Tag Archives: 2014 Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit

Using Emotional Energy to Make Your Customer Experience Programs Easier, Faster and Smarter

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Identifying and designing for your customers’ and employees’ emotional needs will simplify and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your customer experience programs.

During the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit in April, Daryl Travis, CEO of Brandtrust, described how to discover and leverage emotional energy to drive better business results.

  • Step 1: Understand how your brand makes your customers feel. Brands are about feelings, not facts. Emotion drives behavior. 95% of decisions are driven by non conscious processing. Forget the “Voice of the Customer,” think “Mind of the Customer.”
  • Step 2: Focus on the moments that matter most, which are the ones that are most emotional. It’s your competitive advantage. Establish an emotional brand purpose. A brand must stand for something important and must be authentic.
  • Step 3: Create and pulse employee energy for delivering peak customer experiences. Ongoing measurement optimizes the energy and the experience for employees and customers rating energy level.

The Cleveland Clinic is an organization that builds trust and credibility through their brand purpose. Here are two videos from the Cleveland Clinic empathy series featuring life-
changing stories with emotional energy that are unforgettable.

Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care by Cleveland Clinic

If the video doesn’t appear, you can view it at http://youtu.be/cDDWvj_q-o8


Patients: Afraid and Vulnerable

If the video doesn’t appear, you can view it at http://youtu.be/1e1JxPCDme4

Some moments in the customer’s experience simply matter more than others. The critical part is figuring out what people can’t or won’t tell you so you can make a difference their lives.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and on her website at www.starrybluebrilliance.com.

The Open Systems Model: A Blueprint to Transform Your Organization’s Customer Experience Program

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“The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping the old ones.’  – John Maynard Keynes, Economist and Author

Here are highlights from a case study on HP Financial Services’ 12-year customer experience program transformation:

HP Financial Services’ core purpose is to differentiate the HP experience by serving as a bridge between technology and finance solutions enabling customer’s achievement of their business goals. The key to their success is their engaged 1,500-employee workforce supporting customers in over 50 countries.

During the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit in April, John Sullivan, Global TCE Leader, HP Financial Services, described his organization’s 12-year journey to transform their customer experience program to drive benefits from a customer point and to minimize customer effort:

  • Phase 1: Organization Design Around the Customer
    • Focus on customer relationships
    • HP Culture, HPFS Operating Philosophy, Open Systems Model
  • Phase 2: Understanding Our Customers
    • Systemic understanding of customer experiences. Focus on improving delivery experiences and perceptions.
    • Segment our customers
    • TCE Research Programs, Closed-Loop Process
  • Phase 3: Focus on Colleague Engagement
    • Focus on enhancing colleague behaviors and skills
    • TCE Education, Communication, Rewards & Recognition Programs
  • Phase 4: Process Experience Management
    • Focus on improving process experience through process engineering. Strong process, operations and technology collaboration.
    • Six Sigma, Process Roadmaps, Process Improvement Plans
  • Phase 5: Customer-Driven Experience Management
    • Look through the lens of the customer experience focusing on ease, not delight
    • Focus on developing/implementing strategies to deliver a low effort experience
    • The Pledge, Service Acumen, Escalation Protocols

As a result, overall loyalty scores improved seven points in the last four years. In addition, they achieved a 17 point improvement in the “Secure and Favorable” segment, which contain accounts that enable Share of Wallet growth.

According to John, their blueprint is an Open Systems Model, a measurement process that gives continuous feedback. Based on the premise, “Organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they get,” the Open Systems Model is a powerful leadership tool that:

  • Teaches systemic thinking
  • Enables more effective analysis and action
  • Provides common frameworks and language to facilitate and enhance communication
  • Aids and enhances alignment, which is crucial to organizational effectiveness.

Learn more about the Open Systems Model and how to turn this information into meaningful, measurable action to drive customer loyalty.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and on her website at www.starrybluebrilliance.com.

Which Comes First: Business Strategy or Customer Experience?

