5 Steps to Train Your Employees in New CX Initiatives

With over 15 years of experience in the customer experience (CX) space, I have seen multiple companies employ training efforts to get their employees involved in new CX programs and initiatives. I have witnessed this process from the perspective of an Account Manager, Implementations Manager, a member of the Product Team, a Business Operations Manager, and now as the Director of Learning Services.

Throughout my experience, I’ve seen successes, but I’ve also seen teams fail to execute a training approach that actually engages employees. The theme across these failures is that their approach is time consuming, over complicated, and essentially inactionable. The truth is that while everyone knows training is important, it is easy for it to get lost in the list of day-to-day tasks—especially if the approach isn’t accessible. 

In order to set yourself—and your business—up for success, you need to avoid over-complicating things when it comes to rolling out employee training for your new program, but that’s easier said than done. To get you started, I’ve outlined 5 easy steps to help you craft an effective CX training approach for your business.

Step #1: Designate a Training Leader

As I started above, everyone knows that training is important. However, this understanding isn’t where most companies fall short; the failure is most often in the execution.

That is why it is so important to start your efforts by naming a project manager or leader to be directly responsible for your training efforts. This person can be the program champion, someone from your internal training team, or a representative from HR. 

Regardless of who this person is, it is their job to make sure that every employee participates in the training program. This means that they need to have the tools to track employee participation effectively—and to share results. 

How you track doesn’t need to be fancy, it could be as simple as an Excel or Google Sheet housed in a common area within the company, or it could be as complex as your work’s HR portal. By monitoring who has completed what, you’ll be able to keep the ball rolling for continuous success (and you’ll be all set up to execute step two).  

Step #2: Hold People Accountable

After finding your CX training owner, you need to create a way to hold employees accountable for completing their training. At the end of the day, we are all human and most of us need a carrot or a stick to be inspired to finish a task. 

Many businesses will create a goal or key performance indicator (KPI) directly related to training—this can be something as simple as a quarterly compliance record or something a little more involved. For example, one of our clients found a way to gamify their employee training by creating a board game for team members to play together. This way, the CX training was a fun team building exercise that also got employees actively engaged in the program.

No matter what your accountability method is, it will help employees know they are responsible for completing a set amount of CX training by a certain date. Deadlines are important drivers that everyone can understand, so use them!

Step #3: Make Training Easy to Complete

Now that you’ve designated your training leader and found a way to hold your team accountable, it’s time to make training easy to complete. When faced with a large task, people will be more likely to complete it if:

  1. They know what needs to be done: Make a simple list of all required training and make this list accessible.  
  2. They know when it has to be done: Send regular reminders via email or program notifications into your HR platform   
  3. It is easy to find and complete: Locate training links in a place people often visit during their work day (like Slack, and internal sharing site, or learning management system.)

Remember: the easier you can make training to consume, the more likely your team will be to complete it. 

Step #4: Provide Opportunities for High Performers to Help

Now that you’ve set your learning program up for success, invite others in to join the party. As you curate your program, there will be folks who naturally rise up and quickly become subject matter experts. 

Successful training programs will make an effort to hold up those CX training rockstars as an ideal that the rest of the organization can aspire to. For example, if one region is doing exceptionally well, share their success with others to inspire them to step up to the plate as well. 

Encouraging your people to celebrate high performers and come up with their own creative ways to get their coworkers involved curates a team mentality and helps to foster a customer-centric culture.

Step #5: Celebrate!

Lastly, celebrate those wins! When people have successfully completed the assigned work, reward them. When you reward them, do it publically. Everyone likes to be recognized—plus, there is nothing like a little bit of healthy competition to motivate people. 

Post results in a place all can see—this can look like sending out a congratulatory email to the team that calls out those who have finished CX training, or putting a “congratulations” in via your internal rewards program. Again, it doesn’t have to be fancy—just remember to do it! 

If you follow these easy steps, you’ll be on your way to implementing a successful CX training program. Leadership, accountability, accessibility, team work, and rewards will pave the way to the desired result: a CX program that is both highly successful and fully utilized from top to bottom. 

If you’re looking for more content that will help you drive employee engagement, check out this piece on employee incentives. You’ll learn what’s wrong with traditional approaches and how you can create a system that actually works in “Considering Employee Incentives for CX Success? 5 Ideas for Better Engagement.” 

Is Net Promoter Score Dead?

The Net Promoter Score® (NPS) and the wider ecosystem to which it belongs, the Net Promoter System®, have long been organizations’ preferred means of evaluating everything from employee and customer satisfaction to internal processes. The reasons for NPS’s popularity are many, but its most attractive features are its speed, ease of use, and its ability to distill the state of almost any experience, department or function into a single number.

