The Always Up-To-Date Guide To CX Events


I’m often asked about customer experience conferences: What’s out there? Where am I speaking? Which conferences would I recommend?

I’ve compiled the following list of conferences spanning a variety of topics — like CEM, service design, customer loyalty, customer success, and contact centers — that should be of interest to a wide range of customer experience professionals. I’ve organized the events based on the types of organizations hosting them: professional associations, event producers, tech & service providers, media companies, and analyst firms. And, as the title of this post implies, I’ll be keeping this list up to date on a rolling basis.

Am I missing an upcoming event? Please let me know!


Professional Associations

Service Design Network Conference
October 27 – 28, 2016

IXDA Interaction 17
February 4 – 8, 2017
New York City

CXPA Insight Exchange
May 16 – 17, 2017
Phoenix, Arizona

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Do Customer Journeys Drive Your Content Strategy?


This journey map for the Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco, is one of my favorites. That’s because the folks at the former design agency Adaptive Path (which was acquired by Capital One back in 2014) did a great job of highlighting two key things:

1) The entirety of the customer experience. It would be easy for Exploratorium management to focus exclusively on the museum experience—everything that happens within their physical walls, represented by the square box in the middle of the map. But from visitors’ perspectives, there’s much more involved. Prior to their experience in “the box,” they have to get to the museum, navigating San Francisco’s public transportation system or dealing with traffic and parking. And afterwards, feeling tired and overwhelmed, they need to figure out what to do next.

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10 Steps To Mapping Your Current Customer Journey


Of the four types of customer journey maps, the current-state map is the most ubiquitous. That’s not surprising, given how many organizations are trying to understand their customers’ current pain points and improve the customer experience.

Wondering how you can get started mapping your own organization’s current-state journey map? Follow these 10 steps:


1. Identify an important problem area through existing (mostly quantitative) data.

If you haven’t done any previous journey mapping projects, it can be tough to know where to start. Some companies choose to divide their efforts into pre-purchase and post-purchase journeys. Others start with customers’ first impressions, like sales or onboarding. But don’t throw darts to choose your journey—select it carefully. The ideal journey sits at the intersection of customer pain points and internal business objectives. Make the case for choosing that journey by examining the customer feedback, operational data, and financial data that you’ve already got on hand.

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3 Steps To Better Customer Research


In a recent post, I talked about the trade-offs between quantitative and qualitative research. Here’s a quick summary: Neither is better than the other. Rather, they each have their relative strengths and weaknesses. But in order to get the most out of each research method, you need to properly sequence quantitative and qualitative research activities during your customer research efforts. Here’s how:

Step 1: Home in on interesting questions with quantitative research.

If you’re like every other company out there, you’re swimming in quant data. This includes customer survey responses (like NPS ratings), operational data (like the how long it takes your agents to resolve each case), and financial data (like how much of each product or service you sell).

Buried in that data are pointers to your customers’ key behaviors: what they’re doing, when, and where. In particular, you’re looking for behaviors that drive the business results you most care about, like increased revenue, customer loyalty, or support center costs. For example, your site metrics might point to spot where a large percentage of customers drop off before they purchase. Or your call center logs might show customers calling in with questions at particular spot in your loan application process.

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Long Live The Service Design Agency


This post originally appeared in my regular column in Touchpoint Journal, published by the Service Design Network. Join me at the Service Design Global Conference October 27 & 28 in Amsterdam!


For decades, designers have lamented that the business world didn’t understand or respect design. We howled didn’t have “a seat at the table.” We wondered when—or if—the tide would turn.

We needn’t wonder any longer. Business-focused media outlets like Business Week, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and even The Wall Street Journal regularly publish articles about design thinking. IBM has built the largest internal design team on the planet. And, of course, we’ve seen tech giants, management consulting firms, and even financial services companies gobbling up UX and service design firms.

Now, in the wake of businesses catching on to the power of design, we’ve moved on to lamenting the resulting—and inevitable—shift in the design industry landscape. Over the past several years, designers and reporters have produced panic-stricken headlines like “The Rapidly Disappearing Business of Design,” “The Timely Death of the Imperious Global Design Agency,” and “Silicon Valley Killed the Design Agency.”

