked at the difference between customer experience and customer service. This episode tackles a concept that is so frequently misrepresented in CX, that I personally believe it's a surefire way to identify someone who doesn't know what they are talking about with CX: customer touchpoints. People often use this business buzzword when they are actually describing a customer experience, so in this episode I also covered how touchpoints related to experiences and journeys. Here are my definitions of each:

* Customer touchpoint - these are the channel of interaction or the conduits for customer experiences. For example, If I call my bank the call center is a touchpoint. If I use and app to order something online, the app is the touchpoint.
* Customer experiences - The culmination of actions or interactions that a consumer has while they are fulfilling various consumer needs in their lives. When these actions and interactions are prompted by the customer, it's often as the result of a specific "job to be done" that the customer has identified. For example, I might call my bank to check in the status of a recent credit card payment, or perhaps I use an online shopping app to buy a Christmas gift for my mom. Both of these are examples of customer experiences.
* Customer Journeys - This is the series of experiences that a customer has as they are trying to fulfill some greater goal or objective in their life (though it doesn't necessarily have to be something they are actively acknowledging this as a "goal"). For example, I might want to maintain a good credit rating and therefore want to check that my credit card payment posted on time. Or I might be shopping for that Christmas gift for my mom because I want to be a thoughtful daughter. The Christmas gift journey in particular, is likely to include interactions with multiple brands, which is an important thing for journey-mappers to remember. Customer experiences don't happen in a vacuum. The consumer ecosystem is vast an includes a whole ecosystem of stakeholders.

It's important to note in the examples listed above that each journey probably includes many different experiences, and that each experience probably incorporates lots of different micro interactions. There isn't a set "scale" for journeys. When mapping journeys and experiences, you can zoom in or zoom out as needed. The examples of customer experiences that I've listed above have enough steps and interactions that you could probably even map them as little "sub-journeys" or "episodes" on their own right.

If your head is spinning, don't worry. I've got several CX Mini Masterclass episode in the works dedicated to practical how-to's about journey mapping. Stay tuned in December!
Ways to keep learning about CX
If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1002 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-difference-between-customer-experience-and-customer-service-cx-mini-masterclass-e15/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-difference-between-customer-experience-and-customer-service-cx-mini-masterclass-e15/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass clarifies the difference between customer experience and customer service. Confusion around the distinction of these two concepts has long been a bugbear of CX professionals. This is compounded by the fact that the word "service" is vague and open to personal interpretation, so CX expert and show host Julia Ahlfeldt provides a clear definition.   Clarifying the difference between customer experience and customer service In the previous CX Mini Masterclass episode, we defined customer experience as all the ways that a consumer interfaces with a brand. This includes things like price, product, store environment, communications, service interactions and many other elements of experience. Customer service an important component of customer experience, though it is just one piece of a large and multifaceted jigsaw puzzle. Defining customer service Customer service has always been a difficult thing to define. If you were to ask 5 people for their definition of service, you'd probably get 5 different answers, but there are some common themes. Customer service usually refers to company/customer interactions within a couple of broad categories: The human element of customer experience - we often speak about service in terms of the interactions that we have with people representing the brand. This includes perceptions of their attitude, friendliness and helpfulness. And that last one brings us to the next category... Customer support interactions - customer service often refers to actions that an organization takes to assist a customer during their journey. This can include things like expert recommendations or issues resolution. It is distinct from the first category, because it isn't necessarily provided by a person. Support can be provided by a chatbot or through a self-service channel. Ways to keep learning about CX If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to the longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. 

This CX Mini Masterclass clarifies the difference between customer experience and customer service. Confusion around the distinction of these two concepts has long been a bugbear of CX professionals. This is compounded by the fact that the word “service” is vague and open to personal interpretation, so CX expert and show host Julia Ahlfeldt provides a clear definition.

 

Clarifying the difference between customer experience and customer service

In the previous CX Mini Masterclass episode, we defined customer experience as all the ways that a consumer interfaces with a brand. This includes things like price, product, store environment, communications, service interactions and many other elements of experience. Customer service an important component of customer experience, though it is just one piece of a large and multifaceted jigsaw puzzle.

Defining customer service

Customer service has always been a difficult thing to define. If you were to ask 5 people for their definition of service, you’d probably get 5 different answers, but there are some common themes. Customer service usually refers to company/customer interactions within a couple of broad categories:

  • The human element of customer experience – we often speak about service in terms of the interactions that we have with people representing the brand. This includes perceptions of their attitude, friendliness and helpfulness. And that last one brings us to the next category…
  • Customer support interactions – customer service often refers to actions that an organization takes to assist a customer during their journey. This can include things like expert recommendations or issues resolution. It is distinct from the first category, because it isn’t necessarily provided by a person. Support can be provided by a chatbot or through a self-service channel.

Ways to keep learning about CX

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to the longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email

]]> This CX Mini Masterclass clarifies the difference between customer experience and customer service. Confusion around the distinction of these two concepts has long been a bugbear of CX professionals. This is compounded by the fact that the word "servic...
This CX Mini Masterclass clarifies the difference between customer experience and customer service. Confusion around the distinction of these two concepts has long been a bugbear of CX professionals. This is compounded by the fact that the word "service" is vague and open to personal interpretation, so CX expert and show host Julia Ahlfeldt provides a clear definition.

 
Clarifying the difference between customer experience and customer service
In the previous CX Mini Masterclass episode, we defined customer experience as all the ways that a consumer interfaces with a brand. This includes things like price, product, store environment, communications, service interactions and many other elements of experience. Customer service an important component of customer experience, though it is just one piece of a large and multifaceted jigsaw puzzle.
Defining customer service
Customer service has always been a difficult thing to define. If you were to ask 5 people for their definition of service, you'd probably get 5 different answers, but there are some common themes. Customer service usually refers to company/customer interactions within a couple of broad categories:

* The human element of customer experience - we often speak about service in terms of the interactions that we have with people representing the brand. This includes perceptions of their attitude, friendliness and helpfulness. And that last one brings us to the next category...
* Customer support interactions - customer service often refers to actions that an organization takes to assist a customer during their journey. This can include things like expert recommendations or issues resolution. It is distinct from the first category, because it isn't necessarily provided by a person. Support can be provided by a chatbot or through a self-service channel.

