Selecting which resources to highlight in these roundups is never easy, but I found the process particularly painful this quarter, with many of my favorite new assets ending up on the cutting room floor (looking at you, CX Prioritization Exercise). Still, it’s hard to complain too much. There are many worse problems to have than an overabundance of superb content!
So difficult as it was, I am here – as I am every quarter – to spotlight the top resources we published in Q3. The list is split into three groups: our most popular new resources, my favorite new resources, and our all-time top-performing resources. Plus, a new bonus section showcasing our most interesting data factoids from Q3. Hopefully, this post serves as an amuse-bouche, giving you a small taste of the full buffet of great XM resources available in our XM Library, which currently contains more than 750 unique assets. And don’t forget, if this post has whetted your appetite for more XM content, you can stay up-to-date on everything we publish by signing up to receive daily or weekly emails.
The Rising Stars: Most Popular Content of Q3
Here are our five most popular pieces of content from Q3 2022:
- The State of Customer Experience Management, 2022 (Research). One of the (admittedly many) ways I know I am in the right profession is that every year, I anticipate the publication of this research report with the kind of unbridled enthusiasm usually reserved for children on Christmas morning. It’s been my favorite CX report since it was first released by Temkin Group way back in 2011, and I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to see how popular it’s since become. What, in my opinion, makes this report so great is the sheer breadth of interesting, applicable insights into the current CX landscape it contains. Insights like two-thirds of companies plan to invest more in text analytics in the coming year, organizations are strongest at acting on frontline feedback and weakest at acting on always-on digital listening, and CX laggards are 3.1x less likely than CX leaders to deliver good website experiences, but they are equally as likely to deliver good in-store experiences.
- The Three Core Functions of a CX Center of Excellence (Blog). CX programs have matured noticeably in recent years, with the plurality of B2C and B2B organizations now in the second stage of CX maturity. As their attention shifts from tackling acute pain points to establishing the underlying structures necessary for driving cross-functional alignment, organizations often start looking at how to build a CX Center of Excellence (CoE). No surprise, then, that this became one of our most-read blog posts ever. It defines what a CX CoE is, common CoE responsibilities, and the three specialized functions we see in many of the more effective CoEs: Analytics and Insights, Experience Design, and Change Management. Not to mention, it includes a handy graphic breaking down common CX activities across these three functions – everything from survey design to journey mapping to stakeholder management – which is perfect for showing to unsuspecting people at dinner parties who ask what exactly it is you do for work.
- Six Analytical Pathways That Link Employee and Customer Experience (Blog). Another sign of the maturing XM landscape is the soaring popularity of CX + EX. While many of us in the Experience Management world intuitively grasp the interconnected nature of customer and employee experiences, operationalizing this insight often requires you to empirically link specific employee experiences with specific customer results. Only then will you know which exact levers to pull to achieve your desired outcomes. In this post, we use real data from multiple organizations – including a B2B telco, restaurant chain, and automotive chain – to investigate six potential analytical pathways you can follow to meaningfully combine your CX and EX data. We also share advice from the XM professionals who conducted these different analyses on how best to extract and deliver these CX and EX insights.
- XM Leaders’ Stock Price Outperformed Peers through Covid (Blog). XM Institute publishes a steady drumbeat of ROI data resources, each of which makes the business case for CX in a slightly different way. But perhaps my favorite ROI analysis we’ve ever done is from this blog post, where we tracked the recent stock performance of the 20 publicly traded companies with the highest CX ratings (XM Leaders) and the 20 companies with the lowest CX ratings (XM Laggards) according to our XM Institute Ratings study. We looked at their stock price during the period of COVID disruption – between 2019 and 2021 – and after normalizing it again in their industry, we found that XM leaders dramatically outperformed XM laggards over this time. While the gap between the two was 24 percentage-points in 2019, it expanded to a whopping 66 percentage-points by 2021. If this doesn’t illustrate how stronger CX capabilities lead to higher levels of agility and, consequently, better business performance through times of uncertainty, I don’t know what does! (P.S. Download the accompanying data snippet to easily share these findings with others.)
- Worksheet: Stakeholder Mapping (Tool). It is – unfortunately – not possible for one XM professional or team to single-handedly transform an entire organization’s customer or employee experience. You need friends. You need to activate and inspire people across the business, rallying them around the experience vision and equipping them with both the information and the motivation to bring that vision to life within their roles. Which, to put it mildly, is no easy task. That’s where this stakeholder mapping tool comes in. It will help you build support and buy-in by guiding you through the process of first categorizing key stakeholders across four segments (Bystander, Challenger, Supporter, and Champion) and then creating a tailored engagement plan to more effectively mobilize each of those groups around your XM efforts. And while this tool is valuable all on its own, it’s even more powerful when used in conjunction with our Building a CX Program Roadmap and Building an EX Program Roadmap How-to Guides.
