Tag Archives: Digital Strategy

Michaels’ New Kind of Customer Experience: Pinterest Parties

Online interaction has become one of the major aspects of the customer experience today. If I ever came across a company that didn’t have a website, I’d most likely take my business elsewhere. Social media has become a predominant platform to interact with customers. Now, with the rise in smartphones and tablet use, businesses have no choice but to think about their mobile and social customer experience strategy, if they want to be profitable.
Over the last few years, the number of channels consumers use to reach companies has doubled over, and the Internet has become the predominant medium for consumers to express their opinions about a product or company. In fact, a survey found that 50 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a product from a company that they can contact via a social media page. In addition, 56 percent of consumers that actively use social media to interact with businesses feel a stronger connection to that business.
Not to mention, using mobile to reach customers is growing more prevalent. A recent survey of smartphone users found that 63 percent will use online coupons to get the best price. In addition, 57 percent of users indicated that would like to receive location-based offers from companies, and 80 percent said they have received promotions on their smartphones from preferred brands.
Motivated by this social customer experience revolution, Michaels has partnered with Hometalk to bring its customers Pinterest Parties. The craft store is setting aside dedicated time for you to make those cool projects that you’ve been pinning all this time.
According to the companies, these parties will provide live access to Hometalk’s network of DIY experts. Hometalk has selected 100 of its members to lead a series of DIY craft demos for customers to learn from as they shop for supplies in Michaels stores. Handpicked for their DIY expertise, Hometalk members will put their own twist on one of five Pinterest-inspired projects, offering customers hands-on help and tutorials, ideas and advice.
“Michaels is all about providing inspiration, instruction and ideas for creative DIY projects,” said Michaels CMO Paula Puleo, in a statement. “As a top destination for home and garden project supplies, Michaels is happy to welcome Hometalk members into the stores for these fun, educational events.”
The next in-store Pinterest Party will be held on Sunday, February, 16th, 1pm ‘ 4pm at all store locations. There will be plenty of project inspirations, or you can bring in a Pinterest idea of your own!
The Pinterest Parties at Michaels have been a great success for the company’s web presence. Between October and December 2013, visits on the website more than doubled ‘ jumping from two million visits in October 2013 to more than four million in December 2013.
Want to learn more about social customer experience in person? Join me at Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit in Miami in April. To learn more about the event and register, click here:  http://bit.ly/1lx8EDx
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 1st, 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.

PepsiCo Chariman and CEO Indra Nooyi to Keynote FUSE 2014

Iconic & Inclusive.
FUSE 2014 brings YOU face to face with the most iconic leaders in design and brand strategy today. With One Collective Voice, FUSE is a forum for all to share stories, inspiration and best practices. This year, we welcome all to discover the incredible magic of FUSE. 
April 7-9, 2014
Radisson Blu Aqua
Chicago, IL
The most riveting, thought provoking speaker lineup in FUSE history takes the stage this year:
FEATURED KEYNOTE SESSION: Why Design? Why Now?

Mauro Porcini, SVP, Chief Design Officer, PepsiCo, Inc.
Indra Nooyi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo, Inc.
In this groundbreaking session, PepsiCo’s first-ever Chief Design Officer will ask his CEO, why design? In a candid conversation, they’ll share stories of success and lessons learned in their journey to make PepsiCo a Design-First organization.
To see the full speaker lineup, click here: http://bit.ly/1bKp5RA
PLUS:
  • Phil Duncan, Global Design Officer, Procter & Gamble
  • John Gerzema, Author, The Athena Doctrine
  • Tinker Hatfield, VP Creative Concepts, Nike
  • Doug Rushkoff, Author, Present Shock
  • Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador, Barneys New York
  • David S. Moore, Vice President & Chief Brand Officer, Ethan Allen
  • Anthony Sperduti, Co-Owner & Creative Director, Partners & Spade
  • David Carson, Designer
  • Seung Chan (Slim) Lim, Designer & Researcher, Author Realizing Empathy
  • Mirko Ilic, Co-author with Steven Heller, Lettering Large

Mention code FUSE14BL & Save 15% off the standard rate. Register today: http://bit.ly/1bKp5RA
Best,
The FUSE Team
@NextBigDesign

