alphabroder Uses Action-based Program to Increase Employee Satisfaction Scores

InMoment® assists alphabroder in improving the employee experience (EX) to ultimately improve customer experiences (CX) by establishing an action-based employee experience improvement program that focuses on communication, development, and acknowledgement. 

alphabroder, an industry leader in the promotional products space, provides apparel and additional goods to promotional product distributors, athletic team dealers, and screen printers and employs thousands of associates throughout multiple facilities across North America. 

You can read about alphabroder’s full employee experience journey and receive specific examples of changes they’ve made because of their employee engagement and feedback data that is used by every executive, manager, and associate.

“At alphabroder, we believe taking action on employee feedback demonstrates that the voice of the employee is valued, heard, and respected”, said Maria Koppy, VP of Organizational Development, alphabroder. “Above all, the greatest impact to our culture is the attitude of amazing associates, operating from a state of integrity while keeping both customers and coworkers top of mind in everything we do.” 

The annual employee survey and engagement program is reaping many benefits for alphabroder. They have seen an increased employee satisfaction score by nearly 10% year-over-year, an increased survey completion rate to 86% employee survey completion, and after implementation of the program and feedback follow-up and action, 70% of those surveyed feel the company is providing good to very good corporate communications

InMoment and alphabroder previously partnered on their customer NPS program and continued their goal of improving experiences with an employee engagement program targeted towards associates leveraging the InMoment XI Platform and expert support team. 

The approach of soliciting feedback at every level of the organization has yielded more valuable employee insights and actionable information than before. The employee responses and recommendations are in turn immediately shared with transparency companywide. The executive team and managers use the data to help them prioritize employee-based initiatives, create department-specific goals, and support short-and long-term business decisions that benefit both employees and customers. 

Find out more about alphabroder’s employee engagement journey and how their approach is aligned with their strategic priorities of cultivating positive employee experience and customer experience by enhancing employee communication, development, and acknowledgement.

What’s the Difference Between a Self-Service and Full Service Customer Experience Solution?

When it comes to starting a customer experience (CX) program, the right vendor (and solution) can make all the difference. Choosing the right vendor for your CX program can be a critical decision, as it can have a significant impact on the outcome of your program. The right vendor will not only provide the necessary tools and technology, but also bring valuable expertise and experience to the table. They can help you identify your business’s specific CX needs, develop a tailored plan, and implement it successfully. 

With the right vendor, you can ensure that your CX program delivers the desired results and improves your customer satisfaction, loyalty, and revenue. When it comes to what type of CX solution you want to implement, there are two options to choose from: a full-service program or a self-service program. 

What Is a Full Service CX Solution?

A full-service CX solution refers to a CX partnership where the company that provides the platform manages all aspects of the technology (programming, analysis, change management, etc.)

This brand/CX vendor relationship is services driven, and a brand that purchases this type of solution can expect to have a dedicated team of experienced CX and technology experts to check in with regularly (sometimes as often as every week with additional calls if needed) to help the brand with every aspect of their CX program. A full-service CX vendor will help your team define strategy, implement the technology, train team members, craft surveys, import other customer data, design reporting dashboards, and beyond.  

What Is a Self-Service CX Solution?

A self-service CX vendor refers to a situation in which a person or persons within the purchasing organization are responsible for all aspects of the ongoing technology usage.

A brand purchasing a self-service CX solution can expect to have full control and autonomy in their CX initiatives. There is often a dedicated implementation team, but post implementation, there is more likely to be a helpline or contact the brand can reach out to in case of an error or if they’re in need of help.

Of course, there is a gray area between the two categories. A CX vendor that emphasizes true partnership will emphasize that customer experience is not one size fits all, and will therefore offer a blend of self-service and support-driven options to fit your needs. For example, a vendor may offer DIY survey tools alongside strategic insight sessions. 

Self-Service v. Full Service: How to Determine Which Is Right for You

A full-service program can be a great choice if you’re short on resources or if you want to outsource CX management to an expert team. With a full-service program, you’ll be able to fill in any gaps in resources or skill sets with the considerable expertise your full-service CX vendor has on staff. Your dedicated team will be infinitely familiar with your business, goals, and program.

A full-service CX solution will also help you to drive more long-term strategy for your program. Check-ins will help you to stay accountable to goals, and your vendor will be able to advise you on any challenges, as well as connect you with other CX professionals in your industry. 

On the other hand, a self-service program may be a better option if you have the expertise and resources to accomplish your CX goals in-house. With a self-service program, you can make changes to surveys or other initiatives in the middle of the night if you want to. 

Additionally, self-service programs can be more cost-effective in the long run, since you won’t be paying for the vendor’s management services.

Take Our Quiz and Get Started

Ultimately, the decision between a self-service and full-service CX program depends on a variety of factors, including the size of your organization, your budget, and your technical expertise. 

Click below to take the quiz and find out whether a self-service or full-service CX program is right for your business!


