Decoding the Customer https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com Interviews and perspectives from global customer experience experts Thu, 18 Apr 2019 16:07:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 In the age of empowered consumers, brands must put customers at the center of their business. Customer experience and business strategy expert, Julia Ahlfeldt CCXP, profiles the world’s top customer-centric change makers to bring you insights on how the customer experience revolution is taking hold in businesses around the globe. Whether you are new to CX, a seasoned professional looking to expand your knowledge or someone who is just interested in learning how empowered customers are transforming the business landscape, this show will take you inside the latest topics and trends in the world of customer experience. Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean episodic Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional Julia@julia-ahlfeldt.com Julia@julia-ahlfeldt.com (Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional) © 2017 Julia Ahlfeldt Podcasting Topics, trends and insights on customer experience (CX) Decoding the Customer http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/Julia_Thumbnail.jpg https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com TV-G Customer Strategy vs. business risk: CX Mini Masterclass – E36 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-strategy-vs-business-risk-cx-mini-masterclass-e36/ Thu, 18 Apr 2019 16:07:04 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1336 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-strategy-vs-business-risk-cx-mini-masterclass-e36/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-strategy-vs-business-risk-cx-mini-masterclass-e36/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explains investigates how to find the balance between mitigating business risk without derailing your customer strategy. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, takes you through a practical approach for evaluating customer impact and shares ways that you can engage with business teams to realize this. If you’ve ever found yourself pulling your hair out trying to get a compliance or legal team to “think customer”, this episode is for you. More soon.... Hey there podcast listener! Thanks for checking in. I'm working on the summary for this episode. Check back in a few days! Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including employee engagement, leadership alignment and CX culture change) or get in touch via email. 

This CX Mini Masterclass explains investigates how to find the balance between mitigating business risk without derailing your customer strategy. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, takes you through a practical approach for evaluating customer impact and shares ways that you can engage with business teams to realize this. If you’ve ever found yourself pulling your hair out trying to get a compliance or legal team to “think customer”, this episode is for you.

More soon….

Hey there podcast listener!

Thanks for checking in. I’m working on the summary for this episode. Check back in a few days!

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including employee engagement, leadership alignment and CX culture change) or get in touch via email

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This CX Mini Masterclass explains investigates how to find the balance between mitigating business risk without derailing your customer strategy. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, takes you through a practical approach for evalu...

















This CX Mini Masterclass explains investigates how to find the balance between mitigating business risk without derailing your customer strategy. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, takes you through a practical approach for evaluating customer impact and shares ways that you can engage with business teams to realize this. If you’ve ever found yourself pulling your hair out trying to get a compliance or legal team to “think customer”, this episode is for you.







More soon....



Hey there podcast listener!



Thanks for checking in. I'm working on the summary for this episode. Check back in a few days!



Want to keep learning about CX?



If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.



And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.



Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including employee engagement, leadership alignment and CX culture change) or get in touch via email














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Customer Service without subservience: CX Mini Masterclass – E35 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-service-without-subservience-cx-mini-masterclass-e35/ Thu, 11 Apr 2019 17:03:18 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1325 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-service-without-subservience-cx-mini-masterclass-e35/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-service-without-subservience-cx-mini-masterclass-e35/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explains how to fortify your organization's service culture through the concept of customer service without subservience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains this concept and its role in helping organizations address team morale, especially in challenging business environments. If you’ve been pondering how to re-frame or re-ignite the service culture in your organization, this episode is for you. Turning the focus to customer service In episode 15, I provided an overview of the difference between customer experience and customer service. Beyond this, I haven't really featured customer service on the podcast. To be honest, I engage carefully with the concept of customer service in my work, and that's an intentional choice. One that I think is common of many CX professionals. For far too long, our craft and profession was boxed within the confines of "customer service". Yes, service has an important impact on customer experience, but it is just one piece of the puzzle. And of all the "levers to pull" for improving customer experience, the service lever has been pulled the most often. Service will only take you so far in improving customer experience, but it is still important. In this episode, I explore the role of having a service culture and how to bolster this, even when the going gets tough. Service amid adversity During the month of April, I'm focusing the show on best practices for delivering great customer experience, even amid a challenging business environment. A tough business environment makes it more difficult for teams to be service oriented and deliver good experiences. Why? This boils down to a couple of factors. Firstly, when there is political or economic uncertainty, it hits people’s morale, both in their personal and professional lives. This means that team members may be slightly distracted by their own individual challenges, whether that’s a bonus in jeopardy or some disparaging things they’re hearing in the news. It is more difficult to look after the needs of others when you are concerned about your own future. A challenging economic climate or a tough business environment also impacts the morale of customers. Customers maybe facing their own challenges which cause them to be irritable, less patient and possibly prone to lashing out. It’s just that much more difficult to be service oriented when the person you are serving is seemingly disrespectful or treating you poorly. In this context, it's easy to see how both overall morale and service culture could be under pressure when the going gets tough. Restoring honor, dignity and purpose One way to combat this is with a concept that I call "service without subservience". This is about restoring the dignity in service, by helping customer facing teams, and even supporting teams understand that they are on a level playing field with the customer. Mantras like the customer is always right, can make teams feel powerless and maybe even subservient, but if we re-frame service as a respected and revered duty that rises above the fray in the pursuit of mutually beneficial outcomes, then we can begin to fortify our service culture. Ritz Carlton, a brand globally renowned for its service, puts this beautifully when they talk about service as “ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen”. This puts both the customer and the staff on a level playing field and positions service with the dignity that it deserves. Putting this into action Instilling a mindset of service without subservience requires 3 main components: Celebrating the honor in service and the contribution of each role to the customer journey: Organizations can do this by acknowledging the impact of individual or team level contributions and by highlighting good news stories about how these contributions turn into outcomes. Recognition can and should take many different forms,

This CX Mini Masterclass explains how to fortify your organization’s service culture through the concept of customer service without subservience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains this concept and its role in helping organizations address team morale, especially in challenging business environments. If you’ve been pondering how to re-frame or re-ignite the service culture in your organization, this episode is for you.

Turning the focus to customer service

In episode 15, I provided an overview of the difference between customer experience and customer service. Beyond this, I haven’t really featured customer service on the podcast. To be honest, I engage carefully with the concept of customer service in my work, and that’s an intentional choice. One that I think is common of many CX professionals. For far too long, our craft and profession was boxed within the confines of “customer service”. Yes, service has an important impact on customer experience, but it is just one piece of the puzzle. And of all the “levers to pull” for improving customer experience, the service lever has been pulled the most often. Service will only take you so far in improving customer experience, but it is still important.

In this episode, I explore the role of having a service culture and how to bolster this, even when the going gets tough.

Service amid adversity

During the month of April, I’m focusing the show on best practices for delivering great customer experience, even amid a challenging business environment.

A tough business environment makes it more difficult for teams to be service oriented and deliver good experiences. Why? This boils down to a couple of factors. Firstly, when there is political or economic uncertainty, it hits people’s morale, both in their personal and professional lives. This means that team members may be slightly distracted by their own individual challenges, whether that’s a bonus in jeopardy or some disparaging things they’re hearing in the news. It is more difficult to look after the needs of others when you are concerned about your own future.

A challenging economic climate or a tough business environment also impacts the morale of customers. Customers maybe facing their own challenges which cause them to be irritable, less patient and possibly prone to lashing out. It’s just that much more difficult to be service oriented when the person you are serving is seemingly disrespectful or treating you poorly. In this context, it’s easy to see how both overall morale and service culture could be under pressure when the going gets tough.

Restoring honor, dignity and purpose

One way to combat this is with a concept that I call “service without subservience”. This is about restoring the dignity in service, by helping customer facing teams, and even supporting teams understand that they are on a level playing field with the customer. Mantras like the customer is always right, can make teams feel powerless and maybe even subservient, but if we re-frame service as a respected and revered duty that rises above the fray in the pursuit of mutually beneficial outcomes, then we can begin to fortify our service culture. Ritz Carlton, a brand globally renowned for its service, puts this beautifully when they talk about service as “ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen”. This puts both the customer and the staff on a level playing field and positions service with the dignity that it deserves.

Putting this into action

Instilling a mindset of service without subservience requires 3 main components:

Celebrating the honor in service and the contribution of each role to the customer journey: Organizations can do this by acknowledging the impact of individual or team level contributions and by highlighting good news stories about how these contributions turn into outcomes. Recognition can and should take many different forms, but the key here is to help people make the connection between the purpose of their work and how this both honorable and valued.

Empowering staff to take control of situations: No one likes to feel powerless. When you empower teams and individuals to do good, they will. It’s important that teams follow policies and procedures, but if you rally your team around a common goal and establish clarity on values and behaviors, you can rest assured that people will (for the most part) do the right thing. Perhaps this means allowing team members to make specific recommendations to the customer or to take ownership of how they resolve a question or query. The key here is to be very clear on the expectations, and then to support team members on the decisions they make. If people are worried that their choices will constantly be scrutinized, this won’t succeed.

Enable employees to define their boundaries: In Episode 5, I spoke with Laura Jack about the role of compassion in customer experience. She highlighted that teams, especially those at the coal face of customer experience, need to practice self-care. This is key maintaining employee morale and mitigating burnout. In the context of service boundaries, this might mean encouraging individuals to create self-defined parameters for when they need to take a break and get re-centerd, or enabling team members to collectively define the approach and then support each other when dealing with confrontational customers. When employees take control of their boundaries, is helps prevent scenarios where they might feel belittled or victimized.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including employee engagement, leadership alignment and CX culture change) or get in touch via email

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This CX Mini Masterclass explains how to fortify your organization's service culture through the concept of customer service without subservience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains this concept and its role in helping o...












This CX Mini Masterclass explains how to fortify your organization's service culture through the concept of customer service without subservience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains this concept and its role in helping organizations address team morale, especially in challenging business environments. If you’ve been pondering how to re-frame or re-ignite the service culture in your organization, this episode is for you.







Turning the focus to customer service



In episode 15, I provided an overview of the difference between customer experience and customer service. Beyond this, I haven't really featured customer service on the podcast. To be honest, I engage carefully with the concept of customer service in my work, and that's an intentional choice. One that I think is common of many CX professionals. For far too long, our craft and profession was boxed within the confines of "customer service". Yes, service has an important impact on customer experience, but it is just one piece of the puzzle. And of all the "levers to pull" for improving customer experience, the service lever has been pulled the most often. Service will only take you so far in improving customer experience, but it is still important.



In this episode, I explore the role of having a service culture and how to bolster this, even when the going gets tough.



Service amid adversity



During the month of April, I'm focusing the show on best practices for delivering great customer experience, even amid a challenging business environment.



A tough business environment makes it more difficult for teams to be service oriented and deliver good experiences. Why? This boils down to a couple of factors. Firstly, when there is political or economic uncertainty, it hits people’s morale, both in their personal and professional lives. This means that team members may be slightly distracted by their own individual challenges, whether that’s a bonus in jeopardy or some disparaging things they’re hearing in the news. It is more difficult to look after the needs of others when you are concerned about your own future.



A challenging economic climate or a tough business environment also impacts the morale of customers. Customers maybe facing their own challenges which cause them to be irritable, less patient and possibly prone to lashing out. It’s just that much more difficult to be service oriented when the person you are serving is seemingly disrespectful or treating you poorly. In this context, it's easy to see how both overall morale and service culture could be under pressure when the going gets tough.



Restoring honor, dignity and purpose



One way to combat this is with a concept that I call "service without subservience". This is about restoring the dignity in service, by helping customer facing teams, and even supporting teams understand that they are on a level playing field with the customer. Mantras like the customer is always right, can make teams feel powerless and maybe even subservient, but if we re-frame service as a respected and revered duty that rises above the fray in the pursuit of mutually beneficial outcomes, then we can begin to fortify our service culture. Ritz Carlton, a brand globally renowned for its service, puts this beautifully when they talk about service as “ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen”. This puts both the customer and the staff on a level playing field and positions service with the dignity that it de...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Insight on emerging consumer experience trends: interview with Ilenia Vidili – E34 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/insight-on-emerging-consumer-experience-trends-interview-with-ilenia-vidili-e34/ Thu, 04 Apr 2019 16:43:28 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1310 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/insight-on-emerging-consumer-experience-trends-interview-with-ilenia-vidili-e34/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/insight-on-emerging-consumer-experience-trends-interview-with-ilenia-vidili-e34/feed/ 0 Ilenia Vidili, founder of the Smarter Crew, shares her insights on emerging consumer trends, including how mobile devices are transforming customer journeys, the importance of experience personalization and the role of tech in experience innovation. Ilenia and show host Julia discuss the balance between knowing your customer and not getting "creepy", how to use purpose to connect with consumers and tips for a winning mobile customer experience. Julia shares her theme for April's CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will focus on navigating customer-centricity in challenging business environments. Expert insights CX professional need to keep a pulse on what's changing in the consumer world. It can be easy to get stuck in customer-centric transformation work, but we can't forget to keep our eye on the horizon. Doing this enables us to help our businesses (or clients) evolve for the future needs of customers. I spoke with Ilenia Vidili to hear hear thoughts about what trends are impacting the consumer landscape. Ilenia Vidili Ilenia is a consultant and trainer with extensive experience working in various multinationals and start-ups across different industries. Fascinated about strategies, brands and consumer behavior of the digital era, she believes that companies should start disrupting the way they interact with their customers. She also believes this will be the key that unlocks their future. She is the proud founder of The Smarter Crew, an innovative company that helps organizations make customer experience their competitive advantage Key takeaways: consumer experience trends During our conversation, Ilenia and I covered many different topics related to consumer experience trends. Here are some of the highlights: Personalization is key - as consumer attention spans get shorter, brands will need to work harder to earn a share of consumer consciousness. One way to do this is to offer personalized content, communication, products, etc. This will not only help consumers feel important - something that most people subconsciously seek - but it also counter acts information overload and increases the likelihood that consumers will view what's presented as relevant and engage with it.Brands need to build a real connection with consumers - trust is an important commodity these days. Brands can come and go more quickly, and organizations need to earn consumer trust. While it may seem simple and obvious, one of the ways to do this is to ask consumers about their wants and needs. Consumers are 62% more likely to buy from a company that asks their opinion. So not only does this generate valuable insights, but it also helps consumers feel connected with brands, which in turn builds trust.Consumer expectations are on the rise - our always-on mobile culture has meant that customers expect immediate responses to questions and issues. This in turn means that brands need to have a robust strategy and plan for quick and responsive engagement with consumers, especially via social media. The good news is that brands can also use social media engagement to understand consumer wants and needs.Technology presents huge opportunities - innovations such as facial recognition present major opportunities for brands to engage with, and learn from, customers. Apps such as Sephora's Virtual Artist app utilize facial recognition and augmented reality to deliver a fun and engaging customer experience. This also presents an opportunity for brands to learn about consumers' likes and dislikes based on their facial expressions, identify customers across digital and non-digital channels, and to more deeply understand the path to purchase. A purpose vs a cause - while we shouldn't group all Millennials into one bucket, we can glean some broad brushstroke generational trends. One of those trends is that Millennial consumers prioritize knowing the truth. They want authentic communication from brands,

Ilenia Vidili, founder of the Smarter Crew, shares her insights on emerging consumer trends, including how mobile devices are transforming customer journeys, the importance of experience personalization and the role of tech in experience innovation. Ilenia and show host Julia discuss the balance between knowing your customer and not getting “creepy”, how to use purpose to connect with consumers and tips for a winning mobile customer experience. Julia shares her theme for April’s CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will focus on navigating customer-centricity in challenging business environments.

Expert insights

CX professional need to keep a pulse on what’s changing in the consumer world. It can be easy to get stuck in customer-centric transformation work, but we can’t forget to keep our eye on the horizon. Doing this enables us to help our businesses (or clients) evolve for the future needs of customers. I spoke with Ilenia Vidili to hear hear thoughts about what trends are impacting the consumer landscape.

Ilenia Vidili

Ilenia is a consultant and trainer with extensive experience working in various multinationals and start-ups across different industries. Fascinated about strategies, brands and consumer behavior of the digital era, she believes that companies should start disrupting the way they interact with their customers. She also believes this will be the key that unlocks their future. She is the proud founder of The Smarter Crew, an innovative company that helps organizations make customer experience their competitive advantage

Key takeaways: consumer experience trends

During our conversation, Ilenia and I covered many different topics related to consumer experience trends. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Personalization is key – as consumer attention spans get shorter, brands will need to work harder to earn a share of consumer consciousness. One way to do this is to offer personalized content, communication, products, etc. This will not only help consumers feel important – something that most people subconsciously seek – but it also counter acts information overload and increases the likelihood that consumers will view what’s presented as relevant and engage with it.
  • Brands need to build a real connection with consumers – trust is an important commodity these days. Brands can come and go more quickly, and organizations need to earn consumer trust. While it may seem simple and obvious, one of the ways to do this is to ask consumers about their wants and needs. Consumers are 62% more likely to buy from a company that asks their opinion. So not only does this generate valuable insights, but it also helps consumers feel connected with brands, which in turn builds trust.
  • Consumer expectations are on the rise – our always-on mobile culture has meant that customers expect immediate responses to questions and issues. This in turn means that brands need to have a robust strategy and plan for quick and responsive engagement with consumers, especially via social media. The good news is that brands can also use social media engagement to understand consumer wants and needs.
  • Technology presents huge opportunities – innovations such as facial recognition present major opportunities for brands to engage with, and learn from, customers. Apps such as Sephora’s Virtual Artist app utilize facial recognition and augmented reality to deliver a fun and engaging customer experience. This also presents an opportunity for brands to learn about consumers’ likes and dislikes based on their facial expressions, identify customers across digital and non-digital channels, and to more deeply understand the path to purchase.
  • A purpose vs a cause – while we shouldn’t group all Millennials into one bucket, we can glean some broad brushstroke generational trends. One of those trends is that Millennial consumers prioritize knowing the truth. They want authentic communication from brands, and they seek to align themselves with brands that have a clear purpose. This is different from a cause, as purpose reflects a profound reason for being and permeates all aspects of the business, whereas a cause (often related to marketing and corporate giving) can be seen as superficial.

It all comes back to mobile

My conversation with Ilenia started an ended on the topic of mobile experience. This wasn’t intentional, but the topic of mobile interactions is central to ANY conversation about customer experience these days. Mobile devices catalyzed the Age of the Customer, and have continued become more deeply entrenched in our consumer journeys. Getting the mobile experience “right” is not an option, it is a requirement for the future success of any brand.

Ilenia shared some insights on how organizations can get mobile “right”, citing research from a study conducted by Google. This study showed that key moments for mobile engagement include those when consumers are looking to know, go, buy, and do. Google calls these micro moments, and they are loaded with intent, context and immediacy. Know moments reflect when consumers are in research mode. Go moments reflect when consumers are quickly looking for something relevant. Buy moments are when a consumer is in purchase-mode. Finally, do moments are when consumers are looking to solve or do something (e.g. search “how to fix my washing machine”).

These micro moments are the new battlefield for businesses. During these moments, brands need to be present, useful and quick. The organizations behind these brands will have to anticipate these moments and be ready to respond with helpful engagement or content. Doing so will help them earn the trust of the next generation of consumers.

Episode Sponsor

This episode was sponsored by CX University, a CX training company offering a broad array of CX learning options, including e-learning modules and CCXP practice exams. CXU is an accredited resource and training provider and their resources and they offer a flexible and affordable monthly subscription model. Listeners of this CX podcast can get 10% off their first month’s subscription by entering the discount code PODCAST10 at checkout.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business define customer experience strategy that delivers results, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

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Ilenia Vidili, founder of the Smarter Crew, shares her insights on emerging consumer trends, including how mobile devices are transforming customer journeys, the importance of experience personalization and the role of tech in experience innovation.










Ilenia Vidili, founder of the Smarter Crew, shares her insights on emerging consumer trends, including how mobile devices are transforming customer journeys, the importance of experience personalization and the role of tech in experience innovation. Ilenia and show host Julia discuss the balance between knowing your customer and not getting "creepy", how to use purpose to connect with consumers and tips for a winning mobile customer experience. Julia shares her theme for April's CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will focus on navigating customer-centricity in challenging business environments.







Expert insights



CX professional need to keep a pulse on what's changing in the consumer world. It can be easy to get stuck in customer-centric transformation work, but we can't forget to keep our eye on the horizon. Doing this enables us to help our businesses (or clients) evolve for the future needs of customers. I spoke with Ilenia Vidili to hear hear thoughts about what trends are impacting the consumer landscape.



Ilenia Vidili



Ilenia is a consultant and trainer with extensive experience working in various multinationals and start-ups across different industries. Fascinated about strategies, brands and consumer behavior of the digital era, she believes that companies should start disrupting the way they interact with their customers. She also believes this will be the key that unlocks their future. She is the proud founder of The Smarter Crew, an innovative company that helps organizations make customer experience their competitive advantage



Key takeaways: consumer experience trends



During our conversation, Ilenia and I covered many different topics related to consumer experience trends. Here are some of the highlights:



* Personalization is key - as consumer attention spans get shorter, brands will need to work harder to earn a share of consumer consciousness. One way to do this is to offer personalized content, communication, products, etc. This will not only help consumers feel important - something that most people subconsciously seek - but it also counter acts information overload and increases the likelihood that consumers will view what's presented as relevant and engage with it.* Brands need to build a real connection with consumers - trust is an important commodity these days. Brands can come and go more quickly, and organizations need to earn consumer trust. While it may seem simple and obvious, one of the ways to do this is to ask consumers about their wants and needs. Consumers are 62% more likely to buy from a company that asks their opinion. So not only does this generate valuable insights, but it also helps consumers feel connected with brands, which in turn builds trust.* Consumer expectations are on the rise - our always-on mobile culture has meant that customers expect immediate responses to questions and issues. This in turn means that brands need to have a robust strategy and plan for quick and responsive engagement with consumers, especially via social media. The good news is that brands can also use social media engagement to understand consumer wants and needs.* Technology presents huge opportunities - innovations such as facial recognition present major opportunities for brands to engage with, and learn from, customers. Apps such as Sephora's Virtual Artist app utilize facial recognition and augmented reality to deliver a fun and engaging customer experience.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Taking on Net Promoter Score: CX Mini Masterclass – E33 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/taking-on-net-promoter-score-cx-mini-masterclass-e33/ Thu, 28 Mar 2019 16:29:26 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1301 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/taking-on-net-promoter-score-cx-mini-masterclass-e33/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/taking-on-net-promoter-score-cx-mini-masterclass-e33/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass provides in-depth insight about Net Promoter Score (NPS). Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, sheds light on why this metric receives so much heat, explains some common pitfalls with its use, and share her perspective how it can be applied correctly. If you’re looking to learn more about the CX industry’s most loved and hated metric, this episode is for you. Understanding Net Promoter Score I covered an overview of Net Promoter Score (NPS) along with 2 other popular CX Metrics in episode 31, but it warrants repeating here, before we dive into the pros and cons. NPS was developed by Fred Reichheld, and introduced to the world in a 2003 Harvard Business review article titled “One Number You Need to Grow”.  Net promoter score is intended to be applied as a loyalty metric, and is measured by asking survey respondents to rate on a scale from 0 to 10 “How likely is it that you would recommend our [company/product/service] to a friend or colleague?” Ratings of 9 or 10 are considered promoters, ratings of 0 to 6 are considered detractors, and ratings of 7 or 8 are regarded as neutral. NPS is calculated as: % of promoters - % of detractors. The resulting score can range from -100 to 100. Check out the Temkin Group's annual NPS research for some context around typical score rages among various industries. A love/hate relationship with NPS NPS has captured the attention of, and resonated with, business leaders. Perhaps it was because NPS was introduced through the Harvard Business Review, or because it was created by someone from a reputable top consulting firm, or because of the alluring simplicity of understanding the customer through just one number. I'm not 100% sure of the reason, but either way, this score seems to have won over the hearts and minds of executives. For all of its faults and flaws, NPS has helped put customer experience in the spotlight and on executives' radar. Personally, I don’t think that NPS deserves this pedestal with business decision-makers, but that’s the current reality. If I had a time machine and could go back to 2003, I’d ask Fred Reichheld not to position NPS as a holy grail of customer loyalty or experience assessment tools. This positioning has been the source of its misuse and the cause of great frustrations within the customer experience professional community. When I engage with members of the CX professional community about NPS, I see CX leaders who feel almost shackled to a metric that they cannot fully control. They are often forced to be measured by a number that is influenced by a multitude of different factors. I understand their frustration as they endeavor to drive change within businesses that are obsessed with a score...a score that had been hailed as a predictor of things like retention and spend, but in reality is not. Again, some days I really wish that I had that time machine, but until I do, I think the best alternative is to provide some clarity around the pitfalls of NPS so that teams can avoid these. Common pitfalls Touchpoint-specific application: Net promoter score is often incorrectly applied as a metric for specific touchpoints. For example, after a service call out, a company might send a customer a text message survey asking them how likely they would be to recommend the company. A customer's view is shaped by many interactions, not just one. Sure, the most recent service interaction might feature prominently, because it’s fresh in the customer's mind, but they will also be referencing previous experiences and what they’ve heard from others. For this reason, NPS is not effective as a satisfaction measure for specific channels or touchpoints. This measuring approach also excludes those customers who haven’t had a service call out. They are still customers and their opinion matters too! Incorrect methodology: When, where and how you ask this NPS question can influence the results.

This CX Mini Masterclass provides in-depth insight about Net Promoter Score (NPS). Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, sheds light on why this metric receives so much heat, explains some common pitfalls with its use, and share her perspective how it can be applied correctly. If you’re looking to learn more about the CX industry’s most loved and hated metric, this episode is for you.

Understanding Net Promoter Score

I covered an overview of Net Promoter Score (NPS) along with 2 other popular CX Metrics in episode 31, but it warrants repeating here, before we dive into the pros and cons. NPS was developed by Fred Reichheld, and introduced to the world in a 2003 Harvard Business review article titled “One Number You Need to Grow”.  Net promoter score is intended to be applied as a loyalty metric, and is measured by asking survey respondents to rate on a scale from 0 to 10 “How likely is it that you would recommend our [company/product/service] to a friend or colleague?” Ratings of 9 or 10 are considered promoters, ratings of 0 to 6 are considered detractors, and ratings of 7 or 8 are regarded as neutral. NPS is calculated as: % of promoters – % of detractors. The resulting score can range from -100 to 100. Check out the Temkin Group’s annual NPS research for some context around typical score rages among various industries.

A love/hate relationship with NPS

NPS has captured the attention of, and resonated with, business leaders. Perhaps it was because NPS was introduced through the Harvard Business Review, or because it was created by someone from a reputable top consulting firm, or because of the alluring simplicity of understanding the customer through just one number. I’m not 100% sure of the reason, but either way, this score seems to have won over the hearts and minds of executives. For all of its faults and flaws, NPS has helped put customer experience in the spotlight and on executives’ radar.

Personally, I don’t think that NPS deserves this pedestal with business decision-makers, but that’s the current reality. If I had a time machine and could go back to 2003, I’d ask Fred Reichheld not to position NPS as a holy grail of customer loyalty or experience assessment tools. This positioning has been the source of its misuse and the cause of great frustrations within the customer experience professional community.

When I engage with members of the CX professional community about NPS, I see CX leaders who feel almost shackled to a metric that they cannot fully control. They are often forced to be measured by a number that is influenced by a multitude of different factors. I understand their frustration as they endeavor to drive change within businesses that are obsessed with a score…a score that had been hailed as a predictor of things like retention and spend, but in reality is not. Again, some days I really wish that I had that time machine, but until I do, I think the best alternative is to provide some clarity around the pitfalls of NPS so that teams can avoid these.

Common pitfalls

Touchpoint-specific application: Net promoter score is often incorrectly applied as a metric for specific touchpoints. For example, after a service call out, a company might send a customer a text message survey asking them how likely they would be to recommend the company. A customer’s view is shaped by many interactions, not just one. Sure, the most recent service interaction might feature prominently, because it’s fresh in the customer’s mind, but they will also be referencing previous experiences and what they’ve heard from others. For this reason, NPS is not effective as a satisfaction measure for specific channels or touchpoints. This measuring approach also excludes those customers who haven’t had a service call out. They are still customers and their opinion matters too!

Incorrect methodology: When, where and how you ask this NPS question can influence the results. In its purest form, as a broad-based market loyalty metric, NPS should be applied to a survey of the general consumer population (regardless of whether or not they are you customer). It should use the exact question language as established by the methodology’s creators. It needs to be the leading question in the survey, not tucked at the end after other impression-prompting questions. It also shouldn’t include color coding or other visual indications that may bias responses.

The wrong metric for the job: Many organizations leverage NPS as a performance assessment of overall customer experience or as a KPI for customer-facing teams. A consumer’s impression of a brand is influenced by a multitude of factors and a history of experiences. Knowing this, it’s easy to understand why NPS wouldn’t be the the best KPI for service or CX teams. When it is used in this way, teams can become resentful and frustrated that their efforts aren’t moving the dial.

The right mindset about NPS

If measured correctly, NPS will give you a temperature check on overall consumer loyalty towards your brand. The power of this is that it provides a window into loyalty based both on firsthand experience as well as word of mouth, including prospective, current and past customers…all of the stakeholders that make up the consumer marketplace.

If you are thinking to yourself, this is sounding less like a CX metric, then you might be onto something. A friend and colleague recently said that NPS belongs in the marketing department, not the customer experience team. I believe there’s a lot of wisdom to that. Even is you are measuring NPS correctly, the key is in how it’s used. This requires a change in mindset at the senior level, but it is worth the effort to help leadership teams see NPS for what it is.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including CX measurement, insights, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email

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This CX Mini Masterclass provides in-depth insight about Net Promoter Score (NPS). Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, sheds light on why this metric receives so much heat, explains some common pitfalls with its use,










This CX Mini Masterclass provides in-depth insight about Net Promoter Score (NPS). Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, sheds light on why this metric receives so much heat, explains some common pitfalls with its use, and share her perspective how it can be applied correctly. If you’re looking to learn more about the CX industry’s most loved and hated metric, this episode is for you.







