Info

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.
RSS Feed
The Modern Customer Podcast
2022
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2021
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2020
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September
August


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: October, 2021
Oct 26, 2021

The future of marketing is artificial intelligence. 

But marketers are often faced with technical jargon and code instead of tactical ways to improve their strategies. Author and marketing professor Raj Venkatesan says marketers don’t have to know how to code, but they do need to understand the concepts of AI to build smart strategies and deliver superior customer experiences. 

In his new book, The AI Marketing Canvas, Venkatesan breaks it down to a five-stage road map of how to implement AI in marketing. Before embarking on that roadmap, marketers need to understand the goal of AI in marketing, which is to personalize customer engagement. With that mindset and understanding, marketers can embark on the five-stage AI journey: 

  1. Create a foundation of data. Personalizing customer engagement and delivering great experiences starts by building the algorithms needed to make predictions about consumers.
  2. Experiment. Choose one customer engagement issue, such as customer acquisition or retention, and test what gains you can obtain through AI personalization. Venkatesan recommends running several small experiments to see which area delivers the strongest results for your company because each organization will see different impacts in different areas.
  3. Expand. Use that experiment as a launchpad to look at adjacent data. Take success in one area of customer engagement and expand AI into neighboring areas to grow in all aspects of customer engagement.
  4. Transform. As you expand your AI efforts to all areas of customer engagement, your entire customer experience will be transformed through AI.
  5. Monetize. Create a platform and develop a new revenue source. Companies like Starbucks are creating monetized versions of their AI marketing strategies and programs to help competitors. Sharing a platform speeds the adoption of AI across industries and can create lucrative revenue streams. 

As they go through these five stages, modern marketers need to be able to work with different functions in the organization and be the voice of the customer to bring together AI and marketing and deliver a great customer experience. 

Venkatesan says the fundamentals of marketing and customer experience haven’t changed—what has changed is the ability to serve customers well at scale. AI is an opportunity to serve customers better. When marketers embark on these five steps, they can lead their organizations and their customers to better experiences through AI.  

_______________

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.

Oct 19, 2021

Like nearly everything else in the world, leadership has changed dramatically over the last 18 months. Leaders are now faced with a new set of priorities and challenges as they lead their organizations in a rapidly changing world and lead teams and customers who are facing struggles and changes of their own. 

Liz Wiseman, author of Multipliers and Impact Players, says that leaders who want to lead through uncertainty have to lead differently. 

Too often, leaders who are trying to do the right thing slip into the role of having to have all the answers. But today’s leaders can’t possibly have all the answers, especially as they move through uncharted territory. Instead, leaders need everyone’s intelligence and have to use their knowledge and expertise in a way that allows everyone to contribute. 

Wiseman compares it to running special forces—the leader doesn’t know everything or run the entire mission, but instead coordinates intel from their various employees and celebrates success. Often, that comes from asking questions and encouraging learning instead of always supplying an answer or opinion. 

Wiseman also says that in these challenging times, leaders need to extend more grace and understanding to employees and customers than ever before. Many people are facing invisible challenges. That strain can be especially difficult on customer service and contact center employees who are working hard to help customers but can’t deliver what they’ve been able to deliver in the past. That exhaustion can lead to a feeling of languishing. 

Wiseman’s research has shown that employees don’t burn out because of having a heavy workload—they burn out by not having an impact. Leaders can’t take their foot off the accelerator and have employees not do the hard stuff and expect it to fix the problem. Leaders need to give employees as much control as they can handle and soften the edges. The greatest challenge for leaders in the current climate is knowing where to put their foot on the accelerator and where to take it off. 

Customer- and employee-focused leaders are multipliers who expect the best for their people, listen to their feedback and ideas and guide them through challenges. But they also extend grace and facilitate teamwork to help people contribute at their true capability. 

Leadership is changing, but employees and customers will always be central to success.

_______________

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.

Oct 12, 2021

Most people don’t associate bridal stores with loyalty programs. 

Especially in the middle of a global pandemic when most weddings were postponed or downsized. 

