Tag Archives: Total Customer Experience Leaders

Do Your Customers Expect the Unexpected?

Photo by paul bica

‘Even in the familiar there can be surprise and wonder.” – Tierney Gearon, author

Everyone is looking for that unique experience, product or service that will make a difference in their lives. Your customers are no exception.

They expect your brand will “wow” them yet again in some special way. And if you do, they will continue to reward you by being lifelong customers and telling their friends about your brand.

Here are some ideas to help get you started on delivering memorable and meaningful customer experiences:

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.

What Your Customers Say When You Don’t ‘ or Won’t ‘ Listen

 Photo by paul bica
 
‘When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. Ideas actually begin to grow within us and come to life.’ ‘ Brenda Ueland, 20th century American author
Ideas are the foundation of success. This timeless concept was best expressed by a Deutsche Bank advertisement in the Wall Street Journal, April 2001 that proclaimed: ‘Ideas are capital. The rest is just money.’
Listen to your customers. They are trying to tell you how they want to be served and how they want to engage with you. Their ideas will support your organization’s continued success and will lead to increased levels of customer engagement and loyalty.
If you’re not listening to your customers, they will find someone who will. The article, “We deliberately ignore customers who contact us via Twitter’ by Philip Calvert, Social Media Sales Strategist, shows how an unengaged company culture can negatively affect the trust and credibility of an organization.
This example clearly demonstrates the importance of having a company culture that empowers and engages employees, who are the ‘key to delivering your customer’s experience’ according to Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit (TCEL) keynote speaker Peter Neill, Former Chief Customer Officer, Level 3 Communications.
To take it a step further, Kerry Bodine, VP and Principal Analyst, Customer Experience Research Practice at Forrester, will lead a TCEL session that will show how ‘customers’ perceptions have a profound impact on business metrics.’
Want to hear more from Peter and Kerry on customer experience in person? Join them at Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit 2014 in Miami in April. To learn more about the event and register, go to www.iirusa.com/totalcustomer
Stay connected with TCEL:
  • twitter.com/TotalCustomer #TCEL14
  • linkedin.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders
  • facebook.com/TotalCustomer

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.

How to Create an Emotional Customer Experience

‘Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it.’ ‘ Vincent Van Gogh, highly influential post-Impressionist artist

Great storytelling evokes emotion. Using the power of storytelling, you can create emotionally compelling videos with equally compelling messages that will continue to resonate with your employees and customers and build brand loyalty.
This video is one of the best examples of storytelling I’ve seen posted on www.publicwords.com. If the video doesn’t appear below, you can view it at http://youtu.be/7s22HX18wDY
 

This post also provides tips on how to recreate the same ‘magic’ for your videos.

Here are two articles from www.ragan.com to help get you started on creating videos to engage your employees, who are the ‘key to delivering your customer’s experience,’ according to Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit (TCEL) keynote speaker Peter Neill, Former Chief Customer Officer, Level 3 Communications:

Want to hear more from Peter on customer experience in person? Join him at Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit 2014 in Miami in April. To learn more about the event and register, go to www.iirusa.com/totalcustomer
Stay connected with TCEL:
  • twitter.com/TotalCustomer #TCEL14
  • linkedin.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders
  • facebook.com/TotalCustomer
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.