Understanding Net Promoter Score



I covered an overview of Net Promoter Score (NPS) along with 2 other popular CX Metrics in episode 31, but it warrants repeating here, before we dive into the pros and cons. NPS was developed by Fred Reichheld, and introduced to the world in a 2003 Harvard Business review article titled “One Number You Need to Grow”.  Net promoter score is intended to be applied as a loyalty metric, and is measured by asking survey respondents to rate on a scale from 0 to 10 “How likely is it that you would recommend our [company/product/service] to a friend or colleague?” Ratings of 9 or 10 are considered promoters, ratings of 0 to 6 are considered detractors, and ratings of 7 or 8 are regarded as neutral. NPS is calculated as: % of promoters - % of detractors. The resulting score can range from -100 to 100. Check out the Temkin Group's annual NPS research for some context around typical score rages among various industries.



A love/hate relationship with NPS



NPS has captured the attention of, and resonated with, business leaders. Perhaps it was because NPS was introduced through the Harvard Business Review, or because it was created by someone from a reputable top consulting firm, or because of the alluring simplicity of understanding the customer through just one number. I'm not 100% sure of the reason, but either way, this score seems to have won over the hearts and minds of executives. For all of its faults and flaws, NPS has helped put customer experience in the spotlight and on executives' radar.



Personally, I don’t think that NPS deserves this pedestal with business decision-makers, but that’s the current reality. If I had a time machine and could go back to 2003, I’d ask Fred Reichheld not to position NPS as a holy grail of customer loyalty or experience assessment tools. This positioning has been the source of its misuse and the cause of great frustrations within the customer experience professional community.



When I engage with members of the CX professional community about NPS, I see CX leaders who feel almost shackled to a metric that they cannot fully control. They are often forced to be measured by a number that is influenced by a multitude of different factors. I understand their frustration as they endeavor to drive change within businesses that are obsessed with a score...a score that had been hailed as a predictor of things like retention and spend, but in reality is not. Again, some days I really wish that I had that time machine, but until I do, I think the best alternative is to provide some clarity around the pitfalls of NPS so that teams can avoid these.



Common pitfalls



Touchpoint-specific application: Net promoter score is often incorrectly applied as a metric for specific touchpoints. For example, after a service call out, a company might send a customer a text message survey asking them how likely they would be to recommend the company. A customer's view is shaped by many interactions, not just one. Sure, the most recent service interaction might feat...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Measuring customer experience through leading and lagging indicators: CX Mini Masterclass – E32 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/measuring-customer-experience-through-leading-and-lagging-indicators-cx-mini-masterclass-e32/ Thu, 21 Mar 2019 14:30:12 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1285 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/measuring-customer-experience-through-leading-and-lagging-indicators-cx-mini-masterclass-e32/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/measuring-customer-experience-through-leading-and-lagging-indicators-cx-mini-masterclass-e32/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explains the role of leading and lagging indicators in measuring customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares examples for how you can build a balanced view of customer experience with the right mix of CX metrics and measures. If you are wondering how to move beyond a one-metric view of CX, this episode is for you. Holistically measuring customer experience When organizations begin monitoring and evaluating customer experience, there is a natural tendency to latch onto one number. Often this number is one of the 3 most popular mainstream CX metrics: CSAT, NPS or CES. These metrics are useful, but they have their limitations, and it's unrealistic to assume that you can understand the full picture of CX through just these number s alone. Organizations should track and evaluate their CX performance through a number of metrics and measures that can be brought together to create a more comprehensive view. I recommend creating this holistic view through a combination of leading and lagging indicators. Defining leading and lagging indicators So what are leading and lagging indicators? Leading indicators What are they: measures that precede or feed into a customer experience. These should indicate whether or not an experience will be successful. If we think of customer experience like baking a cake, these would be your inputs or ingredients. Examples: wait time, processing time, product availability, system downtime, product quality - these are all things that might contribute to customer experienceHow can they be used to manage CX: leading indicators help predict the outcomes of experiences and many of them can be measured and monitored before experiences even happen. These can be used to proactively intervene when experiences start going sideways. Additionally, these measures can be leveraged to set department or individual KPIs for teams that operationally contribute to experiences. Lagging indicators What are they: metrics or measures that a customer experience. These should indicate whether or not an experience was successful. These indicators would tell us whether or not the cake was delicious and possibly how that impacted our relationship with the person we fed it to. Examples: customer satisfaction (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS), customer effort score (CES), first contact resolution, customer retention, average spend - these are all things that might come out of or be affected by a specific customer experienceHow can they be used to manage CX: lagging indicators help us understand "how we did". The experience happened and is in the past, but we can use these indicators to evaluate the result and the impact. Lagging indicators are important for monitoring progress (i.e. over time you would want these metrics to improve), and for tracking the impact of customer experience efforts. Lagging indicators such as retention and spend can be especially helpful for tying CX back to business value. Use this template to map your 5 most important leading and lagging indicators. Ease of gathering can help you prioritize. Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience managem...

This CX Mini Masterclass explains the role of leading and lagging indicators in measuring customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares examples for how you can build a balanced view of customer experience with the right mix of CX metrics and measures. If you are wondering how to move beyond a one-metric view of CX, this episode is for you.

Holistically measuring customer experience

When organizations begin monitoring and evaluating customer experience, there is a natural tendency to latch onto one number. Often this number is one of the 3 most popular mainstream CX metrics: CSAT, NPS or CES. These metrics are useful, but they have their limitations, and it’s unrealistic to assume that you can understand the full picture of CX through just these number s alone.

Organizations should track and evaluate their CX performance through a number of metrics and measures that can be brought together to create a more comprehensive view. I recommend creating this holistic view through a combination of leading and lagging indicators.

Defining leading and lagging indicators

So what are leading and lagging indicators?

  • Leading indicators
    • What are they: measures that precede or feed into a customer experience. These should indicate whether or not an experience will be successful. If we think of customer experience like baking a cake, these would be your inputs or ingredients.
    • Examples: wait time, processing time, product availability, system downtime, product quality – these are all things that might contribute to customer experience
    • How can they be used to manage CX: leading indicators help predict the outcomes of experiences and many of them can be measured and monitored before experiences even happen. These can be used to proactively intervene when experiences start going sideways. Additionally, these measures can be leveraged to set department or individual KPIs for teams that operationally contribute to experiences.
  • Lagging indicators
    • What are they: metrics or measures that a customer experience. These should indicate whether or not an experience was successful. These indicators would tell us whether or not the cake was delicious and possibly how that impacted our relationship with the person we fed it to.
    • Examples: customer satisfaction (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS), customer effort score (CES), first contact resolution, customer retention, average spend – these are all things that might come out of or be affected by a specific customer experience
    • How can they be used to manage CX: lagging indicators help us understand “how we did”. The experience happened and is in the past, but we can use these indicators to evaluate the result and the impact. Lagging indicators are important for monitoring progress (i.e. over time you would want these metrics to improve), and for tracking the impact of customer experience efforts. Lagging indicators such as retention and spend can be especially helpful for tying CX back to business value.

Use this template to map your 5 most important leading and lagging indicators. Ease of gathering can help you prioritize.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including CX measurement, insights, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass explains the role of leading and lagging indicators in measuring customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares examples for how you can build a balanced view of customer experience with t...







This CX Mini Masterclass explains the role of leading and lagging indicators in measuring customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares examples for how you can build a balanced view of customer experience with the right mix of CX metrics and measures. If you are wondering how to move beyond a one-metric view of CX, this episode is for you.







Holistically measuring customer experience



When organizations begin monitoring and evaluating customer experience, there is a natural tendency to latch onto one number. Often this number is one of the 3 most popular mainstream CX metrics: CSAT, NPS or CES. These metrics are useful, but they have their limitations, and it's unrealistic to assume that you can understand the full picture of CX through just these number s alone.



Organizations should track and evaluate their CX performance through a number of metrics and measures that can be brought together to create a more comprehensive view. I recommend creating this holistic view through a combination of leading and lagging indicators.



Defining leading and lagging indicators



So what are leading and lagging indicators?



* Leading indicators * What are they: measures that precede or feed into a customer experience. These should indicate whether or not an experience will be successful. If we think of customer experience like baking a cake, these would be your inputs or ingredients. * Examples: wait time, processing time, product availability, system downtime, product quality - these are all things that might contribute to customer experience* How can they be used to manage CX: leading indicators help predict the outcomes of experiences and many of them can be measured and monitored before experiences even happen. These can be used to proactively intervene when experiences start going sideways. Additionally, these measures can be leveraged to set department or individual KPIs for teams that operationally contribute to experiences. * Lagging indicators * What are they: metrics or measures that a customer experience. These should indicate whether or not an experience was successful. These indicators would tell us whether or not the cake was delicious and possibly how that impacted our relationship with the person we fed it to. * Examples: customer satisfaction (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS), customer effort score (CES), first contact resolution, customer retention, average spend - these are all things that might come out of or be affected by a specific customer experience* How can they be used to manage CX: lagging indicators help us understand "how we did". The experience happened and is in the past, but we can use these indicators to evaluate the result and the impact. Lagging indicators are important for monitoring progress (i.e. over time you would want these metrics to improve), and for tracking the impact of customer experience efforts. Lagging indicators such as retention and spend can be especially helpful for tying CX back to business value.



Use this template to map your 5 most important leading and lagging indicators. Ease of gathering can help you prioritize.



Want to keep learning about CX?



If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.



And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning,]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
3 Common customer experience metrics explained: CX Mini Masterclass – E31 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/3-common-customer-experience-metrics-explained-cx-mini-masterclass-e31/ Thu, 14 Mar 2019 17:23:00 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1275 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/3-common-customer-experience-metrics-explained-cx-mini-masterclass-e31/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/3-common-customer-experience-metrics-explained-cx-mini-masterclass-e31/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of 3 of the most common customer experience metrics currently in use among businesses: Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score (CES). Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains what these metrics are and how they are measured and used. If you are looking to cut through the confusion of metric acronyms, this episode is for you. A heightened focus on metrics Nothing gets the CX community more riled up than a conversation about CX metrics. If you want to spark a lively debate at a conference or on social media, just ask a group of CX professionals for their opinions about CX metrics. Why is this? CX metrics have been the way that customer experience teams defend and demonstrate their contribution to the business. These tangible results have also provided the platform for CX leaders to bridge the gap between the nebulous aspects of customer engagement that often drive customer happiness, but have historically been regarded as the fluffy stuff by business leaders, and tangible business value. CX metrics and measures are critical to the success of of customer centric work, and it shouldn't be surprising that they ignite such passion within the professional community. Metrics will undoubtedly evolve with the profession, but for the moment there are several metrics that are widely in use. Regardless of the ongoing debate, it's important for any CX professional to understand what these metrics are an how they are currently used. The big 3 customer experience metrics Love them ore hate them, there are 3 customer experience metrics that currently dominate the scene. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) - This metric is widely used and gauges a customer's perceived level of satisfaction after a particular interaction. Scores are gathered through a survey and can involve different variations of question language, but is something along the lines of “overall, how satisfied were you with [X] experience”. The respondent then provides their satisfaction score on a range from very unsatisfied to very satisfied (usually as a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10). Survey results are aggregated to show the percentage of respondents at the top, bottom or middle of the response scale. Unfortunately, CSAT alone won’t tell us why someone is satisfied or unsatisfied, so CSAT survey questions can be accompanied by a follow-up question asking the respondent to expand on the reasoning behind their score.Net Promoter Score (NPS) - This metric was developed by Fred Reichheld, and introduced to the world in a 2003 Harvard Business review article titled “One Number You Need to Grow”.  Net promoter score is intended to be applied as a loyalty metric, and is measured by asking survey respondents to rate on a scale from 0 to 10 “How likely is it that you would recommend our [company/product/service] to a friend or colleague?” Ratings of 9 or 10 are considered promoters, ratings of 0 to 6 are considered detractors, and ratings of 7 or 8 are regarded as neutral. NPS is calculated as: % of promoters - % of detractors. The resulting score can range from -100 to 100. Check out the Temkin Group's annual NPS research for some context around typical score rages among various industries.Customer Effort score (CES) - This CX metric is a relatively new kid on the block, but it’s gaining popularity as a way to evaluate a customer’s perception on convenience and ease of use. These are factors which are broadly valued by consumers and applicable to most customer experiences. Customer effort score is gathered through a survey question asking customers to provide their perception of effort. I.e. “on a scale from ‘very easy’ to ‘very difficult’, how easy was it to interact with [X company].” As with CSAT, Customer effort score is usually reported as the percentage of respondents who rate a high, medium or low level of ease. Like NPS and CSAT,

This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of 3 of the most common customer experience metrics currently in use among businesses: Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score (CES). Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains what these metrics are and how they are measured and used. If you are looking to cut through the confusion of metric acronyms, this episode is for you.

A heightened focus on metrics

Nothing gets the CX community more riled up than a conversation about CX metrics. If you want to spark a lively debate at a conference or on social media, just ask a group of CX professionals for their opinions about CX metrics. Why is this?

CX metrics have been the way that customer experience teams defend and demonstrate their contribution to the business. These tangible results have also provided the platform for CX leaders to bridge the gap between the nebulous aspects of customer engagement that often drive customer happiness, but have historically been regarded as the fluffy stuff by business leaders, and tangible business value. CX metrics and measures are critical to the success of of customer centric work, and it shouldn’t be surprising that they ignite such passion within the professional community.

Metrics will undoubtedly evolve with the profession, but for the moment there are several metrics that are widely in use. Regardless of the ongoing debate, it’s important for any CX professional to understand what these metrics are an how they are currently used.

The big 3 customer experience metrics

Love them ore hate them, there are 3 customer experience metrics that currently dominate the scene.

  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) – This metric is widely used and gauges a customer’s perceived level of satisfaction after a particular interaction. Scores are gathered through a survey and can involve different variations of question language, but is something along the lines of “overall, how satisfied were you with [X] experience”. The respondent then provides their satisfaction score on a range from very unsatisfied to very satisfied (usually as a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10). Survey results are aggregated to show the percentage of respondents at the top, bottom or middle of the response scale. Unfortunately, CSAT alone won’t tell us why someone is satisfied or unsatisfied, so CSAT survey questions can be accompanied by a follow-up question asking the respondent to expand on the reasoning behind their score.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) – This metric was developed by Fred Reichheld, and introduced to the world in a 2003 Harvard Business review article titled “One Number You Need to Grow”.  Net promoter score is intended to be applied as a loyalty metric, and is measured by asking survey respondents to rate on a scale from 0 to 10 “How likely is it that you would recommend our [company/product/service] to a friend or colleague?” Ratings of 9 or 10 are considered promoters, ratings of 0 to 6 are considered detractors, and ratings of 7 or 8 are regarded as neutral. NPS is calculated as: % of promoters – % of detractors. The resulting score can range from -100 to 100. Check out the Temkin Group’s annual NPS research for some context around typical score rages among various industries.
  • Customer Effort score (CES) – This CX metric is a relatively new kid on the block, but it’s gaining popularity as a way to evaluate a customer’s perception on convenience and ease of use. These are factors which are broadly valued by consumers and applicable to most customer experiences. Customer effort score is gathered through a survey question asking customers to provide their perception of effort. I.e. “on a scale from ‘very easy’ to ‘very difficult’, how easy was it to interact with [X company].” As with CSAT, Customer effort score is usually reported as the percentage of respondents who rate a high, medium or low level of ease. Like NPS and CSAT, customer effort score is relative to the customer’s expectations and their personal perception of the experience, but it does allow organizations to zero in on how customers feel about the level of ease of their interactions with an organization.

Many businesses leverage these scores to understand and evaluate the success of their CX management efforts. It’s crucial to note that these customer experience metrics only provide a small window into overall customer experience delivery. An over-reliance on one score is a dangerous path for CX teams. Keep in mind that these metrics should be utilized and reviewed in conjunction with CX measures and business value drivers to create a more comprehensive view. If you are confused about the difference between CX Metrics, measures and business value drivers, check out episode 28, which features CXPA CEO Diane Magers providing clarity on the distinction between these.

There’s more to come on CX metrics and measures! Stay tuned for more CX Mini Masterclasses in March on this topic.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including CX measurement, insights, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email

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This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of 3 of the most common customer experience metrics currently in use among businesses: Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score (CES).











This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of 3 of the most common customer experience metrics currently in use among businesses: Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score (CES). Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains what these metrics are and how they are measured and used. If you are looking to cut through the confusion of metric acronyms, this episode is for you.







A heightened focus on metrics



Nothing gets the CX community more riled up than a conversation about CX metrics. If you want to spark a lively debate at a conference or on social media, just ask a group of CX professionals for their opinions about CX metrics. Why is this?



CX metrics have been the way that customer experience teams defend and demonstrate their contribution to the business. These tangible results have also provided the platform for CX leaders to bridge the gap between the nebulous aspects of customer engagement that often drive customer happiness, but have historically been regarded as the fluffy stuff by business leaders, and tangible business value. CX metrics and measures are critical to the success of of customer centric work, and it shouldn't be surprising that they ignite such passion within the professional community.



Metrics will undoubtedly evolve with the profession, but for the moment there are several metrics that are widely in use. Regardless of the ongoing debate, it's important for any CX professional to understand what these metrics are an how they are currently used.



The big 3 customer experience metrics



Love them ore hate them, there are 3 customer experience metrics that currently dominate the scene.



* Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) - This metric is widely used and gauges a customer's perceived level of satisfaction after a particular interaction. Scores are gathered through a survey and can involve different variations of question language, but is something along the lines of “overall, how satisfied were you with [X] experience”. The respondent then provides their satisfaction score on a range from very unsatisfied to very satisfied (usually as a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10). Survey results are aggregated to show the percentage of respondents at the top, bottom or middle of the response scale. Unfortunately, CSAT alone won’t tell us why someone is satisfied or unsatisfied, so CSAT survey questions can be accompanied by a follow-up question asking the respondent to expand on the reasoning behind their score.* Net Promoter Score (NPS) - This metric was developed by Fred Reichheld, and introduced to the world in a 2003 Harvard Business review article titled “One Number You Need to Grow”.  Net promoter score is intended to be applied as a loyalty metric, and is measured by asking survey respondents to rate on a scale from 0 to 10 “How likely is it that you would recommend our [company/product/service] to a friend or colleague?” Ratings of 9 or 10 are considered promoters, ratings of 0 to 6 are considered detractors, and ratings of 7 or 8 are regarded as neutral. NPS is calculated as: % of promoters - % of detractors. The resulting score can range from -100 to 100. Check out the Temkin Group's annual NPS research for some context around typical score rages among various industries.* Customer Effort score (CES) - This CX metric is a relatively new kid on the block, but it’s gaining popularity as a way to evaluate a customer’s perception on convenience and ease of use. These are factors which are broadly valued by consumers and applicable to most customer experiences.]]>
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Realizing customer value: interview with Arvida CEO Bill McDonald – E30 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/realizing-customer-value-interview-with-arvida-ceo-bill-mcdonald-e30/ Thu, 07 Mar 2019 14:18:43 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1254 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/realizing-customer-value-interview-with-arvida-ceo-bill-mcdonald-e30/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/realizing-customer-value-interview-with-arvida-ceo-bill-mcdonald-e30/feed/ 0 Bill McDonald, CEO of the Arvida Group, shares his insights on translating customer value into business value within the context of the retirement community industry. Bill and show host Julia discuss how consumer needs evolve with generations, the complexities of managing multiple types of buyers, and how Arvida's purpose of "transforming the aging experience" defines the organization's goals. Julia shares her plan for March's CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will focus in CX metrics and measurement. CX and the "Silver Tsunami" Baby boomers represent a major population group in most economies. It's a generation that is fast approaching retirement, and in the US alone the population of people 65+ will grow 90% between 2010 and 2040. As baby boomers age up and the "silver tsunami" approaches, there is a heightened focus on the types of experiences these consumers will be looking for in their retirement. Many retirees opt, or need, to change their living situation to align with changes in their life while aging. It's a huge decision, and one that can impact the most important facets of a retiree's life. I had the opportunity to speak with Bill McDonald, CEO of the Arvida Group about how his organization is preparing for the coming wave of older consumers, and the role of customer experience in this. Insights from an industry expert Bill is an experienced leader in the retirement community (aka retirement village) industry. He has held a number of senior executive roles in the New Zealand and Australian retirement sector including General Manager of ING’s retirement assets division in New Zealand and Regional Operations Manager for Stockland Limited in Victoria, Australia. Bill McDonald, CEO Arvida Group Bill entered the industry as acting CEO for a community owned organisation in county Victoria, Australia where he successfully guided the organisation through the accreditation process. Bill subsequently joined the Buxton Group to assist in the development and operation of the acclaimed Rylands facilities in Melbourne. The development projects won multiple awards from the Urban Development Institute of Australia and Australian Institute of Building. They are recognized as benchmark retirement operations in Australia and internationally. Bill is focused on building a retirement and aged care business that aligns with the demands of today as well as those of the future, through the principles of resident well-being and positive community interaction. It's this focus on the customer that sets Bill and his team apart. Industry and consumer trends To realize the principles of resident well-being, the team at Arvida needs to keep their finger on the pulse of changes in the industry and consumer preferences. Here are some highlights of insights about Baby Boomers from my conversation with Bill: A do-it-yourself generation - if Baby Boomers can't find a solution to what they're looking for, they're likely to create one for themselves. This means that retirement villages and other industries offering services to this generation need to stay attune to the needs of customers or the consumers might end up developing a competing offerStaying integrated with the world - retirement products and services that "isolate" this generation of consumers from the rest of the community or marketplace won't be appealingEnjoying the fruits of their labor - those in the silver tsunami seem less concerned with leaving an inheritance behind for their children and would like to enjoy the retirement they've worked forHigher service standards - unlike the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers tend to have higher service standards and are more likely to express disappointment with a provider Purpose and values shine through The Arvida Group owns and operates a network of retirement villages across New Zealand. The business has been around for 4 years and grew through the acquisition of existing retirement villages...

Bill McDonald, CEO of the Arvida Group, shares his insights on translating customer value into business value within the context of the retirement community industry. Bill and show host Julia discuss how consumer needs evolve with generations, the complexities of managing multiple types of buyers, and how Arvida’s purpose of “transforming the aging experience” defines the organization’s goals. Julia shares her plan for March’s CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will focus in CX metrics and measurement.

CX and the “Silver Tsunami”

Baby boomers represent a major population group in most economies. It’s a generation that is fast approaching retirement, and in the US alone the population of people 65+ will grow 90% between 2010 and 2040. As baby boomers age up and the “silver tsunami” approaches, there is a heightened focus on the types of experiences these consumers will be looking for in their retirement.

Many retirees opt, or need, to change their living situation to align with changes in their life while aging. It’s a huge decision, and one that can impact the most important facets of a retiree’s life. I had the opportunity to speak with Bill McDonald, CEO of the Arvida Group about how his organization is preparing for the coming wave of older consumers, and the role of customer experience in this.

Insights from an industry expert

Bill is an experienced leader in the retirement community (aka retirement village) industry. He has held a number of senior executive roles in the New Zealand and Australian retirement sector including General Manager of ING’s retirement assets division in New Zealand and Regional Operations Manager for Stockland Limited in Victoria, Australia.

Bill McDonald, CEO Arvida Group

Bill entered the industry as acting CEO for a community owned organisation in county Victoria, Australia where he successfully guided the organisation through the accreditation process. Bill subsequently joined the Buxton Group to assist in the development and operation of the acclaimed Rylands facilities in Melbourne. The development projects won multiple awards from the Urban Development Institute of Australia and Australian Institute of Building. They are recognized as benchmark retirement operations in Australia and internationally.

Bill is focused on building a retirement and aged care business that aligns with the demands of today as well as those of the future, through the principles of resident well-being and positive community interaction. It’s this focus on the customer that sets Bill and his team apart.

Industry and consumer trends

To realize the principles of resident well-being, the team at Arvida needs to keep their finger on the pulse of changes in the industry and consumer preferences. Here are some highlights of insights about Baby Boomers from my conversation with Bill:

  • A do-it-yourself generation – if Baby Boomers can’t find a solution to what they’re looking for, they’re likely to create one for themselves. This means that retirement villages and other industries offering services to this generation need to stay attune to the needs of customers or the consumers might end up developing a competing offer
  • Staying integrated with the world – retirement products and services that “isolate” this generation of consumers from the rest of the community or marketplace won’t be appealing
  • Enjoying the fruits of their labor – those in the silver tsunami seem less concerned with leaving an inheritance behind for their children and would like to enjoy the retirement they’ve worked for
  • Higher service standards – unlike the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers tend to have higher service standards and are more likely to express disappointment with a provider

Purpose and values shine through

The Arvida Group owns and operates a network of retirement villages across New Zealand. The business has been around for 4 years and grew through the acquisition of existing retirement villages. As a relatively new organization, the Arvida team had the opportunity and challenge of defining their purpose and building customer experience around this.

Arvida’s purpose is to “transform the aging experience”, and Bill explained that the rest of the business is molded around this objective. They’ve made a point to move away from the traditional hierarchical structures that are pervasive in the healthcare sector, and have rather focused on instilling the “attitude of living well” and empowered teams to contribute to customer happiness and well-being. Small changes such as enabling staff to wear their own clothes rather than uniforms and removing buzzers, have all contributed to a better experience.

The Arvida team seeks to understand and continually evolve customer needs through the lens of their employees. Bill explained that their values underpin their success and that employee engagement is a hugely important aspect of their customer experience strategy. While the brand doesn’t have a major presence on social media (yet), their internal social platform, Yammer, has taken off and been an amazing tool for keeping the team connected, engaged and learning from each other.

Customer value delivers business value

Bill is the the CEO, so ultimately he’s accountable for delivering financial results to keep Arvida’s board and shareholders happy. So how does CX translate into bottom line results for this business?

By focusing on their attitude of living well, rather than the typical clinical KPIs and measures of the retirement community industry, it has freed the team to define and deliver better experiences. This in turn translated into better occupancy rates, transformed their ability to gain certifications, and enabled them to implement premium pricing. These results link directly to business and shareholder value.

Sometimes CX teams can get wrapped up in customer experience metrics, but Bill’s team seems to have bypassed the typical CX dashboard. By giving teams strategic direction and fostering the right culture, Arvida has delivered value to both customers and shareholders. These support each other as contribution to the bottom line fuels business advocacy for customer experience.

Episode Sponsor

This episode was sponsored by CX University, a CX training company offering a broad array of CX learning options, including e-learning modules and CCXP practice exams. CXU is an accredited resource and training provider and their resources and they offer a flexible and affordable monthly subscription model. Listeners of this CX podcast can get 10% off their first month’s subscription by entering the discount code PODCAST10 at checkout.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business define customer experience strategy that delivers results, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

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Bill McDonald, CEO of the Arvida Group, shares his insights on translating customer value into business value within the context of the retirement community industry. Bill and show host Julia discuss how consumer needs evolve with generations,







Bill McDonald, CEO of the Arvida Group, shares his insights on translating customer value into business value within the context of the retirement community industry. Bill and show host Julia discuss how consumer needs evolve with generations, the complexities of managing multiple types of buyers, and how Arvida's purpose of "transforming the aging experience" defines the organization's goals. Julia shares her plan for March's CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will focus in CX metrics and measurement.







CX and the "Silver Tsunami"



Baby boomers represent a major population group in most economies. It's a generation that is fast approaching retirement, and in the US alone the population of people 65+ will grow 90% between 2010 and 2040. As baby boomers age up and the "silver tsunami" approaches, there is a heightened focus on the types of experiences these consumers will be looking for in their retirement.




Many retirees opt, or need, to change their living situation to align with changes in their life while aging. It's a huge decision, and one that can impact the most important facets of a retiree's life. I had the opportunity to speak with Bill McDonald, CEO of the Arvida Group about how his organization is preparing for the coming wave of older consumers, and the role of customer experience in this.



Insights from an industry expert



Bill is an experienced leader in the retirement community (aka retirement village) industry. He has held a number of senior executive roles in the New Zealand and Australian retirement sector including General Manager of ING’s retirement assets division in New Zealand and Regional Operations Manager for Stockland Limited in Victoria, Australia.



Bill McDonald, CEO Arvida Group



Bill entered the industry as acting CEO for a community owned organisation in county Victoria, Australia where he successfully guided the organisation through the accreditation process. Bill subsequently joined the Buxton Group to assist in the development and operation of the acclaimed Rylands facilities in Melbourne. The development projects won multiple awards from the Urban Development Institute of Australia and Australian Institute of Building. They are recognized as benchmark retirement operations in Australia and internationally.



Bill is focused on building a retirement and aged care business that aligns with the demands of today as well as those of the future, through the principles of resident well-being and positive community interaction. It's this focus on the customer that sets Bill and his team apart.



