Does Your Organization Have a Customer Experience Program?
Thinking About It?
In today’s interview, Steve Walden, author of the new book Customer Experience Management Rebooted, argues that too often our corporate obsession with metrics in customer experience programs leads us astray. We end up focusing too much on improving efficiency, so we can “prove” the ROI, and lose sight of the actual customer experience.
Gaming & Gifting
There’s the classic example of call centers where staff are rewarded for “resolving” problems in the shortest amount of time, which typically leads to gaming the system by doing things like:
- trying to avoid taking calls from customers you know are likely to be difficult, and
- rushing customers off the phone before their problem has actually been resolved.
We’ve tried to get around such gaming with things like instant follow-up surveys on the customer’s experience with the rep. But that can lead to what Walden calls “gifting“: you feel sorry for the rep so you give them a good score even though your problem hasn’t been solved.
That leads into another measurement problem: NPS, or Net Promoter Scores.
Should You Even Be Using NPS?
Often, the post-call surveys are based on the NPS approach. They’ll ask things like, “Based on your experience, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend?”
I’ve written extensively on some of the challenges with NPS (see, for example, Why the Net Promoter Score is Overrated (& What You Should Measure Instead), Are You Making This Net Promoter Score Mistake?, and Time to Stop Worrying About Your Net Promoter Score (NPS)?), and Walden points out some other problems with NPS.
In particular, customers aren’t rational, measuring machines. In the customer’s mind, experience is NOT the sum of all touch points. As Walden put it:
In a research project he did with a former employer, they found that 1/3 of those who gave a score of 9 or 10 (what NPS considers “promoters”) would “actively never, ever recommend the brand”!
In my own research when I was running Web Mystery Shoppers, customers often said they would not recommend a website or business to others, even when they were overall quite pleased with the experience. When asked why, they said it was because their friends wouldn’t be looking for a product or service like that!
Also, in poorly set up programs, it isn’t always clear whether you are being asked to rate:
- the customer service rep you spoke to,
- their ability to actually solve your problem, or
- your overall view of the company or its products & services.
I’ve been having some ongoing challenges with Amazon (they are great if you are buying stuff from them, but trying to sell on their site, especially for Canadians, is a whole other matter). I couldn’t give an NPS that covers my divergent views:
- Ability to actually reach a real human being who could potentially help: 1/10
- The friendliness of the rep once someone did call me: 10/10 for today’s rep, but 2/10 for some of the first line, offshored call centre staff.
- Ability or willingness of Amazon to actually solve the problem: 0/10
- My overall views of Amazon from a vendor perspective: 4/10 (It’s only that high because they have such reach!)
- My overall views of Amazon from a purchaser’s perspective: 10/10
Walden does acknowledge, though, that NPS can be a useful metric if your organization is still trying to get CEO buy-in, because it is so easy to grasp. It helps keep executives focused on the issue of customer service and the value of having a customer experience program.
What Really Matters Can Really Vary
In a survey customers may tell you that, for example, product variety is what matters most to them in their grocery store. But they may end up avoiding that store if they found another one with much better prices, or if the store with good variety has let its hygiene standards slip.
It is a question of what is salient to the customer at the time. What matters most in the moment? I’m not a fast food fan, but I’ll eat at McDonalds if I’m hungry.
It is also affected by your brand marketing efforts. Why would I choose McDonalds if I’m hungry and in a rush? Probably because (a) it’s easy to find one, and (b) I have memories of it being a fast, clean place (even though my more recent experiences tell a different story).
And customers aren’t great at telling you what’s really influencing their decisions. We are likely to rationalize our behavior after the fact.
I may tell an interviewer that bought the McDonalds fries because the salads looked bad that day. But deep down, the reality is that I actually love fries, and, since I was allergic to raw vegetables most of my life (yep, really), I’m not even in the habit of thinking about salads.
You have to dig deep to really understand consumer behaviour. That’s why any good customer experience program starts with customer research, often ethnography (i.e. watching how they really behave in their natural environment).
Also in This Podcast Episode
- The use of “co-creation platforms” to help innovative ideas surface.