Government Organizations Must Win Hearts of Public

Today, customer experienceis one of the most popular phrases in the business world. Major companies across the globe have realized this trend and are now making customer experience the focal point of their entire business.
Lou Carbone, customer experience expert and founder & CEO of Experience Engineering, says that any organization looking to satisfy customers must make all the effort to enter the hearts and minds of its customers.
When it comes to government organizations, this is absolutely critical. Government organizations, according to Carbone, should strive to make an emotional connection with the public to win their hearts. At Government Summit in Dubai last week, he warned that organizations can become so intensely focused on meeting the needs of customer that they might miss other important aspects, like emotionally connection.
“Corporate managers of companies are emphatic that what counts is not the function they provide but the effect it has on people,” he stated.
In fact, according to Carbone, 95 per cent of what humans process in their minds consists of unconscious thoughts. So, understanding the role of the unconscious mind, becoming clue conscious and developing systems to manage these clues for emotional experience are key to delighting customers. 
He advises that the first step is to move from a ‘make and sell’ attitude to a ‘sense and respond’ approach in order to achieve customer happiness.  Carbone said, ‘Organizations that fail to make this shift face the danger of doing all the wrong things.’
Want to learn more about customer experience from Lou Carbone 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/1h8MTb4
This year, TCEL explores the new realities of building brands and relationships in today’s socially driven and data abundant world. Discover the emotional drivers that are critical in creating an effective customer story. The event shines an important lens on the power of insights and the critical need for marketers to focus on factoring emotion into the bigger equation to get a return on customer relationships.
Your experience will include three full days of high-level visionary keynote presentations and in-depth case studies illustrating linking insights & data, data measuring & mapping, design thinking, synthesize intelligence from B2B and B2C companies across verticals, disciplines and cultures to march forward with a sound total customer experience plan.

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.

Customer Experience Conversations: Janet LeBlanc

In this next post in our Customer Experience Conversations series, we sat down with Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit’s speaker Janet LeBlanc, who is also President of Janet LeBlanc + Associates Inc. LeBlanc discussed how empathy and emotion has a critical impact on customer experience today.
This year, TCEL will explore the new realities of building brands and relationships in today’s socially driven and data abundant world. The event will shine an important lens on the power of insights and the critical need for marketers to focus on factoring emotion into the bigger equation to get a return on customer relationships.
Your experience at TCEL will include three full days of high-level visionary keynote presentations and in-depth case studies illustrating linking insights & data, data measuring & mapping, design thinking, synthesize intelligence from B2B and B2C companies across verticals, disciplines and cultures to march forward with a sound total customer experience plan.
Here is what LeBlanc had to say:
IIR: Describe your best customer experience.
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.
IIR: How is empathetic leadership changing leadership in customer experience today?
LeBlanc: Empathy is considered one of the five categories of emotional intelligence. It will enable a leader to develop a closer, more collaborative relationship with others. Taking a personal interest, showing that you care, and having a genuine concern about another person’s point of view fosters an environment of trust and caring’the ideal environment for employees to perform at their best and for customers to feel appreciated and valued.
IIR: Why are empathy and emotion so important in when it comes to customer experience?
LeBlanc: Recognizing the power an emotion has on determining the outcome of a customer experience is paramount to a successful customer experience management program. We may forget what someone says to us, but we rarely forget how they make us feel. Having empathy and understanding emotions throughout the customer experience journey helps organizations to stay connected to their customers, to design a better problem resolution process, and to create a more collaborative empathetic work environment.

IIR: What are the key traits of a great customer experience leader?
LeBlanc: Today’s savvy business leaders recognize the shift towards collaborative leadership capabilities. Implementing a large-scale customer experience program requires the commitment and collective forces of the entire leadership team. No one leader can drive customer-centricity alone. Strong alignment and collaboration is a must to be successful.
IIR: If your customers have a bad customer experience, how do you reconnect with them moving forward?
LeBlanc:  When a problem occurs, the bond between a company and the customer is broken. It places the relationship in crisis and creates a pivotal time for a company to re-establish the relationship and repair the damage. Most companies will train employees to apologize, but often will forget the most important ingredient needed for successful resolution’empathy. Even when an apology is offered, without recognizing the emotions at play or a statement acknowledging the gravity of the situation, the apology will not have a positive impact.
IIR: Employee recognition can positively influence employee behaviors and cultivate a customer-centric culture. How do you recognize and motivate your employees?
LeBlanc: Recognition programs motivate employees to make an extra effort or go the extra mile. By acknowledging and giving special attention to an employee’s actions, an organization is reinforcing the specific behaviors needed to realize its customer experience strategy and goals. The best employee recognition programs use a combination of informal and formal approaches that balance feedback from leaders, peers and customers. An effective employee recognition program not only recognizes top performers but also motivates all employees to reinforce and achieve the desired customer-focused behaviors.
Want to hear more from Janet on customer experience in person? Join her at Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit 2014 in Miami in April. To learn more about the event and register, click here:  http://bit.ly/1dmzfJe  

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.