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Following up on yesterday’s post, “Making Promises, Keeping Promises: Building Brand and Loyalty through Customer Experience,” organizations must transform by aligning toward customer experiences to gain a competitive edge, as explained in “Customer Experience: Is it the Chicken or Egg?” by Christine Crandell.

During last month’s Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, brand strategists, innovation experts and other thought-leaders shared their insights and best practices for driving a customer-centric culture. Here are some highlights to help you design and deliver exceptional customer experiences:

 

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and on her website at www.starrybluebrilliance.com.

Making Promises, Keeping Promises: Building Brand and Loyalty through Customer Experience

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Would you be willing to pay more for a better customer experience?

According to Kerry Bodine, former VP and Principal Analyst, Customer Experience Research Practice for Forrester, most people would.

During last month’s Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, Kerry indicated that 81% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. In addition, she stated that:

  • 70% of consumers stopped buying goods or services from a company after experiencing poor customer service
  • 64% made future purchases from a company’s competitors after experiencing poor customer service

These sobering statistics show that customers’ perceptions have a profound impact on every organization’s brand equity, customer loyalty and revenue. Here’s how you can help successfully define, implement and manage your organization’s customer experience to deliver on its promises:

  • Come to terms with what your brand really stands for
  • Determine how your brand is (or isn’t) reflected in your customer experience
  • Help employees discover the role they play
  • Align your marketing with your actual customer experience

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and on her website at www.starrybluebrilliance.com.
 

Incorporating the Rational and Emotional in the Client Experience Journey

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“The customer’s perception is your reality.” – Kate Zabriskie, learning and development industry veteran

Your customer’s journey is both rational and emotional. When your clients are your customers, asking purposeful questions to understand their needs and intrinsic motivators builds trust, deepens relationships and drives loyalty.

During the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit in April, Jill O’Neill, Director, Client Strategy and Execution, Bank of Montreal, shared how to incorporate the rational and emotional into the client experience journey. She also emphasized that investing in people and communications throughout your journey are important to ensure behavioral change sticks.

The journey begins by engaging leaders as client advocates:

  • Identify what you are trying to solve for
  • Create a roadmap to drive expectations
  • Establish a communications strategy and plan

Next, engage employees in the process:

  • Recruit key influencers
  • Map the current client journey
  • Identify the gaps and opportunities in the current experience
  • Map the desired client experience

When designing the client experience:

  • Create survey questions that are rational and emotional in nature
  • Ensure you can take action on what you learn
  • Encourage full employee participation (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Analyze priority touch points and attributes
  • Understand the employee mindset

Finally, when delivering the client experience program:

  • Hardwire insights into new disciplines
  • Set clear expectations for employees
  • Make emotional connections with clients. Set expectations for a different experience focused on non-financial goals.
  • Identify and prioritize client goals

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and on her website at www.starrybluebrilliance.com.

    Move Brands Faster and Longer in the Social Media Era

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    With new social media networks and platforms emerging almost every day, organizations must efficiently engage customers while delivering a cohesive experience that drives customer loyalty. During the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit earlier this month, Nestor Portillo, Director, Social Communities and Customer Experience at Microsoft, shared why customer experience is key to make the content viral and engaging.

    Customers in the social media era are in control and are setting companies’ agendas. They:

    • Trust in advice made by online acquaintances and strangers
    • Read and create product reviews, product rankings and blog posts
    • Want to provide feedback about the product, brand and the service
    • Seek support to connect with like-minded peers

    To move brands faster and longer in the social media era, Nestor contends that organizations must provide a consistent experience across all social media platforms. It needs to be successful, effortless and quick.

    Most importantly, organizations must have a game plan that supports the customer journey by:

    • Considering the different ways people learn
    • Pivoting on experience and products
    • Delivering an emotional hook

    This game plan must also include a community that:

    • Is healthy and is not intimidating
    • Provides a framework for user-generated content and word-of-mouth triggers
    • Adds authenticity to help establish brand trust

    Following this model will lead your customers to purchase more, use more, consume more and tell and share more.

    Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and on her website at www.starrybluebrilliance.com.

