Contribute to new research on VoC vendors in China by my colleague Sam Jaddou

Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian

My colleague, Samantha Jaddou, who’s an analyst on the CX team covering the China market, is working on a report “The CFM Vendor Landscape 2015, China”. This report is to better help Forrester clients, particularly companies who operate in China, understand whom they should turn to to satisfy customer feedback management needs.  She is in the middle of fielding a survey, which will be the research foundation for this report.

If your firm is interested in being included in this study to show your product and service capabilities in China in the CFM space, please consider one or both of the following:

1.            Fill out the survey prior to February 13th

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Voice Of The Employee Can Cure Broken Customer Experiences, But You Need An Effective Program To Mine It

Sam Stern
Last week, many of our customer experience (CX) analysts — including me and my colleague Maxie Schmidt — were glued to their computer screens, watching a presentation by a big bank. It had introduced a tool to capture and manage ideas from its employees on how to improve the customer experience. This presentation mattered to us because only 25% of CX professionals say their companies’ CX programs actually improve customer experience. Those who fail lack insight into the root causes of poor CX. And those root causes lie in the customer experience ecosystem. So while many companies have programs in place to mine voice of the customer, customer feedback alone is insufficient to get at root causes of bad CX because it penetrates only the top layers of the ecosystem.
 
This is why companies need to add voice of the employee. Think of your colleagues throughout the organization as canaries in coal mines. They can warn of potential experience issues before customers notice them, alert you to processes, policies, and technology systems that prevent them from providing a good customer experience, help understand how product-related activities that are behind the scenes — like pricing — affect customers, and highlight how the workplace culture affects employees' motivations and abilities to deliver the intended experience. Voice of your employees (VoE) is:
 
“Any feedback from employees or partners that pertains to their ability to deliver great customer experiences.”
 
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Voice Of The Employee Can Cure Broken Customer Experiences, But You Need An Effective Program To Mine It

Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian

Last week, many of our customer experience  (CX) analysts  including me and my colleague Sam Stern were glued to their computer screens, watching a presentation by a big bank. It had introduced a tool to capture and manage ideas from its employees on how to improve the customer experience. This presentation mattered to us because only 25% of CX professionals say their companies’ CX programs actually improve customer experience. Those who fail lack insight into the root causes of poor CX. And those root causes lie in the customer experience ecosystem. So while many companies have programs in place to mine voice of the customer, customer feedback alone is insufficient to get at root causes of bad CX because it penetrates only the top layers of the ecosystem.

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Social Analytics Can Help You Better Address Customers If You’re Willing To Experiment

TJ Keitt

*This post was originally posted on the Destination CRM Blog

Thanks to digitization and inexpensive storage, businesses can now collect incredible amounts of information on their customers, competitors, and other market factors. But you only profit from this bounty if an employee can find the right data nugget when they need it. And here lies our problem: The average information worker lacks tools to cull disparate data repositories for useful information.

The foundation for addressing this issue is emerging in cloud-based collaboration services. Vendors like Huddle and Microsoft are embedding social analytical tools in their collaboration portfolios to observe when, where, and how employees interact with people and content. As these collaboration services begin to understand these relationships, they promise to make these information workers:

  • Aware. Fundamentally, social analytics surface information and people an information worker had not considered before. Giving employees a broader perspective will help them do things like staff a fast-moving consulting project.
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The Customer Experience Curriculum

Sam Stern

Companies with customer-obsessed cultures  think USAA or Southwest Airlines  differentiate themselves in their industries and earn major financial benefits as a result. But customer-obsessed cultures don't just happen: To help transform a culture, customer experience professionals must develop a training and coaching curriculum that touches all employees.

In my recent report, "The Customer Experience Curriculum," I write about how companies must identify the key constituencies in the organization, determine how they can best contribute to delivering the intended experience, and then design training and coaching that reinforce those contributions. CX professionals — in partnership with their learning and development colleagues — should:

  • Create training for CX professionals that provides breadth plus selective depth. To drive customer experience initiatives across the organization, all CX team members need a working knowledge of customer experience concepts plus core skills like customer journey mapping. Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) worked with an external partner to train its client experience team in customer journey mapping and customer ecosystem mapping. Team members now apply these skills to diagnose CX problems and improve common customer journeys. They even train other parts of the organization, like claims and customer service, to map customer journeys.
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What Causes Consumers To Keep Using Your App? Three Key App Features Stand Out

Nicole Dvorak

What is the secret recipe for creating an app that users open day after day? We used our Technographics® 360 methodology, which combines data sourced from the same group of individuals via behavioral tracking, online surveys, and our market research online community to answer this frequently asked question.

What did we do?

