When I was an editor at a greeting card and book publisher, my manager used to start all of my annual reviews with a nice compliment; then tell me about a bunch of goofs, gaffes, flubs, and fumbles I had made over the previous year; and then end with another accolade. The old pro-con-pro-wich. One year, it went like this:
You’ve developed really strong typing skills! Authors think your editorial feedback is mean. Your research on Zoroastrianism didn’t include enough poetry from the 10th century. You put 31 days in September in this year’s ‘Mom, What Would I Do Without You?’ calendar. People love the party atmosphere you bring to the office!
I agree with you. That last one could go either way.
Since then, I’ve learned that 30 days hath September, April, June, and November. I’ve also learned that people crave feedback on their performance, whether the critique is good or bad, and whether it’s delivered as a sandwich or a shot of Patrón. So I’m gonna give it to you straight, in the old good news/bad news format.
Last year, E Source surveyed 25 North American utilities to gauge the maturity of their CX programs. Some results were highly promising! Others were a little bleak.
If we had to write a performance plan for utilities that are motivated to improve CX, it’d probably look a little like this:
- Map out your CX strategy. A great place to start is with our CX strategy template (DOC). It can help focus your plan and offer next steps.
- Create customer personas that empower utility employees to advocate for your customers. Our report Persona Creation Guide: Top Questions, Answered can help you get started on persona development and give you guidelines on how to present your characters to utility staff.
- Develop business cases to support CX initiatives and to give them financial gravitas. Our report Utility Customer Experience ROI Model: Connecting Metrics to Calculate the ROI of Customer Experience Initiatives can help you calculate the return on investment of CX projects so you can offer real numbers to financial leadership and make an argument for increased budget.
None of this information is downright dismal, and progress is already under way. Things can change dramatically once you’ve identified the problem and agreed on a course of corrective action. For example, I now include smiley faces in my edits to authors, and I know a little more about the Persian Book of Kings. As for the party atmosphere? I can’t help it; it follows me.