- Challenges of customer journey mapping, especially when things are changing quickly.
- Why customer experience programs need to focus on building relationships, not numbers.
- How the timing of customer interactions and questionnaires can affect the outcome.
- Tim Keiningham, author of The Wallet Allocation Rule: Winning the Battle for Share. Click here to hear my interview with Tim Keiningham.
- Dave Snowden, of Cognitive Edge
- Olaf Hermans, of SiR-Intel
So, final question to ask yourself:
Are You an Experience Brand or an Efficiency Brand?
Would your customer experience program and metrics support that belief?
Episode 113 – Is Your Company Measuring the Wrong Things in its Customer Experience?
Posted on 11/08/2017
[Transcription starts at 00:00:17]
TEMA: Today’s guest is Steve Walden, Director of Customer Experience at TeleTech and the author of the new book Customer Experience Management Rebooted. His main premise in the book, and in our interview, is that too often organizations become so obsessed with metrics that they ended up focusing on efficiency improvements rather than experience improvements.
00:00:44 In the interview, we also discuss some of the misuses of NPS scores and other metrics, and we talk about some startling research findings like one that discovered that yogurt was being used as a fashion statement. Who’d have guessed it?
00:01:01 Before we get to the interview, just a quick heads up that I’ve got a special seasonal offer just for you at the end of the episode, so hang in there right to the end, and that offer will be waiting for you. Now let’s get straight to the interview.
[Interview starts at 00:01:58]
STEVEN: My name is Steven Walden, and I’m Director of Customer Experience here at TeleTech and based in London. TeleTech is an organization that comprises a number of different brands. The most well-known, probably, particularly in the U.S.A., is TeleTech itself, which is focused on one of the largest customer call center operations in the world, but also has some interesting assets:
rogenSi, mindsets, culture, and people change.
Peppers & Rogers, of course, the famous CX outfit and….
iNotion in analytics.
There’s probably some that I’ve forgotten as well, but … down the line. Basically, it offers a full suite of services to support operationalizing and customer experience and strategizing around customer experience.
00:02:06 I’ve been here for nearly two years. Before then, I’ve been really in customer experience since 2005, so quite near its inception. I spent eight and a half years in the agency side in organizations, head of research and consultancy, a company called Beyond Philosophy, and specialized … emotion.
STEVEN: Then I moved to Ericsson in their managed service units called Experience Centric Managed Services. Then I found myself here.
TEMA: Cool. You have written a book, Customer Experience Management Rebooted, in which you are contrasting experience brands with efficiency brands. To start with, it seems you start or talk quite a bit about the dangers of becoming a little too obsessed with efficiency-based metrics. Can you tell us what are the concerns with trying to quantify too much?
STEVEN: Well, I think the concern is that you lose the intent of customer experience, and the intended customer experience is pretty simple, really. A major rocket science about it is to improve the customer’s world, to rock the customer’s world, if you like, … to wow, to make it easy, whatever it might be so that they get more value from the experience you provide and provision, and which they, therefore, exchange more value with you over the short term or the long term.
00:03:32 My problem is that in focusing on efficiency only, then you lose that intent. You essentially lose the customer in the equation. What you do is you focus on more and more efficiency for the firm to save money, or you focus on more and more efficiency as a measure without reaping the rewards from the customer side.
00:03:56 For instance, let’s take an example from the call center world. You make things quicker, easier, first call resolution, when in actual fact maybe the customer has not spoken about first call resolution at all and doesn’t seem or feel that is a particularly relevant aspect. Your response in ten minutes to a complex question is actually fine.
00:04:17 Now, that’s a hypothesis. It might not be true. But at least from the voice of the customer, there are other things that they might be bothered with around their relationship with you as a brand that speaks to the experience, not just to the efficiency benefit.
00:04:31 What I’m not saying is that efficiency cannot be gained from a focus on customer experience. What I’m not saying is efficiency is bad. What I am saying is, think about the intent, the strategic intent of what you want to do when you look at customer experience. That must be to improve the customer’s world, which has not been necessarily the same as a pure focus on efficiency metrics.