Industry and consumer trends



To realize the principles of resident well-being, the team at Arvida needs to keep their finger on the pulse of changes in the industry and consumer preferences. Here are some highlights of insights about Baby Boomers from my conversation with Bill:



* A do-it-yourself generation - if Baby Boomers can't find a solution to what they're looking for, they're likely to create one for themselves. This means that retirement villages and other industries offering services to this generation need to stay attune to the needs of customers or the consumers might end up developing a competing offer* Staying integrated with the world - retirement products and services that "isolate" this generation of consumers from the rest of the community or marketplace won't be appealing* Enjoying the fruits of their labor - those in the silver tsunami seem less concerned with leaving an inheritance behind fo...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Demystifying customer experience strategy: CX Mini Masterclass – E29 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/demystifying-customer-experience-strategy-cx-mini-masterclass-e29/ Thu, 28 Feb 2019 09:00:58 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1244 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/demystifying-customer-experience-strategy-cx-mini-masterclass-e29/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/demystifying-customer-experience-strategy-cx-mini-masterclass-e29/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of customer experience strategy. What may seem like an abstract concept is actually rooted in tangible fundamentals. Special guest Ben Motteram clarifies CX strategy, takes listeners through the key components and outlines how you can turn this into an actionable framework. Insights from a special guest Ben Motteram is a customer experience specialist based in Melbourne with over 20 years experience developing and implementing customer acquisition and retention strategies within some of Australia’s largest organisations. Through his consulting company, CXpert, Ben now assists clients in areas such as CX strategy, Voice of the Customer, and employee engagement. In December 2018, Ben was the only Australian named on a list of global thought leaders to follow on Twitter and his blog has been independently recognized for its insight on all things CX.  Ben Motteram Understanding customer experience strategy The words "strategy" and "strategic" are used a lot in the business world, but what do these really mean? In it's simplest terms, Ben defines strategy as the statement of a goal and a high level plan about how that goal will be achieved. (That's not so scary, now is it!) Ben frames this up as a map showing where you want to go and how you want to get there. Normally in CX, we start with the customer, but as Ben points out, with a CX strategy, you actually want to start with the organization, and then link this back to customer insights. Ben defines the key steps to building your CX strategy as follows: Acknowledge the company vision, mission, purpose and goals - you need to ensure that your CX strategy flows from this, and is aligned to the company's overarching goals. Take the time to document company objectives before you launch into the rest of your CX strategy. If you skip this step, you may find later that the CX strategy clashes with the business objectives and fails to gain traction or support.  Understand what matters to your customers - leverage existing sources of insight such as social media feedback, information from employees, etc. to build a picture of who your customers are and what they want. This information will help ensure that your CX strategy unites both the organization's goals and the customer's goals, and that your efforts are focused where they will have the greatest impact. If you're struggling with where to start, Ben suggests developing a list of what your customers don't like, and base your strategy around eliminating those things from the customer experience. Define your CX vision - this should take the shape of a statement that is simple, clear, inspiring and realistic. It should be something that can unite the organization around a common goal, and the company needs to be able to consistently deliver on this vision. As an example, Amazon's CX vision is "to be earth's most customer-centric company, and to be a place where people can find and discover anything they might want to buy online". Develop your CX principles - these are the criteria against which new experiences, products or offers should be reviewed. They should help guide the organization to be customer-centric as the lens through which business decisions are made. Ben advises limiting these to a maximum of 4, so as not to overwhelm teams. These principles should be simple. Think along the lines of "we go the extra mile" or "we're there when it matters most". Before rolling these out, sanity-check them with what they might mean for both employees and customers. Are they clear and realistic? Create your strategic priorities - this is what you are going to focus on in the short term to achieve your CX vision, or the route you will take to get to your goal. In contrast to the CX vision and principles, these should be quite specific and will change over time. Identify your CX enablers - these are the systems and processes that will enable the success of your CX strategy.

This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of customer experience strategy. What may seem like an abstract concept is actually rooted in tangible fundamentals. Special guest Ben Motteram clarifies CX strategy, takes listeners through the key components and outlines how you can turn this into an actionable framework.

Insights from a special guest

Ben Motteram is a customer experience specialist based in Melbourne with over 20 years experience developing and implementing customer acquisition and retention strategies within some of Australia’s largest organisations. Through his consulting company, CXpert, Ben now assists clients in areas such as CX strategy, Voice of the Customer, and employee engagement. In December 2018, Ben was the only Australian named on a list of global thought leaders to follow on Twitter and his blog has been independently recognized for its insight on all things CX. 

Ben Motteram

Understanding customer experience strategy

The words “strategy” and “strategic” are used a lot in the business world, but what do these really mean? In it’s simplest terms, Ben defines strategy as the statement of a goal and a high level plan about how that goal will be achieved. (That’s not so scary, now is it!) Ben frames this up as a map showing where you want to go and how you want to get there. Normally in CX, we start with the customer, but as Ben points out, with a CX strategy, you actually want to start with the organization, and then link this back to customer insights.

Ben defines the key steps to building your CX strategy as follows:

  • Acknowledge the company vision, mission, purpose and goals – you need to ensure that your CX strategy flows from this, and is aligned to the company’s overarching goals. Take the time to document company objectives before you launch into the rest of your CX strategy. If you skip this step, you may find later that the CX strategy clashes with the business objectives and fails to gain traction or support. 
  • Understand what matters to your customers – leverage existing sources of insight such as social media feedback, information from employees, etc. to build a picture of who your customers are and what they want. This information will help ensure that your CX strategy unites both the organization’s goals and the customer’s goals, and that your efforts are focused where they will have the greatest impact. If you’re struggling with where to start, Ben suggests developing a list of what your customers don’t like, and base your strategy around eliminating those things from the customer experience.
  • Define your CX vision – this should take the shape of a statement that is simple, clear, inspiring and realistic. It should be something that can unite the organization around a common goal, and the company needs to be able to consistently deliver on this vision. As an example, Amazon’s CX vision is “to be earth’s most customer-centric company, and to be a place where people can find and discover anything they might want to buy online”.
  • Develop your CX principles – these are the criteria against which new experiences, products or offers should be reviewed. They should help guide the organization to be customer-centric as the lens through which business decisions are made. Ben advises limiting these to a maximum of 4, so as not to overwhelm teams. These principles should be simple. Think along the lines of “we go the extra mile” or “we’re there when it matters most”. Before rolling these out, sanity-check them with what they might mean for both employees and customers. Are they clear and realistic?
  • Create your strategic priorities – this is what you are going to focus on in the short term to achieve your CX vision, or the route you will take to get to your goal. In contrast to the CX vision and principles, these should be quite specific and will change over time.
  • Identify your CX enablers – these are the systems and processes that will enable the success of your CX strategy. Examples of CX enablers would be things like CX dashboards, CX governance and employee engagement programs. 

Bringing it all together

To create a visual representation of this CX strategy, Ben uses the analogy of a house to capture and reflect the different components. Within this context, the company purpose, goals and CX vision will be positioned at the top, with the principles and then strategic priorities flowing down from these. CX enablers are positioned as the foundation of the strategy.

Ben’s CX Strategy Framework – a template that you can use for your organization

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including employee engagement, leadership alignment and CX strategy) or get in touch via email

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This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of customer experience strategy. What may seem like an abstract concept is actually rooted in tangible fundamentals. Special guest Ben Motteram clarifies CX strategy,












This CX Mini Masterclass provides an overview of customer experience strategy. What may seem like an abstract concept is actually rooted in tangible fundamentals. Special guest Ben Motteram clarifies CX strategy, takes listeners through the key components and outlines how you can turn this into an actionable framework.







Insights from a special guest




Ben Motteram is a customer experience specialist based in Melbourne with over 20 years experience developing and implementing customer acquisition and retention strategies within some of Australia’s largest organisations. Through his consulting company, CXpert, Ben now assists clients in areas such as CX strategy, Voice of the Customer, and employee engagement. In December 2018, Ben was the only Australian named on a list of global thought leaders to follow on Twitter and his blog has been independently recognized for its insight on all things CX. 



Ben Motteram



Understanding customer experience strategy


The words "strategy" and "strategic" are used a lot in the business world, but what do these really mean? In it's simplest terms, Ben defines strategy as the statement of a goal and a high level plan about how that goal will be achieved. (That's not so scary, now is it!) Ben frames this up as a map showing where you want to go and how you want to get there. Normally in CX, we start with the customer, but as Ben points out, with a CX strategy, you actually want to start with the organization, and then link this back to customer insights.
Ben defines the key steps to building your CX strategy as follows:

* Acknowledge the company vision, mission, purpose and goals - you need to ensure that your CX strategy flows from this, and is aligned to the company's overarching goals. Take the time to document company objectives before you launch into the rest of your CX strategy. If you skip this step, you may find later that the CX strategy clashes with the business objectives and fails to gain traction or support. 
* Understand what matters to your customers - leverage existing sources of insight such as social media feedback, information from employees, etc. to build a picture of who your customers are and what they want. This information will help ensure that your CX strategy unites both the organization's goals and the customer's goals, and that your efforts are focused where they will have the greatest impact. If you're struggling with where to start, Ben suggests developing a list of what your customers don't like, and base your strategy around eliminating those things from the customer experience.
* Define your CX vision - this should take the shape of a statement that is simple, clear, inspiring and realistic. It should be something that can unite the organization around a common goal, and the company needs to be able to consistently deliver on this vision. As an example, Amazon's CX vision is "to be earth's most customer-centric company, and to be a place where people can find and discover anything they might want to buy online".
* Develop your CX principles - these are the criteria against which new experiences, products or offers should be reviewed. They should help guide the organization to be customer-centric as the lens through which business decisions are made. Ben advises limiting these to a maximum of 4, so as not to overwhelm teams. These principles should be simple.]]>
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Metrics, Measures and CX business value: CX Mini Masterclass – E28 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/metrics-measures-and-cx-business-value-cx-mini-masterclass-e28/ Thu, 21 Feb 2019 16:51:30 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1236 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/metrics-measures-and-cx-business-value-cx-mini-masterclass-e28/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/metrics-measures-and-cx-business-value-cx-mini-masterclass-e28/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explains the difference between CX measures and metrics, as well as how these can be leveraged to demonstrate CX business value. Special guest and CX thought leader Diane Magers clarifies these concepts and their role in customer-centric business practices. Insights from a special guest Diane has been part of the CX movement since the get-go. She was one of the founding members of the CXPA, and is currently serving as the association’s interim CEO, along with her role as an independent business advisor, speaker and facilitator within the CX professional community. Before this, she held senior CX roles at blue chip organizations such at AT&T and Sysco Foods. To learn more about Diane's work with the CXPA, her CX advisory practice Experience Catalysts, or to get in touch about she can help your organization realize customer-centric goals, connect with her via LinkedIn. Diane Magers CCXP CX business value Many CX professionals confuse the terms "metrics", "measures" and "value", but it's important to clarify what these are and how they apply to customer experience management. Diane broke down her definitions of each: Measures - anything you can count (e.g. number of clients that come into your store, call length, frequency of purchase) Metrics - outcomes of something that's happened, including a customer's perception of those outcomes (e.g. customer satisfaction, customer effort score) Value - the financial levers that you can pull in an organization and and/or the resulting financial impact (e.g. cost to serve, revenue, expense, profit per customer) Diane emphasizes that as CX professionals, we must translate CX speak into C-suite speak. This means creating the connection between our CX metrics and related measures, and the financial measures that executives are about. Without this connection, our efforts are doomed to be sidelined and not get the attention they need to succeed. Diane suggests looking at the causation between CX metrics tied to CX projects and financial outcomes. Finding ways to articulate the connection between CX efforts and business value goes a long way to earn the attention, respect, and hopefully support of executive stakeholders.   Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including customer insights, CX measurement, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email. 

This CX Mini Masterclass explains the difference between CX measures and metrics, as well as how these can be leveraged to demonstrate CX business value. Special guest and CX thought leader Diane Magers clarifies these concepts and their role in customer-centric business practices.

Insights from a special guest

Diane has been part of the CX movement since the get-go. She was one of the founding members of the CXPA, and is currently serving as the association’s interim CEO, along with her role as an independent business advisor, speaker and facilitator within the CX professional community. Before this, she held senior CX roles at blue chip organizations such at AT&T and Sysco Foods. To learn more about Diane’s work with the CXPA, her CX advisory practice Experience Catalysts, or to get in touch about she can help your organization realize customer-centric goals, connect with her via LinkedIn.

Diane Magers CCXP

CX business value

Many CX professionals confuse the terms “metrics”, “measures” and “value”, but it’s important to clarify what these are and how they apply to customer experience management. Diane broke down her definitions of each:

  • Measures – anything you can count (e.g. number of clients that come into your store, call length, frequency of purchase)
  • Metrics – outcomes of something that’s happened, including a customer’s perception of those outcomes (e.g. customer satisfaction, customer effort score)
  • Value – the financial levers that you can pull in an organization and and/or the resulting financial impact (e.g. cost to serve, revenue, expense, profit per customer)

Diane emphasizes that as CX professionals, we must translate CX speak into C-suite speak. This means creating the connection between our CX metrics and related measures, and the financial measures that executives are about. Without this connection, our efforts are doomed to be sidelined and not get the attention they need to succeed.

Diane suggests looking at the causation between CX metrics tied to CX projects and financial outcomes. Finding ways to articulate the connection between CX efforts and business value goes a long way to earn the attention, respect, and hopefully support of executive stakeholders.  

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including customer insights, CX measurement, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email

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This CX Mini Masterclass explains the difference between CX measures and metrics, as well as how these can be leveraged to demonstrate CX business value. Special guest and CX thought leader Diane Magers clarifies these concepts and their role in custom...










This CX Mini Masterclass explains the difference between CX measures and metrics, as well as how these can be leveraged to demonstrate CX business value. Special guest and CX thought leader Diane Magers clarifies these concepts and their role in customer-centric business practices.







Insights from a special guest



Diane has been part of the CX movement since the get-go. She was one of the founding members of the CXPA, and is currently serving as the association’s interim CEO, along with her role as an independent business advisor, speaker and facilitator within the CX professional community. Before this, she held senior CX roles at blue chip organizations such at AT&T and Sysco Foods. To learn more about Diane's work with the CXPA, her CX advisory practice Experience Catalysts, or to get in touch about she can help your organization realize customer-centric goals, connect with her via LinkedIn.



Diane Magers CCXP



CX business value


Many CX professionals confuse the terms "metrics", "measures" and "value", but it's important to clarify what these are and how they apply to customer experience management. Diane broke down her definitions of each:

* Measures - anything you can count (e.g. number of clients that come into your store, call length, frequency of purchase)
* Metrics - outcomes of something that's happened, including a customer's perception of those outcomes (e.g. customer satisfaction, customer effort score)
* Value - the financial levers that you can pull in an organization and and/or the resulting financial impact (e.g. cost to serve, revenue, expense, profit per customer)

Diane emphasizes that as CX professionals, we must translate CX speak into C-suite speak. This means creating the connection between our CX metrics and related measures, and the financial measures that executives are about. Without this connection, our efforts are doomed to be sidelined and not get the attention they need to succeed.
Diane suggests looking at the causation between CX metrics tied to CX projects and financial outcomes. Finding ways to articulate the connection between CX efforts and business value goes a long way to earn the attention, respect, and hopefully support of executive stakeholders.  



Want to keep learning about CX?



If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.



And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.



Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including customer insights, CX measurement, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email


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The link between CX and employee experience: CX Mini Masterclass – E27 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-link-between-cx-and-employee-experience-cx-mini-masterclass-e27/ Thu, 14 Feb 2019 10:39:35 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1161 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-link-between-cx-and-employee-experience-cx-mini-masterclass-e27/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-link-between-cx-and-employee-experience-cx-mini-masterclass-e27/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explains the relationship between employee experience and customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares 3 examples of the tangible links between EX and CX. If you are looking to understand employee experience as the foundation for customer-centric culture, this episode is for you. A heightened focus on employee experience Employee Experience is getting increasing amounts of attention from the CX professional community, and with good reason: it’s a key enabler of CX. Employees are a key pillar of an organization’s operating model - the engine that delivers customer experiences. If the components of the operating model aren't functioning, can't work in harmony or aren't aligned to common goals, then the outcomes suffer. Pillars of the business operating model Understanding the link This connection might seem abstract, but there are plenty of ways that we can see the tangible link between customer experience and employee experience. The following examples are just 3 of many ways that we see employee experience "shine through". Employees are the face of a brand - When experiences involve an in-person component, the employee or brand representative becomes the face of the brand. As more of our experiences move into the digital realm, these interactions are becoming both fewer and more complex. This means that each in-person interaction has a greater impact within the overall customer journey. It's not a stretch to understand how employees who feel valued, supported and part of the brand would be more likely to provide a better representation of the brand.There is a human behind every customer experience - Digital experiences have to be programmed by someone, and even AI-driven experiences were at some point coded by a person. The intentions, care, and the employee's level of understanding of the customer will all shine through eventually. This is why it’s important for team members to be engaged with their responsibilities, understand how they are connected to the customer and to feel positive ownership for their contributions. Employee experience is the kernel for this personal accountability.Employee experience can support change management - Customers are constantly changing, and CX teams are often responsible for helping businesses evolve to keep pace. Proper change management is critical to success. The book, The Influential Mind (one of my favorite books about influencing CX change), shares results from studies showing that people who feel more comfortable and stable in their environment are more likely to take a leap of faith towards a decision that will be beneficial in the long term, even if that means jeopardizing some immediate gratification. There is a clear connection to CX and change in the workplace. If you are asking a team member to use a new system or try something that is out of their comfort zone - for the benefit of improved CX, they are more likely to do this if they feel safe, secure, and supported in their environment. On the other hand, if team members are preoccupied with possible punishment if they mess up or stressed about other uncertainties in their environment, they are less likely to go along with the suggested change. A positive employee experience provides a stronger foundation for fostering agile teams that are open to being part of, rather than resisting, customer-centric change. These 3 examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Employee experience manifests itself in so many aspects of CX, but hopefully these have sparked some thinking about the important link between the two. Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University.

This CX Mini Masterclass explains the relationship between employee experience and customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares 3 examples of the tangible links between EX and CX. If you are looking to understand employee experience as the foundation for customer-centric culture, this episode is for you.

A heightened focus on employee experience

Employee Experience is getting increasing amounts of attention from the CX professional community, and with good reason: it’s a key enabler of CX. Employees are a key pillar of an organization’s operating model – the engine that delivers customer experiences. If the components of the operating model aren’t functioning, can’t work in harmony or aren’t aligned to common goals, then the outcomes suffer.

Pillars of the business operating model

Understanding the link

This connection might seem abstract, but there are plenty of ways that we can see the tangible link between customer experience and employee experience. The following examples are just 3 of many ways that we see employee experience “shine through”.

  • Employees are the face of a brand – When experiences involve an in-person component, the employee or brand representative becomes the face of the brand. As more of our experiences move into the digital realm, these interactions are becoming both fewer and more complex. This means that each in-person interaction has a greater impact within the overall customer journey. It’s not a stretch to understand how employees who feel valued, supported and part of the brand would be more likely to provide a better representation of the brand.
  • There is a human behind every customer experience – Digital experiences have to be programmed by someone, and even AI-driven experiences were at some point coded by a person. The intentions, care, and the employee’s level of understanding of the customer will all shine through eventually. This is why it’s important for team members to be engaged with their responsibilities, understand how they are connected to the customer and to feel positive ownership for their contributions. Employee experience is the kernel for this personal accountability.
  • Employee experience can support change management – Customers are constantly changing, and CX teams are often responsible for helping businesses evolve to keep pace. Proper change management is critical to success. The book, The Influential Mind (one of my favorite books about influencing CX change), shares results from studies showing that people who feel more comfortable and stable in their environment are more likely to take a leap of faith towards a decision that will be beneficial in the long term, even if that means jeopardizing some immediate gratification. There is a clear connection to CX and change in the workplace. If you are asking a team member to use a new system or try something that is out of their comfort zone – for the benefit of improved CX, they are more likely to do this if they feel safe, secure, and supported in their environment. On the other hand, if team members are preoccupied with possible punishment if they mess up or stressed about other uncertainties in their environment, they are less likely to go along with the suggested change. A positive employee experience provides a stronger foundation for fostering agile teams that are open to being part of, rather than resisting, customer-centric change.

These 3 examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Employee experience manifests itself in so many aspects of CX, but hopefully these have sparked some thinking about the important link between the two.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including employee engagement, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email

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This CX Mini Masterclass explains the relationship between employee experience and customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares 3 examples of the tangible links between EX and CX.







This CX Mini Masterclass explains the relationship between employee experience and customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares 3 examples of the tangible links between EX and CX. If you are looking to understand employee experience as the foundation for customer-centric culture, this episode is for you.







A heightened focus on employee experience



Employee Experience is getting increasing amounts of attention from the CX professional community, and with good reason: it’s a key enabler of CX. Employees are a key pillar of an organization’s operating model - the engine that delivers customer experiences. If the components of the operating model aren't functioning, can't work in harmony or aren't aligned to common goals, then the outcomes suffer.



Pillars of the business operating model



Understanding the link



This connection might seem abstract, but there are plenty of ways that we can see the tangible link between customer experience and employee experience. The following examples are just 3 of many ways that we see employee experience "shine through".



* Employees are the face of a brand - When experiences involve an in-person component, the employee or brand representative becomes the face of the brand. As more of our experiences move into the digital realm, these interactions are becoming both fewer and more complex. This means that each in-person interaction has a greater impact within the overall customer journey. It's not a stretch to understand how employees who feel valued, supported and part of the brand would be more likely to provide a better representation of the brand.* There is a human behind every customer experience - Digital experiences have to be programmed by someone, and even AI-driven experiences were at some point coded by a person. The intentions, care, and the employee's level of understanding of the customer will all shine through eventually. This is why it’s important for team members to be engaged with their responsibilities, understand how they are connected to the customer and to feel positive ownership for their contributions. Employee experience is the kernel for this personal accountability.* Employee experience can support change management - Customers are constantly changing, and CX teams are often responsible for helping businesses evolve to keep pace. Proper change management is critical to success. The book, The Influential Mind (one of my favorite books about influencing CX change), shares results from studies showing that people who feel more comfortable and stable in their environment are more likely to take a leap of faith towards a decision that will be beneficial in the long term, even if that means jeopardizing some immediate gratification. There is a clear connection to CX and change in the workplace. If you are asking a team member to use a new system or try something that is out of their comfort zone - for the benefit of improved CX, they are more likely to do this if they feel safe, secure, and supported in their environment. On the other hand, if team members are preoccupied with possible punishment if they mess up or stressed about other uncertainties in their environment, they are less likely to go along with the suggested change. A positive employee experience provides a stronger foundation for fostering agile teams that are open to being part of, rather than resisting, customer-centric change.



These 3 examples are just the tip of the iceberg.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Delivering customer delight in the digital age: interview with Adrian Swinscoe – E26 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/delivering-customer-delight-in-the-digital-age-interview-with-adrian-swinscoe-e26/ Thu, 07 Feb 2019 12:23:30 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1141 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/delivering-customer-delight-in-the-digital-age-interview-with-adrian-swinscoe-e26/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/delivering-customer-delight-in-the-digital-age-interview-with-adrian-swinscoe-e26/feed/ 0 Adrian Swinscoe, customer experience thought leader, Forbes contributor, and business advisor provides his perspective on finding the balance between humans and tech in delivering CX. Adrian and Julia discuss what it takes to achieve customer delight in our increasingly digital world and why the tag line "powered by humans" is becoming a thing that brands now tout. Julia shares her plan for February's CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will feature other CX thought leaders.   Customer delight and the delicate balance between humans and tech In a world where we are spending increasing amounts of time on our phones, and the digital world has infiltrated nearly all aspects of our lives, it can be easy to fall prey to the mantra that tech is best. But that isn’t always the case. Yes, technology can be an incredible enabler of great customer experience. Seamless app experiences, VOC solutions that help businesses decipher customer feedback, customization algorithms, and the social media platforms have all helped turbo-charge many aspects of customer experience. But this doesn’t mean that the human element has lost its place. Behind every experience there is a human, and sometimes human intervention is the most effective and efficient way to deliver customer experiences and (hopefully) customer delight. I sat down with Adrian Swinscoe to unpack this topic and explore how organizations can find the balance between humans and tech. Top tips for balanced customer experiences Understand the tech/touch continuum - Adrian suggests that experiences fall on two spectra: high/low tech and high/low touch. When you plot these together, you get a quadrant of high/low/tech/touch possibilities. Use this framework to understand the natural "fit" for experiences, based on what customers want. If customers are looking for a tangible sensory experience, then low tech/high touch might be the answer. If they are looking for convenience, then high tech/low touch might be better. Acknowledge that human led experiences are sometimes more efficient - Routing customers through endless IVRs and dealing with multiple repeat calls can be more complicated (and costly) than just having one person resolve and issue on the spot. Tech solutions are often pitched on the basis of efficiency gains, but look before you leap. Things are not always as they seem. Don't be all things to all people - Yes, it's important to be where customers are, but with the proliferation of different digital channels, it can be challenging for companies to deliver great experiences through ALL possible touchpoints. Pick those where you can deliver customer delight, and focus your energy there. It's OK to say "no" to new channels that aren't compatible with your brand or business. Humility can foster brand affinity Adrian shared research on the Pratfall Effect, which is our human tendency to prefer some level of imperfection.  We gravitate towards people, leaders and brands that display their imperfections and are open about vulnerability. In the quest to deliver great experiences and test out tech innovations, brands can (and will) stumble. The takeaway here is that these mistakes - when managed appropriately - can enhance brand affinity. Within businesses, CX leaders can also learn from this phenomenon. Leaders who are open about their mistakes and share their vulnerability with team members and employees, may earn more of their respect in the long run. Where to find more insights from Adrian I really enjoyed speaking with Adrian and could have picked his brain for hours. He is truly a wealth of knowledge, and the good news is that there are plenty of ways that you can keep learning from Adrian's work and expertise. He published a bestselling book in 2016, How to Wow: 68 Effortless Ways to Make Every Customer Experience Amazing (Pearson). He is also a fellow podcaster, and his show, The RARE Business Podcast, is well worth checking out. Adrian Swinscoe, customer experience thought leader, Forbes contributor, and business advisor provides his perspective on finding the balance between humans and tech in delivering CX. Adrian and Julia discuss what it takes to achieve customer delight in our increasingly digital world and why the tag line “powered by humans” is becoming a thing that brands now tout. Julia shares her plan for February’s CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will feature other CX thought leaders.

 

Customer delight and the delicate balance between humans and tech

In a world where we are spending increasing amounts of time on our phones, and the digital world has infiltrated nearly all aspects of our lives, it can be easy to fall prey to the mantra that tech is best. But that isn’t always the case. Yes, technology can be an incredible enabler of great customer experience. Seamless app experiences, VOC solutions that help businesses decipher customer feedback, customization algorithms, and the social media platforms have all helped turbo-charge many aspects of customer experience. But this doesn’t mean that the human element has lost its place. Behind every experience there is a human, and sometimes human intervention is the most effective and efficient way to deliver customer experiences and (hopefully) customer delight.

I sat down with Adrian Swinscoe to unpack this topic and explore how organizations can find the balance between humans and tech.

Top tips for balanced customer experiences

  • Understand the tech/touch continuum – Adrian suggests that experiences fall on two spectra: high/low tech and high/low touch. When you plot these together, you get a quadrant of high/low/tech/touch possibilities. Use this framework to understand the natural “fit” for experiences, based on what customers want. If customers are looking for a tangible sensory experience, then low tech/high touch might be the answer. If they are looking for convenience, then high tech/low touch might be better.
  • Acknowledge that human led experiences are sometimes more efficient – Routing customers through endless IVRs and dealing with multiple repeat calls can be more complicated (and costly) than just having one person resolve and issue on the spot. Tech solutions are often pitched on the basis of efficiency gains, but look before you leap. Things are not always as they seem.
  • Don’t be all things to all people – Yes, it’s important to be where customers are, but with the proliferation of different digital channels, it can be challenging for companies to deliver great experiences through ALL possible touchpoints. Pick those where you can deliver customer delight, and focus your energy there. It’s OK to say “no” to new channels that aren’t compatible with your brand or business.

Humility can foster brand affinity

Adrian shared research on the Pratfall Effect, which is our human tendency to prefer some level of imperfection.  We gravitate towards people, leaders and brands that display their imperfections and are open about vulnerability. In the quest to deliver great experiences and test out tech innovations, brands can (and will) stumble. The takeaway here is that these mistakes – when managed appropriately – can enhance brand affinity.

Within businesses, CX leaders can also learn from this phenomenon. Leaders who are open about their mistakes and share their vulnerability with team members and employees, may earn more of their respect in the long run.

Where to find more insights from Adrian

I really enjoyed speaking with Adrian and could have picked his brain for hours. He is truly a wealth of knowledge, and the good news is that there are plenty of ways that you can keep learning from Adrian’s work and expertise. He published a bestselling book in 2016, How to Wow: 68 Effortless Ways to Make Every Customer Experience Amazing (Pearson). He is also a fellow podcaster, and his show, The RARE Business Podcast, is well worth checking out. You can also follow Adrian on Twitter, LinkedIn, or get in touch through the contact details on his website.

Episode Sponsor

This episode was sponsored by CX University, a CX training company offering a broad array of CX learning options, including e-learning modules and CCXP practice exams. CXU is an accredited resource and training provider and their resources and they offer a flexible and affordable monthly subscription model. Listeners of this CX podcast can get 10% off their first month’s subscription by entering the discount code PODCAST10 at checkout.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business define customer experience strategy that delivers results, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

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Adrian Swinscoe, customer experience thought leader, Forbes contributor, and business advisor provides his perspective on finding the balance between humans and tech in delivering CX. Adrian and Julia discuss what it takes to achieve customer delight i... Adrian Swinscoe, customer experience thought leader, Forbes contributor, and business advisor provides his perspective on finding the balance between humans and tech in delivering CX. Adrian and Julia discuss what it takes to achieve customer delight in our increasingly digital world and why the tag line "powered by humans" is becoming a thing that brands now tout. Julia shares her plan for February's CX Mini Masterclass episodes, which will feature other CX thought leaders.

 
Customer delight and the delicate balance between humans and tech


In a world where we are spending increasing amounts of time on our phones, and the digital world has infiltrated nearly all aspects of our lives, it can be easy to fall prey to the mantra that tech is best. But that isn’t always the case. Yes, technology can be an incredible enabler of great customer experience. Seamless app experiences, VOC solutions that help businesses decipher customer feedback, customization algorithms, and the social media platforms have all helped turbo-charge many aspects of customer experience. But this doesn’t mean that the human element has lost its place. Behind every experience there is a human, and sometimes human intervention is the most effective and efficient way to deliver customer experiences and (hopefully) customer delight.