Ways to keep learning about CX
If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to the longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. ]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
What is customer experience: CX Mini Masterclass – E14 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/what-is-customer-experience-cx-mini-masterclass-e14/ Thu, 15 Nov 2018 09:38:46 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=990 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/what-is-customer-experience-cx-mini-masterclass-e14/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/what-is-customer-experience-cx-mini-masterclass-e14/feed/ 0 The inaugural episode of Julia’s CX Mini Masterclass series tackles a question that goes straight to the heart of CX: What is customer experience? This topic can feel vague and the concept is often misconstrued, so CX expert and show host Julia Ahlfeldt cuts through the jargon to provide clarity.   What's in a name? As it turns out, quite a lot. The term “customer experience” is the basis for an important area of business strategy and an emerging field of work. As such, creating clarity around the definition is quite important. So what is that definition? Customer experience is all the ways that a consumer interfaces with a brand. This includes things like price, product, user interface, communication, service and much, much more. While this example isn’t even exhaustive, it’s easy to see that customer experience is incredibly multifaceted. It also adds context to why many in the field of CX have been pushing for customer experience to be recognized as the responsibility of everyone in the business. Still in doubt? Think about your last experience buying groceries, going to a movie or dining out. Reflect on the different components of the experience and where responsibility for these might sit in an organization. Learn more about CX If you’d like to hear more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or the longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. 

The inaugural episode of Julia’s CX Mini Masterclass series tackles a question that goes straight to the heart of CX: What is customer experience? This topic can feel vague and the concept is often misconstrued, so CX expert and show host Julia Ahlfeldt cuts through the jargon to provide clarity.

 

What’s in a name?

As it turns out, quite a lot. The term “customer experience” is the basis for an important area of business strategy and an emerging field of work. As such, creating clarity around the definition is quite important.

So what is that definition? Customer experience is all the ways that a consumer interfaces with a brand. This includes things like price, product, user interface, communication, service and much, much more.

While this example isn’t even exhaustive, it’s easy to see that customer experience is incredibly multifaceted. It also adds context to why many in the field of CX have been pushing for customer experience to be recognized as the responsibility of everyone in the business.

Still in doubt? Think about your last experience buying groceries, going to a movie or dining out. Reflect on the different components of the experience and where responsibility for these might sit in an organization.

Learn more about CX

If you’d like to hear more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or the longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email

]]>
The inaugural episode of Julia’s CX Mini Masterclass series tackles a question that goes straight to the heart of CX: What is customer experience? This topic can feel vague and the concept is often misconstrued,
The inaugural episode of Julia’s CX Mini Masterclass series tackles a question that goes straight to the heart of CX: What is customer experience? This topic can feel vague and the concept is often misconstrued, so CX expert and show host Julia Ahlfeldt cuts through the jargon to provide clarity.

 


What's in a name?
As it turns out, quite a lot. The term “customer experience” is the basis for an important area of business strategy and an emerging field of work. As such, creating clarity around the definition is quite important.

So what is that definition? Customer experience is all the ways that a consumer interfaces with a brand. This includes things like price, product, user interface, communication, service and much, much more.

While this example isn’t even exhaustive, it’s easy to see that customer experience is incredibly multifaceted. It also adds context to why many in the field of CX have been pushing for customer experience to be recognized as the responsibility of everyone in the business.

Still in doubt? Think about your last experience buying groceries, going to a movie or dining out. Reflect on the different components of the experience and where responsibility for these might sit in an organization.
Learn more about CX
If you’d like to hear more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or the longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. ]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Data, insights and B2B customer experience: interview with Andrew Swan – E13 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/data-insights-and-b2b-customer-experience-interview-with-andrew-swan-e13/ Fri, 09 Nov 2018 13:38:42 +0000 http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=969 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/data-insights-and-b2b-customer-experience-interview-with-andrew-swan-e13/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/data-insights-and-b2b-customer-experience-interview-with-andrew-swan-e13/feed/ 0 Andrew Swan, Senior Business Intelligence Executive at top global law firm, White & Case, shares insight on B2B customer experience and the role of data in managing client relationships. Julia and Andrew discuss the intersection between data and team culture, and how to keep the marketing team from getting too "creepy" with their info gathering. Julia shares some exciting news about the podcast.   B2B vs. B2C customer experience Customer experience is the next competitive battlefield. By now, most organizations have realized that customer experience is no longer a nice-to-have, but rather a critical component of any brand's long term viability. This realization has been slightly slower to arrive in the B2B realm, but that doesn't mean it's any less important. Increasingly, consumers expect easy, seamless experiences, and these expectations are carried over into their professional lives as well. As a CX practitioner, I am often asked my my clients about the difference between customer experience management in a B2B setting vs. a B2C setting. The short answer is that the basic fundamentals are quite similar, with the key distinction that in a B2B context the "consumer" is actually a village of stakeholders rather than an individual. This creates an added layer of complexity for organizations that provide enterprise-level products and services, but it is by no means insurmountable. B2B brands teh world over are addressing this, and I had the opportunity to explore one such example with Andrew Swan. CX in the professional services sector Andrew leads the business intelligence team for the leading global law firm White & Case. His responsibilities include helping the business strengthen and improve its client relationships through data and insights. When we think of legal services, we often think of a personalized relationship with a trusted advisor, one that is built on face to face interaction. At first glance it might seem like the legal industry (or really any professional services firm) would be a data-poor environment, but that is definitely not the case. Over time, White & Case has built a framework for gathering insights about client experience and turning these into ongoing improvements to their client journey. Insight + context = client journey improvements As is the best practice in B2C CX, Andrew and his team consolidate insights from multiple sources to create a comprehensive view of experiences withing various client segments. This includes things like findings from client satisfaction interviews, CRM touch point tracking and external economic sector performance. The marketing and BI teams share these findings with the firm's legal practitioners on a regular basis to explore ways that they can improve the client journey. Insights from this process have led to enhancement to their client pitch presentations and many other aspects of client experience. This dedication to B2B customer experience embodies their one firm partnership approach, which has served to strengthen relationships and trust between the firm's legal practitioners and their clients. Data and culture Data is a key enabler of customer experience, but customer experience insights are just data points in a report unless you do something with the findings. Given that White & Case is a legal services firm with expert practitioners in offices around the globe, the organization has a focused on embedding its client service principles in all aspects of the business. As I covered during my interview with the head of Customer Experience at Airbnb, when a brand focuses on creating an authentic culture that is founded in a central set of values, it unlocks the potential for CX agility. When an organizational leadership team has peace of mind that individuals within the business are acting in the interest of the brand's mission, it frees them from the burden of micromanaging customer journey evolution. This doesn't happen overnight,

Andrew Swan, Senior Business Intelligence Executive at top global law firm, White & Case, shares insight on B2B customer experience and the role of data in managing client relationships. Julia and Andrew discuss the intersection between data and team culture, and how to keep the marketing team from getting too “creepy” with their info gathering. Julia shares some exciting news about the podcast.

