Tag Archives: Customer Service

Differentiated Customer Experience: Easier Said

By: Rick Kieser,

This post was recently
published on Ascribe’s

Differentiated customer experience (CX) is a deceptively
challenging goal shared by growing numbers of companies. In a recent presentation on Digital
Marketing Trends
 by Mike Corak to
the Cincinnati AMA,
we heard a lot of valuable insights, but one statistic in particular caught our
attention.  On slide 36 in his presentation, Mike quoted an
independent study that said ’89% of companies plan to compete primarily based
on customer experience in 2016.’
It sounds smart and admirable, but what does really
mean to compete on customer experience, and what does it really take?  One
thing it means is ‘something different for every company,’ because to compete ‘
to differentiate ‘ means that you are setting yourself apart as better,
special, even unique.
Easier Said Than Done

In order to truly compete on the basis of differentiated
customer experience, you must:
Identify what makes (or could make) you special
Understand the underlying drivers of your
differentiated customer experience
Deliver it consistently and monitor customer
sentiment relative to your differentiator
So how do you tackle the differentiation challenge and turn
it to your advantage?  The answer is this: ask, analyze, act and ask
again.  Simple, right?  Well asking can be, but what comes next can
set leaders apart.  If you process your open-ended feedback in context
with the rest of your survey data, you can very quickly generate actionable
insights to identify, understand, deliver and monitor your unique customer
Build on Customer

In our own independent research, 91% of respondents said
they collect some kind of unstructured comments, but only about 60% do anything
at all with that feedback and a mere 30% drive their data all the way to real,
actionable insights.  That’s a far cry from the 89% who recently claimed
they would be differentiating based on customer experience!
To us, that translates tremendous opportunity for companies
to capitalize on assets they already have (survey data and open-ends) to
generate insights that can reveal and strengthen their own differentiated
customer experience proposition.

How Customer Service Boosts Your Marketing Strategy

Wayne Y. Huang

Businesses often struggle to understand what their customers are really thinking. During the Marketing Analytics & Data Science Conference, Wayne Y. Huang, Senior Research Lead, Twitter, presented “Measuring the Value of Customer Service for Brands.”

Wayne started the discussion with these insightful statistics:
- 80% of social customer service requests come from Twitter.
- 79% of customers are not receiving responses from brands.
- 87% who do get a response feel more positively towards the brand.

He talked about the pitfalls of relying on self-reported surveys when conducting customer research and then detailed a novel experiment he ran on Twitter using a conjoint survey to test how a good (or bad) customer service experience from a brand affects the customer’s future decision-making process.

A conjoint analysis is a survey technique and model used to measure preferences for products and services. Consumers’ overall value or “utility” for a product is a weighted sum of the value of each of its parts (The whole is the sum of its parts.). Its name comes from “considered jointly” because it almost always involves a comparison of multiple product or service options.

For this experiment, he found thousands of users who had a customer service interaction with an airline on Twitter in the past six months and used the data to quantify’ in dollar terms’ how the customer changed their behavior after those positive interactions. 

In the conjoint survey, consumers who in the past six months received a response from an airline via Twitter were the test group and those who had no interaction were the control group.

Twitter asked consumers to choose from three airplane ticket options that included this information: the airline, seat location, percentage of on-time arrival, and price. To determine the customers’ willingness to pay, Twitter ran a Hierarchical Bayesian regression which calculates a “utility” for all attributes for all respondents. A larger utility indicates a greater preference.

The research findings showed that:
- Consumers absolutely do remember good and bad customer service experiences (up to six months!).
- Consumers are willing to pay more after a good customer experience (up to $20 more).

Wayne’s research shows how social media is transforming the way consumers interact with brands and how customer service matters more than you think.

Watch for additional #MADSCONF follow-up stories!

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. 