Self-Serve v. Full Service CX Program: How to Determine Which Is Right for You

Looking to choose a CX technology vendor? Here’s the first question you need to ask yourself: are you looking for a self-serve solution or a full-service solution? The answer will determine how much support your team receives, the expertise you have access to, where your team will spend their time, and more! On the fence about what’s right for you? This quiz will help you decide.

Take the Quiz

4 Strategies to Get the Most Out of Your Small CX Team

Forrester predicts that in the next year, one in five customer experience (CX) programs will disappear, but one in 10 will be stronger than ever. The pressure is on for all CX practitioners—but small CX teams are feeling the heat the most. But just because you have a small team doesn’t mean you can’t make a major impact.

In our over two decades of experience, we’ve worked with many small-but-mighty teams of around one to three people. And though it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you have big obstacles but limited resources, we’re here to tell you success is possible—if you use your time wisely. 

That’s why it’s absolutely crucial to focus on CX strategies that help your organization get the most out of your program. What strategies will support CX success for your small team? Keep on reading to find out!

4 Strategies for Success With a Small CX Team

#1: Focus on Quick Wins

Much like baseball, customer experience is a game of singles. You can’t magically tackle every customer issue at once—especially with limited resources. Instead, you need to understand what most negatively impacts a specific customer journey and focus on solving that problem. Then line ‘em up, and knock ‘em down. 

For example, let’s say that your call center data shows customers frequently complain about the log in experience for their online account. Then you know you need to dig into the call transcripts and other available unstructured data to understand what about that experience is making such a negative impact on your customers. (Get a step-by-step guide on how to do this here.)

#2: Lock In Your Executive Champion

To get your CX program started, you likely needed an executive sponsor. But in order to have long-term impact, you need to maintain their support. 

This may be easier for the 53% of CX practitioners who say their executives want their firm to be a CX leader, but for the other 47% percent, making an exec-friendly business case is everything. Your team will need to craft a compelling story, leverage strong visuals, and prove tangible ROI to really knock it out of the park! 

Sound a bit overwhelming? Don’t worry—we’ve put together a guide to crafting your CX business case here.

#3: Sell Your Program Internally 

With your executive sponsor in place, now it’s time to sell the rest of your organization. Realistically, you won’t be able to get every employee to buy-in—that’s why you need to sell your program to key individuals that can help you to take action and influence other team members. 

How? You need to adopt a salesperson approach to your own program. Make it clear to team members in other departments exactly what they can gain from CX insights: optimized processes, access to data that can inform decision making, and wins of their own.

#4: Leverage Your CX Partner

Having a small CX team or even just one CX employee can mean that it’s hard to validate ideas or discuss new ones. In fact, four out of five CX teams will lack critical design, data, and journey skills. And that’s understandable when you have a small team—you can’t be absolutely everything for everyone. 

Luckily, you can lean on your CX partner as an extension of your team, especially if your vendor provides you with dedicated services and team members!

Your Next Steps

Now that you understand the four strategies for success, it’s time to make an actionable plan to turn those strategies into a reality. 

To get you started, we’ve put together a step-by-step checklist for your team. In it, you’ll find a manageable task list that will help you lay a strong foundation for each of these strategies, and there’s even an advanced checklist to take your success even further. 

Start proving the value of your small-but-mighty CX team today and download your CX strategy checklist below!


How to Craft a Max-Impact CX Strategy for a Small CX Team

Having a small CX team doesn’t mean you can’t make a big difference. What it does mean is that you have to use your time wisely! Download this checklist for step-by-step instructions on how to realize four strategies designed specifically for CX teams like yours.

Download Checklist

It’s Time to Level Up

For your small CX team, every second counts. You simply don’t have time to waste with a vendor that doesn’t work for you or understand what makes your business different. 

At InMoment, we don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions or set-and-forget programs. Our award-winning technology is built to integrate into your existing tech stack and align to your business goals. And our expert services? Your dedicated team is with you every step of the way. You are always able to reach out to an expert who is intimately familiar with your program—not merely dial a 1-800 help center.

That’s why InMoment customers give us 4.9/5.0 Stars and a 100 “Would Recommend” User Rating.

Want to learn how InMoment can help you maximize your CX strategy? Let us show you!

CX Challenges: How to Diagnose Organizational Silos at Your Company

In today’s highly competitive business landscape, delivering exceptional customer experience (CX) is essential for any organization to remain relevant and successful. However, many businesses struggle to find success with their CX program because of  organizational silos

What Are Organizational Silos?

The term “organizational silos” refers to the condition in which different teams or departments within a company operate in complete isolation from one another. This isolation hinders overall collaboration and the sharing of information and data, making it almost impossible to execute on a business-wide initiative that requires the buy-in from multiple teams across the organization.

How Do Organizational Silos Impact the Customer Experience?

This challenge likely sounds familiar to CX professionals. After all, a successful CX program needs to be able to collect data across channels and touchpoints, pinpoint friction points wherever they exist, and then take swift action.That simply cannot happen with silos in place, and that’s why organizational silos can have such a significant negative impact on the customer experience—they make it essentially impossible to improve experiences. 

