It feels like we are in a time of transition. And I’m not just talking about the season. As I reflect back on the content we published last quarter, I am struck by just how many resources we dedicated to sketching out the future of Experience Management: a future that feels both increasingly accessible, thanks to the industry’s maturing XM skills and technologies, and increasingly uncertain as we grapple with the long-term implications of AI and an unsettled business environment. In Q3, we spilled much metaphorical ink trying to provide clarity and direction through these times of change. Most notably, perhaps, we expanded our Modern XM framework in a number of new directions, describing where we see XM programs heading and offering practical advice on how to evolve your efforts to get there.
All these new assets join the 750+ resources already housed in our XM Library. To help you navigate through all this content, I am here to spotlight some of the top resources from the last quarter. The list is split into three groups: our most popular new resources, my favorite new resources, and our all-time top-performing resources. If you’d like to stay up-to-date on all XM Institute’s insights, I recommend signing up for daily or weekly email alerts, which will let you know whenever we publish new content.
The Rising Stars: Most Popular Content of Q3
Here are our five most popular pieces of content from Q3 2023:
- The Path to Building a Modern Digital CX Program (Blog). In today’s highly digitized, post-pandemic world – where nearly every action someone takes leaves a digital footprint – effectively tracking and managing customers’ experiences through digital channels is essential. And yet, few Digital CX programs are optimized for our current digital-first business era. This post (our most popular from Q3) lays out the path organizations should follow to build a best-in-class, modern Digital CX program – one that is capable of tapping into the recent explosion of available data and rapidly evolving technologies to understand and connect with individual customers on a deeper, more personal level.
- The State of B2B CX Management, 2023 (Research). Another popular resource examines the current state of CX management for B2B organizations. Topics range from CX listening activities (very NPS- and relationship-heavy) to future technology investments (hello, text analytics) to the most common obstacles to success (other competing priorities and poor integration across systems). Perhaps most striking is the gap between B2B firms’ aspirations – 65% of them consider improving CX to be a significant or critical organizational priority – and their current skills and capabilities, with over two-thirds of them still in the first two stages of maturity.
- What Will Generative AI Mean for Your XM Efforts? (Blog). After enduring decades of headlines heralding the “imminent” arrival of the AI revolution, it looks like the much-prophesized event is finally upon us. ChatGPT’s surprise release last November blew the floodgates open and barely a week goes by now without the announcement of some new AI product or capability. Which is not only vaguely terrifying, but it also makes it nearly impossible to separate the signal from the noise and discern what all these rapid changes actually mean for your life. While we can’t answer that entirely, we did write a blog post on how the emergence of Generative AI is likely to affect your work as an XM professional. Specifically, we shared the four Gen AI capabilities you should look to harness (Data Summarization, Pattern Recognition, Conversational Interface, and Content Personalization) to build a Modern XM program, along with some advice and thoughts on the ethical concerns organizations will have to wrestle with as they embed this transformative technology into their core business functions.
- NPS: Facts and Figures, 2023 (Infographic). In Q3, we revived one of our most popular content formats (the infographic) and used it to share notable data about one of our most popular topics (Net Promoter Score), thus creating what appears to be the CX equivalent of catnip. This much-read resource compiles data from multiple studies and over 37,000 consumers to showcase how NPS varies across different industries, regions, and age groups. While it provides a useful point of comparison for your own score and shows how customers might answer the question differently depending on their demographic profile, just remember – the goal of the metric is not to produce a score! It’s to identify specific actions you can take to improve the experiences you deliver.
- Assessment: XM Ambition (Tool). As XM professionals, we are often frustrated by the misalignment between our personal vision for our Experience Management programs and the actual commitment levels of the executives we need to bring this vision to life. This popular new tool, along with its corresponding blog post, will help you evaluate whether your senior leaders have the XM ambition necessary to support your XM program’s goals and activities. This assessment is designed to help you facilitate discussions with your leadership to secure the resources and support you need to bring your program vision to life.