Connect with Peggy on LinkedInTwitterGoogle+, and on her website at www.starrybluebrilliance.com

Customer Service Matters More than You Think

Wayne Huang

Wayne Huang is a Research Manager at Twitter. He’s also a presenter at the Marketing Analytics & Data Science Conference on June 8-10, 2016 in San Francisco, California.

As a preview to his presentation ‘Mo’ Problems, Mo’ Money: Customer Service Matters More than You Think,’ Wayne shared insights on how social media is transforming the way consumers interact with brands.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How does Twitter help to shape the future of online social media?
Wayne Huang:  As someone with a background in both engineering and in social science, what I find most interesting about Twitter is how it has completely upended the way we communicate.
We’re used to jumping through hoops to talk to a human being at a company. It’s nearly impossible these days to find the phone number of the company you’re trying to reach. But, what strikes me most about Twitter is that brands actually proactively engage in conversations with customers, and not hide behind a maze of automated phone menus.
One of my most memorable Twitter experiences was when I once tweeted a question to Virgin Atlantic, and they responded to my tweet in less than three seconds. That was an incredible interaction that I’ll always remember. It’s a leveling of the playing field between big companies and consumers that wouldn’t have happened without social media.

PB: How does Twitter data help tell a marketing story?
WH: Twitter is an incredibly rich source of data. Every day, close to half a billion tweets are sent. Search for any topic, and I guarantee you’ll find someone tweeting about it.
For brands, Twitter is like the biggest permanent focus group in the world, free for you to search to find what your customers really think about you. For example, John Legere, the CEO of T-Mobile, famously spends a ton of time on Twitter searching for what his customers love and hate about T-Mobile. He also responds directly to tweets from users, who were so shocked that he tweeted them that they’re now clamoring to switch to T-Mobile.

PB: How can brands do better on Twitter?
WH: Companies should see Twitter as the public, human face of their brands. By human, I mean imagine that your brand is a human being, and imagine your social media conversations as real human conversations you’re having with other human beings.
For example, no one in real life actually wants to be friends with someone who just keeps blabbing on about how he or she is the greatest person in the world. Similarly, your Twitter profile shouldn’t be a one-way conversation where you just post links to corporate press releases or generic product shots.
Instead, engage with your customers. Post advice and tips. Answer their questions and respond to their tweets as quickly as possible. Retweet your users’ content, such as when they post a beautiful photo. Like your users’ content, and thank them when they give you feedback. That gives your users the feeling of a ‘win.’
It’s basic social reciprocity’ just as we need to give and take in our daily relationships, so should brands on Twitter.

PB: What will people gain from attending your conference presentation?
WH: Businesses often struggle to understand what their customers are really thinking. In my presentation, I’ll talk about the pitfalls of relying on self-reported surveys when conducting customer research.
I’ll then showcase a novel experiment we ran on Twitter where we tested how a good (or bad) customer service experience from a brand affects the customer’s future decision-making process.
In that experiment, we found thousands of users who had a customer service interaction with an airline on Twitter and how we quantified’ in dollar terms’ how the customer changed their behavior after those positive interactions. For example, after a good experience, is that customer more willing to fly the airline again? Or will they just default for the cheapest carrier?
We’ll also discuss some interesting findings from recent psychology experiments that businesses should adopt if they want to impress their customers.

Want to hear more from Wayne? Join us at the Marketing Analytics & Data Science Conference. Learn, network and share best practices with the most influential leaders in data science and analytics. Stay connected at #MADSCONF.

Brilliance@Work profile originally published on www.starrybluebrilliance.com

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. 

