One of the most common questions I get from CX professionals is this: “How do I get my executives to support the work I’m trying to do?” In 2009, when the CX space was just starting to gain traction at the C-level, I wrote a report on that topic. I pulled that report up earlier this week to share with a colleague and realized that its key takeaways are as true today as they were five years ago.
Taking a page from the Facebook culture, I decided to make this Throwback Thursday and bring the report back into the CX conversation. You can read the full report here, but the key things that stand out to me after all this time are:
You don’t need buy-in; you need action. I think of CX as the “eat healthy and exercise” of the business world. Everyone “buys in” to the idea of treating customers well, at least in public. What they don’t do is change their behavior or encourage change in the people who work for them. CX professionals need to stop asking for buy-in and start asking specific executives to do specific things.
Here at Forrester we are busy planning our upcoming Forum For CIOs And CMOs. With a theme of “Building A Customer-Obsessed Enterprise” the event explores the partnership between marketing and technology leaders. But what about our government clients? The role of marketing is associated with the private sector. Companies employ marketers to identify their target markets and the opportunities for providing goods and services to them. Public-sector organizations don't typically have the luxury of choosing their target market or their products and services. Or at least that’s what most organizations think. But even if that is the case, it doesn't mean that these organizations shouldn't get to know their "customers" and understand how best to meet their needs. While the service might be prescribed by legislation or regulation, public organizations can influence the customer experience, and the rising focus on citizen engagement mandates they do so.
Paying influencers, which Forrester defines as independent bloggers, industry analysts, and mainstream journalists, is a bad idea.
Public and analyst relations professionals have been managing influencer programs since long before the first utterance of the words "social media." They know how to strike the right balance of keeping influencers informed while gently motivating them to engage with their brand through 1:1 relationship building. Unfortunately, social media has ignited a population of "influencers" who are in it for the financial rewards more than for developing their personal brands. This has led to many brands jumping on the "pay for play" influencer program bandwagon, which, for some, has led to terrible results. For example, Microsoft learned the hard way back in June when its agency blasted out a paid blogging campaign invite to a large audience of influencers. And other brands that have been caught paying bloggers and influencers to write positive product reviews have also paid the price.
Paid influencer programs diminish the authenticity of the message you are trying to amplify, have legal implications (if not carefully implemented), and can really irritate influencers who detest pay-for play-programs. Yet over 35% of marketers still use financial incentives. My simple advice: Don't do it!
Each month we use our newsletter and a podcast to highlight one of the many talented and hardworking analysts and researchers on Forrester's Security & Risk team. If you're not signed up for our newsletters, I highly encourage you to do so; please email email@example.com for additional details. In the meantime, click below to listen to our analyst spotlight on senior analyst Renee Murphy, one of our leading analysts on governance, risk, and compliance. You'll hear some great insights from Renee on clients' top challenges and requirements, surprising research findings, and upcoming research and vendors to watch. To download the MP3 version of the podcast, please click here.
I'm at IDF, a major geekfest for the people interested in the guts of today’s computing infrastructure, and will be immersing myself in the flow for a couple of days. Before going completely off the deep end, I wanted to call out the announcement of the new Xeon E5. While I’ve discussed it in more depth in an accompanying Quick Take just published on our main website, I wanted to add some additional comments on its implications for data center operations, particularly in the areas of capacity planning and long-term capital budgeting.
For many years, each successive iteration of Intel’s and partners’ roadmaps has been quietly delivering a major benefit that seldom gets top billing – additional capacity within the same power and physical footprint, and the resulting ability for users from small enterprises to mega-scale service providers, to defer additional data spending capital expense.
Often lagging in priorities when it comes to data strategy, it appears that data quality is coming back in favor. As organizations expand beyond data exploration and discovery to putting real action in place organization wide based on these insights, the risk of getting the answer wrong or having dirty data is higher.
But, this may be anecdotal supposition, even in light of the wide conversations I've had with clients. What we do know quantitatively is:
1) Data quality is the most important topic for information governance according to our recent Business Technographics research for data and analytics. In fact,
2) We see an uptick in data quality inquiries from last year.
3) Vendors are introducing data preparation tools that infuse data quality and governance into analytic and BI processes
Anecdotal evidence and quantiative evidence leads me to the thought that there is a bigger shift happening in how we think about data quality, how we act upon it, and what doing so does for our buisnesses. When things are a-changing it always make my brain itch to get more data, more stories, and more evidence. And, while I'm curious, I'm assuming you are too. It is great to see that something in influencing change - and we want to know what that is in order to determine if we too need to change. However, what is more important is what are organizations doing and which are standing out in terms of success and improved ways of thinking and execution? In the end, do we need to write a new playbook* for data quality? Has the bar been reset and we need to rebenchmark?
The mobile mind shift: what is it? Forrester defines the mobile mind shift as the expectation that any desired information or service is available, on any appropriate device, in context, at a person's moment of need. It’s the reality that your customers (and employees!) live in today, where mobility isn’t just about devices or apps anymore but more about a change in attitude (e.g., individuals don’t just expect the availability of information/services, they demand it). With this mind shift comes a few other attitude shifts, notably around privacy and security of personal information and devices. In our 2013 surveys, Forrester saw that:
Given a choice of how to address security concerns on the devices they use for work, 38% of North American and European information workers prefer to do it themselves, while 20% would take action based on guidance from their employer.
When doing things online, 59% of US consumers are concerned about identity theft, 33% do not want their information permanently recorded and accessible to others, and 22% are concerned that their data will be sold to another company.
We have lots of fun at these events too. Check out this video of last year's event where we grabbed both clients and analysts and asked them an important, and to some, philosophical question: What Makes A Great Application Developer? See if you'd answer the same way.
Companies that were founded on customer obsession — like Southwest Airlines, Vanguard, and USAA — derive significant financial benefits as a result. That’s because a customer-obsessed culture helps customer experience professionals deliver high-quality, on-brand, consistent experiences that drive loyalty. Fortunately, even companies that weren’t founded on customer obsession can transform their cultures and see big returns on their efforts. For example:
Tom Feeney, Safelite Autoglass’s chief executive officer (CEO), launched the company’s customer experience transformation in 2008. Since then, the firm has seen NPS, employee engagement, revenue, and profit metrics improve substantially.
Cleveland Clinic embarked on its patient experience transformation in 2009. Since then, it’s seen significant improvements in patient experience ratings, employee engagement scores, and business and operations metrics like number of patients admitted and average wait time to see a doctor.