TEMA: Would you take issue then with what Matt Dixon proposed in The Effortless Experience? Are you suggesting that that’s not what we should be aiming for?
STEVEN: I think anything that says that’s the only thing, I would take issue with that, absolutely. I think, including experience, by the way. I think Matt Dixon focused his work, and particularly Harvard Business Review on call center environments, and I’m sure, within context, there’s a great deal of value there. I think he makes some great points on page one, actually, about focusing only on delight as a generic term without reference to creating value for the customer. It’s a crucial point.
TEMA: One of the points that you made that really resonated with me is, you comment that customers aren’t cost-benefit calculators and we don’t notice and weight everything. You said that they notice what is salient and discount the rest. That’s quite right. I mean I think you’ve given some examples in there and get an overall sense if we go into a fast-food chain about whether it’s clean, whether it’s an atmosphere we feel comfortable in without stopping to think was there a spec of dirt on the floor or was there a spec of dirt on the counter.
TEMA: How does that affect how one evaluates customer experience? How can you assess or measure customer experience without breaking it down to each of those little metrics?
STEVEN: I think two things. First of all, on a definition side, overall the frequent definitions that I refer to is the sum of all touch points, which actually is not how Bernd Schmidt, who originated that, I believe actually meant it to be, but it was coming out–
TEMA: Oh, yeah?
STEVEN: Well, he was speaking in terms of subjective response. But what happens is these things get taken up by firms, and it becomes “the sum of all touch points” means everything, and I don’t think that’s the case whatsoever. I think, to your point, I mean really I try to change the definition into something a little bit more subjective, which is why I like to use a very simple definition of “experience is just the experience the customer has,” but then that begs; if it’s subjective, how do you measure that?
00:07:05 Now, this is really getting to the crux of it, which is why I spent quite a while in the book looking for best practices in this area about how do we measure customer experience. Yeah, although I hate the term, a lot of companies buy into “what gets measures gets managed.” I actually prefer Mintzberg’s terms about you have to manage what you can’t measure, but the key point is, there is a strong measurement paradigm within business. How do you broach that?
00:07:34 Now, the simple fact is if customers do not break things down and do not apply a regression algorithm to come up with what is salient to them or of value to them or not, then if you apply breaking things down into ever granular pieces and apply a regression algorithm for subjective data, well then you’d have the wrong paradigm. That begs the question; that’s all very well, and hopefully logical, so what should you do?
STEVEN: Now this is where I think the first thing I’d say is there is no perfection. Of course, we receive, create, and experience novel situations all the time, and we don’t know how people are going to react. We cannot control the customers well. We can manage for it, but we cannot control it.
00:08:18 This is where I did a lot of research myself into what our best practice measures and came across the work of two people: Dave Snowden of Cognitive Edge, who quantifies narrative on the basis that one of the best ways to understand the customer’s will is how they talk about it to themselves and others. The example I give there is, “Nobody walks out of a store saying it was a great 8.5 out of 10 experience.”
TEMA: [Laughter] Yeah.
STEVEN: But we can talk about it to ourselves and others. Also, the work of Olaf Hermans in the sense that dialog is important. Just a focus on service quality isn’t enough because it just doesn’t mean anything after a while. It isn’t salient. But if we focus on relationship quality and understand how we talk to customers in the customer journey, the next best question and reevaluate our customer journeys for dialog, an effective dialog, and create that relationship. Those are two angles.
00:09:15 As well as accepting, of course, the work that you can infer because people always say and walk around thinking about brand. You can infer that if they got breadcrumbs data on a website and look confused, they may well be confused.
STEVEN: There is no perfection, but I think there is a better way of doing things that you can see the salience, for want of a better term, when trying to artificially create it by trying to measure every little thing. There are better ways of doing customer experience with measures that exist now, are in the market now, and also avoid gaining and gifting of data. One of the big problems with all attitudinal metrics, not just unique to net promoter score, is the risk of gaining it.
STEVEN: And gifting it. I think we need to move away from gaining and gifting.
TEMA: What do you mean by gifting?