Connect with Peggy on LinkedInTwitterGoogle+, and on her website at www.starrybluebrilliance.com

This Week In Market Research: 4/13/15 – 4/17/15

Everyone Understands Big Data… Or Not: Now there are more categories of data from people data to line of business data

The Future Of SEO and Marketing Through Television: Shifting from watching to streaming

Vendors Race To Provide Big Data Infrastructure: Data location is the determining factor of many big data analytics decisions

Did Video Kill Text Content Marketing? It’s not time to bury print yet

How Smart Apps Create Value From Big Data: Applying data science has potential to create substantial financial impact

Dirty Social Media Data: Misguiding brands tracking consumer behavior

20 Techniques for Designing Great User Experiences

The Future Of Customer Service Is Now: Expanding technology allows for enhanced personalized experiences

Business Intelligence vs. Competitive Intelligence: Utilizing both in order to improve your business

ROI Of Content Marketing: Measuring exposure and other tools to help you succeed

About the Author:
Ryan Polachi is a contributing
writer concentrating his focus on Marketing, Finance and Innovation. He can be
reached at rpolachi@IIRUSA.com.


Key Consumer Trends That Are Changing the CX Landscape

Today’s consumers are increasingly empowered in the brand-customer relationship with high expectations. Trends such as peer armies, honest flexibility, personalization, customized experiences, dynamic pricing, and transparency are changing the CX landscape. 

What do these trends mean for you and your customer experience program? Is your CX Strategy able to accommodate this shift? Join Keynote Maxwell Luthy, Director of Trends & Insights, trendwatching.com as he showcases cutting edge customer experiences at the Total CX Leaders Conference. Check out our interview with Maxwell on our blog: http://bit.ly/1NB8A0T

Total CX Leaders Conference
June 3-4, 2015
Trump National Doral
Miami, Florida
Key Consumer Trends to Kick Ass With… Now!
This session will be packed with examples of cutting edge customer experiences from leading brands (and innovative startups) from Boston to Beijing. Attendees will get all the inspiration and insights needed to tap into – and profit from – the hottest consumer trends, today. Your takeaways:
??         A fast, exciting download of key current consumer trends
Inspirational examples of businesses and brands already applying those trends to enhance the customer experience
??         A conceptual framework that can turn any business professional into not only a trendwatcher, but an instigator of winning new business innovations, too!
2015 Speakers Joining Maxwell on stage, include:
??         Darryl Speach, Chief Customer Officer, Greystone & Co, Inc.
??         Michael Lenz, Global Director of Brand Experience, Cisco
??         Diane Magers, Office of the Customer Mobility and Business Solutions, AT&T
??         And, many more!
Download brochure for full conference details: http://bit.ly/1C25lLj
To establish a compelling customer experience practice brands must ensure their 2015 customer experience is personal, effortless and contextualized across all channels. Join your peers this June in Miami, as we explore the trends, techniques, and tools to implement a successful CX Strategy.
Use code TCXL15BL for $100 off the current rate. Register today: http://bit.ly/1C25lLj

The Total CX Leaders Team

How to Create a Customer Experience that Sells

Today, businesses of all types and sizes must provide high quality products, but customers tend to remember the details of their experience with the product or the company better than the product itself.
So now it is more important than ever for businesses to focus on developing customer experiences that enables them to grow and retain their customer base. Here are a few ways businesses can create a customer experience that truly sells the product.
Recognize Your Customer. A key step you can take to enhance your customer experiences is to personally recognize your customer when they return to make a purchase. It’s the personalized treatment that adds value to a purchase, makes the customer feel special, and injects loyalty into your customer base. Evaluate your business operations to for areas where you can ensure that your customers know you are paying attention to their purchases.
Provide a Personalized Experience. It is also important to focus on providing your customers with personalized shopping experiences. Integrating interactive experiences along with in-store shopping is an excellent way to do this. Customers expect VIP treatment from brands in both online and in-person experiences. Providing customers with the same personalized experience when shopping online as they receive when they are in the store can go a long way toward encouraging repeat business.

Tapping into the Customer’s Emotions. For many consumers, shopping is an emotionally driven experience. No matter what they are shopping for, consumers are seeking opportunities to connect those events with their experiences with products. So, provide consumers with the option to build shopping lists and share with friends. Along with seeing what people close them are shopping for, these lists also make it possible for consumers to save the products they like for future reference, increasing the chance of making a sale.

