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10 CCXP Exam Practice Questions for Experience Design, Improvement & Innovation

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

In this short post we share 10 CCXP Exam Practice Questions for the Experience Design, Improvement & Innovation component of the overall CCXP exam.

CCXP = Certified Customer Experience Professional.

A quick look at the official CCXP Exam

The CXPA (Customer Experience Professionals Association) has identified six (6) Customer Experience competency areas for certification and each area is covered in the official CCXP Exam.

The (6) Customer Experience competency areas are:

  1. Customer-Centric Culture
  2. Voice of the Customer, Customer Insight and Understanding
  3. Organizational Adoption and Accountability
  4. Customer Experience Strategy
  5. Experience Design, Improvement, and Innovation
  6. Metrics, Measurement, and ROI

There are currently 100 questions in the official CCXP Exam.

To learn more about the CCXP credential and the CCXP exam process please visit cxpa.org.

Our aim with sharing these practice questions

Our aim is to help and inspire folks who want to gain their CCXP credential or simply improve their understanding of Customer Experience as a business discipline.

That’s why we have developed a current bank of more than 150 practice questions with more underway.

We use these practice questions in our Customer experience training workshops as well as publish selected questions from time to time.

In the next section, we share 10 of our CCXP exam practice questions related specifically to the Experience Design, Improvement & Innovation competency.

These 10 questions are designed to address specific know-how expected for this competency and are written in the same multiple choice format found on the official CCXP Exam.

Read through each question and choose the answer that you think is correct – that’s either a, b, c or d.

Remember that the official exam is no books, no notes. So answer as best you can from your current knowledge & experience.  Don’t look up any answers!

Here goes – and good luck!

The 10 CCXP Exam Practice Questions

  1. Which of the following is the BEST description of a human centered design process?

 

a.  Analyze, prototype, ideate

b.  Using empathy in your design

c.  Ideas need to be restricted to only those that can be funded

d.  The right Customer experience changes done the right way

 

 

  1. Select the option where the design steps are in the correct order:

 

a.  Analyze, Research, Ideate, Prototype, Test

b.  Test, Prototype, Ideate, Research, Analyze

c.  Research, Analyze, Ideate, Prototype, Test

d.  None of the options are correct

 

 

  1. The concept of co-creation is BEST expressed as:

 

a.  Asking Employees for their opinions on Customer experience

b.  Asking Business Partners for their opinions on Customer experience

c.  Asking senior management for their opinions on Customer experience

d.  Involving Customers, Employees & Business Partners in the design of Customer experiences

 

 

  1. The best definition of a Prototype is:

 

a.  An early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from

b. Involving Customers, Employees & Business Partners in the design of Customer experiences

c.  A tool used by car manufacturers to show off their new models

d.  None of the above

 

 

  1. If Employees and/or Business Partners will be involved in a new or improved Customer
    experience it’s important to:

 

a.  Incorporate their needs and motivations in the design process

b.  Ensure that their Standard Operating Procedures are updated and communicated out

c.  Conduct a fishbowl analysis to understand the best way to proceed

d.  All of the above

 

 

  1. Once a problem or opportunity has been defined the next step is:

 

a.  Research

b.  Analyze

c.  Ideate & Prototype

d.  Prototype & Test

 

 

  1. The risk in creating a ‘prototype’ report or PowerPoint presentation is that:

 

a.  It may have to be translated into multiple languages

b.  Usually reports and PowerPoint presentations are not detailed enough

c.  They don’t make the proposed improvement or innovation compelling for a broad audience

d.  Rituals and storytelling are better methods for communicating proposed innovations

 

 

  1. The concept of a Customer experience ‘sandbox’ is best expressed as:

 

a.  Designated place/location where new ideas can be tested and tried out

b.  A calming location where Frontline Employees can relax after dealing with Customers

c.  An innovation centre where hackathons can be run

d.  The idea of a ‘sandbox’ is an intellectual not physical concept

 

 

  1. The term ‘ideation’ refers to:

 

a.  Involving Customers, Employees & Business Partners in the design of Customer experiences

b.  A symbiotic method of idea creation is when multiple ideas are combined, using different elements of each to make a whole

c.  Ideation is the creative process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas

d.  All of the above

 

 

  1. Complete this sentence: “Customers _________________________.”

 

a.  Get engaged when they help companies improve processes and experiences

b.  Get offended when they help companies improve processes and experiences

c.  Don’t feel one way or the other about helping improve processes and experiences

d.  None of the above

 

Would you like to know how you did?

If you’d like to know if your answers are correct we’re happy to help.

We’ve intentionally gone ‘low-tech’ here.  There’s no need to register anywhere, set-up an account or pay to access the practice questions.

Once you’ve answered all (10) questions just drop an email to me at daniel.ord@omnitouchinternational.com

Let me know the question # and the answer that you chose (either a,b,c or d).

You can use the following format in your email to me:

  1. a
  2. d
  3. c
  4. c (and so on for all 10 Practice Questions)

I always do my best to answer quickly and let you know which ones you got right and which need correction.

Of course taking 10 CCXP Exam Practice questions won’t fully reflect the experience and effort that have gone into your Customer experience work and goals to date.

But in all these many years of running high level certification programs, we find that the more practice questions you take – and learn from – the better prepared you will be.

Thank you for reading!

10 CCXP Exam Practice Questions for Voice of Customer, Customer Insight & Understanding

Daniel

It’s time to rethink targeting Net Promoter Score at the Frontline

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

It’s time to rethink targeting Net Promoter Score® at the Frontline.

In the old days, suspected witches were tested by throwing them into the water.

If they sank, they were innocent. If they floated then they were indeed witches.

And if they were deemed to be witches…well you know how that went.

Today, some Frontliners go through an equally questionable test with regard to their service on a call or chat.

Let me explain.

I toured a big Contact Center that targeted Net Promoter Score at the Frontline

I was touring a big Contact Centre that conducted a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey at the end of each call.