STEVEN: If you ask me, “How did that customer service rep perform on the phone with you when you were in the call center?” I might give him maybe an okay, eight out of ten; but, actually, I give a nine out of ten because I know what great looks like and I know that they may get not their bonus if they don’t get a nine out of ten.
STEVEN: I may be reluctant to give, for a poor performing restaurant, one out of ten because, you know, I don’t want people to feel bad. And, you know, it was one of those things, so I give a seven out of ten.
00:10:37 I did a piece of work, which I specified, and this was done with Ericsson a few years ago where we actually tested the meaning of numbers. What we found was that of those who scored nine out of ten, one-third of those would actably never ever recommend the brand.
STEVEN: Those who scored zero to six, two-thirds of them would not actably never, ever recommend the brand, so there’s a disconnect between the meaningful numbers and what they mean to customers.
TEMA: We’ve all, of course, on the gaming side, had that experience of an employee saying, “Please give me a ten or I won’t get my bonus.”
TEMA: Yeah, exactly, and then you feel bad for them.
STEVEN: It also goes into the firm as well, Tema, in terms of if you give all this data to your business intelligence unit and they’re being bonused on improvements in NPS–
STEVEN: –for instance, you can be assured there will be an improvement on NPS because they’ll make sure the methodology, or the regression algorithm they use, whatever it is, will give them a satisfactory story either to get their bonus or make sure, even more likely, that the company gets off their back.
STEVEN: I think the beauty of stories is that, to change the story, you literally have to write something different. That moves it away from — it’s not so easy to gain, and it’s not so easy to gift. That doesn’t deny the criticality of customers quantifying those stories. It is a quantitative measure. But it means that the bar is set higher.
00:12:03 Also, if I may, just with dialog, that’s important because we don’t always — we make a phone call. We receive an experience in the moment that may be different than we expected or novel information happens; or, you know, you can get someone on the phone who just has a grumpy day and doesn’t want to speak to you; or you go to a store and, just on that particular day, the carpet looks a bit dirty; whatever it might be. It’s also how we respond in the moment, which is why enabling effective encounters between staff and customer is important, i.e. enabling good dialog.
TEMA: Given, though, that senior management wants things quantified, how can people who want to work on improving customer experience in their organizations, what do they present then to get that buy-in?
STEVEN: The first thing we looked at, narrative can be quantified. Absolutely, you can get a measure of customer experience. It may not be the measure you are used to. It’s what we call a vector measure. In other words, it shows directionality, where things are moving towards, almost like a flowchart. Imagine it like that, but it can give you something to work on that can be understandable and gives you numbers, so you can say, “And we should work on X, Y, or Z.” The great KPI around that is more stories like this, and fewer stories like that. We work on those narratives and stories that we need to emphasize and don’t on those that we don’t.
00:13:36 The other thing is if you’ve got a boring experience, you’re going to have boring drivers to that experience….
STEVEN: The key thing there is to enable creativity. You’re putting something new into the system. You’re painting the walls orange rather than blue, or whatever it might be. But nobody can actually state what the output would be, so you do the classic server design process of a complex environment. You just do small trials or tests … service design. You enable that innovation of the company.
00:14:09 You’ll get your ROI expectation. You just won’t get it before then. You have to do something to see how people react.
TEMA: You talk a lot about core customer drives and drivers. How do you determine what things are?
STEVEN: Well, look at an example of Starbucks. If you were to just say, “Why did you go and get that coffee?” you might say, “Well, I just fancied it, and it’s a cheap price,” or something like that. You post-rationalize.
TEMA: Starbucks is never cheap. [Laughter]
STEVEN: Exactly. [Laughter] But you have to unpick it. You have to look behind the surface meaning of what is actually going on here. What are the hidden drives, if you like? In the Starbucks case, the classic example is it’s the third place, a place to sit down and talk to friends.
