Content By Annette Franz

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By: Annette Franz

Being a customer experience (CX) professional is hard enough; misinformation just makes our work more challenging. Misinformation or confusing information by a person with a ton of followers and a ton of influence makes our work even more challenging.

Recently, Seth Godin published a post on his site titled “Sneaky Surveys (and Push Polls).” I’m a big Seth Godin fan, but this post made me pause. As of today, it’s already received almost 4,000 likes (stars) on his site. In his post, he makes six points about surveys. I’ll address each one.

Open access online surveys

His comment on this topic is: “All open access online surveys are essentially inaccurate, because the group that takes the time to answer the survey is usually different from the general public.”

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By: Annette Franz

You’re listening to customers. You’re combining their feedback with those bread crumbs of data that they leave with every transaction and interaction with your brand. You’ve developed customer personas to better understand who they are, what problems they are trying to solve, and what jobs they need to get done. You’ve mapped their journeys to understand their experience today and their expectations for a better experience tomorrow. You have done all of that, right?

And you’re analyzing all of that together to learn everything you can and to tell a better and more robust customer story.

And there you are. Stuck. Now what? What do you do with all of those insights? How do they get consumed and acted upon? And they must get consumed and acted upon—otherwise, it’s all just expensive trivia!

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By: Annette Franz

There’s a lot of bad press out there about journey mapping. And there’s a lot of bad journey mapping (or what people think is journey mapping). A few months ago, I shared my six-step journey mapping process. Remember, journey mapping isn’t just a tool; it’s also a process. Know the tool and create it correctly. Embrace the process because the process is what’s going to ensure you achieve your desired outcomes.

I would call journey mapping the most critical and pivotal component in any customer experience transformation. An in-depth understanding of the experience today—what’s going well and what isn’t—is the only way to really drive change going forward. (You can’t transform something you don’t understand, right?) This is why journey maps and the journey mapping process are often called the backbone of customer experience management.

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By: Annette Franz

I have been doing a bit of speaking lately, either about journey mapping or with journey mapping as part of the talk, and I’ve learned a lot, or rather, confirmed a lot. Namely, you might think you’re journey mapping, you call it journey mapping, but it’s not really journey mapping. Here’s what happens.

I start by asking the audience if they’re mapping customer journeys, and a bunch of hands in the room go up. A lot of hands, as a matter of fact.

I proceed to explain what journey mapping is, why you must map, how maps are used in a variety of ways, and what the journey mapping process is.

I then ask the question, “How many of you have mapped customer journeys?” No hands, or very few, go up the second time around. What gives?

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By: Annette Franz

Core values are the fundamental beliefs of an organization; they guide executives and employees in identifying which behaviors and actions are right and which are wrong. Everything you do must be aligned with your core values, and core values should be integrated into everything you do. When in doubt, ask: “Is this the right thing to do? Does it fit with our core values?”

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By: Annette Franz

In the past, I’ve written about some of the myths of journey mapping. One of those myths is: Without a digital mapping platform, I can’t even begin to map. Let me explain my position.

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By: Annette Franz

I still love to hold and read physical books (as opposed to audible or Kindle). I don’t know how many books I added to my library this year, but it was a lot. I thought I’d share some good ones that I’d recommend you add to your reading list for 2019.

These books are not customer experience books per se, but the outcomes of implementing what you learn in them will certainly lead to better experiences for employees and for customers. Let’s dive in.

I read the first two books on cross-country travel last week, with time to spare for chatting with my seat mates. (In other words, quick reads but packed full of good stuff.)

The Truth About Employee Engagement by Patrick Lencioni (Jossey-Bass, 2015)

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By: Annette Franz

I’ve written previously about 11 myths and mistakes about journey mapping, but I should add one more myth, which is really the umbrella myth that likely encompasses all the others: Journey mapping is just a tool.

Nope, it’s not just a tool; it’s not just a workshop: It’s a process. Journey mapping is a creative and collaborative process that allows you to understand—and then redesign—the customer experience. You must view it as the process that it is, otherwise there’s no point in mapping.

This diagram outlines the six-step journey mapping process I advocate:

CX Journey Inc.’s six-step journey-mapping process

At a high level, here’s what each of the steps entail.

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By: Annette Franz

Traditionally, managers have relied on the annual performance review to provide employees with feedback. However, surveys indicate employees don’t find the process valuable. Simply meeting once a year to discuss their progress doesn’t give employees a thorough sense of their own performance. It also doesn’t give them many opportunities to offer valuable feedback to their supervisors.

That’s why managers are shifting to a continuous feedback approach. With the right tools, like 360 performance evaluation, staying in contact with your workers (even if they work remotely) and regularly updating them on their progress is easier than ever.

The benefits of continuous feedback

Continuous feedback addresses many of the shortcomings of annual performance reviews. First, it allows managers to provide feedback when they have a stronger overall recollection of an employee’s recent performance.

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By: Annette Franz

Is there a link between corporate culture and the bottom line? In a nutshell, yes. Corporate culture is linked to so many business decisions and business outcomes, you might be surprised.

Today’s article is a follow-on to, “A Fish Rots From the Head Down,” in which I wrote about the need for company leadership to model the behaviors they want to see from their employees in order to transform, inspire, and drive the company's intended culture.

Culture is such an important part of any business. It really is the foundation upon which the business happens, i.e., fails or succeeds. And there’s some academic research that supports this stance.