As soon as the survey was completed by the Customer, that score – along with the Agent name – was beamed across large wall monitors placed around the Centre.

There was even a large lounge area with monitors so that Agents could watch the screens and see the scores for themselves and others scroll by.

But NPS is not really useful as an individual performance metric.

And much of what can go into a Customer NPS score – or overall CSAT score – lies outside the control of the Agent.

NPS is best and most used as a measure of overall brand value.

When it comes to your Frontline, it’s more effective to identify and set goals around the drivers of ‘good’ NPS scores.  What drivers positively impact the NPS and what drivers (or behaviours) to avoid.

Drivers that Frontline folks can support and realistically achieve in the work they do.

That takes some research of course.  But doesn’t that research pay off for everyone?

Sure – measure NPS or CSAT and take the actions you need to take. That’s a given.

But targeting Net Promoter Score scores for Frontliners isn’t much more sound than throwing suspected witches into the water to see if they float.

10 CCXP Exam Practice Questions for Voice of Customer, Customer Insight & Understanding

The big German bank

We’re in the process of finalizing the set-up of OmniTouch International in Germany.  Exciting times.

So a few days ago we went to the bank here in Wiesbaden Germany to open our official company account.  And here I should mention it is one of the top 2 German banks.

And our experience turned out to be a classic case of targeting Net Promoter Score at the Frontline.

There was the Corporate Banking Officer and a university student doing a work-study assignment attending to us.  The service was fine, the setting was fine and in 45 minutes it was all sorted.

At the end the Officer asked – “Is it ok if someone calls you to rate the service I provided to you today?”

He has to ask for this permission before a call is made.

We said yes.

Then he said, “You will be asked to rate us on a scale of 1* – 10  and in our bank a 9 or 10 means you are satisfied.”  *(Not a typo on the “1” but the NPS scale actually begins at 0).

He continued, “So may I know what score you will give?”

To which my partner Marcus answered, “7”.

The room got quiet.  Then Marcus explained.

“If you had pre filled up the forms for us you would have saved us 20 minutes time and I would have given a 9 for this interaction.  But we understand the forms part is a process issue and not you – you were great.

The ‘7’ is my honest assessment of this interaction based on the 1 (sic) – 10 scale.”  It’s not an assessment of you personally.

It was so awkward but instructive to watch this dialogue.  To see the anguish.

I piped in, “I have to ask guys.  Do you find this rating question that you have to ask very stressful?”

They both nodded emphatically.

Because to be fair to them – the question isn’t fair to them.

In closing

I think what surprised me the most was that we were told that 9 or 10 represented ‘satisfaction’.

But that’s not at all how the NPS scale works.

And I don’t think the banking staff misrepresented NPS to us.

I have a feeling that NPS was misrepresented to them – and they were simply sharing what they had been told and what they are measured on.

I’m looking forward to seeing if we receive the follow-up survey call and I’ll report back if/when that happens!

Thanks for reading,

Daniel

Net Promoter, Net Promoter Score and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.

10 CCXP Exam Practice Questions for Voice of Customer, Customer Insight & Understanding

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

In this short post we share 10 CCXP Exam Practice questions for the Voice of Customer, Customer Insight & Understanding component of the overall CCXP exam.

CCXP = Certified Customer Experience Professional.

A quick look at the official CCXP Exam

The CXPA (Customer Experience Professionals Association) has identified six (6) Customer Experience competency areas for certification and each area is covered in the official CCXP Exam.

The (6) Customer Experience competency areas are:

  1. Customer-Centric Culture
  2. Voice of the Customer, Customer Insight and Understanding
  3. Organizational Adoption and Accountability
  4. Customer Experience Strategy
  5. Experience Design, Improvement, and Innovation
  6. Metrics, Measurement, and ROI

There are currently 100 questions in the official CCXP Exam.

To learn more about the CCXP credential and the CCXP exam process please visit cxpa.org.

Our aim with sharing these practice questions

Our aim is to help and inspire folks who want to gain their CCXP credential or simply improve their understanding of Customer Experience as a business discipline.

That’s why we have developed a current bank of more than 150 practice questions with more underway.

We use these practice questions in our Customer experience training workshops as well as publish selected questions from time to time.

In the next section, we share 10 of our CCXP exam practice questions related specifically to the Voice of Customer, Customer Insight & Understanding competency.

These 10 questions are designed to address specific know-how expected for this competency and are written in the same multiple choice format found on the official CCXP Exam.

Read through each question and choose the answer that you think is correct – that’s either a, b, c or d.

Remember that the official exam is no books, no notes. So answer as best you can from your current knowledge & experience.  Don’t look up any answers!

Here goes – and good luck!

The 10 CCXP Exam Practice Questions

 1.  Most organizations do not know their Customers as well as they should because of all the following except:

 

a. They rely on a quantitative lens to look at Customers

b.  There are too many transactional surveys

c.  The organization believes that they already know what Customers want

d.  Ethnographic research is not well used

 

 

2.  Which of the following is the best definition of a Transactional Survey?

 

a.  Is also known as Net Promoter Score

b.  A survey that should be conducted 1x per year

c.  Understands the Customer’s overall relationship with the organization

d.  Understands how a Customer perceives a recent interaction

 

 

3.  Which of the following is the best definition of Ethnographic Research?

 

a.  Research that correlates satisfaction with loyalty

b.  Research that seeks to identify the drivers of Customer satisfaction

c.  Research that studies the Customer in their own environment

d.  Research that seeks to predict future Customer behavior

 

 

4.  If you only have a very short time to gather qualitative research, it might be best to:

 

a.  Ask Employees about Customer wants and needs

b.  Engage a third-party research consultancy

c.  Use past data that may exist in the company

d.  Do an online survey as responses come in more quickly

 

 

5.  Which of the following is the best example of a Persona?

 

a.  Corporate Customers

b.  Customers who live in a specific postal code

c.  Cindy, a housewife with two children

d.  Customers who spend more than $X per year

 