00:14:56 I do think, to uncover those drives that sit behind a concrete statement in any consumer environment, you have to unpick it. There’s a good example of that with my friends in a company called Innovationbubble, which is a consumer psychology company. They looked at, I think it was, frozen yogurt and how they thought it was ice cream. But when they actually looked at it and saw beneath the surface about what people were doing and used psychology, they could undercover that, actually, people were putting it against their dress, in that particular case, up against their clothes. They were using frozen yogurt as a fashion statement, and that’s what I mean.
STEVEN: It’s a good example about unpicking not what’s on the surface, but what’s underneath the surface. I think, in general terms, I’d say ethnography.
STEVEN: A deep, qualitative approach to undercover maybe simple drives, potentially, but you’re missing, and use those within your quantification to see how things are moving in the experience that you provide.
TEMA: What I find interesting, too, is that companies develop a reputation for something, whether it’s Starbucks being the third place, and yet, in Europe, there have been coffee shops like that forever.
TEMA: It’s not just about it being the third place. It has a lot to do with how they’ve marketed it. That’s also affecting perceptions. It amazes me when I go to Europe and see people lining up at a Starbucks. Why?
STEVEN: Apple store as well….
TEMA: That was my next example. Exactly. Apple stores: we talk about how great they are. Yet, in my experience, I hate it because I go there and it’s too crowded, and I have to wait too long.
STEVEN: Well, I think they think — I’m going to use a horrible word, but this is the one I can think off the top of my head — taking the holistic journey and understanding that critically, which is where I add an extra layer on where the value is or could be for the customer. That involves multiple points. This is well-known within the customer experience, of course. I think that the learning for any company that wants to do customer experience is those successful exemplars of experience–Apple, Starbucks–in taking that holistic approach to define the value for the customer and needed to look at it end-to-end.
00:17:09 For instance, one of the classic things I find is that companies start off with customer experience, then say, “Where is the ROI now?” Then they say, “Well, okay. We will upsell and cross-sell through sending loads of emails more personalized to the individual.”
STEVEN: That’s fine. I can’t deny that’s an experience.
STEVEN: …maybe in 5% to 10% of the cases it’s a brilliant experience, but life doesn’t stop there. Even before you go, look at the email. There is a brand reputation.
00:17:38 When you go to the dealership, you have to deal with the person at the other end of the table. On the website, likewise. There’s an enormous amount of complexity, actually, in dealing with the customer experience when you look end-to-end. It doesn’t mean to say it’s impossible to do, but it just means you need to be more cognizant. When you decide you’re an experience brand, you’re deciding that strategically, not just looking at a singular part of customer value creation. You have to look at the whole.
TEMA: Hmm. Okay. You talked in the book about the problems with customer journey mapping, as it’s often currently done.
TEMA: Can you elaborate a bit on that?
STEVEN: I think one of the issues is this notion of getting 5 people in a room, 10 people in a room, or 20 people in a room from the business, and getting Post-It notes on the table and sticking them up on the wall. I’m not saying that’s not of value, but what you usually find there is it’s an inside-out perspective.
STEVEN: You usually find, again, the output is, for instance, maybe the invoice process is broken because we, as a business, need to get money in, and that’s important to us.
STEVEN: But there are things that the customer is missing there. I think that’s a big risk, and even a risk if you just try and fit it within a linear chart. I’ll give you an example. If you just say, “Now break it down into ten components,” you’re immediately starting to box things. The best example I can give is, again, the work I did with Bharti Airtel in India where we looked at the perception of network signal. It sounds very boring, but that’s what it was.
TEMA: [Laughter] Okay.
STEVEN: 1,500 customers in the Delhi Circle. What we found was the journey was actually…. We were looking very specifically at network signal. Could I get a mobile signal on my handset? That was the nature of the interest — of the company.
STEVEN: What we found was the key thing that influenced perception of the mobile signal was not the mobile signal. It was actually the negative effect of bad customer service and early billing.
STEVEN: I just got a contract with you, and you bill me in the first week.
STEVEN: I notice all the negativities about the signal. It’s kind of a little bit like that. These things are not so linear as you think. Most customer journeys are non-linear. My point was really to open it up, just have a blank sheet of paper and just listen. Don’t try and force things into linear blocks or 20 people in the room. Take multiple perspectives and try to get the journey map to emerge from what I’ve said before in terms of the way customers speak about you, ethnography, and all these methods. Don’t rush to map.
