Customer Bliss by Jeanne Bliss Wed, 09 Jun 2021 14:37:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 3 Actions to Take on the Road to Leadership Bravery /3-actions-to-take-on-the-road-to-leadership-bravery/ /3-actions-to-take-on-the-road-to-leadership-bravery/#respond Wed, 09 Jun 2021 14:00:05 +0000 /?p=8921 Those who lead experience within organizations must do three things to take the high road: be deliberate in how you will and will not grow, practice transparency, and level the playing field. Learn more in this blog post.

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“The best way to learn if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
– Ernest Hemingway

Companies that practice what I call “leadership bravery” are choosing to reverse the trend on business practices that have defined their industries. Through leadership guidance and company actions,  they are establishing more balanced relationships, where both sides win.  Both customer and company are better off because they are in each other’s lives.

What Does Leadership Bravery Look Like?

Ask how we will and will not grow.

Three common behaviors are common among these admired companies as they move in this direction. First, leaders are clear about how they will and will not grow.  Leaders diligently take actions to point out exactly what the high road is; creating a path for the company to follow.  For example, by refusing to open their stores on Black Friday, REI’s CEO took a stand to inspire employees and the marketplace by deciding how they would and would not grow.  For REI, Black Friday is a family day, not a commerce day.  Airbnb takes the high road by showing employees how to embrace the coda “belong anywhere:” building its culture of “belonging.”

Lean into transparency.

Next, they choose to be transparent in explaining the “why” behind their actions, such as pricing or how and why they build products the way that they do.  By sharing information about their products and pricing, and by openly transferring knowledge to customers they prove they want to do what’s best for them.

When writing my book, Would You Do That To Your Mother?, I learned a term that describes this approach to fearlessly sharing, that builds bonds with customers: “radical transparency.” In that book, you’ll read about OVO Energy in the UK, who practices this level of transparency with customers by opening up their pricing plans to the public, outlining exactly what the energy costs are to them, so customers feel equity in what they are paying.  As a result, they are earning customer raves and growth.

Transparency, increasingly, is becoming more important to customers, and more differentiating for brands.  A recent Harvard Business Review article cites a study by researchers at the MIT Sloan School of Management, which found that consumers may be willing to pay 2% to 10% more for products from companies that provide greater supply chain transparency.

Level the playing field.

Finally, these admired companies choose to level the playing field, reducing or eliminating practices where in the past, customers might have felt that the company was holding all the cards. They are deliberately resisting or changing industry practices so that customers feel a balanced and equitable partnership, and one based on trust. For example, Luscious Garage brings the technician and customer together as partners making decisions.  As a result, they have eliminated that phone call of waiting for the ‘final’ estimate of the car repair, turning the experience instead into one of collaboration, trust, and even joy.

Why Take the High Road?

Some of the high-road actions these admired companies take to grow may sound irrational.  But repeatedly, examples of their bravery in committing to customer relationships have proven otherwise.  They build bonds by the humanity that their acts display.

The high road is a choice.  And while it’s not always the easiest choice, it’s the one you’ll be happiest about in the rearview mirror. It’s the stuff that clearly makes that mom of yours proud.

The high road is also the route to success for companies who take this path. Empirical data and anecdotes from customers and employees prove that behaving in this manner grows a business.  Fred Reichheld was one of the first to connect the dots between “golden rule behavior” and business growth.  Further, Danny Meyer’s Hospitality Quotient proves how companies with business practices and employees that deliver values based and human experiences significantly beat the S&P 500. But the key to growing in this manner is leadership.  Leaders must build a company that believes that doing the right thing is the right way to grow.


Some of the high-road actions companies take to grow may sound irrational. But repeatedly, examples of their bravery in committing to customer relationships have proven otherwise. It can be a route to success.
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Leadership Bravery Pays Dividends

As customers, we desire to give our trust to companies who trust us back.  We seek out companies whose employees are given permission to do the right thing, and where we are honored as assets. We breathe a sigh of relief and gratitude when “Gotcha!” moments are flipped to “We’ve got your back” moments. We applaud accountability  because we know that everyone makes mistakes.  And we thank goodness for the companies who level the playing field, and give us information to prosper.

It takes all of us years of experience to figure out exactly how we, as leaders, will take the high road.  But as we go through the ups and downs of living…it becomes clearer.  Situations provide the choice.  The hard work is having the life lessons to test it out.  Those moments where my dad would say to me, “Jeanne, you can learn from this if you let yourself.”


This blog post is excerpted and adapted from Would You Do That To Your Mother? 

Learn more about the book and find out where to order »

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4 “Global Gurus” Share Their Advice for Customer Experience Leaders /4-global-gurus-share-their-advice-for-customer-experience-leaders/ /4-global-gurus-share-their-advice-for-customer-experience-leaders/#respond Fri, 23 Apr 2021 20:51:04 +0000 /?p=8896 The Global Gurus list of World's Best Customer Service Professionals is once again out. It features some of my friends and colleagues, including several who have been on my podcast. Find out what are some of my favorite insights that they've shared in our conversations. And thank you once again to Global Gurus for including me in this incredible community.

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Global Gurus’ list for World’s Top 30 Customer Service Professionals for 2021 came out recently, and I wanted to use it as an opportunity to highlight some of my friends and colleagues who are not only on the list, but who have shared their wisdom on my podcast. (And, of course, I appreciate Global Gurus for including me on the list once again!) 

