Wednesday, April 18, 2018

CX Journey™ Musings: A Trojan Mouse and Your #CX Strategy

Image courtesy of Pixabay
Are you challenged in your efforts to implement organization-wide changes to improve your culture, the employee experience, and the customer experience?

Have you considered how a Trojan Mouse might help you gain traction in these efforts?

Trojan Mouse. What is it? And how does it differ from a Trojan Horse?

Well, right off the top of my head it seems like "Trojan Mouse" elicits an image of smallness, speed, and agility, while "Trojan Horse" makes me think of a larger undertaking that is a bit slower and more labored - in both planning and execution - and likely rejected.

Let's start with what a Trojan Mouse is. From TrojanMice.com:
Much change is of the "Trojan Horse" variety. At the top of the organisation a decision is taken to introduce a strategic change programme, and consultants or an internal team are commissioned to plan it down to the very last detail. The planned changes are then presented at a grand event (the Trojan Horse) amid much loud music, bright lights, and dry ice. More often than not, however, a few weeks later the organisation will have settled back into its usual ways and rejected much of the change. This is usually because the change was too great to be properly understood and owned by the workforce.
Trojanmice, on the other hand, are small, well-focused changes, which are introduced on an ongoing basis in an inconspicuous way. They are small enough to be understood and owned by all concerned, but their effects can be far-reaching. Collectively a few trojanmice will change more than one Trojan Horse ever could.
What do you think of that?

I am immediately drawn to these two sentences: More often than not, however, a few weeks later the organisation will have settled back into its usual ways and rejected much of the change. This is usually because the change was too great to be properly understood and owned by the workforce.

Trojan Mice seem like a great approach to implementing change for a variety of reasons:
  • Trojan Mice address the last point in that second sentence - they are small enough to be understood and owned.
  • We often talk about quick wins and showing some successes before we do a full roll out of a CX strategy. Those small wins, those quick wins, are great examples of Trojan Mice, allowing for gradual adoption of - and engagement with - the larger journey.
  • Making small, nimble changes also limits risk or makes risk more tolerable as you design a new experience, develop new products, and find creative solutions to old problems. Think: fix fast, fail fast, fix fast.
  • You can deploy various changes at the same time, which means you can test which ones work and which don't - allowing you to quickly retract the ones that won't have the intended impact, learn from them, and redeploy with updates. Again: fail fast, fix fast.
  • Given that these changes are small and nimble, they will certainly help increase speed to market, i.e., you can get the solution out there quicker.
  • Small changes that are quickly accepted, understood, and owned will add up and make for a bigger impact quickly - and over time - than rolling out a Trojan Horse that baffles people and is immediately rejected.
People hate change. And if they don't know what it is or why it's taking place, they ignore it; they certainly don't want to be a part of it. Why not break it down for them, simplify it, and help them understand and own it.

As I've said before, improving the customer experience happens in baby steps; Trojan Mice - small, yet impactful, examples with tangible value - may just be the quickest way to successful adoption of the CX strategy and to transformation success.

Fail often so you can succeed sooner. -David Kelley, Founder and Chairman of IDEO

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Do Leaders Really Care About Their Employees?

Image courtesy of Pixabay
Does your CEO - and your entire leadership team - really care about their employees?

I had another blog post in the hopper for this week, but when this article came across my desk, followed by a phone conversation with Bob Chapman, I knew I needed to write something different, something that is top of mind for me now - and often - as I work with my clients.

The article?

"Beyond Nice,", which you can find in Conscious Company Magazine's Spring 2018 issue - or just click the article name to download the PDF. It features Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, and his approach to leadership that we can/should all learn from. Sooner rather than later.

I've written about Bob Chapman several times in the past, starting with a 2012 post about his TEDxScottAFB Talk:

Truly Human Leadership - Everyone Matters
Define Your Employee-Centric Culture
Employee Engagement Strategy? Nay! Leadership Strategy
A Customer Experience Carol
"Be Positive" is Not a Strategy
We Have a Crisis in Leadership

I have followed Bob since that first post back in 2012, and I've spoken to him twice since then. He's a very genuine and caring person, and I love how he's trying to shift the leadership paradigm. And, clearly, I believe he's on to something: we have a crisis in leadership.

Look at some of the stats:

- 88% of employees in the US feel they work for a company that doesn't care about them
- 75% of employees are disengaged
- 67% of employees don't trust their leaders
- 50% of employees are dissatisfied with their jobs
- 7% of people in one survey said they'd been hospitalized due to workplace stress
- 120,000 deaths due to workplace stress every year

Yikes!

Each one on its own is bad; all of them combined are insane. The problem: leaders don't care about their employees; instead, employees are viewed as a cog in the wheel to their success. Leaders drive to growth, to the numbers, and forget about the needs and the lives of the employees who help them get there.