NPS’s benefits have earned it plenty of acclaim since its 2003 debut, but the metric has faced skepticism in recent years from some CX experts. Some of these practitioners have gone so far as to proclaim that NPS is “dead” and that organizations should leave it behind. What follows is a quick, honest look at these claims and at NPS’s place in today’s experience landscape.

It’s All About the Numbers(?)

One reason some CX practitioners shy away from the Net Promoter Score is because it’s just a number. How, these experts contend, can a simple number tell organizations what changes to make or what initiatives to undertake in order to achieve transformational success, let alone improve their score?

It’s true that the Net Promoter Score is “just” a number, but companies that focus solely on the metric aren’t tapping its full potential to begin with. Instead, organizations need to look to the deeper movement behind that number: the Net Promoter System. The Net Promoter System promotes customer centricity, continuous improvement, and learning from customer feedback. These principles are hardly outdated in today’s experience landscape, especially since they espouse finding meaning beyond the metric.

The Perils of Scoreboard-Watching

Relying more on the Net Promoter System’s values than the Net Promoter Score may sound well and good, but it also raises a natural question: if the System promotes the principles that the modern experience landscape thrives on, what’s the point of using the score at all?

First, let’s take a step back to discuss the relationship between the Net Promoter Score and companies’ expectations of it. Far too many organizations expect change to come about as a result of merely observing their score. Frankly, this expectation is a cultural problem, not the fault of NPS. Change is no less difficult to attain within an organization than in any other arena of life or business, and as with those other arenas, the only thing organizations can do to affect change is to work hard. Once organizations labor to apply the Net Promoter System’s principles, the metric will take care of itself and finally become an accurate indicator of a company’s standing.

Additionally, while endeavoring to understand the relationship between NPS and a brand’s financial incomes, some organizations may find that another metric, such as OSAT or Likelihood to Repurchase, suits them better. That’s great, but the principles behind the Net Promoter System still apply and can be leveraged even in those other contexts.

NPS Lives

Organizations that shift their focus from the metric to the meaning that the Net Promoter System provides can execute NPS with modern, data-ingesting experience intelligence tools. After all, the Net Promoter System helped bring about the wider customer experience world to begin with (it’s no coincidence that CX began proliferating shortly after NPS’s introduction).

Organizations can use the Net Promoter System and data-ingesting platforms toward the same end: capturing the voice of the customer at its most relevant moments, analyzing sentiments, and delivering those insights to stakeholders that can turn them into action. Because of this, NPS is far from dead—the values and internal business practices it promulgates are relevant to any organization that seeks meaningful, transformational success.

Want to read more about the state of NPS in 2020? Read the full article for free today!

Prioritising Customer Experience in The New Year

That “new year, new you” mantra is difficult enough to achieve on a personal level, let alone an organisational one. As companies return from the holidays, many of them will begin assessing which milestones they want to pass in the new decade. This is especially true (and challenging) for CX practitioners as the business intelligence landscape will no doubt continue to rapidly change.

Figuring these organisation-wide New Years resolutions out is never a small task, but it’s not insurmountable, either. Practitioners who want to tackle the new decade with gusto and prioritise projects in 2020 can do so by following a few simple steps.

Step 1: Review and Evolve Your CX Charter

A CX charter is a set of statements about a company’s aspirations and its customer journey. If you’re looking to shake things up in 2020, checking this living document is a great first step for seeing where your organisation has been and where it could go from here.

Don’t have a CX charter? Crafting one is another great way to sort out CX prioritisation in the new year. A CX charter is there to clarify your own priorities, and is not intended for public use. As previously mentioned, the most effective CX charters contain a set of aspirational, implicit statements meant to guide a company’s experience vision, as well as a description of a brand’s high-level customer journey. Whether you’re looking to revamp a current charter or make a new one, this document is a great place for practitioners to start.

Step 2: Audit Your Customer Journey

The next step that practitioners should take when reviewing CX prioritisation in the new year is taking another glance at their customer journey. Customer journeys typically consist of both high- and low-level descriptions. The former consists of sales funnel-esque steps like “buy” while the latter includes more detailed steps, such as “I forgot to pay.”

While mapping customer journeys is useful for understanding how they interact with a brand, there’s another layer to this process: touchpoints. Auditing customer journeys allows practitioners to assess customer journey touchpoints, decide which ones are most important, and which ones might need a bit of polish; this all factors directly into creating CX initiatives.

Step 3: Creating Initiatives

Once practitioners have identified problems to solve and intelligence gaps to close, what’s the best way to get started? It’s never a bad idea to begin with an abstract, high-level problem statement. That may sound like the stuff of unproductive meetings, but practitioners can follow this statement up by breaking it down into smaller, more specific problems to solve.

This process, when executed in an agile way, enables practitioners and their teams to both establish an overarching vision of their organisation’s priorities and derive actual projects and initiatives from that vision. This parallel dynamic also enables CX practitioners to stay connected to their brand’s mission and justify CX’s importance to seeing that mission through.  

