Tag Archives: Forrester

Making Promises, Keeping Promises: Building Brand and Loyalty through Customer Experience

Photo by paul bica

Would you be willing to pay more for a better customer experience?

According to Kerry Bodine, former VP and Principal Analyst, Customer Experience Research Practice for Forrester, most people would.

During last month’s Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, Kerry indicated that 81% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. In addition, she stated that:

  • 70% of consumers stopped buying goods or services from a company after experiencing poor customer service
  • 64% made future purchases from a company’s competitors after experiencing poor customer service

These sobering statistics show that customers’ perceptions have a profound impact on every organization’s brand equity, customer loyalty and revenue. Here’s how you can help successfully define, implement and manage your organization’s customer experience to deliver on its promises:

  • Come to terms with what your brand really stands for
  • Determine how your brand is (or isn’t) reflected in your customer experience
  • Help employees discover the role they play
  • Align your marketing with your actual customer experience

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.

Stand Out from the Crowd: Create Innovative Customer Experiences

How can your business create an innovative customer experience (CX) that helps your stand out? It’s harder than one might think.
According to a recent Forester report, ‘Customer Experience Innovation Demystified,’ everyone talks about innovation, but no one knows quite what it is or how to get it. Today, the biggest driver for CX innovation is differentiation that will distinguish a company in the marketplace. Thirteen percent of respondents are shooting for a better CX than any company in any industry. The report states ‘innovation that drives differentiation and long-term value is the key to getting there.
Additionally, more and more companies want innovation. Customers have higher expectations than ever, upstarts are using technology to compete, and competitive advantages do not last long. Forrester points to customers being wow’d by new apps like Google Now, to Warby Parker’s Net-based competition with established retailers like LensCrafters, and to USAA’s short-lived advantage with its mobile check deposit app.
However, the strategy and planning do not match the ambition. Three-quarters of respondents focus on making incremental improvements, not radical ones. And, less than a third said they connect CX improvements with results that have business consequences. Not to mention, the majority of respondents said their companies plan CX innovation by watching their competitors or companies in other industries, 62 percent expect technological improvements will help them innovate, and only 53 percent develop ways to understand customer needs.

Ultimately, Forrester says that CX innovation differs from normal innovation processes because it goes beyond traditional methods. CX improvement enhances current customer needs, while innovation solves unmet ones. Companies need to reframe their business opportunities as meeting customers’ unmet needs. To do so, of course, involves looking at the company’s CX from the customer’s needs.

The 4 Phases of Customer Maturity

These days the list of things that can go wrong in creating and managing the processes that comprise the execution of the customer experience is endless. Despite the complexities in managing all aspects of the customer experience, companies’ intentions are in the right place.
In fact, a Forrester study has revealed that companies are ambitious when it comes to customer experience (CX). Forty-seven percent of executives use CX as a competitive differentiator in their industry. But their efforts are weak as just 53 percent measure CX quality consistently, leaving half without a way to tell if they’re succeeding. Additionally, less than a third track everything the firm is doing to improve experience. Only 15 percent follow a design process ‘ meaning that 85 percent of firms have no systematic approach to determine what a differentiated CX looks like.
Forrester found that CX leaders achieve customer maturity when they follow a path: Repair, Elevate, Optimize, and Differentiate. Recently, Principle Analyst Megan Burns shared the four requirements necessary to advance each phase with 1to1 Media.
1. Repair
Before they set out to create experiences that satisfy customers, firms should first fix the experiences that pain customers. By doing that, CX leaders begin to change the way their businesses operate. In these initial steps, they must identify problematic customer experiences, prioritize the fixes, coordinate implementation, and measure results.
2. Elevate
In this phase, Burns says to share customer insights routinely, measure thoughtfully, and use the metrics to reward. Most importantly, take best practices and made them standard.
3. Optimize
To take CX from OK to good, companies need to develop sophisticated CX toolkits. That’s why, in phase 3, customer experience leaders should: model the relationship between CX and business results, build strong experience design practices, and sharpen employees’ CX skills.
4. Differentiate
Burns said that organizations that succeed at differentiating their CX do so because they’re unwilling to think differently. This requires companies to deploy advanced research techniques to mine for new types of insights. It also requires the development of a business architecture that’s based on customer journeys instead of internal processes.

Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist at IIR USA in New York City, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the tech industry.  She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc. 

Summarizing The TDMR Event: Very Exciting Methodologies, Great Case Studies, But How Can We Take It From Here?

Coverage of TDMR by Roxana Strohmenger crossposted from the Forrester blog.

Earlier this week, I was in ‘tech geek’ heaven because I had the opportunity to participate in IIR’s Technology Driven Market Research Event (TDMR) in Chicago. The purpose of the conference was to showcase how technology has generated new ways for Market Insights Professionals to connect with and understand consumers. Over the course of the two days, the bulk of the presentations focused on two methodologies: social media market research and mobile research, with a smattering of additional presentations on neuroscience and gamification. TDMR was a great conference. It brought together a core group of 200 Market Insights Professionals who realize that although traditional research methods have their place, as an industry, we need to start understanding and experimenting with new methodologies. In addition, it highlighted how the industry needs to stop dumping data on our clients and instead deliver key insights, make recommendations, and present actionable next steps. These points were especially evident in Merrill Dubrow’s high-energy presentation, which addressed how we are seeing an increased number of outsiders questioning how we do things and why we are so slow to innovate. As he stated ‘ with even Glenn Frey’s song blasting in the background ‘ the ‘heat is on’ for the market research industry to change. The presentations and panel sessions brought together industry leaders, big brands, and vendors to highlight case studies on how these innovative and emerging techniques are being used. For example, General Motors partnered with Gongos Research to combine MROC and mobile data collection methods to connect with their research community members anytime, anywhere by using a mobile app to capture how consumers were interacting with their car. Or, how Procter & Gamble wanted to shift from researcher-driven, out-of-context interactions with consumers and partnered with Qualvu to utilize smartphone video-based ethnographies to capture consumer- and event-driven engagements whereby consumers bring the researcher in at the moment they are interacting with their products. While I enjoyed these presentations and chatting with colleagues that ‘get it,’ there were critical topics that were not addressed that I would have liked to hear. Within the context of the study, was the innovative method incorporated with traditional methods, and if so, how? Will this new method completely replace the traditional way the question was studied? What business decisions were affected as a result of utilizing the method? What was the process for getting stakeholder buy-in for the innovative method? The presenters made it sound easy to execute, but was it? What roadblocks were encountered through the study? Unfortunately, the attendees at this conference are a small group of early-adopting Market Insights Professionals. Therefore, even without these details, we are already on-board for this evolution. But the market insights industry as a whole isn’t yet. We have the potential to shift this industry. However, to succeed in doing so, we need to open the doors wide open and publish detailed case studies that walk our colleagues through the process ‘ both good and bad ‘ so they have a primer on why they should experiment with innovative techniques. I’m willing to take on this challenge. Which of my fellow ‘tech geeks’ will join me? If you haven’t tried an emerging methodology, please tell us what information you need to see that will help you in your assessment.

Tips on Gathering Consumer Insight in a 3D World

Here’s an interesting article from the Forrester blog in which Reineke Reitsma details some best practices in how to gather consumers insight in a 3D world. Here are her tips…Enjoy!

1. Dare to take risks. Approach research questions from a different perspective.
2. Start small. Invite executive members to meet with customers in an informal setting.
3. Stick to what’s relevant to you. Work with vendors to find a way to make the research methodology fit your specific needs.
4. Collaborate internally. Involve the research users from the beginning and introduce them step-by-step to the new methodology.
5. Failure doesn’t exist. Failure leads to innovation.

Banking Institutions fall in Customer Satisfaction

A new study out by Forrester shows that customer satisfaction from US banking institutions is at its lowest level recorded. Insurance News Net wrote about the study here. The study was conducted by Forrester and 5000 US customers evaluated 41 banks, brokerages and insurers. The low level of satisfaction is attributed to the fact the consumers think that banks do not have the interest of the customers in mind. The study attributes this to the drop in consumer confidence, caused by things such as the subprime mortgage crisis. USAA held the top spot for highest ratings as a bank. The study also found that property and causality insurers are the highest ranked, as they are five of the top ten organizations ranked in the survey.