But thinking that we’ve seen the last of service design agencies is like thinking that we’d seen the last of startups when the first dot-com market collapsed in 2001. Service design agencies are here to stay. Here’s why:

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$50 CX Day Discount For Our November Journey Mapping Workshop!


Happy Customer Experience Day! I hope you and your organization are joining one of the many CX Day celebrations around the world.

To celebrate today’s global focus on customers, we’re offering a $50 discount on our upcoming customer journey mapping workshop, November 2 & 3 in San Francisco. Combined with our early bird registration, you’ll save $150 in total!

Just use the discount code “CXDay” or follow this link. But hurry—this promotion will end tonight (October 5, 2016) at midnight Pacific time.

Register now to join us in November!


The Trade-offs Between Quant & Qual Customer Research


A hammer is the perfect tool for pounding nails into a 2×4, but would be terrible at cutting it in half. A basic handsaw would easily take care of that single cut, but probably wouldn’t be your saw of choice if you had to cut a pile of 1000 boards. Just as no tool in your toolbox is a fit for every task, no research methodology will help you answer every single question about your customers.

The first step towards picking the right methodology is to understand—at a high level—the relative strengths and weaknesses of quantitative and qualitative research.

Quantitative Research
Quantitative data is the stuff you can count and analyze statistically, like survey responses, site analytics, past purchase amounts, and the reasons customers call your support line.

  • What’s great: With large enough data sets, you can get statistically significant results. That means you can be sure that the data represents the target customer group you’re looking to understand.
  • The trade-off: Quantitative research provides limited insights. It can tell you what customers did, when, and where—but that’s about it. You’re not going to get any meaningful details about how exactly they did something or why.

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Customer Journey Mapping workshop in November!


Join us for a hands-on customer journey mapping workshop in the heart of San Francisco!

I’m thrilled to announce our next open enrollment workshop:
November 2, 9:00 – 5:00 & networking cocktails
November 3, 9:00 – 4:30

Whether you’re just getting started with customer journey mapping or looking for a methodology refresh, our two-day interactive workshop will help you develop the skills and know-how you need to effectively employ journey mapping within your organization.

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Are Journey Maps Dangerous?

Journey maps help you take a more holistic view of what your customers experience as they do business with your organization. But just how holistic is that view, anyway? I recently got the following questions from a client, I’ll call him Joe, who was concerned that his company’s journey mapping efforts might still be too siloed for effective decision making and prioritization of customer experience improvement initiatives.

Joe: Is it dangerous to fix one journey at a time?
Kerry: This comes down to risk assessment. I’d argue that it’s actually more risky have a complete view of ALL customer journeys before you start making improvements. It would simply cost too much and take too long to map every single customer journey, and you’d make no progress in the meantime. I believe it’s less risky for your business to make improvements based on your current knowledge of one important journey than to do nothing at all.

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You likely wouldn’t treat a complete stranger the same as your best friend. So why do brands continue to treat their Members, their known customers, the same as the anonymous shopper who just walked in the door?

According to the 2016 Bond Loyalty Report, you are likely a Member of 13.4 loyalty programs. You may be a “gold” or “VIP” Member in one or more of these Programs—but do you feel like it? In many cases, you are treated like any other customer. In fact, only 20% of Members say that they feel special and recognized.

The fact is, all known customers should feel special, even if some should feel more special than others. Why? Member satisfaction is 3X higher when brand representatives make a customer feel special and recognized. But, you need to ensure they are getting it right for their best, before the rest. To build long-term, meaningful and profitable relationships, you need to do a better job of thinking through the customer experience for your most important and valuable customers.

Join me and my friends from Bond Brand Loyalty at 1pm ET September 15 as we walk you through how to:

1. Design the right customer experience for your best customers using the latest methodologies in co-creation.
2. Turn design into a comprehensive Customer Experience playbook.
3. Execute with excellence; engage and galvanize your brand representatives to deliver your desired CX for your most loyal customers.
4. Sustain your Customer Experience efforts—making it a way of being for those who represent your brand.

Register now!

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