Step 4: Fit Those Initiatives Into Your Roadmap

While on the subject of seeing a CX mission through (and justifying ROI in the boardroom), putting your initiatives on a roadmap is a great way to track projects, evaluate changes, and demonstrate to the C-Suite that CX prioritisation can yield tangible results and performance markers.

If all of these tools prove anything, it’s that a little structure can go a long way. Establishing a charter, identifying customer journeys, creating initiatives, and charting those projects on a roadmap can inexorably tie CX to a brand journey, and thus stand a far greater chance of being a boon to that journey. CX practitioners who rely on these prioritisation tools will have an easier time establishing CX’s worth and reaping transformative success for their organisations.

Want to learn more about these steps? Read the full PDF here or visit our Resource Center for more info on CX how-to’s, hot topics, and more!

Can You Hear Me Now? How to Listen for, Identify, and Fix Organizational Problems

Sometimes, the problems holding your organization back are easy to spot. Much of the time, though, organizational issues are well-hidden,  well-integrated, or simply entrenched into the operating rhythm, which makes fixing them a bit more complicated.

Though trying to isolate and fix deep-rooted problems is not an easy or simple task, organizations can meet this challenge with perseverance and the power of customer experience data tools. What follows is a quick overview of those tools and the best practices to bear in mind while using them.

Step #1: Canvas the Company

The first step organizations should take to identify problems is to round up all of their data. That’s right—customer survey feedback, employee feedback, company metadata, and even external market and social data—scoop it all up and gather it in one place for analysis.

Though it probably doesn’t need spelling out, organizations can’t find problems if they examine some data sources and not others. Issues that may seem like they’re stemming from one department may actually be rooted in another. For this reason, it pays to have all data gathered in one place. Additionally, gathering from ALL data sources keeps all involved groups honest to the process and eliminates any bias that could creep into the improvement process. 

Step #2: Identify Far-Reaching Problems

Once organizations have their data ready to go, they can begin scouring it for problems. The most efficient way to go about this process is to leverage an employee feedback tool to look for the biggest and most common problems, i.e. issues that are affecting multiple departments and processes. 

Leveraging these listening tools has many benefits. First, organizations can identify issues that are affecting the most departments—and thus, the most customers.  Secondly, the process of gathering and capturing multi-source data becomes repeatable. And thirdly, these tools can be used to help search for and isolate the small issues that comprise big problems.

Step #3: Implement Fixes

The reason why organizations should break big problems up into small ones is because it makes issues easier to address. Finding fixes for 10 small problems is still easier than trying to convene a one-size-fits-all solution that transcends departments and processes. Rendering problems down to more bite-size chunks also uncovers the root causes of problems—and makes those causes simpler to manage in both the short- and long-term. 

Organizations that take the time to identify large-scale problems, cut them down to size, and take action to implement issue-by-issue fixes have a far greater chance of attaining meaningful, transformative success than those that don’t. Driving incremental improvement is also great from a culture perspective because it displays a focus on continuous improvement. 

Looking for more guidance on how you can effect real change in 2020? Read “How CX Intelligence Can Drive Meaningful Product Innovation”  today!

 

Relationship Goals: Using Surveys to Capture Complete Brand Experiences

If I asked you to picture a survey, you’d probably think of that email you receive after buying something online or having worked your way through a call center phone tree. These transactional surveys, as they’re called, are ubiquitous in today’s customer experience landscape and are effective for learning how customers feel about short-term brand experiences.

But what about long-term brand experiences, though? What kind of survey do organizations use if they want to know how customers feel about every facet of their brand experience from top to bottom? This is where the relationship survey comes into play.

The Impression That I Get

While transactional surveys are designed to evaluate purchases, website feedback processes, and other specific interactions, relationship surveys ask customers to reflect on their entire experience with a brand—not just their most recent. 

Effective relationship surveys ask customers how well a brand is delivering against its principles, as well as for their impressions of recent changes or news. These surveys may also ask for customers’ impressions of a brand’s messaging on key topics, such as the environment.

Take the Good With the Bad

Relationship surveys ask customers about their entire brand experience, so there’s a chance that those individuals will throw some improvement suggestions in with the praise. I’ve never seen a brand score a perfect 10 with its customers all the time, so some disapproval is to be expected with this type of survey. No matter the score, though, getting a survey back means that a brand can begin improving how customers perceive it over time.

It’s important to remember, though, that relationship surveys connect directly to customers’ thoughts and opinions about an entire brand experience. This means that these surveys are an ideal means of identifying problem areas and room for improvement that transactional surveys may not identify. From what I’ve seen over the years, the more of this feedback an organization can gather, the better positioned it will be to achieve meaningful change and close intelligence gaps. 