The Unsung Heroes: Isabelle’s Personal Favorite Content of Q3
Here are five of my favorite pieces of content we published in Q3:
- Seven Types of Data for Modern XM Programs (Blog). While this last-minute entrant didn’t have time to rise in popularity, it has since become the most visited resource in our XM Library. No surprise, as it addresses one of the biggest questions XM professionals are wrestling with right now – namely, how do we evolve from a survey-based experience measurement system to a holistic listening strategy? This post defines the seven types of data XM Programs should be collecting across three different categories: who initiated the request (solicited vs. unsolicited data), how the information is organized (structured vs. unstructured data), and what is being measured (behavioral vs. operational vs. experience data). It includes the strengths and weaknesses of each along with some recommendations for how to begin building out a more diverse XM listening portfolio.
- Assessment: XM-Centric Culture (Tool). Culture – which, simply defined, is about how employees think, believe, and act – is one of the three pillars of our XM Operating Framework. An organization’s culture will either nurture and accelerate the spread of XM-centric behaviors and practices or – if prevailing mindsets and beliefs go against these behaviors – culture can severely inhibit their adoption. This Assessment and its accompanying blog post introduce the four attributes organizations should cultivate to build an XM-centric culture: Purpose-Led, Human-Centric, Change-Minded, and Evidence-Based. You can use this assessment to identify and align around potential areas you could improve by amplifying the positive aspects of your culture and mitigating the negative ones.
- Customers Prefer Human Interaction Channels (Data Snippet). Despite all the ferment around artificial intelligence and digital interactions, it turns out that, often when customers engage with an organization they actually just want to connect with a fellow human being. When we asked 30,000 consumers around the world which channels they would prefer to use to complete nine common activities, we found that for nearly every interaction, people favored human-mediated channels over digital self-service. The only two exceptions were Booking an Airline Ticket and Getting the Status on an Order, both of which are fairly routine, light-touch tasks. And the more complicated and emotionally intense an activity, the more partial customers are to human-assisted channels, with people showing the strongest preference for human interaction when receiving advice from a nurse/doctor about a minor issue (64 percentage-point gap).
- Tips for Designing Action-Centric Dashboards for Executives (Blog). When designed well, executive dashboards provide senior leaders with clear visibility into the progress and impact of the XM program’s efforts, allowing leaders to quickly identify risks and opportunities, predict future performance, and prioritize investment areas. Many executive dashboards, however, are designed… not well, leading to low adoption rates and few engagements with this essential stakeholder group. In this post, we explore in detail how to apply the four principles of Action-Centric Dashboard Design to create simple, engaging executive dashboards that communicate key insights and shape strategic decisions.
- Momentum for 13 Online Activities, 2023 (Data Snippet). For the past few years, we’ve been tracking the “Online Momentum” of 13 common online activities, comparing the percentage of consumers who expect to do each activity more online in the coming months to those who expect to do it less. In the latest iteration of the study, we found that nearly all of the activities have significant online momentum – with the exception of take exercise classes online, which has a score of -2. The fact that digital experiences are still on the rise, even after the pandemic has receded, reinforces the point we made all the way back in the first bullet: We are now living in a Digital-First Business Era.
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. Here are the five most-read assets we’ve ever published:
- How to Build a CX Program Roadmap (How-to Guide). To build this incredibly detailed resource, we first interviewed a variety of CX experts and then distilled their advice down into six straightforward steps. We then deconstructed each step into a set of executable activities, many of which include supporting worksheets, templates, and resources designed to help you carry out each activity within your organization. Each step also includes an overview, a main objective, and practical tips. Take what helps you. Adjust what doesn’t. And in the end, leave with a roadmap that visualizes the path you’re going to take over the next few years to reach your ultimate CX vision.
- Expert Answers. Experience Management 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. To start providing answers, XM Institute faculty and experts across Qualtrics partnered to create this FAQs page, which tackles some of the most common questions we hear from XM professionals.
- XM Operating Framework (Launchpad). “Launchpads” are a unique type of resource geared toward helping people learn the basics of a fundamental XM topic. Our most popular Launchpad 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). 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.
The bottom line: We are looking forward to bringing you even more great content in Q4 and beyond!
Isabelle Zdatny, XMP, CCXP, is the Head of Thought Leadership and an XM Catalyst with the Qualtrics XM Institute