The Truth About Customer Experience

Mar 1, 2021

This episode.

What is Truth About Customer Experience? Well, today I’m going to talk about one of my favorite subjects, something I’ve spent my entire life researching, and really trying to understand this bizarre and amorphus area of enterprise success. Well, we’re gonna call it customer experience, because, well, that’s what everybody calls it. Some people refer to it as customer service. And of course, those are two separate things.

But we’ll talk about that in a minute. But I’m going to make a proclamation here. And it’s taken me a really long time to realize this. And that is that customer experience is actually an innovation activity. I mean, think about what is innovation? Well, I describe innovation in my book, The innovation mandate, very simply, innovation is the creation of novel value that serves your enterprise and your customer.

Okay, let’s layer that definition. Now on to customer experience, customer experience, is the creation of novel value, as serves your enterprise and your customer. Wow, isn’t that interesting? Well, the problem is, then most people that are the owners of customer experience within their organization, don’t really understand that it’s an innovation activity.

And as a result of that, they don’t do a very good job. In fact, it’s interesting to me when I hear the term best practices around customer experience. These are organizations that are horrible, that are using these systems, Net Promoter scores, customer surveys, blah, blah, blah, it’s a joke.

They’re trying to McDonaldize and create assembly lines around understanding what their customers care about. And they fail at it with mathematical certainty. Like, it’s just not that easy. But the good news is, it’s fun. It’s fast. And it’s doable if you apply a different principle to customer experience. And it’s what I call CSI customer experience innovation. Now, there are some elements of this that have to always work really, really well. And these are what I like to call the four dimensions of <strong><a href=””>customer experience success</a></strong>.

Now, before I introduce these concepts, I want to point out again, that some of the people that are out there that are considered to be the so-called thought leaders in customer experience are actually ex executives from some of the worst companies on the planet.

Now, I’m all about love. And I never like to mention names because I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. But you know, name a major brand that you hate, and chances are their ex-chief director of customer experience is now an author out there telling you how you can be crappy too. It’s ridiculous. Alright, let’s talk about what really works. What really works is that in order to innovate, in order to create better experiences, we have to get far better insights. And we can’t do that through CRMs. NPS is and customer service, in my opinion.

Now, everybody’s welcome to their own opinion. But I can tell you that the statistics show that a lot of the worst companies in the world are in fact using this so-called gotta hate to use the term best practices. Alright, so let’s talk about what you really need to do. And unfortunately, I don’t have enough time in this podcast to tell you everything. I sometimes feel like a doctor that doesn’t get enough time with their patient.

I know that they’re going to leave they’re in a situation where they don’t really have all of the answers to optimize their health and I I really hate that. Although at Learn logic at my learn logic, comm we have created certification programs. So no matter where you live within your organization, if you’re a strategist. In other words, if you own customer experience, you can take our certified master of Customer Experience Program.

If you’re an advocate and in charge of managing customer facing stakeholders, you can take our advocacy program and if you’re a client facing or customer facing stakeholder, you can take our customer champions certificate program, so I have created some affordable and really fast moving certification training programs to help you get where you need to go. Alright, enough of the commercial broadcast there. All right, so cx customer experience innovation is where it’s at. It’s where the best organizations are going in the post COVID are what we now call the C 19 economy.

We have Realize that two things happened during the entrance into C 19. Well, sir, certainly, we know that it’s all about disruption, right. But in addition to the massive disruption that’s occurring, we also know that we’re at a point where we’re experiencing hyper competition, the marketplace has receded shrunk. That means that organizations are fighting a bloodbath to try to get the customers attention, and ultimately their business. Well, the best way to do that is to have happy customers, the cheapest customer to get is the one you already have. And the least expensive way to get new customers is through customer experience through customer promotion. So it’s a really good idea from an enterprise perspective to do this stuff.

The second issue that’s really interesting is that we are in a talent, drought, finding great people is really, really hard. It is said that there are unemployed people, and that there is talented people. There’s certainly no unemployed talented people. That means that we really need to be good at serving our customers, because we know we can attract better talent. If we can be involved in a mission that matters to protect perspective, stakeholder just really works that way. Another program that I’ve recently instituted is that what I call happiness as a strategy. It turns out the organizations with the best customer experience and the happiest customers also have the happiest employees.

I discovered this during my research and writing my book what customers crave that the Glassdoor rating, that is the happiness that that employees Express about an organization tracks almost exactly with the way in which their customers talk about their product and services. So that’s really interesting to me. All right, let’s talk about these four dimensions. CSI, customer experience, innovation, must-have new strategies, you have to have new strategies.

If you don’t have a formal CSI strategy that gets far better customer insights, the chances are, the things that you create will be irrelevant. Remember that customer experience, innovation is about the creation making something new, of new value, and value comes across four layers, we’ll talk about that, that serves your company, your enterprise and your customer.

It’s poetic.

So newness means you actually have to create new things. And maybe new delivery models, new ways that you eliminate and significantly reduce friction, because friction is the biggest block between you and a happy customer. When we talk about value comes across, you know, four different ranges. When I say that we create new value, there’s incremental value.

That’s just ways of continually improving the way in which you engage and serve your customer and incremental ism by itself is deficient. But as part of a portfolio of value is a super good idea. The next level of value creation is what I call landmark. And these are significant improvements in the way in which you serve and, and deliver experiences to your customer. And then there are breakthroughs we see in healthcare during COVID. And during the lockdown that so many organizations started to deliver, deliver all kinds of new telemedicine solutions to really serve their patients in a time of disconnect.

And that was beautiful, and it worked really well. And then of course, there is disruptive innovations, maybe completely changing. I mean, really completely changing your business and our delivery models to be able to improve the way in which you deliver value. So remember, value isn’t a singular activity, it’s really something that lives across those four ranges, that gradient of value.