How HP, Forrester, Dell and Others Master the Customer Experience

Translating data insights into an actionable plan is the foundation for building a successful and emotionally connected brand.  The 2014 Total Customer Experience Leaders Summitshines an important lens on measuring and aligning data, along with linking attitudinal metrics to behavioral data across the enterprise. This three day open forum allows for high-level knowledge exchange with the most distinguished leaders in the customer experience space. 
See for yourself – download the brochure for full program detail and session descriptions: http://bit.ly/1fhJFi9

Our visionary speakers on data and linkage include:

KEYNOTE: Employees are the Key to delivering your Customer’s Experience
Peter Neill, Former Chief Customer Officer, Level 3 Communications

The ability to deliver upon a differentiated CE falls upon your employees and how your culture enables them and your customers. Your employee experience requires investment and shouldn’t be left to chance if “how” you deliver is equally as important to your customers as “what” you deliver. It’s critical to incorporate employees and customers into your VOC Program – Measurement, E2E Analysis, Action, Communications, and Recognition.

KEYNOTE: Personal Intelligence: The Power of Personality at Work
John D. Mayer, Renowned Professor of Psychology, The University of New Hampshire and Author, Personal Intelligence

John is a groundbreaking behavioral psychologist and key innovator in intelligence research having written more than 125 scientific articles, books, and psychological tests, including the internationally known Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test. John argues that understanding personality is the key to our well-being. We are all curious about what people are thinking and what makes them tick. This urge to understand others helps us to adapt successfully to the world around us. Mayer talks about personal intelligence at work and the use of personal intelligence to understand our customers.

Twelve Year Customer Experience Journey
John Sullivan, Global TCE Leader, HP Financial Services

The key to the success of this twelve year journey could only happen through an engaged employee workforce. This presentation deconstructs the twelve year journey of a global company with over 1,500 employees supporting customers in over 50 countries competing for loyalty and wallet share in an industry and marketplace that provides superior customer experiences. John focuses on identifying and segmenting customers; internal as well as external, implementing a measurement process that gives continuous feedback and how to turn this information into meaningful, measureable action that would drive customer loyalty.

Making Promises, Keeping Promises: Building Brand and Loyalty Through Customer Experience
Kerry Bodine, Former VP and Principal Analyst, Customer Experience Research Practice, Forrester

Companies are waking up to the fact that customers’ perceptions have a profound impact on business metrics ranging from brand equity and customer loyalty to increased revenue and cost savings. But for businesses to succeed, they need to get serious about the way they define, implement, and manage the customer experience. This session will explore how to make the connections between experience, brand and loyalty, the role that various touch points play in creating customer expectations and delivering on them and how marketers need to collaborate with the rest of the organization to ensure a high-quality customer experience.

….and, many more industry leaders!

Mention code TCEL14BL & Save 15% off the standard rate. Register today:  http://bit.ly/1fhJFi9

Join us and the greatest customer experience strategists of our time and together we’ll advance business relevancy through customer strategy.
Cheers,
The TCEL Team
@TotalCustomer

Mastering the Digital & Social Marketplace

To call this an event is an understatement. The annual The Total Customer Experience Leaders 2014 is a meeting of the minds for those folks dedicated to advancing business relevancy through customer strategy. This salon style event facilitates the exchange of higher level dialogues and access to the greatest strategists of our time. It’s where provocation is grounded in actionability and presented through articulate facilitation. The 2014 event has a specialized focus on today’s digital & social marketplace. 
April 9-11, 2014
Trump International Beach Resort
Miami, Florida
Our distinguished speakers include:

How Current Trends are Shaping the 10 Growth Areas of Tomorrow
KEYNOTE: Jared Weiner, Futurist and Vice President, Weiner, Edrich, Brown
Several emerging consumer trends for 2014… and beyond…are revolutionizing the future of customer engagement. This session will focus on how major technological, social and economic trends are shaping the 10 growth areas of the emerging Metaspace Economy. Together, we will take a quick journey into the short – and long-term future to uncover the growth opportunities of tomorrow for businesses. Jared brings his experience as a futurist working with some of the world’s largest companies to the table and observes how the economy is evolving to put more of a premium on customer experience than ever before.

