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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: Category: Business
Jun 21, 2022

Investing in customer experience is just that—an investment. Being able to prove the return and value of that investment is crucial for all companies, especially startups and those looking to get new customers on board. 

In the early days of CampusLogic, President and COO Chris Chumley used ROI as a tool to gain new customers and establish credibility. Prospective university clients agreed that the student experience was important, but many weren’t willing to spend money on it. By demonstrating the ROI of CX and how it would eliminate pain points and create a better experience for customers, students, and employees, Chumley could connect with potential customers and grow his business. 

Chumley says illustrating ROI starts by identifying the pain point. Where do customers face friction? What areas of the experience could be improved? Where is the frustration for customers and employees? 

The pain point for CampusLogic’s university customers was often paper-heavy financial aid systems. 

Chumley says to work side by side with customers to put a number to that pain using the customer’s metrics. The pain point could be impacting sales, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, or a host of other things. If the company can move that number, CX has value. 

For potential CampusLogic customers, Chumley often tied ROI to reducing costs and increasing financial aid completion rates—two metrics that are crucial for universities. 

Tying ROI to metrics that customers care about makes ROI more impactful. The personalized approach shows the value of CX for each unique customer and becomes more applicable and accessible. 

Chumley says the key to a successful ROI model is to involve customers. Cooperatively building ROI helps customers catch the vision of how CX can solve their pain points. Instead of simply telling customers the ROI, Chumley uses each customer’s numbers to build the solution with them and showcase the value. That means each ROI model is unique to the customer using metrics they already track and are familiar with. 

Numbers don’t lie. Building a strong ROI model for CX creates a compelling case for its value and can be crucial in getting new customers and creating customer-centric companies.

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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

Jun 14, 2022

One bad experience and the click of a mouse.

That’s all it takes for a customer or employee to go somewhere else. As life and work have become digitized in the last two years, the switching cost has decreased to almost zero. It’s never been easier for people to change their company loyalty.  

Experience management has never been more important. 

But creating those great experiences that resonate with customers and employees requires paying attention to customer feedback and insights. 

In times of uncertainty, organizations aim to consolidate the number of ways they listen to understand the cause and drivers of the experience, says Brad Anderson, President of Products & Services at Qualtrics. 

Turning customer feedback into actionable insights requires continuous listening, finding areas to improve and driving those improvements. Those insights direct organizations to the next best step for the individual and the group and can be adjusted in real time. 

Organizations need to pay attention and understand the emotions people feel as they interact with the organization, both as customers and employees. Understanding those emotions helps brands identify what is and isn’t working. 

Anderson says call centers are a gold mine of information that doesn’t even require asking for new feedback. By listening to conversations that are already happening with the help of AI, companies can understand what experiences need to be improved and the next best action for individuals and groups. 

Listening to customers helps pinpoint areas of friction within the experience that can be improved. Anderson recommends paying attention to the emotions behind the experiences. People are often willing to share good and bad experiences, but organizations and leaders need to listen to their feelings to drive improvement. 

As companies listen, experience management programs create memories of every experience a customer or employee has had. As technology advances, brands can recall those experiences in real time to provide personalized insights into the next right step for every person. 

Experience matters now more than ever. And the key to delivering great experiences to customers and employees is listening, finding areas to improve and continually driving improvements.

 

*Sponsored by Qualtrics

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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

Jun 7, 2022

Customer success and customer service may sound similar. But what’s the difference between these two important disciplines? 

Emilia M. D'Anzica, founder of GrowthMolecules and author of Pressing On as a Tech Mom, has consulted companies across numerous industries on customer success. She says one of the core differences is being proactive versus being reactive. 

Customer success is proactively engaging with customers to help them get the most out of their investment. The goal is to help customers find lasting impact and value from the product to drive loyalty and long-term contract renewal. When customers don’t see value, they’ll switch to the competition. 

Customer success requires building relationships with customers to know where they want to be a year from now and proactively helping them reach their goals. CS leaders and CSMs aim to be continual partners with their customers to help them get the most out of the product and stick with the company. And while CS is often connected with B2B software, D'Anzica points out that companies in numerous industries have robust customer success programs. 

Customer success efforts are directly linked to a business’s operations and should be part of the go-to-market strategy. Customer success impacts the entire customer journey because it helps customers reach their goals and get the most out of the product. 

On the other hand, customer service helps customers when they get stuck. This service takes many forms, including in-app support, a knowledge base or a contact center customers can contact when they need help at the moment. 

Customer service exists to answer questions and solve problems and applies to every industry and type of company. While customer success relies on relationships, customer service tends to have more one-off interactions. A customer doesn’t contact the service department unless they have an issue to resolve. But customer service is also crucial to being there when customers need it and has a strong influence on how customers view the company.  

Both customer success and customer service are focused on improving customer loyalty and helping customers find value in the product or service. Companies with a customer success team also likely have a customer service team to address different issues. 

Although their methods and focuses differ, both customer success and customer service are critical to creating the overall 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. For regular updates on customer experience, sign up for her weekly newsletter here

May 31, 2022

Many consumers want to follow a healthy diet, but do they really know what they’re consuming?