 

6.  Which of the following statements is not true?

 

a.  Creating visual aids & methods to share Customer insight is recommended

b.  Personas help employees understand the types of Customers they deal with

c.  Journey maps should be complex to allow for thorough evaluation

d.  Journey maps visually illustrate a persona’s activities over time

 

 

7.  All the following are examples of mining unsolicited feedback except:

 

a.  Comments on social media

b.  Customer feedback to Call Centre Agents

c.  Posts on review sites (TripAdvisor, Yelp)

d.  Results from Transactional Surveys

 

 

8.  Personas and Customer Journey Maps are best described as:

 

a.  The ultimate outcomes for Customer Understanding & Insight work

b.  Tools that help us gain insight into who our Customers are and what they do

c.  Approaches based on Customer segmentation across product lines

d.  Over-utilized by most major organizations

 

 

9.  Watching a Customer order a product online is an example of:

 

a.  Ethnographic research

b.  Relationship Survey

c.  Mystery Shopper

d.  Predictive analytics

 

 

10.  Turning your Customer data into a compelling picture or story helps with:

 

a.  Getting management, employees and partners to understand the Customer better

b.  Gaining buy-in for taking steps to improve or enhance the experience

c.  Building empathy across the Team with the Customer’s situation

d.  All the above

 

Would you like to know how you did?

If you’d like to know if your answers are correct we’re happy to help.

We’ve intentionally gone ‘low-tech’ here.  There’s no need to register anywhere, set-up an account or pay to access the practice questions.

Once you’ve answered all (10) questions just drop an email to me at daniel.ord@omnitouchinternational.com

Let me know the question # and the answer that you chose (either a,b,c or d).

You can use the following format in your email to me:

  1. a
  2. d
  3. c
  4. c (and so on for all 10 Practice Questions)

I always do my best to answer quickly and let you know which ones you got right and which need correction.

Of course taking 10 CCXP Exam Practice questions won’t fully reflect the experience and effort that have gone into your Customer experience work and goals to date.

But in all these many years of running high level certification programs, we find that the more practice questions you take – and learn from – the better prepared you will be.

Thank you for reading!

10 CCXP Exam Practice Questions for Customer Research Know-How

Daniel

Daniel Ord / daniel.ord@omnitouchinternational.com

 

Do your Agents really talk too much?

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

In this short article I talk about Agent KPIs in the Contact Centre.

“But Dan…if we don’t have an Average Handling Time target the Agents will talk too much.”

That’s what so many Team Leaders tell me in classrooms.

But I’ve never yet met an Agent who says, “Dan…I go to work and make sure I talk a long time to everyone.”

So where’s the disconnect?

For a lot of Team Leaders it comes down to justifying the KPIs set by management. Because if the big bosses say we have to keep Agents from talking too much there must be some truth to the belief that Agents will talk too much if you give them the chance.

Usually when you dig a little deeper with the Team Leader you find that it’s one person that’s ‘talking too much’.

Not everyone.

So that instance can be analyzed and fixed.

When you set KPIs across a majority population just to catch a few outliers you end up creating barriers to great performance.

Folks in the Centre talk more about what not to do vs. the important work of what to do.

If you really want to know how important Customer Experience is to a Contact Centre – don’t just listen to what the Centre management says. Look at the KPIs they ask their Team Leaders to ‘bring out’ in their Agents.

That’s where the real story lies.

Why are you still talking about Average Handling Time?

 

Daniel

Image by Suju at Pixabay.

 

How to use the True Calls per Hour Calculation in the Contact Centre

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

In this article I share how to use the True Calls per Hour calculation in the Contact Centre.

When you hear folks talk about Contact Centre productivity they’re usually talking about the Agents

Usually when we hear people talk about productivity they have their finger pointed firmly in the direction of their Agents.

“How can we get our Agents to be more productive?” they ask.

When we ask “What do you mean by productivity?” the most common answer is –

“How can we get the Agents to handle more calls or live chats per hour (day/week)?”

But Quantity Handled per Agent is and always has been a problematic measure

Productivity in a Contact Centre is not about how many calls or chats are handled.

This measure for Service Level based contacts has always been problematic.

There are very real mathematical realities at work that put the number of calls or chats handled outside the direct control of the Agent.  

When you stop and look at it, the key factors that drive contact quantity either up (or down) per Agent include:

  • The Service Level set (and its resulting Occupancy rate)
  • The health of the Forecasting, Staffing, Scheduling & Real Time Management process at the interval level
  • The size of the Queue  at any given time (known as the Pooling Principle)
  • The undeniable mathematics of random contact arrival (which is why we have Erlang C)

What you need to know about the Pooling Principle in Contact Centers

For Centres that have sorted this out and no longer target Agents on quantity handled – congratulations.

You’re well on the way to enhancing Agent and Customer Experience.

But let’s pause a moment.

Ok Dan (you might say).  Got it.  We don’t (or won’t) target Agents on Quantity Handled for Service level based contacts.  

But for planning, comparative and high level management purposes, is there some way we can analyze the quantity handled across different shifts, cities and even countries?

Well I’m glad you asked.  There is.

Let me show you how.

 

The True Pizzas per Hour calculation

When I teach this in workshops, I like to use the example of making pizzas in a Pizza Outlet.

See if you can answer the question posed in the picture below for our fictional Pizza Palace company.

What makes this difficult to answer is that our Delhi outlet is ‘busier’ than our Chennai outlet.

Perhaps our Delhi outlet is located on the ground level of a busy mall while our Chennai outlet is a bit off the beaten track in a low traffic area.

But we can’t possibly hold Prachi or Sangeetha accountable for how busy (or not) their outlets were – they’re not in the Sales & Marketing Team.

They were hired to make pizzas.

Got your answer?

Ok – let me show you how we ‘normalize’ the figures:

In order to correctly compare both Prachi and Sangeetha, you take what they actually ‘did’ (in this case how many pizzas they made) and divide that by the Occupancy rate they experienced at that time.

