Customer Experience, CXREFRESH, CX, Global CX

Untapped value for all parties is common due to the absence of clarity on customer perceptions of value, which is a composite of his or her functional and emotional judgments of your product, service, brand, culture, processes, policies, and business model — all relative to what the customer is striving to do. A keen understanding of customers’ subconscious value equations and perceptions is essential to zeroing-in on management efforts yielding highest return on investment (ROI). Yet most customer research focuses on brand recommendation and sentiment or new product development. Customer value is typically implied, or awkwardly derived from questions about price expectations, or simply assumed. However, Customer Value Management supplies tried-and-true methodologies for discovering how customers think about specific value relative to your competitors and to their expectations.

Customer Value Chain

Another reason for untapped value is weak management of the inter-dependencies among entities in the value creation and delivery chain. Traditional thinking charges R&D with value creation, but in reality, the customer experience is impacted even by your support functions’ internal and external policies. In fact, everyone in the company, including suppliers and alliance and channel partners, plays a role in the snowball effect of decisions and hand-offs that eventually shape the entire customer experience.

Customer Value Techniques

Should Customer-Value-Added (CVA) be included in your financial statements? What are the customer-focus and value creation roles of your CFO, Head of HR, and other top execs? How can you recognize gaps in customer-centricity that invite competitive footholds?

By seeing value the way customers see it leaders gain the context for collaborative value generation that offers sustainable differentiation and is rewarded by the market place.

Customer Perceptions   Customer Research   Customer Value  Customer Experience   CXREFRESH    Global CX

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Customer Experience, Customer Satisfaction, CXREFRESH, CX

Human interaction remains a vital component of customer satisfaction, even in the ‘digital age’. 83 percent of world’s consumers prefer dealing with human beings over digital channels to solve customer services issues and get advice (77 percent). Almost half (45 percent) of consumers say they are even willing to pay a higher price for goods and services if it ensures a better level of service.

Physical or in-store experiences are also highly valued amongst consumers. 65 percent agree that in-store service is the best channel for getting a tailored experience, and 46 percent say they are more willing to be sold new or upgraded products when receiving a face-to-face service compared to online.

How leaders of customer services succeed

Organizations that want to rebalance their digital and traditional customer service channels should look to:

1. Put the human and physical elements back into customer services: Rethink your investment strategy. The focus should be on delivering satisfying customer experiences – not methods of interaction. Ensure your channel management approach delivers integrated experiences.

2. Make it easy for customers to switch channels to get the experiences they want: Build customer service channels that enable consumers to fluidly move from digital to human interaction to get the outcomes they desire.

3. Root out toxicity: Define and address the most toxic customer experiences across all channels. These experiences can directly impact profitability. Identify the experiences that have the greatest potential downside and leverage those insights to guide an investment strategy.

4. Guarantee personal data security: 92 percent of consumers say it is extremely important that companies protect the privacy of their personal information. By not selling or sharing customer data with other companies, and guaranteeing that safeguards are in place to protect it, consumers will be more willing to hand over personal information which can be leveraged to deliver better experiences.

Customer Experience    Customer Satisfaction   Customer Services   CXREFRESH   Global CX


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Customer Experience, CX, CXREFRESH, CX Law

The laws of customer experience are meant to empower highly effective customer experience efforts.

By understanding these fundamental truths about how people and organizations behave, companies can make smarter decisions about what they do, and how they do it.

Every leader needs to understand the laws of customer experience.”

Here are highlights of the six laws of customer experience:

  • CX Law #1: Every Action Creates A Personal Reaction. Simply put, experiences are totally in the eyes of the beholder.
  • CX Law #2: People Are Instinctively Self-Centered. Everyone has their own frame of reference, which heavily influences what they do and how they do it.
  • CX Law #3: Customer Familiarity Breeds Alignment. Given that most people want their company to better serve customers, a clear view of what customers need, want, and dislike can align decisions and actions.
  • CX Law #4: Unengaged Employees Don’t Create Engaged Customers. While you can make some customers happy through brute force, you cannot sustain great customer experience unless your employees are bought-in to what you’re doing and are aligned with the effort.
  • CX Law #5: Employees Do What Is Measured, Incented, and Celebrated. Employees tend to conform to the environment that they’re in, so you need to adjust the environment if you want change.
  • CX Law #6: You Can’t Fake It. You can fool some people for some of the time, but most employees and customers can eventually tell what’s real and what’s not.