I sat down with Adrian Swinscoe to unpack this topic and explore how organizations can find the balance between humans and tech.
Top tips for balanced customer experiences

* Understand the tech/touch continuum - Adrian suggests that experiences fall on two spectra: high/low tech and high/low touch. When you plot these together, you get a quadrant of high/low/tech/touch possibilities. Use this framework to understand the natural "fit" for experiences, based on what customers want. If customers are looking for a tangible sensory experience, then low tech/high touch might be the answer. If they are looking for convenience, then high tech/low touch might be better.
* Acknowledge that human led experiences are sometimes more efficient - Routing customers through endless IVRs and dealing with multiple repeat calls can be more complicated (and costly) than just having one person resolve and issue on the spot. Tech solutions are often pitched on the basis of efficiency gains, but look before you leap. Things are not always as they seem.
* Don't be all things to all people - Yes, it's important to be where customers are, but with the proliferation of different digital channels, it can be challenging for companies to deliver great experiences through ALL possible touchpoints. Pick those where you can deliver customer delight, and focus your energy there. It's OK to say "no" to new channels that aren't compatible with your brand or business.

Humility can foster brand affinity
Adrian shared research on the Pratfall Effect, which is our human tendency to prefer some level of imperfection.  We gravitate towards people, leaders and brands that display their imperfections and are open about vulnerability. In the quest to deliver great experiences and test out tech innovations, brands can (and will) stumble. The takeaway here is that these mistakes - when managed appropriately - can enhance brand affinity.

Within businesses, CX leaders can also learn from this phenomenon. Leaders who are open about their mistakes and share their vulnerability with team members and employees, may earn more of their respect in the long run.
Where to find more insights from Adrian
I really enjoyed speaking with Adrian and could ha...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
3 actionable tips for influencing customer centric change: CX Mini Masterclass – E25 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/3-actionable-tips-for-influencing-customer-centric-change-cx-mini-masterclass-e25/ Thu, 31 Jan 2019 17:51:47 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1134 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/3-actionable-tips-for-influencing-customer-centric-change-cx-mini-masterclass-e25/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/3-actionable-tips-for-influencing-customer-centric-change-cx-mini-masterclass-e25/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass includes actionable tips for influencing customer centric change from show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt. Customer experience strategy must be supported by the business in order to take hold. CX professionals must carefully navigate how to  affect change within their organization, and in this episode Julia takes listeners through her top 3 recommendations for how to effectively influence change. A CX leader and a diplomat Customer experience leaders can have brilliant ideas, but they must also be able to foster buy-in and support to effectively influence change. As a professional community, we spend a lot of time discussing and debating the functional side of our profession, and this is great, but we must also support each other in the "softer" competencies of leadership that can be just as important. I view business diplomacy and influence as part of these softer leadership competencies. As I know that many are preparing for the year ahead, I thought it was an apt time to curate and share my top 3 recommendations for actionable interventions to foster support and influence real change. 1. Speak the language of your stakeholders It's important to understand how decision-makers in your organization frame their world and address priorities so that you can help make CX one of these priorities. In many cases, decision-makers speak the language of financial metrics, so think about how you can frame CX outcomes in these terms. Your ideas will be more likely to resonate with your audience and garner their support. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is one of many metrics that you can use to align to the case for CX to financial metrics. If you'd like to learn more about CLV, episode 22 covers this topic in detail. 2. Establish a stakeholder management plan This may sound simple or obvious, but a proactive stakeholder management plan can go a long way to helping you effectively engage with others in your organization. Plus, once you document this as a formalized plan, you can share it with your team. If you are looking for ideas on templates for stakeholder management plans, here is a nice template and another example. Curious about what a stakeholder plan look like in action? In episode 21, I spoke with Marnitz Van Heerden from Hollard insurance about his journey influencing customer centric change. He explained how he leveraged the SCARF model and several other approaches to win over his colleagues and foster support for CX. 3. Communicate customer centric initiatives with empathy We all know that communication is key, but for my final recommendation, I'm suggesting that you reflect on how you communicate your plan, and to introduce empathy into your communication. Take the time to acknowledge your audience's hopes and fears, and how these might evolve during the change process. Also, be open with your organization about the possible impact of CX changes so that people can property prepare. This 3rd point was inspired by a Harvard Business Review article that I recently read. You can read the article here. Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your busines... This CX Mini Masterclass includes actionable tips for influencing customer centric change from show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt. Customer experience strategy must be supported by the business in order to take hold. CX professionals must carefully navigate how to  affect change within their organization, and in this episode Julia takes listeners through her top 3 recommendations for how to effectively influence change.

A CX leader and a diplomat

Customer experience leaders can have brilliant ideas, but they must also be able to foster buy-in and support to effectively influence change. As a professional community, we spend a lot of time discussing and debating the functional side of our profession, and this is great, but we must also support each other in the “softer” competencies of leadership that can be just as important. I view business diplomacy and influence as part of these softer leadership competencies. As I know that many are preparing for the year ahead, I thought it was an apt time to curate and share my top 3 recommendations for actionable interventions to foster support and influence real change.

1. Speak the language of your stakeholders

It’s important to understand how decision-makers in your organization frame their world and address priorities so that you can help make CX one of these priorities. In many cases, decision-makers speak the language of financial metrics, so think about how you can frame CX outcomes in these terms. Your ideas will be more likely to resonate with your audience and garner their support. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is one of many metrics that you can use to align to the case for CX to financial metrics. If you’d like to learn more about CLV, episode 22 covers this topic in detail.

2. Establish a stakeholder management plan

This may sound simple or obvious, but a proactive stakeholder management plan can go a long way to helping you effectively engage with others in your organization. Plus, once you document this as a formalized plan, you can share it with your team. If you are looking for ideas on templates for stakeholder management plans, here is a nice template and another example. Curious about what a stakeholder plan look like in action? In episode 21, I spoke with Marnitz Van Heerden from Hollard insurance about his journey influencing customer centric change. He explained how he leveraged the SCARF model and several other approaches to win over his colleagues and foster support for CX.

3. Communicate customer centric initiatives with empathy

We all know that communication is key, but for my final recommendation, I’m suggesting that you reflect on how you communicate your plan, and to introduce empathy into your communication. Take the time to acknowledge your audience’s hopes and fears, and how these might evolve during the change process. Also, be open with your organization about the possible impact of CX changes so that people can property prepare. This 3rd point was inspired by a Harvard Business Review article that I recently read. You can read the article here.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including CX strategy, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email

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This CX Mini Masterclass includes actionable tips for influencing customer centric change from show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt. Customer experience strategy must be supported by the business in order to take hold.
A CX leader and a diplomat
Customer experience leaders can have brilliant ideas, but they must also be able to foster buy-in and support to effectively influence change. As a professional community, we spend a lot of time discussing and debating the functional side of our profession, and this is great, but we must also support each other in the "softer" competencies of leadership that can be just as important. I view business diplomacy and influence as part of these softer leadership competencies. As I know that many are preparing for the year ahead, I thought it was an apt time to curate and share my top 3 recommendations for actionable interventions to foster support and influence real change.
1. Speak the language of your stakeholders
It's important to understand how decision-makers in your organization frame their world and address priorities so that you can help make CX one of these priorities. In many cases, decision-makers speak the language of financial metrics, so think about how you can frame CX outcomes in these terms. Your ideas will be more likely to resonate with your audience and garner their support. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is one of many metrics that you can use to align to the case for CX to financial metrics. If you'd like to learn more about CLV, episode 22 covers this topic in detail.
2. Establish a stakeholder management plan
This may sound simple or obvious, but a proactive stakeholder management plan can go a long way to helping you effectively engage with others in your organization. Plus, once you document this as a formalized plan, you can share it with your team. If you are looking for ideas on templates for stakeholder management plans, here is a nice template and another example. Curious about what a stakeholder plan look like in action? In episode 21, I spoke with Marnitz Van Heerden from Hollard insurance about his journey influencing customer centric change. He explained how he leveraged the SCARF model and several other approaches to win over his colleagues and foster support for CX.
3. Communicate customer centric initiatives with empathy
We all know that communication is key, but for my final recommendation, I'm suggesting that you reflect on how you communicate your plan, and to introduce empathy into your communication. Take the time to acknowledge your audience's hopes and fears, and how these might evolve during the change process. Also, be open with your organization about the possible impact of CX changes so that people can property prepare. This 3rd point was inspired by a Harvard Business Review article that I recently read. You can read the article here.
Want to keep learning about CX?
If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes<...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Evaluating customer experience impact for business decisions: CX Mini Masterclass – E24 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/evaluating-customer-experience-impact-for-business-decisions-cx-mini-masterclass-e24/ Thu, 24 Jan 2019 15:46:55 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1125 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/evaluating-customer-experience-impact-for-business-decisions-cx-mini-masterclass-e24/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/evaluating-customer-experience-impact-for-business-decisions-cx-mini-masterclass-e24/feed/ 0 This edition of Julia’s CX Mini Masterclass series explores best practices for evaluating customer impact when making major business decisions. Building on the concept of customer journey on-ramps/off-ramps, show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt explains how you can leverage your knowledge of the customer journey to prioritize business initiatives, create a CX roadmap, and guide your organization towards making customer-centric decisions which will ultimately drive profitability. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure CX professionals are often the guardians of the customer journey within their organization. This comes with the responsibility of ensuring that the organization continually evolves towards customer-centricity, which is no small task. CX professionals may be able to influence changes that are deliberately made with the customer experience in mind. But businesses are constantly evolving and changing, launching new products and implementing revised systems, and most of these of these changes fall outside of the remit of a centralized CX team. This business evolution has an impact on resulting customer experiences, so it is equally important, though more challenging, to ensure that decisions made by other teams within the organization are done with the customer in mind. Without this, CX professionals, will constantly find themselves "fixing" a broken customer journey. It is much more effective to foster awareness about customer experience impact to help the business proactively and deliberately evolve towards customer-centricity than to be in a constant mode of fire-fighting. The good news is that CX professionals can leverage their understanding of the customer journey, Customer Lifetime Value, and the financial ramifications of on-ramps and off-ramps to help businesses understand customer experience impact and make the right choices. Build your CX roadmap to demonstrate value In episode 21 I spoke with Marnitz Van Heerden of Hollard insurance who described how his organization has evolved from one with a centralized CX team, to a federated model, whereby responsibility for customer experience is distributed across the business teams. The federated model is the ultimate goal for many businesses, but the reality on the ground is that most CX practitioners still operate in an environment where CX is managed centrally. In this case, CX practitioners have to plan and prioritize their efforts. If you’ve ever mapped the customer journey, you know that it can be daunting to tackle a long laundry list of pain points within the customer journey. I suggest starting by evaluating your journey in terms of the on-ramps and off-ramps. Look at where you have your busiest off-ramp, or where you are losing the most customers. You should consider this as your starting point for affecting CX change, because it’s where you’ll be able to demonstrate business value. So if for example, if your customer journey research indicates that customers are off-ramping at sign-up or after their first month of usage of your product, look into which one of these represents the bigger impact in terms of opportunity cost or lost customer assets, and tackle that one first if you can. As you improve the experience and are able to impact on the flow of the off-ramp, you can show how each retained customer, through their CLV, reflects money which didn’t walk out the door. Proactively evaluating customer experience impact One of the tough realities of the business world is that decisions are often made in a vacuum. Operations, IT and other teams will make decisions or launch initiatives with their own KPIs in mind. These objectives may ore may not directly align with CX. This is where things can get interesting, because an IT or ops team might be really excited about a new platform or process that will help them achieve their department goals, while being oblivious to what this means for CX. This edition of Julia’s CX Mini Masterclass series explores best practices for evaluating customer impact when making major business decisions. Building on the concept of customer journey on-ramps/off-ramps, show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt explains how you can leverage your knowledge of the customer journey to prioritize business initiatives, create a CX roadmap, and guide your organization towards making customer-centric decisions which will ultimately drive profitability.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

CX professionals are often the guardians of the customer journey within their organization. This comes with the responsibility of ensuring that the organization continually evolves towards customer-centricity, which is no small task. CX professionals may be able to influence changes that are deliberately made with the customer experience in mind. But businesses are constantly evolving and changing, launching new products and implementing revised systems, and most of these of these changes fall outside of the remit of a centralized CX team. This business evolution has an impact on resulting customer experiences, so it is equally important, though more challenging, to ensure that decisions made by other teams within the organization are done with the customer in mind. Without this, CX professionals, will constantly find themselves “fixing” a broken customer journey. It is much more effective to foster awareness about customer experience impact to help the business proactively and deliberately evolve towards customer-centricity than to be in a constant mode of fire-fighting.

The good news is that CX professionals can leverage their understanding of the customer journey, Customer Lifetime Value, and the financial ramifications of on-ramps and off-ramps to help businesses understand customer experience impact and make the right choices.

Build your CX roadmap to demonstrate value

In episode 21 I spoke with Marnitz Van Heerden of Hollard insurance who described how his organization has evolved from one with a centralized CX team, to a federated model, whereby responsibility for customer experience is distributed across the business teams. The federated model is the ultimate goal for many businesses, but the reality on the ground is that most CX practitioners still operate in an environment where CX is managed centrally. In this case, CX practitioners have to plan and prioritize their efforts.

If you’ve ever mapped the customer journey, you know that it can be daunting to tackle a long laundry list of pain points within the customer journey. I suggest starting by evaluating your journey in terms of the on-ramps and off-ramps. Look at where you have your busiest off-ramp, or where you are losing the most customers. You should consider this as your starting point for affecting CX change, because it’s where you’ll be able to demonstrate business value. So if for example, if your customer journey research indicates that customers are off-ramping at sign-up or after their first month of usage of your product, look into which one of these represents the bigger impact in terms of opportunity cost or lost customer assets, and tackle that one first if you can. As you improve the experience and are able to impact on the flow of the off-ramp, you can show how each retained customer, through their CLV, reflects money which didn’t walk out the door.

Proactively evaluating customer experience impact

One of the tough realities of the business world is that decisions are often made in a vacuum. Operations, IT and other teams will make decisions or launch initiatives with their own KPIs in mind. These objectives may ore may not directly align with CX. This is where things can get interesting, because an IT or ops team might be really excited about a new platform or process that will help them achieve their department goals, while being oblivious to what this means for CX. The key is to insert customer-centric thinking into that vacuum!

CX professionals can do this by helping their colleagues understand how their efforts impact the customer experience, so they can factor it into their decision-making criteria. The goal is to mitigate business changes that might inadvertently create a negative experience, and gradually get others in the organization to be thinking about things in a more customer-centric way.

My suggestion here would be to first use your customer journey to identify what elements of customer experience are most likely to upset or delight your customers. Whatever moves the needle either extremely positive or extremely negative, can be used to help other teams evaluate the impact of their efforts. Next, try to include this as a formal component of the planning process. Whether that takes the shape of a customer impact assessment as part of CapEx approval or some sort of CX rating that has to be incorporated into new project approvals, see if you can establish some governance that gets teams to proactively acknowledge how their projects, initiatives and other business changes might affect customer experience.

It’s also important to incorporate CLV so that leaders understand the financial ramifications of customer impact. Often this is overlooked, only for teams to realize later that their $1 million in efficiency savings cost the business $10 in lost customers. When the the vetting of new projects includes a business case with a customer element, this is much more difficult to ignore.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available anytime and anywhere, all on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services  (including CX strategy, leadership alignment and CX business case assessments) or get in touch via email

]]> This edition of Julia’s CX Mini Masterclass series explores best practices for evaluating customer impact when making major business decisions. Building on the concept of customer journey on-ramps/off-ramps, show host and customer experience expert,
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
CX professionals are often the guardians of the customer journey within their organization. This comes with the responsibility of ensuring that the organization continually evolves towards customer-centricity, which is no small task. CX professionals may be able to influence changes that are deliberately made with the customer experience in mind. But businesses are constantly evolving and changing, launching new products and implementing revised systems, and most of these of these changes fall outside of the remit of a centralized CX team. This business evolution has an impact on resulting customer experiences, so it is equally important, though more challenging, to ensure that decisions made by other teams within the organization are done with the customer in mind. Without this, CX professionals, will constantly find themselves "fixing" a broken customer journey. It is much more effective to foster awareness about customer experience impact to help the business proactively and deliberately evolve towards customer-centricity than to be in a constant mode of fire-fighting.

The good news is that CX professionals can leverage their understanding of the customer journey, Customer Lifetime Value, and the financial ramifications of on-ramps and off-ramps to help businesses understand customer experience impact and make the right choices.
Build your CX roadmap to demonstrate value
In episode 21 I spoke with Marnitz Van Heerden of Hollard insurance who described how his organization has evolved from one with a centralized CX team, to a federated model, whereby responsibility for customer experience is distributed across the business teams. The federated model is the ultimate goal for many businesses, but the reality on the ground is that most CX practitioners still operate in an environment where CX is managed centrally. In this case, CX practitioners have to plan and prioritize their efforts.

If you’ve ever mapped the customer journey, you know that it can be daunting to tackle a long laundry list of pain points within the customer journey. I suggest starting by evaluating your journey in terms of the on-ramps and off-ramps. Look at where you have your busiest off-ramp, or where you are losing the most customers. You should consider this as your starting point for affecting CX change, because it’s where you’ll be able to demonstrate business value. So if for example, if your customer journey research indicates that customers are off-ramping at sign-up or after their first month of usage of your product, look into which one of these represents the bigger impact in terms of opportunity cost or lost customer assets, and tackle that one first if you can. As you improve the experience and are able to impact on the flow of the off-ramp, you can show how each retained customer, through their CLV, reflects money which didn’t walk out the door.
]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean On-ramps, off-ramps and customer experience ROI: CX Mini Masterclass – E23 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/on-ramps-off-ramps-and-customer-experience-roi-cx-mini-masterclass-e23/ Thu, 17 Jan 2019 08:11:18 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1056 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/on-ramps-off-ramps-and-customer-experience-roi-cx-mini-masterclass-e23/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/on-ramps-off-ramps-and-customer-experience-roi-cx-mini-masterclass-e23/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explains how you can use your customer journey map and understanding of when customers engage or disengage with a brand to demonstrate customer experience ROI. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, will teach you about the power of customer on-ramps and off-ramps, and how you can use these to develop the business case for customer experience management.   The circular journey At the end of the day consumers have many ongoing needs in their lives. Whether that’s putting food on the table or managing their finances, these needs don’t go away. The more journeys I map, the more I believe that most of our needs are ongoing in some way. That’s why I have become a proponent of circular maps as a way of visualizing the nature of experiences around these continual needs. One of the added benefits of circular maps is that you can use them to easily show where a consumer decides to engage or disengage with a specific brand. I call these "on-ramps" and "off-ramps". They represent opportunities to potentially gain or lose customers. Connection to customer experience ROI In episode 22, I covered Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), and defined this as the monetary value  - often measured in contribution to profit - that is derived from a customer during the course of that customer’s relationship with the company or organization. Anytime a customer engages with a brand or takes an on-ramp, there is a financial upside, and each time a customer decides to disengage with a brand, the business takes a financial hit. This creates a way to overlay ROI onto the customer journey, and it should make your executive team's ears perk up. Using on-ramps and off-ramps You can use your understanding of on-ramps and off-ramps to build the business case for change: Off-ramps - show how many customers leave because of a specific experience or series of experiences, and what this disengagement costs the business. This will help you motivate for fixing pain points along the journey, and give you a framework to evaluate the impact after the fact. On-ramps - use your journey map to show when, where and why customers are likely start engaging with your brand during their customer journey, and what these new customers are potentially worth to the business. This will help you motivate for investing in engaging experiences that will attract and retain customers. This view of on-ramps and off-ramps can help organizations evaluate the impact of business decisions so they can prioritize those which that minimize the risk of losing customers and maximize the potential of gaining new customers. This is also a great way to show the value of the journey map as a way to put your map to good use. Want to keep learning about CX? If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services  (including CX strategy, leadership alignment and CX business case assessments) or get in touch via email. 

This CX Mini Masterclass explains how you can use your customer journey map and understanding of when customers engage or disengage with a brand to demonstrate customer experience ROI. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, will teach you about the power of customer on-ramps and off-ramps, and how you can use these to develop the business case for customer experience management.

 

The circular journey

At the end of the day consumers have many ongoing needs in their lives. Whether that’s putting food on the table or managing their finances, these needs don’t go away. The more journeys I map, the more I believe that most of our needs are ongoing in some way. That’s why I have become a proponent of circular maps as a way of visualizing the nature of experiences around these continual needs.

One of the added benefits of circular maps is that you can use them to easily show where a consumer decides to engage or disengage with a specific brand. I call these “on-ramps” and “off-ramps”. They represent opportunities to potentially gain or lose customers.

Connection to customer experience ROI

In episode 22, I covered Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), and defined this as the monetary value  – often measured in contribution to profit – that is derived from a customer during the course of that customer’s relationship with the company or organization. Anytime a customer engages with a brand or takes an on-ramp, there is a financial upside, and each time a customer decides to disengage with a brand, the business takes a financial hit. This creates a way to overlay ROI onto the customer journey, and it should make your executive team’s ears perk up.

Using on-ramps and off-ramps

You can use your understanding of on-ramps and off-ramps to build the business case for change:

  • Off-ramps – show how many customers leave because of a specific experience or series of experiences, and what this disengagement costs the business. This will help you motivate for fixing pain points along the journey, and give you a framework to evaluate the impact after the fact.
  • On-ramps – use your journey map to show when, where and why customers are likely start engaging with your brand during their customer journey, and what these new customers are potentially worth to the business. This will help you motivate for investing in engaging experiences that will attract and retain customers.

This view of on-ramps and off-ramps can help organizations evaluate the impact of business decisions so they can prioritize those which that minimize the risk of losing customers and maximize the potential of gaining new customers. This is also a great way to show the value of the journey map as a way to put your map to good use.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services  (including CX strategy, leadership alignment and CX business case assessments) or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass explains how you can use your customer journey map and understanding of when customers engage or disengage with a brand to demonstrate customer experience ROI. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt,
This CX Mini Masterclass explains how you can use your customer journey map and understanding of when customers engage or disengage with a brand to demonstrate customer experience ROI. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, will teach you about the power of customer on-ramps and off-ramps, and how you can use these to develop the business case for customer experience management.

 
The circular journey
At the end of the day consumers have many ongoing needs in their lives. Whether that’s putting food on the table or managing their finances, these needs don’t go away. The more journeys I map, the more I believe that most of our needs are ongoing in some way. That’s why I have become a proponent of circular maps as a way of visualizing the nature of experiences around these continual needs.

One of the added benefits of circular maps is that you can use them to easily show where a consumer decides to engage or disengage with a specific brand. I call these "on-ramps" and "off-ramps". They represent opportunities to potentially gain or lose customers.
Connection to customer experience ROI
In episode 22, I covered Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), and defined this as the monetary value  - often measured in contribution to profit - that is derived from a customer during the course of that customer’s relationship with the company or organization. Anytime a customer engages with a brand or takes an on-ramp, there is a financial upside, and each time a customer decides to disengage with a brand, the business takes a financial hit. This creates a way to overlay ROI onto the customer journey, and it should make your executive team's ears perk up.
Using on-ramps and off-ramps
You can use your understanding of on-ramps and off-ramps to build the business case for change:

* Off-ramps - show how many customers leave because of a specific experience or series of experiences, and what this disengagement costs the business. This will help you motivate for fixing pain points along the journey, and give you a framework to evaluate the impact after the fact.
* On-ramps - use your journey map to show when, where and why customers are likely start engaging with your brand during their customer journey, and what these new customers are potentially worth to the business. This will help you motivate for investing in engaging experiences that will attract and retain customers.

This view of on-ramps and off-ramps can help organizations evaluate the impact of business decisions so they can prioritize those which that minimize the risk of losing customers and maximize the potential of gaining new customers. This is also a great way to show the value of the journey map as a way to put your map to good use.
Want to keep learning about CX?
If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX ...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Calculating Customer Lifetime Value: CX Mini Masterclass – E22 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/calculating-customer-lifetime-value-cx-mini-masterclass-e22/ Fri, 11 Jan 2019 06:50:41 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1054 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/calculating-customer-lifetime-value-cx-mini-masterclass-e22/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/calculating-customer-lifetime-value-cx-mini-masterclass-e22/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass covers the concept of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), how to calculate this, and why it’s an important metric for the CX profession. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, will help you understand how to leverage CLV to demonstrate the ROI of customer experience and foster buy-in for customer-centric strategy.   Understanding Customer Lifetime Value Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is the monetary value  - often measured in contribution to profit - that is derived from a customer during the course of that customer’s relationship with the company or organization. CLV is a great way to help executives conceptualize the financial upside of customer-centric strategies. One of the most prominent and respected thought leaders in the field of customer experience, Jeanne Bliss, often talks about how businesses should regard customers as assets, and customer lifetime value is a great way of positioning customers as assets because it associates a monetary figure with each customer. In episode 21, I interviewed Marnitz Van Heederden, who shared the inspiring story of how he kick started customer-centric change in his business by demonstrating customer value. How to calculate CLV To calculate this metric, one should look at the average profit yielded from each customer (or the revenue minus the costs) in a given year, multiplied by the average number of years that a customer is retained. If the relationships have a shorter time-frame, you could just as easily quantify this terms of weeks or months, though most businesses can and should look at these relationships from a long-term perspective, so I recommend years as the unit of measure in most cases. CLV = average customer profit per year * average length of retention in years So if the average customer generates $100 of profit for the company each year, and normal duration of the customer relationship (aka retention) is 2 years, the mean CLV among the company's customer base would be $200. It's not a stretch to see how this approach helps CX professionals position customers as assets, which is important if you want the business to start making customer-centric strategy decisions. If you are stumped for how to quantify a profit figure for each customer, I suggest phone-a-friend to one of your colleagues in finance and ask for their help. You'll want to gather the average revenue figures and the ballpark operating cost for each customer relationship. If the value of relationships is something that typically grows over time, you could also include this as a growth factor during the course of the average duration of the relationship. CLV = average customer profit in year one * (1 + rate of growth in customer profit each year) ^ average length of retention in years Best uses for this metric Customer lifetime value isn't a magic number, but it does have a lot of potential applications, and can be very useful for demonstrating the ROI for overarching customer-centric strategies. Major department-level initiatives that impact customer spend, cost of maintaining the customer relationship and efforts that impact customer base growth or retention, should all roll up into CLV, so you can use this metric as a way to connect and unite broad customer-centric objectives into a bottom-line impact through CLV. I'd suggest looking for ways to utilize this metric in dashboards that are assessed alongside financial results in major business performance or strategic reviews. If you can tie major business change efforts back to CLV as either a projection or a post-mortem, that's great. It will help executives and department leaders understand how their actions connect back to customer-centric strategy. Limitations Just be aware that customer lifetime value is slow to change, is a lagging indicator, and is influenced by a lot of different factors. It may be difficult to pinpoint how minute or incremental changes to the customer journey impact CLV...

This CX Mini Masterclass covers the concept of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), how to calculate this, and why it’s an important metric for the CX profession. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, will help you understand how to leverage CLV to demonstrate the ROI of customer experience and foster buy-in for customer-centric strategy.

 

Understanding Customer Lifetime Value

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is the monetary value  – often measured in contribution to profit – that is derived from a customer during the course of that customer’s relationship with the company or organization. CLV is a great way to help executives conceptualize the financial upside of customer-centric strategies. One of the most prominent and respected thought leaders in the field of customer experience, Jeanne Bliss, often talks about how businesses should regard customers as assets, and customer lifetime value is a great way of positioning customers as assets because it associates a monetary figure with each customer. In episode 21, I interviewed Marnitz Van Heederden, who shared the inspiring story of how he kick started customer-centric change in his business by demonstrating customer value.

How to calculate CLV

To calculate this metric, one should look at the average profit yielded from each customer (or the revenue minus the costs) in a given year, multiplied by the average number of years that a customer is retained. If the relationships have a shorter time-frame, you could just as easily quantify this terms of weeks or months, though most businesses can and should look at these relationships from a long-term perspective, so I recommend years as the unit of measure in most cases.

CLV = average customer profit per year * average length of retention in years

So if the average customer generates $100 of profit for the company each year, and normal duration of the customer relationship (aka retention) is 2 years, the mean CLV among the company’s customer base would be $200. It’s not a stretch to see how this approach helps CX professionals position customers as assets, which is important if you want the business to start making customer-centric strategy decisions.

If you are stumped for how to quantify a profit figure for each customer, I suggest phone-a-friend to one of your colleagues in finance and ask for their help. You’ll want to gather the average revenue figures and the ballpark operating cost for each customer relationship.

If the value of relationships is something that typically grows over time, you could also include this as a growth factor during the course of the average duration of the relationship.

CLV = average customer profit in year one * (1 + rate of growth in customer profit each year) ^ average length of retention in years

Best uses for this metric

Customer lifetime value isn’t a magic number, but it does have a lot of potential applications, and can be very useful for demonstrating the ROI for overarching customer-centric strategies. Major department-level initiatives that impact customer spend, cost of maintaining the customer relationship and efforts that impact customer base growth or retention, should all roll up into CLV, so you can use this metric as a way to connect and unite broad customer-centric objectives into a bottom-line impact through CLV.

I’d suggest looking for ways to utilize this metric in dashboards that are assessed alongside financial results in major business performance or strategic reviews. If you can tie major business change efforts back to CLV as either a projection or a post-mortem, that’s great. It will help executives and department leaders understand how their actions connect back to customer-centric strategy.

Limitations

Just be aware that customer lifetime value is slow to change, is a lagging indicator, and is influenced by a lot of different factors. It may be difficult to pinpoint how minute or incremental changes to the customer journey impact CLV, so don’t expect tweaks to the customer experience to make big waves with CLV. This metric has limited potential as a tool to quantify cause and effect from smaller scale changes.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including CX strategy, leadership alignment and CX business case assessments) or get in touch via email

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This CX Mini Masterclass covers the concept of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), how to calculate this, and why it’s an important metric for the CX profession. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt,
This CX Mini Masterclass covers the concept of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), how to calculate this, and why it’s an important metric for the CX profession. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, will help you understand how to leverage CLV to demonstrate the ROI of customer experience and foster buy-in for customer-centric strategy.