That question was the driving force behind Spindrift, a sparkling beverage focused on ingredient simplicity and transparency.

For founder Bill Creelman, the idea was simple: people should know what they’re drinking. That customer-first mindset is at the core of Spindrift, from the products that are created to the messages that are shared.

Here are three ways Bill Creelman practices customer-centric leadership:

1 . He leverages a core group of passionate customers.

When Creelman first started Spindrift, he spent two years running the business from his house and traveling the country talking to customers about drinks. He realized there was a passionate group of people who loved sparkling beverages but weren’t happy with the current options. 

That group turned into Spindrift’s “Drifter” community, which now has more than 800,000 members and serves as a powerful sounding board for the company. Creelman leads the charge to stay in contact with these customers, listen to their ideas and feedback and even have them test new flavors. He set the stage for embracing one-on-one customer relationships and prioritizing listening to each individual. 

2 . He unites employees around the mission of the brand.

Taking on established beverage companies is a tall order. But Creelman unites his 100-plus passionate employees around the mission of using real ingredients and innovating the beverage industry. Every employee sees the value of their work to increase transparency and create a great product. Creelman says the team doesn’t think of what they do as selling sparkling water but about converting people to a better alternative. 

That mission to be transparent and use real ingredients acts as a guiding force for employees and keeps them focused on customers in everything they do. 

3 . He builds trust and transparency.

Creelman’s conversations with customers and employees revealed the importance of trust. Customers want to trust a brand and know what they are drinking, and employees want to trust the company they are working for. Creelman built Spindrift to deliver in both of those areas with transparency. Spindrift puts all of its ingredients right on the front of its cans—no jargon or buzzwords, just the truth about what is in each product. 

Creelman says it feels distrustful to build relationships with customers without really telling them what’s in the product. Being open and honest with customers shows employees the importance of authenticity and encourages them to be their true selves at work as they interact with customers.

Bill Creelman sets the tone for CX and has grown Spindrift into a customer-centric company that delivers great products and strong relationships.

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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

May 24, 2022

Just like every company is unique, so are its customers. 

Lifestyle and tech company Skullcandy’s sweet spot is young adventurers who love great music and extreme activities like skating and snowboarding.

With that target market, a run-of-the-mill marketing approach won’t land.

Skullcandy has created an impressive (and growing) company with its outstanding products and customer-focused marketing strategy. CMO Jessica Klodnicki involves the entire company in creating engaging content that resonates with its unique customer base. 

Here are three lessons for all companies: 

Create Cross-Departmental Teams

A customer-focused marketing strategy involves the entire company. Klodnicki says that marketers have long relied on algorithms to segment their messages. But that approach can't keep up with customers' rapidly evolving demands.  

Instead, Skullcandy takes an all-hands-on-deck approach to put customers first. The company Klodnicki brings together representatives from departments including marketing, product, R&D, social and more to report on their metrics in a regular digital health meeting. By collaborating and sharing information, the team can see patterns and trends to adjust their strategies in real time.  

The cross-departmental digital health team helps Skullcandy address issues quickly to stay relevant while also breaking down silos to ensure the entire company is focused on customers.   

Remind Employees About Customer Focus

A customer-centric culture doesn't do any good if employees don't remember it. At Skullcandy, every meeting starts by talking about the company's customer-focused mission and values. Those values are repeated and considered early in the decision-making process and become central to every product, partnership and campaign. 

Klodnicki says that every Skullcandy employee, no matter their seniority or department, knows the primary consumer and the key targets. Putting those customers front of mind for every decision keeps the entire company customer-focused. 

Listen to Customers

Klodnicki admits that Skullcandy used to make many decisions based on gut feel and instinct instead of leveraging data. But connecting with customers and growing the brand requires a data analytics team that connects the company's culture to data. Every department in the company is trained to read customer data and make decisions accordingly. Empowering employees to understand customers ensures feedback doesn't hit a wall but is instead integrated into the company's products. 

One example of listening to customers comes in Skullcandy's sustainability focus. While talking to customers, the company realized how much they care about giving back. So Skullcandy is making a huge environmental push towards recycled packaging, eliminating e-waste and designing sustainable products. 

Effective marketing requires a true customer focus. Skullcandy shows that the best customer-centric marketing approach involves the entire company creating products and campaigns that resonate with 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. For regular updates on customer experience, sign up for her weekly newsletter here

May 17, 2022

Digital transformation is critical for all businesses today—but it isn’t something brands need to take on alone. 

Especially in the B2B world, involving customers in the transformation and making them valuable partners can lead to long-term success for the company, its B2B clients and their end-user customers.

Transformation Requires Relationships

Didem Cataloglu, President & CEO of DIREXYON Technologies, says companies must realize that customer experience is a journey and that many companies, especially in the utilities and energy industries that DIREXYON serves, are facing lots of changes. 