The Total CX Leaders 2015 Full Program Released & a $700 Savings

Every person in an organization impacts the customer experience in some way.  It is critical that all employees are aligned and invested in the CX strategy, in order to produce customer interactions that are useful, easy, and enjoyable.

At The Total CX Leaders Conference, June 3-4 in Miami, FL, CX experts unite to share trends, insights and best practices for designing, measuring, aligning and communicating your customer experience strategy to create a seamless omniexperience for modern customers.

Total CX Leaders Conference
June 3-4, 2015
Trump National Doral
Miami, Florida
For more information, visit our website: http://bit.ly/1ERP8r7

2015 Speakers Include:

??         Former Disney Exec, Darryl Speech, Chief Customer Officer, Greystone & Co, Inc. shares Walt Disney Company best practices and how to design a customer centric culture.
??         Michael Lenz, Global Director of Brand Experience, Cisco presents insights on how to manage experience for tomorrow’s business now.
??         CX Trends Expert, Maxwell Luthy from Trendwatching.com showcases cutting edge customer experiences from leading brands from Boston to Beijing.
Download the brochure for full conference details: http://bit.ly/1ERP8r7

Join CX leaders and decision makers responsible for creating winning CX strategies this June in Miami! 
Don’t miss out, register today and lock in the lowest rate- save $700 off the standard rate: http://bit.ly/1ERP8r7
The Total CX Leaders Team


Is the Internet of Things the Future of Customer Experience?

Retailers are constantly looking for ways to improve their customer experience and the increasing move from the physical world to the online world means the Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming the future of customer experience. The IoT is a network of objects, products and services that are digitally interconnected and can communicate with each other without human interaction. Without sounding too utopian, it means that maybe in the near future your watch could soon communicate with your television which in turn could control how much water your vegetable garden gets. In essence it makes our lives a lot easier.
These advances in smart technology mean that everything we do can become more programmable and personalized, which is a huge benefit for retailers and customers alike. The IoT means that real time analytics will be able to give customers a better and often more efficient retail experience. For example, Internet technology such as Bluetooth beacons will be able to connect with smartphones as customers enter a store and check their movements. When compared to the customer’s purchases, it can help to create an idea of what the optimum layout for the store should be, which in turn will aid the retailer’s future revenue. In terms of customer aid, in one French clothing store Kl??pierre, there is an ‘inspiration corridor’ that means the customers can receive information and images of recommended clothes using a Microsoft Kinect body scanner. The clothes will come up on screen and they can pick and choose what they like and the whereabouts of the clothes are linked with their smartphones so they can easily be found. These in time analytics help to create an easier and more unique experience for the shopper and retailer.
Zebra Technologies have found that almost 96 percent of retail decision makers are prepared to implement the changes in order to utilize IoT technologies. It was found that 67 percent have already implemented IoTand 26 percent planning to use it within the year. More than half of the firms surveyed expect IoT to give them greater information about the condition and whereabouts of items which will lead to a better customer experience and new revenue streams. Already technology such as RFID has given benefits to retailers such as 99 percent inventory accuracy and a 2-7 percent sales increase. Research firm Gartner believes that by 2020 we will have 26 billion smart and connected products in use (around 3.3 devices per person, not including smartphones and tablets).  
However, there are drawbacks – Zebra Technologies found that 56 percent of the companies said integration challenges were a big problem to adopting the IoT and 47 percent were concerned about security and privacy. There may be a lot of people who would not like to have their likes and locations constantly tracked and analyzed.
The Internet of Things does seem to be the future for retail. This divergence of the physical and digital world means retailers will be increasingly providing a service as well as just a product. By providing a better service and improving the consumer’s experience will ultimately result in higher revenue and keep customers coming back.

About the Author: Harry Kempe, a marketing intern at IIR USA, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. He is a recent graduate of Newcastle University who previously worked for EMAP Ltd. and WGSN as a marketing assistant on events such as the World Architecture Festival, World Retail Congress and Global Fashion Awards. He can be reached at hkempe@IIRUSA.com.