 
Understanding Customer Lifetime Value
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is the monetary value  - often measured in contribution to profit - that is derived from a customer during the course of that customer’s relationship with the company or organization. CLV is a great way to help executives conceptualize the financial upside of customer-centric strategies. One of the most prominent and respected thought leaders in the field of customer experience, Jeanne Bliss, often talks about how businesses should regard customers as assets, and customer lifetime value is a great way of positioning customers as assets because it associates a monetary figure with each customer. In episode 21, I interviewed Marnitz Van Heederden, who shared the inspiring story of how he kick started customer-centric change in his business by demonstrating customer value.
How to calculate CLV
To calculate this metric, one should look at the average profit yielded from each customer (or the revenue minus the costs) in a given year, multiplied by the average number of years that a customer is retained. If the relationships have a shorter time-frame, you could just as easily quantify this terms of weeks or months, though most businesses can and should look at these relationships from a long-term perspective, so I recommend years as the unit of measure in most cases.
CLV = average customer profit per year * average length of retention in years
So if the average customer generates $100 of profit for the company each year, and normal duration of the customer relationship (aka retention) is 2 years, the mean CLV among the company's customer base would be $200. It's not a stretch to see how this approach helps CX professionals position customers as assets, which is important if you want the business to start making customer-centric strategy decisions.

If you are stumped for how to quantify a profit figure for each customer, I suggest phone-a-friend to one of your colleagues in finance and ask for their help. You'll want to gather the average revenue figures and the ballpark operating cost for each customer relationship.

If the value of relationships is something that typically grows over time, you could also include this as a growth factor during the course of the average duration of the relationship.
CLV = average customer profit in year one * (1 + rate of growth in customer profit each year) ^ average length of retention in years
Best uses for this metric
Customer lifetime value isn't a magic number, but it does have a lot of potential applications, and can be very useful for demonstrating the ROI for overarching customer-centric strategies. Major department-level initiatives that impact customer spend, cost of maintaining the customer relationship and efforts that impact customer base growth or retention, should all roll up into CLV, so you can use this metric as a way to connect and unite broad customer-centric objectives into a bottom-line impact through CLV.

I'd suggest looking for ways to utilize this metric in dashboards that are assessed alongside financial results in major business performance or strategic reviews. If you can tie major business change efforts back to CLV as either a projection or a post-mortem, that's great. It will help executives and department leaders understand how their actions connect back to customer-centric strategy.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Fostering support for CX Strategy: interview with Marnitz Van Heerden – E21 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/fostering-support-for-cx-strategy-interview-with-marnitz-van-heerden-e21/ Thu, 03 Jan 2019 09:15:12 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1052 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/fostering-support-for-cx-strategy-interview-with-marnitz-van-heerden-e21/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/fostering-support-for-cx-strategy-interview-with-marnitz-van-heerden-e21/feed/ 0 Marnitz Van Heerden, the Group Head of Customer Experience a Hollard Insurance shares his perspective on how to realize CX strategy and influence change. Marnitz discusses how his approach to engaging stakeholders has changed with the business' CX evolution. Julia and Marnitz explore what it means to move beyond the numbers and help teams authentically engage with CX strategy and purpose. Julia shares her plan for episodes to kick off 2019.   Kicking the beehive 2.0 Marnitz is a CX leader at one of South Africa's largest Insurance companies and the #2 national provider of short term insurance. When he started his role at Hollard 8 years ago, CX was still considered a largely operational function. During his tenure at the company, he has driven the evolution of CX from operational to strategic, and most recently into a decentralized (or "federated") model, whereby CX is owned by business teams rather than by a dedicated central function. Marnitz has been successful in fostering buy-in for CX strategy, but this wasn't all sunshine and roses. Marnitz refers to this process as "pushing the boulder uphill", and he started by proving the numbers because in his words, "money talks". To do this, he positioned customers as assets, and then built business cases around CX strategy to attract, retain and grow relationships with customers. Early on, Marnitz recognized that the business case alone would not foster wide-scale adoption of CX, and that he would need to hone his stakeholder management and diplomacy skills if he wanted to see his CX strategy flourish. The SCARF model During our conversation, Marnitz shared several of his tactics for engaging with stakeholders to foster buy-in for CX. Customer experience management is new to many in the business world, and people are often resistant to change, so it's important for CX professionals to wear their "diplomat hat" when engaging with teams that are new to CX strategy. When Marnitz started off influencing change through the centralized CX team, he used the SCARF model to engender buy-in and drive change through the organization. This model addresses the most common needs and concerns in a work setting: Status Certainty Autonomy Relatedness Fairness By assuring team members that CX strategy would not erode these attributes, and by demonstrating how it could, in many cases, enhance and individual's experience through this framework, Marnitz and his team won over stakeholders and garnered widespread support as CX moved from an operational function within the COO's directive, to a strategic function within the marketing vertical. Transition to a federated approach Ultimately CX strategy and vision must be owned by the entire business, not by one team. Most recently, Marnitz has led Hollard through a transition to a decentralized approach to CX, meaning that customer experience management is defined and deployed by each business team within the organization. This transition required a different type of stakeholder engagement, as Marnitz was now aiming to engage buy-in and foster ownership among his peers. To do this, he led the process of helping the business teams define what good looks like so that they can truly own that definition and be accountable for the outcomes. Following this, he has pivoted to influencing change through supporting his colleagues as they implement CX strategy and their other goals. This has meant further refining his approach, which he now defines as an authentic relationship building approach. Inspiring CX strategy and change It was inspiring hearing how Marnitz has led Hollard through its CX evolution, and how he has grown through this journey as well. Marnitz's story started with a clear vision and strategy, and he started things by proving the value of CX and positioning customers as assets. In my upcoming CX Mini Masterclass episodes, I'll be exploring customer value and how you can help your business understand t... Marnitz Van Heerden, the Group Head of Customer Experience a Hollard Insurance shares his perspective on how to realize CX strategy and influence change. Marnitz discusses how his approach to engaging stakeholders has changed with the business’ CX evolution. Julia and Marnitz explore what it means to move beyond the numbers and help teams authentically engage with CX strategy and purpose. Julia shares her plan for episodes to kick off 2019.

 

Kicking the beehive 2.0

Marnitz is a CX leader at one of South Africa’s largest Insurance companies and the #2 national provider of short term insurance. When he started his role at Hollard 8 years ago, CX was still considered a largely operational function. During his tenure at the company, he has driven the evolution of CX from operational to strategic, and most recently into a decentralized (or “federated”) model, whereby CX is owned by business teams rather than by a dedicated central function.

Marnitz has been successful in fostering buy-in for CX strategy, but this wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Marnitz refers to this process as “pushing the boulder uphill”, and he started by proving the numbers because in his words, “money talks”. To do this, he positioned customers as assets, and then built business cases around CX strategy to attract, retain and grow relationships with customers.

Early on, Marnitz recognized that the business case alone would not foster wide-scale adoption of CX, and that he would need to hone his stakeholder management and diplomacy skills if he wanted to see his CX strategy flourish.

The SCARF model

During our conversation, Marnitz shared several of his tactics for engaging with stakeholders to foster buy-in for CX. Customer experience management is new to many in the business world, and people are often resistant to change, so it’s important for CX professionals to wear their “diplomat hat” when engaging with teams that are new to CX strategy.

When Marnitz started off influencing change through the centralized CX team, he used the SCARF model to engender buy-in and drive change through the organization. This model addresses the most common needs and concerns in a work setting:

  • Status
  • Certainty
  • Autonomy
  • Relatedness
  • Fairness

By assuring team members that CX strategy would not erode these attributes, and by demonstrating how it could, in many cases, enhance and individual’s experience through this framework, Marnitz and his team won over stakeholders and garnered widespread support as CX moved from an operational function within the COO’s directive, to a strategic function within the marketing vertical.

Transition to a federated approach

Ultimately CX strategy and vision must be owned by the entire business, not by one team. Most recently, Marnitz has led Hollard through a transition to a decentralized approach to CX, meaning that customer experience management is defined and deployed by each business team within the organization.

This transition required a different type of stakeholder engagement, as Marnitz was now aiming to engage buy-in and foster ownership among his peers. To do this, he led the process of helping the business teams define what good looks like so that they can truly own that definition and be accountable for the outcomes. Following this, he has pivoted to influencing change through supporting his colleagues as they implement CX strategy and their other goals. This has meant further refining his approach, which he now defines as an authentic relationship building approach.

Inspiring CX strategy and change

It was inspiring hearing how Marnitz has led Hollard through its CX evolution, and how he has grown through this journey as well. Marnitz’s story started with a clear vision and strategy, and he started things by proving the value of CX and positioning customers as assets. In my upcoming CX Mini Masterclass episodes, I’ll be exploring customer value and how you can help your business understand this business case and make decisions that will benefit CX in the long run.

Episode Sponsor

This episode was sponsored by CX University, a CX training company offering a broad array of CX learning options, including e-learning modules and CCXP practice exams. CXU is an accredited resource and training provider and their resources and they offer a flexible and affordable monthly subscription model. Listeners of this CX podcast can get 10% off their first month’s subscription by entering the discount code PODCAST10 at checkout.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business define customer experience strategy that delivers results, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

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Marnitz Van Heerden, the Group Head of Customer Experience a Hollard Insurance shares his perspective on how to realize CX strategy and influence change. Marnitz discusses how his approach to engaging stakeholders has changed with the business' CX evol... Marnitz Van Heerden, the Group Head of Customer Experience a Hollard Insurance shares his perspective on how to realize CX strategy and influence change. Marnitz discusses how his approach to engaging stakeholders has changed with the business' CX evolution. Julia and Marnitz explore what it means to move beyond the numbers and help teams authentically engage with CX strategy and purpose. Julia shares her plan for episodes to kick off 2019.

 
Kicking the beehive 2.0
Marnitz is a CX leader at one of South Africa's largest Insurance companies and the #2 national provider of short term insurance. When he started his role at Hollard 8 years ago, CX was still considered a largely operational function. During his tenure at the company, he has driven the evolution of CX from operational to strategic, and most recently into a decentralized (or "federated") model, whereby CX is owned by business teams rather than by a dedicated central function.

Marnitz has been successful in fostering buy-in for CX strategy, but this wasn't all sunshine and roses. Marnitz refers to this process as "pushing the boulder uphill", and he started by proving the numbers because in his words, "money talks". To do this, he positioned customers as assets, and then built business cases around CX strategy to attract, retain and grow relationships with customers.

Early on, Marnitz recognized that the business case alone would not foster wide-scale adoption of CX, and that he would need to hone his stakeholder management and diplomacy skills if he wanted to see his CX strategy flourish.
The SCARF model
During our conversation, Marnitz shared several of his tactics for engaging with stakeholders to foster buy-in for CX. Customer experience management is new to many in the business world, and people are often resistant to change, so it's important for CX professionals to wear their "diplomat hat" when engaging with teams that are new to CX strategy.

When Marnitz started off influencing change through the centralized CX team, he used the SCARF model to engender buy-in and drive change through the organization. This model addresses the most common needs and concerns in a work setting:

* Status
* Certainty
* Autonomy
* Relatedness
* Fairness

By assuring team members that CX strategy would not erode these attributes, and by demonstrating how it could, in many cases, enhance and individual's experience through this framework, Marnitz and his team won over stakeholders and garnered widespread support as CX moved from an operational function within the COO's directive, to a strategic function within the marketing vertical.
Transition to a federated approach
Ultimately CX strategy and vision must be owned by the entire business, not by one team. Most recently, Marnitz has led Hollard through a transition to a decentralized approach to CX, meaning that customer experience management is defined and deployed by each business team within the organization.

This transition required a different type of stakeholder engagement, as Marnitz was now aiming to engage buy-in and foster ownership among his peers. To do this, he led the process of helping the business teams define what good looks like so that they can truly own that definition and be accountable for the outcomes. Following this, he has pivoted to influencing change through supporting his colleagues as they implement CX strategy and their other goals. This has meant further refining his approach, which he now defines as an authentic relationship building approach.
Inspiring CX strategy and change
It was inspiring hearing how Marnitz has led Hollard through its CX evolution, and how he has grown through this journey as well.]]>
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How to map the customer journey: CX Mini Masterclass – E20 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/how-to-map-the-customer-journey-cx-mini-masterclass-e20/ Thu, 27 Dec 2018 10:43:49 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1050 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/how-to-map-the-customer-journey-cx-mini-masterclass-e20/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/how-to-map-the-customer-journey-cx-mini-masterclass-e20/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass is the third of a 3-part installment on the topic of the customer journey mapping. Building on the insights from parts 1 and 2, show host and CX expert Julia Ahlfeldt explores best practices for how to map the customer journey. She shares practical ideas for how to keep teams focused while leaving space for creativity as you map the journey. This episode will set you on the path to leading a great journey mapping session that will foster buy-in and support for customer-centric change. Creating the mosaic Journey mapping is like creating a mosaic. When you think about how to map the customer journey, approach it as a process of bringing together lots of different pieces of information to create a bigger picture. The key is to understand both the bigger picture that you are aiming for and the "tiles" that you'll need to gather to create your mosaic. (Incidentally, most team use post-it notes to gather information, so I find that the mosaic/tile analogy works quite well as a way to explain the process to team members.) As the smaller pieces of information come together, the map will begin to take shape and the "picture" will emerge. You may want to adjust your vision of the output as things evolve, but it is really helpful to start with some idea of the desired end result. The very first step is to identify the type of map that you are aiming for (if not, check out episode 18 which covers the different types of maps, as this step is key to the success of your mapping efforts). Once you've done this, think about how your map will be used and what visual representation will be most useful for your team. There are so many different formats, and no single right answer, so look for examples that will resonate with your audience and fulfill the desired use of the map. As an example of the inspirations that you can easily find, here are several sample maps that I found online: These maps are quite different, and would have distinct uses. Whichever map you choose, remember to keep it simple and always positioned from the customer's perspective. Gather your mosaic tiles Once you have a vision for your map, understand what types of information you'll need to gather. These are your mosaic tiles. Again, this needs to align with the intended use of you map, but common types of information often include customer actions, emotions, sentiments, touch points, moments of truth, expectations, outcomes, etc. I often start by creating a grid layout with the journey phases at the top and the information categories on the vertical axis, as a framework to start gathering and categorizing your journey data. If you are unsure about how to create this layout, don't worry! I've provided a sample template that you can download and use as a guideline for mapping. Click here to download my journey mapping template Tips for how to map the customer journey Once you have your plan in place, it's time to engage with teams and make the journey mapping happen. Here are some tips and suggestions for how to make this engagement as successful as possible. Provide clear direction - Give your colleagues some structure to work with, and be there to gently guide them back on track when they start looking at things from the business' point of view. This will happen. Give creative licence - Allow team members to be creative and be flexible with how the map may evolve as your colleagues provide input Share customer insights - Make sure that you have customer insights at the ready and that your persona and empathy map are front-and-center as a reminder of the lens through which the journey should be developed Assemble the right supplies - Set the stage for journey mapping and make sure that you have plenty of post-it notes, markers, paper, whiteboard space, etc. Have fun! - All work and no play makes for a boring journey map. This is your time to engage teams with the customer, This CX Mini Masterclass is the third of a 3-part installment on the topic of the customer journey mapping. Building on the insights from parts 1 and 2, show host and CX expert Julia Ahlfeldt explores best practices for how to map the customer journey. She shares practical ideas for how to keep teams focused while leaving space for creativity as you map the journey. This episode will set you on the path to leading a great journey mapping session that will foster buy-in and support for customer-centric change.

Creating the mosaic

Journey mapping is like creating a mosaic. When you think about how to map the customer journey, approach it as a process of bringing together lots of different pieces of information to create a bigger picture. The key is to understand both the bigger picture that you are aiming for and the “tiles” that you’ll need to gather to create your mosaic. (Incidentally, most team use post-it notes to gather information, so I find that the mosaic/tile analogy works quite well as a way to explain the process to team members.) As the smaller pieces of information come together, the map will begin to take shape and the “picture” will emerge. You may want to adjust your vision of the output as things evolve, but it is really helpful to start with some idea of the desired end result.

The very first step is to identify the type of map that you are aiming for (if not, check out episode 18 which covers the different types of maps, as this step is key to the success of your mapping efforts). Once you’ve done this, think about how your map will be used and what visual representation will be most useful for your team. There are so many different formats, and no single right answer, so look for examples that will resonate with your audience and fulfill the desired use of the map.

As an example of the inspirations that you can easily find, here are several sample maps that I found online:

These maps are quite different, and would have distinct uses. Whichever map you choose, remember to keep it simple and always positioned from the customer’s perspective.

Gather your mosaic tiles

Once you have a vision for your map, understand what types of information you’ll need to gather. These are your mosaic tiles. Again, this needs to align with the intended use of you map, but common types of information often include customer actions, emotions, sentiments, touch points, moments of truth, expectations, outcomes, etc.

I often start by creating a grid layout with the journey phases at the top and the information categories on the vertical axis, as a framework to start gathering and categorizing your journey data. If you are unsure about how to create this layout, don’t worry! I’ve provided a sample template that you can download and use as a guideline for mapping.

Click here to download my journey mapping template

Tips for how to map the customer journey

Once you have your plan in place, it’s time to engage with teams and make the journey mapping happen. Here are some tips and suggestions for how to make this engagement as successful as possible.

  • Provide clear direction – Give your colleagues some structure to work with, and be there to gently guide them back on track when they start looking at things from the business’ point of view. This will happen.
  • Give creative licence – Allow team members to be creative and be flexible with how the map may evolve as your colleagues provide input
  • Share customer insights – Make sure that you have customer insights at the ready and that your persona and empathy map are front-and-center as a reminder of the lens through which the journey should be developed
  • Assemble the right supplies – Set the stage for journey mapping and make sure that you have plenty of post-it notes, markers, paper, whiteboard space, etc.
  • Have fun! – All work and no play makes for a boring journey map. This is your time to engage teams with the customer, so all the better if you can make this an enjoyable experience.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when figuring out how to map the customer journey, especially if this is your first time making a map. Journey maps are living documents and should evolve with the needs of customers. Enjoy the process and don’t lose your way in the pursuit of perfection.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including journey mapping workshops!) or get in touch via email

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This CX Mini Masterclass is the third of a 3-part installment on the topic of the customer journey mapping. Building on the insights from parts 1 and 2, show host and CX expert Julia Ahlfeldt explores best practices for how to map the customer journey....
Creating the mosaic
Journey mapping is like creating a mosaic. When you think about how to map the customer journey, approach it as a process of bringing together lots of different pieces of information to create a bigger picture. The key is to understand both the bigger picture that you are aiming for and the "tiles" that you'll need to gather to create your mosaic. (Incidentally, most team use post-it notes to gather information, so I find that the mosaic/tile analogy works quite well as a way to explain the process to team members.) As the smaller pieces of information come together, the map will begin to take shape and the "picture" will emerge. You may want to adjust your vision of the output as things evolve, but it is really helpful to start with some idea of the desired end result.

The very first step is to identify the type of map that you are aiming for (if not, check out episode 18 which covers the different types of maps, as this step is key to the success of your mapping efforts). Once you've done this, think about how your map will be used and what visual representation will be most useful for your team. There are so many different formats, and no single right answer, so look for examples that will resonate with your audience and fulfill the desired use of the map.

As an example of the inspirations that you can easily find, here are several sample maps that I found online:



These maps are quite different, and would have distinct uses. Whichever map you choose, remember to keep it simple and always positioned from the customer's perspective.
Gather your mosaic tiles
Once you have a vision for your map, understand what types of information you'll need to gather. These are your mosaic tiles. Again, this needs to align with the intended use of you map, but common types of information often include customer actions, emotions, sentiments, touch points, moments of truth, expectations, outcomes, etc.

I often start by creating a grid layout with the journey phases at the top and the information categories on the vertical axis, as a framework to start gathering and categorizing your journey data. If you are unsure about how to create this layout, don't worry! I've provided a sample template that you can download and use as a guideline for mapping.
Click here to download my journey mapping template

Tips for how to map the customer journey
Once you have your plan in place, it's time to engage with teams and make the journey mapping happen. Here are some tips and suggestions for how to make this engagement as successful as possible.

* Provide clear direction - Give your colleagues some structure to work with, and be there to gently guide them back on track when they start looking at things from the business' point of view. This will happen.
* Give creative licence - Allow team members to be creative and be flexible with how the map may evolve as your colleagues provide input
* Share customer insights - Make sure that you have customer insights at the ready and that your persona and ...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Prepare for customer journey mapping: CX Mini Masterclass – E19 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/prepare-for-customer-journey-mapping-cx-mini-masterclass-e19/ Thu, 20 Dec 2018 17:02:05 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1047 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/prepare-for-customer-journey-mapping-cx-mini-masterclass-e19/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/prepare-for-customer-journey-mapping-cx-mini-masterclass-e19/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass is the second of a 3-part installment on the topic of the customer journey mapping. Show host and CX expert Julia Ahlfeldt shares practical tips and ideas for how to prepare for journey mapping, including planning what data sources you'll need and how to structure your mapping team. This episode will help you lay the foundation for a successful journey mapping effort that will yield the best possible outcomes. Set the stage for customer journey mapping People often want to dive straight into journey mapping, and that enthusiasm is great, but if you want to get the most our of your journey mapping efforts, it's best to do a bit of preparation. The good news is that this preparation is fairly straightforward, and needn't be overwhelming. Here are the steps you need to take to prepare for building a great journey map. Note that these steps assume that you've already decided on the type of journey map that you are looking to create. If you haven't already done that, but sure to go back and check out episode 18, and the show notes, which will help you clarify which type of map is best suited for your needs. Once you've sorted that out, you can roll up your sleeves and get planning. Identify whose journey you are mapping Journeys are about the experiences of the end user. You want to create a visualization of experiences from the customer's perspective, not the company's. To do this, it's imperative that you identify a user. This could be a fictional representation of the larger customer base or a particular segment. I suggest making this "customer" real and relate-able by developing a customer persona that will remind you and your mapping team whose journey you are mapping. Bring in the voice of the customer Since journey mapping is all about looking at the experiences from the customer's perspective, it's important to understand that perspective. Unless you have the luxury of bringing real customers into the mapping process (which is great if you can do it, but uncommon in my experience), you'll need to incorporate their perspective through some sort of proxy. Usually this takes the form of customer data and insights. Here are some suggestions on data sources that are helpful for establishing the voice of the customer: Social media - Great for understanding sentiment, attitudes and motivations throughout the journey Previous customer research - Helpful for understanding what customer do/don't like Focus groups - Can help clarify opinions about specific aspects of the journey and what customers are thinking/feeling before and after interactions Operational activity data - Clarifies how customers navigate various touchpoints (note that this only works for touchpoints that generate a data trail, so it will rarely give you a full picture, but is helpful nonetheless) You don't need all of this data to map the journey, but you do need some form of insight from the customer's perspective. Ideally, enough to make an empathy map, which will give your team guidance on what customers are thinking and feeling throughout the journey. Click here to download my empathy map template If you don't have enough information to build a basic persona and share some insights about the customer's perspective, go out and gather it before you dive into mapping, or you'll end up with a very inward-looking map. Assemble your journey mapping dream team Once you have your customer insights, it's time to think about your collaborators for the journey mapping. You'll want to work with team members who will help you create the best map and be partners when it comes time to socialize the outputs within your organization, so choose carefully. You will probably want team member with firsthand insight into the customer experience, team members who play a major role in defining and delivering experiences, and team members who will be able to help you drive customer-centric change. This CX Mini Masterclass is the second of a 3-part installment on the topic of the customer journey mapping. Show host and CX expert Julia Ahlfeldt shares practical tips and ideas for how to prepare for journey mapping, including planning what data sources you’ll need and how to structure your mapping team. This episode will help you lay the foundation for a successful journey mapping effort that will yield the best possible outcomes.

Set the stage for customer journey mapping

People often want to dive straight into journey mapping, and that enthusiasm is great, but if you want to get the most our of your journey mapping efforts, it’s best to do a bit of preparation. The good news is that this preparation is fairly straightforward, and needn’t be overwhelming. Here are the steps you need to take to prepare for building a great journey map.

Note that these steps assume that you’ve already decided on the type of journey map that you are looking to create. If you haven’t already done that, but sure to go back and check out episode 18, and the show notes, which will help you clarify which type of map is best suited for your needs. Once you’ve sorted that out, you can roll up your sleeves and get planning.

Identify whose journey you are mapping

Journeys are about the experiences of the end user. You want to create a visualization of experiences from the customer’s perspective, not the company’s. To do this, it’s imperative that you identify a user. This could be a fictional representation of the larger customer base or a particular segment. I suggest making this “customer” real and relate-able by developing a customer persona that will remind you and your mapping team whose journey you are mapping.

Bring in the voice of the customer

Since journey mapping is all about looking at the experiences from the customer’s perspective, it’s important to understand that perspective. Unless you have the luxury of bringing real customers into the mapping process (which is great if you can do it, but uncommon in my experience), you’ll need to incorporate their perspective through some sort of proxy. Usually this takes the form of customer data and insights. Here are some suggestions on data sources that are helpful for establishing the voice of the customer:

  • Social media – Great for understanding sentiment, attitudes and motivations throughout the journey
  • Previous customer research – Helpful for understanding what customer do/don’t like
  • Focus groups – Can help clarify opinions about specific aspects of the journey and what customers are thinking/feeling before and after interactions
  • Operational activity data – Clarifies how customers navigate various touchpoints (note that this only works for touchpoints that generate a data trail, so it will rarely give you a full picture, but is helpful nonetheless)

You don’t need all of this data to map the journey, but you do need some form of insight from the customer’s perspective. Ideally, enough to make an empathy map, which will give your team guidance on what customers are thinking and feeling throughout the journey.

Click here to download my empathy map template

If you don’t have enough information to build a basic persona and share some insights about the customer’s perspective, go out and gather it before you dive into mapping, or you’ll end up with a very inward-looking map.

Assemble your journey mapping dream team

Once you have your customer insights, it’s time to think about your collaborators for the journey mapping. You’ll want to work with team members who will help you create the best map and be partners when it comes time to socialize the outputs within your organization, so choose carefully. You will probably want team member with firsthand insight into the customer experience, team members who play a major role in defining and delivering experiences, and team members who will be able to help you drive customer-centric change.

If you have plentiful information about the journey and a concise group of journey mapping collaborators in mind, you might be able to structure your journey mapping efforts as a “sprint” workshop with a small group. Set aside a day or two to create your first draft of the map with this small team. If you would like to engage a large group of collaborators, I suggest developing your map as an iterative process. Think about building your draft map on the wall of a boardroom and then inviting teams to contribute individually over the course of a week or two. Both of these approaches work, but are best suited to different scenarios.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including journey mapping workshops!) or get in touch via email

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This CX Mini Masterclass is the second of a 3-part installment on the topic of the customer journey mapping. Show host and CX expert Julia Ahlfeldt shares practical tips and ideas for how to prepare for journey mapping,
Set the stage for customer journey mapping
People often want to dive straight into journey mapping, and that enthusiasm is great, but if you want to get the most our of your journey mapping efforts, it's best to do a bit of preparation. The good news is that this preparation is fairly straightforward, and needn't be overwhelming. Here are the steps you need to take to prepare for building a great journey map.

Note that these steps assume that you've already decided on the type of journey map that you are looking to create. If you haven't already done that, but sure to go back and check out episode 18, and the show notes, which will help you clarify which type of map is best suited for your needs. Once you've sorted that out, you can roll up your sleeves and get planning.
Identify whose journey you are mapping
Journeys are about the experiences of the end user. You want to create a visualization of experiences from the customer's perspective, not the company's. To do this, it's imperative that you identify a user. This could be a fictional representation of the larger customer base or a particular segment. I suggest making this "customer" real and relate-able by developing a customer persona that will remind you and your mapping team whose journey you are mapping.
Bring in the voice of the customer
Since journey mapping is all about looking at the experiences from the customer's perspective, it's important to understand that perspective. Unless you have the luxury of bringing real customers into the mapping process (which is great if you can do it, but uncommon in my experience), you'll need to incorporate their perspective through some sort of proxy. Usually this takes the form of customer data and insights. Here are some suggestions on data sources that are helpful for establishing the voice of the customer:

* Social media - Great for understanding sentiment, attitudes and motivations throughout the journey
* Previous customer research - Helpful for understanding what customer do/don't like
* Focus groups - Can help clarify opinions about specific aspects of the journey and what customers are thinking/feeling before and after interactions
* Operational activity data - Clarifies how customers navigate various touchpoints (note that this only works for touchpoints that generate a data trail, so it will rarely give you a full picture, but is helpful nonetheless)

You don't need all of this data to map the journey, but you do need some form of insight from the customer's perspective. Ideally, enough to make an empathy map, which will give your team guidance on what customers are thinking and feeling throughout the journey.
Click here to download my empathy map template
If you don't have enough information to build a basic persona and share some insights about the customer's perspective, go out and gather it before you dive into mapping, or you'll end up with a very inward-looking map.
Assemble your journey mapping dream team
Once you have your customer insights, it's time to think about your collaborators for the journey mapping. You'll want to work with team members who will help you create the best map and be partners when it comes time to socialize the outputs within y...]]>
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Customer journey map – start here: CX Mini Masterclass – E18 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-journey-map-start-here-cx-mini-masterclass-e18/ Thu, 13 Dec 2018 16:02:53 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1037 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-journey-map-start-here-cx-mini-masterclass-e18/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-journey-map-start-here-cx-mini-masterclass-e18/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass is the first of a 3-part installment on the topic of the customer journey map. Show host and CX expert Julia Ahlfeldt provides an overview of the different types of maps, the kind of information that is normally included in a journey map, and how maps can be utilized to help organizations achieve their customer-centric goals. This episode will help you cut through the confusion and prepare for the first step in creating a customer journey map. The first step to creating a customer journey map Customer journey mapping is a major buzz word in the business world, and for good reason. Journey maps are an important strategic focal point for businesses that are looking to affect customer-centric change. Why? Well, because in order to improve customer experience, you have to understand the experience so that you can clarify what's working and what's not. It's also important to establish a common language to that teams can effectively collaborate around solutions, and journey maps help with just that. In my previous CX Mini Masterclass episode, I explored the definitions of touchpoints, experiences, and journeys. If you are interested in the conceptual theory behind journey maps, I'd highly suggest that you check out that episode and the accompanying shownotes, here. This episode takes you through the first step towards creating a journey map, which is clarifying which type of map is best suited for your needs. The different types of maps There are many different kinds of maps. I've broken them down into 3 main categories and highlighted the potential use for each: Customer lifecycle map - This is the highest level of customer journey map. It explores a customer's experience fulfilling a need in their life, and the various stages of doing so. Ideally, a lifecycle map should fit on one page and be something that anyone in the business can pick up ans easily understand. If an organization has never mapped the journey before, or is documented the customer experience as part of launching a new CX function or rolling out a new brand-wide customer strategy, I typically suggest that they start with the customer lifecycle. The sub-journey map - These journeys are essentially a zoomed-in view of 1 or 2 phases of the lifecycle map. These maps can become a bit more granular and may ultimately extend onto a couple of pages, but it’s important to keep the detail under control so that the final output isn’t overwhelming for readers. For teams that have already mapped the customer lifecycle, are looking to understand a specific sequence of experiences in more detail or trying to pinpoint opportunities to improve customer interactions, sub-journey maps are a great option User experience map - These maps are the most detailed and granular of the experience visualizations. User experience maps help you define your taxonomy and interface with a customer by understanding the "flow" of the various tasks the user will undertake through different touchpoints. I’ve included UX maps as a category of journey maps, but this is where experience visualizations can become more inward looking. They are often used when a team is launching a new experience and can be a great reference point for wireframes, functional specifications and content strategies Choosing your map Before you and your team dive into journey mapping, it's important to clarify your motivation for creating a customer journey map. Reflect on why you want to create the map and how you think it will be used. There is often a temptation to dive into sub journey maps or UX maps, but if your organization hasn't clarified the high level journey, think about doing this first. It will help set the tone for future mapping efforts. If your organization has already made a lifecycle map, think about the purpose for your next level of map and that will help you steer things in the right direction. If you are curious about what to do next, stay tuned... This CX Mini Masterclass is the first of a 3-part installment on the topic of the customer journey map. Show host and CX expert Julia Ahlfeldt provides an overview of the different types of maps, the kind of information that is normally included in a journey map, and how maps can be utilized to help organizations achieve their customer-centric goals. This episode will help you cut through the confusion and prepare for the first step in creating a customer journey map.