Once you normalize the data as you see above, we can calculate the ‘rate’ at which both of these people are working.

The use of the word ‘rate’ is important (think of a speedometer telling you your rate of speed).

Prachi is working at the rate/speed of 25.3 pizzas per hour.  (In other words if her Occupancy rate had been 100% this is how many she would have made).

Sangeetha is working at the rate/speed of 28.3 pizzas per hour. (In other words if her Occupancy rate had been 100% this is how many she would have made).

So now we can compare both of our pizza makers on the same basis because we have factored out the impact of the different Occupancy rates.

But could we have a problem?

Absolutely!

Typically at this point in the discussion the topic of ‘Quality’ comes into the picture – hurray Quality!

What we don’t know (or haven’t figured out) yet

What we don’t know in this exercise (at least so far) is the appropriate or best ‘rate’ at which we should be making pizzas.

What is the ‘right’ rate that yields a delicious pizza. Because we want Customers to come back again!

And because higher isn’t always better. (that had to be said)

Studies must be done

Fast food companies are well known for doing very scientific time & motion studies on how many can be ‘done’ and still deliver the required level of quality.

Contact Centres could learn from their example.

It is very likely that Pizza Palace has conducted in depth time and motion studies.

For purposes of this article let’s assume that they discovered that a pizza maker operating at the rate of 22 – 25 pizzas per hour during the lunch hour was  ‘in the zone’.

By in the zone they mean that quality standards were achieved without any obvious loss or potential gain in productivity.

Now we can draw some conclusions about our pizza makers in the example.

Prachi is probably ‘doing fine’ – she’s operating at the upper end of the zone.  But we should still taste her pizza now and then for quality assurance purposes (otherwise known as monitoring).

On the other hand, Sangeetha is operating outside of the zone – on the high side.  We better go monitor her pizza to ensure quality hasn’t been compromised in some way.

Of course, if someone is ‘too fast’ it could be that a) they are in fact working too fast (and thus Quality falls – such as the taste of the pizza) or b) they could have made some kind of process or quality innovation that should be studied and replicated.

 

In the best Contact Centres…

In the best Contact Centres they don’t target Agents individually on the quantity of contacts handled (for Service Level based contacts – that caveat must always be there).

But when they want to do comparative quantity analyses they use the same normalization technique we used for pizzas.

Some of the conclusions I’ve seen Clients come up with using normalization include:

  • We know for Ireland/Germany/Singapore (name your market or city) that on a Saturday afternoon shift the right ‘rate’ of call handling that delivers on quality is about 12 – 15 calls per hour  (remember rates will vary across the course of a day)
  • We know that our night shift Team calls per hour achievement will always be lower than our day shift Team calls per hour achievement
  • We know that our calls per hour rate for Japan will always be lower than our calls per hour rate for India
  • We know that if we see variations in the rate we need to explore the underlying reasons (root cause analysis) and not just blame Agents. .

Notice that none of these learnings had to do with targeting individual Agent calls handled.

I mean come on – if you want an Agent to handle a lot of calls all you have to do is understaff.

But that decision comes with a whole host of disasters and that’s why most Centres don’t intentionally understaff even when they know it would raise the actual call handling rate of each Agent.

These examples have everything to do with high level planning and analysis.

Why are you still talking about Average Handling Time?

In conclusion

If you seek to compare the ‘rate’ of contact handling for different times of day, for different shifts, for different cities or countries – an educated implementation and use of ‘True Calls per Hour’ can help.  This applies to Service Level based contacts only!

If in some way ‘quantity’ matters to you – for example the quantity of closures made per Agent or Team – then normalization works well because you’ve factored out the impact of Occupancy variations.

Simply targeting people to achieve a certain number of ‘closes’ is unfair – in the same way that targeting the number of calls or live chats per person is unfair.

Thanks for reading!

Daniel

So how did you get into the Contact Centre industry?

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

In this short article I ask – how did you get into the Contact Centre industry?

Have you attended any conferences lately?

After the speeches are done and the workshops concluded you have the chance to cluster around a table in the coffee shop or bar and get to know other people who attended the event.

And one of my favourite questions is this one – so how did you get into the Contact Centre industry?

If you’re an introvert and get goosebumps around networking – I guarantee you that this question works as a great ice-breaker.

 

Doesn’t it seem like it happened to everyone by accident?

Whether it’s Customer Service, Customer Experience or the Contact Centre I’ve rarely met anyone who doesn’t have an interesting story about how they accidentally ‘fell’ into the industry.

Some folks come up from being an Agent.

That’s cool because we all know you’ll never forget what it was like to talk to Customers.  Learning how to persuade, calm and influence is one of the biggest gifts you get from doing this work.

Others – like myself – fell into the job through management level transfer or acquisition.

I’m lucky enough to have transferred over from Finance to Operations – and I’ve always been grateful to have that background in numbers of logic to call on once I entered the Contact Centre industry.

 

The higher up the management ladder you go – the more you need to work ‘up and out’ in your organization

When I first got into the  Contact Centre industry I faced the common challenge I think many of you have – most of my seniors thought my job was easy.  I mean after all – on paper you just put a bunch of ‘operators’ in place and answer calls or emails or chats – where’s the complexity there?

As time and market forces increasingly put the Customer in the centre of the organizational universe things got a little better.

But I found that at least half my time as a VP, Operations – and time well spent – was spent talking to senior folks across the organization.  Teaching them about the industry, about Customers and about our value proposition.

Helping them ‘get it’.

Today in all my management level Contact Centre courses I advise folks to make a real organizational impact by getting up and away from your desk and office.  And not just walking around your Centre – though of course that has value!

I’m talking about booking time with the Heads of other functions and getting yourself invited to senior level meetings.

You’ve got to make yourself visible and talked about.  You’ve got to help people in other job roles solve problems or create opportunities.

