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The Modern Customer Podcast

Go behind the scenes with customer experience leader Blake Morgan to explore the secrets of the world’s most customer-centric companies. Blake is one of the world’s top keynote speakers, authority on customer experience and the bestselling author of “The Customer Of The Future” The Modern Customer reaches thousands of people each week conveying a message of how we make people feel - in business and in life - matters. Her weekly show explores how businesses can make customers’ lives easier and better, featuring experts that provide simple, tangible advice you can immediately apply at your own organization. Today’s customers have the luxury of choice. The answer is simple; choose customer experience and customers will choose you. Learn how to put a stake in the ground on customer experience by tuning into The Modern Customer Podcast each week with Blake Morgan.
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Now displaying: April, 2020
Apr 28, 2020

A company striving to grow its revenue and an organization dedicated to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes may have different goals, but one important principle stays the same: they have to connect with their audience. Just like customer experience is crucial in the for-profit world, supporter experience drives the success of non-profit organizations.

In both industries, data plays a vital role. Sri Mishra, Chief Data and Technology Officer at JDRF International, knows that data holds the answers to staying relevant and connecting with supporters, no matter the type of the organization. Data is often overlooked in the nonprofit world, but it is a vital piece of an organization’s success.

Here are five ways nonprofits can use data to drive the supporter experience:

  1. Know supporters. For-profit customers are fairly easy to identify, but non-profit supporters tend to be more unique. Mishra says segmenting supporters is the biggest challenge organizations face, and trying to understand supporters manually can lead to data inaccuracies. Data helps organizations understand their many types of supporters and what matters to each group, as well as segment their approach for personalized experiences.
  2. See architecture holistically. Nonprofits need to believe in technology and invest in it. That means looking at the technology holistically and considering entire systems instead of just pieces. Holistic thinking allows organizations to connect pieces of data together for a full view of the organization, its supporters and its progress. When an organization sees things holistically, it can predict the future and plan for long-term success.
  3. Partner with tech teams. A digital transformation is an organization-wide endeavor. Business teams can’t do things on their own, and the technology team can’t create an effective data system without involvement from the business side. Data brings together the entire organization to unite every department to a common goal.
  4. Break down silos. Many non-profits run into pieces of data done manually in different parts of the organization, which creates inaccuracies and inefficiencies. Instead of the data working together to solve problems, it fights against itself and makes it difficult to understand what is really going on. Data allows organizations to automate their systems, which breaks down silos and unites the organization around a cohesive strategy with shared data. Without silos, the organization can run more efficiently and better serve its purpose.
  5. Create partnerships with tech companies. Most non-profit organizations don’t have technology resources to tackle data effectively on their own. Mishra says non-profit organizations have to partner with technology companies that understand the world of data and can apply their products to the organization. Strong partnerships help the non-profit adopt data systems more quickly and effectively.

Using data effectively can help non-profit organizations fulfill their purposes and meet their goals. To look towards the future and build lasting and effective relationships with supporters, nonprofits have to use data and find the partnerships that make it possible. 

This post is sponsored by Informatica. About our sponsor:

Digital transformation changes customer expectations: better service, faster delivery, with less cost. Businesses must transform to stay relevant and data holds the answers. As the world’s leader in Enterprise Cloud Data Management, Informatica provides the foresight to become more agile, realize new growth opportunities and create new inventions. With 100% focus on everything data, we offer the versatility needed to succeed. Explore all that Informatica has to offer—and unleash the power of data to drive intelligent disruption. Please visit Informatica at www.informatica.com. 

Apr 21, 2020

“AI needs data, and data needs AI. They go hand in hand.”

Those are the powerful words of Ansa Sekharan, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer at Informatica. Data or AI alone is only part of the equation; true success in customer experience comes when the two sides work together. Informatica leverages the power of data and AI to serve its customers and provide tools for its customers to serve their end-users.

AI and data are a powerful combination for the future of customer experience. But the biggest challenge for companies is to know how to collect good data and act on it. The recent explosion of data provides both challenges and opportunities, but in order to properly leverage data and use it in tandem with AI, companies must know the best data to use.

Informatica faced a similar problem in knowing how to provide relevant content to its customers. With so much data and content available, the challenge was to narrow down the data. Informatica created a micro-learning program to get the right information to the right customers at the right time. The company collected data on its customers and on a variety of potential information to share with them. Then, using AI to understand each user and where they were in the product lifecycle, it was able to provide relevant content tailored to each customer and applicable to their current needs. Instead of bombarding customers with huge amounts of content, Informatica combined AI and data to provide a personalized customer experience that not only helped customers but also showcased its products.

Many of Informatica’s customers use a similar approach to AI and data to reach their own customers, Sekharan said. He shared the example of FedEx using data and AI, along with Informatica products, to optimize its delivery routes and improve shipping times. By taking data of what packages need to be delivered and combining that with AI, FedEx is able to create the best routes to more efficiently get deliveries to customers.

Data helps companies truly understand their customers, and AI allows them to automate much of the experience to deliver customized interactions at scale. Together, data and AI deliver powerful insights into what customers are looking for and how it can be delivered. Informatica realized this firsthand when it switched to a subscription model and started focusing more on relationships and experiences than products. Its data showed that customers wanted strong relationships to choose a product for life, and AI made it possible to deliver on those experiences in a way that mattered to each customer.