In a digital transformation, Cataloglu says that technology is just 20% of the solution. The other 80% is about the people. When going through a digital transformation, she recommends looking at it from the perspective of humans and how it impacts and changes their work and processes. Instead of immediately jumping to the newest or fastest new technology, consider the solutions from a human point of view.

As a technology company, DIREXYON provides technology. But Cataloglu says success comes from bridging the gap between technology and people. The brand’s main priority is connecting with customers, understanding their business needs and bringing them the best technology solution.

Success Comes From Providing Value

Involving customers in a digital transformation requires including them in conversations early on. The goal is to understand how the technology will improve their lives, but that’s only possible when companies know their customers and understand their processes and values. Companies can then advise customers on what’s coming and prepare them for the transition. Each journey and transformation is different, but becoming a trusted partner to customers means guiding them through the process and providing individual results. 

Cataloglu says the ultimate goal of a digital transformation is to create value for customers. And that value will change based on the individual needs of each customer and their end-users. Set goals at the beginning of how they will reach that value and check in with that goal throughout the process. Providing value should be the guiding force throughout the entire transformation.  

Digital transformation isn’t a one-time thing. It requires continual adoption and evolution, which means companies and their B2B customers must have dynamic relationships to progress together continually.

Cataloglu’s best advice is to get closer to customers and listen to them. Use those insights in your strategic planning to create personalized digital solutions. Transformation and providing value to customers isn’t easy, but it gets easier with technology.

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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

May 10, 2022

We interact with money all day long—every time we pay for things, get a paycheck, check our bank balance or get a bill.

How do those interactions make you feel? 

For most people, dealing with money brings fear, anxiety and the thought that there will never be enough. 

But Amanda Frances, money guru and best-selling author of Rich as F*ck, says the first step to gaining financial freedom is to get over the idea that we’ll always be playing catchup. When we become aware of how we want to feel about money, we can bring those feelings and that mindset to every interaction. 

Personal wealth is possible, especially with the right mindset and actions to back it up. Frances knows it’s true because she built her multi-million-dollar brand from scratch and now teaches clients around the world the same principles with great success. 

Here are three ways to achieve personal wealth and financial freedom: 

1 . Know it’s possible. The foundation of achieving personal wealth is knowing that it’s possible. Frances says that if she didn’t believe success was possible, she wouldn’t have been able to make any of the moves that made her and her business what it is today. Without knowing that financial freedom is possible, people are more likely to settle instead of pushing themselves and pursuing their goals. But Frances is also clear that you can’t sit around thinking good thoughts and expect to get wealthy. Use the mindset that it’s possible to guide your actions and support your path to personal wealth.

2 . Believe you’re worthy and show up every day. Frances says the best way to get a raise and start earning more money is to believe you’re worthy of it and show up every day with that attitude. Knowing that you’re worthy of personal wealth and being compensated well for your work comes through in everything you do—the projects you take on, your attitude towards your boss and co-workers and the effort you put in. You can’t walk around thinking you’re inferior and then wonder why you’re treated like you’re inferior and aren’t paid well. That’s especially true for women, who often have to fight harder to be paid well. Frances says the attitude we have at our jobs is what we expect in our lives. When people change how they view their job and believe they are worthy of earning more, they show up differently. And that ultimately leads to them earning more money and gaining financial freedom.

3 . Expect to be the exception. Women often have to walk the line between coming across as too bold or being too timid. But Frances believes she can be an exception to the rule and that it doesn’t have to be that way for her. The same principle applies in everything from running a business to interacting with customers and managing your money. Don’t assume you’re going to have a negative situation because that’s how it’s always been for other people. Frances gave the example of her boyfriend, who owns a construction company. Late payments and shady deals are the norm, but she taught him to be the exception. Just because it’s the industry standard doesn’t mean it has to be your situation. Take control and do things on your terms to be the exception to the rule.

 Financial freedom starts with the right mindset. Believing it’s possible can put you on the path to personal wealth.

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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

May 3, 2022

Since its creation, Lyft has been disruptive. 

It initially set out to eliminate the friction of getting a taxi. But over time, Lyft has grown into a transportation powerhouse. One reason for its success is its total focus on customers. 

When faced with the changes and challenges of the pandemic, Lyft took the opportunity to improve its digital services and undergo a digital transformation. 

The result is a frictionless experience that continues to disrupt the industry and shine as an example for all customer-focused digital brands. 

Customer-Centric Mindset

VP of Customer Experience Eric Burdullis says being a customer-centric organization means paying attention to the things that cause problems for your customers. Contact center agents have valuable insights to solve and prevent issues. At Lyft, the technology team regularly shadows customer service to see things from the customers’ perspective. Many employees even drive for Lyft to understand what works with the product and what doesn’t. 

Burdullis says that brands that aren't paying attention to their customers' problems are missing a big chunk of business. 

Pandemic Shift

Like many businesses, Lyft lost almost all its business overnight when the pandemic hit. And as people eventually started leaving home more, customers began contacting Lyft at higher rates about things that had never been issues before, including flexibility and health and safety inside cars. 

With a new customer mindset and a new world for operating, Burdullis led his cross-functional team to re-think all customer entry points from the ground up through a comprehensive digital transformation. The original goal was to eliminate 90% of contacts while improving NPS. 

