#35 – Podcast on gaming of surveys, emotion rules, and more


Welcome to the 35th edition of my customer strategy newsletter. The five topics this week are:

  1. New Net Promoter System podcast: Games People Play
  2. Thank you for the kind feedback on the last two blog posts 
  3. Latest blog posts
  4. Notable items from other sites – Freakonomics, and CX Talks
  5. Looking forward

Net Promoter System Podcast – ‘Games People Play’

The latest in a series of podcasts I recorded with Rob Markey of Bain has been released. I think the subject is the one that attracted the most questions when I used to manage the Net Promoter System Forum on LinkedIn: gaming of customer research.

As soon as you start to measure individuals on scores, or simply put too much pressure on improving a number, people will find ways to cheat. (If you really want to cheat, I blogged about how to do it back in February.) The secret to success is making it clear in your communication and reward system that you value the projects and process improvements that result in better customer experience more than the scores.

The podcast starts with the reasons for gaming and how to avoid it. It goes on to cover examples Rob and I have seen of how people have cheated their company’s systems. When the podcast was edited back, one of my own stories was removed. Here it is. We had some clever call center agents who noticed that they had full access to customer data in their call management system. They decided to use the capability by editing the customers’ email addresses, replacing them with email accounts they had set up for themselves. They then responded for the customers, giving themselves amazing compliments. We fired them, of course. The new podcast is here.

Thank you for the feedback on my last two blog posts

I suppose my most recent blog posts have taken a more personal tone than older ones. I relate things that have happened to me personally.

Several people emailed me about the last one, asking for more details about what happened in the showers after gym class in Seattle when I was 11. Seriously people, that is not the point of the story. The story was about how the school took an approach to smoking prevention that got me emotionally, rather than just burying us in facts. I went on to recommend taking the combined emotion / fact approach when communicating about cusotmer experience.

The prior post was about how to deal with the common situation where your project is approved, but not the people and other resources you need to be successful. That’s a tough one. I suggest ways of making your proposal that ensure you don’t fall into the trap. And yes, I was a slow learner and fell into the trap several times.


Our latest blog posts

Here are the latest posts, including the two mentioned above. Older posts are still available on the blog page.

image Behavioral Economics and Smoking for 11-year-olds

A story about how an innovative teacher effectively stopped my junior high school class wanting to smoke. I still shudder when I remember it…

image Here is how to avoid getting a ‘Yes’ for your project, but without the people and other resources you need…

It’s probably one of the worst possible situations to be in. You prepare for days, weeks or months. You make a fabulous project proposal to your leadership team. You get approval for the project, but did not quite manage to get approval for the resources you need to be successful. Here are suggestions about how to avoid it.

image You don’t need a customer experience strategy – You already know what to do (A modern fairy tale for CX day)

Don’t bother wasting time developing 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…

Notable customer experience items from other sites

Nobel winner Daniel Kahneman speaks during a Freakonomics podcast

Regular readers know I am a fan of behavioral economics in general, and of Daniel Kahneman in particular. (If you have never read any behavioral economics books, I suggest starting with Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational before moving on to Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow, then finishing with Thaler and Sunstein’s Nudge.) The Freakonomics podcast covered a conference organized by the Behavior Change for Good project.

While the whole podcast is worth a listen, I suggest jumping directly to 30 minutes and 45 seconds where Daniel Kahneman will start to explain what he considers to be the greatest lesson in psychology he has ever learned. Please listen to it, then ask yourself why your company and perhaps your customers are not already behaving the way you want them to. The podcast is here, and of course on iTunes and other podcast platforms.

CX Talks – The Effectly Blog

Joakim Thörn of Swedish company Effectly sent me links to several of these CX talks. I suggest starting with the one about outside-in versus inside-out thinking, then move on to the one about how ‘Emotions matter’. You can find the talks here.


Looking forward

Yes, October was indeed our record book sales month, as predicted. Thank you for that. Now we are thinking about re-doing our website to focus more on the books and the blog. I think I need a seriously rainy day to get my motivation going, and we just have not had those recently.

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