Move Brands Faster and Longer in the Social Media Era
Nestor Portillo, Director, Social Communities and Customer Experience, Microsoft

With new social media networks/platforms emerging almost every day, how can brands timely and efficiently engage customers while delivering a cohesive experience that drives customer loyalty? This presentation shares Microsoft’s strategy of serving +22 million customers per month through different social platforms (Blog, Forums, Wiki, Social) in 13 languages, and why customer experience is the key to making the content viral and engaging. What’s the trade-off between the social platform used, the level of trust and the cost when delivering a customer experience through your website and social channels? Customer experience involves customer service and support, how both can co-exists in today’s organizational model and how companies need to get prepared for the new wave?

Thriving in a Digital Commerce World
KEYNOTE: Jay Topper, CIO & CTO, VITACOST.COM

To succeed as a dotcom retailer, it isn’t enough to sell cheap and deliver on time. The entire end-to-end digital eco-system must constantly transform: From marketing, through the web experience, into fulfillment and post-sale services-consumer expectations are on the rise-and must be met in order to create the loyalty necessary to thrive.

How does technology both serve and lead transformation within marketing, merchandising and operations?
How have expectations in internet retail increased and what’s around the corner?
How does post-sale innovation contribute to life-time value-cracking the code of loyalty isn’t easy when your competitor is a click away
Mastering the Mindset of the Millennial Candidate
Kassandra Barnes, Research & Content Manager, CareerBuilder

The millennial generation is the first to grow up in a digital world. That’s why this new generation of candidates, who navigate the increasingly complex and fragmented digital environment with ease, is a challenge for many organizations. We’ll examine insights gleaned from years of studying candidate behavior online and discuss how organizations can use this new media environment to their advantage and personalize their experience with this ever-changing talent pool.

….and, many more industry leaders!

Download the brochure for the full agenda: http://bit.ly/1a4Ivai
Mention code TCEL14LI & Save 15% off the standard rate. Register today: http://bit.ly/1a4Ivai
The take away? A viable actionable plan to securing your company’s future success. Join other leaders charged with creating a sound strategic customer plan in Miami this April.
Cheers,
The TCEL Team
@TotalCustomer

Mastering the Digital & Social Marketplace

To call this an event is an understatement. The annual The Total Customer Experience Leaders 2014 is a meeting of the minds for those folks dedicated to advancing business relevancy through customer strategy. This salon style event facilitates the exchange of higher level dialogues and access to the greatest strategists of our time. It’s where provocation is grounded in actionability and presented through articulate facilitation. The 2014 event has a specialized focus on today’s digital & social marketplace. 
April 9-11, 2014
Trump International Beach Resort
Miami, Florida

Our distinguished speakers include:

How Current Trends are Shaping the 10 Growth Areas of Tomorrow
KEYNOTE: Jared Weiner, Futurist and Vice President, Weiner, Edrich, Brown 
Several emerging consumer trends for 2014… and beyond…are revolutionizing the future of customer engagement. This session will focus on how major technological, social and economic trends are shaping the 10 growth areas of the emerging Metaspace Economy. Together, we will take a quick journey into the short – and long-term future to uncover the growth opportunities of tomorrow for businesses. Jared brings his experience as a futurist working with some of the world’s largest companies to the table and observes how the economy is evolving to put more of a premium on customer experience than ever before.

Move Brands Faster and Longer in the Social Media Era
Nestor Portillo, Director, Social Communities and Customer Experience, Microsoft 

With new social media networks/platforms emerging almost every day, how can brands timely and efficiently engage customers while delivering a cohesive experience that drives customer loyalty? This presentation shares Microsoft’s strategy of serving +22 million customers per month through different social platforms (Blog, Forums, Wiki, Social) in 13 languages, and why customer experience is the key to making the content viral and engaging. What’s the trade-off between the social platform used, the level of trust and the cost when delivering a customer experience through your website and social channels? Customer experience involves customer service and support, how both can co-exists in today’s organizational model and how companies need to get prepared for the new wave?

