We launched this website last July, which means HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY TO XMINSTITUTE.COM! And man, what a year it has been. Not only have we populated this site with almost 600 unique assets – making it the most comprehensive resource for XM professionals anywhere in the world – but we also established the XM Professionals Network and created the first XM Professional (XMP) Certification.

And in case you can’t tell by how many times I just said “XM Professional,” we couldn’t have accomplished this without all of you. To everyone who visited our website, participated in an event, joined our community, or earned an XMP certification – thank you. Thank you for making our first year memorable and inspiring. We look forward to continuing this journey with all of you for many more years to come.

Going back to those 600 unique assets… that’s a lot of content to navigate! To help you quickly identify which resources are truly unmissable, I’m going to highlight our top 15 pieces of content from Q2. I’ve split the list into three groups: our most popular new resources, my favorite new resources, and our all-time top-performing resources. (P.S. If you rightly believe that all our resources are unmissable, you can now sign up to receive daily or weekly emails notifying you whenever we publish new content.)


The Rising Stars: Most Popular Content of Q2

Of all the new content we published in Q2, the most popular resources were:

  • It’s Time to Update Your Relationship Program (Blog Post). Relationship programs may lie at the heart of most organizations’ customer experience efforts, but most of them remain woefully outdated. In this popular blog post, we explore the four capabilities organizations must establish in order to evolve their relationship measurement programs into relationship management systems (bonus: we just published a new post diving deep into how to build one of these capabilities – dynamic, always-on listening).
  • Global Study: Calibrating NPS Across 18 Countries (Research). Q2 really was “the quarter of the Global Study.” Of the seven (seven!) studies we published in the span of a single month, and this Data Snapshot – which explores how more than 17,000 consumers across the globe answer the Net Promoter® Score (NPS) question – was the most popular. For a deeper analysis of this data, check out Bruce Temkin’s blog post, Is NPS a Good Global CX Metric? (spoiler alert: it’s not!) 
  • How Do You Explain Experience Management to Senior Executives? (Blog Post). One of the most common questions we get here at XM Institute is how best to discuss XM with senior executives. This extremely meaty post describes the five steps you can follow to engage leaders in a dialogue around XM (Setup, Inspire, Reinforce, Elaborate, and Nurture) and how XM Institute content can help support these discussions. Fun behind-the-scenes factoid about this post – Bruce didn’t even realize he created the acronym SIREN until we later complimented him on the clever allusion to luring executives into caring about XM. He’s just naturally good like that.
  • Driving Action From Journey Maps (Blog Post). Like the activity of journey mapping itself, this blog post was wildly popular with XM professionals. Hopefully, unlike the activity of journey mapping itself, this blog post is unquestionably worth the investment of time and effort you put into it. In this post, we explore why journey maps so often fail in their ultimate goal of substantially impacting customer or employee experiences along with five ways you can use insights from your journey maps to drive action (Find and Fix Problems, Design Innovative Experiences, Create Strategic Alignment, Refine your XM Listening Program, and Build an XM-centric Culture). 
  • Global Study: COVID Recovery and Vaccines (Research). The second most popular Data Snapshot to come out of our Q2 consumer benchmark studies examines consumers’ behaviors, attitudes, and expectations around COVID across 18 countries. Findings range from the interesting (77% of consumers started at least one new online activity since COVID began) to the disquieting (34% of consumers said they were not yet planning to get the vaccine when it becomes available to them).   


The Unsung Heroes: Isabelle’s Personal Favorite Content of Q2

Though perhaps not quite as popular, these resources nevertheless provide some incredibly valuable insights for organizations looking to build and mature their XM programs:

