Annette Franz

Building the Business Case: No Pain, No Gain

One of the most-commonly requested needs – often as a result of CEO/executive asks – is to build the business case for the business to focus on the customer experience. (It’s painful just to write that without thinking about this open letter to CEOs, e...

CX Journey™ Musings: Ride for the Brand

What is a brand? And what does it mean to ride for the brand? Having grown up on a farm, I know brands and branding well. In farm and ranch life, a brand is an identifier for your livestock, a symbol imprinted on an animal’s…

CX Journey™ Musings: Consensus or Alignment?

Consensus versus alignment: is there a difference? Does it matter? Where does it apply in your customer experience work? Back in 2015, I asked a similar question about buy-in and commitment – and, importantly, why knowing the difference matters. Ult...

Strengthening Relationships Through Customer Success

The history of the Customer Success profession dates back to 1996, when a CRM vendor, Vantive,  realized that their system had a high failure rate, an issue that certainly didn’t help their quest to have 100% of their customers willing to serve as...

Ideating the Future State Customer Experience

I’ve been know to say, “You can’t transform something you don’t understand.” You don’t want to change things that are working well or that create value for your customers. So know the current state and what to fix and what to maintain before designing ...

Customer Success: Building Value for Customers Faster Than They Can On Their Own

There are so many different customer experience roles these days that I wrote a post a few months ago called “Customer [Insert Term Here]: What Do They All Mean?” In the past, I’ve written a few times about the difference between customer experience an...

Empathy Maps Are Not Journey Maps – and Vice Versa

Back in 2019, I shared an excerpt from my book, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business, that outlines the various types of maps that you may encounter or use in your work to…

Proving the ROI of Reducing Customer Effort

I originally wrote today’s post for GetFeedback. It appeared on their site on February 27, 2020. As a follow on to the post, Four Actions to Take on Customer Effort Feedback, you’re likely going to need to prove the ROI of reducing customer effort. ...

Four Actions to Take on Customer Effort Feedback

I originally wrote today’s post for GetFeedback. It appeared on their site on February 26, 2020. One of the biggest mistakes companies can – and do – make with customer feedback is to do nothing at all with it. Remember the old Gartner statistic: 95...

Employee Experience Drives the Customer Experience: But It’s Not Just About the Frontline

I’ve had a lot of conversations in recent weeks about how the employee experience drives the customer experience, but the part that stands out from these conversations is the common thread: that the customer experience only happens via, or is only shap...

Customers Are Re-Evaluating Their Brand Relationships

I recently got my hands on a copy of Salesforce’s latest State of the Connected Customer report, which captures customers’ thoughts from midway through 2020 and, ultimately, the pandemic and other societal crises during the year. At this point, the key...

Customer Engagement: Beyond Personalization to Hyper-Personalization

I originally wrote today’s post for GetFeedback. It appeared on their site on March 1, 2020. According to Salesforce, 51% of customers expect that brands will anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions before they make contact – by 2020. W...

Customer-Centricity: What Exactly Is It?

The terms “customer-centric” and “customer-centricity” get thrown around a lot; oftentimes, it’s quite clear that they’re being used out of turn. I believe “customer-centric” is often confused with “customer focus,” and the two are very different. L...

Humanizing Automation to Help Employees Work Smarter Not Harder

Back in late 2015, I wrote an article titled Work Harder or Smarter? in which I offered up some ways to help employees work more efficiently – ultimately, to work smarter. The last item on the list was automation. Fast forward five plus years, and…

Transforming the Customer Experience From the Inside Out

I’ve written about inside out thinking and behavior a few times, but today’s focus on inside out is a little different. I often receive requests to train employees on how to deliver a great customer experience. Awesome. I love where they’re headed w...

Participative Relationships: Co-Create the Experience with Customers

In 2019, I wrote about this marketing phenomenon that I kept hearing about, that customers are in control, that they have all the power. I never felt like that was right. In that post, I wrote: So, when you see those headlines about customer control...

Customer [insert term here]: What Do They All Mean?

Here’s an uncomfortable – yet indisputable – truth: you are in business to create and to nurture customers. Without customers – and especially without employees to create your products and to serve your customers – you have no business. Regardless of c...

On Becoming Customer-Centric: Using the Head, Heart, and Hands Model

I’ve written about change and change management many times over the years. Last year was also and especially a big year to talk and write about change and the challenges and disciplines required to execute change. Well, guess what? Thi...

Customer Trust: A Two-Way Street

How do you define customer trust? How do your customers define trust as it relates to your brand? I’ve written about trust a lot – oftentimes with regard to the employee experience and your culture. Occasionally I’ve written about trust and the cust...

Building Your Multi-Faceted, Multi-Skilled CX Team

Earlier this year, I wrote an article about CX Teams: Who, What, Where, How Many, and How Much?, answering all the questions that you might have about what a CX team looks like, i.e., the make-up of the team, size of the team, who it…

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