Being Tactical

What specifically might companies keep an eye out for as they solicit this kind of feedback? Well, for a start, many relationship surveys ask customers to compare their current impression of a brand with the one they may have had previously. In addition, these surveys are an excellent means of asking customers for their opinions on an organization’s values, ethics, and the direction it’s taking.

Survey Synthesis

Relationship surveys are comprehensive, high-speed tools that can deliver a high volume of feedback in a short span of time. Brands that use them can understand what their audience thinks about a variety of different interactions, and create a cumulative sense of how their relationships with customers are changing over time. 

As previously commented, there are other types of surveys that are better for, say, gauging how customers feel about specific transactions and other short-term brand experiences. Organizations that employ multiple types of surveys can gain all of this context and be better positioned for success because of that. 

No matter how many kinds of surveys an organization may use, though, they’re all only as relevant as the action that companies take with them. Proactivity and a willingness to act on feedback are the keys to a successful survey strategy. This is no less true for relationship surveys than for any other kind of questionnaire.

If you would like to learn more about relationship surveys—and how you can pair them with transactional surveys—check out “Uniting Transactional and Relationship Surveys to Capture the Entire Experience” today!

3 Steps for Turning Customer Feedback Into Product Innovation

Optimizing the customer experience for success is a necessity in today’s competitive business environment. And, for any initiative, customer data is the perfect place to start adjusting your strategy. With careful planning, analysis, and execution, you can transform CX intelligence into effective product innovation.

Our webinar, “From Information to Innovation: Using Customer Data to Drive Product Innovation,” helps you identify ways to leverage your CX program to sustain product enhancements that delight customers and drive loyalty. What follows are three notable, in-depth takeaways from that webinar that your organization can leverage to optimize its customer experience strategy.

Start with customer data.

It’s no secret there’s an abundance of data, but it’s rare for that data to produce any drastic change by itself. Often, the hardest part of listening to customers is figuring out which information to utilize and how. Start by taking a hard look at the data you have available, whether it’s surveys, comments, or employee feedback. Then, with either a skilled CX professional or a data-ingesting experience intelligence platform (or, ideally, both), you can begin to piece together information to find common themes.

Scrutinizing the information you already have allows your business to identify problem areas and to improve. Be sure to prioritize the most prevalent issues your company is facing that also have the biggest impact on customer experience. With solid listening tools in place, you can leverage existing insights to drive a better experience for customers across all facets of your organization.  Sometimes, the customer voice at one touch point may even provide insight for a completely different improvement opportunity!

Leverage intelligence tools to fuel strategy.

To go from knowing about a problem to fixing it, you need a plan. Fueling your business with CX intelligence resources and professionals gives product teams specific goals to work toward and issues to resolve. For example, the goal of fixing your product’s layout is much more tangible than broadly improving customer satisfaction (though a properly packaged CX business intelligence tool can enable both).  “Artful” listening allows teams to transcend the superficial to find both deep insights and the root causes of problems.

Your organization’s issues are unique and complex, and should be treated as such. With the right tools, authority, and people, problems can be squashed quicker and more efficiently. Specificity, context, and attention to detail are all unique to CX intelligence—and by leveraging these elements, you can improve your product.

Act quickly, but consistently. 

Achievable success is always the goal, but sustainable growth can be particularly elusive. The key? Proactivity. Data-ingesting experience platforms allow organizations to identify problem areas and develop specific improvement initiatives, but it’s what your teams do after that that really counts.  Bring cross-functional teams together to digest data, tie it to operational processes, and help product teams prioritize long-term change.

Additionally, be sure to measure success so that a model of “listen-understand-improve-monetize” can be repeated. Oftentimes, when working with smart tools, smart people are underutilized. It’s important that your organization treats intelligence as an enabler for customer experience, not a replacement for it.

When companies prioritize CX innovation, they have a much easier time turning hard-won insights into meaningful innovation. After that first win, CX practitioners can establish enough credibility to drive even more success for their organization. Use your wins to both justify the importance of CX to executives and to see the business grow firsthand.

To hear more about how you can utilize your customer feedback to transform your product, watch the full webinar for free today!

How Would You Rate Your Experience? A Primer on Transactional Surveys

Surveys are one of the most direct and effective means of gathering insights. They provide what many customers crave most: an easy-to-access platform they can use to voice their thoughts and opinions about a brand.

To make this process as efficient as possible (and to make it simpler for companies to source different kinds of feedback), several types of surveys have emerged over the years that make it easy to focus on customers’ opinions about transactions, brand relationships, and the like. I’ve found one such questionnaire, the transactional survey, to be an invaluable tool for assessing almost any customer touchpoint. Let’s briefly discuss how it works.

