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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: June, 2021
Jun 29, 2021

When it comes to creating experiences customers remember, employees are your first line of defense. 

According to Doug Woodard, CCXO of SimpliSafe, culture is transparent to customers. To create a strong customer experience, Woodard first works to create a strong company culture and employee experience. 

How it feels to work at a company is also how it feels to be a customer there. If employees feel empowered and valued at a company, customers will also feel the same way. But if employees feel overworked and frustrated, those same feelings will come through to customers. 

Company culture has to be intentionally designed. As Woodard says, every company has a culture—either by definition or by default. Intentionally defining the culture and the values that matter to the brand gives employees perspective and common traits to exemplify in their daily interactions. Companies that don’t design their cultures run the risk of a culture falling into place, often with traits and values that don’t match where the company wants to go. 

Creating a strong culture starts by identifying the values and purpose of the brand and products. Ask yourself and your employees how you want customers to feel and how the company values can connect to customer experiences. SimpliSafe’s mission centers on helping customers make their homes safe. That feeling of reassurance and safety permeates through the company and is felt in every interaction customers have with the brand, no matter where they are on the customer journey. 

A well-defined company culture creates engaged employees. Woodard says leadership also plays a large role. Engaged leaders create engaged employees who personify the company values. Leaders need to be clear about the traits they expect from employees and set the example themselves. If you want customers to be heard and valued, employees should be treated the same way by their leaders. 

Before he joined the company, Woodard purchased a SimpliSafe system for his house and installed it himself so he could get the same experience as a customer. He called tech support and worked through issues to build empathy with customers. Now, as he interacts with employees and gets their feedback, he has a sense of reference for their role in the experience. 

Company culture is an often overlooked aspect of customer experience. But organizations with a defined mission and purpose and engaged employees not only strengthen their cultures but also create more opportunities to connect with and serve customers.

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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.  

Jun 22, 2021

How long has a customer been with the company? Who lives in their household? What future products and services might they enjoy?

The answers to all of these questions are available through master data management.  

Data is central to creating personalized customer experiences. And the future of data analytics is master data management or MDM. 

Master data management creates a centralized place for companies to store and manage customer data. Patrick Terry, SVP, Head of Enterprise Data & Analytics at Heartland Financial, says that companies must be consistent with how they use data if they want data analytics to work. But in a typical company, each department uses different systems to look at various aspects of customer data. The marketing department cares about different data than the finance department, which uses different data than the customer service department. The result is often confusion with everyone working off different sets of truths. 

Master data management analyzes how all the customer data relates to each other and then becomes the central source of truth that the entire company can pull from. Terry points out that it isn’t a single system, but rather a way to centralize and standardize data that can then be used with many different systems, from CRM to account management systems and beyond. 

Within a household, there might be two spouses with their own accounts and a teenager with an account. Master data management rolls that individual information into a household and allows the company to market both to the entire household and each individual as needed. A consistent understanding of each customer, as well as each household and customer grouping, eliminates unnecessary communication and provides a strong understanding of customers. 

Master data management is the foundation of a high-quality, personalized experience. It builds a strong understanding of customers by using accurate and updated information. By creating one source of truth, all the systems that want to reach out to customers can do so in a way that is consistent and trustworthy. 

In Terry’s world of banking, MDM helps banks become customer-centric and not account-centric. There are numerous ways customers can interact with the bank beyond just having an account, and master data management tracks the many relationships and customer preferences instead of organizing people by their accounts. 

Modern customer experiences start with strong data analytics. Going forward, personalization will become even more focused and crucial. Master data management centralizes data and allows companies to work more efficiently internally and deliver amazing personalized experiences to customers.

*Sponsored by Informatica

Companies with a legacy foundation need to see it as a legacy to build on for creating a next-generation CX strategy based with customer data management at its core. 

A customer-centric architecture starts with the business outcomes and what the company is trying to achieve that is unique to every company. 

Master Data Management delivers an opportunity to standardize data domains such as customer, product, supplier, location – and help organizations create consistent relationships across any channel.

Learn more about how Informatica helps organizations deliver great CX with a foundation of intelligent data. Go to informatica.com/cx.

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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.  

Jun 15, 2021

COVID highlighted the need for every company to be digital. But many companies face challenges when undergoing a digital transformation. 

According to Nigel Vaz, CEO of Publicis Sapient, all companies need to challenge the status quo as they adopt new digital strategies and solutions. 

He says the biggest mistakes companies make happen at the start and the end of the digital transformation. 

The first mistake is not being clear on where the digital transformation starts and why. Some companies simply pick an area to transform and set the large-scale transformation in place without thinking through why they are starting in that area. Vaz recommends that companies start with something that is representative of the entire organization so that people can see how that change applies to the entire organization. But you don’t want to choose a starting project that is so big that it never gets off the ground or delivers value. 

