Tag Archives: consumer experience

How to Use a Data Driven Approach to Managing Consumer Experience

Photo by Wil Leeuwis. Sol Lumen is the name of the laser artwork linking De Uithof with the city centre as part of Utrecht University’s 375th anniversary celebrations. This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

“The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.” – John Russell

In “Media Agencies are Evolving from Being Media Facing to Customer Facing,” Avi Dan states, “Importantly, media agencies are becoming storytellers, with the ability to create compelling content across all screens and devices.”

Are you ready to take a new approach to managing the customer experience? Join Arun Kumar, Group Director, Data Science, Razorfish, as he presents “A Data Driven Approach to Managing Consumer Experience” during the Total CX Leaders Conference June 3-4 in Miami, Fla.

In this session, you’ll hear how Razorfish used data to uncover customer experience challenges on the display media side for their travel clients. You’ll also learn how they developed a data driven approach to create best practices.

Total CX Leaders Conference will help you “learn how to listen to your customers, understand their differences and set the foundation to build a road map to create a seamless experience for modern customers.”

Join Arun at Total CX Leaders Conference (TCXL) 2015 in Miami. Register today!

Stay connected with TCXL15:
- twitter.com/#TCXL15
- linkedin.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders
- facebook.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders

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.

Recap: The Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014

Imagine a line drawn in the sand that is filled with hot
burning coals. To the left of the burning line stands
a group of people. And to the right of the burning line stands another group of people. The
group of people on the left are all directly facing the burning line drawn in the
sand and are staring at the opposing group. The group on the right are also all facing
the burning line drawn in the sand, staring directly at the group on the left.
The burning line drawn in the sand represents trust. The
group of people on the left believe they are entitled to the right group’s
trust because they are trying to help them. The group on the right believes
trust is earned and will not easily give it to the group on the left. The tug of
war between the two groups over trust causes friction and creates the burning
line drawn in the sand that neither can cross without the right tools.
The above scenario is analogous to what was presented at the
recent 2014 Future of Consumer Intelligence conference (#FOCI14). The group to the left was Big Business, the group to the right was the Public and we as
attendees were willing and able to sit right on the burning line drawn in the sand and
discuss how to bridge the gap between groups.


As marketers and researchers we love to collect lots of data
with the intention of using personal information to improve products, services,
and lives. But at what point is it considered invasion of privacy? Do consumers
really know how their data is being used, regardless of whatever they agreed
to? At FOCI14 it was made evident that as marketers and researchers, we teeter
on the brink of ‘Empowerment vs. Endagerment’. The path to maintaining the
balance and bridging the gap on the subject of data between Big Business and
the Public was made evident: provide clear, concise rules and guidelines for
how consumer data is used that moves past legality and into the territory of
Clearly our industry is at a point of disruptive innovation as
new technologies and methodologies allow researchers to get a clearer picture
of consumer insights. But who are behind all of these insights? That’s right,
people. In our industry we label people as consumers, customers, shoppers,
respondents, target markets and more. But remember that behind all of our
studies are people. And sometimes we can act as a barricade between companies,
their brands, and their consumers in an attempt to remain unbiased and objective. So how do we
bridge the gap?
For starters, John Havens, Founder of The H(app)athon Project, suggests we
can begin by switching out the label ‘consumer’ with ‘customer’. Whereas Elizabeth
Merrick, Senior Customer Insights Manager of HSN suggests we consider research
as another touch point of the brand, ‘We should allow customers to contribute
to a brand, not just consume it.’
So it appears the segue between marketing science and people
is essentially personal treatment and recognizing that customers are more than
a data point within a spreadsheet.

