Tag Archives: Customer strategy

Total Customer Experience Takeaways

Wordle: Total Customer Experience LeadersAs we begin looking forward to the 2012 Total Customer Experience Leader’s summit, we’ll be presenting some of the key takeaways from our 2011 event. Pictured here is a Wordle of our executive summary notes. I’ve stripped out the two most obvious words”Customer” and “Experience” to drill down a bit more into the heart of our takeaways.

One thing that immediately strikes me: how action-oriented these words are. “Make, create, integrate,” and “change” all jump out. That’s what we hope for from this event: that our attendees will leave with actionable insights that they can immediately integrate into their existing strategies when they return to the office.

Another big theme: Culture, Ecosystem & Employees. Kerry Bodine‘s session at last years event focused on this particularly, with the theme summed up in the following sentence “The Customer Experience Ecosystem is a complex set of relationships among your company’s employees, partners, and customers that determines the quality of the experience.”

To create a strong Customer Experience Ecosystem, Kerry recommended following these steps:
1. Map it
2. Co-create it
3. Socialize it

Don’t just target segments, go out and talk to people and create personas based on behavioral attitudes.

Did you attend Total Customer Experience Leaders in 2011? What were your key takeaways?

Measure Up Conference 2011 – Official Call for Presenters Now Open

Measure Up – The New World of Marketing Analytics: The Integration of Traditional & Social Media
June 6-8, 2011

Due to the high volume of submissions, we suggest you submit your proposal early and no later than Friday, December 17, 2010 to Stacy Levyn, Conference Producer at slevyn@iirusa.com or 646.895.7335.

About the Event
The 2011 Measure Up Conference is a business event structured around integrating many fractured pieces of measurement analytics into one effective marketing strategy. Specifically, the event will focus on return on investment as it relates to online activities; exclusively, Social Media. Rather than reinforcing the separation between digital versus traditional media, Measure Up promotes the combination of all marketing measurement analytics processes. Learn how companies are using cross channel integration to create business value through the use of Social Media Analytics.

Measure Up will be holding a unique symposium which will showcase:
B2B Social Media Metrics AND Next Generation Marketing Mix Modeling.

Event Focus & Key Themes:
‘ B2B Social Media Metrics
‘ Marketing Accountability
‘ Setting Clear and Measurable KPI’s
‘ Brand Measurement
‘ Customer Strategy
‘ Linking Customer Insight to Financial Value
‘ Digital Advertising
‘ Social Media
‘ Mobile Marketing Analytics
‘ Twitter ROI
‘ Marketing Mix Optimization
‘ Cost Marketing
‘ Marketing Operations
‘ The Agency Relationship

Past Speakers Include:
‘ Lisa Wellington, Marketing Sciences, THE COCA-COLA COMPANY
‘ Greg Michaels, Director, Analytics Kraft Foods International, KRAFT FOODS, INC.
‘ Robert Harles, VP, Community, SEARS HOLDINGS COMPANY
‘ Jason Ferrara, VP, Corporate Marketing, CAREERBUILDER.COM
‘ Esmee Williams, VO, Marketing, ALLRECIPES.COM
‘ Lewis Goldman, SVP, Brand Marketing, 1800FLOWERS
‘ Yardena Montague-Rand, Market Research, FIDELITY INVESTMENTS
‘ Gretchen Harding, Senior Marketing Manager, INTUIT
‘ Melanie Davis, Director of Marketplace Insights, AMERICAN EXPRESS
‘ Shannon A. Balliet, Recent Director of Database Marketing & Customer Data Integration, CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES
‘ Alicia Z. Rankin, Head of Research and Fan Insights, NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
‘ Tomas Emmers, Consumer & Market Insights Director, Home & Personal Care Categories, Brand Building, North America, UNILEVER
‘ Julie L. Propper, Director, Advertising Analytics, ESPN

The Audience:
Marketing science, analysts, marketing, finance, strategy, branding, market research, marketing communications and media.

Speakers receive FREE admission to the conference as well as any pre-conference activity such as workshops or symposium.

Sponsorship & Exhibition Opportunities:
If you are interested in sponsorship or exhibit opportunities please contact Jon Saxe at jsaxe@iirusa.com.

