Are you lost in the huge amount of customer and employee experience blogs?

Searching for ways to quickly sort through them, to find those blogs that add value to your expertise?

Starting with this blog, I will help you in your search. Based on the insights from Ahrefs.com, I will analyze the most popular blogs and share my advice on how to use them.

As a kick off from this monthly series, I will analyze the most popular customer and employee experience blogs of all time.

I will start with the top 5 most popular customer experience (CX) blogs, followed by the top 5 most popular employee experience (EX) blogs.

I’m reviewing these blogs from your perspective: is this blog adding value for a business leader looking to accelerate their organization in CX and EX?

Let’s go!

PART I:
TOP 5 MOST POPULAR BLOGS ON CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

1. McKinsey’s CEO Guide to Customer Experience

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Context of the rating

This article by McKinsey gives a great overview of the why and how of the customer experience field. It’s a 4 and not a 5 rating, since you as a business leader working with CX, will probably already know this why and how (the article dates back to Aug 2016). It still can be a very useful article to share with your colleagues who are not that knowledgeable in the CX field. And to help convince your colleagues of the importance of CX for your organization.

Highlight

Make sure you measure journeys, not just touchpoints

This clip is one of the best I’ve seen in explaining why you should focus on journeys and not purely on touchpoints, as so many organizations and tooling companies are unfortunately still doing.

It shows, with regression rather than correlation (!), that the impact of journey satisfaction on general satisfaction and recommendation, is significantly higher than the impact of touchpoint satisfaction on these two outcomes.

2. HBR’s Value of Customer Experience, Quantified

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This article shows the value of customer experience based on 2 global companies. Of course, there are many articles showing the benefits of CX. So why 5 stars? Because this is one of very few with a sound analysis methodology:

  • regression rather than correlation
  • correcting for other causes of CX success
  • using real sales / retention data instead of intention to buy / stay

Highlight

  • customers with the best past experiences spend 140% more than those with poorest experiences;
  • poor past experience leads to 43% chance of retention; top experience leads to 74%;
  • lowest scoring customers will stay a little over a year; best scoring stay around 6 years;
  • and focus on CX has led to 33% decrease of customer service costs.

3. Forbes’ 2017 trends for Customer Service and Experience

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The trends in this blog are more applicable to the customer service context than the customer experience context. And although customer service plays an important role in customer experience, creating excellent customer service is a different expertise than creating excellent customer experience.

The findings in this blog are along the line of Matthew Dixon’s Effortless Experience. His book is excellent reference material for the customer service context. A must-read when you are responsible for contact via telephone, mail or chat.

I would dispute the claims in the blog that customer service is getting better and that consumers want faster and faster response. Many organizations still struggle with the basic drivers of call and email. And when an organization promises to get back to a customer within 24 hours, and actually keeps its promise, most customers are already pleasantly surprised. This is because so many organizations fail to do so, creating not high but actually pretty low expectation standards.

4. Forbes’ AI and Chatbots are Transforming CX

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The focus in this blog lies on 4 ways to apply chatbots in the customer service context. Of course, this was July 2017, so it was a lot more innovative then and may be somewhat outdated by now. But still in 2019, there are many more bad examples of chatbot applications than organizations that are really using them to make a difference. AI is already transforming customer experience, that’s for sure. But on the chatbot side, there is still a long way to go to really be a qualitative standard in customer service globally.

5. HBR’s Truth about Customer Experience

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Context rating

The only reason why this is not a 5-star rating is the fact that you will already know most of its content. It was published in 2013. Still, for people who want to understand the why and how of customer experience, it’s a great article. A lot of cases showing customer experience applications in daily practice. Also here great evidence that journeys rather than touchpoints are at the heart of customer experience. Not saying that journeys should replace touchpoints! They are simply different fields of expertise and you need to be aware of how to manage both of them.

Highlights

  • touchpoint measurements suggest that customers are happier than they really are
  • benefits of managing CX: higher c-sat, reduced churn, increased revenue, higher e-sat.

PART II:
TOP 5 MOST POPULAR BLOGS ON EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE

I’ve also done the same exercise based on Ahrefs.com data, to select the 5 most popular employee experience blogs. Below you find my analyses and advice on how to use them.

1. HBR’s Designing the Employee Experience as your Customer’s Experience

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Context rating

The philosophy of this blog, that you need to design the employee experience using the same tools and perspective as you would the customer experience, makes a lot of sense. The blog itself is rather abstract though, it doesn’t have a lot of directly applicable insights. Hence the 3-star rating. The author, Denise Lee Yohn, has another blog in this top 5 (number 3), which is a great blog and as such, a perfect start for employee experience.

Highlights

  • Gallup has found that companies with highly engaged employees outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share.
  • At the same time, 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged.

2. Forbes’ Employee Experience 10 HR trends 2017

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The blog has a nice overview of topics that may be relevant if you want to start improving your employees’ experience. So you can see what topics are the most useful ones with which to start in your specific situation. Though some of the examples are still pretty transactional: in a quoted study, HR leaders claim that employee experience is improved by training, the workspace and reward, in 83% of the cases. So take care to first find the real drivers of their engagement and emotional commitment for your organization. You will then know whether they need transaction, emotion or both.

3. Forbes’ 2018 the Year of Employee Experience

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This is an excellent blog! It starts with an overview of what is employee experience, and maybe even more interesting, what it is not. Denise Lee Yohn shares 3 reasons why it is important:

  • War on talent making it harder to attract and retain employees
  • LinkedIn and other platforms have rendered the experience much more transparent
  • New social contract between employer and employee

Highlights

  • what employee experience is and is not;
  • 6 measured benefits of employee experience including:
  • more than 4x the average profit and more than 2x the average revenue, while being 25% smaller, suggesting higher levels of productivity and innovation.

4. Forbes’ AI transforming Employee Experience

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This blog is mostly about the use of chatbots in the HR field. A relatively small application of AI within HR, therefore. While some other examples of AI application are most certainly mentioned,  the focus is on chat. Five work streams are shared in order to initiate the digital transformation. It’s not a blog that shares directly applicable insights.

5. Entrepreneur’s 4 Ways to Personalize the Employee Experience

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This blog is dated March 2017, which may explain why it feels somewhat outdated. The four ways that are mentioned feel like stating the very obvious. For example “don’t wait a full year to check in with people” and “ask about their kids, go to their band’s show, …”. I don’t think there is any organization employing supervisors (that’s the example that is used), that only evaluates with its employees only once a year.

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