00:20:31 I think I’m not dissing journey maps. I think they’re fantastic tools, but they can be constraining if you’re not open-minded about where customers basically associate their value of you through not just the journey, current existing journey, but also non-linear journeys.
TEMA: Yeah. I mean, of course, to do a good journey map, you have to start with ethnography and other types of research to understand what the customers perceive and what’s important to them.
STEVEN: Yes. Yes.
TEMA: Because otherwise, as you say, it is just a process map, not a journey map.
STEVEN: What’s important also, Tema, is to have journey analytics within that. This is where I’d say, because life isn’t static, what’s important today changes tomorrow.
STEVEN: Which is why I think some of the early techniques of talking about narrative and dialog, to ingest those as more genuine perception measures can morph the journey map as you go along. I think that can be tremendously valuable because sometimes you pick up narratives that are micro-moments that are important that you’d missed if you just said, “And we shall ask these 20 questions all the time.” Many times, for instance, I’ve been on–I gave the example–the BA flight where they asked 20 questions, set questions, and that apparently was my experience, but I desperately wanted to talk about something else and quantify that.
STEVEN: You need to get the right ways of measuring into and make the journey maps more agile and also fit that critically and actually doing something as well.
TEMA: But isn’t that part of why Reichheld and others tried to come up with something like the NPS because there are so many different things and changing things that influence customer perception over time? I guess what he was trying to do–and I’m not a big defender of the NPS score because I see a lot of problems with it, but–I think what he was trying to accomplish there was to say, “Okay. We know that what underlies this is fuzzy, but let’s find one measure that kind of tells us where we are.”
STEVEN: The NPS is a cultural metric, as far as I’m concerned. It does put it on the agenda, so if you’re dealing with, say, a utility. Let’s take one such as E.ON in the U.K. where nobody believes — well, I don’t want to say nobody believes, but maybe at one time….
STEVEN: –in believing that the customer, in case anybody from E.ON is listening to this. They input this metric, and it does give some consistency and intentionality. It does set it up an agenda.
00:22:54 Porsche cars use dashboards to target people against and issue different dealerships. There is value in that, as there is value in customer satisfaction.
00:23:04 I think my point is the value reaches a point whereby you’re actually getting constraint and you’re actually facing a situation where data is being gained, and you’re missing the opportunity because you’re not being flexible enough. I think NPS 2.0 … metrics in 2.0 is required now alongside your big data metrics. I think the risk of any of this, activities, you focus on the customer as always responding on a zero to ten scale, almost mechanically. The customer perception, customer experience, recommendation is complex and, therefore, you need to use methods that are better attuned to complexity. For instance, a recommendation, you’re not asking scale. You’re asking are likely to recommend when, where….
STEVEN: In a party?
STEVEN: Well, why are you recommending? Is it because you just happen to like the person at the party and it’s just the thing that came to the top of your head? You simply can’t. You’re going to be limited in your capabilities if you assume everything is predictable. But by its own measures, it usually only explains about 5% or 10% of, say, spend. What I’m saying is you need to augment and extend these measures into something that really, I think, is a little bit more natural.
TEMA: It’s interesting because when you talk about the intent to recommend when and where, when I started, I ran a business for several years called Web Mystery Shoppers, which I started in 2001. We were doing essentially remote usability testing of websites and Web-related customer service. But I was using, you know, at the end of it, “Would you recommend this to a friend?” I would always ask why or why not. What I found is often they would say, well, I wouldn’t because none of my friends would be in the market for this.
STEVEN: Yeah, and I think, again, people may say, well, that’s dissing NPS. …industry, and NPS is my job…. It’s not what we’re saying. We’re saying there is value in any attitudinal metric, but I think, to your point there, that there are better ways to augment. I think that’s where the market is now.
TEMA: Okay, so let’s just try and sum this up. If you are somebody who is responsible for customer experience in an organization, how would you suggest that they measure, monitor, and prove their value to senior executive before they get to the point where you can actually see a bottom line result?