 

B2B vs. B2C customer experience

Customer experience is the next competitive battlefield. By now, most organizations have realized that customer experience is no longer a nice-to-have, but rather a critical component of any brand’s long term viability. This realization has been slightly slower to arrive in the B2B realm, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important. Increasingly, consumers expect easy, seamless experiences, and these expectations are carried over into their professional lives as well.

As a CX practitioner, I am often asked my my clients about the difference between customer experience management in a B2B setting vs. a B2C setting. The short answer is that the basic fundamentals are quite similar, with the key distinction that in a B2B context the “consumer” is actually a village of stakeholders rather than an individual. This creates an added layer of complexity for organizations that provide enterprise-level products and services, but it is by no means insurmountable. B2B brands teh world over are addressing this, and I had the opportunity to explore one such example with Andrew Swan.

CX in the professional services sector

Andrew leads the business intelligence team for the leading global law firm White & Case. His responsibilities include helping the business strengthen and improve its client relationships through data and insights. When we think of legal services, we often think of a personalized relationship with a trusted advisor, one that is built on face to face interaction. At first glance it might seem like the legal industry (or really any professional services firm) would be a data-poor environment, but that is definitely not the case. Over time, White & Case has built a framework for gathering insights about client experience and turning these into ongoing improvements to their client journey.

Insight + context = client journey improvements

As is the best practice in B2C CX, Andrew and his team consolidate insights from multiple sources to create a comprehensive view of experiences withing various client segments. This includes things like findings from client satisfaction interviews, CRM touch point tracking and external economic sector performance. The marketing and BI teams share these findings with the firm’s legal practitioners on a regular basis to explore ways that they can improve the client journey. Insights from this process have led to enhancement to their client pitch presentations and many other aspects of client experience. This dedication to B2B customer experience embodies their one firm partnership approach, which has served to strengthen relationships and trust between the firm’s legal practitioners and their clients.

Data and culture

Data is a key enabler of customer experience, but customer experience insights are just data points in a report unless you do something with the findings. Given that White & Case is a legal services firm with expert practitioners in offices around the globe, the organization has a focused on embedding its client service principles in all aspects of the business. As I covered during my interview with the head of Customer Experience at Airbnb, when a brand focuses on creating an authentic culture that is founded in a central set of values, it unlocks the potential for CX agility.

When an organizational leadership team has peace of mind that individuals within the business are acting in the interest of the brand’s mission, it frees them from the burden of micromanaging customer journey evolution. This doesn’t happen overnight, and White & Case has had 117 years to get things right. But their ongoing focus on client service principles means that kernels of data originating from Andrew’s team have a much better chance of turning into client journey improvements.

Episode Sponsor

This episode was sponsored by CX University, a CX training company offering a broad array of CX learning options, including e-learning modules and CCXP practice exams. CXU is an accredited resource and training provider and their resources and they offer a flexible and affordable monthly subscription model. Listeners of this CX podcast can get 10% off their first month’s subscription by entering the discount code PODCAST10 at checkout.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business leverage insights and improve B2B customer engagement, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

]]>
Andrew Swan, Senior Business Intelligence Executive at top global law firm, White & Case, shares insight on B2B customer experience and the role of data in managing client relationships. Julia and Andrew discuss the intersection between data and team c...
Andrew Swan, Senior Business Intelligence Executive at top global law firm, White & Case, shares insight on B2B customer experience and the role of data in managing client relationships. Julia and Andrew discuss the intersection between data and team culture, and how to keep the marketing team from getting too "creepy" with their info gathering. Julia shares some exciting news about the podcast.

 
B2B vs. B2C customer experience
Customer experience is the next competitive battlefield. By now, most organizations have realized that customer experience is no longer a nice-to-have, but rather a critical component of any brand's long term viability. This realization has been slightly slower to arrive in the B2B realm, but that doesn't mean it's any less important. Increasingly, consumers expect easy, seamless experiences, and these expectations are carried over into their professional lives as well.

As a CX practitioner, I am often asked my my clients about the difference between customer experience management in a B2B setting vs. a B2C setting. The short answer is that the basic fundamentals are quite similar, with the key distinction that in a B2B context the "consumer" is actually a village of stakeholders rather than an individual. This creates an added layer of complexity for organizations that provide enterprise-level products and services, but it is by no means insurmountable. B2B brands teh world over are addressing this, and I had the opportunity to explore one such example with Andrew Swan.
CX in the professional services sector


Andrew leads the business intelligence team for the leading global law firm White & Case. His responsibilities include helping the business strengthen and improve its client relationships through data and insights. When we think of legal services, we often think of a personalized relationship with a trusted advisor, one that is built on face to face interaction. At first glance it might seem like the legal industry (or really any professional services firm) would be a data-poor environment, but that is definitely not the case. Over time, White & Case has built a framework for gathering insights about client experience and turning these into ongoing improvements to their client journey.
Insight + context = client journey improvements
As is the best practice in B2C CX, Andrew and his team consolidate insights from multiple sources to create a comprehensive view of experiences withing various client segments. This includes things like findings from client satisfaction interviews, CRM touch point tracking and external economic sector performance. The marketing and BI teams share these findings with the firm's legal practitioners on a regular basis to explore ways that they can improve the client journey. Insights from this process have led to enhancement to their client pitch presentations and many other aspects of client experience. This dedication to B2B customer experience embodies their one firm partnership approach, which has served to strengthen relationships and trust between the firm's legal practitioners and their clients.
Data and culture
Data is a key enabler of customer experience, but customer experience insights are just data points in a report unless you do something with the findings. Given that White & Case is a legal services firm with expert practitioners in offices around the globe, the organization has a focused on embedding its client service principles in all aspects of the business. As I covered during my interview with the head of Customer Experience at Airbnb, when a brand focuses on creating an authentic culture that is found...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 46:52
Next gen employee engagement strategy: interview with CXO Jason Bradshaw – E12 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/next-gen-employee-engagement-strategy-interview-with-cxo-jason-bradshaw-e12/ Thu, 18 Oct 2018 13:57:18 +0000 http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=931 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/next-gen-employee-engagement-strategy-interview-with-cxo-jason-bradshaw-e12/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/next-gen-employee-engagement-strategy-interview-with-cxo-jason-bradshaw-e12/feed/ 0 Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia, Jason Bradshaw, speaks about how the company's employee engagement strategy has improved customer experiences. Jason asks show host Julia about her views on some of the CX profession's most burning questions. Together, they unpack a truly horrible car buying experience to determine what went wrong.   Next generation employee engagement strategy This episode was a bit different. A few months ago, the Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia reached out to me about appearing as a guest on Volkswagen's in house podcast for employees. Since their program isn't published publicly, I asked if we could use the interview for my customer experience podcast. I was impressed with the robustness of VW's employee engagement strategy. Anyone else who's created a podcast knows that it's a labor of love. One that can be quite time consuming and patience-testing. So, and in-house podcast about customer experience definitely isn't the norm. The fact that Jason and his team go through the effort to curate CX insights, related these to the VW business and then package this for consumption via a podcast, speaks to how the team prioritizes fostering a cohesive customer-centric culture within VW. Though this makes sense given the fact that - beyond the consumer's experience with the vehicle itself - the rest of the automobile ownership experience is highly influenced by those who assist during the purchase and maintenance of the vehicle. That's not to say that digital touch points in this journey aren't important, but the key moments of truth are still largely experienced in-person. Adding complexity to this is the fact that most car brands operate on a franchise dealership model, meaning that the team delivering those moments of truth may not even be direct employees of the car brand. Dealerships are essentially 3rd party "partners", and so its easy to understand why a solid employee engagement plan would be so critical. Jason's words of wisdom During our conversation Jason shared many insights from his years of experience rallying teams around the customer. There were several that really stuck out in my mind: Don't get distracted - it can be easy to become fixated on detailed journey mapping or designing comprehensive CX roadmap, and these things are important, but not if they detract from the mission of improving customer experience. Look for similarities in what customers do and don't like - often times what customers love about experiences (when they go right), is also what the loath about experiences (when things don't go right). By looking at things this way, CX professionals can leverage journey improvements to also drive customer delight. Who doesn't love a 2-for-1 special? The key to communication is in the detail - nuances in communication can make or break the experience. Take the time to understand your customers and help team members understand how small things, like gestures and tone of voice, can make a world of difference. A book about customer and employee engagement (aka CEX) If you'd like to learn more about Jason's insights on customer experience and employee engagement, you're in luck! He's recently published a book, It's all about CEX. I haven't read it yet personally, but given Jason's vast experience, I'm sure it's chock full of great tips for those looking to drive customer-centric change in their organization. With a title like that, who knows what's in store. The book is available on Amazon, starting October 23rd, 2018. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business engage employees and realize customer-centric growth,

Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia, Jason Bradshaw, speaks about how the company’s employee engagement strategy has improved customer experiences. Jason asks show host Julia about her views on some of the CX profession’s most burning questions. Together, they unpack a truly horrible car buying experience to determine what went wrong.

 

Next generation employee engagement strategy

This episode was a bit different. A few months ago, the Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia reached out to me about appearing as a guest on Volkswagen’s in house podcast for employees. Since their program isn’t published publicly, I asked if we could use the interview for my customer experience podcast.

I was impressed with the robustness of VW’s employee engagement strategy. Anyone else who’s created a podcast knows that it’s a labor of love. One that can be quite time consuming and patience-testing. So, and in-house podcast about customer experience definitely isn’t the norm.

The fact that Jason and his team go through the effort to curate CX insights, related these to the VW business and then package this for consumption via a podcast, speaks to how the team prioritizes fostering a cohesive customer-centric culture within VW. Though this makes sense given the fact that – beyond the consumer’s experience with the vehicle itself – the rest of the automobile ownership experience is highly influenced by those who assist during the purchase and maintenance of the vehicle. That’s not to say that digital touch points in this journey aren’t important, but the key moments of truth are still largely experienced in-person.

Adding complexity to this is the fact that most car brands operate on a franchise dealership model, meaning that the team delivering those moments of truth may not even be direct employees of the car brand. Dealerships are essentially 3rd party “partners”, and so its easy to understand why a solid employee engagement plan would be so critical.

Jason’s words of wisdom

During our conversation Jason shared many insights from his years of experience rallying teams around the customer. There were several that really stuck out in my mind:

  • Don’t get distracted – it can be easy to become fixated on detailed journey mapping or designing comprehensive CX roadmap, and these things are important, but not if they detract from the mission of improving customer experience.
  • Look for similarities in what customers do and don’t like – often times what customers love about experiences (when they go right), is also what the loath about experiences (when things don’t go right). By looking at things this way, CX professionals can leverage journey improvements to also drive customer delight. Who doesn’t love a 2-for-1 special?
  • The key to communication is in the detail – nuances in communication can make or break the experience. Take the time to understand your customers and help team members understand how small things, like gestures and tone of voice, can make a world of difference.

A book about customer and employee engagement (aka CEX)

If you’d like to learn more about Jason’s insights on customer experience and employee engagement, you’re in luck! He’s recently published a book, It’s all about CEX. I haven’t read it yet personally, but given Jason’s vast experience, I’m sure it’s chock full of great tips for those looking to drive customer-centric change in their organization. With a title like that, who knows what’s in store. The book is available on Amazon, starting October 23rd, 2018.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business engage employees and realize customer-centric growth, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

]]>
Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia, Jason Bradshaw, speaks about how the company's employee engagement strategy has improved customer experiences. Jason asks show host Julia about her views on some of the CX profession's most burning questi...
Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia, Jason Bradshaw, speaks about how the company's employee engagement strategy has improved customer experiences. Jason asks show host Julia about her views on some of the CX profession's most burning questions. Together, they unpack a truly horrible car buying experience to determine what went wrong.

 
Next generation employee engagement strategy


This episode was a bit different. A few months ago, the Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia reached out to me about appearing as a guest on Volkswagen's in house podcast for employees. Since their program isn't published publicly, I asked if we could use the interview for my customer experience podcast.

I was impressed with the robustness of VW's employee engagement strategy. Anyone else who's created a podcast knows that it's a labor of love. One that can be quite time consuming and patience-testing. So, and in-house podcast about customer experience definitely isn't the norm.

The fact that Jason and his team go through the effort to curate CX insights, related these to the VW business and then package this for consumption via a podcast, speaks to how the team prioritizes fostering a cohesive customer-centric culture within VW. Though this makes sense given the fact that - beyond the consumer's experience with the vehicle itself - the rest of the automobile ownership experience is highly influenced by those who assist during the purchase and maintenance of the vehicle. That's not to say that digital touch points in this journey aren't important, but the key moments of truth are still largely experienced in-person.

Adding complexity to this is the fact that most car brands operate on a franchise dealership model, meaning that the team delivering those moments of truth may not even be direct employees of the car brand. Dealerships are essentially 3rd party "partners", and so its easy to understand why a solid employee engagement plan would be so critical.
Jason's words of wisdom
During our conversation Jason shared many insights from his years of experience rallying teams around the customer. There were several that really stuck out in my mind:

* Don't get distracted - it can be easy to become fixated on detailed journey mapping or designing comprehensive CX roadmap, and these things are important, but not if they detract from the mission of improving customer experience.
* Look for similarities in what customers do and don't like - often times what customers love about experiences (when they go right), is also what the loath about experiences (when things don't go right). By looking at things this way, CX professionals can leverage journey improvements to also drive customer delight. Who doesn't love a 2-for-1 special?
* The key to communication is in the detail - nuances in communication can make or break the experience. Take the time to understand your customers and help team members understand how small things, like gestures and tone of voice, can make a world of difference.