Wondering if organizational silos could be at the root of your CX challenges? Today, we’ll explore the symptoms of CX silos within an organization and why breaking them down is crucial for achieving your CX goals. We’ll also provide practical tips and strategies for bridging these silos and fostering a customer-centric culture within your business.

The Symptoms of Organizational Silos

Organizational silos refer to the situation where different teams or departments within a company operate in isolation from one another, hindering collaboration and the sharing of information. This can have a significant impact on the quality of the customer experience delivered by the organization. But how do you know if your company is suffering from silos that are negatively affecting the customer experience? Here are some signs to look out for:

Executive Level:

  • Lack of Organizational Efficiency 
  • Misaligned Resources
  • Competing Organizational Objectives
  • Ineffective Process

CX Specific:

  • Consumer Data Silos
  • Limited Insights
  • Duplicative Efforts
  • Feedback Disarray 

If any of these signs resonate with you, it may be time to take a closer look at the silos within your organization and take steps to break them down. In the next section, we’ll discuss the impact that silos can have on the customer experience and why it’s crucial to address them.

The Negative Impact of Organizational Silos

Silos within an organization can have far-reaching consequences if left unaddressed. The negative impact can be felt across the entire organization, from customers to employees to the bottom line. Here are some potential outcomes of silos:

Customer Churn:

  • When different departments are not aligned on the customer experience, it can lead to a disjointed experience for the customer. This can result in frustration and dissatisfaction, leading to churn and lost revenue.
  • Customers may seek out competitors who can provide a more seamless experience.

Employee Turnover:

  • When teams are working in silos, it can lead to a lack of collaboration and communication, making it difficult for employees to work together effectively. This can result in a negative work environment and a lack of motivation among employees.
  • Frustrated employees may look for opportunities elsewhere, resulting in high turnover and the loss of valuable talent.

Excessive Costs:

  • Duplicative efforts and inefficiencies can result in excessive costs, both in terms of time and resources.
  • Teams may be spending time and money on initiatives that are not aligned with company goals or customer needs. This can have a negative impact on the bottom line, with costs eating into profits.

In order to avoid these negative outcomes, it’s essential to address organizational silos and foster a culture of collaboration and communication. 

So, What Is the Prescription for Organizational Silos?

You know the symptoms of organizational silos, and what the negative effects may be. But what are your next steps going to be?

In our over 45 years of experience, we have helped organizations of all sizes break down organizational silos. As a matter of fact, we have developed a 3-step organizational silo treatment plan to help you do just that. 
Join two of InMoment’s brightest minds, VP of Customer Success Will Huffman and Manager of Program Excellence Angela Zieres as they walk you through our 3 step treatment plan that won’t just improve your CX program, but it will also improve your business!  Watch it here!


Discover Your Customer Experience

 A Guided Exercise to Help You Understand the Current State of CX at Your Organization

So, you’ve been charged with leading a company-wide CX initiative. But where do you even start? Likely, customer experience efforts are already being made in different pockets of your organization, but it’s up to you to break down the silos and connect the dots. This worksheet will guide you through an exercise to do just that!

Download Worksheet

XI Café Podcast, Episode 6: Demonstrating CX Impact, ROI, and More With The Customer Show’s Mary Anne Ghobrial

Mary Anne Ghobrial is the director of Australia’s largest customer experience event—The Customer Show. Because she speaks to thousands of client-side professionals and many vendors, she gets an insider view of how the entire industry is structured, giving her a unique perspective on the CX market. . 

InMoment’s Simon Benns sat down with her on the recent XI Cafe Podcast to chat with Mary Anne about what you can expect to see at The Customer Show this year, as well as getting Mary Anne’s insider knowledge as to what are the key trends and concerns for CX professionals in APAC. Here’s an overview of their Q&A: 

What Is the Customer Show?

The Customer Show launched in 2022, and the premise behind the event is to bring together everyone playing an active—or even a passive—role in the customer journey. The team used to run smaller events for different business units, but they soon realized it would be more valuable to bring together all the silos of the organization—marketing teams, senior leadership teams, data teams, employee experience teams, product teams, and, of course, the customer experience team under one roof.

From a bird’s eye view, there are 2,500 expected attendees for this year, 50 exhibitors, 100 speakers—and Mary Anne organized all of it! 

What Is the Purpose Behind the Customer Show?

All brands know that customer experience is important—delighting customers is the name of the game. There are many ways to do that, but the result is to give good experiences to customers. The event is designed for attendees to actually learn how to work collaboratively across the organisation.

Different teams have different goals and incentives. For instance, the marketing team might focus on driving loyalty and retention. CX teams will have more impact if they work with the marketing function’s unique goals and align their priorities to reach the end goal: delivering great customer experiences.

Think of it like building a house. You’ve got individual people building the foundation but you need project managers to take on different parts of the process. As with building plans, your CX program also requires a strategy and multiple people working together collaboratively to execute it. The overarching idea is to ensure all different business parts are working toward the same goal. 