    Innovating a Roadmap for Customer Experience

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    “There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” – Roger Staubach, former star NFL quarterback
     
    Organizations that focus on improving the customer experience will strengthen their customer relationships and their overall business performance. Len Ferman knows this first-hand. Len is Managing Director of Ferman Innovation, specializing in generating and evaluating ideas to improve the customer experience.

    Len is also a world juggling champion. During the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit (TCEL) earlier this month, he reinforced the three principles of new product innovation through his unique presentation. TCEL attendees learned how to juggle scarves while learning how to solve their customer experience challenges using this proven process:

     
    3 Steps to Innovating for the Customer Experience:
    1. Explore: Understand the customer journey. Identify the customer pain points and challenges. Identify themes for brainstorming.
    2. Ideate: Brainstorm with a diverse group to generate a high quantity of possible solutions. Enable all employees to contribute ideas.
    3. Evaluate: Evaluate, cultivate and prioritize the top ideas for implementation
    Learning to juggle not only helped TCEL attendees improve their ability to multi-task, increase eye-hand coordination, sharpen their brains and impress their friends, but also provided these valuable insights related to the 3 Steps:
     
    Explore:
    • Break down complex processes into elementary steps
    • Learn how to use the tools that are at your disposal
    • Recognize the patterns and categories in your data
    • Identify your customers’ key problems
    • Strive for accuracy in basic tasks
    • Create intentional “wow” experiences
    Ideate:
    • Defer judgment – no idea is a bad idea
    • Include all parts of your organization in idea generation
    • Stray out of your comfort zone to generate ideas
    • Balance different methods of brainstorming
    • Go for quantity when generating ideas
    • Great ideas are the result of collaboration and building on others’ ideas
    Evaluate:
    • Filter out extraneous information and out of scope ideas
    • Evaluate each idea using carefully designed criteria
    • Include subject matter experts and customers in the evaluation
    • Cultivate ideas until they resonate with customers
    • Prioritize your actions to ensure you reach the goal
    • Optimal solutions are the ones that match your core competencies
    Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and on her website at www.starrybluebrilliance.com.
     

    How to Build an Experience Management Core Competency

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    “People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou, American author and poet

    Are you building a true experience management core competency within your organization? According to Lou Carbone, Founder & Chief Experience Officer, Experience Engineering Inc., and author of Clued In: How to Keep Customers Coming Back Again and Again, there is “a whole lot of discussion . . . without a lot of deep understanding.”

    Embracing experience management is a cultural adoption – it’s not about improving legacy business frameworks, tools or models. Many organizations are focused on process improvement instead of on creating true experience management systems or fully leveraging the opportunity to transform the value they create for customers, employees and other stakeholders.

    According to Lou, to create a true experience management core competency within your organization, you must focus on these five absolutes of experience management:

    • Move from “make and sell” to “sense and respond:” Change your organization-driven perspective to an experience-driven perspctive (customer-oriented). Sense what customers don’t even know and build on those responses.
    • Think customer back (emotional/rational bond): Focus on the customer perspective first. Be a “firm of endearment,” a company that if it went away tomorrow, customers would mourn the loss. Examples include Apple, Starbucks, Amazon, Costco, and Google.
    • Understand and leverage role of the unconscious mind: Focus on “how” customers think instead of on “what” customers think. Understand and act upon the premise that “the tangible attributes of a product or service have far less influence on consumer preference than the sub-conscious sensory and emotional elements derived from the total experience.” – Dr. Gerald Zaltman, Professor Emeritus, Harvard Business School, Laboratory of the Consumer Mind
    • Become clue conscious: Clue in to how people feel and think as they have the experience, which also includes what they see, hear, smell and taste.
    • Develop rigorous systems to develop and manage clues: Design your systems around how functional (functionality of good or service), mechanic (sights, smells, textures, sounds) and humanic (choice of words, tone of voice, body language) clues are coming together to create the desired effect. Focus on the moments that matter within customers’ perception, interaction and recollection of experiences.

