From what I heard, ‘It´s (still) about the emotions and the figures’
Speaking to various participants and listening to the key note speeches at Germany’s CX Forum 2017 earlier this month, I tried as always to get a sense of ‘the’ questions which are driving the CX scene here in Germany.
There was no surprise that the responses are highly dependent on the CX maturity level of the companies involved. But priority points most often heard were:
- How do I prove and link figures to CX activities?
- How do I get the ‘people’ on board?
Our own experience with assignments across Europe echoes these two points as well. it seems conventional thinking on what is a sound measure of CX and some of the ‘lean’ style transformation programme approaches adopted for customer experience have created problems for organisations hoping to progress with CX.
Why is this?
One reason is many companies settle for a measure which is easy to obtain and simpler to report when it comes to CX. So whilst the business is interested in what drives profit, the CX team is reporting how many customers (say they) are promoting the business? Evidence from studies conducted by Dr Prof Phil Klaus (Author: Measuring Customer Experience) show a less than 1% correlation between ‘recommend’ measures and profit. Not the sort of weapon you want to take in to the boardroom when it comes to justifying CX investment!
The good news is that we are finding many are waking up to the value of the right CX measures and the investment in cultural change required to support CX.
And more good news: B2B companies are now asking for the applicability and best practice for their businesses when it comes to CX. The top 10 messages shared are not new, but probably cannot be repeated often enough for new entrants into CX, and as reminders for the converted:
- Make sure you have your sponsor on-board and understanding the commercial potential from CX
- Measure, measure, measure what matters to customers – but what CX drives behaviour change as well as inference and sentiment (such as NPS and CSAT)
- CX, like all strategic imperatives, takes time to establish, normalise and create return. It is a journey of discovery for organisations with several steps to take before reaching ‘the land of unicorns’ (quote Stefan Osthaus)
- Stop over surveying. Feedback fatigue is a modern virus. Start watching more.
- Bring CEOs in contact with the real world in creative ways (Samsung’s channel: Email to CEO is a great example of this)
- Don’t forget we measure for the ‘why’ not the ‘how many’ verbatim from CX are a much more valuable source for improvement than a score of -3 or +28.
- Involve your people and take care of them like you take care of your customers. employee experience is not a nice to have, it’s a fundamental. Colleagues who feel the value of CX, deliver the value of CX.
- Use methodology and techniques like customer journey mapping for a structured approach. It’s amazing how many organisations map the customer journey from a ‘how it impacts our process’ perspective. Start with the customer problem, to arrive at a better outcome overall.
- Know your customer before starting other effort – not demographically but what makes them tick, what drives their choices and what fulfils them. Think ZMET.
- Think digital but with the customer experience in mind – not the technology. Digital first is really modern customer first. Don’t sacrifice engagement for effortless or satisfaction for self-serve.
Events are great to get a sense of where your industry is in it’s growth. I went through a storm of mixed feelings during the day. In the morning, I was happy to see 170 participants name tags. Compared to last year there were more titles and roles included in Customer Experience. it’s a great sign that CX has arrived in the organisational setup.
Having said that I went to the state of shock at the podium discussion in the of the day: Were they seriously arguing which department (!) was best to lead CX in companies? Sad but true – in times of discussing agile working ‘old world’ is still out there. We still have many who just don’t get it or see CX as a new model for a quick buck – beware of these pretenders!
There were some other moments which connected with me emotionally:
- I had admiration for the guy from ThinkPen with his great visualisations of the key notes. My brain and I just love that kind of communication.
- I was amused about Prof. Heinemann who is the digital optimist and her entertaining ‘show’ after lunch on why digitalisation is no revolution but more yesterday’s news as it is out there everywhere already. Although quite a few companies in Germany still think it´s a buzz word and do not align it with the purpose of their business. Mmmh… not so amusing!
- Respect for all the companies who have the courage to and share their learnings like Stepstone, even though they have just started
- I was thankful for the openness during the sessions as well as the breaks. Once again I experienced the people who were very enthusiastic on the matter of CX and eager to learn and share.
- And not to also thank the team from MaritzCX for pulling together this event in times where time is limited and precious. Nothing is more worthwhile then talking to others who are battling the same grounds.
And finally, a take away from Markus Nessler’s presentation on Samsung’s path to superior CX: Online Channels upfront are great but in the end the trend is clear: Customer still love personal contacts – CX is clearly a people business! And that’s from a world leader in technology.
There are many CX events throughout the year. Pick which ones you go to wisely. And be prepared to share if you want to learn.
Posted by Karin Glattes, MD & CX Consultant, Lexden (Germany)
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Lexden helps deliver effective customer experience insight, strategy, content and creative activation clients seeking sustainable profit from customer experience.