Throughout my 35 years as a customer experience expert and speaker, I’ve seen that it’s vital to learn from others in the community. To become a successful professional, you need to be open to having new conversations, asking questions, and always being willing to learn more about the people around you. My gift to you is sharing conversations with these incredible colleagues through my podcast to help you further your career and develop your leadership skills.

1. Chip R. Bell tells us why truth is vital to trust

Chip R Bell customer bliss

My friend Chip R. Bell needs no introduction in this industry; he’s ed numerous influential books and is a trusted speaker and consultant. In our conversation, Chip discusses the importance that truth and trust have in the relationship between an organization and its customers. Chip explained it in this way:

“I want to talk about trust. There’s a lot to trust. But the most part is about truth. What you find in environments where there’s a lot of innovation and ingenuity is an element of–absolutely–a truthful environment.

 

I’ve always been amazed how when we stand as witnesses, and we put our hand on the Bible, and we raise our hand, we say, ‘I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help me God.’

 

Now, why do we go through all that rigmarole where we have to mention through trust three times the whole truth? Nothing. But the truth is because people oftentimes hold back little white lies, or because they don’t tell the whole thing. And so it’s creating an environment where you say, ‘Let’s put it all out there, no holds barred.’

 

We want to be diplomatic and fair. But we want also, we want total complete transparency. And when you have that environment, it’s one of safety.”

 

Listen to the full episode & read the show notes» 

2. Joseph Michelli explores how we can harness change

Joseph Michelli

I’ve interviewed my friend Joseph Michelli, , speaker, and organizational consultant, several times and we always have fascinating conversations. When we were speaking on change and its challenges, Joseph shared some insights from his conversations with leaders in a variety of industries during the pandemic:

Change is gonna happen whether you’re going to be in charge of it or you’re going to be waiting for it or you’re going to be resisting it. You get to cut some choices here. But the change you didn’t get to choose.

 

And so we saw, again, brands that were willing to know what was going on in the marketplace, they pivoted digital, which is necessary for functioning. But they also realized there was a change in people’s appetite for wanting to be with each other.

 

So while we were having business and commerce in ways we’ve never done before, thanks to technology, we were longing to be together. And so they were trying to find ways to put humans in places with this technology and I think leveraging change in harnessing change was a function of being human power and technology-aided.”

 

Listen to the full episode & read the show notes » 

3. Jay Baer explains why we must rethink how we treat customers based on loyalty

Jay Baer, the founder of Convince & Convert, a digital strategy consulting firm and of Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers With Word of Mouth, joined me on my podcast to talk about his latest book. We spoke about why companies should implement change the way they approach customer loyalty:

The best way to upset customers is to treat them equitably. I feel like a lot of companies are looking this way because they are so addicted to tiered experiences: if you are a loyal customer you’re in the rewards club or whatever, you get this awesome CX. But if you are not, it doesn’t matter; you are not terribly important to us and we don’t care about your experience. I don’t think that is a great way to run a business.

 

This idea is about everybody having the same experience, that every customer has a crack at that ‘talk trigger.'”

 

Listen to the full episode & read the show notes »

4.  Adrian Swinscoe shares his views on leading effectively

Adrian Swinscoe, of the book, Punk CX, and I spoke on my podcast about ways to push your leadership skills. In our conversation, he challenges you to roll up your sleeves and dig in:

“When was the last time that you served one of your customers? When was the last time you said hello to them on the phone or you shook their hand or helped them fulfill an order or you went to visit them?

 

It is a little bit like being the team captain or manager of a sports team: if you cannot get all the players to agree to a way to play together, then it’s not their fault, that is your fault because you are the one in charge, so sort it out. If someone is not willing to play ball, then bench them.”

 

Listen to the full episode & read the show notes » 

I want to encourage you all to check out the full versions of these podcasts for some great tips on moving forward in your customer experience journey. But these are just a few of the over 200 episodes of the podcast that we’ve published over the years. For more interviews with other leaders in our industry, be sure to subscribe to the show via email (below) or through iTunes or Google Play.

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Reflecting at the Year Mark: 3 Lessons on Leadership from a Year of Coronavirus /reflecting-at-the-year-mark-3-lessons-on-leadership-from-a-year-of-coronavirus/ /reflecting-at-the-year-mark-3-lessons-on-leadership-from-a-year-of-coronavirus/#respond Mon, 22 Mar 2021 08:59:04 +0000 /?p=8869 We must take the lessons of this last year and use them to shape how we lead our organizations into the future. In this post, we look back at three insights.

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As we round the corner on the one-year mark of this pandemic, I want to take a moment to reflect on some of the key lessons that still hold true. Even as more people get the vaccine and we slowly edge into “normal life,” it’s vital for us not to waste this opportunity.

We must take the lessons of this last year and use them to shape how we lead our organizations into the future. Let’s take a look back on three of these critical lessons together.

Move How You Listen to Customers—From ASKING to UNDERSTANDING

Throughout the last year, I’ve spoken about the importance of shifting from validating the points we’ve predetermined to understanding our customers’ lives and how they’ve changed. In the next several years, this upheaval will continue and it’s critical that we stay nimble in learning what matters to our customers, how their lives are changing, and what they need.

Things won’t just go back to normal, so be sure that your team continues to learn and understand your customers’ pain points, their priorities, and where you can add value.

Read more in my original post here.

