I started the CX Journey™ blog in 2011, with a nervous twitch and an intense curiosity about who on earth would ever read what I write?! I’m thankful for you, my readers, this year and every year, as your curiosity and continued readership has kept my writing fire lit. Trust me – there’s much more to come!

As we wrap up the year and the decade, I’m jumping on the countdown bandwagon and sharing my top 19 posts of 2019. It seems that hot topics this past year were journey mapping, customer-centricity, employee experience, and culture… among others. I have no doubt that these will continue to be hot topics in 2020 and beyond!

  1. Building Blocks of a Customer Experience Transformation Strategy: It’s no surprise this is the most popular post of 2019. A successful transformation requires all of the right pieces to be in place – and, especially, to have a solid foundation. First you’ve got to know what all the right pieces are!
  2. You Aren’t Journey Mapping: I hate to tell you this, but you’re just not. I’ve been doing a bit of speaking lately, either about journey mapping or with journey mapping as a piece of the talk, and I’ve learned a lot – or, rather, confirmed a lot. Namely, you might think you’re journey mapping; you call it journey mapping; but it’s not really journey mapping.
  3. Customer Understanding: The Cornerstone of Customer-Centricity: What is customer-centricity? What is customer understanding? Why does it matter to customer-centricity? How is it the cornerstone? I answer all of these questions, leaving you with no doubt why I call customer understanding the cornerstone of customer-centricity.
  4. Journey Mapping Definitions Bring Clarity: Transforming the customer experience (and your culture) is hard work. There are a lot of words and phrases and concepts (oh my!) that need to be understood and used as you dive in. This post (which is an excerpt from my book) provides some definitions that should bring about some clarity.
  5. On Becoming People-Centric: Know the difference between a traditional organizational culture and a people-centric culture? In this post, I outline the differences and share a video from a CEO who gets it, Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO of Chobani.
  6. The Culture Perception Gaps: In this post, I wrote about three Culture Perception Gaps that scream disconnect between executives and employees. Businesses have their work cut out for them. With this content, you’ve got five ideas to start moving in the right direction. Get to work!
  7. Customer Personas – The What, The Why, and the How: Customer experience professionals are thirsting for more information on persona development, beyond developing buyer personas. We need design personas, which take us much closer to the customer so that we can design for their needs, pain points, problems to solve, and jobs to be done.
  8. Focus on the People and the Numbers Will Come: Put employees first. When they have a great experience, your customers will have a great experience. And so will the business. Period.
  9. Linking Behaviors to Core Values: Not many companies know that there’s an important exercise that must accompany core values development: they must define the behaviors that are acceptable for each value; they’ve got to provide examples of what each value means and how it is applied in business dealings day in and day out. This provides clarity and leaves no room to question what each value means.
  10. 8 Important Questions to Answer to Start Down the Path of Customer-Centricity: How can companies ensure that they are ready to put the customer at the center of all they do? In this article, originally written for Forbes, I walk you through eight considerations for your journey to customer-centricity.
  11. Putting Employees More First: In this 2013 article, I wrote: “Many companies still refuse to make the employee experience a priority, focusing instead on shareholder value, the bottom line, or customer experience without considering the implications of a poor employee experience to all of the above.” I’ve been towing this line since I first started my career in 1992 at J.D. Power and Associates.
  12. Customer-Centric Culture Means Employees First: Companies must be customer-centric because they are in business because of and for the customer. In order to be customer-centric, companies must put employees first to ensure they have what they need to deliver a great experience for customers.
  13. Deliver New Value to Your Customers with Future-State Journey Mapping: Journey mapping is a process, a six-step process, as I define it. Three key components of the process are current state mapping, future state mapping, and service blueprinting.
  14. What Exactly is Employee Experience?: A lot of folks are confused about what exactly employee experience is. How does it different from employee engagement, happiness, satisfaction, and culture? Read on to find out.
  15. How Do You Measure #CX Success?: Define your outcomes. Then go do the work to achieve them. But how will you know when you can claim success? Read on to find out how to measure success.
  16. Do You Believe in Your Company’s Core Values?: Do employees believe in the core values? Do they even know their company’s core values? I dive into both of those questions in this post.
  17. What’s Your Customer Effort (Score)?: Metrics are always hot topics, as witnessed by the popularity of this post, which I wrote in 2012!
  18. Do Customers Really Want to Be in Control?: Lots of marketing talk this year about customers having the power and being in control. In a world where brands are trying to develop relationships with their customers, what does that really mean? If customers are in control, is that really a simple and effortless experience?
  19. CX Journey™ Musings: Hiring for Culture Fit: There were some misconceptions about “culture fit” and what that means, and I attempt to clarify and set the record straight on culture fit being a good thing.

As we roll into 2020, stay tuned for more great content. If you haven’t yet, sign up to receive the blog posts in your inbox every week using the box at the top right of this page.

And one parting thought. Don’t make predictions; make resolutions. And keep them. Work to get the basics down, to get the fundamental elements of your CX strategy in place. Don’t get hung up on the predictions you see out there and things you shouldn’t even be thinking about until the foundation is in place. Do your thing, get your house in order, and get sh*t done. Make it a great year!

Annette Franz is an internationally recognized customer experience thought leader, coach, keynote speaker, and author. She recently published her first book, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business); it’s available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. Sign up for our newsletter for updates, insights, and other great content that you can use to up your CX game.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.