Managing the Customer Experience– No Jerk Rule: Deliver High Expectation and Inspire Brand Loyalty…

The customer experience is the sum of all experiences a customer has over the duration of their relationship with an organization, and it’s the single most important aspect in achieving success for companies across all industries…

A successful customer experience program is based on the ‘right’ people doing the ‘right’ things at the ‘right’ time for customers over the long-term… and no jerks allowed– No Jerk Rule: Jerks (whether leaders or employees) can easily derail any attempt to implement an effective ‘customer experience’ program and thus do much harm to the overall strategy of the business…

Each business has a unique customer experience profile, and each program must be tailored and designed to fit each business’ value propositions– there is no one size fits all According to Ewan Duncan; organizations that are skillful at managing and executing their customer experience program can reap enormous rewards,e.g.; higher customer loyalty, less churn, more revenue, greater employee satisfaction…

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A well-conceived customer experience program is consistent across all channels and is the basis for significant competitive advantages… which sets it apart from the competition in the eyes of customers, and that serves to inspire loyalty… According to Accenture survey; 85% of executives say that customer experience is a very important strategic priority; 88% indicate they are investing more in this area year over year… 75% of respondents say the increasing importance of the customer experience is resulting in major and sustained changes across their business. This importance is driven by customers and the fundamental changes in customers expectations, interactions with business… However, metrics of value and ‘return-on-customer experience’ investment remains elusive…

Temkin Group Report, ROI of Customer Experience (CX), 2014: To understand how customer experience corresponds to loyalty, this survey examined feedback from 10,000 consumers describing their experiences with and their loyalty to 268 companies. The analysis shows a strong correlation between customer experience and loyalty factors, such as; repurchasing, trying new offerings, forgiving mistakes, recommending the company to friends and colleagues…

The survey compared consumers who gave companies an excellent customer experience rating to those who gave companies a very bad customer experience rating, and found that the percentage of customers who plan on repurchasing products is 18 percentage-points higher at organizations with excellent CX ratings. Additionally, the Net Promoter Scores (NPS) of companies with excellent CX ratings average 22 points higher than the scores of companies with poor CX…

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In the article Customer Experience Is Today’s Business Benchmark by Martin Zwilling writes: Customer experience is the cumulative impact of multiple touch-points over time, which result in a ‘real’ relationship feeling, or lack of it… The advent of social media and real-time interactive feedback via Internet allows every customer to build a relationship with a business rather than just touch-points. Yet we are all still learning what that really means, in terms of hard business practices…

Maybe it time to focus more on the customer experience: There is evidence suggesting that companies with higher customer experience rating typically; grow faster, more loyal customers, more profitable… than their competitors. However, these programs can be a double-edged sword; by focusing on ‘wrong’ experiences a business can lose competitively very quickly. Have you checked your ‘customer experience’ lately?

In the article What Is Customer Experience? by Vala Afshar writes: To get the customer experience right, companies first need to get the definition right, and according to Esteban Kolsky; meaning of the customer experience is ever-changing; here are a few insights into how it’s being redefined:

1. Customers are not listening to what you have to say; customers already have information about your business, they no longer need to rely on what you say…

2. Customers create their own experience; companies must rethink the notion that they control the customer experience… reality is about building an infrastructure that allows the customers to do whatever they need to do, using any channel they choose to do it…

3. Customers interaction is complex and unpredictable; companies can no longer be silos… customers actions have changed from ‘well-defined’ to ‘anything-goes’…

4. Customers are in communities– that’s where the knowledge is; the community is replacing– knowledge systems, which have become a depository of outdated information… now, social media links the communities of knowledgeable people who are the new depository of current and relevant information…

In the article Customer Experience Metrics Every Successful Company Tracks by Amar Zagorica writes: Customer satisfaction is the most important metric your company must be aware of, everything else is secondary! Customers expect you to respond to their issues in a timely manner… Timeliness and speed have a direct correlation with satisfaction! Research shows 62% of customers select a company because of the knowledgeable employees… and, because customers have the ability to easily find information or get help they need…