STEVEN: I think, first of all, I’d attack the governance. I mean a lot of customer experience programs, even before you get to the metrics, are ruined by poor governance and mid-tier executives with no traction, which is why the subtitle of the book was Are you an Experience brand or an Efficiency Brand because you have to have intent to do this. You have to consider it within the strategic pillar. I mean examples of good companies that do it in a strategic pillar, for example, DHL, their customer for life program, and who is great with a delivery program, which I’ve highlighted in the book. They consider customer experience as a strategy.
STEVEN: It’s close to, for instance, customer intimacy. You want to differentiate your brand based on the experience in provision. When you think of it like that, and if your CEO, your CFO bought into that, that’s where you have to start.
00:26:21 The second point, then you get to the metrics. I think what I would say is absolutely use the standard CX metrics. I would absolutely say you should augment them, and I would start with some of the principles, not to be theoretical of it; just it ground it correctly in the company. I would look at using some of the more agile techniques, getting a BI unit involved, setting up the right dashboards to be more agile in what you measure and more responsive. Share narratives around the company that are of importance. Embed that metric, which I particularly like: more stories like this; fewer stories like that.
00:26:57 Also, to then also have a portion of your business firmly devoted to design thinking because, again to this point, you’re painting a wall orange to blue all the way around. You’re bringing novel information into what you provision as an experience. You simply don’t know whether there’s going to be a return.
00:27:15 The question for the CFO is absolutely relevant. The response to the CFO is, if we enable ourselves to do small proofs of concept, this will help determine whether it’s a good, bad, or indifferent response and moves the dial, for want of a better term, in terms of the customer experience.
00:27:33 Then I’d also embed voice of the employee for the natural reason that they obviously have the interface with the customers on a day-to-day basis. They have the buy-in and should not be lost as an innovation format.
00:27:45 I think the final thing I would say, and there’s also parts to it, so I’m only just highlighting some key things here.
STEVEN: It’s a co-creation. I think it’s absolutely fundamental to have a co-creation platform alongside your metrics and design to surface innovation. Co-creation platforms I’ve worked with and found that, at DHL as an example, a good example of a co-creation platform where you go out. You conduct workshops. You embed narrative. You embed dialog into what you perform to surface innovation. You have a trial and test platform to see how they operate. That may sound big. I’m not saying it should be done immediately.
STEVEN: I’m saying you can cadence things in parallel. You don’t have to fix everything and leave innovation to the last and never get to innovation.
STEVEN: You can do these in parallel. You can design a bundle of metrics that are right for you. I’ve noticed, for instance, Tim Keiningham’s metric, share of wallet, is increasingly being used, for instance.
STEVEN: Design them to your maturity. Perhaps NPS in a low mature business where nobody speaks about the customer is absolutely right for you because it grounds it. Then you need a cadence. Perhaps you should start in the call center. Who knows? Make sure that it’s right for the maturity of your organization, but also make sure, if you think of it as a strategy, that you are always clear on the directionality. That this is, you want to use a customer as a source of value to gain more value for your business. You are aiming to be an experience brand, and … focus on that.
TEMA: Well, and that’s it. If you provide those outstanding experiences, to a certain extent efficiency, not that it’s not important, but it’s downplayed a little bit in importance because you can charge a higher number. You can charge a premium.
STEVEN: Exactly. It’s not to say efficiency isn’t important, but I just want companies to be less myopic, and particularly not confuse issues of efficiency with issues of experience. Otherwise, as I say, you will see NCX.
TEMA: Right. [Laughter] Steve, is there anything that you wish I had asked you and I have not?
STEVEN: We didn’t speak so much about emotions. The key thing about it is emotions are there as flags about how the customer obviously feels. But emotions also relate to situations, so you always have to bound it to almost, why is the customer thinking as they do?
TEMA: Steve mentioned quite a few names of researchers in there, so I’ll have links in the show notes to those if you want to explore a little bit further. You’ll find all the links at FrankReactions.com/113.
[00:33:04 end of audio file]