From John Havens, The H(app)athon Project
The more I thought about it, FOCI14′s tagline of The Convergence of Technology, Marketing
Science & Humanization of Data seemed unintentionally (or perhaps intentionally) dichotomous where both Big Business and the Public were descending upon the line drawn in the sand. So
it goes with technology & humanization.
There is no doubt that technology improves lives at
blistering speeds. Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering for Google pointed
out that, ‘Information Technology expands exponentially across time, not
linearly.’ But as we become more technologically advanced, do we lose a piece
of our humanity and our identity?
As we discussed more and more about the subjects of technological advances, psychological
habits, triggers, and touch points at FOCI14, it seemed the key to closing the
gap between technology & humanization of data relied upon engagement. If new
technologies enable to us to engage with customers in a more meaningful way and
people are able to build stronger psychological connections with each other,
then the gap is bridged. If on the other
hand, the research community were to stand disengaged with customers and people, then technology & humanization in
the field will stand diametrically opposed on a bridge that is about to
So the real question in all of this is, ‘Has your
organization bridged the line drawn in the sand’?

Tom Krause, VP of Client Services, Gongos Research
“It’s all about people”
Chris Ruby is an award-winning Marketing Research & Consumer Insights Executive with Fortune 500 consulting experience. His niche is the ability to turn complex data into compelling stories that induce a call for action among key decision-makers. His work has been featured by MRA, MRIA, IIR, Norstat Times, Chadwick Martin Bailey & the Optimization Group. Keep up with Chris Ruby by following him on Twitter @ChrisRubyMRX or by reading the Chris Ruby Market Research Blog.

Idea Gathering: Worst Company in America

Not just hearing but translating innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the Total Customer Experience Leaders; Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate alignment of customer strategy inspirations with business relevant actions and have been one of our most highly rated features in the past

Here on the blog, we’ll be presenting weekly idea gathering wrap ups of some of our favorite customer experience strategy, design and alignment news and views.
Consumerist worst companies in America

Consumerist.com performs an annual ranking of the worstcompany in America with the winner (or really the loser) taking home the ‘golden poo’ award.  Companies are sorted into a March-Madness like bracket where they go head to head with another company. Whichever company receives more votes  advances to the next round, just to clarify: getting votes is a bad thing.

Many names on the list are somewhat predictable: Comcast, Carnival, and Bank of America just to name a few. Others are a little more surprising such as Apple, who was voted worse then Microsoft in the first round.

So who was voted by consumers to be the worst company? For the second year in a row, EA took the crown. EA, the massive video game producer, is known for suffering flop after flop due largely to a business plan that tries to squeeze every penny out of their customers.  EA has a reputation for rushing out incomplete games and then charging their customers for downloadable content that customers feel should’ve been a part of the game in the first place.

Their recent highly anticipated game ‘Sim City’ performed such miserable sales and reviews that it had to be temporarily removed from Amazon and now ranks as one of the worst rated products from the retail giant.  The game performed so poorly because they designed it to be ‘always on’ meaning that the only way to play the game was online.  This move made little sense as none  of the previous Sim City games required this, and in fact there very few games at all require this. Many speculate this move was strictly for DRM or digital rights management and a way for EA to have complete control over the game

However Paul Tassi of Forbes magazines speculates about EA’s ranking saying,  ‘Is it deserved? No. If we’re being honest, it’s not.’ Tassi believes this rating is just a snapshot of ‘how annoyed the internet is with a certain brand at the moment’.  Tassi could certainly be right, but that doesn’t mean EA or Bank of America, Comcast, and Ticketmaster who rounded out the final four, shouldn’t all take it to heart.

The entire ranking is an example of why customer experience and customer experience management is such a crucial factor to all businesses. Tassi is correct in pointing out that there are certainly worse companies in the world. Some might argue that the environmental damage energy companies create or the borderline inhumane practices at many large food companies are far worse then what EA has ever done. But provide customers with a poor experience and this is the way you are going to be received by consumers, and this is what’s going to happen to your brand.

Jeffrey Marino is a contributing writer concentrating his focus on Business Administration, Management Information Systems, and Tech Innovations. He blogs at Fordham Nights and can be reached at JMarino@iirusa.com.

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience & Customer Journey Mapping

Not just hearing, but translating innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the Total Customer Experience Leaders. Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate alignment of customer strategy inspiration with business relevant actions and have been one of our most highly rated features in the past.

Here on the blog, we’ll be presenting weekly idea gathering wrap ups of some of our favorite customer experience strategy, design and alignment news and views.  

This week our focus is on Customer Journey Maps.

