New research on "Making the case for CX in B2B". Be part of this research.

Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian

Deanna Laufer and I are collaborating on a new report on How to make the case for customer experience in B2B. And we'd love your inputs.

How will clients benefit from this report? 

With longer sales cycles, fewer customer accounts, and an abundance of client roles and influencers, B2B companies are challenged in making the link between improving customer experience (CX) and financial results. But without this link, B2B companies will struggle to get adequate funding to sustain their CX programs over the long term. To help CX professionals at B2B companies overcome challenges to justifying their CX programs, this report will explore:

·         What customer and business data CX pros need to collect to support their business cases,

·         Which are the right metrics for modelling the relationship between customer experience quality and business success, and

·         How CX pros can apply their models to proactively improve business outcomes.

Please contribute to the research.

If you have experiences in  making the business case for CX with B2B clients - whether as part of a CX team or other stakehodler groups in a company with B2B clients or as a consultant/vendor - Forrester would like to invite you to participate in our research on how B2B companies can make the case for customer experience. We would like to arrange a 45 minute - 60 minute phone conversation with you to discuss this topic. This interview will inform our report, but we will respect any request for confidentiality. Key questions for research include:

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First Year CX: Some Keys To Success - A Q&A With TSIC

Qaalfa Dibeehi

In 2014, TeliaSonera International Carrier (TSIC) engaged Forrester Consulting to help assess its activities around customer experience, and to build a roadmap for their burgeoning CX program. TSIC is an international provider of telecommunication services with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, and offices in 14 other countries. It has grown from being the largest IP network in Europe to one of the top two global carriers powered by the Internet backbone, as ranked by internet performance analysts DYN.

I had a chance to sit down with Simon Dodsworth (SD), VP, Voice and Mobile; Rickard Bäcklin (RB), VP Brand & Marketing, and Linda Bennet- Jansson (LBJ), CX Manager to discuss their relatively young customer experience (CX) program.  

What is the mandate for the CX program at TSIC?

RB - It’s an important part of a longer journey.  Back in 2011, we initiated a bold transformation project within TSIC. To redefine customer demands in the wholesale space, we looked beyond the internal club of network people, focusing on the future end-user and the demands they would put on us in the carrier industry.

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CX Pros Are Blind To The Line Of Visibility

Sam Stern
A few years back, FedEx learned that "the leaning tower of packages" at its retail locations was making many customers uneasy. Store employees would take a customer's package and place it on the messy pile. Based on that simple visual cue, these customers worried that their package might very well get lost in their seemingly haphazard shipping process. FedEx had run into a problem that plagues many companies, and that is the subject of my latest report, co-written with Tony Costa: CX Pros Are Blind to the Line of Visibility.
 
Most companies don't understand all of the complex interdependencies that shape their customer experience outcomes. Forrester surveyed CX professionals last year and found that while nearly two-thirds of them use customer journey maps to understand their customer experience, only one in five maps the CX ecosystem. So most CX pros do not understand how employees, business processes, technology systems, partners, and the operating environment come together to enable their customer experience.
 
And to make matters worse, this lack of understanding blinds them to what elements in their experience are visible or invisible to customers as they interact with the brand. This lack of visibility can lead to problems such as companies unintentionally exposing undesirable ecosystem elements to customers, hiding elements that could add value, or corrupting the experience through counterproductive policies and processes.
 
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The Rise Of Federal Chief Customer Officers

Rick Parrish

Hundreds if not thousands of leading corporations have created chief customer officer (CCO) positions in recent years to help them become more customer-centric. Now US federal government agencies are toying with the idea of adding CCO positions and four have already taken the plunge. In my first Forrester podcast, I spoke with hosts Sam Stern and Deanna Laufer about how federal CCOs can help achieve their agencies' missions and dispeled common objections to creating federal CCO positions. For more of my federal CCO research, check out my Executive Q&A: Federal Chief Customer Officers report on forrester.com or my blog post on the subjectRead more

Introducing... Forrester's CX Cast

Deanna Laufer

That's right, Forrester's Customer Experience team is jumping on the podcasting bandwagon and launching a weekly CX podcast! Each week me and my cohost, Senior Analyst Sam Stern, will be speaking with an analyst from our team about their hot-off-the-press research or discussing relevant CX topics in the news. We'll package these up in easily digestible 10 to 20 minute episodes and best of all, these podcasts are available to everyone.

In our first episode, Sam interviews me about how to build a shared customer experience vision. You can listen below, but we recommend you subscribe on iTunes or through your favorite iPhone podcasting app by searching for "Forrester's CX Cast" so you never miss an episode. If you need help accessing or subscribing to the podcast, please contact our producer Curt Nichols at cnichols@forrester.com.

Happy listening!

A CX Strategy Is Only Good If It Inspires People To Act

Deanna Laufer

Do you understand your company's vision for the customer experience (CX) it wants to deliver? How many of your colleagues do? If you're a CX professional, how many colleagues have you shared your company's vision with?

My guess is not many, and I confess, it's not really a guess — I have data that shows few CX pros regularly share their CX visions/strategies with all employees, and even fewer do so in a consistent way.

And that’s a shame, because great customer experiences are built on solid strategies executed by people sharing a common vision. In other words, a CX strategy must see light to be actionable. Only then can it direct the activities and decision-making of managers and employees. In my recent research, I found successful strategy communication requires a four-phase approach:

  • Inspire a sense of purpose. Spare the 50-page strategy manifestos and instead share a simple illustration, video, or set of promises that captures the essence of the CX vision and draws employees in. UK airline easyJet created a one-page customer charter that described the new easyJet flying promise to customers in plain language. Its CX team developed icons to represent each of the five promises and then enlisted its customer champions to act out life-size versions of the icons for photos and video, which it plans to share internally and externally.
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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 about the customer feedback management (CFM) vendor landscape in China. This report will better help Forrester clients, particularly companies that operate in China, understand to whom they should turn to satisfy CFM 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.

2. Schedule a briefing with Sam with regard to your CFM capabilities in China by contacting Forrester’s briefing team to make arrangements.

As a thank you for your time and participation, you will receive a complimentary copy of the published report resulting from this research.

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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