The first step to creating a customer journey map

Customer journey mapping is a major buzz word in the business world, and for good reason. Journey maps are an important strategic focal point for businesses that are looking to affect customer-centric change. Why? Well, because in order to improve customer experience, you have to understand the experience so that you can clarify what’s working and what’s not. It’s also important to establish a common language to that teams can effectively collaborate around solutions, and journey maps help with just that.

In my previous CX Mini Masterclass episode, I explored the definitions of touchpoints, experiences, and journeys. If you are interested in the conceptual theory behind journey maps, I’d highly suggest that you check out that episode and the accompanying shownotes, here. This episode takes you through the first step towards creating a journey map, which is clarifying which type of map is best suited for your needs.

The different types of maps

There are many different kinds of maps. I’ve broken them down into 3 main categories and highlighted the potential use for each:

  • Customer lifecycle map – This is the highest level of customer journey map. It explores a customer’s experience fulfilling a need in their life, and the various stages of doing so. Ideally, a lifecycle map should fit on one page and be something that anyone in the business can pick up ans easily understand. If an organization has never mapped the journey before, or is documented the customer experience as part of launching a new CX function or rolling out a new brand-wide customer strategy, I typically suggest that they start with the customer lifecycle.
  • The sub-journey map – These journeys are essentially a zoomed-in view of 1 or 2 phases of the lifecycle map. These maps can become a bit more granular and may ultimately extend onto a couple of pages, but it’s important to keep the detail under control so that the final output isn’t overwhelming for readers. For teams that have already mapped the customer lifecycle, are looking to understand a specific sequence of experiences in more detail or trying to pinpoint opportunities to improve customer interactions, sub-journey maps are a great option
  • User experience map – These maps are the most detailed and granular of the experience visualizations. User experience maps help you define your taxonomy and interface with a customer by understanding the “flow” of the various tasks the user will undertake through different touchpoints. I’ve included UX maps as a category of journey maps, but this is where experience visualizations can become more inward looking. They are often used when a team is launching a new experience and can be a great reference point for wireframes, functional specifications and content strategies

Choosing your map

Before you and your team dive into journey mapping, it’s important to clarify your motivation for creating a customer journey map. Reflect on why you want to create the map and how you think it will be used. There is often a temptation to dive into sub journey maps or UX maps, but if your organization hasn’t clarified the high level journey, think about doing this first. It will help set the tone for future mapping efforts.

If your organization has already made a lifecycle map, think about the purpose for your next level of map and that will help you steer things in the right direction.

If you are curious about what to do next, stay tuned…my next 2 mini masterclasses for the month of December will unpack just that! These episodes will be released each Thursday.

Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including journey mapping workshops!) or get in touch via email

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This CX Mini Masterclass is the first of a 3-part installment on the topic of the customer journey map. Show host and CX expert Julia Ahlfeldt provides an overview of the different types of maps, the kind of information that is normally included in a j...
The first step to creating a customer journey map
Customer journey mapping is a major buzz word in the business world, and for good reason. Journey maps are an important strategic focal point for businesses that are looking to affect customer-centric change. Why? Well, because in order to improve customer experience, you have to understand the experience so that you can clarify what's working and what's not. It's also important to establish a common language to that teams can effectively collaborate around solutions, and journey maps help with just that.

In my previous CX Mini Masterclass episode, I explored the definitions of touchpoints, experiences, and journeys. If you are interested in the conceptual theory behind journey maps, I'd highly suggest that you check out that episode and the accompanying shownotes, here. This episode takes you through the first step towards creating a journey map, which is clarifying which type of map is best suited for your needs.
The different types of maps
There are many different kinds of maps. I've broken them down into 3 main categories and highlighted the potential use for each:

* Customer lifecycle map - This is the highest level of customer journey map. It explores a customer's experience fulfilling a need in their life, and the various stages of doing so. Ideally, a lifecycle map should fit on one page and be something that anyone in the business can pick up ans easily understand. If an organization has never mapped the journey before, or is documented the customer experience as part of launching a new CX function or rolling out a new brand-wide customer strategy, I typically suggest that they start with the customer lifecycle.
* The sub-journey map - These journeys are essentially a zoomed-in view of 1 or 2 phases of the lifecycle map. These maps can become a bit more granular and may ultimately extend onto a couple of pages, but it’s important to keep the detail under control so that the final output isn’t overwhelming for readers. For teams that have already mapped the customer lifecycle, are looking to understand a specific sequence of experiences in more detail or trying to pinpoint opportunities to improve customer interactions, sub-journey maps are a great option
* User experience map - These maps are the most detailed and granular of the experience visualizations. User experience maps help you define your taxonomy and interface with a customer by understanding the "flow" of the various tasks the user will undertake through different touchpoints. I’ve included UX maps as a category of journey maps, but this is where experience visualizations can become more inward looking. They are often used when a team is launching a new experience and can be a great reference point for wireframes, functional specifications and content strategies

Choosing your map
Before you and your team dive into journey mapping, it's important to clarify your motivation for creating a customer journey map. Reflect on why you want to create the map and how you think it will be used. There is often a temptation to dive into sub journey maps or UX maps, but if your organization hasn't clarified the high level journey, think about doing this first. It will help set the tone for future mapping efforts.

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Airline customer experience management: interview with Iain Meaker – E17 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/airline-customer-experience-management-interview-with-iain-meaker-e17/ Thu, 06 Dec 2018 14:41:03 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1021 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/airline-customer-experience-management-interview-with-iain-meaker-e17/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/airline-customer-experience-management-interview-with-iain-meaker-e17/feed/ 0 Iain Meaker, the Executive Manager for Tourism & Hospitality at Comair/British Airways shares his thoughts on what's unique about airline customer experience management and the broader travel industry. Iain discusses how the organization's purpose statement of "we lift you up" permeates the business and provides a platform for employee and shareholder engagement. Julia and Iain explore how Comair has grown and innovated around the needs of customers and what it means to operate multiple brands under one roof. Julia shares her plan for more CX Mini Masterclass episodes during the rest of December. Airline customer experience management isn't for the faint of heart The travel experience is an incredibly relatable one. We all travel, whether it's our daily commute or a flight to a holiday destination, moving from point A to point B is a universal human experience. Given the breadth of consumer travel, it means that brands in this industry need to service the full spectrum of customers and face an endless set of expectations to live up to. Comair is in the travel business, with one of the most complex forms of travel - airline travel - at the core of their offering. The organization operates British Airways in South Africa, along with a regional discount carrier and package holiday provider, Kulula. The brand also operates the highly successful SLOW lounges, a luxury lounge experience available to premium BA fliers and through selected partner businesses. Among consumer travel experiences, the air travel experience can be a particularly difficult one to deliver. Not only do brands have to face a broad spectrum of consumer expectations, they also have to contend with factors like weather and 3rd party providers, that are out of their direct control. And when air travel goes wrong, it can elicit an emotionally-charged response from consumers. After all, we normally travel to get somewhere, not just because we enjoy being in transit, so when things don't go to plan, it can impact our lives and be very upsetting. For this reason, airline customer experience management isn't for the faint of heart, and I take my hat off to those brands that are surviving, and in the case of Comair, thriving. Customer-led innovation Part of Comair's recipe for success is their ability to think laterally innovate around customer needs, even if that means expanding beyond the confines of the traditional airline value proposition. Comair's SLOW lounge is a prime example of this. The organization launched its own brand of lounges, and has expanded the experience to include a co-working space and an open-to-the public fine dining restaurant next to their SLOW in the city lounge (which isn't even at an airport - it's in Sandton, Johannesburg's financial center). The evolution of this offer was inspired by the needs of customers. The Cape Town - Johannesburg flight route is one of the top 10 busiest in the world. There are many customers transiting between these two cities, and Comair identified the need for an "office away from the office". It's pretty innovative for an airline to get into the business of co-working spaces, but Comair's lounges have been a huge hit with customers. Many brands under one roof Comair has the added challenge of operating many brands under one roof, especially since these brands serve different segments of the market. The SLOW lounge is very clearly a premium offer, while Kulula is more akin to a discount carrier like Southwest Airlines in the US. Without a strong element of cohesion, it would be easy for an organization operating such diverse brands to feel that it had "multiple personalities", but Comair has avoided this through its uniting purpose statement of "we lift you up". It's a mantra that permeates all of their brand strategies and operations, including the company culture and employee engagement. Employee engagement is a huge area of focus for customer-centric brands. Iain Meaker, the Executive Manager for Tourism & Hospitality at Comair/British Airways shares his thoughts on what’s unique about airline customer experience management and the broader travel industry. Iain discusses how the organization’s purpose statement of “we lift you up” permeates the business and provides a platform for employee and shareholder engagement. Julia and Iain explore how Comair has grown and innovated around the needs of customers and what it means to operate multiple brands under one roof. Julia shares her plan for more CX Mini Masterclass episodes during the rest of December.

Airline customer experience management isn’t for the faint of heart

The travel experience is an incredibly relatable one. We all travel, whether it’s our daily commute or a flight to a holiday destination, moving from point A to point B is a universal human experience. Given the breadth of consumer travel, it means that brands in this industry need to service the full spectrum of customers and face an endless set of expectations to live up to. Comair is in the travel business, with one of the most complex forms of travel – airline travel – at the core of their offering. The organization operates British Airways in South Africa, along with a regional discount carrier and package holiday provider, Kulula. The brand also operates the highly successful SLOW lounges, a luxury lounge experience available to premium BA fliers and through selected partner businesses.

Among consumer travel experiences, the air travel experience can be a particularly difficult one to deliver. Not only do brands have to face a broad spectrum of consumer expectations, they also have to contend with factors like weather and 3rd party providers, that are out of their direct control.

And when air travel goes wrong, it can elicit an emotionally-charged response from consumers. After all, we normally travel to get somewhere, not just because we enjoy being in transit, so when things don’t go to plan, it can impact our lives and be very upsetting. For this reason, airline customer experience management isn’t for the faint of heart, and I take my hat off to those brands that are surviving, and in the case of Comair, thriving.

Customer-led innovation

Part of Comair’s recipe for success is their ability to think laterally innovate around customer needs, even if that means expanding beyond the confines of the traditional airline value proposition. Comair’s SLOW lounge is a prime example of this. The organization launched its own brand of lounges, and has expanded the experience to include a co-working space and an open-to-the public fine dining restaurant next to their SLOW in the city lounge (which isn’t even at an airport – it’s in Sandton, Johannesburg’s financial center).

The evolution of this offer was inspired by the needs of customers. The Cape Town – Johannesburg flight route is one of the top 10 busiest in the world. There are many customers transiting between these two cities, and Comair identified the need for an “office away from the office”. It’s pretty innovative for an airline to get into the business of co-working spaces, but Comair’s lounges have been a huge hit with customers.

Many brands under one roof

Comair has the added challenge of operating many brands under one roof, especially since these brands serve different segments of the market. The SLOW lounge is very clearly a premium offer, while Kulula is more akin to a discount carrier like Southwest Airlines in the US. Without a strong element of cohesion, it would be easy for an organization operating such diverse brands to feel that it had “multiple personalities”, but Comair has avoided this through its uniting purpose statement of “we lift you up”. It’s a mantra that permeates all of their brand strategies and operations, including the company culture and employee engagement.

Employee engagement is a huge area of focus for customer-centric brands. As a customer experience professional, I find that my CX strategy advisory work often circles back to team culture and accountability, so it should should come as no surprise that a leading customer-centric travel brand like Comair has employee engagement as a key area of focus. (For more on employee engagement, check out my conversation with Jason Bradshaw, Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia in episode 12.)

Fostering shareholder support

Comair’s success has been aided by their shareholder support for customer experience. Time and time again, I speak with executives who are struggling to implement CX management due to a lack of shareholder support. Without investor and board-level buy-in CX initiatives will flounder or be sidelined in favor of strategies that deliver short term results (sometimes at the expense of brand integrity or long term customer loyalty). Comair has engaged its shareholders to support CX, and the leadership team has continually made the case for investment in the evolution of Comair’s various customer journeys. Look no further than the organization’s 2018 annual report, which includes just about as much emphasis on customers and other stakeholders as I’ve ever seen. This, alongside financial results that are the proof in the pudding: Comair has an unbroken record of profitability since the company’s inception 71 years ago. It’s an inspiring case study for airline customer experience management.

Episode Sponsor

This episode was sponsored by CX University, a CX training company offering a broad array of CX learning options, including e-learning modules and CCXP practice exams. CXU is an accredited resource and training provider and their resources and they offer a flexible and affordable monthly subscription model. Listeners of this CX podcast can get 10% off their first month’s subscription by entering the discount code PODCAST10 at checkout.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business define customer experience strategy that delivers results, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

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Iain Meaker, the Executive Manager for Tourism & Hospitality at Comair/British Airways shares his thoughts on what's unique about airline customer experience management and the broader travel industry. Iain discusses how the organization's purpose stat... Iain Meaker, the Executive Manager for Tourism & Hospitality at Comair/British Airways shares his thoughts on what's unique about airline customer experience management and the broader travel industry. Iain discusses how the organization's purpose statement of "we lift you up" permeates the business and provides a platform for employee and shareholder engagement. Julia and Iain explore how Comair has grown and innovated around the needs of customers and what it means to operate multiple brands under one roof. Julia shares her plan for more CX Mini Masterclass episodes during the rest of December.


Airline customer experience management isn't for the faint of heart
The travel experience is an incredibly relatable one. We all travel, whether it's our daily commute or a flight to a holiday destination, moving from point A to point B is a universal human experience. Given the breadth of consumer travel, it means that brands in this industry need to service the full spectrum of customers and face an endless set of expectations to live up to. Comair is in the travel business, with one of the most complex forms of travel - airline travel - at the core of their offering. The organization operates British Airways in South Africa, along with a regional discount carrier and package holiday provider, Kulula. The brand also operates the highly successful SLOW lounges, a luxury lounge experience available to premium BA fliers and through selected partner businesses.

Among consumer travel experiences, the air travel experience can be a particularly difficult one to deliver. Not only do brands have to face a broad spectrum of consumer expectations, they also have to contend with factors like weather and 3rd party providers, that are out of their direct control.

And when air travel goes wrong, it can elicit an emotionally-charged response from consumers. After all, we normally travel to get somewhere, not just because we enjoy being in transit, so when things don't go to plan, it can impact our lives and be very upsetting. For this reason, airline customer experience management isn't for the faint of heart, and I take my hat off to those brands that are surviving, and in the case of Comair, thriving.
Customer-led innovation


Part of Comair's recipe for success is their ability to think laterally innovate around customer needs, even if that means expanding beyond the confines of the traditional airline value proposition. Comair's SLOW lounge is a prime example of this. The organization launched its own brand of lounges, and has expanded the experience to include a co-working space and an open-to-the public fine dining restaurant next to their SLOW in the city lounge (which isn't even at an airport - it's in Sandton, Johannesburg's financial center).

The evolution of this offer was inspired by the needs of customers. The Cape Town - Johannesburg flight route is one of the top 10 busiest in the world. There are many customers transiting between these two cities, and Comair identified the need for an "office away from the office". It's pretty innovative for an airline to get into the business of co-working spaces, but Comair's lounges have been a huge hit with customers.
Many brands under one roof
Comair has the added challenge of operating many brands under one roof, especially since these brands serve different segments of the market. The SLOW lounge is very clearly a premium offer, while Kulula is more akin to a discount carrier like Southwest Airlines in the US. Without a strong element of cohesion, it would be easy for an organization operating such diverse brands to feel that it had "multiple personalities", but Comair has avoided this through its uniting purpose stateme...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Customer touchpoints, experiences and journeys…oh my! CX Mini Masterclass – E16 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-touchpoints-experiences-and-journeys-oh-my-cx-mini-masterclass-e16/ Thu, 29 Nov 2018 16:56:24 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1011 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-touchpoints-experiences-and-journeys-oh-my-cx-mini-masterclass-e16/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/customer-touchpoints-experiences-and-journeys-oh-my-cx-mini-masterclass-e16/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass explores the concepts of customer touchpoints, experiences and journeys. The term touchpoint is so commonly misused. In this episode, show host and CX expert, Julia Ahlfeldt provides clarity around the correct definition and the role of customer touchpoints in experiences and journeys.     The customer touchpoint controversy In my first CX Mini Masterclass episode, I explored the definition of CX. In the second CX Mini Masterclass, I looked at the difference between customer experience and customer service. This episode tackles a concept that is so frequently misrepresented in CX, that I personally believe it's a surefire way to identify someone who doesn't know what they are talking about with CX: customer touchpoints. People often use this business buzzword when they are actually describing a customer experience, so in this episode I also covered how touchpoints related to experiences and journeys. Here are my definitions of each: Customer touchpoint - these are the channel of interaction or the conduits for customer experiences. For example, If I call my bank the call center is a touchpoint. If I use and app to order something online, the app is the touchpoint. Customer experiences - The culmination of actions or interactions that a consumer has while they are fulfilling various consumer needs in their lives. When these actions and interactions are prompted by the customer, it's often as the result of a specific "job to be done" that the customer has identified. For example, I might call my bank to check in the status of a recent credit card payment, or perhaps I use an online shopping app to buy a Christmas gift for my mom. Both of these are examples of customer experiences. Customer Journeys - This is the series of experiences that a customer has as they are trying to fulfill some greater goal or objective in their life (though it doesn't necessarily have to be something they are actively acknowledging this as a "goal"). For example, I might want to maintain a good credit rating and therefore want to check that my credit card payment posted on time. Or I might be shopping for that Christmas gift for my mom because I want to be a thoughtful daughter. The Christmas gift journey in particular, is likely to include interactions with multiple brands, which is an important thing for journey-mappers to remember. Customer experiences don't happen in a vacuum. The consumer ecosystem is vast an includes a whole ecosystem of stakeholders. It's important to note in the examples listed above that each journey probably includes many different experiences, and that each experience probably incorporates lots of different micro interactions. There isn't a set "scale" for journeys. When mapping journeys and experiences, you can zoom in or zoom out as needed. The examples of customer experiences that I've listed above have enough steps and interactions that you could probably even map them as little "sub-journeys" or "episodes" on their own right. If your head is spinning, don't worry. I've got several CX Mini Masterclass episode in the works dedicated to practical how-to's about journey mapping. Stay tuned in December! Ways to keep learning about CX If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of ...

This CX Mini Masterclass explores the concepts of customer touchpoints, experiences and journeys. The term touchpoint is so commonly misused. In this episode, show host and CX expert, Julia Ahlfeldt provides clarity around the correct definition and the role of customer touchpoints in experiences and journeys.

 

 

The customer touchpoint controversy

In my first CX Mini Masterclass episode, I explored the definition of CX. In the second CX Mini Masterclass, I looked at the difference between customer experience and customer service. This episode tackles a concept that is so frequently misrepresented in CX, that I personally believe it’s a surefire way to identify someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about with CX: customer touchpoints. People often use this business buzzword when they are actually describing a customer experience, so in this episode I also covered how touchpoints related to experiences and journeys. Here are my definitions of each:

  • Customer touchpoint – these are the channel of interaction or the conduits for customer experiences. For example, If I call my bank the call center is a touchpoint. If I use and app to order something online, the app is the touchpoint.
  • Customer experiences – The culmination of actions or interactions that a consumer has while they are fulfilling various consumer needs in their lives. When these actions and interactions are prompted by the customer, it’s often as the result of a specific “job to be done” that the customer has identified. For example, I might call my bank to check in the status of a recent credit card payment, or perhaps I use an online shopping app to buy a Christmas gift for my mom. Both of these are examples of customer experiences.
  • Customer Journeys – This is the series of experiences that a customer has as they are trying to fulfill some greater goal or objective in their life (though it doesn’t necessarily have to be something they are actively acknowledging this as a “goal”). For example, I might want to maintain a good credit rating and therefore want to check that my credit card payment posted on time. Or I might be shopping for that Christmas gift for my mom because I want to be a thoughtful daughter. The Christmas gift journey in particular, is likely to include interactions with multiple brands, which is an important thing for journey-mappers to remember. Customer experiences don’t happen in a vacuum. The consumer ecosystem is vast an includes a whole ecosystem of stakeholders.

It’s important to note in the examples listed above that each journey probably includes many different experiences, and that each experience probably incorporates lots of different micro interactions. There isn’t a set “scale” for journeys. When mapping journeys and experiences, you can zoom in or zoom out as needed. The examples of customer experiences that I’ve listed above have enough steps and interactions that you could probably even map them as little “sub-journeys” or “episodes” on their own right.

If your head is spinning, don’t worry. I’ve got several CX Mini Masterclass episode in the works dedicated to practical how-to’s about journey mapping. Stay tuned in December!

Ways to keep learning about CX

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email

]]>
This CX Mini Masterclass explores the concepts of customer touchpoints, experiences and journeys. The term touchpoint is so commonly misused. In this episode, show host and CX expert, Julia Ahlfeldt provides clarity around the correct definition and th...
This CX Mini Masterclass explores the concepts of customer touchpoints, experiences and journeys. The term touchpoint is so commonly misused. In this episode, show host and CX expert, Julia Ahlfeldt provides clarity around the correct definition and the role of customer touchpoints in experiences and journeys.

 

 
The customer touchpoint controversy
In my first CX Mini Masterclass episode, I explored the definition of CX. In the second CX Mini Masterclass, I looked at the difference between customer experience and customer service. This episode tackles a concept that is so frequently misrepresented in CX, that I personally believe it's a surefire way to identify someone who doesn't know what they are talking about with CX: customer touchpoints. People often use this business buzzword when they are actually describing a customer experience, so in this episode I also covered how touchpoints related to experiences and journeys. Here are my definitions of each:

* Customer touchpoint - these are the channel of interaction or the conduits for customer experiences. For example, If I call my bank the call center is a touchpoint. If I use and app to order something online, the app is the touchpoint.
* Customer experiences - The culmination of actions or interactions that a consumer has while they are fulfilling various consumer needs in their lives. When these actions and interactions are prompted by the customer, it's often as the result of a specific "job to be done" that the customer has identified. For example, I might call my bank to check in the status of a recent credit card payment, or perhaps I use an online shopping app to buy a Christmas gift for my mom. Both of these are examples of customer experiences.
* Customer Journeys - This is the series of experiences that a customer has as they are trying to fulfill some greater goal or objective in their life (though it doesn't necessarily have to be something they are actively acknowledging this as a "goal"). For example, I might want to maintain a good credit rating and therefore want to check that my credit card payment posted on time. Or I might be shopping for that Christmas gift for my mom because I want to be a thoughtful daughter. The Christmas gift journey in particular, is likely to include interactions with multiple brands, which is an important thing for journey-mappers to remember. Customer experiences don't happen in a vacuum. The consumer ecosystem is vast an includes a whole ecosystem of stakeholders.

It's important to note in the examples listed above that each journey probably includes many different experiences, and that each experience probably incorporates lots of different micro interactions. There isn't a set "scale" for journeys. When mapping journeys and experiences, you can zoom in or zoom out as needed. The examples of customer experiences that I've listed above have enough steps and interactions that you could probably even map them as little "sub-journeys" or "episodes" on their own right.

If your head is spinning, don't worry. I've got several CX Mini Masterclass episode in the works dedicated to practical how-to's about journey mapping. Stay tuned in December!
Ways to keep learning about CX
If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=1002 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-difference-between-customer-experience-and-customer-service-cx-mini-masterclass-e15/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-difference-between-customer-experience-and-customer-service-cx-mini-masterclass-e15/feed/ 0 This CX Mini Masterclass clarifies the difference between customer experience and customer service. Confusion around the distinction of these two concepts has long been a bugbear of CX professionals. This is compounded by the fact that the word "service" is vague and open to personal interpretation, so CX expert and show host Julia Ahlfeldt provides a clear definition.   Clarifying the difference between customer experience and customer service In the previous CX Mini Masterclass episode, we defined customer experience as all the ways that a consumer interfaces with a brand. This includes things like price, product, store environment, communications, service interactions and many other elements of experience. Customer service an important component of customer experience, though it is just one piece of a large and multifaceted jigsaw puzzle. Defining customer service Customer service has always been a difficult thing to define. If you were to ask 5 people for their definition of service, you'd probably get 5 different answers, but there are some common themes. Customer service usually refers to company/customer interactions within a couple of broad categories: The human element of customer experience - we often speak about service in terms of the interactions that we have with people representing the brand. This includes perceptions of their attitude, friendliness and helpfulness. And that last one brings us to the next category... Customer support interactions - customer service often refers to actions that an organization takes to assist a customer during their journey. This can include things like expert recommendations or issues resolution. It is distinct from the first category, because it isn't necessarily provided by a person. Support can be provided by a chatbot or through a self-service channel. Ways to keep learning about CX If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to the longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. 

This CX Mini Masterclass clarifies the difference between customer experience and customer service. Confusion around the distinction of these two concepts has long been a bugbear of CX professionals. This is compounded by the fact that the word “service” is vague and open to personal interpretation, so CX expert and show host Julia Ahlfeldt provides a clear definition.

 

Clarifying the difference between customer experience and customer service

In the previous CX Mini Masterclass episode, we defined customer experience as all the ways that a consumer interfaces with a brand. This includes things like price, product, store environment, communications, service interactions and many other elements of experience. Customer service an important component of customer experience, though it is just one piece of a large and multifaceted jigsaw puzzle.

Defining customer service

Customer service has always been a difficult thing to define. If you were to ask 5 people for their definition of service, you’d probably get 5 different answers, but there are some common themes. Customer service usually refers to company/customer interactions within a couple of broad categories:

  • The human element of customer experience – we often speak about service in terms of the interactions that we have with people representing the brand. This includes perceptions of their attitude, friendliness and helpfulness. And that last one brings us to the next category…
  • Customer support interactions – customer service often refers to actions that an organization takes to assist a customer during their journey. This can include things like expert recommendations or issues resolution. It is distinct from the first category, because it isn’t necessarily provided by a person. Support can be provided by a chatbot or through a self-service channel.

Ways to keep learning about CX

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to the longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email

]]> This CX Mini Masterclass clarifies the difference between customer experience and customer service. Confusion around the distinction of these two concepts has long been a bugbear of CX professionals. This is compounded by the fact that the word "servic...
This CX Mini Masterclass clarifies the difference between customer experience and customer service. Confusion around the distinction of these two concepts has long been a bugbear of CX professionals. This is compounded by the fact that the word "service" is vague and open to personal interpretation, so CX expert and show host Julia Ahlfeldt provides a clear definition.

 
Clarifying the difference between customer experience and customer service
In the previous CX Mini Masterclass episode, we defined customer experience as all the ways that a consumer interfaces with a brand. This includes things like price, product, store environment, communications, service interactions and many other elements of experience. Customer service an important component of customer experience, though it is just one piece of a large and multifaceted jigsaw puzzle.
Defining customer service
Customer service has always been a difficult thing to define. If you were to ask 5 people for their definition of service, you'd probably get 5 different answers, but there are some common themes. Customer service usually refers to company/customer interactions within a couple of broad categories:

* The human element of customer experience - we often speak about service in terms of the interactions that we have with people representing the brand. This includes perceptions of their attitude, friendliness and helpfulness. And that last one brings us to the next category...
* Customer support interactions - customer service often refers to actions that an organization takes to assist a customer during their journey. This can include things like expert recommendations or issues resolution. It is distinct from the first category, because it isn't necessarily provided by a person. Support can be provided by a chatbot or through a self-service channel.