First, we asked participants questions about a randomly selected app they use, including how they discovered the app and how strongly they agreed with statements regarding specific app attributes, such as whether it was easy to navigate. Next, we took the responses for each participant and merged them with their behavior on that particular app. Finally, we engaged our participants in a qualitative project to expose the reasons behind our results. 

Regression analysis of applications

This powerful approach allowed us to align a single participant’s behavior, personal characteristics, and attitudes to uncover the key attributes that lead to increased app usage. Perhaps not surprisingly, we found that apps generate varying levels of engagement simply due to the type of app they are: Consumers access gaming apps more frequently than they access travel apps, for example. So we quantified and removed the effects of app type and other static characteristics that influence usage. This allowed us to isolate the relationship between users’ opinions of app features and their engagement with that app.

What did we learn?

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There is a secret to better CX metrics: Journey mapping

Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian

There is a way to better identify and share customer experience (CX) metrics. And it is a tool that your company – like many others may already be using… but not for that purpose. I am talking about journey mapping. Recently I have done more and more workshops for our clients on how to use journey mapping for defining CX metrics so I wanted to put that thinking into a new report for all clients to read.

Why journey mapping? It helps overcome some of the key challenges for CX measurement programs: Only if you understand the end-to-end journey your customers take for accomplishing a goal are you likely to have the right metrics in place to judge CX performance. If you don't understand the journeys, you'll rush to judgment with ill-timed surveys, miss important moments of truth and fail to align operational data with customer perceptions. That means you’ll fail to identify ways to improve critical touchpoints. 

So if you, too, are struggling with CX metrics, my new report “How to use journey mapping to improve CX measurement efforts” is the right read for you. It is very practical because it describes a four-step process for how you can use customer journey mapping to improve your customer experience measurement programs – from mapping the customer journey with metrics in mind to identifying gaps, to defining CX metrics that fill those gaps, to building on journey maps to share CX metrics more effectively.

And please - if you have any thought on the report - let me know what you think.

Is your company moving beyond surveys when measuring customer experience? I’d love to include you in my new research

Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian

CX professionals rely on surveys a great deal to measure customer experience. That’s because surveys have their advantages but they have limits, too.

If your company has taken steps to move beyond surveys to measure customer experience, I'd love to hear your opinions, experiences and advice for my new research on “CX Measurement – Beyond Surveys”. Goal of this research is to share what companies do to measure customer experience in addition to surveys, which approaches are most promising and which challenges companies face doing that.

Your insights are appreciated, so if you would like to share your story (on or off the record), please contact me at: mschmidt@forrester.com

Looking forward to speaking with you.

Want to Drive Action With Your VoC Program? Cater to Your Internal Customers!

Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian

In our latest survey on the state of the art of VoC programs, 71 percent of respondents said their VoC program was not fully or mostly effective in driving actions. That's jarring. No matter how much effort you put into collecting VoC, the insights are still only as good as what stakeholders in the company do with them.

As a VoC program owner, you therefore need to get better at leveraging your internal customers so they drive the action required to improve customer experience and your bottom line. This is what my new report "How To Drive Action In VoC Programs" is all about.

First, you have to figure out your internal audiences. Some are more in tune to the VoC than others. Your audience often falls into three categories:

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US Cab Companies: To Beat uberX, Improve Your CX

Harley Manning

About two years ago I stopped taking cabs from my home in the suburbs of Boston to Boston’s Logan airport. I wasn’t drawn away by uberX; my local cab company pushed me away with its awful customer experience.

Here’s what happened: When I first started using my local cab company years ago, I’d call for pick up and a clean cab that seemed well maintained would arrive at the requested time, driven by a polite, professional cabbie. The price of the ride seemed fair. 

Over time the cabs that came to pick me up got dirtier and dirtier, and the drivers looked sketchier and sketchier – even as the price went up until it was close to that of a car service.

The last straw was when my driver – a woman of indeterminate age wearing cutoffs, sandals, and a tank top – showed up late in a filthy cab that I didn’t want to get into while wearing a suit (sadly, I didn’t have much choice at that point unless I wanted to miss my flight). All the way to the airport all she talked about was how she was qualified for better jobs than driving a cab but that she kept getting fired from those jobs unfairly.

Really? I’m paying you to drive me while you tell me how you’re too good to drive me? If you can’t take pride in your work – like a cabbie in London or Tokyo would, and cabbies in the US used to do – then at least spare me (your customer) the endless stream of complaints.

To be clear, I wasn’t expecting white glove service. My requirements were pretty minimal: Show up on time in a clean cab, don’t dress in a way that makes me wonder whether you stole the cab, get me to my destination without acting like a lunatic, and charge me a reasonable price for your services. That’s a pretty low bar.

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