Customer satisfaction as a business concept has been around for more than 20 years — but customer experience management (CEM) has only been discussed over the past several years. So it’s no wonder that CEM is often equated with earlier concepts. The articles listed below can be instrumental in clarifying customer experience as a unique set of truths, essential for business success with 21st century customers.
1. Perspective: customer experience is defined entirely by the customer, not the solution provider.
This article is 3rd in a series describing 10 unique characteristics of customer experience relative to more well-known concepts such as customer satisfaction and retention. The characteristic defined in this article is: Dynamic – Customer experience evolves with the customers’ context — the purpose and circumstances of their need, and overall experience reference points.
What happens when you fall in love with your customers? Aside from the typical starry-eyed craze, someone who is wildly in love has insatiable curiosity and uncanny adaptability. For an organization, this means customer-centric listening and customer-focused decisions, which result in winning customers’ hearts and budgets. Greater sincerity in love more likely leads to longer-lasting happiness, i.e. self-sustaining business results.
Insatiable Curiosity: Customer-Centric Listening
More vivid than traditional surveys: The last time you asked a new friend what they thought of something you did, you probably were intent on Continue reading →
Customers are typically motivated to give companies feedback by hopes that their opinions will be valued, make a difference in their near-future experiences, or spare others any grief they've endured. Anytime customers share feedback — whether solicited via survey or unsolicited via complaint or casual comments to front-line employees — it's important to acknowledge the customers; view and thank them, with assurance you're working on solutions. Don't let them feel like they're hanging on a cliff waiting for advice they offered to make a difference!
Validate Root Causes
Make it easy for front-line employees to pass along feedback to management decision-makers. If practical, act on each customer's feedback. Otherwise, collect feedback broadly for a representative picture of the customers' perspective. Identify key themes and root causes. Then validate your thinking with customers as you Continue reading →
Customer Satisfaction studies have become a mainstay metric in Marketing’s effectiveness dashboard. However, all too often this metric is used as a feel good measure promoting top box results. Leveraging customer experience analysis to also identify drivers of bottom box response can make the difference in shoring up attrition, improving product and offer capabilities, or creating stronger client references.
A leading online retailer noticed sales in certain key segments slowing or remaining flat in North America and Europe. They needed to Continue reading →
Like radical, man, but everyone tends to talk in metaphors. A picture tells a thousand words, they say. And we all use 5-6 metaphors a minute, according to author Gerald Zeitman in his book How Customers Think. So how much do you know about your customers' metaphors? The ones they use to describe your brand. The analogies they use to explain the customer experience. And different similes used by various market segments. Lots of companies are now exploring the customer experience through metaphors, including BofA, DuPont, Glaxo Wellcome, GM, Hallmark, HP, Immunex, Mercedes, Motorola, P&G and Samsung, among many others.
Everyone knows that most of communication is nonverbal … they say upwards of 80%. Yet most techniques for capturing the voice of the customer tend to focus on verbal mechanisms. We typically measure conscious, verbal aspects of specific product and service elements. It's hard to tap into the 95% of thought, emotion and learning occur in the unconscious mind. And customers’ stated likelihood of Continue reading →
Negative customer feedback is a lot like biting into a lemon — the bitterness is hard to love — unless you give the lemon a good squeeze and some sugar, and transform it into refreshing and healthy lemonade. You're only as strong as your weakest link, so those lemons — complaints and low survey ratings — are indeed essential ingredients to improving customer experiences.
To squeeze your voice of the customer lemons into useful juice, you'll want to:
make it easy for customers to give you early warnings of their dissatisfaction
strive to see the whole picture of the customers’ experience
analyze root causes
To add sugar, you'll want to put a positive spin on your your new-found knowledge of dissatisfiers and their root causes. After all, what better warnings could you have for ways to manage and nurture your weakest links? Working on the root causes of dissatisfiers is the best way of: Continue reading →