Ways to keep learning about CX
If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to the longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. ]]>
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What is customer experience: CX Mini Masterclass – E14 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/what-is-customer-experience-cx-mini-masterclass-e14/ Thu, 15 Nov 2018 09:38:46 +0000 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=990 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/what-is-customer-experience-cx-mini-masterclass-e14/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/what-is-customer-experience-cx-mini-masterclass-e14/feed/ 0 The inaugural episode of Julia’s CX Mini Masterclass series tackles a question that goes straight to the heart of CX: What is customer experience? This topic can feel vague and the concept is often misconstrued, so CX expert and show host Julia Ahlfeldt cuts through the jargon to provide clarity.   What's in a name? As it turns out, quite a lot. The term “customer experience” is the basis for an important area of business strategy and an emerging field of work. As such, creating clarity around the definition is quite important. So what is that definition? Customer experience is all the ways that a consumer interfaces with a brand. This includes things like price, product, user interface, communication, service and much, much more. While this example isn’t even exhaustive, it’s easy to see that customer experience is incredibly multifaceted. It also adds context to why many in the field of CX have been pushing for customer experience to be recognized as the responsibility of everyone in the business. Still in doubt? Think about your last experience buying groceries, going to a movie or dining out. Reflect on the different components of the experience and where responsibility for these might sit in an organization. Learn more about CX If you’d like to hear more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or the longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast. And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. 

The inaugural episode of Julia’s CX Mini Masterclass series tackles a question that goes straight to the heart of CX: What is customer experience? This topic can feel vague and the concept is often misconstrued, so CX expert and show host Julia Ahlfeldt cuts through the jargon to provide clarity.

 

What’s in a name?

As it turns out, quite a lot. The term “customer experience” is the basis for an important area of business strategy and an emerging field of work. As such, creating clarity around the definition is quite important.

So what is that definition? Customer experience is all the ways that a consumer interfaces with a brand. This includes things like price, product, user interface, communication, service and much, much more.

While this example isn’t even exhaustive, it’s easy to see that customer experience is incredibly multifaceted. It also adds context to why many in the field of CX have been pushing for customer experience to be recognized as the responsibility of everyone in the business.

Still in doubt? Think about your last experience buying groceries, going to a movie or dining out. Reflect on the different components of the experience and where responsibility for these might sit in an organization.

Learn more about CX

If you’d like to hear more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or the longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email

]]>
The inaugural episode of Julia’s CX Mini Masterclass series tackles a question that goes straight to the heart of CX: What is customer experience? This topic can feel vague and the concept is often misconstrued,
The inaugural episode of Julia’s CX Mini Masterclass series tackles a question that goes straight to the heart of CX: What is customer experience? This topic can feel vague and the concept is often misconstrued, so CX expert and show host Julia Ahlfeldt cuts through the jargon to provide clarity.

 


What's in a name?
As it turns out, quite a lot. The term “customer experience” is the basis for an important area of business strategy and an emerging field of work. As such, creating clarity around the definition is quite important.

So what is that definition? Customer experience is all the ways that a consumer interfaces with a brand. This includes things like price, product, user interface, communication, service and much, much more.

While this example isn’t even exhaustive, it’s easy to see that customer experience is incredibly multifaceted. It also adds context to why many in the field of CX have been pushing for customer experience to be recognized as the responsibility of everyone in the business.

Still in doubt? Think about your last experience buying groceries, going to a movie or dining out. Reflect on the different components of the experience and where responsibility for these might sit in an organization.
Learn more about CX
If you’d like to hear more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or the longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. ]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
Data, insights and B2B customer experience: interview with Andrew Swan – E13 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/data-insights-and-b2b-customer-experience-interview-with-andrew-swan-e13/ Fri, 09 Nov 2018 13:38:42 +0000 http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=969 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/data-insights-and-b2b-customer-experience-interview-with-andrew-swan-e13/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/data-insights-and-b2b-customer-experience-interview-with-andrew-swan-e13/feed/ 0 Andrew Swan, Senior Business Intelligence Executive at top global law firm, White & Case, shares insight on B2B customer experience and the role of data in managing client relationships. Julia and Andrew discuss the intersection between data and team culture, and how to keep the marketing team from getting too "creepy" with their info gathering. Julia shares some exciting news about the podcast.   B2B vs. B2C customer experience Customer experience is the next competitive battlefield. By now, most organizations have realized that customer experience is no longer a nice-to-have, but rather a critical component of any brand's long term viability. This realization has been slightly slower to arrive in the B2B realm, but that doesn't mean it's any less important. Increasingly, consumers expect easy, seamless experiences, and these expectations are carried over into their professional lives as well. As a CX practitioner, I am often asked my my clients about the difference between customer experience management in a B2B setting vs. a B2C setting. The short answer is that the basic fundamentals are quite similar, with the key distinction that in a B2B context the "consumer" is actually a village of stakeholders rather than an individual. This creates an added layer of complexity for organizations that provide enterprise-level products and services, but it is by no means insurmountable. B2B brands teh world over are addressing this, and I had the opportunity to explore one such example with Andrew Swan. CX in the professional services sector Andrew leads the business intelligence team for the leading global law firm White & Case. His responsibilities include helping the business strengthen and improve its client relationships through data and insights. When we think of legal services, we often think of a personalized relationship with a trusted advisor, one that is built on face to face interaction. At first glance it might seem like the legal industry (or really any professional services firm) would be a data-poor environment, but that is definitely not the case. Over time, White & Case has built a framework for gathering insights about client experience and turning these into ongoing improvements to their client journey. Insight + context = client journey improvements As is the best practice in B2C CX, Andrew and his team consolidate insights from multiple sources to create a comprehensive view of experiences withing various client segments. This includes things like findings from client satisfaction interviews, CRM touch point tracking and external economic sector performance. The marketing and BI teams share these findings with the firm's legal practitioners on a regular basis to explore ways that they can improve the client journey. Insights from this process have led to enhancement to their client pitch presentations and many other aspects of client experience. This dedication to B2B customer experience embodies their one firm partnership approach, which has served to strengthen relationships and trust between the firm's legal practitioners and their clients. Data and culture Data is a key enabler of customer experience, but customer experience insights are just data points in a report unless you do something with the findings. Given that White & Case is a legal services firm with expert practitioners in offices around the globe, the organization has a focused on embedding its client service principles in all aspects of the business. As I covered during my interview with the head of Customer Experience at Airbnb, when a brand focuses on creating an authentic culture that is founded in a central set of values, it unlocks the potential for CX agility. When an organizational leadership team has peace of mind that individuals within the business are acting in the interest of the brand's mission, it frees them from the burden of micromanaging customer journey evolution. This doesn't happen overnight,

Andrew Swan, Senior Business Intelligence Executive at top global law firm, White & Case, shares insight on B2B customer experience and the role of data in managing client relationships. Julia and Andrew discuss the intersection between data and team culture, and how to keep the marketing team from getting too “creepy” with their info gathering. Julia shares some exciting news about the podcast.

 

B2B vs. B2C customer experience

Customer experience is the next competitive battlefield. By now, most organizations have realized that customer experience is no longer a nice-to-have, but rather a critical component of any brand’s long term viability. This realization has been slightly slower to arrive in the B2B realm, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important. Increasingly, consumers expect easy, seamless experiences, and these expectations are carried over into their professional lives as well.

As a CX practitioner, I am often asked my my clients about the difference between customer experience management in a B2B setting vs. a B2C setting. The short answer is that the basic fundamentals are quite similar, with the key distinction that in a B2B context the “consumer” is actually a village of stakeholders rather than an individual. This creates an added layer of complexity for organizations that provide enterprise-level products and services, but it is by no means insurmountable. B2B brands teh world over are addressing this, and I had the opportunity to explore one such example with Andrew Swan.

CX in the professional services sector

Andrew leads the business intelligence team for the leading global law firm White & Case. His responsibilities include helping the business strengthen and improve its client relationships through data and insights. When we think of legal services, we often think of a personalized relationship with a trusted advisor, one that is built on face to face interaction. At first glance it might seem like the legal industry (or really any professional services firm) would be a data-poor environment, but that is definitely not the case. Over time, White & Case has built a framework for gathering insights about client experience and turning these into ongoing improvements to their client journey.

Insight + context = client journey improvements

As is the best practice in B2C CX, Andrew and his team consolidate insights from multiple sources to create a comprehensive view of experiences withing various client segments. This includes things like findings from client satisfaction interviews, CRM touch point tracking and external economic sector performance. The marketing and BI teams share these findings with the firm’s legal practitioners on a regular basis to explore ways that they can improve the client journey. Insights from this process have led to enhancement to their client pitch presentations and many other aspects of client experience. This dedication to B2B customer experience embodies their one firm partnership approach, which has served to strengthen relationships and trust between the firm’s legal practitioners and their clients.

Data and culture

Data is a key enabler of customer experience, but customer experience insights are just data points in a report unless you do something with the findings. Given that White & Case is a legal services firm with expert practitioners in offices around the globe, the organization has a focused on embedding its client service principles in all aspects of the business. As I covered during my interview with the head of Customer Experience at Airbnb, when a brand focuses on creating an authentic culture that is founded in a central set of values, it unlocks the potential for CX agility.

When an organizational leadership team has peace of mind that individuals within the business are acting in the interest of the brand’s mission, it frees them from the burden of micromanaging customer journey evolution. This doesn’t happen overnight, and White & Case has had 117 years to get things right. But their ongoing focus on client service principles means that kernels of data originating from Andrew’s team have a much better chance of turning into client journey improvements.

Episode Sponsor

This episode was sponsored by CX University, a CX training company offering a broad array of CX learning options, including e-learning modules and CCXP practice exams. CXU is an accredited resource and training provider and their resources and they offer a flexible and affordable monthly subscription model. Listeners of this CX podcast can get 10% off their first month’s subscription by entering the discount code PODCAST10 at checkout.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business leverage insights and improve B2B customer engagement, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

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Andrew Swan, Senior Business Intelligence Executive at top global law firm, White & Case, shares insight on B2B customer experience and the role of data in managing client relationships. Julia and Andrew discuss the intersection between data and team c...
Andrew Swan, Senior Business Intelligence Executive at top global law firm, White & Case, shares insight on B2B customer experience and the role of data in managing client relationships. Julia and Andrew discuss the intersection between data and team culture, and how to keep the marketing team from getting too "creepy" with their info gathering. Julia shares some exciting news about the podcast.

 
B2B vs. B2C customer experience
Customer experience is the next competitive battlefield. By now, most organizations have realized that customer experience is no longer a nice-to-have, but rather a critical component of any brand's long term viability. This realization has been slightly slower to arrive in the B2B realm, but that doesn't mean it's any less important. Increasingly, consumers expect easy, seamless experiences, and these expectations are carried over into their professional lives as well.

As a CX practitioner, I am often asked my my clients about the difference between customer experience management in a B2B setting vs. a B2C setting. The short answer is that the basic fundamentals are quite similar, with the key distinction that in a B2B context the "consumer" is actually a village of stakeholders rather than an individual. This creates an added layer of complexity for organizations that provide enterprise-level products and services, but it is by no means insurmountable. B2B brands teh world over are addressing this, and I had the opportunity to explore one such example with Andrew Swan.
CX in the professional services sector


Andrew leads the business intelligence team for the leading global law firm White & Case. His responsibilities include helping the business strengthen and improve its client relationships through data and insights. When we think of legal services, we often think of a personalized relationship with a trusted advisor, one that is built on face to face interaction. At first glance it might seem like the legal industry (or really any professional services firm) would be a data-poor environment, but that is definitely not the case. Over time, White & Case has built a framework for gathering insights about client experience and turning these into ongoing improvements to their client journey.
Insight + context = client journey improvements
As is the best practice in B2C CX, Andrew and his team consolidate insights from multiple sources to create a comprehensive view of experiences withing various client segments. This includes things like findings from client satisfaction interviews, CRM touch point tracking and external economic sector performance. The marketing and BI teams share these findings with the firm's legal practitioners on a regular basis to explore ways that they can improve the client journey. Insights from this process have led to enhancement to their client pitch presentations and many other aspects of client experience. This dedication to B2B customer experience embodies their one firm partnership approach, which has served to strengthen relationships and trust between the firm's legal practitioners and their clients.
Data and culture
Data is a key enabler of customer experience, but customer experience insights are just data points in a report unless you do something with the findings. Given that White & Case is a legal services firm with expert practitioners in offices around the globe, the organization has a focused on embedding its client service principles in all aspects of the business. As I covered during my interview with the head of Customer Experience at Airbnb, when a brand focuses on creating an authentic culture that is found...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 46:52
Next gen employee engagement strategy: interview with CXO Jason Bradshaw – E12 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/next-gen-employee-engagement-strategy-interview-with-cxo-jason-bradshaw-e12/ Thu, 18 Oct 2018 13:57:18 +0000 http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=931 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/next-gen-employee-engagement-strategy-interview-with-cxo-jason-bradshaw-e12/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/next-gen-employee-engagement-strategy-interview-with-cxo-jason-bradshaw-e12/feed/ 0 Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia, Jason Bradshaw, speaks about how the company's employee engagement strategy has improved customer experiences. Jason asks show host Julia about her views on some of the CX profession's most burning questions. Together, they unpack a truly horrible car buying experience to determine what went wrong.   Next generation employee engagement strategy This episode was a bit different. A few months ago, the Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia reached out to me about appearing as a guest on Volkswagen's in house podcast for employees. Since their program isn't published publicly, I asked if we could use the interview for my customer experience podcast. I was impressed with the robustness of VW's employee engagement strategy. Anyone else who's created a podcast knows that it's a labor of love. One that can be quite time consuming and patience-testing. So, and in-house podcast about customer experience definitely isn't the norm. The fact that Jason and his team go through the effort to curate CX insights, related these to the VW business and then package this for consumption via a podcast, speaks to how the team prioritizes fostering a cohesive customer-centric culture within VW. Though this makes sense given the fact that - beyond the consumer's experience with the vehicle itself - the rest of the automobile ownership experience is highly influenced by those who assist during the purchase and maintenance of the vehicle. That's not to say that digital touch points in this journey aren't important, but the key moments of truth are still largely experienced in-person. Adding complexity to this is the fact that most car brands operate on a franchise dealership model, meaning that the team delivering those moments of truth may not even be direct employees of the car brand. Dealerships are essentially 3rd party "partners", and so its easy to understand why a solid employee engagement plan would be so critical. Jason's words of wisdom During our conversation Jason shared many insights from his years of experience rallying teams around the customer. There were several that really stuck out in my mind: Don't get distracted - it can be easy to become fixated on detailed journey mapping or designing comprehensive CX roadmap, and these things are important, but not if they detract from the mission of improving customer experience. Look for similarities in what customers do and don't like - often times what customers love about experiences (when they go right), is also what the loath about experiences (when things don't go right). By looking at things this way, CX professionals can leverage journey improvements to also drive customer delight. Who doesn't love a 2-for-1 special? The key to communication is in the detail - nuances in communication can make or break the experience. Take the time to understand your customers and help team members understand how small things, like gestures and tone of voice, can make a world of difference. A book about customer and employee engagement (aka CEX) If you'd like to learn more about Jason's insights on customer experience and employee engagement, you're in luck! He's recently published a book, It's all about CEX. I haven't read it yet personally, but given Jason's vast experience, I'm sure it's chock full of great tips for those looking to drive customer-centric change in their organization. With a title like that, who knows what's in store. The book is available on Amazon, starting October 23rd, 2018. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business engage employees and realize customer-centric growth,

Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia, Jason Bradshaw, speaks about how the company’s employee engagement strategy has improved customer experiences. Jason asks show host Julia about her views on some of the CX profession’s most burning questions. Together, they unpack a truly horrible car buying experience to determine what went wrong.

 

Next generation employee engagement strategy

This episode was a bit different. A few months ago, the Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia reached out to me about appearing as a guest on Volkswagen’s in house podcast for employees. Since their program isn’t published publicly, I asked if we could use the interview for my customer experience podcast.

I was impressed with the robustness of VW’s employee engagement strategy. Anyone else who’s created a podcast knows that it’s a labor of love. One that can be quite time consuming and patience-testing. So, and in-house podcast about customer experience definitely isn’t the norm.

The fact that Jason and his team go through the effort to curate CX insights, related these to the VW business and then package this for consumption via a podcast, speaks to how the team prioritizes fostering a cohesive customer-centric culture within VW. Though this makes sense given the fact that – beyond the consumer’s experience with the vehicle itself – the rest of the automobile ownership experience is highly influenced by those who assist during the purchase and maintenance of the vehicle. That’s not to say that digital touch points in this journey aren’t important, but the key moments of truth are still largely experienced in-person.

Adding complexity to this is the fact that most car brands operate on a franchise dealership model, meaning that the team delivering those moments of truth may not even be direct employees of the car brand. Dealerships are essentially 3rd party “partners”, and so its easy to understand why a solid employee engagement plan would be so critical.

Jason’s words of wisdom

During our conversation Jason shared many insights from his years of experience rallying teams around the customer. There were several that really stuck out in my mind:

  • Don’t get distracted – it can be easy to become fixated on detailed journey mapping or designing comprehensive CX roadmap, and these things are important, but not if they detract from the mission of improving customer experience.
  • Look for similarities in what customers do and don’t like – often times what customers love about experiences (when they go right), is also what the loath about experiences (when things don’t go right). By looking at things this way, CX professionals can leverage journey improvements to also drive customer delight. Who doesn’t love a 2-for-1 special?
  • The key to communication is in the detail – nuances in communication can make or break the experience. Take the time to understand your customers and help team members understand how small things, like gestures and tone of voice, can make a world of difference.

A book about customer and employee engagement (aka CEX)

If you’d like to learn more about Jason’s insights on customer experience and employee engagement, you’re in luck! He’s recently published a book, It’s all about CEX. I haven’t read it yet personally, but given Jason’s vast experience, I’m sure it’s chock full of great tips for those looking to drive customer-centric change in their organization. With a title like that, who knows what’s in store. The book is available on Amazon, starting October 23rd, 2018.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business engage employees and realize customer-centric growth, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

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Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia, Jason Bradshaw, speaks about how the company's employee engagement strategy has improved customer experiences. Jason asks show host Julia about her views on some of the CX profession's most burning questi...
Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia, Jason Bradshaw, speaks about how the company's employee engagement strategy has improved customer experiences. Jason asks show host Julia about her views on some of the CX profession's most burning questions. Together, they unpack a truly horrible car buying experience to determine what went wrong.

 
Next generation employee engagement strategy


This episode was a bit different. A few months ago, the Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia reached out to me about appearing as a guest on Volkswagen's in house podcast for employees. Since their program isn't published publicly, I asked if we could use the interview for my customer experience podcast.

I was impressed with the robustness of VW's employee engagement strategy. Anyone else who's created a podcast knows that it's a labor of love. One that can be quite time consuming and patience-testing. So, and in-house podcast about customer experience definitely isn't the norm.

The fact that Jason and his team go through the effort to curate CX insights, related these to the VW business and then package this for consumption via a podcast, speaks to how the team prioritizes fostering a cohesive customer-centric culture within VW. Though this makes sense given the fact that - beyond the consumer's experience with the vehicle itself - the rest of the automobile ownership experience is highly influenced by those who assist during the purchase and maintenance of the vehicle. That's not to say that digital touch points in this journey aren't important, but the key moments of truth are still largely experienced in-person.

Adding complexity to this is the fact that most car brands operate on a franchise dealership model, meaning that the team delivering those moments of truth may not even be direct employees of the car brand. Dealerships are essentially 3rd party "partners", and so its easy to understand why a solid employee engagement plan would be so critical.
Jason's words of wisdom
During our conversation Jason shared many insights from his years of experience rallying teams around the customer. There were several that really stuck out in my mind:

* Don't get distracted - it can be easy to become fixated on detailed journey mapping or designing comprehensive CX roadmap, and these things are important, but not if they detract from the mission of improving customer experience.
* Look for similarities in what customers do and don't like - often times what customers love about experiences (when they go right), is also what the loath about experiences (when things don't go right). By looking at things this way, CX professionals can leverage journey improvements to also drive customer delight. Who doesn't love a 2-for-1 special?
* The key to communication is in the detail - nuances in communication can make or break the experience. Take the time to understand your customers and help team members understand how small things, like gestures and tone of voice, can make a world of difference.

A book about customer and employee engagement (aka CEX)
If you'd like to learn more about Jason's insights on customer experience and employee engagement, you're in luck! He's recently published a book, It's all about CEX. I haven't read it yet personally, but given Jason's vast experience, I'm sure it's chock full of great tips for those looking to drive customer-centric change in their organization. With a title like that, who knows what's in store. The book is available on Amazon, starting October 23rd, 2018.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 39:54
Yuppiechef, a customer experience leader: interview with CEO Andrew Smith – E11 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/yuppiechef-a-customer-experience-leader-interview-with-ceo-andrew-smith-e11/ Tue, 25 Sep 2018 09:21:03 +0000 http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=876 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/yuppiechef-a-customer-experience-leader-interview-with-ceo-andrew-smith-e11/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/yuppiechef-a-customer-experience-leader-interview-with-ceo-andrew-smith-e11/feed/ 0 CEO of Yuppiechef, Andrew Smith, shares his perspective on customer empathy, the future of retail, and integrating CX as a secret ingredient for differentiation. The South African retailer, Yuppiechef, is truly a customer experience leader, and host Julia guides us through a conversation about how this company's success has been fueled by customer experience.   I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Smith, CEO and co-founder of Yuppiechef. Now 12 years old, the Yuppiechef brand is a true South African customer experience leader as well as one of the country’s ecommerce pioneers. The brand sells high quality kitchenware to local consumers via its website and, more recently, its stores. Yuppiechef’s secret ingredient? Great customer experience What struck me about Andrew and the Yuppiechef team was just how innate customer experience is to them. He seemed surprised that CX was even a "thing". From their first trading day, the founders asked themselves "How would the customer enjoy this?" This question was applied to its website, and UX was continually refined to ensure the best experience for their customers. Later, this same question was applied to its distribution, support, and nearly every other aspect of the business. A new twist on traditional retail Yuppiechef has put the customer at the center of their evolution. Customer wants and needs propelled them to change from being yuppiechef.com, to Yuppiechef. A decade on from their start as an online retailer, the brand recognized that consumers don't want to choose between online an in-store shopping. They want both. Ecommerce is growing, but some purchases are just better suited for an in-person experience. Shopping can also be a form of entertainment. In South Africa, where online shopping only accounts for a tiny 2% slice of the retail pie, there is an entrenched mall culture; families go to the mall on the weekend to enjoy a meal and browse the shops. Leveraging customer experience as their cornerstone, they renamed themselves as Yuppiechef and launched their first physical store in 2017. But the transition wasn’t easy. The team relied on customer empathy to guide them, and the result is a truly seamless omnichannel experience. Customers can order online and collect in store or view a product in store to be delivered to later. Both sides of the business are fully integrated and systems are connected to their warehouse. Customer experience leader (ship) Given the retailer's success, it would not be a surprise if Yuppiechef's founders considered themselves as having "made it". This couldn’t be further from the truth. Andrew and his team are not resting on their laurels. He is acutely aware that selling high quality kitchen tools is easy to replicate, but Yuppiechef has built an experience that feels different. From the handwritten thank you notes, to the top notch customer support, it's clear that the employees care. The founders built a brand around a clear set of values which everyone in the business embodies and they still set the tone Yuppiechef's unique team culture. Andrew personally responds to each an every customer survey. He also helps out in the contact center when needed. These may seem like small gestures, but they demonstrate that Yuppiechef's leaders remain committed the brand, their customers and the employees who make the Yuppiechef experience something special.  And it’s this secret ingredient that cannot be copied. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. Originally from the US, she is now one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience advisory consulting, click here. To hear other episodes of the CX podcast, Decoding the Customer, click here.

CEO of Yuppiechef, Andrew Smith, shares his perspective on customer empathy, the future of retail, and integrating CX as a secret ingredient for differentiation. The South African retailer, Yuppiechef, is truly a customer experience leader, and host Julia guides us through a conversation about how this company’s success has been fueled by customer experience.

 

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Smith, CEO and co-founder of Yuppiechef. Now 12 years old, the Yuppiechef brand is a true South African customer experience leader as well as one of the country’s ecommerce pioneers. The brand sells high quality kitchenware to local consumers via its website and, more recently, its stores.

Yuppiechef’s secret ingredient? Great customer experience

What struck me about Andrew and the Yuppiechef team was just how innate customer experience is to them. He seemed surprised that CX was even a “thing”. From their first trading day, the founders asked themselves “How would the customer enjoy this?” This question was applied to its website, and UX was continually refined to ensure the best experience for their customers. Later, this same question was applied to its distribution, support, and nearly every other aspect of the business.

A new twist on traditional retail

Yuppiechef has put the customer at the center of their evolution. Customer wants and needs propelled them to change from being yuppiechef.com, to Yuppiechef. A decade on from their start as an online retailer, the brand recognized that consumers don’t want to choose between online an in-store shopping. They want both. Ecommerce is growing, but some purchases are just better suited for an in-person experience. Shopping can also be a form of entertainment. In South Africa, where online shopping only accounts for a tiny 2% slice of the retail pie, there is an entrenched mall culture; families go to the mall on the weekend to enjoy a meal and browse the shops.

Leveraging customer experience as their cornerstone, they renamed themselves as Yuppiechef and launched their first physical store in 2017. But the transition wasn’t easy. The team relied on customer empathy to guide them, and the result is a truly seamless omnichannel experience. Customers can order online and collect in store or view a product in store to be delivered to later. Both sides of the business are fully integrated and systems are connected to their warehouse.

Customer experience leader (ship)

Given the retailer’s success, it would not be a surprise if Yuppiechef’s founders considered themselves as having “made it”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Andrew and his team are not resting on their laurels. He is acutely aware that selling high quality kitchen tools is easy to replicate, but Yuppiechef has built an experience that feels different. From the handwritten thank you notes, to the top notch customer support, it’s clear that the employees care.

The founders built a brand around a clear set of values which everyone in the business embodies and they still set the tone Yuppiechef’s unique team culture. Andrew personally responds to each an every customer survey. He also helps out in the contact center when needed. These may seem like small gestures, but they demonstrate that Yuppiechef’s leaders remain committed the brand, their customers and the employees who make the Yuppiechef experience something special.  And it’s this secret ingredient that cannot be copied.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. Originally from the US, she is now one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience advisory consulting, click here. To hear other episodes of the CX podcast, Decoding the Customer, click here.

]]>
CEO of Yuppiechef, Andrew Smith, shares his perspective on customer empathy, the future of retail, and integrating CX as a secret ingredient for differentiation. The South African retailer, Yuppiechef, is truly a customer experience leader,
CEO of Yuppiechef, Andrew Smith, shares his perspective on customer empathy, the future of retail, and integrating CX as a secret ingredient for differentiation. The South African retailer, Yuppiechef, is truly a customer experience leader, and host Julia guides us through a conversation about how this company's success has been fueled by customer experience.

 



I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Smith, CEO and co-founder of Yuppiechef. Now 12 years old, the Yuppiechef brand is a true South African customer experience leader as well as one of the country’s ecommerce pioneers. The brand sells high quality kitchenware to local consumers via its website and, more recently, its stores.
Yuppiechef’s secret ingredient? Great customer experience


What struck me about Andrew and the Yuppiechef team was just how innate customer experience is to them. He seemed surprised that CX was even a "thing". From their first trading day, the founders asked themselves "How would the customer enjoy this?" This question was applied to its website, and UX was continually refined to ensure the best experience for their customers. Later, this same question was applied to its distribution, support, and nearly every other aspect of the business.
A new twist on traditional retail


Yuppiechef has put the customer at the center of their evolution. Customer wants and needs propelled them to change from being yuppiechef.com, to Yuppiechef. A decade on from their start as an online retailer, the brand recognized that consumers don't want to choose between online an in-store shopping. They want both. Ecommerce is growing, but some purchases are just better suited for an in-person experience. Shopping can also be a form of entertainment. In South Africa, where online shopping only accounts for a tiny 2% slice of the retail pie, there is an entrenched mall culture; families go to the mall on the weekend to enjoy a meal and browse the shops.

Leveraging customer experience as their cornerstone, they renamed themselves as Yuppiechef and launched their first physical store in 2017. But the transition wasn’t easy. The team relied on customer empathy to guide them, and the result is a truly seamless omnichannel experience. Customers can order online and collect in store or view a product in store to be delivered to later. Both sides of the business are fully integrated and systems are connected to their warehouse.
Customer experience leader (ship)


Given the retailer's success, it would not be a surprise if Yuppiechef's founders considered themselves as having "made it". This couldn’t be further from the truth. Andrew and his team are not resting on their laurels. He is acutely aware that selling high quality kitchen tools is easy to replicate, but Yuppiechef has built an experience that feels different. From the handwritten thank you notes, to the top notch customer support, it's clear that the employees care.