Weave Humanity Into How Companies Operate and Earn Greater Growth

I have loved seeing leaders shed their corporate veneer during this time, conducting town halls and listening sessions from their living rooms, with their dogs running around under foot. This humanity is critical–and it’s a shame that it has taken this crisis to truly make it central to how many leaders approach their work.

Even as we move forward, I encourage you to continue to hold onto that humanity and harness it as a central tenet of how you operate and shape experience for both your employees and your customers.

Read more about this topic here.

This time can become an opportunity for humanity to be woven into how companies operate and earn greater growth.
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Lessons From Leaders on Adapting During the Pandemic

Our community of experience professionals have been so giving and supportive during this time, and it’s been my honor to have so many incredible guests on my LinkedIn Live show, Daily Dose of Optimism, as well as on my podcast.

In these interviews, my guests have shared lessons on mapping a path forward for your team through clarity of vision, listening and pivoting to retain customers, and going back to fundamentals to provide positive experiences and support for our community.

These conversations are so thoughtful and valuable that you’ll be seeing some replays of several of my favorites in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, be sure that you read this post for insights from just three of these interviews. And visit my podcast page for all of the episodes.

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In H-E-B We Trust: How Admirable Acts of Leadership Earn an Army of Loyal Fans /in-h-e-b-we-trust-how-admirable-acts-of-leadership-earn-an-army-of-loyal-fans/ /in-h-e-b-we-trust-how-admirable-acts-of-leadership-earn-an-army-of-loyal-fans/#respond Tue, 23 Feb 2021 10:40:11 +0000 /?p=8874 In difficult times, we have unique opportunities to embed goodwill and good acts into them to become memorable. This is what H-E-B recognizes and facilitates again and again.

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The headlines are glowing:

“Texans Needed Food and Comfort After a Brutal Storm. As Usual, They Found It at H-E-B.” –The New York Times

“Opinion: Why H-E-B comes through in a crisis when Texas government doesn’t.” –The Houston Chronicle

“Texans are raving about H-E-B as the beloved grocery chain provides food and comfort amid a nightmarish storm.” –Business Insider

What I wrote on LinkedIn was, “In H-E-B we trust. Here’s how admirable acts of leadership earn an army of people whose lives would be empty without you. Bravo #HEB”

As I’ve shared before,  H-E-B is a fantastic example of a business that understands that in certain moments, we as businesspeople have unique opportunities to embed goodwill and good acts into them, to become memorable, to become unforgettable for how we responded in this moment, and for how we helped our people and our customers.

Memory is a powerful thing. As leaders, we must ask: How will you be remembered? What do your behaviors say about you?


Take the Quiz!

I’ve put together a short quiz as a self-evaluation tool to help leaders define where they are now and identify their opportunities to become memorable and earn customer-driven growth. Click here to get started.

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5 Leadership Actions to Build Trust With Those Who Serve Customers /5-leadership-actions-to-build-trust-with-those-who-serve-customers/ /5-leadership-actions-to-build-trust-with-those-who-serve-customers/#respond Thu, 28 Jan 2021 09:00:37 +0000 /?p=8560 5 Leadership Actions to Build Trust With Those Who Serve CustomersCustomer experience employees are at the frontlines of every company. They are the often the first, last, or only touchpoint a consumer has with a brand. Being on a CX team demands a high standard of grit, resilience, and trust. Donald Hicks, Former Vice President of Operations at Twitter has ed this guest post about the important leadership actions that should be taken in order to empower your team.

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Today’s guest post is from Donald Hicks, a Silicon Valley tech executive, industry thought leader, consumer experience architect, and operations veteran whom I had the pleasure of interviewing recently. Donald was a guest on the live-streaming video version of my podcast (click here to view it on LinkedIn). Be sure to subscribe here to get this episode delivered straight to your inbox in a few weeks when it airs.


Customer experience employees are at the frontlines of every company. They are the often the first, last, or only touchpoint a consumer has with a brand. Being on a CX team demands a high standard of grit, resilience, and trust.

Just in 2020 alone, my team at Twitter had to tackle drills, meetings, and pivots in response to real-time historical moments:

      • A global pandemic
      • The #BlackLivesMatter movement
      • The 2020 U.S. election

    Much of what we needed to resolve as a CX team hadn’t been done before. We had no option but to lean on a foundation of trust built when making critical decisions. Without it, we left the door open for misalignment, a poor user experience, and a crumbling internal team.Fostering trust on a CX team is non-negotiable. But trust can’t be built on polite smiles and forced happy hours. Here are the five leadership actions to build trust across teams.

    Lead By Example, Even When It’s Unpopular

    To lead a team that trusts you, you must first lead by example.

    The best piece of advice I can give is to embrace the bold. Be bold when challenging ideas, and be bold with your generosity. When you say something, mean it and plan to back it up. Often, boldness will look heroic, but much more often, boldness will hold people accountable, do the right thing instead of the popular thing, and provide hard truths instead of inflated insights.

    Here’s why it matters: boldness shocks the system and challenges the status quo. It recharges teams to think critically in a new way and serve their customers most effectively. Your team doesn’t grow with passiveness; your team thrives with palpable passion.


    The best piece of advice I can give is to embrace the bold. Be bold when challenging ideas, and be bold with your generosity. -- @DHicks, Former VP Global Ops @Twitter #leadership
    Click To Tweet


    Remember To Serve Your Team and Customers Authentically

    A team should be able to trust your intentions as a leader. Leading from a place of conviction means you’ve decided to prioritize honesty and authenticity over optics and office politics. Your actions should assure them that you’re making decisions that are best for the company and team. This confidence will be especially vital for the team when facing critical decisions or external crises.