A book about customer and employee engagement (aka CEX)
If you'd like to learn more about Jason's insights on customer experience and employee engagement, you're in luck! He's recently published a book, It's all about CEX. I haven't read it yet personally, but given Jason's vast experience, I'm sure it's chock full of great tips for those looking to drive customer-centric change in their organization. With a title like that, who knows what's in store. The book is available on Amazon, starting October 23rd, 2018.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 39:54
Yuppiechef, a customer experience leader: interview with CEO Andrew Smith – E11 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/yuppiechef-a-customer-experience-leader-interview-with-ceo-andrew-smith-e11/ Tue, 25 Sep 2018 09:21:03 +0000 http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=876 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/yuppiechef-a-customer-experience-leader-interview-with-ceo-andrew-smith-e11/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/yuppiechef-a-customer-experience-leader-interview-with-ceo-andrew-smith-e11/feed/ 0 CEO of Yuppiechef, Andrew Smith, shares his perspective on customer empathy, the future of retail, and integrating CX as a secret ingredient for differentiation. The South African retailer, Yuppiechef, is truly a customer experience leader, and host Julia guides us through a conversation about how this company's success has been fueled by customer experience.   I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Smith, CEO and co-founder of Yuppiechef. Now 12 years old, the Yuppiechef brand is a true South African customer experience leader as well as one of the country’s ecommerce pioneers. The brand sells high quality kitchenware to local consumers via its website and, more recently, its stores. Yuppiechef’s secret ingredient? Great customer experience What struck me about Andrew and the Yuppiechef team was just how innate customer experience is to them. He seemed surprised that CX was even a "thing". From their first trading day, the founders asked themselves "How would the customer enjoy this?" This question was applied to its website, and UX was continually refined to ensure the best experience for their customers. Later, this same question was applied to its distribution, support, and nearly every other aspect of the business. A new twist on traditional retail Yuppiechef has put the customer at the center of their evolution. Customer wants and needs propelled them to change from being yuppiechef.com, to Yuppiechef. A decade on from their start as an online retailer, the brand recognized that consumers don't want to choose between online an in-store shopping. They want both. Ecommerce is growing, but some purchases are just better suited for an in-person experience. Shopping can also be a form of entertainment. In South Africa, where online shopping only accounts for a tiny 2% slice of the retail pie, there is an entrenched mall culture; families go to the mall on the weekend to enjoy a meal and browse the shops. Leveraging customer experience as their cornerstone, they renamed themselves as Yuppiechef and launched their first physical store in 2017. But the transition wasn’t easy. The team relied on customer empathy to guide them, and the result is a truly seamless omnichannel experience. Customers can order online and collect in store or view a product in store to be delivered to later. Both sides of the business are fully integrated and systems are connected to their warehouse. Customer experience leader (ship) Given the retailer's success, it would not be a surprise if Yuppiechef's founders considered themselves as having "made it". This couldn’t be further from the truth. Andrew and his team are not resting on their laurels. He is acutely aware that selling high quality kitchen tools is easy to replicate, but Yuppiechef has built an experience that feels different. From the handwritten thank you notes, to the top notch customer support, it's clear that the employees care. The founders built a brand around a clear set of values which everyone in the business embodies and they still set the tone Yuppiechef's unique team culture. Andrew personally responds to each an every customer survey. He also helps out in the contact center when needed. These may seem like small gestures, but they demonstrate that Yuppiechef's leaders remain committed the brand, their customers and the employees who make the Yuppiechef experience something special.  And it’s this secret ingredient that cannot be copied. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. Originally from the US, she is now one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience advisory consulting, click here. To hear other episodes of the CX podcast, Decoding the Customer, click here.

CEO of Yuppiechef, Andrew Smith, shares his perspective on customer empathy, the future of retail, and integrating CX as a secret ingredient for differentiation. The South African retailer, Yuppiechef, is truly a customer experience leader, and host Julia guides us through a conversation about how this company’s success has been fueled by customer experience.

 

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Smith, CEO and co-founder of Yuppiechef. Now 12 years old, the Yuppiechef brand is a true South African customer experience leader as well as one of the country’s ecommerce pioneers. The brand sells high quality kitchenware to local consumers via its website and, more recently, its stores.

Yuppiechef’s secret ingredient? Great customer experience

What struck me about Andrew and the Yuppiechef team was just how innate customer experience is to them. He seemed surprised that CX was even a “thing”. From their first trading day, the founders asked themselves “How would the customer enjoy this?” This question was applied to its website, and UX was continually refined to ensure the best experience for their customers. Later, this same question was applied to its distribution, support, and nearly every other aspect of the business.

A new twist on traditional retail

Yuppiechef has put the customer at the center of their evolution. Customer wants and needs propelled them to change from being yuppiechef.com, to Yuppiechef. A decade on from their start as an online retailer, the brand recognized that consumers don’t want to choose between online an in-store shopping. They want both. Ecommerce is growing, but some purchases are just better suited for an in-person experience. Shopping can also be a form of entertainment. In South Africa, where online shopping only accounts for a tiny 2% slice of the retail pie, there is an entrenched mall culture; families go to the mall on the weekend to enjoy a meal and browse the shops.

Leveraging customer experience as their cornerstone, they renamed themselves as Yuppiechef and launched their first physical store in 2017. But the transition wasn’t easy. The team relied on customer empathy to guide them, and the result is a truly seamless omnichannel experience. Customers can order online and collect in store or view a product in store to be delivered to later. Both sides of the business are fully integrated and systems are connected to their warehouse.

Customer experience leader (ship)

Given the retailer’s success, it would not be a surprise if Yuppiechef’s founders considered themselves as having “made it”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Andrew and his team are not resting on their laurels. He is acutely aware that selling high quality kitchen tools is easy to replicate, but Yuppiechef has built an experience that feels different. From the handwritten thank you notes, to the top notch customer support, it’s clear that the employees care.

The founders built a brand around a clear set of values which everyone in the business embodies and they still set the tone Yuppiechef’s unique team culture. Andrew personally responds to each an every customer survey. He also helps out in the contact center when needed. These may seem like small gestures, but they demonstrate that Yuppiechef’s leaders remain committed the brand, their customers and the employees who make the Yuppiechef experience something special.  And it’s this secret ingredient that cannot be copied.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. Originally from the US, she is now one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience advisory consulting, click here. To hear other episodes of the CX podcast, Decoding the Customer, click here.