The Meaning Behind The Name

Transactional surveys can be used to gauge many touchpoints, but the one they’re typically associated with (and the one they’re named for) is a key part of the brand experience: the sale. In my experience, transactional surveys are an ideal way to gauge customers’ immediate feelings about a purchase because they can be used to solicit feedback quickly.

I’ve seen organizations use this tool to learn everything about their customers’ short-term brand experience, including ease-of-purchase and how quickly that package actually arrived. Customers keep a company going—it literally pays to listen to them.

Need to Make a Call?

Transactional surveys are a great way for customers to gauge purchases, but their utility extends far beyond the point of sale. I’ve also seen them be useful for evaluating call center experiences.

Poor call center interactions can quickly land an organization in a sea of bad reviews, but transactional surveys can provide an opportunity to ensure smooth operations, source invaluable feedback, and demonstrate that a company cares about their customer experience. Because surveys can be used to gather all of these insights quickly, I’ve found them to be a valuable tool for streamlining both customer experiences and feedback.

Leave a Comment

Whether a customer is browsing an about page or trying to file a product claim, transactional surveys can easily be incorporated into website feedback tools. Companies can implement just about any question at just about any website touchpoint, making it simple to quickly collect feedback about website language, page click orders, and a host of other user experience elements.

This type of feedback is where transactional surveys’ ability to deliver feedback in real time is especially helpful. Companies can be made aware of website flaws or customer complaints just after they occur, enabling product teams to correct mistakes and respond to feedback faster.

Survey Symbiosis

There’s no better means of capturing immediate feedback about a short-term brand experience than with transactional surveys. Their speed, size, and ease of use make them an invaluable way to connect customers and organizations.

I also believe, though, that while transactional surveys provide plenty of valuable information on their own, there are other types of surveys that can deliver insights that are just as valuable for other purposes. Companies that blend multiple types of surveys into a single feedback strategy can gain a much richer portrait of their audience.

Regardless of how many kinds of surveys an organization uses, though, they’re all only as relevant as the action that companies take with them. Proactivity and a willingness to act on feedback are the keys to whether a survey strategy is ultimately successful. That’s no less true for transactional surveys than for any other insight-gathering tool.

If you would like to learn more about transactional surveys—and how you can pair them with relationship surveys—check out “Uniting Transactional and Relationship Surveys to Capture the Entire Experience” today!

Step into Their Shoes: Creating Personalized, Inclusive Experiences with Foot Locker

We live in a fast-paced and sometimes disconnected, impersonal world. Many prefer texting to calling or face-to-face communication.  We shop online for convenience—and because some of us just don’t feel like interacting with a sales associate. Waiting in line at a store or having to call into a service center can be painful. When the retail experience can sometimes be a hassle, why would we bother buying at brick and mortar when we can from the comfort of our homes?

Retailers are struggling to find their fit in this new world: How do they overhaul the retail experience, bring it into the 21st century, and re-engage with this new type of customer in a personalized and inclusive way?

Customer feedback across many different industries shows one common thread: People want to connect with the brands they love in more than just a transactional way. CX intelligence can help revamp the entire experience, from in-store to online—even in the way brands listen to customers.

Our focus at InMoment is to help retailers embrace the future of feedback and create inclusive and personalized experiences for every type of customer. At Forrester CXSF, we partnered with Foot Locker to share how the global retailer is innovating the customer experience at three main touchpoints to bring about a retail transformation.                

How Consolidated Data Helps Foot Locker Gain Holistic Insights

Consolidating its siloed data into one platform with InMoment, Foot Locker was able to carefully identify a diverse array of customer types, from the sneakerhead who wants the latest and greatest in footwear to up their street cred, to the senior citizen who just wants a comfy pair of kicks. In between are the in and out power shoppers, non-sneakerheads, and many others.

 By specifying different categories of customers, Foot Locker has been able to design personalized and inclusive experiences in-store, online, and during the feedback process. 

Foot Locker’s Power Stores and pop-up retail spots are celebrating the local culture of the neighborhoods they serve. Different from the traditional brick and mortar store, Power Stores are a hub for local sneaker culture, art, music, and sports—featuring wall designs from local artists, and custom shoe designs celebrating their hometown. 

With its pop-up stores, Foot Locker is literally meeting customers where they are, setting up shop for instance in parks where kids are playing ball. By partnering with big brands like Nike, sports stars, and other celebrities, Foot Locker is building a stronger brand connection for its customers, building relationships that will continue to attract them to brick and mortar stores. 

These innovative in-store designs are the result of Foot Locker truly understanding who its customers are, thanks to data consolidation. 