    To serve from a place of intention, you must understand your why and your team members. This will require openness, space for psychological safety, and empowering collaboration over competition.

    Encourage your team by actively listening, engaging with their ideas and feedback, and rewarding based on merit. Further, regularly check-in with yourself to see who is driving your leadership decisions and course-correct back to the mission.


    Encourage your team by actively listening, engaging with their ideas and feedback, and rewarding based on merit. -- @DHicks, Former VP Global Ops @Twitter
    Click To Tweet


    Provide Strength Through Transparency

    Like many, I’ve found myself listening to more Brene Brown over the last year. Her relationship with vulnerability and courage is inspiring to countless individuals. A lesson she continues to reaffirm for me is the power of transparency.

    Whether providing feedback to a team member or delivering a progress report that won’t “wow” any of the key stakeholders, transparency is vital to building a solid foundation of trust. As a CX leader, you can’t afford to forget that you’re here to serve your team and drive the company’s mission, not your own. Too often, managers will forget to think about long-term sustainability and scalability in the name of staying with the in-crowd and compromise a team’s credibility in the process.

    It’s important to hold all players and stakeholders accountable for their actions, for their deliverables, and for the workplace culture, they either add to or take away from. This means coaching your star-player when they do “miss the throw” and investing more of yourself and resources into the introverted rookie that leadership isn’t asking about.


    It’s important to hold all players and stakeholders accountable for their actions, for their deliverables, and for the workplace culture, they either add to or take away from. -- @DHicks, Former VP Global Ops @Twitter
    Click To Tweet


    Don’t Pretend To Have All The Answers

    One of the fastest ways to deteriorate trust with a team is to pretend to know it all.

    Each of us possesses a fresh perspective that only we can have; trust is the relational currency that will get ideas out of our heads and onto paper. At my alma mater, Clark-Atlanta, we had a mantra, “Each one, teach one.” Our school encouraged us to teach each other and foster collaboration and denounced the idea of gatekeeping in the name of self-interest.

    Foster an open space where team members can share ideas freely, and feedback can be welcomed with interest. Encourage your team to speak-up and strengthen the internal relationships so that opportunities aren’t going unchecked.

    After all, you hired or inherited a team deemed contemptible to execute your decisions and strategies. Trust the team to have the brilliant ideas and answers that you hired them for.


    Foster an open space where team members can share ideas freely, and feedback can be welcomed with interest. -- @DHicks, Former VP Global Ops @Twitter
    Click To Tweet


    Delegate, Empower, Illuminate

    If I could leave the business world and every CX leader with one idea, it would be the phrase, “Delegate, empower, illuminate.” Past its concise packaging is a greater message.

    Trust is built through successful delegation. When we delegate the projects and tasks to team members, they are empowered to lean into their strengths and given space to develop as a professional and an individual.

    The exchange of trust leads to empowerment. Now you have a team member who feels encouraged and supported in their pursuits. Once a bond is built, you both have something to lose: trust. And it is that commitment that will drive their best efforts.

    And it’s that effort and commitment that allows them to illuminate and bring their best work to customers. From answering the phone to resolving dire requests, CX builds trust with customers by trusting their team and leaders first.


     

    Donald Hicks is a Silicon Valley tech executive, industry thought leader, consumer experience architect, and operations veteran. Creating harmony between unparalleled consumer experiences, and operational strategies is where Donald’s passion lies! Donald most recently served as V.P. Operations at Twitter, overseeing CX, content moderation enforcement, product support engineering, data analytics, and more. He understands the hidden power that lies within dreamers and the responsibility we have to empower all people while fostering a sense of belonging. His relentless pursuit in shaping the way we approach and improve technology platforms has led to his distinct leadership style and unmatched success at tech heavyweights such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and now Airbnb.

  • Interested in hearing more from Donald Hicks? You can find him on Medium, where he writes content sharing his great insights.

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3 Leadership Principles to Help Advance Your Employee and Customer Experience /3-leadership-principles-to-help-advance-your-customer-experience/ /3-leadership-principles-to-help-advance-your-customer-experience/#respond Wed, 16 Dec 2020 22:48:22 +0000 /?p=8528 I’m sharing some key takeaways from my conversation with The Sweeney Agency about ‘How to Elevate Customer Experience.’ These are essential principles for those in the C-Suite to apply across all departments within their organizations.

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As we’ve recently shifted to a digitally-focused world, you may have faced some new challenges in the way leadership should approach customer experience. Despite any perceived hardships, this shift may actually present you with new opportunities to engage your employees and customers. 

I recently shared some insights with The Sweeney Agency about ‘How to Elevate Customer Experience,’ and I’ve outlined key takeaways from my conversation below. I encourage you to listen to the brief video clips to hear examples of how some businesses have applied practical applications of the tips below.

1. Deliver a One-Company Experience

Don’t engage in fractured projects to address one customer concern or in response to a survey. Now is the time to unite and focus. Pick a few things that will benefit the whole organization versus every silo trying to get in their list. Use this time to determine three good things that you can do to improve the experience. A one-company focus paired with humanity is the secret recipe. 


