How do you hear your customer voice?

Posted by Steve Whittington on Oct 18, 2019 12:07:23 AM

4-steps-imageI was in a meeting this week and discussion around mapping the customer journey occurred. The discussion was regarding the steps needed to implement a new customer facing solution. Happily, everyone agreed that the organization’s customer journeys by customer profiles were a needed input when implementing a customer facing solution. “Great!” I thought to myself, “Customer understanding is starting to be baked into this organization’s thinking.”

I listened and waited for the discussion to move to the next step of designing the implementation, which it quickly did once it was concluded that taking existing journey maps and reviewing them with the team for updates was all that was needed.

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Topics: Customer Series, Customer Service, focus on the customer

Great service is not about being perfect, it is about what you do when things fall apart.

Posted by Steve Whittington on May 2, 2019 12:16:39 AM

As sure as the sun rises you will have a day when your organization did not provide an excellent customer experience. Customer experiences are delivered by people executing on processes supported by technology.  Those three factors all fail at some point. People make mistakes, processes can not cover every scenario and technology…well as seamless as it continues to strive to be, there is still down time. Acceptance of these facts means you need to have a recovery system in place for when the failures happen.


What makes for a good recovery system?

A good system starts with the acknowledgment that organizations are made of people, and that people are not perfect. Therefore, mistakes will happen. How an organization deals with a mistake is often more important than the mistake itself.

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Topics: customer experience, Customer Series, Customer Service, Blogs

Is Retail Doomed?

Posted by Steve Whittington on Feb 13, 2019 4:03:46 PM

Empty retail store 

Today as I look at the overall retail and service landscape, I see organizations failing to meet
customer expectations. The list of storied brands shutting down locations is enormous. In 2017 alone, over 5,000 stores of major retailers were closed: Sears and Kmart closed 358 stores, JC Penney 138 stores, Macy’s 68 stores, Payless Shoes emerged from it’s Chapter 11 restructuring with almost 1,000 fewer stores, and the list goes on and on.

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Topics: customer centric, customer experience, Customer Series, Customer Journey, Retail, Blogs

When marketing and sales silos do not align customer experience suffers

Posted by Steve Whittington on Dec 5, 2017 8:54:10 AM

Company SilosRecently, I experienced a very effective marketing experience that was seamlessly connected to the start of the sales process. I have to admit I was impressed; until I went to the physical location and was immersed in their in-store experience.

So what happened?

I was triggered by a radio ad for an item I am considering purchasing.

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Topics: customer experience, Customer Series, Marketing Series, marketing, Sales process, Blogs

Customer Journey 8 key metrics to measure

Posted by Steve Whittington on Jul 6, 2017 4:32:46 PM

4 Stages of the Customer JourneyMany 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.

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Topics: customer experience, Customer Series, Customer Journey

Customer Journey Critique - A cut above the rest

Posted by Steve Whittington on May 10, 2017 10:58:51 PM

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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Topics: customer experience, customer journey critique, Customer Series, net promoter score, Customer Journey, Net Promoter System, Blogs

The four stages of the Customer Journey

Posted by Steve Whittington on Mar 29, 2017 10:57:58 PM
Customer Journey can be a loop

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.

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Topics: customer experience, Customer Series, Customer Service, Customer Journey

Do you believe the customer is the most important thing?

Posted by Steve Whittington on Oct 7, 2016 8:34:25 AM

customer-experience-excellenceThere is more focus on customer experience now than ever before. Interestingly enough, when you read why brands are focusing on the customer experience the reasons given are more excuses or accusations. What we're not seeing are brands aspiring to have a great customer experience because that's what best for their business. Typical reasons given include the following:

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Topics: customer experience, customer management, Customer Series, Customer Service, Marketing Series

The Net Promoter System and why you need it

Posted by Steve Whittington on Aug 26, 2016 7:16:12 AM

happy-customerImagine a world in which your customers are so excited after shopping at your organization that they rush out to tell their friends and family.  If this happened with every one of your customers you wouldn’t need to spend a dollar on advertising because all your advertising would be done for you. (Well, this is a little bit of an exaggeration but you get the point).

Sales would sky rocket; earnings would double; staff, stakeholders and obviously customers would all be happier. This is not a fantasy world, this can be achieved by managing a rating by customers from one simple question “ How likely are you to recommend?”   It is called the Net Promoter Score.

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Topics: customer loyalty, Customer Series, Customer Service, Customer Journey, Net Promoter System, the ultimate question

Customer Service means being more than just a clerk

Posted by Steve Whittington on Mar 25, 2016 9:15:56 AM

Mediocrity Green Road Sign with Dramatic Clouds, Sun Rays and Sky.The idea of what is Customer Service means different things to different people. In order to create a consistent, outstanding customer experience we all need to take responsibility for our actions and involvement with the customer (so it is never not our job); always make it personal, and by that I mean it make your personal mission to be better in all aspects.



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Topics: Customer Series, Customer Service, Clerk, teamwork, Blogs

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