Because if you don’t, your Centre – and everyone who works there – will suffer benign neglect.

3 Suggestions for Contact Centre Leaders to transform into Customer Experience Leaders in 2019

It’s not an easy industry

I always say that in the Contact Centre industry we have to be masters of many domains.

That includes –

  • Operations – after all everything starts here
  • People management & organizational design
  • Leadership & financial management
  • Customer service & experience
  • The role of Technology in the lives of our Customers & People (which I generally classify under CX & EX)

I can’t think of another industry that places this many demands on its leadership.

And a word of caution.

If you’ve worked a long time for one or two Centres you begin to think that the way ‘you’ work here is the way the ‘industry’ works.

Nobel-Winner Daniel Kahneman talks about the danger of WYSIATI – What you see is all there is.

He teaches that we humans tend to make decisions on incomplete information – thinking that what we see or know now is all there is.

Do you best to push back against WYSIATI – I think the best Contact Centre leadership does.

Whatever happened to First Contact Resolution?

But no matter how you got there – it’s what you do when you’re there

So you’re there.  That’s so cool.

You’re the Contact Centre Manager or Director for XX.  And they’re counting on you to be efficient & effective.

When asked what I think is the most important thing to learn first about Contact Centres I always give the same answer.

Operations.

I can hear some people say no!  It’s Customers!  Or no!  It’s people!

But Centres are unique and complex ecosystems.  And what you choose to measure  and how to measure it drives the culture & behaviour of your Centre.

You’ll make better decisions about both your people and your Customers when you’ve mastered Operations.

Thank you for reading!

Daniel

I’ll be presenting my Keynote speech at the Customer & User Experience Expo in London

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

I’ll be presenting my Keynote speech – What kind of experience does your Contact Centre deliver? – at the Customer & User Experience Expo in London next week.

More than 5,000 Customer engagement professionals are expected to descend on ExCel London (the ExCel Exhibition Centre) for the Expo, Europe’s largest Customer experience event of the year.

I look forward to meeting & engaging with those making the trek to London!

I’ve put the details for the Exhibition at the end of this short post.

So what will I talk about?

Over the years I’ve managed many Contact Centre based Mystery Shopper programs.  And my responsibility in these programs was to advise management how to improve the quality of the experience they delivered to their Customers.

In this Keynote speech I’m going to share stories from my work with Universal Studios, the Singapore Government and an award winning hotel to help Contact Centre folks

  • Proactively define the type of service ‘we deliver around here’
  • Understand and use the 3 key inputs to select Performance standards for quality conversation
  • Consider a measurement approach that addresses the needs of Customers today

I’ll also share some rather hilarious (and real life) examples of quality standards gone wrong.  Because sometimes it’s not just what to do – it’s what not to do.

I’ll close the session with a list of tips to help your Centre deliver a better Customer experience.

I guarantee a few laughs – and real life stories & examples are always the best.  You’ll love the story about Kung Fu Panda and also the 12 Teeth.

 

Exhibition details

  • Wednesday, 27 March, and Thursday, 28 March, 10:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m.
  • ExCel Exhibition Centre, Sandstone Lane, London
  • http://www.cu-experienceshow.co.uk/
  • I speak on the 28th at 11:00AM and again at 2:45PM at the designate Keynote Theatre

See you in London next week!

Daniel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I learned running 60 classes on CX values and Culture for one Client

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

In this article I share what I learned running 60 classes on CX values and Culture for one Client – a major telecoms provider in Asia.

Some background

Three years ago I won a Corporate tender to deliver a customized CX values and Culture workshop cross every single employee of a telecoms provider in Asia.

I’ll start by saying the Client was terrific and focused on Customer-centricity.  Their mission for the workshops was to promulgate their newly selected values across each and every member of the company.

We decided to develop and deliver 2 versions of a full day workshop.

One designed specifically for the folks that dealt with Customers – ‘the Frontline’.   People who worked in Retail, the Contact Centre or specialty roles directly serving the Customer such as the VIP Queue.

We designed a second version specifically for the folks that worked in background or support functions – ‘the Backline’.  People from HR, Marketing, Operations, Legal, Procurement, IT, Finance and the like.

We kept class sizes manageable to allow for interaction and scheduled about 60 runs over a 2 year period.

Each and every workshop was super well received – there wasn’t one group where people didn’t respond positively and well.

That doesn’t mean there weren’t any questions or concerns.  As you’ll see we wanted questions and concerns.

Here are some of the things I learned.

 

Help folks be proud of where they work

The Client Team I worked with was amazing.  Amongst the many contributions they made to the success of the workshops was to develop an in-house video that shared the history, some of the famous advertising moments, the accomplishments achieved and the awards won.

As we tabulated the comments and themes across the sessions we found a regular comment (paraphrased) to be:

Thanks for reminding me of what a great place this is.  I was proud to see our accomplishments across the years.

I know I know.  You’ve got an Awards case that shows off all your trophies.

I know I know.  They could see your achievements in the newspaper or the company newsletter or even featured in an industry magazine.

But part of successful culture change is this.

You don’t go into the room to tell folks how ‘bad’ they are or how ‘bad’ things are out there.  That’s not a really great way to motivate change.

We took the approach that the world is changing and what brought us here wasn’t going to get us there.  But that didn’t mean we couldn’t celebrate who we were and what we had accomplished and take that forward.

Lesson learned:  We work in a great place – let’s take some time to celebrate that.  Culture change is part of our success for the future – not a reflection of a failure from the past.

 

Buzzwords are less understood than you might think

We set aside part of the session to cover some terms and let everyone talk about what they meant.

Terms like Omnichannel, Big Data, Digital Transformation.  Even terms like Customer Service and Customer Experience.

I think in some companies it’s just assumed that people have a common understanding of terms like these.

But that’s just not true.

Participants shared that they weren’t really ‘fluent’ in buzzwords and appreciated going through what these things mean – and their specific relevance to their company and even their specific job roles.