Interested in Becoming a Media Partner or Featured Event Blogger?
Contact Alexandra Saland at asaland@iirusa.com

Call for Presenters:
For consideration, please email slevyn@iirusa.com with the following information by Friday, December 17, 2010.
‘ Proposed speaker name(s), job title(s), and company name(s)
‘ Contact information including address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail
‘ Talk title
‘ The main theme you plan to address
‘ Summary of the presentation (3-5 sentences)
‘ Please indicate what is NEW about the presentation
‘ What the audience will gain from your presentation (please list 3-5 key ‘take-aways’)
‘ Previous conference experience
‘ Short bio

Due to the high volume of responses, we are unable to respond to each submission. All those selected to participate as speakers will be notified shortly after the deadline.

Thank you for your interest in the Measure Up Conference. Check for updates and discussion related to the event at www.iirusa.com/measureup. We look forward to receiving your proposal!

NACCM 2009: Achieving Critical Clarity: How Improving the Customer Experience Increases Customer Understanding, Persistency and Participation

It’s no wonder that Cigna just won the Gartner Gold Award for Customer Strategy and Customer Experience Excellence. Ingrid Lindberg, Customer Experience Officer with Cigna, shared with us the strategies that they implemented to get them where they are today.

Four years ago, Cigna’s CEO took the company in a new direction to make the health care business more user-friendly and to build trust. Cigna found that when people were asked to rate things that they trusted, they would rarely answer ‘my health plan’. They determined that when the customer experience is confusing and there is a lack of trust, they miss opportunities to improve health.

In asking for feedback about the health care experience, Lindberg received the following customer information:

77% were unsure what terminology in their health plan policy really means
50% didn’t know how much they pay each month
85% did not understand key health care terms
85% don’t participate in available wellness programs
82% don’t compare hospital qualifications before choosing
45% don’t receive timely, appropriate care

Cigna took this information and arrived at two driving principles for their health care experience: 1) that every interaction must be helpful, and 2) every interaction must be easy. With these principles in mind, they got into action with the following in mind:

1) Analyze every individual touch point
2) Change terminology to get rid of insurance-ease
3) Ban ‘alphabet-soup’ talk – EOB, PCP, EPO
4) Eliminate nuisance mail ‘ get what you need when you need it
5) Eliminate what frustrates ‘ if you want a person, you get a person
6) Explore possibilities, not limitations to improve health

As a result, they created new terminology. They asked university students to look at a list of confusing terminology and redesign new words that worked. For example, instead of using the word ‘subscriber’, they changed to ‘the person who has the benefits from the employer’, and the words ‘member liability’ was changed to ‘the amount you need to pay’.

They made changes to their Enrollment Guide by making them more user friendly and allowing the customer to choose the right plan. When they found that 52% of customers are visual learners, they added a checklist for people to follow.

Changes were also made for their new quotes for treatment that included an estimator that allows you to see what you will pay, comparison of treatment costs, all in plain language.

Redesigning their explanation of benefits also paid off. They were able to provide a summary of care charges, put key financial data on the front page, and shared with customers how much they saved based on the plan they chose.

They also made an improvement in their employee engagement as a result of some of these changes. In looking at the needs of the customer, they found that they wanted phone support 24/7. When they presented this concept to employees on a volunteer basis, they welcomed the change. It has allowed Cigna to better serve their customers, reduced workload for their employees, and increased employee retention by double.

Achieving success was a result of analyzing each customer touch point ‘ words, forms, processes, etc., says Lindberg. Cigna is now setting the industry standard for the customer experience.

A new way to look at customer segmentation

In a recent article at Convenience Store News, they look at the wavering loyalty of today’s consumers. It’s critical to retain loyal customers, as they are a dependable, high profit segment.