A well-conceived customer experience program is a key competitive issue… and it’s one of the critical factor for instilling customer loyalty. Companies that master the customer experience can capitalize on a powerful competitive issue, simply because customers are more likely to believe what they– experience or feel… rather than what they– read or hear. Consider: Happy customers tell 3 friends; but, Unhappy customers tell GOOGLE (the universe)…

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In the article Customer Experience Is The Best Offensive Strategy by Christine Crandell writes: The ‘real’ rock-bed of building enduring customer relationships lies in the perception customers hold of value. Value is increasingly not in the product but in the experiences that sellers provide. Yet, value is in ‘eye of beholder’; each customer defines what value is, and is not… and, the definition changes along the life cycle of the relationship… Value is the new credit/debit of the customer trust bank…

A company’s ability to deliver on a customer-defined value is closely tied to a company culture; remember the saying ‘happy employees lead to happy customers’… According to Ken Klein; there is congruence between how you treat employees and how they treat customers; the employee to customer engagement is a key factor for company success… All employees must be empowered to simplify solutions and make decisions, on the spot, which will help customers achieve their goals– No Jerk Rule…

According to Report, Navigate the Future of Customer Experience in 2014: Customers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied because organizations are often delivering; (1) inconsistent cross-channel experiences, (2) reactive not proactive customer engagement, (3) one-size-fits-all customer process, (4) inefficient customer interactions… Let’s face it, in most cases, customer experience programs are all over the place; it’s time to get focus, deliver on a consistent customer experience program… Some supporting statistics, consider:

  • Customer experience will overtake price, product as the key brand differentiator…
  • 90% of customer experience decision makers say that a good experience is critical to their success; 63% think the importance of the customer experience is greater…
  • 62% of global consumers switched service providers due to poor customer service experiences, up 4% from prior year…
  • 63% of companies expect to spend significantly more or some what more on customer experience in 2014 than they did in 2013, up from 54% in 2012 and 46% in 2011…
  • 51% of companies plan to increase the staffing of their customer experience team in 2014, while only 3% expect a decrease…
  • 82% view customer experience as a competitive differentiator, and the most important attributes are; accuracy and quality of information provided and ease of interaction…
  • 73% of companies with the most positive CX impact understand the link between customer experience and business results; and only 65% of companies with the least positive CX impact don’t…
  • 8% of companies say they currently provide an ‘integrated’ customer experience; 58% say they are just now developing a strategy…

Companies must face the reality of the changing dynamics of the customer. Today, customers engagement is fundamentally different and the customer journey to purchase is more dynamic, more informed, more continuous… whereas, the traditional journey is built around a ‘linear path or funnel to purchase’… Superior customer experience programs can be the differentiator, and it pay significant dividends, e.g.; higher growth, greater profitability…

According to Ross Beard; creating a highly differentiated customer experience can help turn dissatisfaction or indifference into delight. People like to be ‘WOW’, and have expectations exceeded… According to Bain & Company survey; only 8% of companies deliver a superior customer experience. On the flip-side, when the survey asked companies to rate themselves, 80% thought they delivered a ‘superior experience’ to the customers.

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Companies that deliver a truly outstanding customer experience, typically, divide customers into individual segments and design an ‘experience-focused value propositions’ for each one. They tailor and design customer experiences for different customers– not one size fits all… and an emphasis is put on cross-functional collaboration, rather than just one-dimensional… According to Adam Feigenbaum; keep the customer experience program consistent: Hire right; make sure the employees believe in the brand and what it stands for… Own the issues; make someone own the issue and the solution satisfies the customer… Empower the team; the entire team must be actively involved in resolving and solving customer issues… Don’t let it fester; identify the issue quickly, and fix it ASAP…

People want to deal with people not with brands, companies… Every engagement with a customer should be a personalized experience… which is an opportunity to build a strong relationship… According to Peter Kriss; most rationales that focus on customer experience tend to be driven by a ‘gut’ belief that it’s just ‘the right thing to do’… but, the problem with this approach is that often it simply becomes a battle of opinions…

But in fact; it’s time to stop the philosophical debate about whether investing in the experience of your customers is the right business decision: It’s not a question of belief or opinion– the impact is a matter of profit and loss… According to Zig Ziglar; people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care… a carefully orchestrated customer experience process is evidence that you care…