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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: May, 2021
May 25, 2021

When Kate Johnson became president of Microsoft US four years ago, the stock price was at $44. Today, it’s around $260. 

What’s the reason for the immense growth? Continual digital transformation and a commitment to change. At Microsoft, Johnson is a powerful change agent who works with CEO Satya Nadella and other executives to set the company on a fast track to the future. 

Johnson believes that companies can have all of the ingredients for success, including a strong mission and employee experience. But if they don’t have a culture that enables change, their success will be temporary. 

Lasting success comes from a culture that enables and promotes change and that is continually evolving and looking towards the future. 

But change doesn’t just come from culture; it comes from people. Leaders working for change will find that their people fall into three buckets:

  1. The people who adore change and are all in.
  2. The people who hate change and try to block it.
  3. The people who are on the fence and trying to figure out which group to join. 

Johnson says that great change leaders listen to all three groups but specialize in helping the people on the fence join the supporters. When that happens, roughly two-thirds of people will be supportive of change, which helps leaders reach critical mass for the change they are trying to achieve. 

Being a change agent requires a variety of skills, including the courage to muscle through negative feedback and figure out which signals are real and which are just noise. Change agents have to be great listeners and be both real and pragmatic. Even with the challenges, Johnson says it is the most fulfilling job imaginable. 

Johnson’s favorite problems to solve are the complex challenges that are steeped in people. She says that’s where the best and most impactful change occurs. But working with people means working with their egos. One of Johnson’s proven ways of calming egos is simply asking people, “Tell me more.” The simple sentence helps people realize she is listening and allows them to share their viewpoint calmly and without ego. It doesn’t mean she always agrees with the other side, but it helps her better understand people and make progress.

Microsoft’s digital transformation has brought about many changes, but Johnson says the main focus has been changes related to customers. She believes that if the company is going to obsess over one thing, it needs to be customers. 

Customer-centric leaders need to be change agents. By understanding people, cutting through ego and obsessing over customers, leaders can make lasting and impactful change within their organizations.

*Sponsored by Wix Answers

It's been a year of change for businesses. What’s making this period most challenging is the lack of clarity. But, that’s also where there’s an opportunity to stand out by building trust in your relationships with your customers with agile communication.

Wix Answers takes a new approach to customer support by helping you adapt quickly to know exactly what your customer needs and when they need it.

Go and see for yourself today at WixAnswers.com.

_______________

Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and author of the bestselling book The Customer Of The Future. Sign up for her new course here. For regular updates on customer experience, sign up for her weekly newsletter here.  

May 18, 2021

At the height of the COVID pandemic in spring 2020, toilet paper and hand sanitizer were the hottest items on store shelves. The search for these essential items grew to a fever pitch, with customers lining up for hours and scouring the internet to get their hands on these hot commodities. 

As demand skyrocketed and shelves cleared, many states and retailers put price gouging regulations into effect. 

But those efforts to help consumers may have actually led to more COVID cases and deaths. 

Gavin Roberts, assistant professor of economics at Weber State University, studied the impacts of price gouging regulation during the pandemic. 

Typically, price gouging regulation is put in place by state governments during localized public emergencies. Roberts gave the example of a hurricane, which may only affect one or two states. In that case, the affected states may enact price gouging regulation, which says that retailers can’t increase the price for essential items, such as gas, toilet paper and hotel rooms, beyond a certain percentage of increase or what some states call an “exorbitant increase”. 

But the COVID pandemic affected the entire world, leading to widespread price gouging regulations like we’ve never seen. Economists widely believe that price gouging regulations cause shortages, which was definitely the case during COVID. Price gouging regulation limits what companies want to sell. If companies can’t make much money, they aren’t as motivated to sell their products, which leads to a shortage of items. Roberts observed that customers increased their internet searches for items like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, which follows the pattern of price gouging regulation. When goods are in shortage, people search for them more. 

But the widespread COVID pandemic took things one step further. When customers couldn’t find what they needed online, they searched in person. Price gouging led to a shortage of products and customers rushing to brick-and-mortar stores, right during the push for virus mitigation efforts and a need to stay at home. Roberts’ research shows the rush of customers to stores to buy toilet paper and hand sanitizer led to a wider spread of COVID cases and deaths. 

Price gouging regulation is often put in place so that low-income individuals don’t get priced out of essential items. But Roberts believes price gouging regulation isn’t an effective measure in supporting low-income families. We need to take the next step to think about if the policy actually helps those in need. Going forward, he wants companies and governments to carefully consider if the policies and regulations they put in place actually help the people they are intended to or if they cause more harm than good. 

The early days of the COVID pandemic were unlike anything we’ve ever seen, largely due to the lack of essential items like toilet paper. The pandemic has caused us to re-evaluate many practices and policies, including price gouging regulation.

*Sponsored by Wix Answers

It's been a year of change for businesses. What’s making this period most challenging is the lack of clarity. But, that’s also where there’s an opportunity to stand out by building trust in your relationships with your customers with agile communication.

Wix Answers takes a new approach to customer support by helping you adapt quickly to know exactly what your customer needs and when they need it.

Go and see for yourself today at WixAnswers.com.

_______________

Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and author of the bestselling book The Customer Of The Future. Sign up for her new course here. For regular updates on customer experience, sign up for her weekly newsletter here.  

May 11, 2021

Of all the industries to break into, the beverage space is among the most difficult. The hyper-competitive market and domination from big brands make it incredibly challenging for entrepreneurs to get their products on shelves. But Jordan Schenck has experience and grit on her side. 

