Tag Archives: Idea Gathering

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience News – Employee Engagement

Not just hearing, but translating innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit. Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate alignment of customer strategy inspiration 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.  This week, let’s flip things around and talk about employees.

Cynthia Clark of 1to1Media recently wrote “Most companies are striving to improve the experience they deliver to their customers. However, unless they address internal process issues, this task might be a lot more difficult than expected and could lead to disappointing results.” When employees can’t perform in an efficient manner, customer experiences are directly impacted.

Perhaps at the other end of the spectrum, this feature “The Happiness Machine” on Slate
discusses the many ways that the Google’s human resources department optimizes employee experiences…right down to how many minutes is ideal to wait in line for lunch.

Lastly, a new report from Temkin group identified “Employee Engagement” as one of their core customer experience competencies.

Is your customer experience program engaging employees? Tell us about it in the comments.

For more conversation on topics like this, join us at the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit: register as a reader of our blog with code TCEL13BLOG to save 15% off the standard registration rates. Visit the webpage to register today.

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She is the voice behind the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. She may be reached at mleblanc@iirusa.com

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience News – Big Buzz about Big Data

Not just hearing, but translating innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit. Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate alignment of customer strategy inspiration 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.  This week, let’s talk about what seems to be a huge hot topic for 2013: Big Data.

“Big Data” has made an appearance on a lot of year-end and year-to-come lists as a hot topic to watch. CMS Wire named 2013 “The Year of the Customer and Rise of the Data Driven Marketer.” and Temkin group included “‘Big data’ predictive insights.” in their list of 13 Customer Experience Trends to Watch in 2013.

In 2013 Predictions: The impact of big data for carriers in 2013 on RCR Wireless News Robert Rich, Managing Director, TM Forum Insights Research wrote that “big data is certainly among the most important forward looking topics for business and IT organizations in service providers today, and it will remain among the top issues/initiatives for the foreseeable future, including of course 2013.” 1to1media published “The Customer Experience Crystal Ball: Predictions for 2013” and noted that “organizations continued to grapple with the gargantuan amounts of customer data” in 2012.”

But back in December, Kerry Bodine, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research wrote on the 1to1media blog “Companies that become mesmerized by Big Data put themselves at risk of spending enormous amounts of time and money amassing new data sources — and, in the process, forgetting that research methods like observation and one-on-one interviews even exist. This has the potential to create a large, and exceedingly expensive, blind spot.”

Here on the blog, I recently spoke with TCEL keynote Chris Frank about data in our Customer Experience Experts podcast series.

This week also saw data expert, Nate Silver, the founder of FiveThirtyEight, taking questions in a Reddit Ask Me Anything thread.

Lastly, our current LinkedIn poll is looking for your opinions on customer data: vote today!

For more conversation on topics like this, join us at the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit: register as a reader of our blog with code TCEL13BLOG to save 15% off the standard registration rates. Visit the webpage to register today.

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She is the voice behind the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. She may be reached at mleblanc@iirusa.com

Customer Service Week Is Coming: How Will You Celebrate?

In 1992, the U.S. Congress declared the first week of every October to be National Customer Service Week. In a proclamation, then president George H. W. Bush wrote of the value of a holistic customer experience:

“A business built on customer service understands and anticipates the customer’s needs. It designs goods and services to meet those needs and builds products that perform to customer expectations. It then packages them carefully, labels them correctly, sells them at a fair price, delivers them as scheduled, and follows up, as necessary, to satisfy the customer. This kind of commitment to service leads to customer loyalty and to genuine improvements at the bottom line.”

Now, 20 years later, will you take the opportunity to celebrate, reflect, or honor your own commitment to customer service next week?

Many use this week as a opportunity to reward or recognize those who are on the front line with customers – from call center representatives to retail staff. Another way to celebrate could be taking this as an opportunity to step back and review your holistic customer experience – go through the process of making an order, calling a helpline, using your website or visiting a store – and asking, is there more we could be doing? Lastly, this is a great time to hold a training, take a class, or read some thought-leadership: get re-inspired! (Perhaps join our LinkedIn group to discuss your challenges with like-minded individuals.)

Here’s some of our recent favorites in thought leadership to start with:

1to1media: Customer Experience Leaders Spank Customer Experience Laggards in Total Returns

Chadwick Martin Bailey: Is Your Loyalty Program Just a Face in the Crowd?

Social Media Today Social Customer: Why Customer Insight Matters To Every Customer Service Leader

Whatever you are doing, we’d love to hear from our community. Post photos of your celebrations to our Facebook page or share in the comments below.