Customer Journey Maps are one of the most underrated parts of a good Customer Experience Strategy and are all too often under utilized or not used at all. Imagine a general who made battle strategies without a map or a contractor trying to build something without blueprints. 

These examples are exactly as absurd as trying to create a customer experience strategy without a customer journey map. Customer Journey maps track customer engagement with a business every step of the way from the first interaction, or thoughts of potential interaction, to after the sale, and every possible step in between. 

Customer Journey Mapping is about understanding the wants, needs, interactions, and emotions of the customer in relation to your business. How does walking into one of your stores make a customer feel? What is a customer thinking when they search for your product online? These are examples of questions that a good customer map should answer. Taking the time out to actually relate to the emotions of customers is an invaluable effort that will reflect greatly on actual customer experience. PeopleMetrics describes this kind of customer empathy as ‘mak[ing] it easier to shift out of internal process mode and into thinking about how the company could be doing a better job of delivering value to customers.’
Customer Journey Maps should not be taken lightly and to create a truly effective map takes a lot of time and research to determine actual customer experiences and emotions. You also might not like what your first map looks like but that’s part of the process.
UXmatters.com explains that Customer Journey Mapping is all about very subtly selling service design. They define service design as ‘the design of the overall experience of a service, as well as the design of the process and strategy for providing that service’ . 

This means that customers should enjoy the experience of doing business with a company every step of the way despite the fact that the experience is not something which can physically be capitalized on. So while making a Customer Journey Maps wont instantly give you business,  when properly used, they will significantly improve the experience of the customer.

About the Author

Jeffrey Marino is a contributing writer concentrating his focus on Business Administration, Management Information Systems, and Tech Innovations. He blogs at Fordham Nights and can bereached at JMarino@iirusa.com.

What is your customer experience THEME?

As part of ongoing customer experience training and personal development, I’m always on the lookout for a great training conference that I can attend to help develop my skills as a customer service and customer experience leader.

Being on a budget, I’m looking to get the best bang for my buck. The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit is the conference you can’t miss!

At last year’s conference, a stellar group of customer experience leaders trained on the importance of establishing customer experience as a key value of your organization to compete in today’s customer experience focused economy. Joe Pine led off the conference giving the state of what customers want today.

The recession isn’t slowing down this progress; instead, it is accelerating the shift to customer experience being what consumers truly want. With limited spending money, people…don’t value ‘stuff.’ They value shared experiences…Soon, experiences will become the predominant economic offering. 

-Joe Pine, Cofounder, Strategic Horizons LLP

How do we create customer experience in a digital marketplace?

Experiences aren’t always done in real time and in a physical place. The key is to be consistent in the delivery of your service theme that your customers receive. Joe outlines how to create a THEME that will guide you as you design an exceptional customer experience.

(T)heme the Customer Experience

  • What thoughts/feelings to you want to evoke from customers? Is your entire team on board? Is your delivery consistent?

(H)armonize Customer Experience

  • Do you connect your company ideals with the needs of customers?

(E)liminate Negative Customer Experience Points

(M)ix Memorabilia in the Customer Experience

  • Do you offer digital swag only your customers can enjoy? It doesn’t have to be for everyone, but when you get feedback (good and bad), or an exceptional review or experience with an individual, what can you send to solidify that experience?

(E)voke the Senses in the Customer Experience

  • Think of all of the touch points customers have with you. What does it look like from the customer’s point-of-view? Do they feel special? Do they feel like you care? Do they feel special?

Hopefully you get the idea. Thoughts should be coming to mind about your situation and what you can do to make the digital experience better for your customers.

This along with more great customer service training content is waiting for you at The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit this year!

The technology is there to help us create exceptional experiences with our customers in today’s digital economy. Our only limitation is our creativity and willingness to focus on the customer. 

It doesn’t all need to be done in person. It doesn’t require a physical handshake, or a human phone call. 

What do you think? How do you show your customers you care? I’d love to hear what principles guide you to as you work to deliver a quality customer experience.