Don’t engage in fractured projects to address one customer concern or in response to a survey. Now is the time to unite and focus. #leadership
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2. Be Honest with Your Employees

The other thing that we’re finding is that it’s really important to have fearless honesty with your employees. We’re all living in a world of, “What’s going to come next?” If you don’t communicate with your employees and/or your customers, they’re going to fill in that black hole. They’re going to surmise what’s coming next, or what’s happening to them. If you have a lot of worried employees sitting around, that vibe is going to pass on to your customer. It’s important to remember that what’s on the inside shows up on the outside.

3. Don’t Underestimate the Importance of the Hello and Goodbye

The beginning and the end of an exchange is where you can find your big opportunities. How do you end a chat? What does your packing slip in a delivery look like? Think through the small details because they make a difference. Find ways that you can think outside of the box. This is especially important as more people are buying things online and getting shipments to their 合约交易所_数字交易homes. 


The beginning and the end of an exchange is where you can find your big opportunities. How do you end a chat? What does your packing slip in a delivery look like? #leadershipinnovation
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Be sure to check out previous blog posts in which I share more advice from other C-Suite leaders about how to navigate these uncertain times.

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Are You Delivering “Comfort and Joy” to Your Customers? /are-you-delivering-comfort-and-joy-to-your-customers/ /are-you-delivering-comfort-and-joy-to-your-customers/#respond Wed, 18 Nov 2020 19:55:25 +0000 /?p=8512 CX expert, , and keynote speaker, Chip R. Bell shares why you must give your customers sincere joy, even if it cannot be graphed on a Power Point slide or calculated for a report.

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Today’s guest post is from my good friend, Chip R. Bell, the best selling of the 9 1/2 Principles of Innovative Service and many other customer service books. Chip has just released his latest book, Inside Your Customer’s Imagination: 5 Secrets for Creating Breakthrough Products, Services, and Solutions.

Chip is also a customer service keynote speaker who educates organizations on how to create a customer-centric culture. By offering innovative customer-driven strategies and tactics, Chip has helped many Fortune 100 companies enhance their bottom lines and marketplace reputation.


Customer service professionals spend a lot of energy today on the comfort side of customer service. We even have metrics that calculate the arithmetic of effort. We focus on speed and accuracy of service with yardsticks hardwired to the science of the business. Service providers know exactly how long customers are at the fast-food pickup window, how frequently they call back on the same issue, and how long they window shop on a company’s website.

The “joy” side of the customer’s experience gets far less airtime in the boardroom. The famous poet Maya Angelou wrote, “People will forget what you said and what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Calculating Versus Giving Customers Joy

Ah, therein lies the problem. How do you measure a feeling? How do you calculate joy? Is our metric mania preventing our focus on the most essential part of the customer’s encounter?  Which is more important to the success of a marriage, “frequency of taking out the trash” or “sincerity of affection?”  Can you imagine someone saying, “I stopped focusing on showing affection toward my spouse since I could not properly measure it!”

John Steinbeck’s description of a fishing expedition in his book Sea of Cortez puts an insightful finger on the business world’s metric dilemma when it comes to customer affect. Read the passage below and consider what it communicates about the implication of “the metrics of joy:”

The Mexican sierra has 17 plus 15 plus nine spines in the dorsal fin. These can easily be counted. But if the sierra strikes hard on the line so that our hands are burned, if the fish sounds and nearly escapes and finally comes in over the rail, his colors pulsing and his tail beating in the air, a whole new relational externality has come into being—an entity which is more than the sum of the fish plus the fisherman.

The only way to count the spines of the sierra unaffected by this second relational reality is to sit in a laboratory, open an evil-smelling jar, remove a stiff colorless fish from the formalin solution, count the spines and write the truth. There you have recorded a reality which cannot be assailed—probably the least important reality concerning either the fish or yourself.”

Steinbeck’s prose reminds us that no matter how comprehensive and accurate our modern metrics, they will never completely capture the magic and mystery of an engaged and joyful customer relationship.  By focusing too heavily on objective data, tidy calculations, and sterilized reports, we lose touch with the fact that we are putting precious energy on the “least important reality concerning” the customer, the employee, and the organization.

Measurements are important.  But we need to stop trying to “drive a nail with a B flat!” Give your customers sincere joy, even if it cannot be graphed on a PowerPoint slide or calculated for a report.

Happy holidays!


No matter how comprehensive & accurate our modern metrics, they will never completely capture the magic and mystery of an engaged and joyful customer relationship. — @ChipRBell #CX
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About Chip R. Bell

Dr_Chip_R_BellDr. Chip R. Bell has helped many Fortune 100 companies dramatically enhance their bottom lines and marketplace reputations through innovative customer-centric strategies. He is considered a world-renowned ity on customer loyalty and service innovation. Global Gurus ranked him in 2020 for the sixth straight year in a row in the top three keynote speakers in the world on customer service.

He also has written more than 700 columns for many business journals, magazines, and top blogs. He has appeared live on CNN, CNBC, CBS, Fox Business, Bloomberg TV, ABC, NPR Radio and his work has been featured in FortuneBusinessweekForbesFast Company, Inc. MagazineWall Street JournalUSA TodayCEO MagazineMoney Magazine, and Entrepreneur.

Chip R Bell

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Build Your Customer-First Foundation, Align Your Team, and Unite the C-Suite with Data-Backed Insights /build-your-customer-first-foundation-align-your-team-and-unite-the-c-suite-with-data-backed-insights/ /build-your-customer-first-foundation-align-your-team-and-unite-the-c-suite-with-data-backed-insights/#respond Wed, 28 Oct 2020 22:20:39 +0000 /?p=8491 interview w/Camille HarrisonDuring my conversation with Camille Harrison, SVP & COO of Guidewell Commercial Market, and Guidewell Innovation, we discuss the importance of not “boiling the ocean” when it comes to implementing change, and Camille shares some of the techniques she’s used to unite folks across her organization, including the C-Suite, in order to move the customer-first work forward.