The team talked to frontline agents and managers about the tasks they did every day that they didn’t feel were adding value to customers—things like refunding cancellation fees or providing the repetitive quick responses. That list grew to include every problem a customer may face. 

From those thousands of ideas, the team prioritized the customer issues and questions into two groups: those that could move to the app and those that could be proactively delivered.  

Lyft’s previous contact form came from the website, but the digital transformation moved almost everything to the app to create easy access points. 

Instead of waiting for customers to contact the company, Lyft shifted to proactively reaching out to customers who may have a specific issue or providing self-service options to answer questions and resolve problems quickly. The transition required strong data analysis efforts to track the entire customer journey.  

Lasting Transformation

Coming out of the pandemic, Burdullis says Lyft offers better service and in-app connected service to chat and human agents. Instead of all customers having to use the old web help form to connect to a human agent, Lyft is thoughtful about every piece of the journey and intentionally designs with customers in mind. 

Although Lyft didn’t get to its goal of eliminating 90% of contacts, Burdullis considers 65% an incredible win. The digital transformation also improved Lyft’s customer effort score by double, making it twice as easy for customers to get resolution. 

Lyft’s digital transformation is continually evolving, just as customers continue to change and adapt. With a goal to make the experience as easy as possible for customers and a mindset that puts customers at the center of every decision, Lyft sets the foundation for long-term customer success.  

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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

Apr 26, 2022

Customer experience isn’t just about serving today’s customers—it’s about creating a culture and environment that can benefit future generations. 

That’s especially true when it comes to conversation efforts.  

Creating a better world for future customers and growing generations means believing in something better and that the world can grow and change. 

Creating Programs Now to Benefit the Future 

Lisa Diekmann, President & CEO of Yellowstone Forever, is a strong believer in conservation efforts that benefit future generations. She says providing a great experience is all about honoring the history of the past while looking toward future trends and creating a place everyone can enjoy for years to come. After all, nature is the great equalizer—if we protect it. 

Like national parks and natural wonders around the world, Yellowstone saw a huge increase in visitors over the past two years. The park and its non-profit partners responded with a wide variety of programs and experiences for all types of people, from glamping and family-oriented trips to backwoods camping. But Diekmann points out that although every visitor can have their own unique experience at the park, they are all tied together by the need to conserve Yellowstone for future visitors.

Investing in Future Generations 

To celebrate its 150th anniversary, Yellowstone National Park recently began selling Inheritance Passes. The $1,500 donation secures guests an annual pass for 2022 and a pass to use in the year 2172. The goal is to improve the park now and give the pass to future generations to use in another 150 years. The campaign shows the impact current park guests and customers can have on the future. Although they won’t be around to see the park in 150 years, they can still contribute now to make sure it’s around.  

As the world’s first national park, Diekmann says Yellowstone is an example of conservation to organizations worldwide. The park and Yellowstone Forever feel responsible for rallying guests around improving the environment, even through small changes. Current conservation projects include installing low-flow faucets, replacing old light bulbs with energy-efficient models and establishing EV charging stations. On their own, these changes may seem relatively simple, but they can yield major future results. 

Conservation matters for every business, not just those tied to nature. Making small changes and rallying customers to invest in the future can create a better world for those to come.

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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

Apr 19, 2022

Among the industries known for low customer service and satisfaction is utility companies.  

For decades, utility companies have operated in heavily regulated markets where customers can’t choose their provider. As a result, customer experience and customer care are low (or non-existent) priorities for many utilities. 

But as technology changes and more companies enter the utility market, customers have more options for clean energy than ever before. And that means all utility companies have to improve their customer experience to connect with customers and provide convenient, personalized experiences. 

Cosimo Spera, Founder & CEO of Minerva CQ, says that utility companies have a mandate to save the planet. And that path to de-carbonization starts with empowering customers as they request a plan sourced from clean energy. 

A goal of saving the planet for future generations may seem lofty, but it begins with applying the right technology and involving customers. Improving utility company CX requires using technology that turns the perception from being bad at customer service to a company that eliminates customers' problems or solves them with maximum satisfaction.  

As an accomplished mathematician, Spera compares customer care to an equation where the two sides must be equal. In CX, those two sides are customers and contact center agents. Companies looking to improve their experience often invest in providing great customer-facing solutions. But that makes for an unequal equation. A well-rounded customer equation also requires empowering agents and providing them with solid solutions to serve customers. 

As companies invest in technology, they often do so at the risk of removing the human experience. Spera says the best approach is to combine the power of AI with the power of humans for collaborative intelligence. AI algorithms can streamline and speed up operations, but humans are still better at tracking emotion and building connections with customers. Bringing those two elements together in the customer experience creates a convenient and personalized experience while also building relationships and addressing emotions. 

One of the most common problems in utility is a lack of first contact resolution. Customers often have to call multiple times to report a power outage and find answers and an estimate of when the problem will be resolved. Empowering agents with more information and AI-enabled resources and scripts increases their ability to solve problems immediately. 

