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Connected Customer Experience

The Four Pillars of Customer Experience Management

Author Bruce Burke on Jun-5-2014

I recently attended a session focused on mobile marketing. The panel was moderated by Matt Leonard, Director of Traffic Acquisition & Revenue Management, Cruise Critic (part of the Trip Advisor Media Group).

Panelists included John Bastone, Executive Director, Retail Product Marketing, Catalina, Kim Geralds, Senior Director of Global Digital & Marketing Strategy, Enterprise & Intelligence Solutions, Syniverse, Don Rua, Marketing Technology Strategist, Raymond James and Fred Steube, Senior Director of Emerging Technology, Cox Target Media.

Although focused on mobile marketing the conversation quickly grew and expanded to include all digital marketing solutions, including web-based technologies.  Discussions sprang up around issues that the panelists face every day; for instance, all panelists heartily agreed that not every problem will be solved by an app.

Mobile Panel Tampa Bay WaVE resized 600

There was also a group consensus that all platforms supporting the brand need to be interconnected in order to provide a seamless experience for the end user. All the panel members also agreed that message consistency is of the utmost importance for retention and loyalty.

Although each panel member had a slightly different viewpoint, based on their company, position and experience in individual markets; all agreed that there are four pillars that have to be present in order for a great customer experience to exist.

First and foremost the solution at hand has to be efficient and save time for the customer. Simplifying their lives and making things happen in an instant is the focus of most digital solutions. Anytime you can resolve an issue cleanly and efficiently for the user you win. In today’s fast forward society shaving even a few seconds off a pending task can make you the focus of adulation.

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Secondly all solutions need to save customers’ money. If the customer is able to realize savings and feel like they got a good value as a result of interacting with the solution they will continue to use that solution. If they feel like they got good value in addition to saving money they will tell their family and friends about their experience. This type of advocacy cannot be bought and has more weight than any advertising campaign.

The third pillar mandates that utility must be provided, this is crucial to the success of any customer-facing program, app or interface. In the desktop days of yore, before smartphones were invented, there were many utilities made for the PC. You don’t hear much about utilities nowadays, they have been bundled together with apps and not seen as the distinct category they once were. Utility is defined as the state of being useful, profitable or beneficial. Providing users with the ability to accomplish a task they normally couldn’t accomplish easily by themselves.

Surprise and delight is the fourth and probably most important aspect of customer engagement. It is the experience that keeps customers coming back for more. At a recent SXSW session a company named Digital Roots outlined an 8-pronged approach to delivering surprise and delight to customers; the steps are as follows:

Surprise and delight your customers
  1. Find the Conversation – pinpoint the most relevant conversation, and find the right people to focus on.
  2. Hone In – Customers love it when brands take ownership and provide high-quality customer service.
  3. Stalk a Little Bit – Integrating social into your CRM will enable you to better track and delight your customers.
  4. Choose the Scope – The goal of what you’d like your campaign to accomplish will determine your approach.
  5. Choose the Reward – Prizes should be desirable, reflect your brand and be delivered in a timely manner.
  6. Plan your Social Attack – Determine key performance indicators before you begin the campaign.
  7. Deliver in a Meaningful Way – Brands with a proactive approach in social, found their programs more effective.
  8. Build Your Brand Loyalty – The job does end once you’ve surprised and delighted customers. A company must continually work to build its brand loyalty.

Demographics are dead: it’s all about what customers buy right now. With today’s technology, companies are able to track what customers’ buy and utilize that information to target these customers in the future.

Today’s social and mobile customers determine how and when they want to interact with companies. Providing these four pillars will lead to better customer experience, resulting in accelerated revenues and heightened loyalty.

Mapping the Customer Journey For CEM Success

Author Bruce Burke on Feb-18-2014

A customer journey map is a very simple idea: it's a diagram that illustrates the steps your customer(s) go through in engaging with your organization, whether it is a product, an online experience, retail experience, a service, or any combination thereof.

The more touchpoints you have, the more complicated — but necessary — such a map becomes. Sometimes customer journey maps are “cradle to grave,” examining the entire cycle of engagement.

Customer Journey Mapping For CEM Success

Without understanding the customer journey or the customer’s perspective, it is impossible for organizations to make the changes necessary to augment the customer experience.

