Tag Archives: customer experience management

The Rise of the Visual Web: Why Quality Data Visualization Is Crucial

Cognitive psychology tells us that humans are wired to favor visuals over text. We process images faster. We remember visuals better. We find well-designed visuals more credible. And when credible images engage us, they trigger emotional processing that leads to creativity and higher-quality decision-making.

All of these things’speed, recall, credibility, engagement and quality decision-making’are critical to the delivery of market research insight and to a company’s ability to turn insight into strategies and actions.

The Rise of the Visual Web

The rise of the visual web is one factor fueling the growing popularity of research portals as a means for delivering insight and managing actions. Brands are increasingly turning away from static reports in favor of the engaging, interactive and often beautiful digital reporting that research portals offer.

Research portals are essentially one-stop shops for digitally driven and integrated data storage, reporting, action management and insight development. Market Strategies has been designing and delivering research portals since the 1990s. Over time, dramatic improvements in web-based technologies have led to increasingly sophisticated portal offerings, but the core functions and benefits of portals have remained largely unchanged. These include:

  • A central hub for research program activity. 

Portals integrate and report on studies across your research program. Dashboards create high-level views of summary metrics while scorecards, heat maps and filters allow users to drill down into increasingly detailed information, ending with individual responses. Portals also support document storage, sample management, quantitative and qualitative analyses, graph creation, file exporting and synthesis with Big Data.

Each dashboard view is built to your company’s needs, incorporating your brand’s color palette and key brand elements. A dashboard view can contain high-level, cross-study metrics or key metrics for a specific study, contingent upon each user’s role and permissions.

  • Interactive, user-customized reporting.

Web pages within the portal are dynamically rendered and populated based on each user’s particular permissions and roles in the organization. This helps each user receive the most relevant messages of the day, focus on what is most important in their role and drill down to a role-appropriate level. Interactivity takes many forms, including filters, ‘clickable’ graphics that drill down into additional detail as well as analysis, graphing, exporting and sharing tools.

The above example uses a graphic filter based on geography to allow corporate-level users access to views of the total company, regions, districts and metros. Tools for zooming, clicking, dragging and dropping map sections help users quickly identify and drill into the area of interest.

  • Action management tools. 

Also known as ‘closed loop’ or ‘hot alert’ systems, portals also frequently support customer experience management activities. Such a system automatically notifies managers when action is needed, such as when a customer provides a low satisfaction rating on a survey. Management tools for routing alerts, managing follow up, quantifying the total action in the system and monitoring results are included to ensure customer feedback is addressed in a timely manner.

Beyond research value, survey responses serve as critical touch points that identify opportunities to rescue damaged relationships before they become lost business. The closed-loop feature in the Market Strategies portal provides the flexibility and sophistication to support all levels of Alert Management.

  • Real-time results. 

As data are received and cleaned, they are automatically uploaded to the portal and reflected in status reports. This is a useful option for managing sample and quotas, monitoring trend lines and supporting timely action management.

The Bonus of Quality Data Visualization

Portals help businesses understand and focus on customers. When the powerful engine that supports portal functionality is coupled with an engaging interface, your portal becomes a critical tool not only for researchers but also for executives, managers, strategy teams and your front-line staff. All stakeholders are armed with the insight needed to understand what’s important, manage action in the system and align activities to meet goals.

What’s more, portals increase efficiency by mitigating the need for researchers to create endless report versions for different stakeholders, as this is handled by the defined roles, permissions and dynamic population functions of the portal.

Well-visualized data deliver complex messages to users in a quick and stimulating way. When well visualized data are delivered via an interactive portal, they are often better received than traditional research reports for several reasons:

  • Speed. Portal visuals are specifically designed to make a point quickly without requiring lots of reading or sorting through flat tables of numbers.
  • Relevancy. Role-based filtering within the portal ensures the data each user sees are highly relevant.
  • Engagement. Portals can lead to greater insight and understanding because users have the ability to interactively explore the data and drill down in the path that’s most natural to them.
  • Retention. Users remember the data because they can share existing or new insight that they personally develop within portal applications.
  • Accessibility. Users can access insight and data where and when they want because portals are accessible via computer, tablet and smartphone.