The utility company needs a CX overhaul. Prioritizing customers and agents and providing the right tools can transform the experience and empower customers on their path to clean energy and improving the planet.

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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.

Apr 12, 2022
Success comes from making customer experience central to your business. And that requires streamlining the experience for both customers and employees.  Steve Harding, Area Vice President of ServiceNow, says customer service starts with an effortless experience. Many companies focus on channels, but channels don’t solve customer problems, especially if they aren’t connected. Too often, customers start with one channel but are bounced around and have to try numerous outlets before they can actually get the help they need. 

But when customer service is central to a business, the entire company and its technology are oriented to put customers first. 

Harding says efficient workflows are crucial to creating effortless experiences for employees and customers. As the number of possible channels grows and customer queries can come from various sources, legacy systems often can’t keep up with increased demand. It’s difficult for agents to respond with the correct information when pulled in multiple directions and use multiple screens and programs. 

Simplified workflows allow employees to work more efficiently, which allows them to do what they want: serve customers. 

The pandemic highlighted the importance of efficient workflows, especially as contact center agents started working from home and managing more calls. Harding says companies need to offer consumer-grade experiences to their agents so that agents can run their whole day from their mobile phones if needed.  

Investing in self-service and knowledge management systems also reduces much of the burden on agents and allows customers to help themselves quickly. Harding notes that self-service is especially important in the B2B space, where customers increasingly demand the same experiences at work that they enjoy as consumers. Smart B2B companies emulate consumer experiences by providing resources and knowledge to empower their customers. Harding cites the example of a medical technology company that created a self-service portal for desktop and mobile uses that gives customers a central place to learn about products, book appointments, and more. 

Self-service changes the workflow for human agents and allows companies to provide great service while also working effectively. Putting customer experience at the center of the company requires changing processes and systems to create great experiences for customers and employees.  

At the end of the day, customer service is a human experience. Instead of focusing solely on technology, companies need to remember the humans behind the technology and use systems to support and help people instead of taking over the experience. Aligning workflows with a customer focus puts CX at the center of the business and creates smooth experiences for everyone involved.

*Sponsored by ServiceNow

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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.

Apr 5, 2022

Energy costs and usage impact every homeowner, but most people don’t think much about the process. They flip a switch, the light turns on, and they pay their electric bill when it comes due. 

But as the energy grid ages and breaks down and the weather gets more extreme and threatens to knock out power, conserving energy and using it at the right time is crucial for homeowners. 

That’s where OhmConnect comes in. The company uses AI and analytics to reduce energy costs by gamifying the process and rewarding consumers for using energy when it is cleaner and cheaper instead of during peak times when it is dirtier and more expensive. 

Educating customers on the complex energy system is challenging. OhmConnect meets customers where they are to market a product that hasn’t existed before. 

Here are three lessons from CEO Cisco DeVries: 

Build Trust

OhmConnect is a free service that provides customers free smart devices and pays them to change their energy use, so many people think it is a scam and too good to be true. The first roadblock to educating customers is building trust that it is a real company. 

OhmConnect builds trust by leveraging partnerships with businesses customers know and trust, such as Google and Carrier. As customers connect OhmConnect with trusted brands, they understand the new company better.  

Gamify the Process

Once people trust the business, OhmConnect makes it fun with gamification. The company’s goal is for customers to reduce their energy use—the better they do, the more points, rewards, and money they earn. 

DeVries points out that the game isn’t about teaching customers about the energy grid because no one would pay attention. But as customers play the game, they organically learn more about energy in their homes and how to make better decisions to reduce their energy use. At the end of the day, OhmConnect isn’t trying to get people to pass a test about how the energy grid works. It just wants them to succeed in the game. 

Creating a fun and engaging game lowers the point of entry and makes conserving energy accessible for customers. People may be overwhelmed by the thought of learning about the energy grid but more willing to dip their toes into a fun game that happens to teach them about energy along the way. When introducing something new, focus on what matters most to customers and leave behind what doesn’t.  

Constantly Test the Process

Educating customers is an evolving process that involves constant testing. OhmConnect regularly surveys customers and pulls data from their energy systems to see the effectiveness of their education efforts. The goal is to teach customers enough that they want to play the game and reduce their energy use but not to bore them with irrelevant details.  

The constant testing builds an incredible dataset that helps OhmConnect predict how much electricity can be reduced at any given time based on things like the time of day, weather, and type of device. The company lives and dies by the data and uses it to adjust its strategy.  

Introducing a new product and educating customers on something as critical as clean energy use is important but difficult. As OhmConnect demonstrates, meeting customers where they are and finding ways to build trust and gamify the process can build strong relationships and grow a company.

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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.

Mar 29, 2022
Margaret Wishingrad didn’t grow up eating healthy foods. 

But as an adult, she developed healthy habits. She continued those habits when her first child was born, but she couldn’t find a healthy alternative to the sugar-filled cereals that lined the shelves. 

And Three Wishes Cereal was born. 