The Customer Bathroom Experience

Becky Carroll brings up some interesting perspectives on the customer experience at the bathroom, which seems to be a forgotten space in her latest post at Customers Rock! Her thoughts’keep restroom signs simple and easy to understand. After all, we want to avoid embarrassing mishaps when customers can not differentiate between the two restrooms.

She also posted this video of the beautiful fixtures of the public ladies room at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. An important lesson here is to carry the image of your brand everywhere, and that includes the bathroom. Enjoy!

How do you Create a Remarkable Customer Experience?

Eric Brown founder and Owner of Urbane Apartments recently guest posted on Customers Rock! in which he gives us some perspectives on key ingredients of a Remarkable Customer Experience. He starts off with a definition of the term ‘remarkable’ from none other than the marketing guru Seth Godin:

  • Remarkable doesn’t mean remarkable to you. It means remarkable to me. Am I going to make a remark about it?
  • Being noticed is not the same as being remarkable. Running down the street naked will get you noticed, but it won’t accomplish much. It’s easy to pull off a stunt, but not useful.

Now here are some examples of how this small boutique apartment management company has created remarkable experiences for their residents.

  1. The company does not send out paper leases. They give out all the lease information in a thumb drive in which residents can carry in their pockets and also use to store additional information. This wouldn’t work well with seniors, but because of their demographic it resonates well.
  2. The company has embraced this motto, ‘Urbane Loves Pets’. Their method of thinking is that great residents will have great pets, and so they own the segment of pet lovers in their locale.
  3. Urbane has created ‘Freedom Lease’ which allows for greater living flexibility. The company has realized that many residents are consultants, and so the standard one year leasing contract does not work for them. This added flexibility creates a greater experience for the resident.

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group’s Targeted Shopper Marketing Approach

This latest article in CPB Matters highlights a sophisticated targeting process Rob Colarossi, vice president of customer development for Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, implements in order to get a greater understanding of shopper needs. Colarossi states that partnering with retailers is extremely important because shoppers want customizable options. He mentions: ‘One size for all does not fit anymore. National programs are not working anymore. The retailer wants {programs} that are customized. We’ve got to understand what’s important to Kroger and what’s important to Wal-Mart. They have platforms and are very clear about what they want to do.’ Dr. Snapple Group recently partnered with Kroger for a direct mail campaign They targeted shoppers that had a higher propensity to buy the product. He then lists three criteria for choosing a retail partner:

  • Do they have scalability?
  • Do they truly understand consumer-centric marketing?
  • Are they truly trying to build loyalty with their core shoppers?

Is your company taking advantage of partnerships with retail companies?

Personas or Target Market Research

Many businesses toggle between both qualitative target market research strategies, but which does your company prefer? This post on Strategic Market Segmentation outlines some of the advantages and disadvantages of using personas as opposed to target market research. The advantages listed are that personas allow the marketer to create a more visualized picture of the customer, since they use experiences and instinct instead of research to form the potential customer. Also, personas help provide marketers with an imaginary person that be used to represent the customer. Many marketers will argue that experiences are more valuable than research but the downside is that traditional research still remains more consistent, reliable, and verifiable. Personas can lead to failed marketing campaign since there is a chance of misinterpreting your imaginary person that is supposed to represent your customer. Which of these two methods, if not both, is your company using to help visualize your potential customers?

What’s wrong with Market Segmentation?

This article on Bnet.com highlights how most companies do not derive real value from implementing a major marketing-segmentation initiative. Why is that? A study conducted by the Harvard Business Review reveals that segmentation generally focuses in on different ‘types’ of consumers. This practice makes it easier for advertisers to develop and tailor messages directed to specific segmentation groups, but it does not tell companies whether or not these consumers will actually buy the product or service. Yankelovich and Meer from the Harvard Business School suggest tailoring your segmentation to a strategic decision. Define segments by consumer current consumer behavior and also their likely behavior. Over time, redefine segmentations as the market changes. They suggest these tactics in order to segment markets effectively: ?? Identify a strategic decision that would benefit from information about different customer segments. ?? Determine which customers drive profits. ?? Analyze actual and potential purchasing behavior. ?? Segment in ways that make sense to senior management. ?? Revise your segmentation as market conditions change. Read the full article here.