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As many of us continue to work from 合约交易所_数字交易home and shift working styles due to the pandemic, I’ve been interviewing practitioners and thought leaders about how we can adapt and continue to show up as our best selves in our roles. To that end, I want to share with you my recent interview with Camille Harrison, the SVP & COO of Guidewell Commercial Market, and Guidewell Innovation. Guidewell is the parent company of Florida Blue. Camille shared with our audience her insights and advice for experience leaders in the healthcare and insurance industries.

Some of the quotes have been lightly edited for clarity.


Camille is in the insurance industry where she works with multiple customer segments, so there are a lot of moving parts to her work. During our conversation, Camille and I discuss the importance of not “boiling the ocean” when it comes to implementing change, and Camille shares some of the techniques she’s used to unite folks across her organization, including the C-Suite, in order to move the customer-first work forward.

The Foundation of Your Work Will Give You the Opportunities to do the “Cool” Work Later on

Camille explains that it’s important to focus on the foundation. She shares that she and her team started by pulling together all of their insights and analytics so they could have a solid place to build upon. She says that once you’ve got your foundation in place, you have to start sharing the deeper knowledge with your team so everyone can understand what’s happening.

We spend a lot of time making sure that the whole organization can see the impact of their work, as opposed to being limited to the centralized group of people who are experts at it. So we spent a lot of time knowledge sharing, and really making sure people understood what was happening environmentally.


We don’t just build an action plan in a vacuum.
We go to the people who are actually responsible for that business process. And they help us understand our insights. Because our insights are just words on a page, but we bring them to life when talking to experts in that space. So you’re co-developing solutions, and then you bring in the customer and say, here’s what we think we heard, right? Will this work for you and your customers?”


We spend a lot of time making sure that the whole organization can see the impact of their work, as opposed to being limited to the centralized group of people who are experts at it. —Camille Harrison, @_GuideWell
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Create a Center of Excellence

Camille shares that with the support of Guidewell’s new VP, her team was able to create a center of excellence:

We spent a lot of time building foundational capabilities to really listen to customers […] I mean, that is how, frankly, we unite the C suite, right? Because data is uniting right? Insights are widening that people understand what’s driving satisfaction and not. And we’re able to build plans around that in order to drive the outcome of the change that we want.”

She also shares this important message about their journey to being customer-focused:

We found that we were building our business rules and practices around our business objectives rather than the customer’s journey and their expectation. So when we realized that, we took a step back, and we identified six priority journeys. […] Now we orchestrate our business process around the journey or the objectives they’re trying to meet. So it’s really just a pivot and how you’re looking at the same set of problems. But you’re thinking about it and you’re solving from the customer’s vantage point, and you’re leveraging your relationship with the customer to do it.”


Now we orchestrate our business process around the (customer) journey or the objectives they're trying to meet. —Camille Harrison, @_GuideWell
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The Whole Organization Must be Aligned with the Expectations

Camille shares that now that Guidewell has developed its customer-first focus, both the C-Suite and the organization are aligning with the expectations.

When it comes to engaging the C-suite in order to get movement going, she shares the following:

Come with data, come with information, not opinions, because you can opine all day long about what you think the issues and the opportunities are, but when you can bring very specific actionable items forward, you’re going to get an invitation to the Party every single time. Make sure that you have it in a way that’s consumable, repeatable, and sustainable.”

 

You can’t bring one report and think that you’ve sold you know, your C suite that this is these are the action, there’s got to be consistent, a pattern of bringing information forward to be able to to really drive the results that you need. Make sure you’re having a conversation deeper in the organization where the work happens.”


Have you been keeping up with me on my LinkedIn Live conversations? If not, what are you waiting for? I encourage you to follow me on LinkedIn so you can watch more interviews with industry top leaders, and if you don’t already follow my podcast, click on the link to get new episodes delivered right to your inbox!

Get every new episode

sent straight to your inbox!

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3 Leaders Share How We Can Use Our Power As Individuals to Create Meaningful Change /3-leaders-share-how-we-can-create-meaningful-change/ /3-leaders-share-how-we-can-create-meaningful-change/#respond Fri, 25 Sep 2020 16:00:53 +0000 /?p=8465 3 Leaders Share How We Can Use Our Power As Individuals to Create Meaningful ChangeI've gathered some quotes that touch on the main aspect of my interviews with brilliant guests including Brian Solis, Simon T. Bailey, and Patti Phillips. I also encourage you to listen to the full interviews to get some more incredible gems from these folks who've been in their respective industries for quite some time now.

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Have you been keeping up with me on my LinkedIn Live conversations? If not, what are you waiting for? As many of us continue to work from 合约交易所_数字交易home and shift working styles due to the pandemic, I’ve been interviewing practitioners and thought leaders about how we can adapt and continue to show up as our best selves in our roles. I’ve spoken to leaders in a range of industries, and they all have had incredibly useful things to say about how they’ve been working through these uncertain times.

Below, I’ve gathered key takeaways from my interviews with brilliant guests including Brian Solis, Simon T. Bailey, and Patti Phillips. I also encourage you to listen to the full interviews to discover more pearls of wisdom from these thoughtful leaders. Enjoy!