Wishingrad and her husband, Ian, spent two years testing new methods and ingredients to create a grain-free and dairy-free cereal with high protein and low sugar that actually tastes good. 

Today, Three Wishes is a customer favorite and sells multiple flavors online and in stores across the country. 

Turning her idea into a full-fledged brand took work and a focus on solving a problem. Wishingrad had to start by identifying the real need for her product. She did customer research and talked to countless people and what they were looking for in a cereal. Identifying and solving a real problem made it easier to sell the product to retailers and get coveted shelf space. 

Wishingrad has also built the brand by staying in tune with customers and moving quickly. A challenge of launching a food brand during a pandemic was that customers weren’t shopping in stores and couldn’t experience and taste the product in person. But Wishingrad saw grocery shoppers were moving online and quickly re-launched the website to create a smooth buying funnel. When customers started returning to in-person shopping, they were already familiar with Three Wishes because of its online presence. 

In the busy online world, Wishingrad says marketing comes down to identifying who you are speaking to and speaking to them—simple as that. For Three Wishes, that meant communicating with parents and giving them a quick and healthy breakfast solution for their families. 

Building a customer-centric brand also requires creativity. Without the ability to showcase their products in person, the Wishingrads created a drive-thru taste test right in their driveway. They safely gave neighbors and community members samples of their cereal as they drove through the driveway and then sent photos of the event to the local paper. The heartwarming story of a brand serving its community during the pandemic was picked up by news outlets across the country and led to huge exposure for Three Wishes and the company’s biggest online sales day—all from just a few hand-painted signs and creativity. 

Any idea has the potential to become a successful customer-centric brand. Wishingrad shows it takes dedication and creativity, as well as a push to solve a real problem and communicate it well.

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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.

Mar 22, 2022

After two years of creative digital marketing and virtual events, in-person experiential marketing is back. And it has the potential to revitalize and transform your customer experience. 

Bridget Hanrahan, Associate Director of Marketing Operations at Subaru of America, Inc, says experiential marketing helps Subaru connect with its customers on a more personal level. 

Subaru’s in-person marketing starts with understanding what customers value, both in their lives and what they want in a car. Subaru performs regular market research and customer surveys. Because it is a purpose-driven brand, the questions center around asking owners about changes in their lives, their passions and topics they care about. Those insights form the customer DNA and drive all CX efforts, including experiential marketing. 

Hanrahan calls Subaru customers experience seekers who care more about collecting memories and possessions than possessions. Those customer insights help the brand create experiential marketing in places that resonate with potential customers, such as ski slopes and local events. Subaru is very involved in communities across the country and uses in-person events to not only showcase its cars but to show people the impact of its community initiatives. 

Experiential marketing gives brands another way to create a strong customer experience and immerse customers in the brand. Hanrahan says the most successful in-person efforts are rooted in data to find the best places to connect with customers. Using experiential marketing to showcase the brand and its products builds strong connections that can lead to loyal and engaged customers. 

And after living virtually for two years, customers are anxious to connect with brands in new ways. Now is the perfect time to re-evaluate your CX efforts and find ways to expand in-person experiential marketing.

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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.

Mar 15, 2022

As CX grows as an industry and continues to show its impact on the bottom line, more marketers are tasked with leading it. But how well do marketers really understand CX? 

Digital marketing expert Jay Baer says that although there is a large overlap between marketing and CX, there are also crucial differences. While marketing is often tasked with bringing in new customers, CX is all about retention and creating loyal customers and strong relationships. 

CX has never been more important than in our post-pandemic world. Across the board, customers are looking for companies that make their lives easier and offer frictionless service. 

What customers value and prioritize has changed, and they increasingly want to interact with brands that reflect their preferences and worldviews. Baer says it’s not about reaching the most potential customers but reaching customers who align with the brand’s mission and goals. 

The key to marketers understanding CX is to understand their customers. When everyone involved in CX understands customers—especially how they have changed—they can offer a more empathetic and relevant experience. 

Baer says that the companies that will succeed over the next few years are the companies that understand their customers the best. Customers have changed so drastically that a company that hasn’t done rich customer research in the last two years is essentially flying blind. Performing a deep dive into first-party customer research augmented by technology is the first step in marketers becoming strong CX professionals. 

Most marketers don’t spend a lot of time with customers, which leads to companies that are surrounded by data but starved for insights. Driving a successful CX strategy requires talking to customers and getting to know them—what makes them tick, what they value in a brand interaction, what they want from your company, and more. Baer’s top advice for marketers is to get on the phone and talk to customers. 

Marketing plays a vital role in every company. But as customers gain more power, CX is increasingly valuable. To participate in and lead CX efforts, marketers must have a strong understanding of customers and turn those insights and relationships into high-quality experiences. 

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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.

Mar 8, 2022

What’s the first step to offering the human element to service? Investing in your human employees.  

Contact centers play a crucial role in a customer’s experience. Building a customer-centric company starts by empowering agents to provide excellent service, says Tom Goodmanson, President & CEO of Calabrio. 