What Are Your Views on Customer Experience as a Centralized Versus Decentralized Function? 

When customer experience is centralized to one department, it won’t have a strong impact. Ultimately, customer experience should be decentralized so that the strategy can spread to every department. 

A company that has decentralized customer experience really well is Medibank. The healthcare business had one of the biggest corporate turnarounds in Australian history, largely due to its commitment to customer centricity. Medicare appointed cross-functional squads that took customer insights (using data to back it up) and then tested which insights would have the biggest impact before deciding which CX initiatives to invest in. The team also implemented a re-measuring step to confirm which initiatives would have the biggest impact, then re-measuring to see if it worked. 

What Are Some Tips for Delivering AND Demonstrating Impact? 

Forrester predicted that 1 in 5 CX programs would disappear soon—mostly due to a lack of ability to demonstrate impact and prove ROI of their CX projects. That being said, it’s extremely important for CX professionals to learn how to deliver and demonstrate the impact of their programs. 

It’s one thing to get the actual insight from your customer data, and it’s another to demonstrate the impact that insight will have. 

When it comes to delivering and demonstrating insights, Mary Anne’s tips are:

  • Align every department to customer experience by aligning your CX priorities to the priorities of each individual business unit 
  • Make sure you use your feedback to understand what customers actually value
  • Create strategies—or even micro strategies—that can deliver what customers want
  • Identify one of the four pillars of ROI to start pointing your CX program to: customer acquisition, customer retention, reduction in cost, cross- and up-selling 
  • Understand your business’ “why” before implementing a CX program
  • Use true driver analysis to see if what you think is important to the customer is actually important 

What Is the Best Way to Know Which CX Initiative Will Have the Biggest Impact? 

It’s art and science to determine which lever is the easiest to pull. Figure out what will actually be the most important to the customer. For example, when it comes to insurance, fees might be the most important thing to a customer, but that’s not necessarily something you can change from a CX perspective. Instead, maybe look at the call center and see if you can identify another customer issue that could deliver a similar impact. 

And when it comes to making changes across the business, you don’t want to take on too much at once. If you do a complete rehaul of multiple aspects, it might shift the brand promise, and cause customer confusion. You want to make incremental changes to actually shift the culture and sustain the program, not lose steam by taking on too much at the front end. At InMoment, we recommend a continuous improvement framework to help you keep incrementally evolving your CX program.

How Is InMoment Involved in the Upcoming Customer Show? 

As the 2023 Customer Show Foundation Partner, InMoment will have a representation at the panel “CX is an Outcome, Not a Strategy: Moving Towards an Era of Improvement Management Through Top Level Buy-In” on the NextGen CX Panel at 3PM on Wednesday 3rd. InMoment’s Head of Customer Success, John Harb will join the panel to discuss:

  • How to ensure your customer experience strategy is flexible enough to shift based on changing behaviours
  • How to understand your customer behaviours and journeys by tracking their trends regularly
  • The steps involved in integrating experience improvement methodologies across the organisation

The Customer Show is also giving away a $10k holiday prize—go to InMoment’s stand and get a stamp for your Customer Show passport, and at 2pm on Day 2, a winner will be chosen.

When and Where Is the 2023 Customer Show? 

Date: Wednesday, 3 May 2023 & Thursday, 4 May 2023

Location: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

1 Convention Centre Pl, South Wharf VIC 3000

Where to Listen to the Full Conversation

You can listen to the full conversation with Mary Anne and Simon on Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Podcasts. But, if you are eager to jump right in then you can click the play button below to start listening now!

More of a visual person? No worries. You can also find the video recording on our YouTube channel!

How to Write Email Survey Subject Lines That Increase Your Open Rates

Customer experience (CX) surveys are foundational to soliciting the customer feedback you need to power your CX program, and many of these surveys are sent via email. However, the first step to receiving that survey feedback can be one of the most difficult: getting your customer to open your email. 

When it comes to open rates, your email’s subject line is more important than you might think it is. Two helpful email stats drive this point home:

  • 69% of recipients will look only at the subject line before flagging an email as spam.
  • 47% of recipients decide to open an email based only on the subject line.

If you’re trying to figure out all the possible reasons why your survey emails aren’t getting decent open rates, it makes sense to start with your subject lines.

5 Tips to Help You Write Engaging Email Survey Subject Lines

Tip #1: Establish the Right Tone

Effective customer interaction is super dependent on speaking your audience’s language. This doesn’t just refer to the words and terms you use in your emails, even though that is obviously also extremely important.

No, we’re referring to your “voice” here – where you pitch the subject line on the “familiarity” spectrum. On the one side of this spectrum is “ultra conversational,” and on the other side, “ultra professional.”

On the conversational side, you’ll use language that makes your recipients feel like they’re being asked a question by a friend or a trusted colleague. These subject lines should make the recipient feel comfortable because they have an approachable tone.