When it comes to feedback, Foot Locker partnered with InMoment to create a more personalized and engaging survey experience. Using InMoment’s Video Feedback and Image Upload capabilities, customers can tell their own stories in their own way.  For example, Video Feedback helped customers alert Foot Locker about online orders that arrived in damaged or crumpled shoeboxes. With Video Feedback, Foot Locker can see, hear, and better understand the customer’s emotion by their tone of voice and body language, and it’s a fast and easy way for customers of all ages to interact with the retailer without having to go to the store or call customer service. 

With Image Upload, one customer shared with Foot Locker how excited she was that her son with cerebral palsy was able to find brand-name shoes that fit over his leg braces. In response, Foot Locker reached out to him directly and sent him a gift card to get another pair. The boy’s mother then sang Foot Locker’s praises on Facebook, reminding everyone to “fill out those surveys…someone is listening!”

If the Shoe Fits, Wear It

InMoment CEO Andrew Joiner believes retailers will only succeed in the future if they follow Foot Locker’s example by looking at the big picture: Who customers are and where they’re connecting with the brand. 

“Don’t just collect feedback from a single point – you will get data in multiple channels, but if you look at it holistically and across every point you’re talking to customers through, you get amazing results,” said Joiner. 

By cultivating holistic data with InMoment, Foot Locker is embracing this changing retail world. It’s promising customers through action that interacting with its team in person, online or through feedback is going to be an excellent experience—something many retailers are failing to do in this new retail atmosphere. 

Creating these personalized and inclusive experiences has kept Foot Locker at No. 4 on Forbes’ Most Engaged Companies List, and has increased its OSAT score by six points since 2018. 

But scores aren’t important. What’s vital is that customers feel that brands are stepping into their shoes and connecting with them on a more personal level. That’s what locks in customer loyalty. That’s why Foot Locker is changing the game. And InMoment is honored to be a part of it. 

 

How to Power Your Business Decisions with Customer Experience Intelligence

Last week, I spoke to a group of executives in Singapore about CX intelligence; specifically, how to use it to make meaningful, transformative business decisions. This is an issue for many businesses—according to Forrester, 74% of firms state they want to be insight-driven, but only 29% actually turn analytics into action. How do they do it? By following a few key principles that can help any company unleash its CX data’s full potential.

Principle 1: Structure

I’ve seen companies that have considerable CX programs, but no means of implementing any findings. The only way organizations can make use of CX data is by building governance structures that allow them to do so. These structures should always be accessible to both employees and the high-ranking organizational members for whom that information is useful. 

Businesses that create formal communication channels around CX intelligence and make it easy for business leaders to take action can put intel to greater use than they would otherwise.

Principle 2: Accessibility

Though reporting and action structures are vital to executing on CX intelligence, companies can go further by creating an insights-centric culture. Organizations can achieve this cultural shift if they turn data into intelligence, keep that intel simply formatted, and place customer satisfaction at the heart of their employee engagement strategy. Employees will feel more empowered in their work and will be more driven to keep customers happy.

Principle 3: Accountability

Just as companies that wish to be more intelligence-driven must implement accessible structures and share insights with more employees, so too must they emphasize accountability. Employees should take pride in their successes, but they must also be compelled to own their setbacks. 

Likewise, executives should go beyond merely endorsing CX efforts and give practitioners the resources they need to make their programs successful. Practitioners can get that green light by framing data as a compelling story rather than a set of numbers.

Principle 4: Speed

Every insight has a shelf life. Wait too long to act, and it becomes hindsight. It’s easy for CX programs to become bogged down in endless analysis, but practitioners who can demonstrate their proposals’ ROI, test hypotheses quickly, and execute without fear stand the best chance of arguing that speed really does matter (not to mention sidestepping all the red tape). Typically, managers who are made to understand CX ROI will also understand that time is of the essence when it comes to insights.

Principle 5: Embedment

In my experience, companies that weave CX intelligence into every customer interaction and every stage of their buying journey wield a distinct advantage over competitors that don’t. 

For example, a major UK bank found that some of its customers were angry over how long they had to wait to speak to a representative. After gathering that insight, the bank implemented an action plan: setting their IVR to recognize repeat calls. This system enabled a specialist team to address angry customers faster, resulting in a 20% decrease in complaints. Win-win.

This final principle can only be attained if the four we already discussed are correctly implemented—employees and business leaders who can access a CX-dedicated structure, who are empowered to leverage findings in a timely manner, and who are held accountable for both successes and setbacks stand a far greater chance of succeeding for themselves and their company.

When it comes to using customer experience to help international brands improve themselves, few track records are as impressive as Rob’s. Before joining InMoment as the company’s Customer Experience Strategy Director, Rob used his deep knowledge of customer experience and product management to create meaningful, positive change at Vodafone, MyRepublic and other multinational companies. He strongly believes in keeping people at the center of transformational change, which seems a winning strategy given his clients’ XI success.

