Annette Franz

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…

8 Tips to Create a Great Candidate Experience

Do you consider the candidate experience to be part of the employee experience? If not, you should. The employee experience begins well before the employee gets her badge and goes through orientation. The employee experience lifecycle is a long one, ru...

CX Journey™ Musings: Are Pre-Mortems and Post-Mortems Part of Your Work Plan?

Over the years, I’ve written a lot of posts about change and change management. In a post I wrote earlier this year about change and some of the learnings and takeaways from the pandemic and the business crisis that created, I noted that that we…

Gratitude – Always More Than a Platitude!

Here in the United States, we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving next week. We may not all have a bountiful harvest to celebrate this year (perhaps some do), but we have a lot of other things to be thankful for. In case you missed it, I’ve written…

Four Inputs of a Customer-Centric Culture Transformation

I originally wrote today’s post for Shep Hyken’s blog. It appeared on his site on May 29, 2020. There’s a lot of talk about customer-centricity and customer-centric organizations, but what does that really mean? Sadly, many people think that it’s al...

Culture Fit: Whose Responsibility Is It?

Culture fit is an interesting topic. Some revere it, while others revile it. (OK, maybe not that extreme… but wasn’t that fun to say/read?!) About a year ago, I wrote about hiring for culture fit because around that time I was seeing more and more…

Customer Engagement or Customer Entrapment?

Just before the pandemic hit, I was invited to speak – and to moderate a fireside chat – at a major global event. Sadly, the event was canceled, but I had spent a bit of time with the event organizer and the panelists, wading through…

Activate Change with Core Values

I recently read a Recruiterbox article that stated: “Culture can either immunize or infect a company. Good culture can revitalize and motivate. Negative culture increases employee absences and turnover while decreasing their overall productivity while ...

Defining and Communicating Your Intended Customer Experience

I originally wrote today’s post for the CXPA. It appeared on the CXPA site on April 15, 2020, as part of a series on CX as a Strategy for Resilience. Be sure to check out the entire series. Emotions play a huge role in the…

Journey Mapping Workshops: Do You Have the Right Participants?

Do you have the right people in the room for your journey mapping workshops? I’m often asked about who should participate in journey mapping workshops. The obvious answer is the customer – or so you’d think. Let’s take a look at who should be in…

5+ Ways to Socialize and Operationalize Your Core Values

I originally published today’s post on Forbes. It appeared on their site on November 18, 2019. I’ve made some additions and edits since writing the original, so this is a slightly modified version of that post. Whether your business is large mediu...

Unified CX: Real World Examples

A couple weeks ago, Sarah Simon shared her thoughts on warring factions experienced within many corporations around the world, specifically, the lack of unity between CX teams and other parts of the organization that are also trying to understand the c...

CX Journey™ Musings: Do Brands Really Care About Us?

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been writing about lessons and takeaways from the current crisis. This week, I’m channeling a post I wrote years ago called Do We Care About Brands?, which I shared again recently on social media. After re-reading that, it...

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