Michael Lowenstein

Employee Ambassadorship: CX Focus Built On Neither Employee Satisfaction Nor Employee Engagement

by Michael Lowenstein on December 6, 2017

Michael Lowenstein, Ph.D., CMC Thought Leadership Principal, Beyond Philosophy

Whenever the subject of employee satisfaction and engagement arises, it is often difficult to differentiate between them. If you believe that “a satisfied employee IS an engaged employee.” It’s likely that you can’t articulate a distinction.

A satisfied employee can pretty much be described as one who is relatively happy or more than complacent about their day-to-day job experience: the work, pay, benefits, possibilities for growth, promotions and possibly more – – like training, work environment, and reward and recognition. These employees start their work day, they perform their job at acceptable levels, and they go home. Although satisfied employees are generally supportive of the business, they likely won’t go beyond doing the basics of their job descriptions.

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Michael LowensteinEmployee Ambassadorship: CX Focus Built On Neither Employee Satisfaction Nor Employee Engagement

The 20 Stakeholder Experience Emotions: Which Are Most Positive and Value-Enhancing, and Which Are Most Negative and Value-Destroying?

by Michael Lowenstein on November 29, 2017

Michael Lowenstein, Ph.D., CMC Thought Leadership Principal, Beyond Philosophy

Until about a decade ago, most CX and value delivery metrics were built around tangible and quality-related elements of value – price, consistency, speed, completeness, accuracy, durability, and the like. However, it was understood that value is not just rational. Perception consists of the rational and the emotional, and even those elements which are tangible and functional have emotional underpinnings.

To offer a better gauge of perceived value and customer experience, and better understand purchase decision drivers, it was necessary to put greater emphasis on the emotional. Accordingly, my colleague Colin Shaw, working closely with the London Business and its Chair of Consumer Psychology, extensively tested emotional levers. After two years of research, the result was the Hierarchy of Emotional Value.

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Michael LowensteinThe 20 Stakeholder Experience Emotions: Which Are Most Positive and Value-Enhancing, and Which Are Most Negative and Value-Destroying?

Customers Have Life Cycles. Guess What? So Do Employees! Here’s Why That’s So Important

by Michael Lowenstein on November 22, 2017

Michael Lowenstein, Ph.D., CMC Thought Leadership Principal, Beyond Philosophy

For some time, it has been understood that, when purchasing a product or service, consumers are essentially ‘hiring’ a supplier to get a job done. The same can be said of employees. They can hire desired employers, and if things don’t turn out as expected, employees can ‘fire’ their employer, sometimes quietly, sometimes noisily, departing..

Clayton Christensen, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, has identified this trend in his book, Competing Against Luck. As he notes, the new employee has accepted the job, but he or she has also accepted, or hired, the company. The goal is to make career and life, i.e. experiential, progress, so making the right decision at the outset is extremely important. As explained by Christensen, this is considerably more than title and salary, which are just the very basic functional components of the job. It must include both emotional and social components of value, more nuanced elements of the job experience which are of at least equal importance to the employee.

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Michael LowensteinCustomers Have Life Cycles. Guess What? So Do Employees! Here’s Why That’s So Important

Flying High and Well-Grounded: How Virgin and Southwest Practice Airline Employee Ambassadorship

by Michael Lowenstein on November 14, 2017

Michael Lowenstein, Ph.D., CMC Thought Leadership Principal, Beyond Philosophy

Richard Branson and Herb Kelleher never studied HR theory or staff management principles. That said, they’ve proven to be pretty good at it. Both understand (in the case of Sir Richard at Virgin Group) and understood (in the case of Herb Kelleher at Southwest Airlines) the value of putting people and customers first, HR practice second.

As my colleague Colin Shaw has written about Branson and Virgin, with respect to the company providing a year of fully paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child: “…Virgin values their people and their emotional state while working there.” In the same post, Colin acknowledged the value of employee ambassadorship and the direct connection between employee experience and customer experience. He also noted that few companies successfully meld value optimization approaches for both groups of stakeholders: “Despite much evidence that points to the link, many organizations continue to keep the two areas separate in their efforts. However, the separate area strategy is not the direct path to success for either.”

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Michael LowensteinFlying High and Well-Grounded: How Virgin and Southwest Practice Airline Employee Ambassadorship

Is CSAT Dead? No. Should It Be? Yes, ASAP. Replacement, IMHO: Emotionally-Driven Value (EDV), PDQ

by Michael Lowenstein on November 8, 2017

Michael Lowenstein, Ph.D., CMC Thought Leadership Principal, Beyond Philosophy

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Michael LowensteinIs CSAT Dead? No. Should It Be? Yes, ASAP. Replacement, IMHO: Emotionally-Driven Value (EDV), PDQ

For Employees to Deliver CX Excellence, Ancient Greeks Had Words For It: Chronos and Kairos

by Michael Lowenstein on January 4, 2017

Michael Lowenstein, Ph.D., CMC Thought Leadership Principal, Beyond Philosophy

First, a little dictionary diving is required. The word ‘chronos’ may be familiar to some. In ancient Greek, it means “time” or “order”, like chronology or sequence. Kairos is probably less well-known. It means, essentially, doing something at the right instance, in other words a moment of truth or when something of significance happens. Chronos is quantitative. Kairos is qualitative. Both are essential in customer experience, and particularly for the role of employees in delivering superior, differentiated value (or in undermining or destroying it).

Employees’ actions, including expressing themselves face-to-face and through digital means, directly and indirectly impact much of what we understand about customer experience-based emotion and memory, leading to downstream behavior. For example, even in this age of greater customer self-service, each customer service representative (CSR) across the United States still handles an average of over 2,000 customer interactions each week. If CSRs are not aligned with the customer management strategy, and delivering value in a timely and as expected manner — indeed, are not directly involved with creating and executing the strategy — it can represent thousands of opportunities to put customers at risk or lose them.

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Michael LowensteinFor Employees to Deliver CX Excellence, Ancient Greeks Had Words For It: Chronos and Kairos