But the David’s Bridal loyalty program Diamond, launched in December 2020, is defying the odds and has already paid dividends with huge amounts of loyal and satisfied customers. 

The program was created as part of David’s Bridal’s transformation to return customers to the center of the experience. CEO Jim Marcum said the company had lost its way by not focusing on what brides needed to make their wedding planning experiences amazing. 

Because the wedding industry is centered around a singular event, the David’s Bridal loyalty program isn’t like most retailers’ loyalty programs. Marcum calls it a crowd-sourcing program that rewards brides for every David’s Bridal purchase for their wedding, not just the wedding dress. Anything anyone spends for the wedding, including bridesmaids’ dresses, accessories and the mother of the bride's dress, earns loyalty credit for the bride. 

In the first nine months, the loyalty program brought in 700,000 members, an amazing 89% of whom have already transacted. KPIs across the board are staggering—loyalty program members spend more than non-members and have higher return rates. 

Marcum said the amazing success is because the program is centered on brides and looks way beyond the singular purchase of a wedding dress. Brides are embracing the program because it is unique and meets their wedding planning needs. The rewards are also incredibly motivating for brides, with the top prize being a free honeymoon. So far, David’s Bridal has given away 41 free honeymoons to its most loyal customers. 

The loyalty program also helps David’s Bridal improve its overall customer experience by helping the company serve and understand brides at every step of their journey. Employees can see where a bride is in the process, like if she has purchased a wedding dress and gotten alterations, and then can work with the rest of the bridal party to get them outfitted with everything they need. Marcum says the program has become an infectious part of the service journey and a significant portion of the business overnight because customers and employees see the value in it. 

David’s Bridal’s loyalty program proves that there is always a market for a unique experience that meets customer needs. Even in the middle of a global pandemic, the loyalty program filled a gap and improved the entire experience, which has led to an outpouring of loyal customers.

_______________

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.

Oct 5, 2021
Undergoing a digital transformation is challenging enough, let alone in the wedding industry during a global pandemic.  When Jim Marcum became CEO of David’s Bridal in 2019, he was tasked with turning around the 70-year-old company and creating innovative and personal experiences for modern brides. Much of that change has come in the form of a continued digital transformation. 

Marcum started by looking for friction points and missed opportunities by meeting with teams throughout the company and paying close attention to customer feedback. 

From there, David’s Bridal created a customer-first digital strategy that specifically addressed the friction points. The previous strategy had created different policies and experiences depending on if customers shopped online or in store, but the comprehensive new strategy created a seamless experience across all channels that put customers in the middle of every decision. 

Changing how customers viewed the company also required personal service and a shift in the employee culture and mindset. Marcum and his team dove into thousands of online customer reviews to respond to every one- or two-star review across various platforms by reaching out to customers and listening to their feedback to get to the root of the problems. Constantly communicating with customers changed the company culture. Marcum believes that if you aren’t connecting to the customer, you are failing. The practice of quickly responding to low reviews permeates the company today as leaders and managers quickly remediate customer issues and concerns. Now, more than two years later, the company consistently averages 4.7 star reviews. 

David’s Bridal’s digital transformation also changed how the company views its customer journey. By the time a customer enters David’s Bridal to try on and purchase her wedding dress, she has likely spent lots of time online looking for inspiration and planning her dream wedding. To become a larger part of the entire experience, David’s Bridal transitioned from being there when a bride wants to buy her dress to helping her see her wedding vision from the start. The company’s new array of digital wedding planning tools includes apps with checklists and digital vision boards brides can create and share with family and friends, as well as AI-enabled interactive chat and AR to bring wedding dresses to life at home. 

Now, it’s not just about the dress, but the entire event. When a customer comes into the store to buy her dress, she has already been working with David’s Bridal, which helps consultants know what she is looking for and create a better and more personalized experience. Marcum says the new technology has been crucial as the company helps brides navigate wedding changes and delays due to COVID.  

David’s Bridal shows how digital transformation can modernize a decades-old business and help find new ways to connect with and serve customers.

_______________

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.

 

1