]]>
CEO of Yuppiechef, Andrew Smith, shares his perspective on customer empathy, the future of retail, and integrating CX as a secret ingredient for differentiation. The South African retailer, Yuppiechef, is truly a customer experience leader,
CEO of Yuppiechef, Andrew Smith, shares his perspective on customer empathy, the future of retail, and integrating CX as a secret ingredient for differentiation. The South African retailer, Yuppiechef, is truly a customer experience leader, and host Julia guides us through a conversation about how this company's success has been fueled by customer experience.

 



I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Smith, CEO and co-founder of Yuppiechef. Now 12 years old, the Yuppiechef brand is a true South African customer experience leader as well as one of the country’s ecommerce pioneers. The brand sells high quality kitchenware to local consumers via its website and, more recently, its stores.
Yuppiechef’s secret ingredient? Great customer experience


What struck me about Andrew and the Yuppiechef team was just how innate customer experience is to them. He seemed surprised that CX was even a "thing". From their first trading day, the founders asked themselves "How would the customer enjoy this?" This question was applied to its website, and UX was continually refined to ensure the best experience for their customers. Later, this same question was applied to its distribution, support, and nearly every other aspect of the business.
A new twist on traditional retail


Yuppiechef has put the customer at the center of their evolution. Customer wants and needs propelled them to change from being yuppiechef.com, to Yuppiechef. A decade on from their start as an online retailer, the brand recognized that consumers don't want to choose between online an in-store shopping. They want both. Ecommerce is growing, but some purchases are just better suited for an in-person experience. Shopping can also be a form of entertainment. In South Africa, where online shopping only accounts for a tiny 2% slice of the retail pie, there is an entrenched mall culture; families go to the mall on the weekend to enjoy a meal and browse the shops.

Leveraging customer experience as their cornerstone, they renamed themselves as Yuppiechef and launched their first physical store in 2017. But the transition wasn’t easy. The team relied on customer empathy to guide them, and the result is a truly seamless omnichannel experience. Customers can order online and collect in store or view a product in store to be delivered to later. Both sides of the business are fully integrated and systems are connected to their warehouse.
Customer experience leader (ship)


Given the retailer's success, it would not be a surprise if Yuppiechef's founders considered themselves as having "made it". This couldn’t be further from the truth. Andrew and his team are not resting on their laurels. He is acutely aware that selling high quality kitchen tools is easy to replicate, but Yuppiechef has built an experience that feels different. From the handwritten thank you notes, to the top notch customer support, it's clear that the employees care.



The founders built a brand around a clear set of values which everyone in the business embodies and they still set the tone Yuppiechef's unique team culture. Andrew personally responds to each an every customer survey. He also helps out in the contact center when needed. These may seem like small gestures, but they demonstrate that Yuppiechef's leaders remain committed the brand, their customers and the employees who make the Yuppiechef experience something special.  And it’s this secret ingredient that cannot be copied.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. Originally from the US, she is now one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 31:38
A global community for CX professionals: interview with Diane Magers CXPA – E10 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/a-global-community-for-cx-professionals-interview-with-diane-magers-e10/ Wed, 25 Jul 2018 23:21:39 +0000 http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=811 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/a-global-community-for-cx-professionals-interview-with-diane-magers-e10/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/a-global-community-for-cx-professionals-interview-with-diane-magers-e10/feed/ 0 Diane Magers, CXPA president and CEO, shares her insight on CX industry trends and the evolving professional field. Learn about the CX career development resources that are available for global CX practitioners as Diane and Julia discuss the role of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) in growing the profession.   Customer experience is a relatively new profession. Some larger businesses have established a CX team, but others have just one or two dedicated resources - and that’s in mature markets like the US and Europe. In developing markets, CX is still gaining traction. This means that the number of CX practitioners is continually growing, but that many in the field are still working in relative isolation, Diane Magers, CXPA president is on a mission to remedy this. You’re not crazy, and you’re not alone Thanks to the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), the growing global number of CX practitioners have an international network that they can tap into. Founded in 2011 by CX thought leaders Jeanne Bliss, Bruce Temkin and others, the CXPA strives to support CX professionals through knowledge sharing, networking, and career development. The CXPA also established a CX philosophy around 6 core competencies, which became the basis for the CCXP certification. These conceptual foundations and community network helped provide structure to the evolution of a burgeoning field of work. As the field of CX continues to gain steam in South Africa, I have personally been involved with efforts to grow the local CXPA network. Through this, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with the CXPA leadership team based in the US, including the CXPA’s CEO, Diane Magers. A leader and a calling Diane has over 25 years experience transforming customer experiences – everything from front line to infrastructure - working in and with brands such as Sysco, AT&T, Dale Carnegie, Invisalign, Ciena, Freeman, Sodexho, Sandy Spring Bank and MoneyGram. She is a passionate customer experience executive and change agent. In addition to being the CEO for the Customer Experience Professionals Association, Diane speaks and conducts workshops all over the world to help transform CX strategy into action. Diane has been actively involved with the CXPA since day one and is a driving force behind the association’s ongoing evolution, including strategies for supporting international CX communities as the profession grows and takes root in new regions. Diane will be visiting South Africa to speak at the 2018 CEM Summit, South Africa’s longest-standing CX conference. In the lead-up to her visit, we had the opportunity to have a conversation about the CXPA, her insights on the genesis of the Age of the customer, and her vision for the future of the association. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience analysis methodologies, click here. To hear other episodes of  this CX podcast, click here.

Diane Magers, CXPA president and CEO, shares her insight on CX industry trends and the evolving professional field. Learn about the CX career development resources that are available for global CX practitioners as Diane and Julia discuss the role of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) in growing the profession.

 

Customer experience is a relatively new profession. Some larger businesses have established a CX team, but others have just one or two dedicated resources – and that’s in mature markets like the US and Europe. In developing markets, CX is still gaining traction. This means that the number of CX practitioners is continually growing, but that many in the field are still working in relative isolation, Diane Magers, CXPA president is on a mission to remedy this.

You’re not crazy, and you’re not alone

Thanks to the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), the growing global number of CX practitioners have an international network that they can tap into. Founded in 2011 by CX thought leaders Jeanne Bliss, Bruce Temkin and others, the CXPA strives to support CX professionals through knowledge sharing, networking, and career development. The CXPA also established a CX philosophy around 6 core competencies, which became the basis for the CCXP certification. These conceptual foundations and community network helped provide structure to the evolution of a burgeoning field of work.