Data and AI are a powerful combination. When leveraged correctly, they can propel customer experience to the next level and create long-term relationships and strong benefits. To successfully use both sides of the equation, companies need to understand their customers, look at the data and find ways to automate personalized experiences.

This post is sponsored by Informatica. About our sponsor:

Digital transformation changes customer expectations: better service, faster delivery, with less cost. Businesses must transform to stay relevant and data holds the answers. As the world’s leader in Enterprise Cloud Data Management, Informatica provides the foresight to become more agile, realize new growth opportunities and create new inventions. With 100% focus on everything data, we offer the versatility needed to succeed. Explore all that Informatica has to offer—and unleash the power of data to drive intelligent disruption. Please visit Informatica at www.informatica.com. 

Apr 14, 2020

Successful, customer-driven companies put their customers first in everything they do. Even if those customers have four paws.

BARK, the company behind the wildly successful BarkBox, was created when its founders wanted to make functional and stylish products that would make their dogs happy. As co-founder Henrik Werdelin says, BARK does everything from a dogs-eye view.

Personalization has been a hallmark of the company, especially with its monthly subscription boxes that have served more than 3 million dogs. But instead of viewing the company as a subscription box company, Werdelin says BARK views itself as a company in the business of making dogs happy, which is best done through subscription boxes.

Each monthly BarkBox comes with two treats, two toys and a chew for the dog. But Werdelin says the reason it’s so successful is because of the experience it provides for owners to share something special with their dogs every month. The products are exclusive to BARK and fit a monthly theme for the box.

Taking things to the next level is BARK’s amazing attention to personalization. Of the one million boxes it sends out each month, there are around 120,000 different varieties based on the size and breed of the dog and things like allergies. Personalization also comes in the form of tailoring boxes to individual dog’s needs. The BARK team makes an effort to talk to as many customers as possible, which usually ends up being around one-third of its customers each month. From those interactions, the company’s Happy Team, which focuses on customer experience, created the No Dog Left Behind program. If a customer calls in with a certain request for a product, the team goes out of its way to make it happen. At one point the team had 20,000 boxes going out, each one hand assembled with notes of the customer’s request. One customer didn’t want pork treats in the BarkBox for her pig, so the team handmade her a box with treats for pigs. Other customers called wanting toys that could withstand their aggressive chewer dogs, so BARK made a new line of products and put them in those customers’ individual boxes.

The company has since built technology to match the needs of the team and customers and to scale the personalization process. But Werdelin says his best advice is to do things that don’t scale. Companies often want to create big systems to solve problems by mass, but customers are unique. The best solutions happen when a company and its employees have empathy and think of what’s best for each individual customer. Most brands can do something manually for a long time before coming up with a scalable solution. BARK even sends out and answers its customer emails individually to gain insight and build strong customer relationships.

Personalization is the root of BarkBox’s success. Paying attention to individual needs and really taking the time to not only listen to customers but go above and beyond to meet their needs makes a difference. By putting customers and their dogs first and making their lives easier and better, BARK has secured loyal customers—both humans and canines.

Apr 8, 2020

The global coronavirus pandemic has changed how businesses around the world operate. But according to Ann Mukherjee, CEO of Pernod Ricard, times like these reveal character. Instead of be afraid of the changes and challenges of the current landscape, companies have the opportunity to move forward through ambiguity, be agile and think differently about profits. Now is a great time to build community and strengthen connections. 

Like all leaders of global companies, Mukherjee worries about the personal safety of her employees and customers. Her company has prioritized safety, family and community first. With so much uncertainty around the world, Mukherjee and her team choose to focus on what they can control to help their people feel protected. In many cases, that has helped strengthen relationships and build community through positive actions.

In the wake of a global shortage, many of Pernod Ricard’s alcohol brands around the world have shifted to manufacturing hand sanitizer. An employee suggested making the switch, and within 48 hours the program was approved and ready to start production. The global response has changed distilleries into hand sanitizer factories and helped keep people safe and healthy. 

Building community also means being aware of people in the industry who have been hit hard by the economic repercussions. The Jameson Irish Whiskey brand donated $500,000 to an emergency fund to support bartenders who are out of work. Taking things one step further, the brand also promised to match donations, which inspired one of its distributors to also donate $500,000. One donation started a movement to support many people impacted by the pandemic. The brand and its employees want to do everything they can to help people who are out of work, and that goodness spread to others.

As the beverage industry changes and restaurants and bars around the world change their operations, Pernod Ricard has also adjusted. Customers are increasingly favoring virtual happy hours and toasting each other over technology. To support the new way of connecting, the company has strengthened its e-commerce business and worked towards pickup and delivery options.

In times of uncertainty, Mukherjee advises to make adversity an advantage. She realizes she can’t solve everything that’s coming in the future, but she can take it one day at a time. As she focuses her energy on what she can control and make it better, that attitude permeates throughout the company to create a mindset of positive change and community. The world may be volatile, but companies can do their best to create community and strengthen connections, even during difficult times.

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