Bob notes that...
We measure success all wrong in this country. Many people have made millions, billions of dollars, who have incredibly broken personal lives. Would we view those people as successful?
We are going to measure success by the way we touch the lives of people.
Imagine the employee experience if that was the case, if leaders cared about employees, their families, and their well-being! And measured success by how they touched their employees' lives! A little humanity and humaneness would go a long way.

How do leaders turn things around? First and foremost, it's a choice. Everything you do in your life, as a human, as a leader, is a choice. Choose to lead differently. Choose to align with the rest of the leadership team and the goals of the business. Choose to care.
  • Leaders must choose to put their employees' well-being ahead of all other goals and outcomes. It starts with the CEO and the executive team. The choice is theirs. 
  • Establish core values and guiding principles that set the tone for the company culture, a culture that puts people first. 
  • Create an environment based on trust, respect, and caring.
  • Adopt a servant leader mentality.
  • Take a look at the checklist in the article; it provides a dozen essential actions that leaders must take. Put a check next to those you already do, and look inward for the ones that you don't.
The bottom line is this: when leaders take care of their people, their people take care of the business.

When you look at somebody as somebody’s precious child that you have a chance to impact, it profoundly changes the way you view people. They are no longer a function for your success. -Bob Chapman

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Drive Real #CX Change with Journey Maps

Are journey maps a waste of time, or can you really use them to drive CX change?

There's a big problem brewing out there when it comes to journey mapping:
Too many folks view journey maps as useless, when instead, the maps should be seen as one of the (if not the) most powerful tools and processes in the customer experience professional's arsenal.
Done right, you can drive real CX change with your journey maps!

So, it was with great pleasure that I accepted James Dodkins' invitation to be a guest on his ROCKSTAR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE program via Facebook Live to talk about how to drive real CX change with journey maps. I think a lot of people talk about how to create the maps (even if they are erroneous in their ways), but not many talk about what to do next.

In the forty-minute interview, we covered a lot of territory, including:
  • What journey maps are and why they are so powerful
  • How journey maps differ from process maps and service blueprints - and why all are important to improving the customer experience
  • Why it's important to consider customer emotions - and why it's important to distinguish between what they do and what they feel
  • Which mistakes companies make while mapping
  • What to do after the mapping workshop to drive real CX change
  • What the difference is between personas and segments, and why we use personas over target segments in journey mapping
  • Why maps aren't just fluff and how to convince those who think so that they aren't
  • How to prep for and run a journey mapping workshop
  • What skills are needed to map journeys
  • How to get customer data and information for your journey maps
  • What the best strategy is for a successful journey mapping program
  • And much more!
 As you can see, we covered a lot of territory. The ultimate goal of this conversation is to help you realize that journey maps are:
  • the beginning, not the end
  • a catalyst for change
  • not just a tool but a process
Hopefully the interview helps you start to think a bit differently about how you're mapping or why you should map if you aren't yet.

I invite you to watch the interview - and to share your thoughts on it below. Thank you!

Customer experience is a journey. Only you hold the map.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

How Do You Measure #CX Success?

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How do you measure success of your customer experience initiatives?

For any type of project or initiative that you undertake, it's important to be able to track progress and measure success. In order to do that, you must first outline what success looks like and what metrics you'll use to measure that. Outlining what success looks like starts with: specifying the problems to solve, establishing the objectives, and defining the desired outcomes.

CX initiatives require you to identify and outline those items for (at least) three different constituents, since the initiatives will impact the business, the employee, and the customer. What matters most to each of these?

Some examples of outcomes for each include:

Business
  • Increased revenue: from new customers, existing customers making additional purchases, and existing customers deepening their relationships by expanding to other product lines 
  • Provider and employer of choice
  • Reduced costs: often in the form of process efficiencies and improvements
  • Culture change: a shift to a people first culture
  • Increased referrals: as a result of an improved experience
Customers
  • Achieved a job to be done 
  • Solved a pain point
  • Reduced effort or simple interaction/transaction
  • Memorable experience
Employees
  • Career growth and development
  • Got a promotion
  • Increased job satisfaction
  • Expectations met
  • Great experience
Add yours to the list; I'm sure your company, employees, and customers will have plenty of other desired outcomes.

How will you know the outcomes? You will have asked and listened to understand. For employees and customers, you will have used surveys or other listening posts, developed personas, and mapped their journeys. For the business, you will have had discussions with executives to understand where the business' priorities lie. As you already know, executives will want to see how CX initiatives and investments will impact business performance (yes, ROI); if they can't make that connection, it will affect their commitment, including resources to continue to fund and to staff CX improvements initiatives.

