#41 – Cultural differences, hospitals, CX measurement and improvement, more


Welcome to the 41st edition of my customer strategy newsletter. The five topics this week are:

  1. Net Promoter System podcast on cultural differences
  2. Customer experience research in hospitals
  3. Latest blog posts – Customer experience measurement and improvement systems
  4. Notable items from other sites
  5. Looking forward
Net Promoter System podcast on cultural differences

If you work for a multinational company, you have probably seen all sorts of performance comparisons between countries. Gross margin differences by country may well be meaningful. Customer experience score comparisons are generally not. Or at least, they should be used with great caution. That is the main subject Rob Markey and I cover in the latest Net Promoter System podcast.

We cover examples from a retail chain that is present in major cities, the IT hardware and software industries, and retail banking. Are the Japanese, Australians, Koreans and Dutch just a bunch of grumpy people, or is something else happening?

We also cover some aspects of communicating data and recommendations across different companies and cultures. Personally, I found this part quite entertaining. The whole podcast lasts less than 20 minutes. Please let us know what you think. You can find it in iTunes, Stitcher or on the Bain website here.

Customer experience research in hospitals

Someone I know had hip replacement surgery recently. It was her second hip replacement at the same hospital. When she left the hospital the first time, she was given a satisfaction survey. She was asked to rate various aspects of the care, from the way she was greeted at the reception desk onwards. I suppose you could call it typical customer journey research. Her first operation was about nine months ago. At no point since then did the hospital’s customer research people ask her (1) how functional her hip now is or (2) whether or not she was happy to have had the operation. From the customer / patient’s perspective, these are the outcomes that matter. The particular hospital is not an exception. Healthcare research seems to concentrate on giving scores to each department, rather than on patient outcomes.

I have to say that I am not surprised by such ‘hospital-centricity’. Way back when I was doing my Industrial Engineering degree, one of my classmates had a sort of internship with the Accident and Emergency unit of the main hospital in Galway. I think this was in 1976. His mission was to improve the efficiency of the operation, and ideally to reduce patient waiting times. This was a typical IE project, involving Operations Research and queueing theory. All such models require a financial value to be put on the time of the various people involved. The problem that was hardest to solve was that the head of the service categorically refused to put a non-zero value on patients’ waiting time. Ever since then, lack of patient-centricity in hospitals has never been a surprise.


Our latest blog posts

Here are the latest posts. The three below are part of a series of seven I am planning on the main customer experience measurement and improvement systems. Older posts are still available on the blog page.

image The main customer experience measurement and improvement systems – Part 4 – The Net Promoter System®

Fred Reichheld wrote his landmark article The One Number You Need to Grow and published it in the Harvard Business Review in December 2003. That article was the origin of the most popular customer experience measurement and improvement system on the planet…

image The main customer experience measurement and improvement systems – Part 3 – Customer Effort Score The Customer Effort Score is the metric described in the excellent book The Effortless Experience by Dixon, Toman and Delisi. The primary focus is service-center work and the associated metrics.…
image The main customer experience measurement and improvement systems – Part 2 – CSAT / Customer Satisfaction When you are asked to rate your ‘overall satisfaction’ with something, you have entered the Customer Satisfaction rating system. It is a metric, rather than a system, and different companies do it in different ways. As a metric, it is by far the most common one we see. Read on to learn about its advantages and disadvantages.

Notable customer experience items from other sites

Technology Services Industry Association: Maintenance and Support Revenue Waterfall

It is important to position customer experience work as a growth initiative in addition to the more obvious problem-solving role. The best way I have seen of doing so for many businesses is to concentrate on renwal and upsell rates for existing customers. While the TSIA infographic in this blog post does not directly mention CX, it shows how to position it. After all, if your work is successful, renewal and upsell rates should improve. This may be easier to demonstrate in large companies where improvements may be implemented in one part of the business, but not another. I am planning to write about this subject in more detail soon. In the meantime, this TSIA blog post from 2015 should help.

 CMSWire: Why Customer Focus Eludes so many

This short article by Bill Davis of Tata Consultancy Services caught my attention because of Bill’s focus on the disconnect between listening and acting on the feedback. See what you think here.


Looking forward

It is winter in this part of the world, and time for outdoor activities in the snow. Breaks for students in our families mean that my brother and I will probably be less active than ususal for the next couple of weeks. We continue to do our best to persuade people that our books are great end-of-year gifts for friends, colleagues and teams. (There is still time to get the print versions delivered in many countries, and of course Kindle delivery is instantaneous.) As always, Amazon reviews are the way you can help us most, so please do that, no matter what you think of our books. Here are links to each on Amazon.com. If you use a different country site, you can just open the link, then edit .com to .co.uk, .de or whatever:

Customer Experience Strategy – Design & Implementation

Net Promoter – Implement the System

Customer-centric Cost Reduction

“So Happy Here”: The Absurdist but Essential Guide to Better Business (Color edition)

“So Happy Here”: The Absurdist but Essential Guide to Better Business (Black & White edition)

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