I think shared accomplishments require a shared vocabulary.  What is our definition and meaning around Big Data?  What is our definition and meaning around Customer Service?

If you just throw around buzzwords without having defined specifically what they mean to you and your organization you just leave people confused.

Lesson learned:  Buzzwords are just that.  You need to contextualize their meaning for your ambitions and your organization.  In this day and age we’re all a little tired of constant buzzword bombardment.

What behaviours do Customer Experience professionals display?

Give people a chance to express their concerns

I think one of the smartest things we did was build a formal way for Participants to express their their concerns.

We used the term ‘barriers’. As in, what specifically, in your job role, holds you back from achieving these values.

Over the course of nearly 2 hours. Participants worked together, documented and then formally presented their barriers to the entire group.

The best part of being a Facilitator is just that – facilitation.  The point was to let the experts in the company – the people who worked there – talk about their work lives and the values they had been asked to consider.

People got heated, passionate and a few of the Presenters should consider a career in public speaking – it was that well done.

It’s a fascinating process to watch Marketing people talk to Finance people about their challenges.  And Retail people sharing with Contact Centre people about how theirs.  And then sharing their viewpoints with their colleagues.

From an analysis standpoint we gathered and aggregated very single barrier expressed across the totality of the workshops – and organized them by department.  By the time the sessions were done we had a master list of barriers which allowed for analysis, prioritization and action.

Lesson learned:  Don’t avoid talking about what is going to get in the way.  Bring the barriers front and center.

 

As a Facilitator share what the values mean to you

I made it a point to only ‘commandeer’ the session for about 45 minutes in the morning – immediately after the morning warm-up.

Rather than blah blah on how important values are (boring) I used that time to shared my personal opinion on each value.

And with each opinion I attached a story.

So if the value was – let’s say – ownership – I expressed what ownership meant to me and then shared a funny story on ownership (or lack of it) that I’d experienced in my work.  Something that brought ownership to life.

What I learned a long time ago is that while loyal long-term Employees are great – their worldview is very company specific which can be inherently limiting.

While the Client could have clearly used internal Facilitators to conduct the  2-year engagement, one of their main decision points was the need to expand the worldview of their Participants – and that required someone from the outside.

If you’re a Facilitator who gets to work in values-based programs – be brave – share your own worldview.

And even if you work at X organization try to find stories that help Participants expand their worldview.  You’ll have plenty of time to focus back on your own organization throughout other parts of the workshop.

Lesson:  Earnestness and preachiness don’t work really well in values driven programs.  Storytelling and treating adults like adults works a lot better.

10 CCXP Exam Practice Questions

Be realistic about what happens in a values-based workshop

At the outset I was clear about what I expected would happen to people as they passed through our day together.

My main job was to help them understand the values.  Through storytelling, humor and reflection help them grasp and feel why these values were important.

But the next two ‘steps’ belonged to the Participants.

After understanding comes belief.  What I call the “I buy this” step.

But I’m very clear with Participants.  No one can make anyone believe anything.

I can’t force belief compliance. 

I had a very interesting tender presentation with another organization where they specifically asked me how I could make their people believe the prescribed values (in one day).  They kept asking me – “How will you do it?”

I said I couldn’t.  Because that’s true.

Do you really want a room full of people at the end of the day who ‘fake’ enthusiasm and give thumbs up in the group photo only to then roll their eyes and go back to work in the same old way?  I didn’t get that deal – but I think I dodged a bullet there.

But with that said belief matters.

I wanted the our workshop day to flow in such a way that belief had every opportunity to be considered. I had an objective that by the end of the day, the believers would beconfident in their beliefs and those a bit further down the scale – those mulling it all over – would be willing to consider their depth of belief anew.

The final step – and the one that all organizations want – is action.

Once I believe in something – let’s say ownership – I act that way.  I make it part of who I am and what I do.

It becomes a choice.  That’s where the magic lives.

Lesson:  Don’t walk into a values-based workshop with the mindset that you can force, preach or cajole people to believe.  Different people have different motivations.  Design the workshop in such a way that you encourage the willingness to believe.

 

In closing

It was an honor and one of the highlights of my career to have been part of such an important journey.  And to meet so many hundreds of people who care.

Thank you for reading!

Daniel

daniel.ord@omnitouchinternational.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Suggestions for Contact Centre Leaders to transform into Customer Experience Leaders in 2019

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

In this short article I share 3 suggestions for Contact Centre Leaders to transform into Customer Experience Leaders in 2019.

First things first

I sometimes hear Contact Centre leaders say that their senior or functional management doesn’t support their Centre.

If you work at a cult status company like Zappos you’re clearly fortunate.  Your high level of Customer Experience (CX) ambition is aligned to and reinforces that of your company.

It’s a virtuous cycle.

But what if you’re the Centre Manager in a company where your purpose isn’t seen as mission-critical.  Where management doesn’t meaningfully embrace Customer centricity.

That’s a different scenario.

Sure – you can’t control the level of CX ambition in your company.  But go ahead and pursue your personal CX ambitions – even if they don’t align to the current CX ambitions of your company.

John Maxwell writes “Leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less.”  Don’t settle for becoming an outcome of your culture. Consider yourself a driver of your culture.

I think that’s putting first things first.

Suggestion #1 – Get involved with the Customer Experience (CX) Vision

Not every company decides to pursue a CX strategy.  At the end of the day it’s a business decision.

And don’t let the false use of lingo in companies fool you.  Rebranding everything as ‘Customer Experience’ when it used to be called ‘Customer Service’ doesn’t make it so.

They’re different things.

Window dressing doesn’t equate to strategy.

A Customer Experience strategy – a big topic – addresses:

  1. What kind of experience you intend to deliver to Customers
  2. The objectives, goals & metrics you set to measure success
  3. The outside-in perspective of the Customer to ensure your aim is true
  4. The ways you plan to engage everyone within the organization to deliver
  5. The long- and short-term actions you take to achieve your objectives

I’ll cover CX Strategy more in a future article.