Here are some examples:

  • “A quick question for you”
  • “Leslie, got a sec? ”

On the professional side of the spectrum, you’re using language that builds trust in your brand’s ability to take your service seriously. You don’t have to come off pompous or like you’ve swallowed a thesaurus. Stick to the point, and treat the recipient like someone who appreciates professionalism in the workplace.

  • “We’d genuinely appreciate feedback on our performance.”
  • “Leslie, how can we make you more productive?”

There are quite a few things to consider when choosing the tone of your survey email subject lines. Your brand image is arguably the most important, but things like recipient demographics and the industry you’re playing in should also play a role.

Building buyer personas is a standard practice in digital marketing. Many successful businesses go through this process to understand exactly who they’re selling to. This data is invaluable when deciding on the tone of your survey email subject lines.

Tip #2: Go Beyond Basic Personalization

According to Campaign Monitor, recipients are 26% more likely to open an email if the subject line has been personalized.

What you use to customize the subject line will obviously depend on the data you have on the customer. Using their name is an obvious starting point. However, you can also reference their most recent purchase if your CRM has logged it. Or a virtual event they attended. A modern CX platform can grab this info and personalize the subject line. 

If you’re online mattress retailer Zoma and you’re sending out a customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey email to find out how a support query was handled, if the shipping went well, or if the customer is satisfied with the quality of a recent purchase, you could take one of the following approaches:

  • “How did we do on your support query [#66456]?”
  • “James, how was the webinar with DocuSign?”
  • “How’s that Zoma mattress working out?”

Showing evidence that the email comes from a reputable origin (i.e., the actual company they interacted with) is critical if you want to maximize that open rate.

By using their name and referencing their purchase, you’re landing a one-two punch of credibility and massively increasing the chances of a response.

Tip #3: Talk About Benefits

Let’s be frank here. When you send out a net promoter score (NPS) survey email, you’re basically asking an established customer to take time out of their day to reveal their feelings about your brand despite there being no immediate reward in it for them.

But that shouldn’t stop you from letting your recipients know that their feedback will result in long-term benefits for you and them.

Good feedback — both positive and negative — means improved service for everyone. A large number of honest responses will help you get better at designing new product features. Let your recipients know! Make them feel like their voice is important and that it benefits them to be heard.

Here’s an example. If you’re an energy services company like Ecopreneurist, and you’re sending out an NPS survey, you may want to try subject lines like these:

  • “Help us get even better at saving you energy.”
  • “Leslie, your feedback helps us save you money.”

Even though the email content will ask them a typical NPS question like “How likely are you to recommend Ecopreneurist to a friend?” the subject line can illustrate the eventual reward customers will experience by responding.

There’s a genuine correlation between improved service and receiving this type of information from customers. There’s no reason you can’t creatively leverage this relationship to create highly engaging subject lines.

Tip #4: Ask Your Recipients a Question

A good subject line engages the recipient. You’ll want the subject line to make them think and feel something. Trigger their thoughts and their emotions.

A great way to do this is by asking a question. 

The right question can trigger introspection. It can make the recipient think about something they want to share with you.

A SaaS company like ShowMojo might employ a customer effort score (CES) survey to help them spot inefficiencies and/or improve in two areas:

  1. Onboarding. Good onboarding helps ensure “trial subscribers” see the product’s value and eventually become paying customers, and it’s a critical step in maximizing a subscriber’s lifetime value (LTV).
  2. Product features. A CES survey can gauge how easily customers are adopting a new product feature and help you optimize for improved adoption. 

In both cases, positioning the survey in question form is a great way to maximize open rates. For example:

  • “How hard was the migration to ShowMojo?”
  • “How easy was it to create a new rental dashboard?”

You can see in the above examples that the subject lines don’t even mention the survey. The two questions are directed at the customer and their experience. 

Tip #5: Keep It Simple and Short

You should keep your survey email subject lines to under 50 characters to be sure everyone sees it. The number of people opening emails using their mobile phones is increasing every year. And the limited amount of real estate on a mobile device means that subject lines are often truncated.

Yes, it’s hard to make a compelling case for someone to open an unsolicited email using so few words, so take your time writing. Constantly try whittling the number of characters and words down to an absolute minimum without compromising your core message.

Let’s take a look at some concise and effective customer survey subject line examples:

  • “Are we doing a good job, Leslie?”
  • “Where can we improve?”
  • “We’re always looking for honest feedback.”
  • “Give it to us straight; we can take it.”

A Quick Word on Open Rate Benchmarks

What kind of open rates should you expect from your survey emails? Having a sense of benchmarks is critical if you intend to measure how effective your new subject lines are. 

According to our customers’ results, an open rate over 20% is solid, with only a small number of emails achieving a 30% open rate. If you see this level of engagement, you’re probably doing multiple things right. If it’s below this figure, realize there’s room for improvement and review your subject line copy against our recommendations.

Some Final Thoughts

Regardless of what industry you’re operating in, certain best practices will always be relevant when crafting email subject lines.

