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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: July, 2021
Jul 27, 2021

Women are powerful influencers and consumers, but they are often forgotten or overlooked by brands. 

Even though women control the majority of household spending decisions and contribute to the economy at record levels, they are often stereotyped when it comes to marketing and customer experience. 

Instead of pushing women to the back or creating superficial experiences, brands need to make women front and center in every product they design and experience they create, says Michelle Kennedy, CEO of Peanut, a social network for women. 

Kennedy says the key to creating honest experiences for women is to be authentic and understand what matters in their lives. That comes from having direct conversations with female consumers to understand their priorities, needs and values. Too often, companies assume they know what women want and put all women into patronizing molds. But modern women don’t want to have to fit a mold. Instead, they want to celebrate and be recognized for all the many facets of womanhood and motherhood. The best experiences for women are personalized and tailored to meet their unique needs so that they feel valued and seen as individuals.  

Now more than ever, a brand’s value set matters to women. Women want to understand the value sets of brands and know they fit with their own values and principles. Women want to support brands that stand for something and do good in the world, so companies that are transparent about their processes and share their values and impact can create strong connections with women. 

Women crave connection and want to interact with their peers and with brands that are willing to ask difficult questions and be honest and authentic. Peanut tailors its honest experiences to women by creating a safe and trusting space to have hard conversations. By talking to women and being open about what they want and need, Peanut created a space where women can be uplifted and build connections while talking about important things they don’t discuss in most other places, including topics like pregnancy, menopause and infertility.  

Women are powerful consumers, but more than just that, they are powerful people. Brands can’t overlook the impact of women. To create products and experiences that make a difference and improve the lives of women, brands need to be honest, authentic and bold.

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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.  

Jul 20, 2021

In many companies, the customer experience happens by accident without much strategic thought. 

But a truly customer-centric culture and experience requires a thoughtful strategy and continual adjustments and improvements. And a large part of that is performing a CX audit. 

Jamie Haenggi is Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer at ADT, where she is focused on designing the CX journey across the entire company for its 6 million customers.  

One of Haenggi’s recent projects is an in-depth look and audit of the entire customer experience journey. The goal of the CX audit was to have a deep understanding of the current state and then design a comprehensive plan for the future state. 

ADT first performed in-depth research through focus groups, surveys and feedback from employees and customers to map out all the journeys. From there, they held ideation sessions to think about what a future state would look like and use design thinking to build continuity in the customer lifecycle. 

Haenggi’s next step is to partner with IT to put the technology and data in place to bring the new vision to life. The goal is to first create a technical road map and then use that information to create an operational roadmap so that the entire company is using the same data and processes. 

The research process has showcased the highs and lows of the existing customer experience by highlighting areas where ADT excels and gaps that have long been overlooked. Haenggi shared the example of when a customer relocates and has to change or update their service in multiple systems. The current process involves multiple pain points for customers and employees. But by evaluating the process in terms of the entire customer journey, ADT can create a more integrated experience.   

The CX audit also brought to light new opportunities to innovate and enhance the customer experience. Because of the research, ADT started rolling out virtual service appointments that allow customers to get the troubleshooting help they need without having to wait for someone to physically come to their house. The virtual appointments were especially timely and well-received during the pandemic. 

A CX audit involves doing a deep dive on every aspect of the current customer experience and creating a vision and plan for the future. It will likely bring up gaps that need to be improved, but it can also help locate huge opportunities for growth. 

Especially in this post-pandemic world, companies need to be willing to adapt and evolve. That often involves being humble enough to realize what can be improved and bold enough to challenge the status quo. 

Haenggi acknowledges that ADT is still evolving, but it has made huge strides in improving an already strong customer experience by staying close to customers and employees and being willing to reflect and improve. A CX audit is a requirement to create a future-ready and comprehensive customer 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.  

Jul 13, 2021

Over the last few years, more and more companies have created Chief Experience Officer positions, elevating the customer experience to the C-Suite. One person who stepped into this new role in 2019 was Julie Bowerman, Chief Global Digital Customer and Consumer Experience Officer of Kellogg's. The titles and responsibilities of Experience Officers vary depending on the company, but the growth of the role shows the importance of customers in successful organizations. 

Although Bowerman has more than 20 years of experience building household name brands, this is her first role as a Chief Experience Officer. She is also the first person at Kellogg’s to hold the position. Bowerman believes more companies are creating CXO roles because the landscape is changing so quickly. The fast-paced and technology-driven environment is forcing big companies to break down their traditional silos with different areas for finance, marketing, IT and sales to bring people together and focus on the experience. 

To deliver a relevant and personalized experience to modern customers, companies have to break down silos and build a cohesive approach that reaches the top of the company. There isn’t one correct title or structure--what matters most is that companies are thinking of ways to challenge the status quo and break down barriers.  

In Bowerman’s day-to-day responsibilities, she leads four groups to help Kellogg’s regional teams around the world build their digital muscle. Working in e-commerce, digital marketing and media, B2B and DTC, Bowerman’s teams consult global teams to help them build unique digital strategies that resonate with their consumers and objectives. A team in Asia may have different objectives than a team in Europe, and Bowerman’s teams help them meet their unique needs while also delivering a consistent Kellogg experience. Bowerman reports to the Chief Growth Officer, who reports to the CEO.

Bowerman recommends CX professionals try different things and build capabilities so that as they become more senior in their careers, they can tap into their breadth of experience. Instead of being specialized and boxed in, leaders with a variety of experience can focus on general management. Don’t chase titles, but instead aim to grow your skills and make an impact wherever you are.

The increase in CXOs shows the value of experience and the importance of a companywide experience strategy. As the roles continue to grow, their impact will be felt in organizations around the world.

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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.  

Jul 6, 2021

Even with innovations to medicines and treatments, how the pharmaceutical industry interacts with patients and customers has largely stayed the same for decades. 

But one company is breaking through the push and sell method with a large-scale digital transformation to disrupt the industry. 

Davidek Herron, Global Head of Digital at Roche Pharmaceuticals, believes that all companies can—and must—undergo digital transformations to provide value to their customers. Instead of simply doing things how they’ve always been done, companies in all industries must focus on finding gaps and adding value for their customers.

As with everything, customer experience needs to be central to digital transformation. The goal should be to provide seamless experiences and to make it as easy as possible for customers to do business with the company.  

Herron recommends companies start simple by understanding who their customers are and what they need. This requires really talking to customers and being open to their feedback and suggestions. Companies must understand the feedback and data they get from customers, including how they are capturing it and what they will do with it. Herron believes companies have to be able to measure if they want to be effective. 

Once companies understand their customers, they can start to build core digital infrastructures. Knowing their customers allows companies to deliver the right messages at the right time and makes companies and customers partners instead of a one-sided sales relationship. 

Most companies understand the need for digital transformation, but many are overwhelmed at the thought of completely overhauling their organization. Herron recommends simplifying the transformation by first setting a goal and vision. He recommends under-promising and over-delivering. Leaders must set the tone and be clear about where they want the company to go. With that goal and common cause, the company can start with quick digital wins to show the value of the transformation and gain momentum for further changes. 

Herron says one of the most important things for a digital transformation is to have the right people in place. Having employees who are motivated and are willing to go the extra mile to solve problems improves morale and keeps the company moving forward. Even with all that is involved in digital transformation, finding and retaining top talent should be a priority for leaders.

If the pharmaceutical industry can change with digital transformation, all companies can change. Digital transformation doesn’t have to be complicated. Setting a vision, understanding customers and getting the right people in place can put companies on the path to lasting transformation. 

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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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