Now, think about how you'll measure progress toward - and success of - each those outcomes. What does that look like? Here are some examples:

Business
  • Cost savings
  • Revenue/recurring revenue
  • Retention (employees and customers)
  • Profitability
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Share of wallet 
  • First call resolution
Customer
  • Net promoter score
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Customer effort score
  • Ease of doing business
  • Expectations met
  • Accuracy of transaction
  • First call resolution
  • Speed of resolution
  • Quality of resolution
Employee
  • Employee engagement
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Employee happiness
  • Retention/turnover (overall, by manager)
  • Internal promotions
  • Learning and development metrics
  • eNPS
Other success metrics
  • % ownership of customer issues
  • % employees know who our customers are
  • % employees who know key drivers of customer experience
  • % improvements implemented as a result of customer feedback
  • % improvements implemented as a result of employee feedback
One bit of advice on your metrics: don't wait til the end (outcome achieved, or you think the outcome has been achieved) to see how you're preforming. Check the temperature along the way; track the metrics along the journey. Are you on track to achieving the goals? Are you getting close? If not, what needs to change to ensure that you do? What adjustments do you need to make?

And one more thought: don't get metrics crazy. Pick a couple; keep it simple. Just because you can measure it doesn't mean you should. Track the metrics that give you a solid picture of whether or not you will - or have - achieved the desired outcome. You don't need a three-page spreadsheet filled with a variety of (often irrelevant) metrics to tell you that.

Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit. -Conrad Hilton


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What's in Your #CX Budget?

Image courtesy of Pixabay
What's in your customer experience strategy budget?

Traditionally, customer experience professionals have no budget.

By that I mean that they have no allocated financial resources for improvements to be made as a result of the learnings from surveys and other listening posts, journey mapping, and other customer experience strategy exercises that become the catalyst for onstage customer experience or behind-the-scenes process improvements. Those financial resources fall into the budgets of the departments where changes are to be made.

Despite that, customer experience professionals still need to develop a budget for the work that they do and for the resources they need for that work. After all, none of that work or technology is free!

I thought I'd capture some of the items that you should be sure to include in your CX budget. Here's what I've come up with, so far.

1. Personnel
Obviously, this important work cannot all be done by one person. So you'll want to ensure that your team's fully-loaded salaries are included in your budget.

2. Technology
There are various CX technologies that you'll want to include in the budget, including but not limited to:
  • VoC platform
  • VoE platform (if different)
  • Text analytics solution
  • Predictive/prescriptive analytics solution
  • Journey mapping/management platform
  • Project management software
In addition to these external solutions, your budget might also get hit by fees from your IT department for work they perform to trigger surveys, store data, develop an intranet for you to share ongoing progress, and any other tools or data needs they must provide for.

3. Consultants
Yes, you may need to engage with consultants to assist you along the way - whether they are there to coach and advise or to actually conduct a chunk of the work. Be sure to factor in their time, materials, resource, and travel needs and expenses.

4. CX Initiatives
There are various initiatives along your journey that you'll want to be sure to factor into your budget, including:
  • Survey design and associated costs (not technology): these might be allocated under 3. Consultants, but just keep associated costs in mind under this header.
  • Customer journey mapping workshops: even if you don't hire a consultant to conduct the mapping sessions with/for you, you'll still need to factor in location costs, materials, food and beverages, etc.
  • Design thinking workshops: again, even if you don't hire a consultant, you'll probably want to factor in some location, materials, and food and beverage costs for this.
  • CAB meetings: be sure to factor in moderator fees, graphic recorder fees (if any), location fees, materials, food and beverages, any travel expenses you might incur yourself or reimburse for attendees, etc.
  • Persona development: while this may fall under the marketing budget, the CX design personas are more specific and require fine-tuning beyond what marketing and UX (which are often product-specific personas) develop.
5. EX Initiatives
This list for employee experience initiative expenses will look similar to #4. You'll notice that there are no pizza parties or pool tables included in this budget! Be sure to factor the following into your budget:
  • Survey design and associated costs (not technology): these might be allocated under 3. Consultants, but just keep associated costs in mind under this header.
  • Customer journey mapping workshops: even if you don't hire a consultant to conduct the mapping sessions with/for you, you'll still need to factor in location costs, materials, food and beverages, etc.
  • Design thinking workshops: again, even if you don't hire a consultant, you'll probably want to factor in some location, materials, and food and beverage costs for this.
  • EAB meetings: be sure to factor in moderator fees, graphic recorder fees (if any), location fees, materials, food and beverages, any travel expenses you might incur yourself or reimburse for attendees, etc.
  • Culture Ambassador meetings: again, factor in location, materials, food, and beverages for these meetings.
  • Persona development: different roles and responsibilities have different experiences within the company; it's important to understand how the personas differ in order to design the corresponding experience.
6. Training and Education
This is an important part of your career development. Make sure to include in your budget a line item each for CXPA membership, certification, and events, as well as for attending other CX conferences.

7. Miscellaneous
Nobody likes to see a "miscellaneous" line item without good reason, but this is where some things like marketing swag and other branding for this journey will fall. Unless, of course, your marketing team wants to eat that in their budget! I'm sure there are other items that will land in this bucket, as well.

I know I haven't captured everything. What am I missing?

A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. -Dave Ramsey