Here’s a summary of the most important things to bear in mind (along with a fifth bonus tip):

  • Personalize as much as possible.
  • Tell recipients about the benefits of completing the survey.
  • Ask a question.
  • Keep it short and to the point.
  • Try to keep your subject lines under 50 characters.
  • Avoid spammy words like “opportunity,” “offer,” “cash,” “discount,” or “click here.”

There’s little point in rethinking your subject line strategy if you’re not backing up your efforts with data on the success or failure of a new approach.

You’ll want to A/B test your survey emails. A simple way to do this is:

  1. Split your email recipients into two groups (Group A and Group B). 
  2. Target Group A with subject line A. “Welcome! How was the sign-up process?
  3. Target Group B with subject line B. “Answer one question and help us improve.”
  4. Measure each email’s open rate. If Group A gets a higher open, a post-onboarding greeting works well for your new customers.

By A/B testing your email subject lines over time, you gain valuable knowledge about the subject lines that resonate with your customer base. Not only will that information help you with your specific survey, but it can also help other CX-focused teams optimize their customer communications as well.

Want to learn more about best practices for surveys? Check out this white paper from the experts! And if you want to learn more about how you can listen to your customers not only via surveys, but by leveraging data from social media, online reviews, and more, let’s chat!

ReThink Productivity Podcast: The Future of Customer Experience with InMoment’s Simon Fraser

As businesses strive to improve their customer experiences, asking for feedback has become a common practice. However, not all feedback is created equal, and simply collecting feedback for the sake of it may not lead to meaningful insights or improvements.

In a recent appearance on the ReThink Productivity Podcast, InMoment’s Vice President of CX Strategy, Simon Fraser, discussed the importance of understanding why you are asking for customer feedback in the first place.

Fraser emphasized the need for businesses to have clear objectives and a strategic approach to collecting and utilizing feedback. He explained that businesses should identify the specific outcomes they hope to achieve through feedback, whether it be to improve customer loyalty, identify areas for operational improvement, or measure the success of a new product or service.

Fraser also stressed the importance of tailoring feedback collection methods to the specific needs of the business and its customers. This could include using various channels such as surveys, social media listening, or customer interviews, as well as considering factors like timing, frequency, and the types of questions being asked.

By taking a more strategic and tailored approach to customer feedback, businesses can gain deeper insights into their customers’ experiences and make more informed decisions to drive business growth and success.

Listen to the full episode to hear ReThink’s Simon Hedaux talk with Simon about:

  • Asking for customer Feedback?
  • Chat GPT
  • Supervised Machine Learning & AI
  • Tailored Feedback Modeling

Where to Listen to ReThink Productivity’s Episode With Simon Fraser

You can listen to the podcast on Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Podcasts. But, if you are eager to jump right in then you can click the play button below to start listening to this week’s episode!

XI Café Podcast, Episode 5: How New Zealand Automobile Association Uses Voice of the Customer to Optimize Engagement, Retention and Satisfaction

Welcome back to the XI Café Podcast! In order to continue Experience Improvement, the XI Café Podcast was created so that CX program owners around the world could join the conversation and learn from global businesses and industry experts about the latest experience improvement innovations in technology and research services, industry and market expertise, and customer (CX) and employee (EX) engagement best practices.

In the latest episode of the XI Café Podcast, we interviewed Marina Strbac, who leads the Membership Experience Team at the New Zealand Automobile Association (NZAA). Marina is a people-focused, data-informed professional with a passion for customer-centric marketing. 

Here are some of the questions and answers we covered:

Q: What is the structure of the membership experience team at NZAA?

A: Marina leads a small team of four diverse humans from vastly different backgrounds—UX/UI design, math, and marketing all combined together to create optimized experiences for NZAA members. When it came to pitching and embedding an insights-to-action VoC program, the whole team worked together to implement an experience improvement program that would eventually support 1 million+ New Zealanders! 

Q: How did you get the NZAA Voice of Customer Program off the ground and what were the bumps on the way?

A: The team leveraged all their skill sets and adapted as they progressed.

The initiative changed as business circumstances changed. Originally, the team aimed to set up a company-wide VoC program, and eventually, the team pivoted toward a membership-only, journey focused VoC program that was approved by the wider business. Three months later, the program went live! 

Q: You now have a VoC program in place with a large volume of data flowing in. Marketers are somewhat overwhelmed with the vast array of data points already available (website, emails,…) how do you integrate VoC data for marketing purposes?

A: From Marina’s perspective, there’s no need to be overwhelmed by data—instead, ask yourself a few questions. Which insights/data points matter the most? Why do they matter the most? Qualify both of these against your business strategy and business goals. Take your own perception out of it, and instead re-focus on the wider business strategy. 

Once you have the answers, data and insights are pretty straightforward. Measure the baseline of the data points you’re interested in, set up a test and learn matrix, and keep going with reiteration— remove things that don’t work, and keep those that do. Remember that context is important, so do what you can to be data and insight INFORMED, not merely data driven.