Strengthen Your Leadership Skills in 2015 Behind the Scenes at Disney

It’s that time of year again… the New Year brings about resolutions – what’s on the top of your list?
If your 2015 resolutions include advancing your leadership skills (based on principles from The Disney Institute and Lee Cockerell’s experience as Executive Vice President of Operations, Walt Disney World!), as well as designing and sustaining high performing service cultures in your organization, then the Creating Magic Team can help! Learn more here: http://bit.ly/1Axe9ZI
Next month, William Greenwald, Founder & Chief Neuroleaderologist, Windsor Leadership Group, will lead a once in a lifetime, behind the scenes workshop in Disney World next month. Through Disney-based leadership and service case studies, hands-on learning exercises and group experiences INSIDE the Disney theme parks, you’ll gain the insights and tools you need to become a better leader in 2015.
Workshop highlights include:
??         2 days of experiential learning at Hollywood Studios and EPCOT Theme Park
??         3-day Disney Park Hopper Pass (that’s one extra day on us – bring the family, stay & play!)
??         Breakfast, lunch and snacks each day
??         A signed copy of Lee Cockerell’s book, Creating Magic
??         And more!
Click here for full program details: http://bit.ly/1Axe9ZI
Kick Off Your Year Right! We’re making it even easier for you to meet your New Year’s resolutions. 

Register by Friday, January 9th & Save $200: http://bit.ly/1DqnTG7
Now’s the time to invest in yourself and bring your New Year’s resolutions to reality. Escape the winter blues and advance your career next month with us in Orlando. We hope to see you there!
William Greenwald & The Creating Magic Team