  • Three Key Resources for XM Professionals: Content, Community, and Certification (Blog). It’s a great time to be an XM professional. Whether you’re focused on customers, employees, partners, prospects, fans, citizens, patients, students – anyone! everyone! – organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of understanding, designing, and improving the experiences they deliver. This blog post lays out a number of different resources XM Institute offers to help you succeed in your role.
  • Best Practices Across the Activate Competency (Research). Experience Management (including CX and EX) is everyone’s business. Which means that long-term success requires organizations to align the mindsets and behaviors of their entire workforce with their ultimate XM vision. How? By building one of the six foundational XM Competencies: Activate. This best practices report shares guidance and company examples around how organizations can engage and involve their employees in XM.
  • Digital Experience Management (Video). Digital channels are not just increasing in popularity, they also create XM opportunities not afforded by any other interaction channel. One particularly valuable characteristic is that digital channels make it easier (and less annoying!) to capture experience data (X-Data) from visitors. This video shares five ways to collect feedback from digital visitors and then use those insights to drive meaningful improvements across your organization. Want more? Check out the full Launchpad this video is based on.  
  • Global Study: Consumer Channel Preferences (Research). Another key piece of research stemming from our Q2 consumer benchmark study looks at which channels consumers from around the globe prefer to use to complete a number of different interactions. For example, did you know that Spanish consumers are the least likely to use online channels to complete interactions (they’re all about those in-person experiences)? Or that younger consumers are the least likely to use a computer? The findings from this Data Snapshot will help you understand which channels will help you connect with your target audiences during different types of interactions.
  • Four XM Practices that Can Propel the Candidate Experience (Blog). Not only is the candidate experience one of the most important and prominent experiences in the entire employee journey, it also intersects with the customer and brand experiences an organization delivers. This post examines six factors that influence the candidate experience and shares four tips around how to improve this critical journey. 


The Heavyweights: All-Time Most Popular Content

So it’s been a full year since the website launched. During that time, a few of our more fundamental resources have remained consistently popular from month to month and quarter to quarter. These perennial favorites are:

  • Introducing XM Professional (XMP) Certification (Blog). The XMP Certification is the world’s first credential recognizing an individual’s professional experience and expertise in the discipline of Experience Management (XM). Given – as I mentioned before – the increasing importance of the XM profession, it’s no surprise that this blog post introducing the XMP Certification is the most popular resource we’ve published so far in 2021. And if you’re not yet certified, you’re in luck. We’re extending our 20% off discount until September 30, 2021. Apply here.
  • XM Operating Framework (Launchpad). For those of you at home keeping close tabs on the relative popularity of our different Launchpads (what else is there to do during a pandemic?), our XM Operating Framework Launchpad officially overtook our Introduction to Experience Management Launchpad as the most popular resource on the website by the narrowest of margins. In addition to describing how to adopt the XM Operating Framework (which is built on a combination of Technology, Culture, and six XM Competencies), this Launchpad also includes a short opening video, concrete tips for taking action, and a list of key resources you can check out to build your knowledge in this area.
  • Six Laws of XM (Research). I will (almost) spare you all my usual joke about how in 1665, Newton defined the Law of Universal Gravitation during his quarantine from the plague, and how in 2020, XM Institute likewise defined the Laws of Experience Management during our quarantine from the plague. Suffice it to say, this report lays out the six fundamental principles that govern how people and organizations behave. And in the same way that you need to understand the laws of physics before you can build a stable bridge, you need to recognize and account for these underlying laws of XM before you can build a sustainable Experience Management program.
  • What is Experience Management? (Video). Want to understand what Experience Management is but don’t want to have to read miles of text? Have we got the video for you! This short, fun video explains the fundamentals of XM and lays out a business case for why it’s important. Watch it yourself and/or share it with colleagues or leaders who still need a quick primer about what this XM thing is all about.
  • CX Maturity Assessment (Tool). Becoming customer-centric doesn’t happen overnight – it takes years of systematic focus on making changes across multiple teams, departments, and projects. Our CX Maturity Assessment will help you evaluate the current state of your program and develop plans for reaching your CX goals. No surprise, therefore, that it continues to be one of our most downloaded pieces of content ever. We also have employee experience (EX), XM, and Digital CX maturity assessments available. 


The bottom line: One year down, many more years of great XM content ahead!

Isabelle Zdatny, XMP, CCXP, is an XM Catalyst with the Qualtrics XM Institute