#31 – Join the sales team – Strange happenings in the LinkedIn NPS group


Welcome to the 31st edition of my customer strategy newsletter. The five topics this week are:

  1. Possibly the most important internal relationship for customer experience managers
  2. Negative surprise with the LinkedIn NPS Forum 
  3. Latest blog posts
  4. Notable items from other sites
  5. Looking forward

Advice for CX leaders: Join the sales team

If you are successful in measuring and improving customer experience, you will sell more. Your sales team should find that value proposition quite compelling. The customer experience leader needs to have an excellent relationship with sales and should be part of their leadership team. I am not suggesting that he or she should report to the sales leader, simply that they must be in the team.

My own approach has been to start by proposing to attend an internal sales meeting to present competitive benchmark data. Sales teams find the insights about their competitive advantages and disadvantages to be really useful, so they have always been attentive. Using that positive feedback, I then propose to be a permanent member of the sales leadership team. That has usually worked for me.

OK, that is the positive perspective. A more negative perspective is that sales teams are the ones that are most likely to try to prevent you interviewing customers or partners. The objections usually take one of two forms. The most common is “Yes, I support what you are doing, but we have a big deal going on right now [or any one of a list of ‘exceptional’ situations] so I don’t want to risk upsetting the customer in any way. I will give you a call when it is all OK again.” The second variation is “I already know everything there is to know about our customers.” That is a bit harder to deal with. Joining the sales team helps immensely with both.

Strangeness over at the LinkedIn Net Promoter System (NPS) Forum

One of the first things I have been doing at around 6 a.m. each day is to check whether there are new membership requests over at the LinkedIn NPS group. I have been managing it for the last six months. Las week Monday, I was unpleasantly surprised to discover that the name of the group had been changed, and that I had been excluded from the group. This came as a shock. I have had no communication of any kind with the group owner. He has not responded to my messages asking for clarification. Indeed, part of the reason I was asked to manage the group was that he had not posted anything for several years, and several hundred people were waiting for replies to their membership requests.

I have no ideas what is going on here. If any of you have any insights, feel free to write to me at mfg@customerstrategy.net. I raised a help ticket with LinkedIn to find out. However, they replied that they do not interfere with, or get involved in groups in any way, so they could not help me.


Our latest blog posts

Here are the latest posts. The top one is the first in a new series that I am writing about a (fictional) attempt to improve things for customers without having a formal strategy. Even I don’t know how it will turn out as yet. Older posts are still available on the blog page.

image  A modern fairy tale – You don’t need a customer experience strategy – you already know what to do (Part 1)

Don’t bother with a customer experience strategy. You already know what to do. Well, most of us think we do. Including me. We all have lots of ideas that will improve customer experience. Here is a story about how that all works.

image Use emotion and ‘identifiable victims’ in customer experience reporting

No strategy is worthwhile and no project is worth doing if you cannot communicate it effectively. Once the communication is about how your customers and partners feel about your company, emotion enters into play. Here is how to deal with it.

image Net Promoter Open Question Analysis – Survey Results

Thanks to those who have taken the survey on analysis of open-ended questions. I would like to summarize what I have seen, provide a link to the results, and invite analytics vendors to study the resulting text data.

Notable customer experience items from other sites

Alessandro Donetti: Extraordinary In-Store Experience? Bet On New Service Behaviors!

An interesting and detailed article on an important subject. Alessandro Donetti combines examples from Amazon and others with his own experience. I really like his points about experimentation. The examples show how it has been done at large and small scales. Personally, I think of one of his variations as prototyping, meaning trying something at an affordable scale before making a big bet. Not everyone does it this way, and Alessandro provides examples of really large experiments that have either failed or succeeded. Certainly new service behaviors exist, and consumers react in new and different ways to both existing and new services. I hope you like the article. You can find it here.

Customer service quotes database from Help Scout

I needed something to cheer me up after the LinkedIn group experience last week. This helped. A useful and often humorous set of customer-centric quotes. Have a look and a laugh here.

Looking forward

I have started my Amazon Ad experiments in an attempt to further improve book sales. I have two weeks of data about 14 experiments so far. I will start another set over the next week. So far, all I can say is that Amazon provides rich data, and the experiments seem interesting.

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