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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: August, 2021
Aug 31, 2021

The past 18 months have brought unthinkable tragedies and uncertainty to the entire world and changed how most people live, work and interact with companies. 

But according to Jon Picoult, author of From Impressed To Obsessed: 12 Principles for Turning Customers and Employees into Lifelong Fans, out of every crisis comes opportunity. Even with the chaos and uncertainty, there are opportunities to strengthen relationships and improve customers’ lives. 

Engaging with customers in an uncertain world starts by really understanding them, including their new and emerging needs and fears. What matters to customers and what they look for in a shopping experience is likely very different now than it was just a few years ago. By listening to customers, companies can capitalize on these changes to mitigate customers’ challenges and improve their experiences. 

Picoult says that more than shaping experiences, companies are shaping memories. Truly engaging with customers involves stirring emotion. Experiences that are laced with emotion are far more memorable than those that aren’t. By connecting on an emotional level, companies can take customers from a place of vulnerability to a position of strength and create a strong, memorable experience. 

Picoult gives the example of the Australian grocery chain Woolworths, which was one of the first companies to offer early morning hours dedicated to elderly and at-risk shoppers during the early days of the pandemic. Woolworths talked to its customers and realized at-risk people were scared to be shopping during busy times when the store was crowded. So it created dedicated early morning hours, and the practice spread to retailers around the world. Woolworths understood customers’ needs and went the extra mile to connect its solution to the emotions behind the challenge. In the process, it endeared itself to customers. 

In these times of chaos and uncertainty, customers want something they can depend on. They want to interact with brands that will listen to them, understand their struggles and then go out of their way to fix them. Engaging with customers during these challenging times doesn’t mean completely changing the customer experience—it means tweaking your current offerings to match what matters most. 

Although these times are challenging, it’s also a chance for brands to strengthen their relationships and turn their customers into lifelong fans.

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

Aug 24, 2021

Growing a business is all about gaining customers and getting sales. And far easier and less expensive than attracting new customers is turning existing customers into regular, returning customers. 

CX expert Shep Hyken says the key to building return customers is to discover the typical pattern of return customers and then replicate that experience for new customers. All companies should get people into the cadence of doing business with them regularly, but the timeline of that regularity—be it weekly, monthly or annually—changes based on the industry and type of business. 

In his new book, I’ll Be Back: How To Get Customers To Come Back Again and Again, Hyken lays out a six-step process for finding that pattern and building return customers and strong experiences: 

  1. Ask why someone would do business with your company and not with the competition. Figure out what makes your company unique from others and what makes customers interested in your products and services. 
  2. Ask why someone would do business with the competition instead of your company. This requires digging into your competition’s offerings and customer service to discover their competitive advantages.
  3. Keep pace with what the competition is doing. If there is something the competition is doing, bring it into your company and make it your own.
  4. Look outside your industry. Ask all types of people what their favorite companies are to do business with and why. Look at why people are drawn to these companies that are outside your industry and may not be considered direct competition.
  5. Ask what those companies are doing to draw in customers. This step also requires digging deep to understand why certain companies resonate with customers. Think about what you could be doing that works for companies in other industries. 
  6. Come back and ask the original question—Now, why would someone do business with your company and not the competition? 

Hyken recommends going through this process every six months to find little ways to improve. Taking these small steps can create amazing experiences that customers love and help distance you from the competition. 

All companies, no matter their size or industry, can find ways to stand out from the competition. Playing to your strengths creates unique experiences that will make customers return. Hyken says even small companies can compete against e-commerce giants like Amazon by highlighting what makes them unique, such as by offering personalized human experiences and local events. 

By continually improving and playing to your strengths, you can create a company where customers want to come back again and again.

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

Aug 17, 2021

It’s no secret that modern customers crave personalization. Efforts to tailor experiences to customers’ needs are foundational to a strong CX strategy. 

But the next step of personalization is here: hyper-personalization. 

According to Raj Badarinath, CMO of Algonomy, hyper-personalization has three main characteristics:

  1. It focuses on individuals, not segments. Even if two customers have some similar qualities, they each have a unique experience that meets their exact needs.
  2. It creates experiences in real-time. Hyper-personalization delivers offers right when customers need them most.
  3. It uses AI and machine learning to improve over time. Hyper-personalization efforts get better as the technology and company learn more about each customer. 

Instead of simply providing a certain experience for a customer depending on their demographic or preference segment, hyper-personalization considers the context to choose the right offer and experience in real-time. Hyper-personalization uses technology to look at countless variables and know what a customer is looking for and what they need at that exact moment. 