While this might seem like a blatantly obvious statement only 19% of organizations engage in customer journey mapping exercise as part of their CEM programs. Moreover, only 23% indicate that the development of channel engagement strategy is included in their overall CEM programs.

On the other end of the spectrum, customer feedback management is a core component of most CEM programs as organizations are looking to tap into both solicited and unsolicited feedback to get a true gauge of shortfalls or gaps in the existing customer experience.

Maximize Customer Experience

While feedback is essential in addressing customer issues, it should be paired with exercises around customer journey mapping and experience design to enable the servicing organization to proactively modify the experience delivered. This is preferred as opposed to reacting to negative feedback.

A customer journey timeline is just a starting point; we need to look at what’s happening at each stage. A framework that has been found to be consistently useful is to look at:

  • Actions: What are customers doing at each stage? What actions are they taking to move themselves on to the next stage?

  • Motivations: What is the customer’s motivation to keep going to the next stage? What emotions are they feeling? Why do they care?

  • Questions: What are the uncertainties, jargon, or other issues that prevent customer’s from moving to the next stage?

  • Barriers: What structure, process, cost, implementation or other barriers stand in the way of moving on to the next stage?

Fleshing out these aspects is best done when grounded in customer research, preferably including in-depth interviews and in-context observations. Surveys and focus groups tend to gloss over too many details that are critical to really understanding the experience. Ask customers to map out their journeys for you, when visiting them for research.

Note: The customer journey is usually non-linear. Someone may jump straight from awareness to purchase if they are not inclined to do research and have a strong recommendation from a friend, for example. Or they may spend a long time working through their research process for a single expensive purchase.

There is no single right way to create a customer journey, and your own organization will need to find what works best for your particular situation.

However the frameworks provided here are a good start at understanding the journey that your customers travel through as they engage with your company, brand, products, partners, and people.

In the upcoming, mize sponsored webinar, Winning Strategies in Customer Experience Management, research analyst Sumair Dutta, Chief Customer Officer at The Service Council, accompanied by Dr. Phil Hendrix, Director of immr and Analyst GigaOm Pro and Brooks Cutter, Program Manager at mize will take a deep dive into Customer Experience Management and some of the methodologies, such as Customer Journey Mapping, used to arrive at bettered customer proficiencies.

If you want to learn more about Customer Journey Mapping, and Customer Experience Management for your organization this complimentary webinar is a great way to get started.  If you’d like to attend the webinar all you need to do is register today, and leave the rest to us.

Register for Webinar | Download Whitepaper & Infographic

The event is scheduled for Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 1:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. Registered parties receive a complimentary copy of The Service Council whitepaper entitled, Customer Experience Management, Strategies to Succeed, as well as the recently published infographic based on the findings of The Service Council whitepaper.

Webinar: Winning Strategies in Customer Experience Management

Author Erin Nelson on Jan-30-2014

Nowadays, people trust recommendations from their friends far more than those they receive from third-party sources. The reach and speed of a single recommendation, particularly when expressed through social media channels, can be either immensely damaging or promotional for a brand.

TWebinar: Winning Strategies in Customer Experience Managementoday’s digitally connected consumers are far more vocal about their negative experiences than their positive ones - with poor customer service as the top reason for customer dissatisfaction and one of the top two factors leading to customer churn or loss.

More times than not, peer recommendations are driven by customer experience. Managing that customer experience requires attention and diligence into current customer sentiment. Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions provide critical insights and answers for brands to improve conversion and customer retention.

CEM is the collection of processes a company uses to drive, manage, and unify every interaction between a customer and brand throughout the customer lifecycle. The ultimate purpose of CEM is to foster customer loyalty and therefore, increase retention and advocacy. To manage the customer experience, companies need to create a strategy that encompasses all customer touchpoints.

Complimentary Webinar

Register for Webinar | Download Whitepaper & Infographic

In our upcoming webinar, we’ll go into detail about the best strategies to succeed in Customer Experience Management (CEM).