How Hospitality and Entertainment Brands Can Future-Proof the Guest Experience

Last week, I led a roundtable discussion at the Future Guest Experience 2019 conference, where I had a chance to chat with executives and CX experts who are searching for ways to future-proof their guest experiences.

One of the biggest challenges that I’ve seen businesses face today is creating experiences that are both consistent and memorable. The truth is that it’s no longer enough to provide an experience that is solely consistent or memorable; the former lacks novelty, while the latter lacks, well, consistency. At the same time, companies must also strive to provide these experiences today and in the future—essentially “future-proofing” their brand against issues that guests might experience with it.

Fortunately, there’s a path to providing better guest experience, and it begins with considering what guests are truly after (it’s much more than a purchase) and leveraging the right strategies that can help you improve the guest experience today and redesign it for tomorrow.

Here are a few strategies to get you started:

Improving Experiences Today

In today’s experience economy, it’s no longer enough for a business to merely provide products. Guests seek much more than a transaction; they’re after an emotional connection that creates a memorable experience.

Consider a guest who meets with their friends regularly at a restaurant; eventually, their experience transcends ordering an appetizer and becomes fond memories of dinnertime conversation. Unfortunately, typical survey approaches cannot capture the emotion that makes these experiences memorable.

Just so we’re clear, questions that offer guests a zero-to-ten scale to define their satisfaction aren’t going to properly reflect those guests’ true feelings. The best way to capture a guest’s experience is to let them describe it in their own terms. 

In my experience, providing surveys with open-ended questions, reading comments and analyzing the common themes therein are an effective means of identifying today’s drawbacks and successes. Using this method, businesses can pinpoint where they might be coming up short and—thanks to that aforementioned feedback—create plans that result in transformative change and consistent, memorable experiences.

Redesigning for Tomorrow

Companies that leverage CX technology to staunch today’s problems are well-positioned to keep them from popping back up tomorrow. The only way to truly future-proof an experience, though, is to stay proactive. 

Future proofing starts with combining guest and loyalty data. Companies that can accomplish this will achieve an unparalleled view of the brand experience that their guests are having. That’s what future-proofing is really about: capturing guest data and preferences at the point of contact, then using that information to design new, more personalized experiences.

Numerous companies are taking advantage of future-proofing. For example, several retailers have begun combining facial recognition technology with CRM data; this information is then forwarded to frontline employees to ensure a more personalized experience.

What You Need to Future-Proof Tomorrow—Now

I’ve seen companies that take the time and effort to use unstructured guest feedback capabilities reap sizable benefits. At the same time, it is important to remember that the intelligence you receive from your guest experience efforts is only effective if you act on it.

That proactivity shouldn’t be limited to guest experience, either. Companies that can combine CX data with the right hiring, onboarding, and training processes to deliver a better employee experience will be best-positioned to future-proof their experiences. The more of these pieces that businesses have in place, the better off their future-proofing will be.

Of course, all of this is easier said than done. Even the most CX-savvy companies may find it challenging to isolate their brand’s signal from the noise and balance short-term fixes with long-term improvements. InMoment’s customizable guest experience platform and inveterate consultants make it an ideal place to start for any company considering future-proofing. 

If you’re ready to take the next step toward improving your guest experience today and creating memorable experiences tomorrow, reach out and schedule a demo today to see how the InMoment platform can work for you!

Eric Smuda has built a distinguished career out of turning venerable brands into CX powerhouses. His novel, impassioned approach to customer experience implementation changed the face of the rental car industry, in which he found award-winning ways to connect customers and companies. It’s only fitting, then, that Eric serves as a Principal of CX Strategy & Enablement at InMoment, lending his seasoned perspective to many of the company’s strategies.

Why Measuring Employee Experience Builds a Better Customer Experience

Customer experience (CX) is often driven by one seemingly universal edict: The customer is always right. But forward-thinking companies are gathering data about what actually pleases customers—and it turns out employees’ own happiness is an integral factor.

InMoment’s own CX Trends research found employees are the single largest factor in making or breaking the customer experience. The data shows a positive link between employee experience (EX) and a great customer experience, in addition to significant financial gains like increased sales and the ability to maximize business performance. In fact, companies in the top quartile for employee experience see triple the return on assets compared to those in the bottom quartile. 

Employees who feel engaged and valued will often remain loyal, productive members of their company. They’re also more likely to turn this positive energy toward tasks that benefit customers, whether they’re helping a shopper choose a new outfit or writing code for a customer-facing app.  

To better understand how to improve customer experience, companies need to harness the positive effects of employee experience. This starts with accurately measuring employees’ true feelings about their roles and the overall workplace. From there, a business can develop an actionable EX index and use it to focus their resources and drive impactful change. 