They provided a few key ways to segment your customers and create loyalty among your regular customers:

– Identify key customer segments
– Create target groups of similar segments
– Prospect for look-alikes in target markets and your customer database
– Deliver differentiated messages and experiences
– Implement the approach throughout the departments within your organization
– Measure the effectiveness and adjust your strategy

Customers 1st Keynote Speaker: Curtis Bingham


The Ultimate in Customer Centricity: Chief Customer Officers Describe How Everyone Can be a Loyalty Leader
Curtis Bingham
Author, THE KEY TO CUSTOMER STRATEGY: THE RISE OF THE CHIEF CUSTOMER OFFICER & President, PREDICTIVE CONSULTING GROUP

For more than 15 years, Curtis Bingham, the President of the Predicting Consulting Group, has helped companies dramatically increase customer acquisition, retention, and customer profitability. He’s the author of the forthcoming book published by HRD Press, The Key to Customer Strategy: The Rise of the Chief Customer Officer that describes how a consistent and unified customer strategy can grow revenue, profit, and loyalty. He’s uncovered millions of dollars in hidden profits for companies like Intuit, Microsoft, Standard & Poor’s, Cardinal Health, and numerous smaller businesses.

A recognized authority and thought-leader on Chief Customer Officers (CCO), Curtis has published the annual Executive-Level Customer Champions report covering companies such as Cisco, HP, Sun, Monster.com, and Disney that includes the roles, responsibilities, and best practices of CCOs around the world to increase customer loyalty and profitability.

Curtis has worked with a variety of industries including enterprise software, telecom, semiconductor, marketing automation, publishing, corporate gift, and Internet advertising in addition to various non-profit organizations as well. He is a contributing editor for Sales & Marketing Excellence and a regular contributor to the Handbook of Business Strategy.

Holding both an MBA from Lehigh University and a Master’s in Computer Science from Brigham Young University, he has taught Demand Chain Management at Bentley College in Massachusetts, plus he is a member of the Institute of Management Consultants.

Curtis is also heavily involved with the Boy Scouts of America. Evenings and weekends are usually spent enjoying his second love (after his wife and family, of course) in the outdoors and helping develop character, citizenship, and life skills in each Scout.

Biography courtesy of Predictive Consulting.

Outsourcing Call Center Operations

I came across this article that explains how the outsourcing of customer service functions is not only seen as a short term cost cutting tool, but it is also a strategy for long term competitive advantage.

In order to get closer to your customers, you must engage a fully functional center that supports telephone, e-mail, the web, and social media (which was not mentioned by the article). Companies are always looking to reduce costs to increase revenue, but the reduction of costs should not affect the quality of customer service.

Zappos Take on Customer Care

In a recent post at the Mavericks at Work blog, Bill Taylor sheds light on the customer strategy that the growing Internet shoe brand has to keep its customers. Tony Hsien, the president of Zappos, took time to explain the procedures that were taken to ensure customers were the first priority of the brand. Currently, Zappos ships over four million pairs of shoes a year and is expected to reach $1 billion in revenue this 2008 year. Since this is an internet company, Zappos focuses on allowing the customer have a good customer experience while never having an actual store, so they focus on the call centers. Contrary to most other internet sites, they have their 1-800 number on every page. When you pick up the phone and call, you’ll be greeted by a living, breathing, customer service employee. Zappos a different approach to training these customer service representatives. They are trained for four weeks while being paid a full salary. Two weeks into the process, every employee is offered what they’ve made the last two weeks as well as a $1000. Hsieh believes that those who turn down this truly show the characteristics of the employees Zappos wants to have behind their name. Zappos is a company that focuses on it’s relations with the customer. It also belives it’s employees happiness and availability to please the customer. As a result, in the call centers, there are no scripts and the employees can take any action in order to please the customer. The blog concludes with this thought: It’s a small practice with big implications: Companies don’t engage emotionally with their customers’people do. If you want to create a memorable company, you have to fill your company with memorable people.

What’s your customer strategy?

In a recent post at Customers Rock!, Becky Carroll discusses how companies word out their customer strategy. The most companies have product strategies and marketing strategies, but most fail to have customer strategies. But in order to best appeal to the customer it is essential to be customer centric. This should consist of a way acquire, retain, and grow a customer base. This strategy should determine how we interact with those customers, and specify how customers are treated at every touch point possible. In order to have the best customer centric strategy, a company must agree to all points as well as show consistency in performing the tasks. So how do you approach your customer strategy?