All right, so you have to have new strategies. And those strategies need to be new insights. You need to use enterprise social networks and collaborative solutions within your organization. To get information from those customer-facing stakeholders.

You need to talk about customer experience, you need to ideate around customer experience, you need to convince and prove to your stakeholders that customer experience is an enterprise mandate, you need an integrated plan, which includes an internal and external communication plan. I can’t go into all of it here. But look, it’s a thing and it’s important and it’s the low-hanging fruit.

This is the stuff that will have the biggest impact in terms of growth, customer retention and gross sales growth, quality of work-life, and ultimately scalability and profitability. So I know this sounds like a lot, but it’s worth it. the new strategy, the C 19 strategy of CSI. The next thing you need to do is you need to build within that strategy, advocacy, and advocacy. means your managers, your departmental managers, your regional managers, the people who manage customer-facing stakeholders need to learn a body of work about how do we create advocacy? How does that manager work on behalf of the customer?

Lastly, engagement, we need to develop new ways in which we engage customers across a range of personas. Most organizations identify four to six personas. And these personas are basically what customers hate and what customers love. You may have customers that really don’t care about price, they care about speed, you may have customers that don’t care about price or speed, but they care about human engagement. In other words, you will find if you go through this process of personification that your customers love and hate different things.

If you categorize that love hates into personas, you can then invent, invent new value across that range of incremental landmark breakthrough and disruptive innovations. Okay, lastly, and like so not Lastly, but here it is.

Your people need to have core competency around engagement, we need to teach them to be more empathetic, more thoughtful, we need to build policies and procedures, we need to create an infrastructure of success. And then we need to train our people that is specific to their engagement. So let me give you an example. You need to train the owners of strategy leaders and managers, cx innovation.

And this is where we teach them the strategic aspect of customer innovation, customer experience innovation, we need to treat our teacher managers other things, we need to teach them how to lead their teams to deliver on the promise of the strategy. And then we need to create customer champions that really become champions for the customer. It is a training process after all. \

And if we don’t commit to the training, then, unfortunately, this all falls apart. So there is the delicate ecosystem that is excellence in customer experience. Cx I remember the four dimensions are strategy, advocacy, engagement, and ultimately training. Now I get it, this sounds like a lot. But remember, the right now is somewhere around 86%, according to last numbers I saw of the best brands in the world are putting all of their marketing and growth dollars in SI x customer experience.

Why? Because it’s the least expensive way to acquire customers to drive sustainable and scalable sales growth. And to ultimately positively impact your overall quality of work-life, which includes the ability to attract talent and to keep talent. So as you can see, there’s so many benefits. If you absolutely crazy not to make this an organizational priority. Look, I realized this is just a primer into a body of knowledge that can be frankly complex. But let me leave you with a few tips.

Resist the temptation of using surveys and promoter scores and the McDonald’s ideas of how we learn about what our customers love and hate. In my opinion, it just doesn’t work. If only it was that easy. Here’s the good news. If we put a little bit of extra work into getting better insights across that person, those personas across that customers journey, then the innovations that we create, have a significantly lower risk of failing and correspondingly, a much greater risk of succeeding.

Remember that customer experience isn’t a monolithic activity, it happens across five well defined touchpoints. It happens in the pre touch moment. This is when people are searching us and engaging us even before they become a customer. We have to deliver relevancy and value even those pre touch moments. That’s principally an omni channel marketing issue. The other issue is the first touch moment. How do we architect Beautiful, beautiful first touch moments to our people? Absolutely love is right off the bat. Remember, first impressions last a lifetime. And first touch moments are incredibly important.

And then there’s the core moments. What is it like to do business with us? Is it good? Is it bad is exceptional? Is it remarkable? Is it that good. And then the fourth touch point, of course is what we call the last touch moment. We leave them with. Don’t leave them with, you know, in my company learn logic when somebody takes one of my courses. Do something that’s kind of sneaky. I send them this beautiful, beautiful package, which includes a backpack and free books and a binder and all kinds of free fun goodies that really kind of surprises them because they didn’t expect to get that package.

I love doing those kinds of things. And then of course, the fifth touch moment is the in touch moment. How do you stay authentically engaged? If you do that, in a way that delivers value. Most people look at in touch as a CRM activity where they try to sell the customer more bright, shiny objects. You know, unfortunately, that’s an easy temptation to not resist, but it’s a bad idea. We want to make sure that we use our contact information with customers for good instead of evil.

Do we want to sell them more stuff? Absolutely. Usually, though, we have to earn that. Again, I hope that this gives you some sense of how we can build this in your enterprise. What does it look like to build those four dimensions of strategy, advocacy, engagement and training.

And I think there is one last point I’d like to make before I close this short podcast, and that is, you are at a strategic inflection point of that term coined by Grove in his great book, only the survive only the Paranoid survive. And where you are right now literally is a decision. And you know, as they say, in the philosophical paradox, there is no such thing. It’s not making decisions.

It is decision by way of indecision. So you, you’re listening to this podcast right now with one proclamation made to you, by me, and that is, are you going to decide to lean into this, and to make this commitment to drive growth in your organization? Because if you don’t decide to do this in a holistic way across those four dimensions, then honestly, forgive me for sounding preachy.

Honestly, you’ve made the decision not to. And I think that’s a bad idea. All right. That sounds grim. Sorry. Listen, thanks so much for listening to this episode of the disruptive innovation podcast. Please stay tuned. And you know, subscribe to some of my other programs. I talk about all things enterprise success and happiness. And I’d love to have you on some of my other programs. Thanks so much and have an amazing day.

A real human