CCXP Exam Practice Questions for the Customer Experience Strategy component

 

But for our purposes today let’s look at Point #1 -what kind of experience you intend to deliver.

Because this is where your CX Vision lives.  It describes the intended experience in vivid and compelling terms so that everyone knows what that experience should look like and feel like.  In Service Design it might be called your Value Promise.

If your company has a defined Customer Experience (CX) Vision in place, life is good.  You’re in a great position to align your quality program & performance standards to that vision.

No more excuses to use weak standards like ‘Use the Customer’s Name 3x’.

From Contact Centre Management to Customer Experience Management – do you have what it takes?

What if your company doesn’t have a CX strategy in place?

If your company doesn’t have a CX strategy in place, then it isn’t likely to have a CX Vision in place either.

But hey – don’t let that stop you.

Sometimes Contact Centre Leaders need to shape their own destiny.  You can and should put together a strong Service Vision.

By the way, I tend to be very particular with terminology here.  I don’t call this a Customer Experience Vision.

The reason is simple.

A CX Vision by definition and application incorporates the entire organization and its ecosystem.  If your scope of authority extends only across the Contact Centre or Customer Service function, it’s better to be precise and call it a Service Vision instead.

Because it’s not organizational in scope.

But, over time and with your influence, a great Service Vision can readily evolve into an organizational CX Vision.

So think big when you craft it!

And the Service Vision often does double-duty for how we treat each other.  It doesn’t just have to be for Customers.  It can be for Employees too.

Sometimes I use the analogy of ice cream.  What ‘flavour’ of service do we deliver around here.

Coming up with your Service Vision

To come up with your Service Vision it helps to look  at what your company says about itself.

This is where I begin when I’m designing a Mystery Shopper research or Quality Assurance program.

Read your company website.  The company vision, mission and values can often be found there.  What’s your purpose?  Who are your intended Customers?  What role do you play in their lives?

Articulate how your company describes itself.

Next, look at your company’s brand attributes & values.

What kinds of promises does your company make to current and prospective Customers when they use your products & services?  What do your ads say?  What kind of images are used?  What kind of lingo appears in marketing communications?

Articulate the brand promises your company makes.

Now you can put these findings in front of the people who work in your Centre.  What do they think?  Does it ring true?

Your goal is to develop and codify a Service Vision (a statement), which is often supported by a focused set of 3 – 6 Service principles.

And by going through this process you’ll be better equipped – when the time comes – to help other departments and functions work through their CX Vision.

That’s influence!

Just imagine

When anyone asks your Contact Centre Agent what kind of service they deliver around here – they can tell you.  And specifically how they apply the vision & principles to their daily interactions.

Easy to talk about – but it’s the doing that sets you apart from others.

In closing, the CX Vision, the Service Vision and CX Strategy are big topics.  They’re worth taking the time and effort to read, study and discuss at a much deeper level than is presented in this short article.

But I’ve found over the years, the best CX & Service strategies begin with a solid vision.

 

Suggestion #2 – Please don’t call a horse an apple

It’s wearying to see how many Contact Centres have rebranded themselves as Customer Experience Centres and how many Contact Centre job titles have been changed to incorporate ‘Customer Experience’ into the title.

But you can point at a horse and call it an apple all day and that won’t make it so.

This type of rebranding exercise pollutes everyone’s understanding of what CX really is.  Because CX – by definition & application – must incorporate the organization as a whole.

Sure – your Contact Centre has some impact on the overall Customer Experience for those Customers who choose to use your resources. 

But their overall perception of your company is influenced by so many (other) factors and is fluid over time.

McKinsey writes that Customers think in terms of their journeys, not in touchpoints. That can be hard for Contact Centre leadership – in charge of large and labour-intensive touchpoint – to take onboard.

Especially when for years we’ve all been taught that the Contact Centre is the most important touchpoint in the company.

It’s helpful for Contact Centre people to understand that they’re a subset of a subset in the world of CX.

First comes CX which covers the entire organizational ecosystem.

Then within that ecosystem you have the Customer Service function – most easily viewed as the human to human interactions Customers have with you.

And within the Customer Service function you have the Contact Centre.

If I were training my Agents today I’d spend time sharing key Customer journeys.

Why did the Customer contact us?  Where did they come from? Where are they likely to go next?  What’s our role and opportunity in this experience?

When Contact Centre people stick their flagpole into the ground and claim they are Customer Experience, they do a big disservice to every other employee and stakeholder in the organization.

Ultimately, the smart use of Customer research allows you to evaluate the importance of the Contact Centre touchpoint to the Customer across key personas and journeys.

We talk about research next.

 

Suggestion #3 – Build your Customer Research Know-How

You’d hope that the Contact Centre leaders would be experts in Customer Research know-how.

That they’d jump at every opportunity to understand the needs, expectations and wants of their Customers.

That they’d bang on the doors of their Service Quality department and ask to be a part of the research programs undertaken.

That they’d be open to learning the (sometimes) harsh truth about what Customers have to say.

But one potential barrier I’ve seen often is this one.

When senior management has unrealistic expectations around quantitative outcomes, Contact Centre leaders may not be so keen to let poor results & findings see the light of day.

I met one Contact Centre leader who was so terrified of an upcoming management meeting on their Contact Centre survey results they called in sick for the presentation.

Fear is a terrible way to motivate change and when Customer research is seen as ‘scary’ that inhibits the desire to learn more about research.

Another potential barrier I see is this one.

Research is a fascinating but complex topic.  It involves a lot of what I call ‘First Principles’.

First Principles are the essential knowledge you need to understand the topic with some level of mastery.

In Customer Research that includes essential knowledge around topics like –

  • The role of qualitative research
  • The use of structured vs. unstructured data
  • Descriptive, predictive and outcome metrics
  • Forms of ethnographic research
  • Relationship vs. transaction survey practices
  • The role of statistical viability
  • Basic research terminology – mode, median, average,
  • More research terminology – correlation, regression, causality
  • Service & experience design research

To learn and understand these concepts take time and effort. But the payoff is tremendous.

