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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: January, 2022
Jan 25, 2022

Today’s customers don’t want to wait. 

We’re in a society where customers expect things right away. Sending an email and waiting days for a response or having to sit on hold for hours is no longer acceptable. Customers want to get the help, service, and products they need without waiting. 

As customers experience instant gratification from some companies, they come to expect it from all companies. 

Here are three examples of instant gratification in CX:

  1. Fridge No More offers 15-minute grocery delivery with no extra fees. The secret to ultra-fast delivery is using small fulfillment centers in one-mile service zones. Fulfillment centers are laid out strategically so that employees can quickly pick orders and hand them off for delivery via motorized scooter. The focus on local and small allows customers to get excellent service fast. Fridge No More operates in New York City, along with a wave of similar companies focused on near-instant grocery delivery.
  2. Disney’s Genie App creates personalized Disneyland itineraries. Visitors to Disneyland can instantly receive a personalized itinerary to maximize their time in the park. Using the app, visitors select their must-do rides, attractions, shows, and restaurants, and the app instantly puts them together in a customized itinerary. Even better, the schedule is updated in real-time based on line conditions and ride closures. The Genie app takes customer experience to the next level to remove much of the planning and frustration from visiting the park.
  3. Zelle instantly sends money between bank accounts. In our ultra-connected world, being able to send money instantly is crucial for many customers. Zelle connects 100 million users across more than 1,000 banks to send money between accounts in minutes with no fees. It’s a massive improvement over traditional transfer methods that require customers to visit a bank branch and even over its competitors that charge high fees and make customers wait. 

Instant gratification will play a huge role in the future of CX. No matter your company or industry, every brand can find a way to quickly deliver some aspect of their service. 

What role does instant gratification play in your CX strategy?

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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 new Customer Experience Community here.

Jan 18, 2022

With changing customer trends and demands on top of global supply chain disruption and a pandemic, retailers have had to continually pivot over the last few years. One of the best ways to survive the changes is with a mobile, social and digital-first strategy. 

When Alicia Waters stepped into her current role as CMO of Crate & Barrel, she pushed to optimize the brand’s mobile presence and create more digital services. As customers spend more time at home and more time on their phones, they are inundated with digital content. Brands need to have a strong mobile and digital strategy to cut through the noise and stand out from the competition. Alicia says Crate & Barrel’s digital approach comes from a place of empathy and innovation to understand customers and connect with them digitally.  

Much of that empathy comes from being transparent and showing real-world applications for the brand’s products. Pandemic restrictions meant Crate & Barrel couldn’t shoot on a typical photography set. But the company got creative and embraced new ways of shooting products like using CGI and having influencers shoot content at their homes. Alicia says some of the most impactful images came from photographers who shot with their kids in their own homes because it was real life and connected with customers on social media. 

Alicia acknowledges that Crate & Barrel has made great strides in the mobile and digital space, but there is still room to go. The company is on a good path and wants to continue digitizing its stores and revolutionizing parts of the e-commerce experience. Crate & Barrel recently stopped sending stacks of physical catalogs to its stores and now sends a single sign with a QR code that links to a digital catalog. Alicia believes there are many opportunities for content in stores that can be delivered digitally. When customers are shopping in the store, they are doing more than just shopping in the store. They have their phones nearby as a powerful resource, and Crate & Barrel aims to create experiences that complement that behavior. 

A mobile, social and digital-first strategy requires continual evolution. Alicia regularly brings in people from other areas of the company to offer a fresh perspective and create cross-functional teams that can tap into new digital strategies that resonate with customers. 

Ultimately, the best mobile, social and digital-first strategy isn’t just flashy or convenient but rooted in customer need. Being transparent and showing realness helps brands stand out and build strong relationships with customers, even as the world continues to change.

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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 new Customer Experience Community here.

Jan 11, 2022

How do you create a customer-centric company, especially when your job is to help other companies be customer-centric?

According to Pega President of Global Field Operations Hayden Stafford, it’s all about putting the customer at the center of absolutely everything you do. 

Customer-centricity has never been more important, but what customers are looking for is changing. Stafford says the two biggest trends impacting customers are the need for empathy and real-time context. The most successful companies are continually innovating to find new ways to meet customers with empathy in real-time. 

Customer-centricity is putting customers first in every situation, especially during challenging times. Stafford gave the example of a Pega banking client in Australia. When wildfires ravaged the region in early 2020, the bank took a unique approach. Instead of following the typical inbound reactive service and waiting for customers to call with issues, the bank leveraged Pega software to proactively reach out to customers who were close to the fires and delay their loan deadlines. The example shows empathy and connecting with customers with context when they need it most.  

Providing customer-centric service starts with an internal culture that is completely focused on customers. 

Stafford says customer-centricity should be the foundation of every business decision, including how the company is oriented and teams are created. Customer-centric companies don’t just research their customers—they understand the outcomes their clients are trying to achieve. Stafford encourages the sales team at Pega to build meaningful relationships with clients and track how the clients are engaging with the company, how often they engage, and their level of engagement. 

Customer-centricity also requires taking an outside-in perspective. Every month, Stafford invites an external party to a team meeting to share their perspective of Pega. Those regular presentations help employees understand what’s happening in the industry and the world so they don’t have a limited Pega point of view. 

No matter the industry or type of company, customer-centricity comes down to understanding customers’ motivation, walking in their shoes, and putting them at the heart of every decision.

*Sponsored by Pega

Pega delivers innovative software that crushes business complexity - from maximizing Customer Lifetime Value, to streamlining service, to boosting efficiency. They help the world's leading brands solve problems fast and transform for tomorrow. 

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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 new Customer Experience Community here.

Jan 4, 2022

For decades, companies built brands by interrupting customers. It was the 30-second ads that interrupted a person’s TV watching, the banner ad that interrupted their internet browsing, or the commercial that interrupted their streaming show. 

But those days are over, says Jeff Rosenblum, co-founder of Questus. Companies need to move towards empowering their customers instead of interrupting them. 

Rosenblum admits that interrupting can be effective at building brands, but that doesn’t mean customers appreciate being interrupted. When talking with friends or family, an interruption is one of the most annoying ways to communicate—and that annoyance extends to interrupting brands. Younger customers especially are moving away from interruptions by paying for services to remove ads or simply checking out when a traditional commercial airs.  

Empowering customers means providing them with resources and information and building relationships with them. Rosenblum says the goal should be to create content that is so valuable that people go out of their way to consume it and share it with others. Empowered prospects turn into customers, and empowered customers turn into brand evangelists. 

Instead of relying on emotional messages, brands need to focus on functional messaging. Consumers make purchase decisions the same way as businesses—by focusing on ROI. Although they might not consciously realize they are doing it, consumers consider the best way to use their time and money. They need to know the features and functions of a product to make the best decision. Rosenblum says that brands that can put that functional messaging right in front of potential customers will convert people.

Modern customers are in control and don’t want to be interrupted.They want personalized content and will move on from insufficient information. Instead of simply pushing mass messages at customers, brands need to understand their needs and provide them with the resources to make empowered decisions. 

Empowering customers with functional information and strong relationships helps them make confident buying decisions and creates loyal customers for the long term. 

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 new Customer Experience Community here.

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