CX Law    Customer Experience  CXREFRESH   Global CX              CX Strategy

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CustomerExperience, CXStrategy, CXREFRESH

Customer experience is a term used to categorize and describe the experience a customer receives while interacting with a business’s marketing and sales messages.

Ideally, these interactions will make up a “path to conversion”, also called a customer journey, that facilitates the progression of a potential customer from the introduction to the completed sale and beyond.

In fact, for traditional retailers, like Abercrombie & Fitch, Build A Bear, and Nordstrom, customer experience has been successfully employed to differentiate themselves from their competitors and create a brand synonymous with quality.

This emphasis has also impacted the bottom line for these companies. Forrester reports that improving CX can increase profitability by more than 500%, as well as reducing customer acquisition and employee hiring costs.

CX starts with engaging customers with relevant events well before the sale and continues after the sale with advocacy and brand loyalty.

The secret ingredients for a great CX strategy

Define the right style

Your CX strategy changes depending on the predictability of your market, and to every market, there is a different strategic style. The Harvard Business Review, suggests the four strategic styles below. They include:

  • Classical: This style is best for companies that operate in highly predictable industries. Companies utilizing a classical style build a favorable market position by planning well into the future, and remaining with the same strategy for several years. Ask yourself: Can I sustain my customer experience strategy for many years forward?
  • Adaptive: This is best for companies in unpredictable industries. Such companies require a more adaptive strategy that can be easily and rapidly changed. Ask yourself: Is my infrastructure one that can change rapidly? Is the decision-making process quick and easily adaptable?
  • Shaping: This is one step beyond the adaptive style. While it too changes frequently, it focuses beyond the boundaries of the company to define new markets, standards, and business practices. Ask yourself: Do I leave room for market feedback to power rapid decision making?
  • Visionary: This bold and entrepreneurial style can create entirely new markets or visions, and views the environment as a way to be molded to a company’s advantage. But it’s more similar to a classical strategy because companies take calculated steps to reach goals without switching tactics. Ask yourself: What does the future hold for the industry and how can we provide a customer experience that disrupts it?

Create a journey for your strategy

While it doesn’t have to entertain, a good strategy should tell a good story. First, ask yourself what is the correct place to start? Some might start with detailing the goals up front. Some might prefer to opt for a “problem-solution” type of story, which details current challenges and their solutions.

Second, establish a theme by asking what is the main point of your customer experience strategy? Like any good story, your strategy should have a build up to a literary climax. For example, in the “problem-solution” model the climax is reached when presenting suggested solutions and their foreseeable outcomes. Finally, a good strategy brings it all together with a solid conclusion.

Map your customer data

Map out the touchpoints, collect data, and figure out how to optimize the process. We all collect data. However, for your data to effectively fuel decision it should address questions such as:

  • How do customers find you?
  • Why do they choose you over your competition?
  • How easy is it for them to leave reviews?
  • What sort of incentives do they receive to purchase again?
  • How (often) do they receive customer support?

Go for omnichannel

Striving for an omnichannel experience is an important part of an effective CX strategy. Omnichannel businesses provide customers with a seamless integrated shopping experience

When creating a CX strategy, it’s necessary to keep in mind the omnichannel experiences that most customers will traverse.

Focus on the customer

Always maintain a customer-centric approach. Ask yourself: What do my customers want? And what is the best way I can provide it?

Don’t assume that you know what is best for your customers. Spend time talking to them and collecting data. Find out what is important to them, why they choose the products that they do, and what matters to them when they shop. Focus on their needs. It’s all about them.

The ideal customer

If you are losing customers, find out why. Was the customer ready to buy? Was the customer the right fit? But be sure to also study the profiles of your best customers so you can understand what you are doing right.

Using all the information, come up with a description of your ideal customers, and then create a better customer experience with them in mind.