As the field of CX continues to gain steam in South Africa, I have personally been involved with efforts to grow the local CXPA network. Through this, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with the CXPA leadership team based in the US, including the CXPA’s CEO, Diane Magers.

A leader and a calling

Diane has over 25 years experience transforming customer experiences – everything from front line to infrastructure – working in and with brands such as Sysco, AT&T, Dale Carnegie, Invisalign, Ciena, Freeman, Sodexho, Sandy Spring Bank and MoneyGram. She is a passionate customer experience executive and change agent. In addition to being the CEO for the Customer Experience Professionals Association, Diane speaks and conducts workshops all over the world to help transform CX strategy into action.

Diane has been actively involved with the CXPA since day one and is a driving force behind the association’s ongoing evolution, including strategies for supporting international CX communities as the profession grows and takes root in new regions. Diane will be visiting South Africa to speak at the 2018 CEM Summit, South Africa’s longest-standing CX conference. In the lead-up to her visit, we had the opportunity to have a conversation about the CXPA, her insights on the genesis of the Age of the customer, and her vision for the future of the association.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience analysis methodologies, click here. To hear other episodes of  this CX podcast, click here.

]]>
Diane Magers, CXPA president and CEO, shares her insight on CX industry trends and the evolving professional field. Learn about the CX career development resources that are available for global CX practitioners as Diane and Julia discuss the role of th...
Diane Magers, CXPA president and CEO, shares her insight on CX industry trends and the evolving professional field. Learn about the CX career development resources that are available for global CX practitioners as Diane and Julia discuss the role of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) in growing the profession.

 

Customer experience is a relatively new profession. Some larger businesses have established a CX team, but others have just one or two dedicated resources - and that’s in mature markets like the US and Europe. In developing markets, CX is still gaining traction. This means that the number of CX practitioners is continually growing, but that many in the field are still working in relative isolation, Diane Magers, CXPA president is on a mission to remedy this.
You’re not crazy, and you’re not alone
Thanks to the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), the growing global number of CX practitioners have an international network that they can tap into. Founded in 2011 by CX thought leaders Jeanne Bliss, Bruce Temkin and others, the CXPA strives to support CX professionals through knowledge sharing, networking, and career development. The CXPA also established a CX philosophy around 6 core competencies, which became the basis for the CCXP certification. These conceptual foundations and community network helped provide structure to the evolution of a burgeoning field of work.

As the field of CX continues to gain steam in South Africa, I have personally been involved with efforts to grow the local CXPA network. Through this, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with the CXPA leadership team based in the US, including the CXPA’s CEO, Diane Magers.
A leader and a calling


Diane has over 25 years experience transforming customer experiences – everything from front line to infrastructure - working in and with brands such as Sysco, AT&T, Dale Carnegie, Invisalign, Ciena, Freeman, Sodexho, Sandy Spring Bank and MoneyGram. She is a passionate customer experience executive and change agent. In addition to being the CEO for the Customer Experience Professionals Association, Diane speaks and conducts workshops all over the world to help transform CX strategy into action.

Diane has been actively involved with the CXPA since day one and is a driving force behind the association’s ongoing evolution, including strategies for supporting international CX communities as the profession grows and takes root in new regions. Diane will be visiting South Africa to speak at the 2018 CEM Summit, South Africa’s longest-standing CX conference. In the lead-up to her visit, we had the opportunity to have a conversation about the CXPA, her insights on the genesis of the Age of the customer, and her vision for the future of the association.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience analysis methodologies, click here. To hear other episodes of  this CX podcast, click here.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 33:22
Keeping customer experience simple: interview with Capitec Bank – E09 Part 2 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/keeping-customer-experience-simple-interview-with-capitec-bank-e09-part-2/ Tue, 10 Jul 2018 21:49:07 +0000 http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=791 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/keeping-customer-experience-simple-interview-with-capitec-bank-e09-part-2/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/keeping-customer-experience-simple-interview-with-capitec-bank-e09-part-2/feed/ 0 Shaun Ray, the head of CX at Capitec Bank, enlightens us on how this up-and-coming banking brand has achieved market leadership by focusing on simplicity. Julia and Shaun discuss Capitec as a case study in CX excellence, and Shaun shares his views on future CX trends in the financial services industry.     In part one of my interview with Capitec Bank’s team, I spoke with Charl Nel and Shaun Ray about the bank’s customer-centric strategy and how they use social media to understand customers. Capitec has clearly been successful. Once the small challenger bank, Capitec continues to acquire customers and now has the second largest customer base among South African retail banks. My 2017 research collaboration with the opinion mining firm, Brandseye, also shed light on how Capitec is differentiating itself through customer experience. For this research, we mapped social media commentary about the 5 largest banks in South Africa to my “Elements of Customer Experience” model, and Capitec far outperformed the other major banking brands, particularly when it came to living up to their brand promise and providing a value proposition that resonated with customers. In part 2 of my interview, I sat down with Shaun Ray to discuss what the Capitec customer experience team is doing differently. A tale of simplicity Capitec rose to prominence by offering just one product: Global One. Customers can use it as a transactional bank, to save and invest as well as, more recently, get a credit card. This has handsomely paid off: Capitec now has 10-million customers, and continues to acquire 100 000 new customers a month! For comparison’s sake, the other Big 5 banks are Standard Bank (11,6-m), Nedbank (7,4-m), Absa (8,75) and FNB (7,7m). In part one of my interview, Charl and Shaun emphasise simplicity as their number one motivation. Despite the rapid uptick in technology and new innovations and channels in the finance sector, they concede that they need to evolve with the times to remain relevant.  Despite this, they will always keep it simple and engage the customer around their needs and in a language they understand – technology agnostic. No delusions of grandeur Despite widespread customer and non-customer support, Capitec isn’t resting on its laurels. They acknowledge that there is a lot of innovation happening in the banking industry and plenty of new communication channels are available for customers to engage with. This keeps the team on their toes as they know if they ever claim that “they’re arrived” it could be their death knell. They instead say, “we have never arrived”. This humble attitude feeds through from the frontline all the way to the CEO. Everyone understands what the role of the customer is and believes understanding them, and meeting their needs is the bank’s no.1 priority. The CEO, Gerrie Fourie, even went so far as to say publicly at their recent AGM, that the customer always comes first at Capitec. Shaun doesn’t shy away from the importance of customer centric culture. The CX team can’t be everywhere at once, and the last thing the CX team want is to become a bottleneck for customer experience innovation. Capitec has rather focused on empowering the entire organization to create and deliver great experiences. The team also leverages technology and data to create personalized communication and identify where there are hurdles in the customer journey. Shaun highlighted the potential of AI and big data analytics, but also warned that these insights are only as good as how they are put to work. For a Customer Experience Professional, this is music to my ears. But what I particularly like about Capitec is their willingness to accept that they don’t know it all, that their customers will teach them a thing or two and that they need to remain agile in an ever-evolving market. While they are considered the darling of the banking industry, it is an accolade that needs to be treated carefu...

