What’s the CX buzz this week? (19th Jan, 2015)

“The year of the employee,” is the title CX maestro Bruce Temkin gives to 2015 and most of this week’s authors will concur. Paradoxically, the more customer-centric a company seeks to be, the more it must focus on employee engagement and satisfaction. When employees feel well-treated, they “pay it forward” in their treatment of customers. Not only is this intuitively true, it is borne out of data mining customer and employee sentiment across social media.

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Customer Experience is a Team Sport [gartner.com]

This article, by Jake Sorofman of Gartner, reiterates a point Gartner has often made in the past: In the face of rising competition and consumer empowerment, customer experience is the last remaining way for companies to differentiate themselves.

So far so good. Most readers, says Sorofman, agree with this statement. But Gartner made another prediction last year that generated a lot of controversy. Gartner had said that marketing departments, more often than not, were calling the shots when it comes to customer experience. 

Despite the controversy, Sorofman stands by this statement, and even backs it up with statistics. Nevertheless, he makes it clear that CX is not about marketing on its own. Sales, service and other parts of the organization also play a crucial role.

Because CX leadership requires such a broad mandate, a company must take a cross-functional view of experience design, writes Sorofman. It must flip the company’s orientation from a from a portfolio view—what do we have on the truck to sell?; to a persona-based view—how do we best serve these audiences at the moments that count?  This is best done by breaking down silos of customer data and using the data to personalize customer experiences.

How Employee Satisfaction Correlates to Customer Experience [piplzchoice.com]

This post, from the Customer Experience IQ blog, asks how employee satisfaction correlates with customer experience? The author says that he is interested in employee satisfaction in a holistic sense,  as opposed to employee engagement with a company’s customer-centricity campaign, which he describes as something much more specific.

To learn the answer, Opinion Miner mined the unstructured stories shared online by McDonalds employees and customers. They found 3,327 employee stores and 4,412 customer reviews.

In their research, they found that many of the employees have a negative view towards customers. Similarly, while customers were satisfied with the cleanliness, ambience and food at the restaurants, the overall impression of customer service was poor.

This is just one, randomly selected, example, writes the author.  However, the result suggests that companies serious about improvement of experience for their customers have to pay closer attention to measuring and monitoring the satisfaction of their employees.

4 Ways to Recharge Your Customer Mojo in 2015 [linkedin.com]

The author, Stephanie Thum, believes that the start of a new year is a great time to recharge one's professional "mojo" — to re-energize professionally. She suggests four ways to accomplish this.

First, she writes, get serious about planning: Write down your vision, strategy and plan for customer experience improvements at your company. Make lists of action steps, goals, resources, and people who need to be included or influenced. Most importantly, assign specific deadlines to the key milestones.

Second, she writes, think about how you will work with and motivate your team to accomplish your goals. Third, stay sharp on what's happening outside of your organization. Join networking groups and Twitter chats specific to your industry sector. 

Fourth, don’t give up. It can take up to five years before certain customer-oriented concepts become part of an organization's culture. Meanwhile, don't underestimate the power of regular team meetings, status updates to senior leaders, and customer data reviews.

8 CX Trends for 2015 (The Year of the Employee) [experiencematters.wordpress.com]

The author of this post, Bruce Temkin, compiles his annual list of customer experience trends for 2015. Last year, Temkin declared 2014 “The Year of Empathy.” With this post, he dubs 2015 “The Year of the Employee.”

More and more companies are understanding how integral employees are to customer experience. Some have implemented Voice of the Employee programs as one component of their larger Voice of the Customer programs.

In addition, Temkin names 8 trends he thinks will be central to CX in 2015, One of these is corporate culture conversations. He quotes Peter Drucker, who once said that “culture eats strategy for lunch.”  When culture is aligned with the objectives of the organization, employees consistently and almost naturally propel those objectives. Read the article in full for Temkin’s other insightful predictions.

Journey Mapping Can Offer Holistic View of the Customer Experience [loyalty360.org]

This article is a recap of a webinar on Customer Experience Journey Mapping hosted by Loyalty360. The webinar was led by Michael Good, Vice President and Strategic Account Manager for Walker Information. 

Journey mapping makes the customer experience visible, he said.  It provides a way to communicate both the “existing” and the “ideal’ experiences your customers have with your company.  It serves as a living document to educate and train your employees about the best ways to bring value to customers.

Good goes on to outline the three primary points of view in the customer journey map.

First, the customers’ view: What are they thinking, wanting, and doing within each stage? Second, the company’s view: How are you organized and resourced to serve customers? What people, processes, products, and systems do you have to bring life to the interactions?

In many B2B instances, there are other partners, channel providers, or affiliates that bring additional value to customers. There is a wealth of additional insights on this topic which this article offers.

We hope you enjoyed our picks and bookmarked a few of these articles for future reference.

Please don’t forget to share the buzz with other CX professionals.

Are there any other topics of CX that interest you? Tweet us, or comment below to let us know!