What’s the CX buzz this week? (10th Nov, 2014)

There is a famous Native American saying, “never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in their moccasins.” For customer experience professionals, the saying should be, “never presume to understand a customer until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” This week’s CX Buzz of the Week is all about customer journey mapping. It’s not enough to ask customers a few questions or make an educated guess about what they want. Increasingly, the only way to know your customer is to leap out of your own shoes and into theirs as they interact, step-by-step, with your company. It’s the only way to understand your customer’s subjective experience, which in turn, is the best way to keep them coming back.

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Stop Measuring Customer Satisfaction [linkedin.com]

Author Jessica Bledsoe tells companies to stop measuring “customer satisfaction,” (including NPS) and start mapping the customer journey. A customer might tell you that they’re satisfied and still not renew their purchase. But if you put yourself in your customer’s shoes and understand each step of their experience, you are more likely to understand the reasons they didn’t renew.

Bledsoe recommends getting out of your own skin and walking the same path as your customer. Ask them for feedback, both quantitative and open-ended. But don’t stop there. Debrief your account team, and finally, plan specific actions the team can take to resolve concerns and emphasize value. Timing is important as well, she stresses. There is no better time to talk to your customer than 3 to 6 months prior to a renewal event.

Five ways to build emotional engagement into your customer journey [mycustomer.com]

A growing number of organizations have woken up to the importance of customer journey mapping. But even in their eagerness to do the right thing, says author Colin Shaw, many companies are still doing it wrong.

One mistake is that companies map the customer’s process, as opposed to their subjective experience. Another mistake is to focus solely on the rational aspects of the customer journey, as opposed to how the customer felt throughout.

Don’t ignore the customer’s emotions, says Shaw. In fact, he asserts, emotions are the real competitive battleground. Feelings drive many of our decisions, whether we are fully aware of those feelings or not. He suggests that a company should even go a step further and examine a customer’s subconscious experience -- which he describes as the layer beneath the emotional experience. Shaw offers a minor but telling illustration of this idea. When banks attach pens to chains, they are transmitting the message, “we don’t trust you.” It’s not conscious, but it affects the customer’s experience. 

Finding the right job for your product [ariegoldshlager.wordpress.com]

In this blog post, author Arie Goldschlager offers an amusing example of a company that failed to map the customer journey.

Whirlpool recently produced a $1,699 "smart" washing machine with Wi-Fi that can be started from a smartphone or tablet. The machine even sends push notifications when a customer’s laundry is ready to dry, and allows them to keep tabs on their laundry with a special app.

Needless to say, sales of the “smart” washing machine have been lackluster.  As one Whirlpool executive told the Washington Post,  “we’re a little bit of a hammer looking for a nail right now. Trying to understand exactly the value proposition that you provide to the consumer has been a little bit of a challenge.”

From a customer experience point of view, one can imagine what happened: Perhaps designers at Whirlpool were so immersed in their product and excited by the high-tech new features that they failed to put themselves in customers’ shoes. As one cynical blogger put it, "Have we gotten so pathetically lame that you need to be notified by an email that your laundry is done?" It’s a comical question, and the kind that might have occurred to marketers in the course of customer journey mapping, before the product was ever launched.

10 Proof Points – Why Customer Experience Is the Next Big Thing [gartner.com]

The author, Gartner’s Laura McLellan says that marketers are justifiably tired of hearing that this or that marketing trend is the “next big thing.” Nevertheless, McLellan argues that customer experience is the “next big thing,” and offers ten “proof points” to make her case.

One proof point she cites is a survey by Gartner in which 89% of companies say that by 2016, they plan to compete primarily on the basis of the customer experience.

Similarly, a report issued by IBM stated that “as the digital infuses the physical, and vice versa, organizations are transforming the customer experience. Nearly seven in ten CxOs recognize the new imperative …” Not persuaded yet? There are plenty more compelling stats in the article.

How Big Data Can Help You Provide a Better Customer Experience [marketingprofs.com]

Now that you’ve been persuaded that customer experience is the next big thing, this article by Tamara Solarich will show you how big data can enhance that customer experience.

First, big data can reveal serendipitous insights that allow you to improve your products or services. Second, data allow you to personalize the customer experience, for instance, greeting a customer by name or knowing about the past issues of a particular customer.

Third, big data makes self-serve opportunities better, and, fourth, when customers do need to interact with a rep, that rep can offer more accurate information more quickly than previously. Experiences and feelings are not the first association one makes with “big data,” but Solarich makes a compelling case.

We hope you enjoyed our picks and bookmarked a few of these articles for future reference. Please don’t forget to share the buzz with other CX professionals.

Are there any other topics of CX that interest you? Tweet us, or comment below to let us know!

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