The Unsung Heroes: Isabelle’s Personal Favorite Content of Q3
In addition to those Rising Stars, we also published a number of resources last quarter that, while not quite as popular, still provide considerable value to organizations looking to mature their XM program. Here are some of my personal favorites from the quarter:
- Global Study: IT Executives and XM (Research). Given this research report was published a mere day before the end of the quarter, it didn’t quite break into the top five. But that doesn’t mean it’s not popular (see its writeup in TechRepublic), or that it’s not important. Trusted data – and the technology that captures, analyzes, and delivers it – is the lifeblood of any successful XM program. So without the support of your IT department, it’s hard – if not impossible – to produce and scale XM insights and practices across the organization. This research explores how IT executives at large organizations view their role as it relates to Experience Management, including their departmental priorities for 2023, how they currently manage experience data, top obstacles, and much more.
- Transforming Contact Centers With Conversational Analytics (Multimedia). Conversational analytics is paradigm-shifting technology organizations are starting to deploy within their contact centers. Which sounds exciting, sure, but also pretty complicated and intimidating, right? Well, never fear. XM Institute created this short, engaging video to explain what conversational analytics is and how companies are using it to identify the topics and sentiments of every interaction in their contact center, transforming how they operate and learn from these conversations. This video isn’t just great for helping you wrap your mind around this new technology, it’s also valuable for introducing others to conversational analytics as well.
- Commentary On XM Institute Business Resilience Report, Q3 2022 (Blog). To be resilient, organizations need to build strong human connections with all their stakeholders. One of the coolest things XM Institute did in Q3 was launch a new economic indicator to track the strength of these human connections, the Business Resilience Index (BRI), which tracks US consumer perceptions of their customer, employee, brand, and product experiences across 20 different industries. This blog post highlights some of the key findings from the original research report, Business Resilience Report, Q3 2022. Notable insights include things like, customers who gave a company high CX, BX, and PX scores are 3x more likely to recommend that organization, and employees who rate their employers highly are 39% less likely to quit compared to those with low ratings.
- The State of B2B CX Maturity, 2022 (Data Snippet). Yet another hot topic in Q3 was CX for B2B organizations. Not only did one of our most popular blog posts from the quarter – Lessons From a B2B CX Leader on How to Build a Customer-Centric Culture – explore this theme, but our most popular data snippet did as well. As part of our annual CX practitioner survey, we asked respondents from B2B organizations to complete XM Institute’s Customer Experience Maturity: Assessment and captured their responses in this data snippet. We found that most B2B firms fall into the second stage of maturity (Initiate), while only 2% of companies have reached the highest stage of maturity (Embed).
- Five Lessons Learned About Pivoting In-Store CX During Times of Uncertainty (Blog). Organizations have spent the last few years in a near-constant state of uncertainty, battered by a seemingly endless stream of new and exciting disruptions. This incessant upheaval has brought many changes, including heightened emotions, pressured budgets, and altered customer behaviors. These changes have particularly affected frontline customer experience efforts, as these activities are often neglected in favor of other, more immediate concerns. In this blog post, our newest XM Catalyst – James Scutt – shares five lessons he learned in his previous role about how multi-site retail managers should adjust their agendas during these uncertain times to maintain a customer-centric focus.
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. These evergreen favorites are:
- Expert Answers. “Experience Management” thing, including customer and employee experience, is still a relatively new discipline. And while forging a new field is exciting, it also means that many of us are struggling with questions that don’t yet have universally recognized answers. It is no surprise, therefore, that 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, is one of our most popular assets ever.
- XM Operating Framework (Launchpad). “Launchpads” are a unique type of resource that is 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 organizations need to construct to grow and mature their XM programs, which includes Technology, Competency, and Culture. 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. 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 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.
- XM Professional (XMP) Certification Handbook (Tool). A recent entrant to the 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.
Interesting Data Tidbits from Q3
This quarter, we published a number of substantive research studies and data snippets, each full of notable XM data points. Here are the five I found most striking:
- Caucasian men give the highest employee experience ratings (76%), followed by caucasian females (70%), non-caucasian males (69%), and non-caucasian females (68%). (Examining Gender And Race Gaps Across Employee Experience And New Job Preferences)
- 77% of B2B organizations are still in the earliest two stages of CX maturity, while only 2% have reached the final stage. (The State of B2B CX Maturity, 2022)
- Companies are investing in new CX technologies, with 67% planning to use more text analytics in the coming year, 63% planning to use more journey analytics, and 44% planning to use more predictive analytics. (The State of Customer Experience Management, 2022)
- Of the three elements of customer experience, success and effort both earn relatively high scores (87% and 84% respectively), but emotion scores much lower, with only 65% of consumers saying they felt good about a recent interaction. (Commentary On XM Institute Business Resilience Report, Q3 2022)
- The top two focus areas for IT leaders in the coming year are improving operational efficiency within IT (60%) and improving data quality and management (50%). (Global Study: IT Executives and XM)
The bottom line: We are looking forward to bringing you even more great content in Q4 and beyond!
Isabelle Zdatny, XMP, CCXP, is an XM Catalyst with the Qualtrics XM Institute