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She is the voice behind the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. She may be reached at mleblanc@iirusa.com

Idea Gathering, Customer Experience News: Digital Trends and Forgotten Feedback

It’s been over a month since we’ve returned from the 2012 Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, so we wanted to check back in. Have you implemented any ideas from the event at your company? Come up with any new questions? Let us know in the comments!

In the meantime, let’s take a look at what’s been happening in the customer experience world.

Back on June 20th, Forbes posted an interesting piece “Shoppers To Retailers: Hello!? Is Anyone Listening?” suggesting that retailers are not acting on the customer feedback they may be receiving. One interesting note from the research being quoted:

“83 percent of those surveyed told Empathica they are more loyal to a brand when they believe action has been taken based on their feedback. Yet, in a RetailWire poll accompanying the story, 60 percent of those voting gave the retail industry a ‘D’ or an ‘F’ for responding to consumers’ suggestions.”

In other research, Mashable noted “5 Digital Trends Shaping the Consumer Experience,” and Dan Schawbel Personal Branding Expert, Millennial Branding explained “Why Brands Should Respond to Customers on Social Networks” on the Amex Open Forum.

Lastly, we enjoyed this piece on Fast Company’s Co.Exist “Great Brands Are About Fusing Product And Service. How Do You Do It?” which noted:

“Companies need to start thinking about the holistic experience between their brands, products, and services. Crafting an experience requires design that considers these three elements of brand, product, and service in order to generate successful results. Any company can be analyzed through these lenses to evaluate the experience it creates for its customers.”

What customer experience news have you come across since the event? We want Total Customer Experience Leaders to be a thriving community year round, not just a three day experience, so please share your thoughts.

Like these updates? Follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook for industry news all week long.
 

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience News: A Balancing Act

It’s time for our final Idea Gathering wrap up before we head off to Boston for the Total Customer Experience Leader’s Summit to enjoy the real thing next week!

The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit provides both B2B and B2C case studies and translating these innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the conference. Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate this translation and were one of our most highly rated features last year. This year we’re continuing the tradition with extended Q&A Idea Gathering sessions. We have built in extra time for questions, feedback and open conversation during each break. Moderated by Jeff McKenna from Chadwick Martin Bailey, these sessions will provide a forum for more in-depth discussions.

Here on the blog we’re doing a regular series of idea gathering wrap ups, pulling together some of our favorite stories on customer experience, customer experience design, and overall customer-centricity.

This week, we chuckled at this piece on new finance website The Billfold detailing “How to Score a Refund From Your Terrible Internet Service Provider in 12 Emotionally Complicated Steps.

For that one customer, it turned out that twitter was the fastest way to receive a response. Likely because the company in question has put an effort into improving that channel. However, this recent study found that “Only 44% Of Customer Questions On Twitter Are Answered Within 24 Hours” so obviously not everyone is receiving that kind of results. (Zappos.com, ever the customer experience champion, answered 82 percent of tweets within one hour of receiving them, but they were obviously not the norm in the study.)

Similarly, when it comes to mobile, CMS Wire confirms that many businesses are struggling saying, “Not everyone it seems is having an easy time arranging their customer experience management (CXM) strategies around mobile first.”

So how do you achieve that balance between channels? Businesses today need to be available to respond at all touch points, and also be providing the kind of customer experiences that don’t drive customers away. As this article on Bizcommunity.com states: “Lip-service isn’t enough since anyone can follow a conversation between a company and a customer and make up their own mind.”

So how do you handle the juggle? Any tips for finding the balance? Share with us in the comments!

Don’t forget, You can follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook for industry news all week long and live updates from the event next week!

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience News: Happily Ever After

The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit provides both B2B and B2C case studies and translating these innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the conference. Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate this translation and were one of our most highly rated features last year.

Here on the blog we’re doing a regular series of idea gathering wrap ups, pulling together some of our favorite stories on customer experience, customer experience design, and overall customer-centricity.

The infographic pictured here, recently published by Bolt Insurance, is a great illustration of some of our recent points here on the blog. If you click through and scroll to the suggestions at the end you’ll see that improving your company culture, offering loyalty rewards and listening to your customers online and through surveys are the main keys to keeping customers happy. We couldn’t agree more.

Via: Bolt Insurance

This post on The Huffington Post speaks to the company culture aspect of loyalty building, saying “In many cases, empowering employees to resolve customer issues will save you time and effort down the road. Employees should also feel confident that they have the backing of management, so that they can enforce company policies quickly and efficiently without the issue escalating.”