The ideal journey

Using your customer data to address areas that should be improved, map out the ideal customer journey. Ultimately, it should be an experience that allows your customers to easily find what they are looking for, quickly purchase it, and then return to buy more.

Research assets, cost analysis, and KPIs

What will it take to implement your CX strategy? Make a list of the assets you have and will need to deliver the strategy. Consider what sort of impact the strategy will have on resources, but be sure to show the expected return for these expenditures.

Create a timeline

Customer experience management involves lots of touchpoints and its optimization is a cross-departmental undertaking.

Keep in mind, different departments have different goals, so map out a timeline and prioritize. Is it more important to focus on discovery or retention?

Create a reasonable plan, with the ultimate goal of achieving a truly seamless customer experience that includes everything it should.


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Customer Journey Mapping, Customer Experience, CXREFRESH, CX, Global CX

If you’re mapping your customer journey, there are plenty of things to bear in mind – and plenty of pitfalls to avoid.

While customer journey mapping is not a brand new idea the last few years have seen a real increase in the impact the concept is having across the business, and critically, in the boardroom.

As is the case with many emerging disciplines, it’s easy to get carried away and run headlong into it without fully understanding what the goals are.

Customer journey mapping needs to incorporate much more than just a list of your sales and service channels. It needs to deliver an understanding of what your customers are trying to achieve, and the steps they take to achieve it.

A true customer journey map provides a framework that encompasses the entire business, how each area impacts the customer and informs your Voice of the Customer programme to ensure you’re able to capture feedback at the right moments.

Here are some do’s and don’ts to bear in mind when it comes to mapping your customer journey.

  • DO have a plan. A journey map must generate value and drive change if it is to improve customer-centricity across the company. Are you going to use the map to improve the customer experience at specific channels? To engage employees? To refine and consolidate your brand? You will probably find that you can do more than you imagine at the outset, but make sure you have measurable and achievable aims.
  • DON’T forget that your journey map is part of your wider customer experience programme. Ensure that the feedback you gather through that programme is tightly linked to the touchpoints on your map. This enables you to pinpoint the root cause of any issues effectively and take action quickly where you need to.
  • DON’T try to build you map in a vacuum. It’s vital that you include people from across your company and from all levels. It’s a great rallying point for the business because you can see how different stakeholders fit within the framework and help them to understand their impact on the customer experience. For example, frontline employees have a wealth of knowledge which must be included, and back office areas like accounting or despatch will hold information about processes that directly impact the customer but are often virtually unknown outside their departments.
  • DO remember that customers see your brand as a single entity. They don’t know (or care) that the website is handled by different people to the call centre or the social media programme. Or that some of your services are outsourced. As you build your map, think about the combination of touchpoints that customers go through, and consider how well you deliver your brand experience at each of them.
  • DON’T try to build a map based on generic customers. Create personas, fictional characters who are trying to achieve something specific by interacting with your business. You may only need a handful, or you may need more, but the process of mapping the journey is much easier when you can focus on.
  • DO remember that your map needs to show more than just the point of contact you’re defining. You also need to look at what customers are trying to achieve at that point, why they’re there, how they feel and what external factors might be influencing them. This will help you to build that meet customers’ needs effectively.
  • DO remember that some things are beyond your control but still impact how customers feel about you. It might not be entirely fair (roadworks outside your branch or your customer’s internet connection that makes your site slow), but the result is the same. When you build your map, make a note of the things that have or can affect your key touchpoints. In some cases you may be able to build strategies to mitigate against them.
  • DON’T forget to share. As well as your team of stakeholders from across the company, ensure that the wider business understand what you’re doing and why. Most importantly, make it clear to employees that they all have an impact on the customer journey. Whether directly or indirectly, they play a part in one or more of the key touchpoints and being aware of that can be highly engaging for everyone.
  • DO review and renew your journey map. Once complete, you need to revisit the map on a regular basis. It may not need amending most of the time, but in some cases a new branch, sales channel, or delivery company, for example, will have kicked in and you need to build that into your map. Otherwise, within a couple of years, you’ll have something that resembles an out-of-date atlas that doesn’t acknowledge a major road!


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