Thriving in a Digital Commerce World

KEYNOTE: Jay Topper, CIO & CTO, VITACOST.COM
To succeed as a dotcom retailer, it isn’t enough to sell cheap and deliver on time. The entire end-to-end digital eco-system must constantly transform: From marketing, through the web experience, into fulfillment and post-sale services-consumer expectations are on the rise-and must be met in order to create the loyalty necessary to thrive.
How does technology both serve and lead transformation within marketing, merchandising and operations?
How have expectations in internet retail increased and what’s around the corner?
How does post-sale innovation contribute to life-time value-cracking the code of loyalty isn’t easy when your competitor is a click away
Mastering the Mindset of the Millennial Candidate
Kassandra Barnes, Research & Content Manager, CareerBuilder 
The millennial generation is the first to grow up in a digital world. That’s why this new generation of candidates, who navigate the increasingly complex and fragmented digital environment with ease, is a challenge for many organizations. We’ll examine insights gleaned from years of studying candidate behavior online and discuss how organizations can use this new media environment to their advantage and personalize their experience with this ever-changing talent pool.

….and, many more industry leaders!

Download the brochure for the full agenda: http://bit.ly/1iPF4El
Mention code TCEL14LI & Save 15% off the standard rate. Register today: http://bit.ly/1iPF4El
The take away? A viable actionable plan to securing your company’s future success. Join other leaders charged with creating a sound strategic customer plan in Miami this April.
Cheers,
The TCEL Team
@TotalCustomer

Treat Your Customer Like Your Date

Today, businesses spend a ton of resources attracting new customers without an understanding of what it takes to sustain a positive customer experience (CX). In fact, surveys reveal 80 percent of companies believe they deliver superior CX, yet only eight percent of their customers agree. If you take your significant other out on a date, do you dress like a slob and ignore them? Not if you want the relationship to continue ‘ just as you do with your customer.
According to Daryl Travis, author, “How Does It Make You Feel?” and CEO, Brandtrust, in order to create a great CX it’s essential to have an understanding of experiences that trigger the emotions that drive your customer’s brand preference. Travis recently shared some tips with Retail Customer Experience on how business can use emotion to create a better CX.
How Your Customers Feel
According to psychologists, what people remember about a CX is determined by the intensity of emotions created in specific moments’not the overall experience. ‘This is true for most experiences throughout our lives. Our non-conscious mind categorizes and catalogues experiences according to the nature and intensity of emotions,’ writes Travis.
When processing new stimuli, the non-conscious mind associates past memories and responds emotionally before rational thought occurs. When neurologists discovered that 95 percent of thought, emotion and learning occur this way, behavioral economists realized non-consious emotional responses shaped by past memories determine customer attitudes and behavior’not conscious, rational decisions.
Leverage Emotional Insights to Build Trust
Travis says that when considering CX, it’s important to be mindful that trust and faith are essential emotions. When customers perceive your company as trustworthy, they buy your products. Demonstrating trustworthiness can be done when a situation is negative as well.  Trustworthiness is demonstrated by being reliable and concerned for your customer’s needs. The company must demonstrate that it will always act in a caring way toward the customer, no matter the circumstances.
Build empathy
Even though budgets are limited, it’s important to invest in a deep understanding of your customer. With this clarity, teams are able to focus, certain that what they are doing matters to their customers. This is where empathy building can help. It’s also important for senior leadership to understand what customers experience throughout their daily lives. This often shifts how they look at their business, sparking fresh thinking in an empathetic understanding of customers.
Internalize the CX
For an initiative to succeed in improving the CX, senior leadership needs to ‘live’ the brand. This involves articulating the brand promise internally so that people understand what is expected. Each aspect of delivering a positive CX needs to be ‘caught, not taught,’ according to Travis. Leaders intent on changing employee behavior must do so by exemplifying the vision for how the brand is to be experienced. By sharing an understanding of the emotional drivers for a positive CX, it’s possible to refocus employees around what works. Applied social science research has demonstrated that emphasizing the positive rather than trying to eliminate the negative is effective in improving an organization’s capacity for change.
Implement a Plan
Finally, it’s necessary for a work plan to be undertaken to facilitate acceptance and adoption of the behaviors necessary to bring the vision and values of the new CX to life throughout the organization. This process will help to transcend ambiguities and inspire colleagues to internalize and live the new experience promise.
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. 

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.