In practice, NZAA identified that the “onboarding” member journey was important to track. The team knew engagement was dropping—and with membership retention as a key metric for the business, this was an important challenge to tackle. There were a lot of hypotheses from different people in the business, but ultimately the team needed to understand the “why” behind the onboarding challenge. With that in mind, the team pushed beyond open rates and click through rates, and set key metrics for customer intelligence. NPS, CSAT, and sentiment measures were set and with verbatims on top, understanding the WHY behind engagement drop became easier. Now, the team has the business data overlaid with VoC data, and they can see a fuller picture—they learned it’s a whole lot more complex than the original hypothesis. Through a test-and-learn approach, the membership team is driving optimisations based around justified prioritization.

Q: What was the “aha” moment that made you realise the potential of adding customer data to your marketing decision making process?

A: With 15+ years of experience, and over ten years in direct-to-customer, Marina has always integrated insights into communications and campaigns, and she acknowledges that customer data points at our disposal have evolved. You now need to overlay business data, operational data, and customer insights to get a full picture. The entire business capability needs to be lifted to enable customer centric marketing endeavors. Marketers need propensity models, a well-oiled marketing automation platform, and prioritized test-and-learn matrics just to name a few. As a marketer, you can’t build these alone. 

The aha moments happen when you’re working with other parts of the business, connecting the dots and asking questions like, “is it correlation or causation?” With a focus on customer actions and the passion for creating better experiences, you’ll constantly have those ‘aha’ moments. Curiosity tangents should be encouraged as that is usually where the magic happens.

Q: How are you planning to further grow your VoC program to improve the effectiveness of your marketing?

A: Next up for NZAA is strategic customer journey mapping! The business will identify key pain points and validate these with operational data. Of course, all different business units will have varying opinions, but NZAA will use business and VoC data to validate these. 

Where to Find the XI Café Podcast

You can listen to the podcast on SpotifyAmazon Music, and Apple Podcasts. But, if you are eager to jump right in then you can click the play button below to start listening to this week’s episode!

More of a visual person? No worries. You can also find the video recordings off the XI Café Podcast on our YouTube channel!

XI Café Podcast, Episode 4: Launching a VoC Program With State Revenue Office Victoria

Welcome back to the XI Café Podcast! In order to continue Experience Improvement, the XI Café Podcast was created so that CX program owners around the world could join the conversation and learn from global businesses and industry experts about the latest experience improvement innovations in technology and research services, industry and market expertise, and customer (CX) and employee (EX) engagement best practices.

In this episode of the XI Café Podcast, we’re talking to State Revenue Office Victoria (SRO) Customer Experience Manager, Desmond Strydom. Desmond has over a decade of experience in this field, and in his current role, he has spearheaded and launched the VoC program at SRO. Desmond will talk about the SRO journey of launching a new VoC program, gaining support from leadership, and some of the early success stories the team has seen.

Where to Find the XI Café Podcast

You can listen to the podcast on Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Podcasts. But, if you are eager to jump right in then you can click the play button below to start listening to this week’s episode!

The Elements You Need for A Successful CX Program

We’ve evaluated the pros and cons of primary reporting locations for the customer experience (CX) function and ideal CX leader qualities in previous articles, “Where Should CX Live Within An Organization?” and “Does Who’s Driving the CX Bus Make a Difference?

It’s now time to discuss the organizational elements that are necessary for CX to thrive in an organization (regardless of the reporting structure your organization chooses or the characteristics of the person leading the CX function).

We utilize a continuous improvement framework with our clients that starts with the principle of “design with the end in mind.” This means achieving one or more of the four key economic pillars: acquiring more customers, keeping more customers (reducing churn), growing lifetime customer value (CLV), or reducing cost to serve.

The Five Stages of the Continuous Improvement Framework:

Stage #1: Design

Clearly design an experience strategy that aligns with overall company goals and brand promise, driving customer outcomes.

Stage #2: Listen

Thoughtfully deploy modern listening strategies and data integrations across the journey to expand and enhance an integrated view and holistic customer understanding.

Stage #3: Understand

Consolidate all data streams and leverage advanced analytics to identify where and how to act (and the anticipated impact on customer outcomes).

Stage #4: Transform

Create & implement dynamic action plans, training, and policies that facilitate organizational change (and promote activities that drive customer outcomes).

Stage #5: Realize

Evaluate and demonstrate results of experience initiatives including (but not limited to) organizational change, improved metrics, and financial impact.

Building the Foundation for A Successful CX Program: Moving Beyond the Continuous Improvement Framework

Beyond those five core stages, though, there are certain foundational and organizational elements that must be present for CX to thrive in your company.

What these additional elements suggest is that customer experience is a team sport that requires the participation, alignment, and coordination of the entire organization—and that your success will be limited if it is a grassroots effort and not a strategy led and supported by the executive leadership team. That alignment and shared understanding is vital to CX success, and by extension, the wider success of your entire organization.

Our hope is that this three-part series has given you much to consider about your organization’s customer experience efforts. Based on what we see in the marketplace, too many programs are still stuck in the Listen and Understand stages and have not figured out how to get organized to break down silos in order to drive effective improvement efforts or don’t have the executive leadership and buy-in to facilitate this. Breaking down these silos, both in terms of the organizational design as well as internal data structures, requires executive leadership engagement and strategies to enable a single view of the customer.