As the former Head of Global Consumer Marketing at Impossible Foods, Schenck knows how to build a plant-based food brand. She spent nearly four years traveling the world and talking to people about their relationship with plants and played a huge role in the growth of the plant-based trend. She used that experience to co-found Sunwink, a wellness company focused on plant-based drinks. 

Schenck says the beverage section is the only area of the grocery store consumers use multiple times daily. It’s a space with hyper-consumption that’s also super high-touch. But Schenck says there’s not much on the shelf that is actually good--it’s dominated by soda and products with ingredients that may claim to be good but actually aren’t that healthy. Schenck and her co-founder started Sunwink because they were excited to be in a high-velocity space and also have the opportunity to make statements and do creative work. 

Building such an innovative brand in a competitive industry starts with knowing customers. The Sunwink founders spent a year sampling its many variations in grocery stores. They had to understand what works with flavors, which audiences organically opted in and who would be their easy-win customers. It took grit and determination to show up at grocery stores and convince them to demo the drinks and maybe sell one product on the shelf. 

That work paid off. When Sunwink launched, Schenck said it was amazing the amount of nascent demand for a product that is not only beautiful on the outside but also beautiful on the inside. 

As the company started to scale online, they did a lot of surveying and constantly asked customers what they wanted to see and what was and wasn’t working. Although Sunwink initially launched primarily in grocery retail, it split soon after the pandemic started and grew in the DTC space. It’s rare to find a DTC beverage company, especially because of the high shipping costs, but Sunwink saw 14x growth on the channel and found creative solutions to lower shipping costs. E-commerce quickly became the primary revenue driver during the pandemic and created a huge community through email and social media. 

As Sunwink grows, Schenck aims to spread the plant-based message and show a wider view of wellness. She defines wellness as having your cake and eating plants too. Sunwink is vocal about the fact that wellness isn’t about perfection and how incredible your yoga backbend is—it’s about your journey as an individual to find wholeness. Yes, you can have the cocktail and the donut and drink plants. Schenck says it’s about the little moments of taking care of yourself. 

Schenck hopes to continue Sunwink’s success and build a brand around plant-powered wellness. Her goal is to create a brand that has cultural resonance about caring for your body and caring for your planet. She’s breaking down barriers as a female entrepreneur and showing the power of plants for total wellness. 

*Sponsored by Wix Answers

It's been a year of change for businesses. What’s making this period most challenging is the lack of clarity. But, that’s also where there’s an opportunity to stand out by building trust in your relationships with your customers with agile communication.

Wix Answers takes a new approach to customer support by helping you adapt quickly to know exactly what your customer needs and when they need it.

Go and see for yourself today at WixAnswers.com.

_______________

Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and author of the bestselling book The Customer Of The Future. Sign up for her new course here. For regular updates on customer experience, sign up for her weekly newsletter here.  

May 4, 2021

It’s something all customers have faced: they have a problem or question, but the only way to resolve it is to wait on hold with the contact center or fill out a contact request form. The process is long and frustrating. 

Modern customers want another approach to solving their problems. Knowledge management is a way to connect the dots and keep communication lines open with customers. Instead of companies holding all the answers, knowledge management shares resources like articles and self-service portals so customers can solve their own issues and provides a platform for communication across all channels.  

Naomi Rozenfeld, VP of Revenue at Wix Answers, says effective knowledge management is all about meeting customers where they are. 

Up until recently, knowledge management was difficult for many companies to talk about. Rozenfeld narrows it down to two main challenges: a lack of executive support within the company and technology limitations with support divided into silos that created a fragmented experience for customers and employees. 

But over the past year, COVID has accelerated the need for self-service knowledge management. As the world was shutting down, companies realized that customers still needed support. Instead of waiting and reacting to customer issues and questions, companies need to proactively answer customer questions and provide resources. 

Customers want to be in control of their service. Rozenfeld says knowledge management is now a need, not a want. She believes that what’s going to win business over for future transactions is how quickly a company can resolve an issue or how easy it is for customers to resolve their own issues. 

Rozenfeld calls it the iceberg effect, or the idea that for every one person who opens a ticket or contacts the care team, there are nine people who don’t. That 90% of customers who don’t get in touch leave frustrated. Effective knowledge management provides resources and helps all customers, especially the vast majority who don’t want to have to spend time reaching out to a company. 

Effective knowledge management starts by addressing the two main challenges. Rozenfeld says companies must have an executive sponsor to understand the impact on revenue and the company. CX managers and change agents need to make sure leaders understand why they need to invest in the tools to enable customers to solve problems on their own. 

The second challenge is around technology. Companies need to stop looking at support through silos. Rozenfeld says silos and unconnected channels create gaps for customers to fall. But when channels are tied together and speaking the same language, the customer only has one entry point. It doesn’t matter where they started or how they communicate with the brand. Customer interactions are simplified and the agent can see the entire path instead of only having a view of one part of the problem.

Knowledge management is on its way to becoming a cornerstone of the modern customer experience. Meeting customers where they are and proactively providing great service creates empowered and satisfied customers. 

*Sponsored by Wix Answers

It's been a year of change for businesses. What’s making this period most challenging is the lack of clarity. But, that’s also where there’s an opportunity to stand out by building trust in your relationships with your customers with agile communication.

Wix Answers takes a new approach to customer support by helping you adapt quickly to know exactly what your customer needs and when they need it.

Go and see for yourself today at WixAnswers.com.

_______________

Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and author of the bestselling book The Customer Of The Future. Sign up for her new course here. For regular updates on customer experience, sign up for her weekly newsletter here.  

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