    Managing your customers’ experiences and emotions is what helps you create the emotional connection you need to keep customers coming back again and again.

    Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and on her website at www.starrybluebrilliance.com.

    Customer-Centric Culture: Why it Matters and How to Measure it

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    “A great customer experience can only be delivered by someone who wants to give it.” – Ian Luxford, Learning Services Director, Grass Roots

    During last week’s Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, Bill Barnes, Senior Vice President, Client Services and Jaci Jarrett Masztal, Ph.D, Vice President, Practice Leader from Burke Inc.,presented “Customer-Centric Culture: Why it Matters and How to Measure it.” Bill and Jaci contend that the employee engagement process and the customer experience process, which are usually separate management processes in many organizations, be brought together to improve organizational performance.

    This approach is based on the premise that a high level of employee engagement is critical to creating and enhancing positive customer experiences leading to customer engagement. To improve employee engagement, organizations should focus on ways to:

    • Improve job performance
    • Provide more job growth opportunities
    • Enhance Talent Management
    • Better serve various internal stakeholder needs
    • Improve commitment and retention
    • Enhance customer service

    A customer-centric culture that actively focuses on what is best for the customer is a critical factor in improving organizational performance. Customer centricity is a part of all organizational aspects including leadership, strategy, decision making, operations and in ongoing job functions. It’s also important to remember that culture is:

    • Broader – it’s more than an initiative
    • Cross-functional, enterprise-wide
    • Long-term strategy
    • Motivation, focus, behavior
    • Multi-dimensional

    A challenge for most organizations is determining how measure a customer-centric culture. Measurement allows a true gap analysis and a baseline to track change and assess impact. At Burke, Bill and Jaci help their clients to measure their culture with The Customer Centricity Index, which measures across these six important dimensions:

    • Leadership & Strategy
    • Messaging & Modeling
    • Employee Understanding & Commitment
    • Product & Service
    • Excellence Support & Tools
    • Recognition & Appreciation

    Leadership drives the strategy and culture which sets the foundation for Who, What, and How, all of which drive and support customer engagement and business success. Employees believe the products and services are worthy and are equipped to deliver. Employees are recognized and rewarded for the customer-centric behaviors to be reinforced and repeated. Full customer centricity is achieved when the organization has a collective mindset of doing what needs to be done to the benefit of the customer.

    Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and on her website at www.starrybluebrilliance.com.

    Customer Engagement: The Glaring Blind Spot You Have Been Ignoring

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    ‘You get hit the hardest when trying to run or hide from a problem. Like the defense on a football field, putting all focus on evading only one defender is asking to be blindsided.” – Criss Jami, author, poet, essayist

    During last week’s Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, Kunal Gupta, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Burke Institute, presented “Customer Engagement: The Glaring Blind Spot You Have Been Ignoring in Your Customer Measurement Program.” Kunal contends that the ability to achieve business success comes from the desirable behaviors of engaged customers. To achieve higher levels of business performance, you need to understand and measure customer engagement.

    Your customer measurement program should measure the underlying mechanisms that can foster stronger customer commitment by helping you answer these important questions:

    1. Is the behavior of your customers “black and white” or “shades of grey?” Customers can exhibit various shades of engagement toward a provider, either from being willing to pay a price premium or readily switch for lower price. At the same time, a customer can be loyal towards multiple providers, but be more sparing in their emotional attachment with a provider.
    2. What drives customer behavior – cognition, emotions or both? Customer measurement programs should make you think more actively about the role of emotions and how they affect the customer decision making processes. In reality, organizations believe that their customers are rational individuals. Increasingly, however, there is greater recognition that their customers also allow inclusion of emotions and the non-rational in their decision making process.
    3. Are needs of tenured customers different than newer customers? Tenured customers have more favorable as well as more consistent perceptions, including emotions toward the provider. In early stages of customer tenure, emotions might not even influence the choice process.

    By applying a research framework that applies both art and science as the foundation of your customer measurement program, you can overcome the glaring blind spot and foster greater customer engagement.


    Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and on her website at www.starrybluebrilliance.com.