What a Customer Experience Focus and Obsession means to the Digital Executive

Customer Experience

Customer Experience

Why being obsessed and focused improves transformation – Being obsessed and focused is not an either/or kind of thing. It is “yes/and” at its core. We need to be obsessed AND we need to be focused. We need to be passionate about our focus on the things that make a difference for our customers and will transform us into a digital business. Focus is more intent and then execution. It is all well and good to focus on customers. What level of focus is that? Moderate? High? The range of focus doesn’t qualify the intensity of the focus. Read more here …

Our customers are empowered and we can’t control that – Consumers are absolutely empowered through technology now. That means your customers are as well. It has happened and it is a fact. We can’t control that. Sorry to point that out but that is our starting reality. Our customers are empowered. They know it. Do we? They know they have influence. Do we know they have influence? Read more here ….

Why Customer Experiences should be intentional – As a digital executive, design is important. What is being sold is important but the experience the customer has in buying it has become critical. What does the future of your business look like? Is it focused on your mission AND design? Digital business transformation is all about being intentional about the experiences your customers are having. Read more here …

Why should I invest in improving the Customer experience at my company? – It is reasonable to ask, if my company invests in the customer experience, will it work? This question drove Watermark Consulting to evaluate the macro impact of customer experience excellence. They’ve accomplished this over the years by studying the total returns for two model stock portfolios comprised of the Top 10 (“Leaders”) and Bottom 10 (“Laggards”) publicly traded companies in Forrester Research’s annual Customer Experience Index ranking. The results are stunning. Read more here …

Define relevance by how relevant the experience is – The customer journey is evolving (albeit very, very fast). That shouldn’t surprise you but it is good news. You haven’t been left behind completely. Your customers have changed though. Their experience of you and your mission may not be what any of us would want. In this case, relevance is defined by how relevant the experience is. Passion for your products and services is contingent on amazing experiences. How you personally decide to react or lead is up to you. It, of course, is not about technology. What is the journey of getting closer to customers and staying relevant really about? Read more here …

Your passion for your mission and your customers can turn you into a hero – You have a passion for your mission. You want to do the right thing for your customers. You believe in a better customer experience. You are on a journey. This is a world that brings about radical change for your company. Your journey will require that you master “change management”. “Change management” is your primary role as a visionary who truly believes your company can end up in a better place with more reach for your mission and with an improved bottom line to fund it. You are a champion of transformation and innovation in your company. You will face a lot of challenges. It will require hard work, perseverance and support from many. You will discover many allies and a few enemies. Read more here …

Get ready for a new generation of customers – Are you ready for a new generation of customers? Company executives, meet the Millennials. Millennials, meet XYZ company. Oops, there is a gap here. Most company leaders aren’t a part of Generation Y (also known as Millennials). Generation Y is considered to be individuals born in the early 1980s to 2000s. They come after Generation X. Millennials represent an important emerging group of potential customers as they are also sometimes referred to as “echo boomers”. This refers to their size relative to the large group of Baby Boomers. In the US, birth rates peaked in 1990. It is helpful to know that Millennials have distinctly different behaviors, values and attitudes from previous generations as a response to the technological and economic implications of the internet. Read more here …

Widen your view from generations to connected customers – We are beginning to think about engagement in terms of is it social or is it mobile? If our company goes social and mobile, we believe we will connect with the new generations of customers. It must be true since that is all that we hear about. It takes much more than the latest technology flavor of the year to reach Generation X or Y or Baby Boomers for that matter. It takes a passion to understand and be empathetic. We all long to be known, remembered and served. That said, a number of your customers influence others and are influenced in ways that we don’t quite understand. Customers are connecting and sharing in ways that allow them to learn, discover, share and make decisions that are different than anything we have seen before. Read more here …

Now is the time to make different decisions – As a company executive, you have focused on some traditional markets and strategies. Your mission has compelled you to think this way. Maybe you have benefited from direct mail, major customers and marketing funnels. Perhaps your growth over the last 10 years has been from eCommerce. That history and success had you focused on Baby Boomers or the generation before them known as the “Lucky Few” (or “Silent Generation”). Read more here …

Is the connected customer distracted or engaged? – We see it every day. We are at an event and someone holds up their phone to video or take a picture. Or they are looking down at their phone at your event. You think they are distracted, not enjoying what is going on. Can’t they focus on the experience and be engaged? Here’s the rub. They aren’t distracted. They are engaged. They are sharing the video of the event on YouTube. They are checking in on Four Square. They are always connected and they are always sharing their experiences. They do it as it happens. This is the new Connected Customer. They are sharing with their friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and text messages. Read more here …

How important is the moment where a customer decides to engage? – There comes a moment where a potential customer makes a decision to engage. They may be just “testing the waters” so to speak. In the digital world, we can see this happen in real time or near real time. Unfortunately for many companies, this is seen in a linear and transactional way. Please be aware that to your connected customer, this is not a transaction. In being intentional about our design leads to a journey, we can get ahead of the experience to make sure this first encounter leads to a continued journey. Read more here …