Combining Digital Data with Traditional CRM to Enhance Customer Experience

Putting the customer at the heart of your business strategy has been the key to success. It seems obvious, however, data & CRM specialists agree it is still an aspiration for many. CRM systems that combined digital, mobile and social data alongside traditional touch-points are outstripping those that don’t.  In fact, brands like Domino’s Pizza and Starbucks have cracked the customer service game thanks to their combined approach.
‘The art of CRM doesn’t change, but the channel has. It’s all about talking to customer in relevant way, at the right time, on the right channel and adding value to the customer’s life. Combining the digital alongside offline data has enabled companies such as Pizza Hut and Domino’s, to identify individuals rather than just households,’ said Celerity’s Managing Director Jason Lark.
According to Econsultancy.com, the benefits of joining up digital, mobile, social and offline CRM data include:
No Duplication
Businesses that have integrated all touch points into a single view CRM system are outperforming those that aren’t because they don’t duplicate messages.
1-2-1 Conversations
Data drawn from Facebook, email and other social media channels means large multinationals have an opportunity to have a 1-2-1 conversation with customers.
Real-time Relevance
Using mobile as a channel to collect and harness data has allowed companies to create targeted, personalized offerings.
Agile Customer Service
Companies that have embraced social media, now respond to conversations with customers instantly, demonstrating agile customer service.
Personalization
By tracking offline and online activity organizations can personalize content to reward to the customer.
Tracking Former Customers  
Data created from the digital wallet allows you to track the consumer once they’ve left your site. 

The 5 Must Haves for a Successful Customer Experience Strategy

Today, businesses want customers to be loyal, try new products, and become advocates who spread good news about the business. In order to accomplish this, businesses need a strong customer experience strategy that encompasses digital channels, while still remaining efficient without losing sight of metrics.
How does this get accomplished? Well, for instance, after hours spent in the boardroom, say a company’s customer experience strategy is designed and deployed. Months pass and the contact center productivity measures are solid, employee engagement has dropped a little, but the customer satisfaction metrics haven’t moved.
The CEO might say, ‘Why isn’t this working? Do the advisors simply not care about our customers?!’ That is where most customer experience strategies fail. For a customer experience strategy to be successful, it has to be built into the DNA of the business and not just be “A Project.’
That being said, Dougie Cameron, founder of Addzest Consulting, told Customer Think the top five things that foster a positive environment for customer experience to thrive:
Co-create the strategy with advisors and customers.
They are the ones that know what needs to be fixed. If you involve them, they become part of the cultural transformation.
The cultural transformation can’t be kept in silos.
It must be embedded everywhere from product development through to marketing ‘ no-one should be immune.
Customer experience isn’t about apps.
Bolting a fancy Web solution onto a bad process doesn’t fool a customer.
Old metrics don’t work.
Focusing on productivity measures in customer operations means that there is no for advisors to just ‘do the right thing’ for the customer. Operational empowerment is what separates the great customer focused companies from the wannabes. 
Trust the front line.
Trust pays dividends and customers can feel it in their conversations. Train what ‘the right thing’ looks like and leave out the rule book. 

Welcome to 2012: The Year (or Decade?) Of The Customer

I came across this discussion on Focus this morning and thought it would be the perfect way to start off 2012 here on the Customer’s 1st blog. 

As we saw throughout 2011, customers are increasingly empowered to share their experiences (be it via Twitter, Mobile Apps, or elsewhere online) leading to the need for a holistic digital customer experience strategy. As we conducted our TCEL podcast series this past summer, this need was repeatedly confirmed by our industry experts.

Going back to the original Focus discussion, the first poster posits “customers are finally feeling their own power. Bank of America and Netflix are two great examples of when customers said “No!”” And it’s certainly true that the digital world provides myriad opportunities to do so. This calls to mind my other main takeaway from our Storyteller Spotlight Series and all of our exploration in 2011: that the need to make a more personal, human connection with customers in this highly digitized world (perhaps by “walk[ing] a mile in your customer’s shoes.”) is more important that ever.

So, will 2012 be the year of the customer? Is this “The Decade of The Customer”? What do you think?

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She may be reached at mleblanc@iirusa.com.

What Do Your Digital Customer Experience Strategy Look Like?

This recent post on Mashable by Ron Rogowski of Forrester Research points out some important reasons that brands need to have a digital customer experience strategy in the current market to stay competitive.

For example, the role of mobile devices. “This suite of empowering devices has driven customer expectations to new heights, and has increased the frequency of interactions between customers and businesses.” (Last week’s post on Gripe is a good example of this.)

But what makes a good digital customer experience strategy? Rogowski gave some good starting points:

  • Start with company and brand strategy.
  • Describe the intended digital experience.
  • Direct activities and processes that support the defined experience.
  • Guide digital channel investments

More than just a website or a twitter handle, a digital customer experience strategy needs to reflect the overall brand strategy and directly support and reflect offline brand activities.

Together, these elements add up to the real key to a successful digital customer experience strategy – seeing the digital world (mobile, social media and web) as holistic extensions of the brand. These digital touchpoints provide core moments to connect and engage with customers to create lifelong brand advocates.

So what does your digital customer experience strategy look like?

Looking to learn more about customer experience? Join us Oct. 3-5, 2011 for the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit. Hear from the top B2B, and service oriented B2C companies on Measurement & ROI, Data Performance, Operational Metrics and Social Media CRM. Download the brochure here.

Plus follow us on twitter for updated information at @TotalCustomer.

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She may be reached at mleblanc@iirusa.com.