Elsewhere in customer loyalty news: Beth Hirschhorn, EVP of global brand, marketing and communication, and a member of MetLife’s executive group spoke with Forbes about Metlife’s customer-centric initiative. She is quoted as saying “for us the objective is to focus as much on existing customers as it is about obtaining new customers.”

The Harvard Business Review blog hosted a piece on “Three Myths about What Customers Want” that delves into the myths companies may believe about building loyalty and customer relationships. Key takeaways? Don’t underestimate the power of discounts and focus on your brand’s core values.

For an interesting look at how *not* to do customer service, click through to this piece from The Guardian. Yes, it is important to be listening online, but call centers or store associate availability by phone are still an important piece of the picture.

So what are you doing to remain “happily ever after” with your customers? Like any relationship, it takes work.

We’re looking forward to delving into the topic more at the Total Customer Experience Leader’s Summit which is now less than two weeks away. There’s still time to join us: register as a reader of our blog with code TCEL12BLOG to save 15% off the standard registration rates. Visit the webpage to register today.

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience News: Let’s Get Social

image source Microsoft Dynamics Community via Business2Community

The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit provides both B2B and B2C case studies and translating these innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the conference. Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate this translation and were one of our most highly rated features last year.

Here on the blog we’re doing a regular series of idea gathering wrap ups, pulling together some of our favorite stories on customer experience, customer experience design, and overall customer-centricity.

When discussing holistic customer experience, you can’t ignore the power of social media in today’s world. A recent American Express study found that “The 2012 American Express?? Global Customer Service Barometer also found that consumers who have used social media for service wield the greatest amount of influence. They tell significantly more people about their service experiences, and say they’d spend 21% more with companies who deliver great service ‘ compared to 13% on average.”

But it’s not just because you fear a consumer badmouthing your company that you need to get social. As marketing consultant and trainer J-P De Clerck recently wrote on conversionation.net “Customer experiences are about touchpoints and touchpoints are by definition social. Guess what is a key focus in 2012? Indeed, social.”

Business2Community illustrated the importance of Social CRM Apps this week with the above image and by saying: “If conversation between a sales rep and his or her client has moved to the world of social media, the sales rep must be equipped with the proper technology to best interact with and understand the customer.”

Former Total Customer Experience Leader’s speaker Becky Carrol wrote about the topic on her blog earlier this year, citing Newark, NJ mayor Cory Booker as an inspiration and saying “Social media, by contrast, provides not only the opportunity for an instant response but also for a personal response.”

So what can we take away? Don’t go social because you fear the customer response, go social because it is a way to make a personal connection with today’s connected customer. For social CRM, it may be a way to close the sale or keep a customer loyal. For a contact center it may be the way to turn an unhappy customer into an evangelist or a VOC text analytics program could use social to measure sentiment. Are you social? How? Share with us in the comments!

Total Customer Experience Leaders is social: You can follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook for industry news all week long.

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience News: “Holistic”

The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit provides both B2B and B2C case studies and translating these innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the conference. Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate this translation and were one of our most highly rated features last year.

Here on the blog we’re doing a regular series of idea gathering wrap ups, pulling together some of our favorite stories on customer experience, customer experience design, and overall customer-centricity.

One of the biggest terms that we keep seeing as we perform research for the event in June is “holistic.” Organizations are increasingly interested in customer experience, but without a holistic solution that covers all aspects of customer experience, it will be difficult to increase long-term customer loyalty.

This recent post on “The Customer Experience Disconnect” highlights some of this data:

The Temkin Group found an “abundance of CX ambition and activity,” with most companies employing a customer experience executive (six out of 10 companies), launching significant customer experience activities, and having a staff of six to eight full-time employees focused on customer experience and 28 percent employ more than 20 people in this area. However, the survey found that despite having these customer experience components in place, only 7 percent are “very strong” at customer experience today and 35 percent of companies are in the lowest stage of customer experience maturity. And 59 percent of the respondents state that their company’s goal is to become the industry leader in customer experience within three years.

This week, let’s look at some expert views on building a holistic customer experience program:

In this Fast Company 30 second MBA video, Motorola Solutions CTO Paul Steinberg explains how to solve problems before users know they have them. As he says “it’s not about delivering quick fixes. It’s really about delivering a holistic solution to a problem.”

1to1media also wrote on “Taking a Holistic Approach to Building Customer Loyalty” this week, saying [customer experience] “initiatives tend to be owned by different departments, often siloed and disconnected from one another.

