In 2016, customer experience management was top of mind for organizations. This year, Bruce Temkin dubbed CX ‘The Year of Purpose‘, in which businesses are quickly recognizing the importance of customer experience as a competitive advantage. To gain some insight into what to expect this year, we caught up with Customer Experience Expert, Blake Morgan.
Blake’s Take on Customer Experience Management
The concept of delivering an exceptional customer experience (CX) is nothing new in business. So, why are industry experts saying that CX has become the ‘new competitive battlefield’?
You’re right, customer experience is not a new phrase. It has been around for many years, but today we have big fish that visibly stand on the platform of customer experience. They’re making profits that are hard to ignore. For example from the beginning Amazon has focused on customer experience. Because Jeff Bezos is the predominant shareholder in Amazon stock, he is a CEO that isn’t beholden to quarterly profits. Clearly he’s done something right. The CEO must be the chief customer officer first. According to a recent report 58% of companies that are much more profitable than their competitors report that the CEO is in charge of customer experience management. If the CEO cares, than you can assume that enthusiasm and focus will be the focus of the entire company. But if the CEO only cares about quarterly profits, that will then be the focus of the entire company. And no great company ever became great by only focusing on selling. The product or service must be special or unique.
In your opinion, what are the key performance indicators (KPI’s) that help measure the effectiveness of a customer experience management program or initiative?
You know how when you go on a date with someone you really like, you want to know if they want to see you again? You want to know right away – and that’s like Net Promoter Score. NPS is a simple metric. Would you recommend us to a friend. It means did we do a good job to earn your business or did we screw up? Many companies don’t care. But those who do will reap the benefits. The scoring for this answer is most often based on a 0 to 10 scale. If the customer responds by giving the company a 9 or 10 that customer is labeled a promoter. They are more likely to buy more from the company, recommend the brand to friends and be loyal for longer. If the customer rates the company from 0 to 6 those customers are labeled Detractors. Detractors today are very dangerous to a brand because of how quickly they often take to social media to air grievances against the brand.
What are the current tools businesses are using to monitor and measure these KPI’s?
Many CRM tools offer the ability to send out an NPS survey after the interaction, or embed it on the channel where the interaction happened. For example now through Twitter, customer service departments can ask customers how they would rate the interaction through Twitter.
What are the biggest challenges/obstacles to delivering a great CX program or initiative?
What you focus on grows. This is true for individuals and it’s true for businesses. Like anything, customer programs have to compete for resources and energy with other programs. The biggest obstacle is simply getting the CEO to say “hey customer experience management is important. We’re going to do everything in this company with the customer in mind.”
What are some of the major technology trends shaping CX in 2017?
Chat bots and messaging apps are huge, but while they exist they still can’t do much. They’re essentially incompetent virtual assistants. But in the future as machine learning improves our ability to apply automation to customer experiences will also improve.
Text analytics is a technology that is said to be a game-changer in CX. What’s your advice for companies looking to leverage unstructured customer feedback?
The data you get through your text analytics is important but more important is what you do with that data. You should always check the validity of the data with multiple sources. Text analytics are important, but don’t forget you need to actually talk to your customers. Pick up the phone, send a tweet, send an email, or if in person have your employees ask your customers what could be done differently or better.
Which industries do you believe can benefit the most from integrating text analytics into their VOC and overall CX strategy?
It’s an important point in time for the healthcare industry. Today there are many people who are very concerned about the health and safety of their families, and while healthcare companies and insurance providers feel there is little they can do outside of regulation, they need to listen to their most important stakeholders. I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the government, it’s the people. There is nothing more personal that an individual’s health. If healthcare companies could take a stand by upholding customer experience and listening to their customers, it would greatly benefit them and their reputation.
Blake Morgan is a globally recognized thought leader on customer experience. Her first book is “More is More: How The Best Companies Work Harder And Go Farther To Create Knock Your Socks Off Customer Experiences.” She is the host of The Modern Customer Podcast and a weekly customer experience video series on YouTube. She’s been ranked as ICMI’s Top 50 Thought Leaders To Follow on Twitter In 2016, and Customer Gauge’s top 20 customer experience experts to follow in 2017. She’s worked with Intel, Verizon Wireless, and many more. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband, daughter and their two Yorkie rescues. For more from Blake Morgan please sign up for her weekly customer experience newsletter here.