This complimentary 60-minute webinar will feature best practices shared by over 180 organizations that have been able to drive the most out of their Customer Experience Management initiatives. The top 30 best-in-class companies have realized:

  • 80% or greater levels of customer satisfaction
  • 80% or greater levels of customer retention
  • Revenue growth over the previous 12 months (average revenue growth amounted to 14%)

This webinar will share how leading companies have used Customer Experience Management to drive customer satisfaction, retention, advocacy, and growth.

When is it?

Day: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 

Time: 1:00 PM EST – 2:00 PM EST


  • Sumair Dutta, Chief Customer Officer of The Service Council
  • Dr. Phil Hendrix, Director of immr and Analyst GigaOm Pro
  • Brooks Cutter, Program Manager at m-ize

Format: GoToWebinar

How do I sign up?

To reserve your spot in the webinar (spaces are limited) click on the button below:

Register for Webinar | Download Whitepaper & Infographic

Or click this link to register: http://info.m-ize.com/winning-strategies-in-customer-experience-management

The attendees to the webinar will receive a complimentary whitepaper “Customer Experience Management: Strategies to Succeed” from The Service Council, a leading research and advisory firm that supports an exclusive community of Services, Services Logistics, Customer Experience, Field Service and Customer Satisfaction Executives representing global, industry-leading, service-centric organizations.

Information presented in this webinar will be beneficial to all executives responsible for improving customer experience.

 Participants of this webinar will learn best practices to:

  • Acquire a single view of the customer
  • Understand the customer journey and customer efforts to get the job done
  • Enhance the customer journey using feedback and analytics
  • Listen, learn, collaborate, and engage

 Register for Webinar | Download Whitepaper & Infographic

If you have any questions please contact Bruce Burke for information:

Voice of the Customer (VOC) | Acting on Feedback

Author Adam Parson on Dec-18-2013

Voice of the Customer (VOC)What are your customers saying about your products? How many bad reviews does it take to deter shoppers? According to a recent study, 64% of customers surveyed said they trusted product reviews from other consumers; but between one and three bad online reviews would be enough to deter the majority (67%) of shoppers from purchasing a product or service.

Voice of the Customer (VOC) programs are revolutionizing the way the business world operates. Internal business functions, from billing to marketing, brands are constantly and consistently changing to meet the needs a modern social and mobile customer base. The golden rule of “the customer is always right” has become a necessity for business operations rather than a favored plan of action. VOC programs create an ongoing conversation which addresses interactions in real-time.

With VOC programs increasingly becoming mainstream, it is crucial for companies to adopt new customer-centric practices. Companies need to capture consumer feedback and expectations to convert it into useable data to drive and direct how they offer products and services. The key is to not only to listen to the voice of the client, but then, in turn, act upon it. When a customer takes the time to provide a company with ways to improve upon itself, the consumer expects the brand to have the same goal in mind.

Voice of the Customer (VOC)Organizations are always looking to gather feedback from their customer base, hoping that information will help reach and maintain goals such as customer satisfaction and retention. If a company can better understand the voice of their customer, they are enabled to drive brand awareness, loyalty, and even top-line revenue growth.

Businesses can use several channels including social media monitoring, events, and post-service surveys to gain a better handle on customer insights and buyer behavior. In fact, the main reason that companies today are investing in VOC programs, is due to the ability  to capture customer feedback and incorporate it into current and future business practices. In order to truly capture all of the value that a VOC program have to offer, the right questions need to be asked to the right customers, at the right time. John Russell, former Managing Director of Harley Davidson, put it best when he said, “The more you engage with customers, the cleaner things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.”

When an organization finally decides to increase their sources of data, they are pleasantly surprised with what they find. They begin to realize that they are no longer forced to react based only on changes in the marketplace. Organizations are given the opportunity to the react based on the information they collect from customers on their own. They become the changes in the marketplace.

The overall negative potential and financial impact resulting from lost customers can be devastating. Organizations need to implement Voice of Customer programs and policies before the lack of one begins to take a toll on the overall customer experience. A customer’s voice is not a trend or a fad that a company can afford to discard and ignore.

As long as a business has customers, the customers will have voices. Effectively listening and responding to these voices in an efficient manner can make or break an organization. Top performing companies constantly use this strategy of VOC to build and maintain customer advocacy in order to improve retention while increasing revenue.

The true question you need to ask yourself is not whether you can afford to implement a Voice of Customer program, but whether you can afford not to.

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