Top Customer Experience Blog Posts of 2014

We’ve published a lot of interesting, innovative, and inspiring blog posts about customer experience this year, so we wanted to take a moment to look back on the most popular posts of 2014. Here are the topics our readers enjoyed the most this year:
Marketers Adapt to Digital Customer Trends for Holiday Shopping Season: Over the last few years, technology has truly revolutionized retail – Black Friday and the holiday season exemplify that change better than any other time of year. Now, marketers must reassess their strategies as consumers spend increasing amounts online ahead of the shopping weekend in order to capture the online shopping trend. As of late, Black Friday and Cyber Monday  have experienced a change in spending patterns, with the Adobe Digital Index predicting that $2.6bn ‘ an increase of 15 percent ‘ will be spent on Cyber Monday alone, with Black Friday growth up by 28 percent to $2.48bn. The holiday season in the U.S. will aim to break online records for e-commerce spend at $72.41bn, a growth of 16.6 percent in the last year, according to eMarketer. To read the full post, click here.
The Customer Experience: A Journey Best Understood in Reverse?: Even after decades of study, the ‘Customer Experience’ remains a top focus for large and small companies alike. Work from McKinsey about the consumer decision journey (references below) is just one of many recent examples. Millions of dollars and labor hours, and prodigious efforts, are spent on the subject. From time to time, clients ask’usually around the annual budget-setting cycle”What should our priorities be in evaluating customers’ experiences?  What’s the first, most important thing we need to understand’? To read the full post, click here.
Using Consumer Insights to Make Smarter Business Decisions: We sat down with Kelly Harper, Director of Customer Experience Learning at BMO INSTITUTE FOR LEARNING, to discuss how the power of consumer insights help to make smarter decisions in business. Harper goes into how important customer experience is when it comes using customer insights to make the best business decisions possible. You need to think about what type of experiences your organization is giving your customers.  Your consumer insights allows you to understand what is broken in your current experience you are delivering and what is really important to the customer ‘ what are those elements that you have to get right each and every single day. Consumer insights will help you identify and keep track of what is most important to the customer.  To read the full post, click here.
Why Your Brand Needs Social Customer Service: These days, customers aren’t calling your 800 number. Instead, they are getting on Facebook and complaining about you or sending a Tweet about your lousy service. Social customer service is a very different ball game with unique practices, plans and a different timeline. You’d better be listening for online complaints and be ready to respond in real-time or face potentially negative profits. Social customer service emerged because organic online conversations require an immediate response. When a customer complains about you on Facebook or Twitter, you’d better be listening and respond within a short window or poor attitudes about your brand escalate. Social customer service connects your customers with people, both inside and outside of your organization, and with the information they need to solve problems and make better decisions. Not to mention, your customers expect it. To read the full post, click here.
Creating a Positive Customer Experience: When it comes to obtaining and retaining customers, remembering what you learned in kindergarten really isn’t enough anymore. Now, it hinges on the effective use of social media and other Internet-based resources, according to a new study from Consero Group.  Chief Customer Experience Officers will continue to need a variety of new tools and processes to manage the smart consumer effectively and retain customers in a competitive marketplace. More companies recognize the importance of positive customer experience to overall success. But even though budgets and staff sizes are increasing in many firms, many CX executives still lack sufficient resources to run their departments well. To read the full post, click here.
The Power of Personality at Work: We caught up with John Mayer, renowned Professor of Psychology, the University of New Hampshire and Author of Personal Intelligence. We express our personalities in almost everything that we do ‘ in both our personal and professional lives. So, every single day we exhibit some patterns of behavior that are consistent and sometimes respond to particular context. According to Mayer, personal intelligence is the intelligence we use to understand these personalities ‘ whether they in other people or in ourselves. Virtually any organization today is made up of people, so you can think of the organization as an organizational chart, including Presidents, CEOs, managers, etc.  ‘Personal intelligence deals with information at a different level than that,’ explained Mayer. ‘Instead, on top of that organizational chart are real people.’ To read the full post, click here.
Customer Experience Conversations: Crystal Collier: we sat down with Crystal Collier, CEO of CX Act, formerly TARP Worldwide. CX Act has pioneered the science of quantifying, managing and optimizing the customer experience and has remained a leader in the CX market since 1971. Today, through its innovative research, technology and customer interaction programs, it continues to set the standard to improve clients’ customer service performance, customer value and “The Profit of Interaction.’ According to Collier, without considering empathy’from the C-suite to the frontline employee’delivering a superior CX is nearly impossible. Customers are driven largely by emotions, and their behaviors result from feelings. To read the full post, click here.
Customer Experience Innovation: Treat Your Customers Like People: We caught up with Len Ferman, managing director of Ferman Innovation, and former Senior Vice President of Innovation and Ideation at Bank of America. Today, corporate leaders often lose sight of customer needs in the constant quest toward next quarter’s earnings. But, what is positive for stock prices tends to conflict with long term customer satisfaction and shareholder value. You simply can’t understand the customer experience if don’t empathize with your customers, Ferman told me. ‘You have to be able to see them face-to-face and listen to them talk about their pain points and challenges,’ he said. To read the full post, click here
Customer Experience Conversations: Nestor Portillo: Nestor Portillo, Director, Social Communities and Customer Experience at Microsoft shared his best customer experience, the importance of empathy, and how social media has affected customer experience today. According to Portillo, customer experience is a combination of emotions, memories, expectations, needs fulfillment, timing and effort. All of these are important add-ons to your product or service. So, in order to deliver a great customer experience, it needs to have a high degree of empathy and emotion because the interaction goes beyond product functionality or a feature explanation. To read the full post, click here.
Customer Experience Conversations: Janet LeBlanc:  Janet LeBlanc, President of Janet LeBlanc + Associates Inc. LeBlanc discussed how empathy and emotion has a critical impact on customer experience today. According to LeBlanc, the best customer experiences are those that elicit the strong positive feelings and emotions that strengthening the relationship and loyalty a customer has with a company. Statements such as: ‘I felt like she understood what I wanted or they treated me with respect’ are the best examples of a great customer experience. To read the full post, click here.

About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1stDigital Impact, STEAM Accelerator and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.