Howard Lax

Is Your Company Emotionally Intelligent?

Emotional connections are at the heart of enduring or loyal customer relationships, as well as employee engagement. The difference between fleeting transactional customer interactions and experiences that leave a lasting impression – whether positive or negative – is whether the experience strikes an emotional...

You Have a Customer (& Employee) Bonding Problem: Fixing the Intangibles

Fix the product. Improve the process. Speed this up; slow this down; shorten that. We instinctively look to remedies in the performance of the products and services we deliver to boost our CX or loyalty scores. It is easy and logical to call out the...

Measuring Emotions for CX and EE (and anything else)

Emotions, how people feel, are key to determining how we behave and respond to stimuli. Many, if not most, companies still are asleep at the wheel and aren’t doing anything on this front. Eventually they will wake up and realize that no effort at...

Employee Engagement is all about the Emotional Connection. Period.

Every company wants an engaged workforce – but what does that mean? It certainly means more than simply having employees who give solid scores to the performance of leadership or say the salary and bennies are good. Even agreement that a company is a...

Connecting the Dots: Marrying X(perience) and O(perational) Data

X + OMost companies have boatloads of “O” or Operational data on their customers. Depending on the nature of the firm, this data will include what the customer bought, when, how, for how much, how often and an array of details that vary by...

R U Feelin’ It? Customers, Employees and Emotional Connections

Feelings about an experience, an emotional attachment to a brand/company/product are more important than rational assessments of performance in explaining customer experiences, customer loyalty and employee engagement. There, I said it: emotions trump reason in explaining both relationships with customers and employees and, more...

Motivating Employees To Drive CX: Linkage to VoC Measures

Should you link employee goals, performance reviews and variable compensation to Customer Loyalty/CX measures? A simple question that lends itself to a complex “yes, but . . . “ answer. We know that loyal customers are good for business and that the customer relationship is...

The Ends Justify (Investing in) the Means: The Return on CX (RoCX)

At the end of the day (or fiscal year), investments in enhancing the customer experience and strengthening customer relationships must be justified by business results. It might be more politically correct or genteel to say that the only thing that matters is delighting the...

Customers = Company Value

The value of a company – your company – is best measured in terms of the current and future value of cash flows from customers. This makes customers your most prized asset. This is not to say that you don’t have other assets – products...

Battling for the Hearts and Minds of Customers

How do your customers feel about your brand . . . and why should you care? Most companies think about customer experience and loyalty in rational terms: How do customers rate our performance on these touchpoints? How do customers assess our work on various functional...

The Amnesiac Customer and the Importance of Emotions

Do your customers remember their recent experiences with your firm? Sometimes . . . but not necessarily accurately. Does it matter? Immensely. What makes an experience memorable? It’s complicated. These are not philosophical issues. In the rush to capture customer feedback at the point...

CX Touchpoints as Stepping Stones: Understanding the Customer Mission

Many companies look upon the customer experience in terms of discrete touchpoints or channels. “We want to understand how customers experience the call center” or “What is the customer experience when they go to our website . . . mobile app . ....

New Customer Retention: A Fundamental in Retail Financial Services

New customer churn is endemic to banks. Here’s how to reduce the number of customers who churn within the first two years. Despite a sense of weakening bonds with customers, banking customer attrition rates are at historic lows in the neighborhood of 15 percent....

Millennials and Generation Gaps: Loyalty in Financial Services across the Generations

The issue of generational differences is in the DNA of brand, media and advertising people. You can see it in how, what and where they present and package their messages. Today, it’s all about Millennials (originally dubbed...

The Final Word on the Pros and Cons of NPS

I can’t take seeing yet another article extolling the virtues/lambasting the shortcomings of NPS. So I want to lay it all on the table – the pros and the cons – and try to offer a balanced assessment that neither canonizes nor demonizes Fred...

Voice of Customer Technology: Without the Science, It’s Just Sizzle Without the Steak

From paper feedback cards and interactive voice response tools to social media analysis and enterprise feedback management (EFM) systems, there are a number of alternative technologies currently deployed to capture customer feedback. At our own company, we are big users of a variety of...

A Behavioral Manifesto: Measuring and Managing Customer Experience and Loyalty

Marketers and voice-of-the-customer (VoC) champions of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles of outdated theories and measurements. Despite the stir about behavioral economics turning traditional economics on its head, we all know that the first behavioral economists were marketers—the people...

You Have to Accentuate the Negative

Too often, brands work hard creating positive, sophisticated customer experiences – but leave themselves open to failures on basic interactions. And, as Howard Lax (SVP of GfK's Brand and Customer Experience team) points out in our latest video blog post, negative customer experiences "stick"...

The Oxymoron of the IVR Experience

I know why companies use IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems: They're cheap. And there's a lot to be said for trimming costs and looking for operational efficiencies. But p-l-e-a-s-e don't try to sandbag customers, shareholders or anyone else with claims that IVR provides a...

Segments of One: Measuring the Loyalty of Mega Customers in B2B Markets

Every company in the B2B space, regardless of industry, has its 800-pound gorilla customers. Whether they are called Managed or Key Accounts, Enterprise Clients, Top Tier — or simply referred to as "our biggest customers" — these are the folks who are disproportionately large...

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