What’s the CX buzz this week? (29th Sep, 2014)

Customer relations are a two-way street. In the 2014 Temkin Group report, The State of Customer Experience Management, it was found that nearly six out of ten large companies want to be their industry's CX leader within three years. And yet many companies remain tone deaf when it comes to actually listening to their customers. For instance, some offer customer satisfaction surveys to complete but don’t actually hear their customers’ free-form feedback. Other companies fail to make the deep structural changes needed to truly change their customer experience. Many have tried to implement great customer experience, and a few have succeeded. Read about the challenges and potential pitfalls in our selection this week.

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Why Customer Comments are as Valuable as Metrics [business2community.com]

Freestyle customer comments are invaluable, but we don’t always know how to solicit them. Multiple choice questionnaires and 1-10 customer satisfaction scales don’t always yield the answers we are looking for, like the subtle signs that a customer is about to leave or that an upsell opportunity is on the horizon.

Customer service reps, sales associates, support technicians, and other customer-facing employees hear the REAL stories. They get to hear the gems. Customers don’t always communicate through the “right” channels. They don’t fill in the right survey bubbles or call the proper number. But they will sing like canaries if they know someone is listening. The problem is when there is nowhere to catch those stories and record nuance.

Five Ways to Destroy Customer Goodwill [richardrshapiro.com]

Millions of dollars are spent each year attracting new customers. Once a company procures that customer, an investment is made to deliver an excellent customer experience. However, all the money spent on advertising, social media exposure, and staff coaching goes right out the window with the word “NO!” There are other variations as well: “can’t, won’t, not allowed.”  All have the capacity to destroy customer goodwill.

The author cites several real-life examples in this article to illustrate the above point. When you tell a customer “no,” we don’t have what you need, without trying to address the problem or look for solutions, you lose them. Simple as that.

Customer Experience from Fluff to Tough [1to1media.com]

In the 2014 Temkin Group report, The State of Customer Experience Management, it was found that nearly six out of ten large companies want to be their industry's CX leader within three years.

In many cases, that level of ambition is warranted. This research shows that customers who encounter a good experience are much more valuable than those who have a poor one. When looking across 19 industries, it was found that those with better experiences were almost six times more likely to buy more from a company, nine times as likely to recommend a company to a friend or relative and five times as likely to forgive a company if it delivers a bad experience in the future.

But, what does it take to deliver and sustain industry-leading CX? Author Bruce Temkin outlines two levels of commitment: fluff and tough. Fluff involves superficial changes to enhance customer experience, and tough involves deeper structural changes in the company.

Creating a ‘wow’ customer experience isn’t the hard part [business.financialpost.com]

A customer experience strategy is an amalgamation of practices, systems, and values that guide interactions with customers and prospects across different sales channels, platforms, and geographies. In an increasingly competitive and commoditized marketplace, creating a “wow” customer experience is one of the few tools left for companies to retain customers, sustain margins, and build a long-term competitive advantage. Elements of a good customer experience strategy include customer-centric process design, passion-driven employee engagement, operational integration, and coherent interactions across multiple touch points.

In many cases, however, designing the ideal experience is the easy part, particularly if it is built on a foundation of product, brand, and service excellence. The tougher challenge is maintaining this capability over time.

NICE Systems and Customer Engagement Analytics [ventanaresearch.com]

There are two aspects to the customer journey, according to the author, Richard J. Snow. The first is often called the customer lifetime cycle and includes moving prospects and customers through marketing, sales, service, retention, and upsells. The second is what is now called “customer service.” It addresses how potential and actual customers engage with the company to resolve issues. This includes such activities as learning about a product, buying it and using it, making a query about a bill, making a payment, reporting a fault and having it resolved. Both aspects involve customer engagement, which includes the touch points people use to engage with a company and the company’s response to their inquiries.

Customer Engagement Analytics is designed to analyze customer interaction data to help companies improve the customer experience at every touch point, thus “optimizing the customer journey.” It’s fascinating to see how big data and analytics can be harnessed to make a customer feel better about their experience.

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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