Badarinath gives the example of a customer shopping in a store, likely while also using the store’s mobile app to look up products and get information. The store knows the customer’s preferences and that they are close by and can use hyper-personalization to send an offer that considers the context and meets their exact needs at that moment, perhaps by recommending a product that is relevant to what they are already buying or a discount on a brand they have bought in the past. 

At the heart of hyper-personalization is strong digital solutions, especially around AI and machine learning. Badarinath says companies have to consider the digital maturity of their systems when making decisions. Some AI solutions only have the maturity of a three-year-old, while others have the maturity of a 30-year-old. That maturity impacts the decisions the technology makes and how it learns and grows. The same hyper-personalization strategy won’t work on all levels of maturity. 

Although AI and technology are important, hyper-personalization is most effective with a human touch. The best companies provide their human employees with tools to access customer data and preferences in real-time to deliver those hyper-personalized offers human-to-human. 

In today’s connected world, companies are no longer just competing against other brands within their industry—they are competing against every company. Hyper-personalization sets the standard and drives a strong customer experience and long-term loyalty to fuel business growth.

*Sponsored by Algonomy 

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

Aug 10, 2021
The goal of every company should be to make their customers’ lives easier, even if it makes their work harder. 

But that becomes even more important in a company serving customers with chronic health conditions. 

Naama Stauber Breckler is CEO and co-founder of Better Health, a company focused on helping people with chronic conditions manage day-to-day life at home. Through innovative end-to-end solutions that bundle the delivery of medical supplies with education, peer support and telehealth services and an intense customer focus, Breckler and her team make it possible for customers to do hard things easily.

The need for at-home care and supplies delivery was only highlighted during COVID when most people suffering from chronic conditions were left at home to manage their care and treatment.  

Before starting Better Health in late 2019, Breckler spent months talking to countless people to learn about the industry, current challenges and where she could have the biggest impact. She ultimately narrowed her focus to urology and ostomy products. Most of Better Health’s customers have chronic conditions, so although the company can’t reverse the conditions, it can make customers’ lives better.

Talking with customers highlighted two major issues: the selection of medical devices can be overwhelming, and online payments with insurance can be complicated. Both of these issues posed massive roadblocks to customers and made their lives incredibly difficult. Better Health prioritized addressing these issues and now offers personalized consulting and recommendations to find the right products and takes over payment issues from the customer.

Better Health operates in an inverted way to make sure everything the company releases truly solves problems people care about. Breckler and her team interact with customers online and go into their homes to understand the experience so they can then prioritize the biggest pain points to make the largest impact. 

That customer focus continues with each new feature the company releases. Employees pore over data to see where customers are getting stuck and dropping from the process so they know how to improve it. 

Every company, not just those in the medical field, can and should make customers’ lives easier. A central focus on customers that starts from leaders, as well as data and feedback, can help companies improve their products and work to best meet customers’ needs.

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

Aug 3, 2021
Of the things that were lost because of the COVID pandemic, one of the most impactful was the loss of community. 

Instead of interacting in person and learning and growing together, we were forced to do things by ourselves or be separated by computer screens. 

So much of how we learn in business and our personal lives happens in person. But that was lost during COVID as our opportunities to learn through in-person classes and events were eliminated. 

Without a personal and professional community, the last 18 months have been extremely difficult for most people. We were stuck at home alone, and relationships were tested. In my own life, I had a baby and faced the difficulties of the newborn stage without my community of friends and mothers. We recently moved to be closer to family, and now I find myself having to rebuild my community and make new friends. 

But through the challenges of the pandemic, the importance of community became even more clear. And it reinvigorated my desire to create a business community. 

I have known some of my podcast listeners and CX professionals for longer than I’ve known my husband—some of you for more than 15 years. In that time, you’ve shared your personal and professional struggles with me. 

As a CX advocate, my goal is to make you successful. And much of that comes from real communities where we can connect personally and privately. 

To better meet your needs, I’m launching a brand-new customer experience community at customerexperiencecommunity.com. I know what it’s like to work in CX for a company and get no support or resources. The goal of the community is to give you the tools and resources you need to be supported and lead the best CX change possible. 

By signing up now for early bird pricing, you’ll soon get access to a weekly livestream with me, the chance to interact with special guests and thought leaders, access to modern case studies and trends, a chance to get certified in my Customer of the Future course, meet other CX professionals, share information and more. Every aspect of this community is designed with you in mind to make you as successful as possible. 

The global pandemic took community away from us. But now that we’ve seen how important it is, we can create a community to learn and grow together.

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

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