To realize the full potential of their loyalty endeavors, companies should link them to create one holistic program.” One tip that they recommend: Using data to centralize loyalty efforts.

In this post on “Why Brands Need to Go Post-Mobile” Jonathan Gardner, Director of Communications, Vibrant recommends “thinking broadly about consumer perceptions of your product, and communicating about them in a holistic way.” The impact of new technology can’t be ignored, and it may even be a way to make messaging more holistic. As this piece says, “technology forces businesses to deal with the experiences of their customers.”

Forbes also recommends that product marketers “make testing a key phase in their product life cycle.” This could apply to anyone interested in the holistic experience: do a small roll-out, test and learn and listen. And ideally, be nimble enough to change.

Of course, as we covered before: creating a customer centric culture from the inside out is also part of the transformation. What would you recommend to those looking to unify their customer experience management for a more holistic view?

Share with us at Total Customer Experience Leader’s summit this June in Boston, or Follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook to share with the TCEL family.

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience Starts with You

The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit provides both B2B and B2C case studies and translating these innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the conference. Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate this translation and were one of our most highly rated features last year.

Here on the blog we’re doing a regular series of idea gathering wrap ups, pulling together some of our favorite stories on customer experience, customer experience design, and overall customer-centricity.

This week, we chatted with TCEL speaker Janet LeBlanc, President, JANET LEBLANC + ASSOCIATES about creating a customer-centric culture. On that note, let’s look at some of the ways to develop that culture and the effects that doing so can have.

This post on the Experience Required’ blog suggested that the The CEO’s role in changing culture starts with taking three steps: #1. Be visible.
#2. Give feedback regularly.
#3. Demonstrate quick wins.

This piece on “The Rateocracy” (which calls back to last week’s focus on the more empowered customer) advises: “The CEO of the future will need to work harder to align the corporation, its employees, and stakeholders around a shared vision.”

Forbes recently posted “Why the Megalomaniac in the Corner Office Isn’t Doing Your Company Any Favors” discussing this topic as well. The article cites “(Lack of) Open Culture” as a major downfall for organizations and posits “a way to run a better business is by enabling a wealth of executives to make business critical decisions and empowering them to act and react around the globe.”

CMS wire agrees, writing “Almost every company across America says the same hackneyed cliche: Our people are our strongest asset. Almost every company in America is not doing what’s necessary to make their employees believe that their employers actually believe this.”

Based on all of these sources it’s clear: customer experience starts at home. Look at your employee’s experiences and the culture they are working in and think “How does this align with our customer experience strategy?”

Have you ever made an effort to change corporate culture from within? Share your successes and challenges in our comments section.

Like these updates? Follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook for industry news all week long.

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience News: What’s “Good Enough” For You?

The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit provides both B2B and B2C case studies and translating these innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the conference. Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate this translation and were one of our most highly rated features last year.

Here on the blog we’re doing a regular series of idea gathering wrap ups, pulling together some of our favorite stories on customer experience, customer experience design, and overall customer-centricity. Share with us in the comments to add your thoughts!

This week on the blog, we wrote about the impact of a customer-centric company culture and talked with Peter Dixon, Senior Partner, Creative Director, Prophet, about the power of creating small moments of delight for your customers.

Meanwhile, Kate Leggett was asking on the Forrester blog, Is “Good Enough” Customer Service Good Enough? arguing that the real focus needs to be a consistent, reproducible experience across all touch points. But is this a false dichotomy? In an ideal world wouldn’t you have both moments of delight for customers as well as the removal of experience pain points?

Another big question this week: Are customer loyalty programs broken? This week Mashable’s Webtrends series posted 2 Ways to Fix Customer Loyalty Programs, pointing out that many consumers see these programs as irrelevant, but that increased targeting and better use of mobile technology could remove some of the issues.

So how do you target your customers better? In this piece on MyCustomer.com, Professor Hugh Wilson from the Cranfield School of Management “claims that when it comes to experience design, marketers need to overhaul their thinking” and segment customers based on channel preferences, not demographics.

In an upcoming webinar, IIR will be hosting Joe Stanhope, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research and Annie Weinberger, VP of Marketing, Autonomy an HP Company on “The Future of Online Testing” and testing and targeting for more successful customer interactions online. Perhaps we’ll gain some more insight then. Please mention priority code: MWJ0020-BLOG when registering.

Like these updates? Follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook for industry news all week long.