Is it just me, or did Q1 vanish in the blink of an eye? Time feels especially capricious these days – which makes this opportunity to pause and reflect on all the great content we produced over the previous quarter even more gratifying than usual. Over the span of three short months, we at XM Institute published no fewer than 24 new pieces of content. With the addition of these new resources, our XM Library has topped 700 (!) unique assets.

So – as I do every quarter – I am here to round up the top 15 most unmissable pieces of XM Institute content from the last three months. For easy navigation, I’ve split this list into three groups: our most popular new resources, my favorite new resources, and our all-time top-performing resources. (P.S. Correctly believe that all our content is “unmissable?” Sign up to receive daily or weekly emails notifying you whenever we publish new content.) 


The Rising Stars: Most Popular Content of Q1

As mentioned above, we published a lot of resources in the first three months of this year, and competition for the top five spots was fierce. But ultimately, our most popular pieces of content from Q1 2022 were:

  • Introducing 2022, The Year of Agility (Blog). By far and away our most popular asset of Q1 – and rapidly ascending to the pantheon of all-time greats – is Bruce’s blog post introducing 2022 as “The Year of Agility.” This post kicks off what will be a year-long theme for us here at XM Institute. In an era where the only thing predictable about the business landscape is its unpredictability, Bruce argues that organizations need to update their traditional, stability-oriented operating models with the capabilities to more quickly sense and respond to what people are thinking and feeling. Lucky for us, that’s exactly what Experience Management is all about. He even provides a model for how to go about shifting from stability to agility. Check out this introductory post, and keep an eye out for more agility content coming your way throughout this entire year. 
  • XM Deep Dive: Deloitte Digital Uses a Dream Team to Elevate Talent Experience (Research Report). One of the highlights of Q1 for us here at XM Institute was the creation of a new type of report – XM Deep Dives. As you may have guessed from the name, these resources take a comprehensive, detailed look at a particularly noteworthy XM practice being implemented within an organization. This specific Deep Dive explores how Deloitte Digital uses a ‘Dream Team’ to meaningfully respond to open-ended comments employees leave in their pulse survey. These responses range from sending a new parent a book on baby sleeping patterns to connecting employees with personalized career development opportunities to fundamentally changing how leaders present themselves internally. Given how awestruck we were when we first heard about this program, it’s no surprise this Deep Dive became one of our most-read resources of Q1. (I also strongly recommend our Deep Dive showcasing the phenomenal work HSBC Canada is doing to design the future of work at the bank.)
  • What is Journey Mapping? (Video). Despite their immense popularity – or perhaps because of it – we tend to get a steady flow of questions about journey maps. What are they and how should XM programs go about leveraging these tools to drive experience improvements? Well, this video answers those questions in a more adroit – and visually compelling – way than our usual responses. Not only do I recommend watching this short video yourself, but it’s also a handy resource to share with other stakeholders who may need a quick primer on this topic. It’s especially useful for setting the scene prior to a journey mapping workshop. You can either send it to participants ahead of time to prepare them for what’s ahead or play it as an introduction to open the session. 
  • Introducing XM Fundamentals (XMF) Certification, A Valuable Credential For Everyone (Blog). Another highlight of Q1 for us (man, we were really on fire this quarter!) was the launch of our new XM Fundamentals – or XMF – Certification. As opposed to our XM Professional Certification, which requires experience prerequisites, this training-based certification is open to everybody. That includes core XM team members who are looking to build their knowledge and skills. That includes XM advocates – like champions or ambassadors – who may benefit from a grounding in the fundamentals. That includes parents who would really like to understand exactly what it is you do for work. Really – it’s for everyone. 
  • Global Executive Study: COVID Impact on CX and EX (Research Report). As we begin (hopefully!) to tiptoe back from the pandemic, executives around the world are taking stock of the reshaped business landscape and defining the new normal for their organizations. To understand how they are thinking about XM specifically, as part of our global executive study, we asked leaders from large organizations how the pandemic has affected their customer and employee experience efforts. While executive perceptions vary significantly across regions, they do agree on a few key points: employee attrition is universally on the rise, and it’s more important than ever before to capture and act on customer and employee feedback. 


The Unsung Heroes: Isabelle’s Personal Favorite Content of Q1

While those five resources are great, we also published a number of other assets that, while perhaps not as popular, still provide substantial value to organizations looking to build their XM capabilities. Here are some of my favorites from the quarter:

  • Build Four Action Loops to Respond to Insights (Blog). Calling this blog post “unsung” may be a bit disingenuous. Had it been published before the very tail end of the quarter, it would likely have been very “sung” indeed. It’s no surprise this post was an instant hit as it takes the ever-popular concept of “inner loop” and “outer loop” processes and argues that they are only one piece of the full picture. In fact, there are four action loops organizations need to take to address issues uncovered through insights: Immediate Response, Continuous Improvement, Process Integration, and Strategic Decision-Making. The post not only describes each of these action loops, but also details what they look like in the context of a restaurant, a B2B software firm, and an employee experience program. 
  • XMI Customer Ratings – Overall Scores, 2021 (by Industry) (Data Snippet). Curious how your organization’s CX stacks up both within your industry and across industries? Check out this popular data snippet showing the average CX rating across 23 different industries. We calculated the XMI Customer Ratings – Overall (a continuation of the Temkin Experience Ratings for those of you who remember way back when) by asking nearly 10,000 U.S. consumers to rate their experiences with 367 companies across the three dimensions of CX: success, effort, and emotion. This year, groceries, fast food, and retail companies earned the highest Ratings, while federal agencies, car rentals, and airlines received the lowest.
  • Create More Actionable Insights With Employee Journey Analytics (Blog). One of my favorite blog posts of the quarter is the brainchild of two of Qualtrics’ preeminent EX experts, Dr. Cecelia Herbert – XM Catalyst with the XM Institute – and Matthew Evans – Senior EX Product Scientist. Together, they make the case that organizations need to evolve from looking at EX data in isolation to embracing employee journey analytics, which will open up new and powerful ways to explore data and provide actionable intelligence. To guide organizations through this transition, Cecelia and Matthew lay out the five steps they should follow, along with specific actions to take within each step and tips for ensuring success.
  • Global Study: Areas for Customer Experience Improvements (Research). Sticking to the theme of unbelievably meaty content we published this quarter, this popular data snapshot is chock full of interesting insights… and a lot of numbers! As part of our global consumer study, we asked consumers from 24 different countries to tell us which potential CX areas organizations from 17 different industries should invest in improving. We provided seven CX areas they could select from, including the purchasing process, ease of using the product or service, and customer service support. This data snapshot includes figures breaking down consumer responses by both country and industry, but overall, we found that consumers picked “prices and fees” and “customer service” as most in need of improvement.
  • Five Steps for Building a Strong CX Metrics Program in Hospitality (Blog). Our newest XM Catalyst – Greg Chase – makes an immediate mark on XM Institute’s thought leadership with his first blog post, which explains how to design a robust metrics program in the hospitality industry. He not only breaks down the five steps – which are applicable to any organization regardless of industry – but he also provides practical, hospitality-specific tips for putting each step into action. My favorite of the five tips urges companies to let go of the legacy metrics they think track what guests care about and instead establish key driver metrics that reflect what guests actually care about. It sounds so obvious, yet so many organizations remain wedded to outdated measurements that don’t actually reflect current customers’ perceptions and attitudes.


The Heavyweights: All-Time Most Popular Content 

Since launching the website in the middle of 2020, a few of our resources – especially our more fundamental resources – have remained consistently popular quarter-to-quarter. Although this quarter, for the first time since we started these round-ups, we do have two new entrants to this most illustrious group:

  • Expert Answers. Let’s be honest, this whole “Experience Management” thing – including customer and employee experience – is still a relatively new discipline. While helping forge a new field is exciting, it also means that many of us are struggling with questions that don’t yet have a universally recognized answer. It is no surprise, therefore, that the newest heavyweight entering the arena is our Expert Answers resource – an FAQs page where XM Institute faculty and experts from around Qualtrics tackle some of the most common questions we hear from XM professionals. Trying to figure out how to articulate and measure the ROI of your CX program? We’ve got you covered. Wondering which questions to include in your engagement survey? We have answers to that too. All in all, we’ve answered almost 50 XM, CX, and EX questions, and we will be adding more going forward. You can even submit your own question for us here
  • XM Professional (XMP) Certification Handbook (Tool). The second newcomer breaking into our heavyweight category is the handbook we created to accompany our XM Professional (XMP) Certification – the premier credential recognizing an individual’s professional experience and expertise in the discipline of Experience Management. This tool includes everything you need to know to prepare to earn your certification, including the exam blueprint, the application process, and sample questions you can use to test your knowledge. Wondering whether you should become certified? Check out this blog post spotlighting some amazing XMPs from around the world who explain why they decided to earn this credential. 
  • XM Operating Framework (Launchpad). “Launchpads” are a unique type of resource that are geared towards helping people learn the basics of a fundamental XM topic. Our most popular Launchpad – and overall resource on the website – is a primer on the XM Operating Framework. This framework describes the scaffolding, which is made up of Technology, Culture, and six XM Competencies, that organizations need to build in order to establish and mature their XM programs. Like all Launchpads, this one includes a short opening video (which is incredibly popular in its own right!), an overview of the topic, tips for taking action, and a list of key resources you can check out to build your knowledge in this area. 
  • 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. 
  • 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 explanation as to what this XM thing is all about. And if this teaser just whets your appetite and you would like to learn more, you can always check out our Introduction to Experience Management Launchpad. 

The bottom line: We are looking forward to bringing you even more great content in Q2 and beyond!

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