How do your company moments of truth look? – As you would expect, Google has done some amazing research on the connected consumer experience. You should take some time to read their work that they have labeled under ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth). They have a handbook and eBook you can download as well. Is the multi-channel approach obvious in the experiences and journeys you are investing in? Simply stated: are you showing up in the right places with the best designed experience to create an enjoyable, simple and relevant experience as possible? Read more here …

Stunning experiences will lead the way to meaningful customer engagement – You are ready to open your mind, your heart, and your imagination to create new journeys and experiences for your customers. These stunning experiences leads the way to meaningful engagement and shareable journeys. This makes all the difference to a connected customer. A key is continually walking in the digital footsteps of your customers to assess how engaged you feel. Does the experience inspire your imagination? It is all about embracing your connected customers. If you do, they will embrace you in return. Even feelings of empathy, relevance and reciprocity are measureable with traditional business metrics. The impact to your bottom line and mission can be known. It takes courage to decide to find out the results of our efforts. Read more here …

Improving the customer experience so as to never fear it being shared – Your customers are sharing experiences they have with you. This profoundly influences the journey others they know will take and the decisions they will make to become engaged with you. Your marketing efforts have one level of effect but they are always seen as your marketing efforts. What others say, in a peer-to-peer way, are the most potent influencers of all. Word of mouth has always been powerful. Technology now allows for exponential reach for the person who shares their experience of you. It isn’t what you say about yourself but it is all about what others say about you that counts. Read more here …

Is customer experience an art or science? – Is customer experience an art or science? It is part art and part science and a whole lot of social science. It is about people. It is more social science than technology. In understanding how customers connect with you mission, it helps to understand a little about psychology, sociology, and anthropology. It is all about experience. Understanding “why” an experience wasn’t enjoyable is important. Falling into the trap that it is all about “likes” on social media can be misleading. It doesn’t matter how many likes you get if the other experiences aren’t enjoyable, simple and meet what the customer needs.  Read more here …

Do lapsed donors see themselves that way? – Do lapsed donors see themselves that way? Probably not. They may or may not remember they gave to you. Besides periodically asking for money, have they heard about the impact their gift has made to your mission? They gave for a reason. Do you know what it was for? Read more here …

Customer engagement is not about voodoo – Engagement is not about voodoo. It is however as much about art as about science. It also draws heavily from social sciences; psychology, sociology, ethnography, and digital anthropology. The behaviors of customers are critical to understand. These behaviors expresses patterns that are important to the journey you hope they take with your mission. It highlights for you new touch points and resources for potential investment. Your empathy and creativity are inspired by the decisions your customers make. This journey is very dynamic and every evolving. Read more here …

Are we witnessing the “last breath” of the customer sales funnel? – Over the years, companies have developed various models to explain customer behavior. Most of the ones I have seen have been very linear. The most famous is the sales (customer) funnel where a customer moves over time from one stage to another. Perhaps at one point the world was that simple. For today’s connected customer, it is no longer a linear path to engagement. Read more here …

Meet the new company customer – You are beginning to know a new customer. They are a blend of the traditional, the digital and the connected. They may still be some who use traditional media and occasionally read a magazine or paper, most have moved to the web (digital) and social world (think Facebook and Pinterest) and are rapidly becoming connected via smartphones and tablets. It is still a blend for most but for many, the connected world is becoming predominant. It will help you from being disrupted by thinking in a blend of digital and connected with more and more moving to connected. Read more here …

How text analytics can shape Voice of the Customer programs – Listening to customers is critical to understand how the experience is working in reality. We think we designed things well. Did we? Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs provides valuable feedback. Adding some capability around text analytics can bring some insight to what customers are thinking that are difficult to understand otherwise. As its use becomes more widespread, we expect to see companies infuse text analytics across what we call the 6 Ds of VoC Programs: Detect, Disseminate, Diagnose, Discuss, Design, and Deploy. via Report: Text Analytics Reshapes VoC Programs | Customer Experience Matters.

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In the age of communities, how important is our company brand? – What does your company stand for? What (and who) does it represent? Now, more than ever before, our brand is vitally important. More time needs to be spent making sure it is clear. Our customers are connected when our brand is clear. The values we share, the personal believes that we hold in common, the life experiences that are combined with personal and professional objectives are creating a need for personal engagement with our mission. Read more here …

Who let the air out of the balloon? – This a great question from Seth Godin. Particularly appropriate for marketers but also important to be understood by the digital executive.There are huge implications to this in terms of how we market ourselves, the design and execution of our customer experiences and the digitally connected consumer.

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Is your marketing strategy as a non-profit one about tote bags? – As a non-profit executive, former development officer and customer strategy professional, I think Seth Godin nails this one. He personally did the opposite of this in his successful effort to help end malaria in Africa. Check out the blog to see the end of the story. Well worth the read.

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