Some of the quotes have been lightly edited for clarity.


Brian Solis, Digital Anthropologist

Brian and I had a great chat about the convergence of the digital world and humanity. We discussed the effects that an increase in technological use has on companies, their employees, and the customers they serve. Here are insights from Brian on what he calls, “the novel economy:

“The novel economy is something that was born at Salesforce. As I was looking through some of the work that I had to create for different organizations, and also different events that I was still speaking at (now virtually), and you think about digital transformation for customer experience at large, like we had been over the years … it just didn’t seem to really resonate at this moment. What was deeply impactful in my work, in my life was the understanding that here’s something that is deeply disruptive that’s affecting our entire world. The best we could give it was the new normal? That wasn’t really hitting.

I wanted to take a very proactive, very positive approach to what we needed to do moving forward because otherwise, we’re going to get caught in a reactive cycle.

So I wanted to break out the novel economy into three phases, which was: survive, alive, and thrive. Looking out between now and over the course of 18-24-36 months, and breaking out into different stages where of course, yes, we have to react, stabilize, ensure business continuity, but with COVID, instead of calling it a ‘new normal,’ it’s the interim normal, right? […] It’s an interim period, and it’s the time to think about business continuity. What’s next? What can I learn from all of this so that we thrive, so that we innovate, we iterate for the future, which gives us a sense of purpose.”


What can I learn from all of this so that we thrive, so that we innovate, we iterate for the future, which gives us a sense of purpose. -@briansolis #leadership #innovation
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Simon T. Bailey, , and Life Coach

In this inspiring conversation with Simon T. Bailey, of “Be the Spark,” we talk about customer and employee experience and recognizing the power that we have as individuals to make a difference. Simon says that to “be the spark” is “recognizing that men and women have the ability to transform the experience in the moment. And they recognize, ‘I’m not waiting for the tap on the shoulder for my leader. I have the ability to be the spark for this customer.'”

Here’s a snippet from our conversation in which Simon shares how we can find those moments in which we can be the spark in our personal lives and go above and beyond for others:

“I think we are experiencing what I would call moving from customer service to human service. And being a person of human service, it’s not so much what I can get from you, but it’s about what I can give to you. What can I do to be a better human being? How do I open the door for you? How do I say please, thank you? How do I practice physical distancing? Not social distancing, because we are social beings by nature.

How do I respectfully engage you from afar in a way that lets you know, this is a human moment? So I’ll give you a prime example: I went to one of my favorite restaurants, and it’s Houston’s (which is Hillstone in some parts of the country), and I went to pick up takeout food. And it’s not might not be a big deal, but I’ve been going to the restaurant for 20 years. And do you know not only did they give me my food, but they gave me dessert for free and I didn’t know that. And they said, ‘How’s your family doing? How are you doing?’ I was like, that’s a human moment.”


Be the spark! Recognize your ability to transform any experience at that particular moment. — @SimonTBailey #bethespark
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Patti Phillips, CEO

In my interview with Patti Phillips, the CEO of Women Leaders in Sports, we spoke about the overall importance of women in leadership positions, and the impact it has in the sports industry—where it’s most certainly needed. When we started talking about COVID and its impact on Patti’s organization, here’s what she had to say:

“I do believe there are systemic changes that we were even seeing with the COVID crisis, right, you know, and the demographics that it was hitting were worse than others and so there are changes we need to make. […] And so you know, we’ve been doing a lot with our organization. We’ve had a women of color initiative for years. We believe we position women of color in all of our programming. So it allowed us the space to double down even more now. And it’s not that other people aren’t doing ; we all need to do more. Quite frankly, what needs to happen now is a systemic change.

I hope people will get involved in organizations working on systemic change. I say ‘systemic change’ but it’s long term. So as we’re working with women in the industry, that’s one piece. That’s only one system, right? There’s all these pieces that we’ve got to get at. Quite frankly, everyone has to commit to wanting to be part of the solution in the change. And I do think, I do think that is happening.”


We all need to do more. Quite frankly, what needs to happen now is a systemic change —@PattiPhillips10, CEO @WomenLeadersCS #leadership
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I encourage you to follow me on LinkedIn so you can watch more interviews with industry top leaders, and if you don’t already follow my podcast, click on the link to get new episodes delivered right to your inbox!

Get every new episode

sent straight to your inbox!

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Three Lessons From Leaders on Adapting During the Pandemic /lessons-from-leaders-adapting-during-pandemic/ /lessons-from-leaders-adapting-during-pandemic/#respond Fri, 28 Aug 2020 14:16:51 +0000 /?p=8438 Three Lessons From Leaders on Adapting During the PandemicI recently interviewed three, extremely driven women who are making a big impact in their roles. I’m sharing key takeaways from my interviews with Aisling Hassell, VP of Community Support at Airbnb, Chelsie Rae Lee, Chief Revenue/Customer/Innovation Officer at SnackNation, and Barbara C. Morton, Deputy Chief Veterans Experience Officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Over the past few months, I’ve been hosting live interviews with a range of C-Suite leaders on my LinkedIn and Twitter. We’ve had discussions about their role in developing a customer experience strategy within their organization or for other organizations, and about how they’ve had to recently pivot in their jobs. I’ve also spoken to gurus, s, and evangelists about the ways in which leaders can continue to guide their teams through the pandemic as customer behaviors continue to shift.

