The three reasons why I am taking parental leave

Sep 21, 2017

As of September 5th I have been on parental leave. The responses I have received to this decision have been encouraging to the point in which I felt I needed to share. I have received hundreds of supportive messages from co-workers, vendors, friends and family regarding this decision. Mostly from males, and many stating they wished they had taken some time with their kids or they are proud of me for doing this. As text, IM, or email poured in with the continuing theme, I came to understand the response is a derivative of something deeper. Why were so many men wishing they had taken time, and why was I being congratulated for deciding to support my wife, become a better dad and live up to my ideals of equality in our society?

So I decided to do a little research and I was surprised and alarmed by what I discovered:Continue Reading

Customer Journey Critique – To protect and smile

Sep 12, 2017

A little while ago I had to get a reference check for a non-profit board I serve on.  I audibly groaned at the thought, but it needed to be done.

My perception versus the reality of what occurred was night and day, in fact I could say I was delighted by the experience with the Edmonton Police Service.  Who says that?

Well I do, at least for this experience.  In keeping with my desire to review a business every month (I missed August) against the four stages of the Customer Journey, I thought why not review a public service? To kick-start the critique, this is my Net Promoter Score for the EPS background check:

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Customer Journey 8 key metrics to measure

Jul 6, 2017

Many will say a great customer journey is accomplished with great customer service at every touch point of that journey. Many experts say that creating a great customer experience is simple, you just need to genuinely care about your customer.  If it’s so simple, why are so many brands falling down?  Perhaps it is because they are not gathering the objective facts measuring their customer journey.  Case in point: 80% of companies believe they deliver superior customer service but only 8% of people believe these same companies deliver superior customer service (source: Lee resources).This is a massive disconnect which I believe is occurring because the customer journey is not being measured and looked at as a whole.  As stated in the blog The four stages of the customer journey, most organizations have four main stages: Stimulus, Sales Process, After Sales Process, Retention & Referral. To truly understand most processes, one needs to be able to measure them. In this “customer age” that organizations now find themselves in, being able to measure your customer’s journey for optimization is the key to success. Capturing data, understanding data, creating insights from data and applying these insights to your organization, if done well, consistently equals a competitive advantage, especially when using data about your customer journey.

At an aggregate level these stages can be measured and looked at through 8 critical KPIs of your organization. So let’s look at each stage’s KPIs, what they tell you and why they are important.

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Customer Journey Critique – A cut above the rest

May 11, 2017

In an effort to further study the Customer Journey, I have taken observations beyond the myopic environment of the brands I serve to the broader marketplace.  I am proposing a monthly review of a business where I will describe how the customer journey was for me and critique the four stages of the customer journey. If you need a reminder of  the four stages of the customer journey, it is outlined in this blog.

This week I am starting with a B2C service brand. To kick start the critique, this is my Net Promoter Score for the brand in question:

On a scale of 1- 10; 1 being the least likely and 10 being the most likely, how likely are you to recommend this brand to friends, family and colleagues?

9

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The four stages of the Customer Journey

Mar 30, 2017
Customer Journey can be a loop
Four Stages of the Customer Journey

As I look at the retail and service landscape, I see organizations failing to meet customer expectations.  The reasons are many: the customer can now educate themselves better than what most in-store representatives can provide.  A retail store is limited by the brands they offer versus the brand that a customer may want. The store itself is inconvenient; you have to travel to a location on your own time, often off route. Layer on top of this average customer service at best and it is easy to understand why customers are trying to go direct to brand or heading to e-commerce in ever increasing numbers.  E-commerce as a channel for service is creating an issue in and of itself for brands. While booking services online is a convenience for the customer, fierce cost comparisons are driving prices down and customer service training and staffing tend to get cut to remain price competitive.Continue Reading

Why Disney coming to Saskatoon matters

Feb 27, 2017

In 2017, retail brands are scrambling to differentiate themselves. There is still some product exclusivity left but for the most part, product X can be replaced by product Y.  This then just leaves price and the customer experience as ways for companies to stand out from their competitors.  Customer experience is the key to making your customers loyal, and giving them a reason to pick your organization over the one down the road. In fact, if you are good enough, the customer will talk you up and tell their friends that if they need product X, go see Retailer ABC.  If you are really good, the customer will become a promoter, a brand ambassador and is excited about doing business with you and receiving messages from you. The customer might even be delighted by any interaction with your retail brand. You may be thinking there isn’t a company in the world that creates experiences that would invoke this kind of customer reaction; there is and that company is Disney.Continue Reading