However, working for a company inspires emotions, purpose, and connections that can’t be measured by only asking simple questions. This means metrics like Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS), which doesn’t target these factors and instead is rooted in gauging an employee’s enthusiasm, are inherently inaccurate. The eNPS metric is also based on the misconception that people are as likely to recommend a workplace as they are to recommend a product or service; in reality, they’re notably less likely to do so.

Therefore, companies need to apply behavioral science to truly understand employee experience and employee engagement, and how it ultimately drives customer experience. We recommend measuring the following five elements, which were partly informed by a definition developed by Dr. Wilmar Schaufeli, professor of work and organizational psychology, and his colleagues.

#1: Vigor 

This is the energy an employee invests in their job, and the inspiration they draw on during tough times. Vigor measures an employee’s feelings surrounding their work rather than how they execute that work. 

#2: Absorption 

Absorption measures the way vigor appears in employees’ day-to-day work. In this sense, absorption is defined as the state of being so immersed in a task that employees have no desire to break away. 

#3: Dedication 

Dedication indicates employees’ long-term commitment and pride in their work. It shows how both emotion and action last over time. 

#4: Culture

An employee can’t sustain high levels of vigor, absorption, and dedication without a strong, positive work culture to support them. Culture isn’t just benefits and perks; it’s a sense of fitting into a larger, more meaningful whole. 

#5: Orientation Toward the Customer

A great employee experience does more than keep employees happy: It drives meaningful results for the customer. Companies should check in to make sure employees are directing their energy toward this key goal and others that are relevant and strategic to the brand.

When it comes to employee experience, employee engagement is only part of the story. That’s why, to gain actionable insights and improve customer experience, companies should measure external factors that drive employee behavior, as well as employee experience’s impact on customer experience at their specific company. Are employees directing their vigor at serving clients or impressing their managers? The answer matters to your long-term customer experience—and long-term success.

Learn more about the specific questions you should be asking your employees in this featured article!

5 Factors to Successfully Measure Employee Experience in Your Organization

Employee experience (EX) is quickly becoming a mainstay metric for businesses. Much like customer experience, EX is a critical factor for success with its ability to identify and drive impactful change within organizations. Why? Because employees are the most prevalent factor in making–or breaking–memorable, positive experiences for customers. 

5 Elements for Employee Experience Measurement

The average employee spends just over four years at a given job, and the experiences they have during their tenure are a crucial part of retaining them as part of your staff. Creating a positive environment for employees inspires passion and commitment toward their work–which results in better customer service and stronger performance, both of which contribute to the overall success of the organization. 

Our latest PoV, “The EX Factor: 5 Areas That Effectively Measure the Employee Experience,” takes an in-depth look at the five key elements companies should consider when measuring employee experience. The first three areas were developed by Dr. Wilmar Schaufeli, professor of work and organizational psychology; the last two areas are derived by our InMoment Employee Experience Experts. Whether you regularly distribute surveys or collect feedback on a one-to-one basis, incorporating these elements into your employee experience strategy can help keep workers engaged and interested in their job: 

 

  • Vigor (Emotion): Measuring employee vigor is about determining their feelings toward work, how energized they are by their tasks, and if they feel their work contributes to their overall career goals. Vigor directly ties to employees’ investment in their job, ensuring they remain enthusiastic and optimistic in their role. 
  • Absorption (Action): Absorption measures how immersed employees are in their work. This allows you to uncover the parts of the job where they feel fully invested, tasks they enjoy, and general sentiment and enthusiasm. Absorption also ties back to vigor, allowing you to pinpoint where–and to what extent–emotions appear regarding work. 
  • Dedication (Commitment): In addition to understanding how excited and invested employees are at your company, it’s also important to gauge their dedication. For employee experience, dedication is defined as the involvement in one’s work and the accompanying sense of significance, pride, and inspiration. Measuring employee dedication allows you to see how their emotions and actions develop over time. 
  • Culture (Support System): Strong company culture isn’t strictly about benefits and perks. It’s about the support your organization provides for employees. Do you have strong corporate values that employees support? Is there a clearly defined corporate identity, mission statement, and brand promise that employees are aligned with? Employees can only sustain ongoing levels of vigor, absorption, and dedication if they feel strongly about a positive culture that they want to be part of. 
  • Orientation to the Customer (Impact): There are plenty of instances where employees are happy with their managers, team, and overall company environment, but feel less-than-enthusiastic about customer interactions. It’s important to survey employees to understand how and where they channel feelings about work–both good and bad. It’s important to gauge employee engagement as it relates to internal team members, as well as how it relates to delivering excellent value and experiences for customers.

Employee experience is about the people behind the company, much in the same way that customer experience is about the people behind the purchase. Understanding what motivates, inspires, and drives action for employees is key to creating better, lasting experiences for them. 

Interested in more tips and insights on measuring employee engagement? Download our PoV, “The EX Factor: 5 Areas That Effectively Measure the Employee Experience” today.

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