The past two years of a pandemic have been hard on everyone, but contact center agents especially feel the stress. New research from Calabrio found that 96% of contact center agents feel stressed weekly while also taking more calls than ever before. That work stress, added to adjusting their work schedules and managing the personal stress of the pandemic, dramatically impacts customer service. When companies have the tools to reduce employee stress and improve the agent experience, it helps drive better customer behavior. 

“If the agent is taken care of, the end customer will win,” Goodmanson says. 

He says one way to relieve stress is to consolidate the information agents use. In recent years, companies have moved towards empowering agents with customer data and real-time alerts, but each one of those alerts is on its own screen. Calabrio found that the typical agent has 7 to 10 screens open at any time, which can be overwhelming. It’s difficult for agents to offer personalized, human service to customers when they are distracted by moving between numerous screens. Empowering agents with data is a good step, but consolidating that information to a single screen can significantly lower agent stress and improve the customer experience. 

Leaders have to be aware of what’s happening in the contact center to provide a great experience for agents and customers. Goodmanson follows his dad’s old saying of “Show up and pay attention, and you might learn something.” When leaders spend time in the contact center, they can better understand their people, including how to support employees and reach customers. 

Customer-centric companies listen to their customers to provide relevant, personalized service. And that happens with contact center agents empowered with streamlined technology, not stressed from outdated systems. When employees have the tools and technology they need to succeed, they can focus on the human element of customer experience and continually build customer-centricity.

*Sponsored by Calabrio

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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.

Mar 1, 2022

Today, companies face countless challenges, including staffing shortages, inflation, supply chain troubles and other sorts of other pandemic-related issues. 

These challenges give brands two choices: make excuses or show transparency. 

Alli Webb, founder of Drybar, is a long-time champion of what she calls radical transparency. For brands to be truly customer-centric, they have to be honest and not hide behind excuses. 

Transparency starts with empathetic customer-centric leaders. Not every customer interaction will be flawless, but leaders need to set the tone to provide an honest and transparent response to customers to make things right. 

Even if the companies can’t fix the problem, they can still make customers feel better. Webb says it requires being honest with customers about what is happening and empowering frontline employees to showcase transparency and empathy. That often requires acknowledging the struggle and clearly stating what the brand is doing to find a solution. 

Transparency has long been a hallmark of Webb’s customer-focused leadership style and often comes through in her communication. Even as CEO, Webb responded to every Yelp review until the company grew too large to do it herself. The team who took over the job received extensive training to develop empathy and transparency and build customer relationships. 

Even when Drybar had to raise its prices, Webb sent an email to customers explaining the change. She acknowledged that no one wanted to increase prices, which built an empathetic bond with customers, and provided honest reasons for the change. What could have been a negative experience for customers turned into a way to understand the brand better and see its values of providing excellent service and fair employee wages at affordable prices. 

Customers don’t expect brands to be perfect, but they do expect honesty. When leaders set the tone with transparency, they can empower their employees and create strong bonds and customer experiences.

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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.

Feb 22, 2022

A solid customer experience strategy is based on customer data. But the strategy for clothing and home décor company Anthropologie also includes creativity. 

Chief Marketing Officer Elizabeth Preis says creativity is the heart and soul of Anthropologie. And while data is often historical and focuses on what happened in the past, a creative focus drives inspiration and interest to the future. 

That’s not to say that customer data isn’t also vital. Preis says data helps the company choose the direction to take and what to prioritize, especially when it comes to tracking data trends. Preis and her team are constantly looking at metrics like NPS and customer and product data to see what is trending up or down. 

The company’s goal is to be inspired by data and use it to fuel its creative strategy that has become a hallmark of the brand. 

Data helps the brand better understand its customers and the industry, including what resonates with customers, how they connect with the brand and what they are looking for. Those metrics guide the products to pursue and the channels to prioritize. 

From there, Anthropologie builds out its creative efforts, both in store and online. The physical stores are known for their stunning window displays, carefully curated items and experiential focus, even down to the candles that are burning. 

Preis says the store wants everyone to feel comfortable in their homes and themselves. Anthropologie’s unique collection of products, ranging from jewelry to large furniture, lets customers be true to their creative selves and celebrate their uniqueness. The creative efforts aim to connect with moments that matter for customers, including milestones like weddings and first homes, as well as smaller magical moments like Sunday brunch or smaller celebrations. 

Data is the foundation, and creativity builds unique and memorable experiences. Both are crucial in building a brand that connects with customers and celebrates uniqueness.

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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.

Feb 15, 2022

Walking into a Krispy Kreme store hits all the senses—the smell of fresh donuts, watching the donuts come off the line, and the taste and feel of fresh donuts. 

But modern customers crave convenience, especially during a pandemic. How do you translate that same in-store experience to a digital strategy? 

Dave Skena, Krispy Kreme CMO, said that the move to digital and changing customer expectations show how CX has broadened. He and his team were tasked with bringing the magic to life with digital service. 

Krispy Kreme first rolled out nationwide delivery in February 2020 and expected a small number of sales to come from digital while it worked out the kinks. Little did the company know what was coming the next month. Because Krispy Kreme had already released its digital services when the pandemic hit, it was easier to scale and adjust to meet changing demands.