I recently interviewed three, extremely driven women who are making a big impact in their roles. Today, I share their key takeaways from my interviews with Aisling Hassell, VP of Community Support at Airbnb, Chelsie Rae Lee, Chief Revenue/Customer/Innovation Officer at SnackNation, and Barbara C. Morton, Deputy Chief Veterans Experience Officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Offset Anxiety Through Clarity of Vision

In our conversation, Aisling Hassell addressed the challenges of communicating effectively with your leadership team and your employees.

“When you talk about concern, anxiety and sustainability kind of go hand-in-hand. So we’re trying to balance, one, having a vision for the future. And obviously, the last couple of months, as myself and my leadership have had to recast that vision. We had our 2020 plans. We knew exactly we’re going to do we were delivering against this roadmap, which I talked about, and all of a sudden our world went off the pass. 

And so, we still have the same roadmap that we actually had “zoom-sites” since we couldn’t have an off-site. […] Usually my leadership team and I get together every quarter and we would have a deep planning or a deep execution-type discussions around making sure that we’re on the same page and, and troubleshooting any areas of ambiguity. Well, obviously, we couldn’t do that together because we are all working across every continent. So, and we decided, well, we would have it, you know, basically online. So we broke it up.

[…] So one of the things we said post-COVID, and post all of the swirl and change that we’ve been going through: it’s important to really simplify our ways of working as well. So not just what we’re doing, but how we’re doing it. So we spent a large part of that time really trying to figure out what could be a simpler way of working. And now we’re just coming out of that, and we’re going to roll that forward. So going back to the question, I think, yes, there’s anxiety, but I think as leaders how you can offset the anxiety is by giving clarity of vision, so that’s what we’re trying to do that we’re saying, Okay, H1 was crazy. Here’s our plan for H2. Here’s what we need to accomplish together. And I think everybody is super keen to know: ‘okay, where are we going? And how do we pivot towards the new future? And how can we lean into that?’ So that’s important to do.”


In my live podcast interview with @Airbnb's Aisling Hassel, she tells us: As leaders how you can offset the anxiety is by giving clarity of vision.
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Don’t Assume; Check-in with Customers to Understand How They Feel and Where They Stand

Chelsie Rae Lee is the Chief Revenue and Customer Officer at Snacknation, a subscription-based snack company. Since a large percentage of her customers operate out of offices to receive the snacks, Chelsie, who spends a lot of work on customer retention strategies, shares how SnackNation has had to adjust to accommodate changing consumer behavior:

“One of the things I always try to say is to ask yourself about your customers: Where are they at right now? How can I add value with the skill sets that I have? And sometimes, like, how will they buy it? Or can I sell it to them? But essentially, we did that. We looked really deep in and said, What do our customers need right now?

One of the things I always say to people, too, is: don’t assume you know what your customers need, no matter how well you know them. So it’s really important for us to ask.  I’ve sent all of these emails saying, you know, ‘I care about you, I want to help you, How can I do that?’ and got some really deep and wonderful conversations with our customers, saying, ‘I need to support and make my employees feel cared about. I don’t know where they’re going to be.’

Then I thought to myself, we’ve got amazing products, amazing food and snacks and we can ship to anywhere which most companies are not based in. And we understand how it is to make somebody feel special. Let’s take that, and transition it to work-from-合约交易所_数字交易home. Now we developed a fluid interface where people could put their addresses and their employees could now get snacks at 合约交易所_数字交易home instead of in the office.”


One of the things I always try to say is to ask yourself about your customers, where are they at right now? How can I add value with the skill sets that I have? - @chelsieraelee, @snacknation
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Use Customer Journey Maps to Strategize Around a Positive Experience

Barbara Morton’s job as the Deputy Veterans Experience Officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs involves working with a few different groups of customers. Working with a range of customers impacts the language they use internally, how they view veterans, and how they strategize the best ways to create a positive experience for them:

“We don’t want to assume that we understand what’s most important to veterans, so we do a journey map. For example, in outpatient experience, that’s one of the largest business lines in the US. I have that type of care service. So as they’ve gone in for some help, they’re departing; It’s what happens after that, or in general, even if they haven’t gone in. And so it’s those who are utilizing it end to end.

And it actually starts before the actual appointment. It’s scheduling the appointment. It’s arriving at the facility, it’s waiting. It’s meeting your provider, it’s post care and follow up. Right. So we mapped that. And so we can have a very clear understanding, again, not what our process is, but what the process and the experience was for the veteran. And we identified key moments that matter to them.

So for example, navigation of a VA Medical Center was very important. And that came out in the research that never would naturally appear on an operational metrics dashboard, it never would naturally appear, right? So we actually took that insight and we now measure that as part of a survey have that type of experience. And by the way, we don’t just measure it, we implemented and tried to scale and how scaled with Veterans Health Administration and Ambassador Program, red coat Ambassador greeter program to address that particular pain point identified in the HCV research.  So we have navigators now at every medical center helping veterans find their way around these complex buildings. Why? Because it’s important to them.

Like we can’t all just have the feel good about this is the right thing to do. There has to be evidence, there has to be proof that we’re actually moving the needle. And I’m proud of the department and the frontline employees have been able to show that.”


We can't just feel this is the right thing to do; there has to be evidence that we're actually moving the needle, says @VetsExperience's Barbara Morton in our recent conversation.
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Be sure to check out previous blog posts in which I share more advice from other C-Suite leaders about how to navigate these uncertain times.

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