Dawn Palace is a Vice President in the Communications Division at Market Strategies International. She draws on more than 20 years of experience in market research and integrated marketing to help clients address their needs for business intelligence and transform insights into improvement strategies and marketing campaigns with measurable ROI. 
Dawn has helped clients create and launch brands, segment markets and deploy CRM programs, develop and launch new products, measure and optimize the customer experience, and improve employee engagement. Dawn received her doctorate and masters’ degrees from Wayne State University and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. Her passions outside of work include food, wine, volunteer work, and spectating at her children’s sporting events.

Adapted and republished from the original here by permission of the author.
Market Strategies’ portal team includes specialists in data visualization and information design who deliver an engaging, company-branded interface to meet the needs of any research program.  Read how they partnered with AAA to improve its customer experience program, which included delivery of a customized research portal
We invite you to join Mark Willard and Mary Lee of AAA for ‘Revolutionizing CX: How AAA Turned Satisfied Customers into Loyal Advocates‘ at TMRE 2014 in Boca Raton (2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 21 in Room ‘Estate 1′). 
We’ll share how a new measurement program and a built-in, closed-loop system revolutionized AAA’s member experience program and empowered employees across the organization to make immediate and lasting improvements in customer experience. 

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.

Curt Carlson on Customer Experience: #2: Customer Experience Management ‘ We forgot about the customer

In this new series of posts, we are joined by guest blogger Curt Carlson, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience Management ‘ TNS North America. Read the full series here.

Hi! I’m back with the second of four blogs leading up to the NACCM conference. In my last post, I talked about the fact that Customer Experience Management (CXM) programs just aren’t working well for most companies today. Flat results and lack of new insights are causing executives to rethink their programs. I attributed this to limited perspectives’a type of tunnel vision that in turn limits practitioners’ abilities to help drive customer experience improvement and the profitable growth that would accompany it. Correcting this defective perspective requires a significant change in how we think about traditional CSAT programs. Not only are such programs not customer-centric, they actually have relatively little to do with the customer.

Santayana’s advice about not forgetting the past suggests a good place to start. CXM can trace its roots back to the Quality era. It started with a focus on process improvement and all these years later is still doing the same thing. (Look at your company’s most recent CSAT survey if you don’t believe me.) While 30 years of focus on process improvement has vastly improved customer experience in terms of product and service quality, the lack of further gains shows it has taken us as far as it can.

All this focus on process improvement is causing us to forget about the customer. What matters is not what process area has the greatest impact on the customer base; it’s about which customers (that is, real people) are most impacted by which processes. Once we understand that it’s about individual customer needs, we start to gain new, wider perspectives. Let’s apply this thinking to some current issues: flat scores and the same ol’ key drivers.

Functional key driver priorities, such as customer service, product quality, and billing, are analyzed and ranked based on the ability of processes (and their attributes) to improve overall customer experience. As we have all learned, they don’t change much over time unless there’s some disruption. Consider, however, that each of the process drivers is the #1 key driver for some subset of customers. Real example’ We know that for mobile carriers, Coverage is often the primary driver of satisfaction. However, we have learned that for some customers, Coverage not a key driver, but the Data Plan Offer is. Profiling customers in terms of demographics, products, usage, and spend can provide the additional information necessary to identify which customers are impacted most by which drivers. Your current program is stuck in part because you have been uniformly optimizing experience across your customer base. When you take it to the customer level you have the potential to differentially maximize it, further driving profitable growth.

So this is all about recognizing and understanding the differences among customers. Customers are not all the same; they have different needs. A nice analytical trick, you say, but what strategic potential in Customer Experience studies is unlocked? Top of mind’ How about increasing share of spend? Improving competitive position? Increasing the value of the customer database? Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing spend? Building ROI into CXM? All this and more become possible. But how do you turn potential into reality?

Until next time’Please share your experiences in trying to get more from your current CXM program. What worked? What didn’t?

If you enjoyed this post, meet Curt this week, Oct 3rd to 5th, at the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit in Arizona, or join TNS this November at NACCM for a session on Best-in-class Customer Experience Management.

To learn more about NACCM, click here. To register, click here. Readers of the Customer’s 1st blog can save 15% off the standard registration rate with code NACCMBlog.