Understanding customers and their habits is key, Skena says. Most Krispy Kreme customers who use the website or app aren’t browsing—they know exactly what they want and are looking to pick it out quickly and easily. With that in mind, the goal of the digital journey is to provide frictionless service instead of maximizing experiential touchpoints. 

The data showed that many digital customers pre-ordered items for big holidays and events to ensure their stores didn’t run out. That information inspired better functionality to order in advance for pickup or delivery.

Skena’s biggest advice to marketers is to focus on the most loyal customers who are obsessed with your brand. If you lose relevance with the people who love you the most, you’ve lost the brand. In the case of Krispy Kreme, those brand evangelists wanted donuts to be available in more convenient ways. Backing that up with data shows the importance of a digital strategy and gets everyone in the company on board. Skena and other Krispy Kreme executives regularly speed test the digital journey to see things from the customers’ point of view. 

In today’s connected world, all brands can offer a digital experience. Focusing on data, especially from your most loyal customers, and convenience and speed can help all brands deliver an excellent digital 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. For regular updates on customer experience, sign up for her weekly newsletter here.  Join the new Customer Experience Community here.

Feb 8, 2022

For decades, Net Promoter Score or NPS has been the gold standard for measuring the success of CX efforts. 

But its creator says the metric has been co-opted and is misused by too many companies. The most successful way to use NPS going forward is to combine with a new metric for CX success.  

Fred Reichheld says the crux of NPS is that every time you touch a life, you either enrich it or diminish it. NPS was designed to measure progress and encourage brands and employees to enrich their customers’ lives so much that they would want to recommend the product or service. But in recent years, NPS has become so tied to frontline compensation that it has ruined the aspirational mindset. It’s led to an overload of surveys that are ineffective for companies and annoying for customers. 

Reichheld created a new metric to push brands towards the aspirational view of helping customers and enriching their lives: earned growth rate. 

In its simplest form, earned growth rate tracks the amount of growth a company has earned through repeat purchases and customers referring the business to family and friends.  

Reichheld says earned growth rate follows the same mentality as NPS but is a more results-driven and accurate view of success. If companies are delivering a great customer experience, customers will want to tell their family and friends, which increases the earned growth. Earned growth rate forms a powerful team with NPS to gauge CX success.  

A major benefit of focusing on earned growth rate is cost savings. Instead of paying for sales and marketing efforts to attract new customers, companies can spend less to retain current customers and get referrals. 

Reichheld points to glasses brand Warby Parker, which uses earned growth rate and found that new customers coming in from referrals are more profitable and have a lower acquisition cost. Because these customers know how the brand works from what their family or friends told them, their average ticket is higher, retention is higher, and they are more likely to turn into promoters themselves and tell their friends about the brand. 

The first step to tracking earned growth rate is to move to customer-based accounting. Monitoring sales and growth by product or service line like many brands do doesn’t provide knowledge of what customers are returning or who is making referrals. Instead, Reichheld says brands need to move to tracking sales by customer, which offers more insights into how much revenue comes from referrals. 

Finding how customers come to your brand is also crucial. Reichheld says even a simple question during customer onboarding about the primary reason they decided to do business with you can show where customers are coming from. 

NPS has long been the go-to metric for many companies. But moving towards earned growth rate can be more accurate and effective. Together, NPS and earned growth rate can take CX efforts to the next level.

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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.

Feb 1, 2022

Effective customer experience strategies happen when C-level leaders drive change and create a customer-focused mindset. In most companies, this includes the CEO, CMO, and Chief Experience Officer. 

But there’s also another crucial role to consider: Chief Revenue Officer. 

Frank Boulben, Chief Revenue Officer at Verizon Wireless, views his role as collaborating across the company to set customer experience priorities. It’s more cost-effective for companies to retain existing customers than to find new customers, especially in a subscription model like Verizon. Increasing revenue comes from delivering a great experience and a great product at each touchpoint. 

When Boulben stepped into his role, he took a deep dive researching Verizon’s customers. That foundational understanding helped him create the customer map. First is the network experience and the core of what Verizon provides customers. Verizon aims to be the best network in terms of coverage and reliability and make that the center of its customer experience. The next layer is the value proposition, or assembling the offers and products that customers want and value. And finally is the touchpoint experience, or how customers interact with the brand. Boulben’s goal is for the experience to be seamless across channels and also be personalized and relevant to each customer. 

Boulben works closely with the Chief Experience Officer and always brings his strategy back to those two main points: an experience that is seamless across channels and personalized. 

The entire Verizon C-suite, including Boulben, regularly listens to customer calls to understand the questions and issues customers face. Boulben says those insights help him see if customer concerns represent larger issues that need to be addressed or if they can be solved individually.

 Without a strong customer focus, revenue can’t grow. Chief Revenue Officers and revenue leaders at all levels play a crucial role in driving customer experience and creating value for long-term, loyal 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. For regular updates on customer experience, sign up for her weekly newsletter here.  Join the new Customer Experience Community here.

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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