Driving ROI from your customer experience efforts continues to be the biggest conversation in the CX community and the greatest challenge for most companies. And your C-Level executives, board and shareholders expect this.

Being organized properly, having the right people with the skill sets that we discussed in place, migrating your culture to one of customer-centricity and getting organizational alignment on what customers need and how to best, and most efficiently, meet these desires is really tough work. But it is critical to have all of these elements in place in order to drive the best CX outcomes. And the companies that can do this are the ones that stand to reap the greatest benefits in terms of future revenue and market share growth and long-term profitability.

Does Who’s Driving the CX Bus Make A Difference?

The success of your CX effort is determined not only by where it lives within your organization, but also by who’s heading up the program and driving its goals, actions, and direction within your company.

This job isn’t easy and not for the faint-of-heart; frankly, CX leaders often end up working against what is natural for an organization. Most businesses are organized into silos: marketing, sales, operations, customer care, HR, IT, finance, etc. These silos all have their own priorities, goals, and KPIs. But customer experience is a ribbon that cuts across these silos, and an effective CX program ensures that hand-offs between silos are clean and that no facet of the customer experience falls into the cracks.

More specifically, marketing drives awareness of your products and solutions, and sets the expectations for how they work and what to expect. Sales sells the vision and aligns the products and services against customer needs. Product development and operations have to deliver against those expectations. IT and the digital team have to provide the tools to keep employees and customers informed and educated, while HR has to get the right people in the right roles to deliver the customer experience.

What to Look for in a CX Bus Driver

A CX leader needs to drive cross-functional alignment, build relationships that elicit cooperation, and break down organizational silos to create coordination across the entire customer journey. They must accomplish this task despite not owning most, if not all, of the departments that ultimately deliver that desired experience.

Again; not for the faint-of-heart.

After decades of leading and guiding CX at multiple companies across multiple industries—and learning our fair share of hard-knock lessons along the way—we’ve landed on eight requirements for successful CX leaders:

  • Willingness to be a change agent
  • Executive presence and sensibility
  • Ability to build cross-functional relationships
  • Lead by influence and persuasion
  • Strong communication skills
  • Analytical and data-driven
  • Financial acumen
  • Results-oriented problem solver

Clearly, these skills are all heavily intertwined, as a CX leader must have strong communication skills to build relationships and influence executive leaders. They must be data-driven with strong financial instinct to convince leadership to change behaviors or to take new actions (building a strong relationship with the CFO and their team is a smart early move).

Looking At The Road Ahead

The success or failure of a CX program depends on many factors: the strategy and goals defined at the onset, the internal commitment to improvements, the executives, the employees, and the foundational and organizational elements that are in place. CX success also hinges upon appointing a leader who is an effective communicator and can sell a vision, create alignment based
on shared business goals, and curate a shared understanding of customer needs, expectations, and journeys.

CX leaders must have the will and influence to drive demonstrable culture change, improvement, and ROI no matter where they report within the company.

Customer experience is a team sport that requires the participation, alignment, and coordination of the entire organization. But the skills and personality of the CX leader and their ability to sell a vision, as well as use data and storytelling to persuade others to change is critical as well. It’s not easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.

Look for the next article on the other organizational elements that need to be present beyond the CX leader and core team. We’ll come full circle on what all you need to ensure Experience Improvement (XI) for your customers, your employees, and your greater marketplace presence.

XI Café Podcast, Episode 3: A Deep Dive Into The Maturity of Voice of Customer Programs in New Zealand

Welcome back to the XI Café Podcast! The XI Café Podcast was created so that CX program owners around the world could join the conversation and learn from global businesses and industry experts about the latest experience improvement innovations in technology and research services, industry and market expertise, and customer (CX) and employee (EX) engagement best practices.

In this episode, Melanie Disse from Auckland-based CX firm—Melanie Disse Consulting answers questions such as:

  • How mature are Voice of Customer (VoC) programs in New Zealand compared to other countries?
  • How does your organisation’s VoC program compare?
  • What can you do to elevate the level of VoC program maturity at your organisation?

Melanie is an experienced Voice of Customer strategist with over a decade of experience in CX, insights, research, and data-driven intelligence for some of the world’s leading brands. Melanie explains what drives VoC program maturity and how leaders can increase the reach and effectiveness of their programs to improve customer experience and drive better business results.

Where to Find the XI Café Podcast

You can listen to the podcast on Spotify and Amazon Music, but if you are eager to jump right in then you can click the play button below to start listening to this week’s episode!

More of a visual person? No worries. You can also find the video recordings off the XI Café Podcast on our YouTube channel!

Change Region

Selecting a different region will change the language and content of

North America
United States/Canada (English)
DACH (Deutsch) United Kingdom (English) France (français) Italy (Italian)
Asia Pacific
Australia (English) New Zealand (English) Singapore (English)