The first project of a digital transformation sets the tone for the entire process. Companies need to think strategically and start with a project that will grow momentum and show progress without being overwhelming. 

The other common mistake comes at the end of a digital transformation. The truth is that there is no end to a true digital transformation. It is an ever-evolving journey that involves constant adaptation. Some companies think of digital transformation as a destination instead of a journey. They believe that once they’ve transformed various parts of their company, they can check off the box and move on. But the pace of change is increasing, which means digital transformations need to be continual. 

Embarking on a digital transformation and coming to terms that it is a never-ending journey can be overwhelming. Vaz uses the acronym SPEED to represent the secret sauce of digital transformation: 

S: Strategy. Start by being clear on the strategic objective and the value you’re trying to unlock. 

P: Product. Digital leaders are in constant beta mode and are always evolving their products.

E: Experience. Look for the experiences that will delight customers and employees and allow them to do something dramatically different.

E: Engineering. Don’t lose a great experience because of a lack of engineering power. Involve engineering in the overall experience.

D: Data and AI. Successful digital products and services are constantly fed by data. 

The need for digital transformation has never been greater. All companies need to rethink their digital strategies so they can continually evolve and improve.

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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.  

Jun 8, 2021

10 years ago, people used to email, call, or text their friends and family. Today, the vast majority of conversation happens via messengers. 

Business communication is set to follow the same pattern. 

According to Paul Adams, VP of Product at Intercom, messengers like WhatsApp, WeChat, and Facebook messenger have become the dominant way people communicate. It’s a fundamental change that is impacting the business world. 

Most companies still rely on phone and email to communicate with customers, but Adams believes the future of business communication and customer service is conversational. 

Moving away from traditional communication channels and towards messengers is a win for both companies and customers. Messengers can be scaled much more easily and cost-effectively than phone or email, and customers appreciate the convenience of self-service. 

However, Adams is quick to acknowledge that messengers aren’t the perfect fit for every situation. Messengers can be incredibly effective for simple, repetitive questions, but deeper human assistance can be needed for more complicated issues. 

Adams believes the future of support looks like a funnel with three layers:

  1. Proactive support. This includes outbound messaging to check on customers and their products and address any issues before they arise.
  2. Automated self-service support. Messengers can easily answer simple questions, such as checking on the status of an order or making a basic account change. Self-service options allow customers to get help when needed without having to wait.
  3. Human support. For more complicated issues, customers can be transferred to a human to provide personalized service. 

Although messengers are the future of business communication and customer service, Adams says it’s really about marrying the scenario to the communication channel. A messenger might not always work, just like a human isn’t the best option in every scenario. But leaning into messengers and using human support when needed can deliver seamless customer interactions and lead to strong business insights. 

In the end, successful business communication is all about staying close to customers. Messengers will see huge growth in the coming years as more companies turn to self-service options. And when those interactions help companies stay connected with customers, everyone benefits.

*Sponsored by Intercom

Intercom is a Conversational Relationship Platform that helps businesses build better customer relationships through personalized, messenger-based experiences. The company is bringing a messenger-first experience to all business-to-customer communication, powering 500 million conversations per month and connecting 4 billion end-users worldwide across its more than 30,000 customers, including Facebook, Amazon, and Lyft. 

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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.  

Jun 1, 2021

The wireless industry may be the most competitive in the world.

To attract more customers, companies are constantly working to improve their services. That means delivering seamless, convenient experiences that modern customers crave. T-Mobile’s goal is to make customers’ lives easier as it connects them to the world.  

Competing on customer experience requires a strong understanding of the effectiveness of products, services and the overall experience. And that comes down to data, says Jon Freier, EVP of Consumer Group at T-Mobile. 

There are numerous metrics to measure customer experience, but Freier looks at three main categories and activities:

  1. What is the experience like for people who aren’t T-Mobile customers and want to join?
  2. What is the experience like for existing customers who want to expand their relationship with T-Mobile?
  3. What is the experience like for existing customers when an issue pops ups? 

Measuring these three areas—joining, expanding and resolving issues—helps the company track the level of effort. Freier says T-Mobile chases and tracks anything that can measure how hard or easy it is to do those things. 

Freier believes companies are moving past traditional metrics like CSAT and NPS and towards measuring the level of effort. T-Mobile considers and tracks the level of efforts for customers to join, expand and resolve issues. That includes tracking if the experience is hard or easy, how long it takes and even how many clicks it takes to join or resolve issues digitally. If the current experience takes 25 clicks to solve an issue, Freier wants his team to get it down to 20 clicks. And then once it’s down to 20 clicks, the goal is to simplify it down to 15 clicks. Simplifying the product and customer experience puts more power in customers’ hands with self-service options. 

The goal of all companies, regardless of industry, should be to make customers’ lives easier. Tracking the level of effort to join, grow and solve problems can help all companies better understand their customers and continually improve the experience.

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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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