In an era where more information and data is produced than at any other time in human history, dusting off those old statistics books and re-mastering quantitative & qualitative research matters.

Experience design is based on qualitative research methodologies in particular.

Get your Customer Research know-how up to speed.  It helps you make sound sense of  how you can understand Customers better.

In closing

Of course I could have had 13 suggestions – or 5 suggestions or 11 and so on.

But after some thought to my own personal experience, what I’ve learned working with Clients and the amount of time and effort required, I hope that these suggestions resonate with you and are helpful.

Here’s to all your CX ambitions for 2019 and thank you for reading!

How to learn more about Customer Experience and prepare for certification

Daniel

10 CCXP Exam Practice Questions for Customer Experience Strategy

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

In this short post we share 10 CCXP exam practice questions for the Customer Experience Strategy component of the overall CCXP exam.

CCXP = Certified Customer Experience Professional.

A quick look at the official CCXP Exam

The CXPA (Customer Experience Professionals Association) has identified six (6) Customer Experience competency areas for certification and each area is covered in the official CCXP Exam.

The (6) Customer Experience competency areas are:

  1. Customer-Centric Culture
  2. Voice of the Customer, Customer Insight, and Understanding
  3. Organizational Adoption and Accountability
  4. Customer Experience Strategy
  5. Experience Design, Improvement, and Innovation
  6. Metrics, Measurement, and ROI

There are currently 100 questions in the official CCXP Exam.

To learn more about the CCXP credential and the CCXP exam process please visit cxpa.org.

Our aim with sharing these practice questions

Our aim is to help and inspire folks who want to gain their CCXP credential or simply improve their understanding of Customer Experience as a business discipline.

That’s why we have developed a current bank of more than 150 practice questions with more underway.  We use these practice questions in our Customer experience training workshops as well as publish selected questions from time to time.

10 Practice Questions for Customer Experience strategy

In this section, we share 10 of our CCXP exam practice questions related specifically to the Customer Experience Strategy competency.

These 10 questions are designed to address specific know-how expected for the Customer Experience strategy competency and are written in the same multiple choice format found on the official CCXP Exam.

Read through each question and choose the answer that you think is correct – that’s either a, b, c or d.

Remember that the official exam is no books, no notes. So answer as best you can from your current knowledge & experience.  Don’t look up any answers!

Here goes – and good luck!

 

#1. If you want your Frontline Staff to ‘go the extra mile’ correctly, you should:

a. Give them as much leeway as possible to do what they think is right

b. Ask them to use the Customer experience strategy as a guide

c. Ask them to talk to other Service Staff to see what they do

d. Advise them not to go the extra mile because it tends to be costly

 

#2. When developing your Customer experience strategy, it is best to:

a. Consider the needs of your Customers

b. Look at what kind of Organization you are

c. Adopt practices from other leading Organizations

d. Consider both the needs of your Customers & what kind of Organization you are

 

#3. Which of the following least describes an Annual Operating Plan?

a. Describes the tactics that will be used

b. Involves budgeting

c. Involves resource allocation

d. Outlines the plans and strategies for the next few years

 

#4. The following are effective examples of communicating a Customer experience strategy except:

a. Scheduling a one-time per year Town Hall for Employees to discuss business results

b. Develop a small handbook to be given to each Employee to carry with them

c. Create a physical space that immerses Employees in the desired experience

d. The creative use of video to share the intended experience with Employees

 

#5. Choose the word that best applies to this statement.  “The best Customer experiences are not __________.”

a. Consistent

b. Intentional

c. Accidental

d. Relevant

 

#6. A shared Customer experience vision enables you to:

a. Align strategic initiatives across the organization

b. Increase prices for your products & services

c. Pay your Employees a little bit less than market value

d. Do away with core values

 

#7. A shared Customer experience vision is applicable for:

a. Employees

b. Employees and Partners

c. Senior management

d.  All organizational stakeholders

 

#8. You talked to your Marketing Department and they shared that the brand value that resonates most with Customers is that of being ‘small-town’ or ‘heartland’ in character.  Which of the following behaviors might be implemented in your Contact Centre as a result of this brand value?

a. Be professional

b. Understand how Customers use the mobile application

c. Be as efficient as possible

d. Feel free to chat with Customers

 

#9. Which of the following best exemplifies a shared Customer experience vision:

a. We will aim to deliver a differentiated Customer experience – each Customer, each time, everywhere we are

b. We aim to deliver the highest possible shareholder returns for shareholders

c. At ABC company, your satisfaction is our ultimate reward

d. Dedication to the highest quality of  service with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride

 

#10. Which of the following answers best addresses the statement, “It helps a lot if the Team developing the Customer experience strategy is ___________”:

a. Cross-functional

b. Certified in Customer experience

c. Has at least 5 years of experience in Customer experience

d. Defers to the CEO for the final decision


End of Quiz

Would you like to know how you did?

If you’d like to know if your answers are correct we’re happy to help.

We’ve intentionally gone ‘low-tech’ here.  There’s no need to register anywhere, set-up an account or pay to access the practice questions.

Once you’ve answered all (10) questions just drop an email to me (Daniel Ord) at daniel.ord@omnitouchinternational.

Let me know the question # and the answer that you chose (either a,b,c or d).

You can use the following format in your email to me:

  1. a
  2. d
  3. c
  4. c (and so on for all 10 Practice Questions)

I always do my best to answer quickly!

Of course taking 10 CCXP practice questions won’t fully reflect the experience and effort that have gone into your Customer experience work and goals to date.

But in all these many years of running high level certification programs, we find that the more practice questions you take – and learn from – the better prepared you will be.

Thank you for reading!

Daniel

Daniel Ord / daniel.ord@omnitouchinternational.com