NACCM 2009: TELUS Case Study

TELUS is the largest telecommunications company in Western Canada, and the second largest in all of Canada. Krista Sheridan presented a case study of TELUS’ journey to delivering the optimal, executive supported experience blueprint for their small business market segment.TELUS realized it had the opportunity to:

  • Develop cross functional support for Customer Experience Management
  • Align customer and business definitions of success
  • Create an experience plan that everyone could understand, articulate, action, and measure
  • Effectively allocate resources ‘ time, money & people
  • Win in their markets

To give you an idea of how ambitious this project was, they had to ‘renegotiate’ their budget four different times and the project took several months longer than anticipated. Here’s what they did to achieve this ambitious effort:They Stuck Their Neck Out

  • They started asking’How can we improve’ instead of just ‘how are we doing?”

They Sold The Dream

  • They asked stakeholders, ‘What if we could help you be successful? What if we could help you understand metrics? Helped our customers stop going through a trial & error process.’ That got tremendous buy-in.

They Got Specific

  • They constantly measured what worked and what didn’t.

They Made the Rounds

  • The team talked to stakeholders and customers, formally and informally, to find out what their issues were.

They Kept it Relevant

  • When speaking with the various stakeholders, they had to show them the WIIFM: what’s in it for them. They explained why is loyalty important and how it contributes to the success of the company and all it’s parts.

They Leveraged The Buzz

  • When the positive buzz started to happen, they spread it around to create energy and excitement about the project.

In addition to learning what made their internal teams tick, they also spent a great deal of time learning as much as they could about their customers. One innovated initiative was taking four days talking to customers ONLINE, then evaluating and prioritizing what was important to them.Through that process, they learned how important the emotional connection is for their customers. They further realized how important it is for them to treat their customers as people.Armed with a great deal of information, they rated each touchpoint (12 total) and ranked them in a ‘Triage Triangle’ ‘ which is a way to prioritize by how much impact a touchpoint has.Some AHAs they learned:

  • They were right about which touchpoints were important, but not how they were important or how to deliver.
  • They didn’t need to differentiate their touchpoint strategy among Small Business groups
  • They did not have to adjust their touchpoints to the maximum level in most cases.
  • They could actually increase customer satisfaction AND reduce costs. For instance, they found that 25% of interactions were desired to be online ‘ a way to increase satisfaction for those that want that service which is less expensive for the company to manage.
  • Communicating their commitments and carefully managing customer’s expectations throughout each interaction enhances the experience at little to no cost.

The results of their efforts have been success in creating:

  • A cross functional team ‘ sales, marketing, operations
  • Customer centric scorecarding
  • Outcomes linked to compensations
  • Improvements to business processes on track
  • On-track customer feedback and showing improvement
  • A coveted ‘seat at the table’ with business unit partners

Krista’s final tips included:Borrow from marketers ‘ WIIFM Rules!

  • Each stakeholder as his own needs and wants. Answer WIIFM to gain their support.

Sell the dream

  • Customer experience improvement can be a long road ‘ get them excited!
  • Build the Emotional Business Case.
  • Don’t just think about dollars and cents.
  • Help stakeholders realize the outcomes of working with you.

Go Grass Roots

  • Get others to help you sell your idea across the organization.

It’s a 3-legged marathon

  • It’s a marathon, not a sprint. A 3-legged race requires you to be in step with each stakeholder and go at the right pace.
  • Slow down, listen. Address concerns.

Great Service & Cost Savings are Possible

  • Focus on the right things, not everything.
  • Figure out what makes the most difference.
  • Realize that what’s important to your customers may not always make sense to you.

Customer Service Week with JoAnna Brandi — Day Three

On day three of customer service week, JoAnna Brandi addresses the return on happiness when your employees are happy.

Check out the video here:

And as a reminder, we have a webinar this week presented by NACCM. Bill Price will be presenting “Outsourcing and offshoring, insourcing and onshoring — so many choices, so little frank information.” It’s tomorrow, Thursday, October 9, from 2:30PM to 3:30 PM EDT. We hope you can join us!

Sign up here: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/890742670

Customer Experience Management

Bruce Temkin asks in this blog post, ‘What the Heck is Customer Experience’? He goes on to provide three key points that he feels is part of Customer Experience Management: – Discipline. CEM is not about creating slogans like ‘this is the year of the customer.’ It needs to be a set of ongoing activities like a well-established voice of the customer program.Increasing loyalty. CEM is not about an altruistic belief that customers should be treated better. It needs to be linked to more profitable (or strategically improved) long-term behaviors of customers.Customers’ needs and expectations. CEM is not about technology deployments or internal milestones. It needs to be calibrated from the perspective of target customers. It is important to reflect on CEM, and what it means to your organization. After reviewing his list is there anything that you would add or change?