Shaun Ray, the head of CX at Capitec Bank, enlightens us on how this up-and-coming banking brand has achieved market leadership by focusing on simplicity. Julia and Shaun discuss Capitec as a case study in CX excellence, and Shaun shares his views on future CX trends in the financial services industry.

 

 

In part one of my interview with Capitec Bank’s team, I spoke with Charl Nel and Shaun Ray about the bank’s customer-centric strategy and how they use social media to understand customers. Capitec has clearly been successful. Once the small challenger bank, Capitec continues to acquire customers and now has the second largest customer base among South African retail banks.

My 2017 research collaboration with the opinion mining firm, Brandseye, also shed light on how Capitec is differentiating itself through customer experience. For this research, we mapped social media commentary about the 5 largest banks in South Africa to my “Elements of Customer Experience” model, and Capitec far outperformed the other major banking brands, particularly when it came to living up to their brand promise and providing a value proposition that resonated with customers. In part 2 of my interview, I sat down with Shaun Ray to discuss what the Capitec customer experience team is doing differently.

A tale of simplicity

Capitec rose to prominence by offering just one product: Global One. Customers can use it as a transactional bank, to save and invest as well as, more recently, get a credit card.

This has handsomely paid off: Capitec now has 10-million customers, and continues to acquire 100 000 new customers a month! For comparison’s sake, the other Big 5 banks are Standard Bank (11,6-m), Nedbank (7,4-m), Absa (8,75) and FNB (7,7m).

In part one of my interview, Charl and Shaun emphasise simplicity as their number one motivation. Despite the rapid uptick in technology and new innovations and channels in the finance sector, they concede that they need to evolve with the times to remain relevant.  Despite this, they will always keep it simple and engage the customer around their needs and in a language they understand – technology agnostic.

No delusions of grandeur

Despite widespread customer and non-customer support, Capitec isn’t resting on its laurels. They acknowledge that there is a lot of innovation happening in the banking industry and plenty of new communication channels are available for customers to engage with. This keeps the team on their toes as they know if they ever claim that “they’re arrived” it could be their death knell. They instead say, “we have never arrived”.

This humble attitude feeds through from the frontline all the way to the CEO. Everyone understands what the role of the customer is and believes understanding them, and meeting their needs is the bank’s no.1 priority. The CEO, Gerrie Fourie, even went so far as to say publicly at their recent AGM, that the customer always comes first at Capitec.

Shaun doesn’t shy away from the importance of customer centric culture. The CX team can’t be everywhere at once, and the last thing the CX team want is to become a bottleneck for customer experience innovation. Capitec has rather focused on empowering the entire organization to create and deliver great experiences.

The team also leverages technology and data to create personalized communication and identify where there are hurdles in the customer journey. Shaun highlighted the potential of AI and big data analytics, but also warned that these insights are only as good as how they are put to work.

For a Customer Experience Professional, this is music to my ears. But what I particularly like about Capitec is their willingness to accept that they don’t know it all, that their customers will teach them a thing or two and that they need to remain agile in an ever-evolving market. While they are considered the darling of the banking industry, it is an accolade that needs to be treated carefully, and respectfully. This can be done by listening to the customer and designing products and processes around their needs, not the banks.

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. To see Julia’s banking industry research collaboration with Brandseye, click here. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience analysis methodologies, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

]]>
Shaun Ray, the head of CX at Capitec Bank, enlightens us on how this up-and-coming banking brand has achieved market leadership by focusing on simplicity. Julia and Shaun discuss Capitec as a case study in CX excellence,
Shaun Ray, the head of CX at Capitec Bank, enlightens us on how this up-and-coming banking brand has achieved market leadership by focusing on simplicity. Julia and Shaun discuss Capitec as a case study in CX excellence, and Shaun shares his views on future CX trends in the financial services industry.

 

 

In part one of my interview with Capitec Bank’s team, I spoke with Charl Nel and Shaun Ray about the bank’s customer-centric strategy and how they use social media to understand customers. Capitec has clearly been successful. Once the small challenger bank, Capitec continues to acquire customers and now has the second largest customer base among South African retail banks.

My 2017 research collaboration with the opinion mining firm, Brandseye, also shed light on how Capitec is differentiating itself through customer experience. For this research, we mapped social media commentary about the 5 largest banks in South Africa to my “Elements of Customer Experience” model, and Capitec far outperformed the other major banking brands, particularly when it came to living up to their brand promise and providing a value proposition that resonated with customers. In part 2 of my interview, I sat down with Shaun Ray to discuss what the Capitec customer experience team is doing differently.

A tale of simplicity

Capitec rose to prominence by offering just one product: Global One. Customers can use it as a transactional bank, to save and invest as well as, more recently, get a credit card.

This has handsomely paid off: Capitec now has 10-million customers, and continues to acquire 100 000 new customers a month! For comparison’s sake, the other Big 5 banks are Standard Bank (11,6-m), Nedbank (7,4-m), Absa (8,75) and FNB (7,7m).

In part one of my interview, Charl and Shaun emphasise simplicity as their number one motivation. Despite the rapid uptick in technology and new innovations and channels in the finance sector, they concede that they need to evolve with the times to remain relevant.  Despite this, they will always keep it simple and engage the customer around their needs and in a language they understand – technology agnostic.

No delusions of grandeur

Despite widespread customer and non-customer support, Capitec isn’t resting on its laurels. They acknowledge that there is a lot of innovation happening in the banking industry and plenty of new communication channels are available for customers to engage with. This keeps the team on their toes as they know if they ever claim that “they’re arrived” it could be their death knell. They instead say, “we have never arrived”.

This humble attitude feeds through from the frontline all the way to the CEO. Everyone understands what the role of the customer is and believes understanding them, and meeting their needs is the bank’s no.1 priority. The CEO, Gerrie Fourie, even went so far as to say publicly at their recent AGM, that the customer always comes first at Capitec.

Shaun doesn’t shy away from the importance of customer centric culture. The CX team can’t be everywhere at once, and the last thing the CX team want is to become a bottleneck for customer experience innovation. Capitec has rather focused on empowering the entire organization to create and deliver great experiences.

The team also leverages technology and data to create personalized communication and identify where there are hurdles in the customer jou...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 17:49