The founders built a brand around a clear set of values which everyone in the business embodies and they still set the tone Yuppiechef's unique team culture. Andrew personally responds to each an every customer survey. He also helps out in the contact center when needed. These may seem like small gestures, but they demonstrate that Yuppiechef's leaders remain committed the brand, their customers and the employees who make the Yuppiechef experience something special.  And it’s this secret ingredient that cannot be copied.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. Originally from the US, she is now one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 31:38
A global community for CX professionals: interview with Diane Magers CXPA – E10 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/a-global-community-for-cx-professionals-interview-with-diane-magers-e10/ Wed, 25 Jul 2018 23:21:39 +0000 http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=811 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/a-global-community-for-cx-professionals-interview-with-diane-magers-e10/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/a-global-community-for-cx-professionals-interview-with-diane-magers-e10/feed/ 0 Diane Magers, CXPA president and CEO, shares her insight on CX industry trends and the evolving professional field. Learn about the CX career development resources that are available for global CX practitioners as Diane and Julia discuss the role of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) in growing the profession.   Customer experience is a relatively new profession. Some larger businesses have established a CX team, but others have just one or two dedicated resources - and that’s in mature markets like the US and Europe. In developing markets, CX is still gaining traction. This means that the number of CX practitioners is continually growing, but that many in the field are still working in relative isolation, Diane Magers, CXPA president is on a mission to remedy this. You’re not crazy, and you’re not alone Thanks to the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), the growing global number of CX practitioners have an international network that they can tap into. Founded in 2011 by CX thought leaders Jeanne Bliss, Bruce Temkin and others, the CXPA strives to support CX professionals through knowledge sharing, networking, and career development. The CXPA also established a CX philosophy around 6 core competencies, which became the basis for the CCXP certification. These conceptual foundations and community network helped provide structure to the evolution of a burgeoning field of work. As the field of CX continues to gain steam in South Africa, I have personally been involved with efforts to grow the local CXPA network. Through this, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with the CXPA leadership team based in the US, including the CXPA’s CEO, Diane Magers. A leader and a calling Diane has over 25 years experience transforming customer experiences – everything from front line to infrastructure - working in and with brands such as Sysco, AT&T, Dale Carnegie, Invisalign, Ciena, Freeman, Sodexho, Sandy Spring Bank and MoneyGram. She is a passionate customer experience executive and change agent. In addition to being the CEO for the Customer Experience Professionals Association, Diane speaks and conducts workshops all over the world to help transform CX strategy into action. Diane has been actively involved with the CXPA since day one and is a driving force behind the association’s ongoing evolution, including strategies for supporting international CX communities as the profession grows and takes root in new regions. Diane will be visiting South Africa to speak at the 2018 CEM Summit, South Africa’s longest-standing CX conference. In the lead-up to her visit, we had the opportunity to have a conversation about the CXPA, her insights on the genesis of the Age of the customer, and her vision for the future of the association. Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience analysis methodologies, click here. To hear other episodes of  this CX podcast, click here.

Diane Magers, CXPA president and CEO, shares her insight on CX industry trends and the evolving professional field. Learn about the CX career development resources that are available for global CX practitioners as Diane and Julia discuss the role of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) in growing the profession.

 

Customer experience is a relatively new profession. Some larger businesses have established a CX team, but others have just one or two dedicated resources – and that’s in mature markets like the US and Europe. In developing markets, CX is still gaining traction. This means that the number of CX practitioners is continually growing, but that many in the field are still working in relative isolation, Diane Magers, CXPA president is on a mission to remedy this.

You’re not crazy, and you’re not alone

Thanks to the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), the growing global number of CX practitioners have an international network that they can tap into. Founded in 2011 by CX thought leaders Jeanne Bliss, Bruce Temkin and others, the CXPA strives to support CX professionals through knowledge sharing, networking, and career development. The CXPA also established a CX philosophy around 6 core competencies, which became the basis for the CCXP certification. These conceptual foundations and community network helped provide structure to the evolution of a burgeoning field of work.

As the field of CX continues to gain steam in South Africa, I have personally been involved with efforts to grow the local CXPA network. Through this, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with the CXPA leadership team based in the US, including the CXPA’s CEO, Diane Magers.

A leader and a calling

Diane has over 25 years experience transforming customer experiences – everything from front line to infrastructure – working in and with brands such as Sysco, AT&T, Dale Carnegie, Invisalign, Ciena, Freeman, Sodexho, Sandy Spring Bank and MoneyGram. She is a passionate customer experience executive and change agent. In addition to being the CEO for the Customer Experience Professionals Association, Diane speaks and conducts workshops all over the world to help transform CX strategy into action.

Diane has been actively involved with the CXPA since day one and is a driving force behind the association’s ongoing evolution, including strategies for supporting international CX communities as the profession grows and takes root in new regions. Diane will be visiting South Africa to speak at the 2018 CEM Summit, South Africa’s longest-standing CX conference. In the lead-up to her visit, we had the opportunity to have a conversation about the CXPA, her insights on the genesis of the Age of the customer, and her vision for the future of the association.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience analysis methodologies, click here. To hear other episodes of  this CX podcast, click here.

]]>
Diane Magers, CXPA president and CEO, shares her insight on CX industry trends and the evolving professional field. Learn about the CX career development resources that are available for global CX practitioners as Diane and Julia discuss the role of th...
Diane Magers, CXPA president and CEO, shares her insight on CX industry trends and the evolving professional field. Learn about the CX career development resources that are available for global CX practitioners as Diane and Julia discuss the role of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) in growing the profession.

 

Customer experience is a relatively new profession. Some larger businesses have established a CX team, but others have just one or two dedicated resources - and that’s in mature markets like the US and Europe. In developing markets, CX is still gaining traction. This means that the number of CX practitioners is continually growing, but that many in the field are still working in relative isolation, Diane Magers, CXPA president is on a mission to remedy this.
You’re not crazy, and you’re not alone
Thanks to the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), the growing global number of CX practitioners have an international network that they can tap into. Founded in 2011 by CX thought leaders Jeanne Bliss, Bruce Temkin and others, the CXPA strives to support CX professionals through knowledge sharing, networking, and career development. The CXPA also established a CX philosophy around 6 core competencies, which became the basis for the CCXP certification. These conceptual foundations and community network helped provide structure to the evolution of a burgeoning field of work.

As the field of CX continues to gain steam in South Africa, I have personally been involved with efforts to grow the local CXPA network. Through this, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with the CXPA leadership team based in the US, including the CXPA’s CEO, Diane Magers.
A leader and a calling


Diane has over 25 years experience transforming customer experiences – everything from front line to infrastructure - working in and with brands such as Sysco, AT&T, Dale Carnegie, Invisalign, Ciena, Freeman, Sodexho, Sandy Spring Bank and MoneyGram. She is a passionate customer experience executive and change agent. In addition to being the CEO for the Customer Experience Professionals Association, Diane speaks and conducts workshops all over the world to help transform CX strategy into action.

Diane has been actively involved with the CXPA since day one and is a driving force behind the association’s ongoing evolution, including strategies for supporting international CX communities as the profession grows and takes root in new regions. Diane will be visiting South Africa to speak at the 2018 CEM Summit, South Africa’s longest-standing CX conference. In the lead-up to her visit, we had the opportunity to have a conversation about the CXPA, her insights on the genesis of the Age of the customer, and her vision for the future of the association.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience analysis methodologies, click here. To hear other episodes of  this CX podcast, click here.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 33:22
Keeping customer experience simple: interview with Capitec Bank – E09 Part 2 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/keeping-customer-experience-simple-interview-with-capitec-bank-e09-part-2/ Tue, 10 Jul 2018 21:49:07 +0000 http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=791 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/keeping-customer-experience-simple-interview-with-capitec-bank-e09-part-2/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/keeping-customer-experience-simple-interview-with-capitec-bank-e09-part-2/feed/ 0 Shaun Ray, the head of CX at Capitec Bank, enlightens us on how this up-and-coming banking brand has achieved market leadership by focusing on simplicity. Julia and Shaun discuss Capitec as a case study in CX excellence, and Shaun shares his views on future CX trends in the financial services industry.     In part one of my interview with Capitec Bank’s team, I spoke with Charl Nel and Shaun Ray about the bank’s customer-centric strategy and how they use social media to understand customers. Capitec has clearly been successful. Once the small challenger bank, Capitec continues to acquire customers and now has the second largest customer base among South African retail banks. My 2017 research collaboration with the opinion mining firm, Brandseye, also shed light on how Capitec is differentiating itself through customer experience. For this research, we mapped social media commentary about the 5 largest banks in South Africa to my “Elements of Customer Experience” model, and Capitec far outperformed the other major banking brands, particularly when it came to living up to their brand promise and providing a value proposition that resonated with customers. In part 2 of my interview, I sat down with Shaun Ray to discuss what the Capitec customer experience team is doing differently. A tale of simplicity Capitec rose to prominence by offering just one product: Global One. Customers can use it as a transactional bank, to save and invest as well as, more recently, get a credit card. This has handsomely paid off: Capitec now has 10-million customers, and continues to acquire 100 000 new customers a month! For comparison’s sake, the other Big 5 banks are Standard Bank (11,6-m), Nedbank (7,4-m), Absa (8,75) and FNB (7,7m). In part one of my interview, Charl and Shaun emphasise simplicity as their number one motivation. Despite the rapid uptick in technology and new innovations and channels in the finance sector, they concede that they need to evolve with the times to remain relevant.  Despite this, they will always keep it simple and engage the customer around their needs and in a language they understand – technology agnostic. No delusions of grandeur Despite widespread customer and non-customer support, Capitec isn’t resting on its laurels. They acknowledge that there is a lot of innovation happening in the banking industry and plenty of new communication channels are available for customers to engage with. This keeps the team on their toes as they know if they ever claim that “they’re arrived” it could be their death knell. They instead say, “we have never arrived”. This humble attitude feeds through from the frontline all the way to the CEO. Everyone understands what the role of the customer is and believes understanding them, and meeting their needs is the bank’s no.1 priority. The CEO, Gerrie Fourie, even went so far as to say publicly at their recent AGM, that the customer always comes first at Capitec. Shaun doesn’t shy away from the importance of customer centric culture. The CX team can’t be everywhere at once, and the last thing the CX team want is to become a bottleneck for customer experience innovation. Capitec has rather focused on empowering the entire organization to create and deliver great experiences. The team also leverages technology and data to create personalized communication and identify where there are hurdles in the customer journey. Shaun highlighted the potential of AI and big data analytics, but also warned that these insights are only as good as how they are put to work. For a Customer Experience Professional, this is music to my ears. But what I particularly like about Capitec is their willingness to accept that they don’t know it all, that their customers will teach them a thing or two and that they need to remain agile in an ever-evolving market. While they are considered the darling of the banking industry, it is an accolade that needs to be treated carefu...

Shaun Ray, the head of CX at Capitec Bank, enlightens us on how this up-and-coming banking brand has achieved market leadership by focusing on simplicity. Julia and Shaun discuss Capitec as a case study in CX excellence, and Shaun shares his views on future CX trends in the financial services industry.

 

 

In part one of my interview with Capitec Bank’s team, I spoke with Charl Nel and Shaun Ray about the bank’s customer-centric strategy and how they use social media to understand customers. Capitec has clearly been successful. Once the small challenger bank, Capitec continues to acquire customers and now has the second largest customer base among South African retail banks.

My 2017 research collaboration with the opinion mining firm, Brandseye, also shed light on how Capitec is differentiating itself through customer experience. For this research, we mapped social media commentary about the 5 largest banks in South Africa to my “Elements of Customer Experience” model, and Capitec far outperformed the other major banking brands, particularly when it came to living up to their brand promise and providing a value proposition that resonated with customers. In part 2 of my interview, I sat down with Shaun Ray to discuss what the Capitec customer experience team is doing differently.

A tale of simplicity

Capitec rose to prominence by offering just one product: Global One. Customers can use it as a transactional bank, to save and invest as well as, more recently, get a credit card.

This has handsomely paid off: Capitec now has 10-million customers, and continues to acquire 100 000 new customers a month! For comparison’s sake, the other Big 5 banks are Standard Bank (11,6-m), Nedbank (7,4-m), Absa (8,75) and FNB (7,7m).

In part one of my interview, Charl and Shaun emphasise simplicity as their number one motivation. Despite the rapid uptick in technology and new innovations and channels in the finance sector, they concede that they need to evolve with the times to remain relevant.  Despite this, they will always keep it simple and engage the customer around their needs and in a language they understand – technology agnostic.

No delusions of grandeur

Despite widespread customer and non-customer support, Capitec isn’t resting on its laurels. They acknowledge that there is a lot of innovation happening in the banking industry and plenty of new communication channels are available for customers to engage with. This keeps the team on their toes as they know if they ever claim that “they’re arrived” it could be their death knell. They instead say, “we have never arrived”.

This humble attitude feeds through from the frontline all the way to the CEO. Everyone understands what the role of the customer is and believes understanding them, and meeting their needs is the bank’s no.1 priority. The CEO, Gerrie Fourie, even went so far as to say publicly at their recent AGM, that the customer always comes first at Capitec.

Shaun doesn’t shy away from the importance of customer centric culture. The CX team can’t be everywhere at once, and the last thing the CX team want is to become a bottleneck for customer experience innovation. Capitec has rather focused on empowering the entire organization to create and deliver great experiences.

The team also leverages technology and data to create personalized communication and identify where there are hurdles in the customer journey. Shaun highlighted the potential of AI and big data analytics, but also warned that these insights are only as good as how they are put to work.

For a Customer Experience Professional, this is music to my ears. But what I particularly like about Capitec is their willingness to accept that they don’t know it all, that their customers will teach them a thing or two and that they need to remain agile in an ever-evolving market. While they are considered the darling of the banking industry, it is an accolade that needs to be treated carefully, and respectfully. This can be done by listening to the customer and designing products and processes around their needs, not the banks.

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. To see Julia’s banking industry research collaboration with Brandseye, click here. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience analysis methodologies, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

]]>
Shaun Ray, the head of CX at Capitec Bank, enlightens us on how this up-and-coming banking brand has achieved market leadership by focusing on simplicity. Julia and Shaun discuss Capitec as a case study in CX excellence,
Shaun Ray, the head of CX at Capitec Bank, enlightens us on how this up-and-coming banking brand has achieved market leadership by focusing on simplicity. Julia and Shaun discuss Capitec as a case study in CX excellence, and Shaun shares his views on future CX trends in the financial services industry.

 

 

In part one of my interview with Capitec Bank’s team, I spoke with Charl Nel and Shaun Ray about the bank’s customer-centric strategy and how they use social media to understand customers. Capitec has clearly been successful. Once the small challenger bank, Capitec continues to acquire customers and now has the second largest customer base among South African retail banks.

My 2017 research collaboration with the opinion mining firm, Brandseye, also shed light on how Capitec is differentiating itself through customer experience. For this research, we mapped social media commentary about the 5 largest banks in South Africa to my “Elements of Customer Experience” model, and Capitec far outperformed the other major banking brands, particularly when it came to living up to their brand promise and providing a value proposition that resonated with customers. In part 2 of my interview, I sat down with Shaun Ray to discuss what the Capitec customer experience team is doing differently.

A tale of simplicity

Capitec rose to prominence by offering just one product: Global One. Customers can use it as a transactional bank, to save and invest as well as, more recently, get a credit card.

This has handsomely paid off: Capitec now has 10-million customers, and continues to acquire 100 000 new customers a month! For comparison’s sake, the other Big 5 banks are Standard Bank (11,6-m), Nedbank (7,4-m), Absa (8,75) and FNB (7,7m).

In part one of my interview, Charl and Shaun emphasise simplicity as their number one motivation. Despite the rapid uptick in technology and new innovations and channels in the finance sector, they concede that they need to evolve with the times to remain relevant.  Despite this, they will always keep it simple and engage the customer around their needs and in a language they understand – technology agnostic.

No delusions of grandeur

Despite widespread customer and non-customer support, Capitec isn’t resting on its laurels. They acknowledge that there is a lot of innovation happening in the banking industry and plenty of new communication channels are available for customers to engage with. This keeps the team on their toes as they know if they ever claim that “they’re arrived” it could be their death knell. They instead say, “we have never arrived”.

This humble attitude feeds through from the frontline all the way to the CEO. Everyone understands what the role of the customer is and believes understanding them, and meeting their needs is the bank’s no.1 priority. The CEO, Gerrie Fourie, even went so far as to say publicly at their recent AGM, that the customer always comes first at Capitec.

Shaun doesn’t shy away from the importance of customer centric culture. The CX team can’t be everywhere at once, and the last thing the CX team want is to become a bottleneck for customer experience innovation. Capitec has rather focused on empowering the entire organization to create and deliver great experiences.

The team also leverages technology and data to create personalized communication and identify where there are hurdles in the customer jou...]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 17:49
The art of customer listening: interview with Capitec Bank – E09 Part 1 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-art-of-customer-listening-interview-with-capitec-bank-e09-part-1/ Tue, 10 Jul 2018 21:46:17 +0000 http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=789 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-art-of-customer-listening-interview-with-capitec-bank-e09-part-1/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-art-of-customer-listening-interview-with-capitec-bank-e09-part-1/feed/ 0 I recently interviewed Charl Nel and Shaun Ray from Capitec Bank, one of the Big 5 banks here in South Africa. Charl is the Head of Communications and Shaun manages its CX. Firstly, for those who are not familiar with Capitec, it is truly a major success story for a South African Bank. Now 18 years old, Capitec’s primary vision was, and still is, to simplify banking for customers at a time when the financial services industry was renowned for its complexity and lack of transparency. How did they do it? For Capitec, the customer really does come first. By using a range of digital tracking tools and formal research projects, they understand what the customer likes, and what their pain points are, many in real-time. These are addressed as soon as possible, and communicated to customers. They also deliver on their promises. Charl underpins how important it is to live up to what the bank says it will do, as customers can become underwhelmed quickly or disappointed when what they thought would happen – as promoted through advertising or on social media etc. – didn’t. Talking of social media, customer comments are rife. While it is increasingly being used as a customer service channel, among this are genuine conversations customers have with other customers or a competitor banks’ customers. For instance a competitor’s customer disses their bank and a Capitec customer will pipe up to say they need to switch to Capitec. That is excellent brand advocacy happening all on its own. It’s clear that Capitec has been doing something different, but this is easier said than done. Check out part 2 of my interview with Capitec, where I sat down with Shaun Ray to dive into how Capitec’s customer experience team is embedding customer-centricity across the business. Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. To see Julia's banking industry research collaboration with Brandseye, click here. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience analysis methodologies, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here. I recently interviewed Charl Nel and Shaun Ray from Capitec Bank, one of the Big 5 banks here in South Africa. Charl is the Head of Communications and Shaun manages its CX.

Firstly, for those who are not familiar with Capitec, it is truly a major success story for a South African Bank. Now 18 years old, Capitec’s primary vision was, and still is, to simplify banking for customers at a time when the financial services industry was renowned for its complexity and lack of transparency.

How did they do it?

For Capitec, the customer really does come first. By using a range of digital tracking tools and formal research projects, they understand what the customer likes, and what their pain points are, many in real-time. These are addressed as soon as possible, and communicated to customers.

They also deliver on their promises. Charl underpins how important it is to live up to what the bank says it will do, as customers can become underwhelmed quickly or disappointed when what they thought would happen – as promoted through advertising or on social media etc. – didn’t.

Talking of social media, customer comments are rife. While it is increasingly being used as a customer service channel, among this are genuine conversations customers have with other customers or a competitor banks’ customers. For instance a competitor’s customer disses their bank and a Capitec customer will pipe up to say they need to switch to Capitec. That is excellent brand advocacy happening all on its own.

It’s clear that Capitec has been doing something different, but this is easier said than done. Check out part 2 of my interview with Capitec, where I sat down with Shaun Ray to dive into how Capitec’s customer experience team is embedding customer-centricity across the business.

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. To see Julia’s banking industry research collaboration with Brandseye, click here. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience analysis methodologies, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

]]>
I recently interviewed Charl Nel and Shaun Ray from Capitec Bank, one of the Big 5 banks here in South Africa. Charl is the Head of Communications and Shaun manages its CX. - Firstly, for those who are not familiar with Capitec, Charl Nel and Shaun Ray from Capitec Bank, one of the Big 5 banks here in South Africa. Charl is the Head of Communications and Shaun manages its CX.

Firstly, for those who are not familiar with Capitec, it is truly a major success story for a South African Bank. Now 18 years old, Capitec’s primary vision was, and still is, to simplify banking for customers at a time when the financial services industry was renowned for its complexity and lack of transparency.

How did they do it?

For Capitec, the customer really does come first. By using a range of digital tracking tools and formal research projects, they understand what the customer likes, and what their pain points are, many in real-time. These are addressed as soon as possible, and communicated to customers.

They also deliver on their promises. Charl underpins how important it is to live up to what the bank says it will do, as customers can become underwhelmed quickly or disappointed when what they thought would happen – as promoted through advertising or on social media etc. – didn’t.

Talking of social media, customer comments are rife. While it is increasingly being used as a customer service channel, among this are genuine conversations customers have with other customers or a competitor banks’ customers. For instance a competitor’s customer disses their bank and a Capitec customer will pipe up to say they need to switch to Capitec. That is excellent brand advocacy happening all on its own.

It’s clear that Capitec has been doing something different, but this is easier said than done. Check out part 2 of my interview with Capitec, where I sat down with Shaun Ray to dive into how Capitec’s customer experience team is embedding customer-centricity across the business.

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. To see Julia's banking industry research collaboration with Brandseye, click here. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience analysis methodologies, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 18:28
An honest and practical guide to customer experience: interview with Ian Golding – E08 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/an-honest-and-practical-guide-to-customer-experience-interview-with-ian-golding-e08/ Wed, 27 Jun 2018 15:19:47 +0000 http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=776 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/an-honest-and-practical-guide-to-customer-experience-interview-with-ian-golding-e08/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/an-honest-and-practical-guide-to-customer-experience-interview-with-ian-golding-e08/feed/ 0 CX Thought leader and author, Ian Golding, shares his perspective on why customer experience matters, and why CX needs an advocate within the business, even if there isn't a formalized CX role. Julia and Ian review the four tenets of CX from his recently-published book and explore the importance of getting investor buy-in for CX. Ian explains how he is continually inspired by the CX practitioners he works with, and shares his own personal customer experience horror story on a recent flight.   While the term CX was first coined in 1998, it’s only really taken off in the past 15 years. This is in large part thanks to the massive technical boom that fundamentally changed everything in the early 2000s. Many businesses born before this time now battle to stay relevant, while newcomers nip at their heels, taking their slice of pie from right under their noses. While certainly a cliché, the world of informed and connected consumers really did change how and why we do business today. This is the essence of why customer experience matters. My conversation with Ian Golding, author of the book “Customer What?” takes a deep dive into CX, highlighting how effective it can be for businesses that get it right, and how ineffective it can be for those who don’t. His book loosely tackles CX in four parts, each equal in importance and practice: CX needs to find a firm footing in the organisation to truly start any meaningful transformation Understanding a business’s culture and finding effective ways to connect its people to a CX strategy is essential Which are the right CX tools to use when inside the business and what can they yield How are CX programmes sustained within an organisation, long after the strategy is defined Realizing customer-centric change It’s not easy. Especially when a business has yet to buy into having a CX strategy in the first place. Ian’s advice, and on-the-job observations, is that CX needs an advocate within the business, even if a formalized customer experience role has yet to exist. Often these customer advocates will forge the way for the creation of the centralized customer experience function within their organization. For those who are interested in customer experience, but don’t see a clear career path, Ian advises looking for opportunities to get involved and elevate the topic of customer experience from your current role. So how do CX practitioners (or avid customer advocates) make a meaningful argument to the C-Suite that focus on why customer experience is needed, especially when there is a strong demand from shareholders to perform: through the numbers! There is a strong case of the long-term benefit of a focus on customer experience, but CX initiatives bet on the “long game” of profit contribution through improved customer loyalty and retention. This isn’t something that happens overnight, CX efforts may not yield ROI within the short-term horizon of quarterly earnings cycles. To overcome this Ian suggests developing an engagement plan that allows leadership to understand the importance of dialogue and also articulate the message to shareholders that ultimately will benefit them (from the business) in the medium to long term. Ian considers Amazon’s Jeff Bezos as an excellent example. For years, Amazon didn’t make a profit because Bezos was obsessed with reinvesting everything Amazon did to improve the customer experience. His shareholders didn’t like him much at the start, in fact they hated him! But now they are reaping the benefit and will continue to do so in the long term. A major win for CX and a major win for Amazon. The growing CX community Besides these key take-aways on helping executives engage with shareholders, Ian and I also spoke about the role of the Customer experience Professionals’ Association (CXPA) as a unifying force within the growing CX community. Ian and I are both active members of the CXPA, and Ian spoke about how this member-run non-pr... CX Thought leader and author, Ian Golding, shares his perspective on why customer experience matters, and why CX needs an advocate within the business, even if there isn’t a formalized CX role. Julia and Ian review the four tenets of CX from his recently-published book and explore the importance of getting investor buy-in for CX. Ian explains how he is continually inspired by the CX practitioners he works with, and shares his own personal customer experience horror story on a recent flight.

 

While the term CX was first coined in 1998, it’s only really taken off in the past 15 years. This is in large part thanks to the massive technical boom that fundamentally changed everything in the early 2000s. Many businesses born before this time now battle to stay relevant, while newcomers nip at their heels, taking their slice of pie from right under their noses. While certainly a cliché, the world of informed and connected consumers really did change how and why we do business today. This is the essence of why customer experience matters.

My conversation with Ian Golding, author of the book “Customer What?” takes a deep dive into CX, highlighting how effective it can be for businesses that get it right, and how ineffective it can be for those who don’t.

His book loosely tackles CX in four parts, each equal in importance and practice:

  1. CX needs to find a firm footing in the organisation to truly start any meaningful transformation
  2. Understanding a business’s culture and finding effective ways to connect its people to a CX strategy is essential
  3. Which are the right CX tools to use when inside the business and what can they yield
  4. How are CX programmes sustained within an organisation, long after the strategy is defined

Realizing customer-centric change

It’s not easy. Especially when a business has yet to buy into having a CX strategy in the first place.

Ian’s advice, and on-the-job observations, is that CX needs an advocate within the business, even if a formalized customer experience role has yet to exist. Often these customer advocates will forge the way for the creation of the centralized customer experience function within their organization. For those who are interested in customer experience, but don’t see a clear career path, Ian advises looking for opportunities to get involved and elevate the topic of customer experience from your current role.

So how do CX practitioners (or avid customer advocates) make a meaningful argument to the C-Suite that focus on why customer experience is needed, especially when there is a strong demand from shareholders to perform: through the numbers! There is a strong case of the long-term benefit of a focus on customer experience, but CX initiatives bet on the “long game” of profit contribution through improved customer loyalty and retention. This isn’t something that happens overnight, CX efforts may not yield ROI within the short-term horizon of quarterly earnings cycles. To overcome this Ian suggests developing an engagement plan that allows leadership to understand the importance of dialogue and also articulate the message to shareholders that ultimately will benefit them (from the business) in the medium to long term.

Ian considers Amazon’s Jeff Bezos as an excellent example. For years, Amazon didn’t make a profit because Bezos was obsessed with reinvesting everything Amazon did to improve the customer experience. His shareholders didn’t like him much at the start, in fact they hated him! But now they are reaping the benefit and will continue to do so in the long term. A major win for CX and a major win for Amazon.

The growing CX community

Besides these key take-aways on helping executives engage with shareholders, Ian and I also spoke about the role of the Customer experience Professionals’ Association (CXPA) as a unifying force within the growing CX community. Ian and I are both active members of the CXPA, and Ian spoke about how this member-run non-profit industry body is helping pave the pathway for the future of our profession.  The CXPA both regulates performance and best practice but also provides a community of sharing and learning. Watch this space.

CX resources

During our conversation, Ian and I discussed several resources for anyone who is interested in learning more about customer experience. Here is our reading list:

Books
Blogs and online resources

Fellow CX practitioner Ricardo Saltz Gulko has also curated reading list an excellent reading list of his top 30 CX books.

To learn more about Ian’s work, check out his website, LinkedIn, or get in touch with him on Twitter.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a global expert in Customer Experience Management. For more information about how Julia can help your business realize customer-centric change through her CX consulting services, click here. To hear other episodes of this CX podcast, click here.

]]>
CX Thought leader and author, Ian Golding, shares his perspective on why customer experience matters, and why CX needs an advocate within the business, even if there isn't a formalized CX role. Julia and Ian review the four tenets of CX from his recent...
 

While the term CX was first coined in 1998, it’s only really taken off in the past 15 years. This is in large part thanks to the massive technical boom that fundamentally changed everything in the early 2000s. Many businesses born before this time now battle to stay relevant, while newcomers nip at their heels, taking their slice of pie from right under their noses. While certainly a cliché, the world of informed and connected consumers really did change how and why we do business today. This is the essence of why customer experience matters.

My conversation with Ian Golding, author of the book “Customer What?” takes a deep dive into CX, highlighting how effective it can be for businesses that get it right, and how ineffective it can be for those who don’t.

His book loosely tackles CX in four parts, each equal in importance and practice:

* CX needs to find a firm footing in the organisation to truly start any meaningful transformation
* Understanding a business’s culture and finding effective ways to connect its people to a CX strategy is essential
* Which are the right CX tools to use when inside the business and what can they yield
* How are CX programmes sustained within an organisation, long after the strategy is defined

Realizing customer-centric change
It’s not easy. Especially when a business has yet to buy into having a CX strategy in the first place.

Ian’s advice, and on-the-job observations, is that CX needs an advocate within the business, even if a formalized customer experience role has yet to exist. Often these customer advocates will forge the way for the creation of the centralized customer experience function within their organization. For those who are interested in customer experience, but don’t see a clear career path, Ian advises looking for opportunities to get involved and elevate the topic of customer experience from your current role.

So how do CX practitioners (or avid customer advocates) make a meaningful argument to the C-Suite that focus on why customer experience is needed, especially when there is a strong demand from shareholders to perform: through the numbers! There is a strong case of the long-term benefit of a focus on customer experience, but CX initiatives bet on the “long game” of profit contribution through improved customer loyalty and retention. This isn’t something that happens overnight, CX efforts may not yield ROI within the short-term horizon of quarterly earnings cycles. To overcome this Ian suggests developing an engagement plan that allows leadership to understand the importance of dialogue and also articulate the message to shareholders that ultimately will benefit them (from the business) in the medium to long term.

Ian considers Amazon’s Jeff Bezos as an excellent example. For years, Amazon didn’t make a profit because Bezos was obsessed with reinvesting everything Amazon did to improve the customer experience. His shareholders didn’t like him much at the start, in fact they hated him! But now they are reaping the benefit and will continue to do so in the long term. A major win for CX and a major win for Amazon.
The growing CX community
Besides these key take-aways on helping executives engage with shareholders,]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 44:26
When a voice is the face of customer experience: interview with Marianthi Dickie – E07 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/when-a-voice-is-the-face-of-customer-experience-interview-with-marianthi-dickie-e07/ Tue, 20 Mar 2018 10:26:52 +0000 http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=666 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/when-a-voice-is-the-face-of-customer-experience-interview-with-marianthi-dickie-e07/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/when-a-voice-is-the-face-of-customer-experience-interview-with-marianthi-dickie-e07/feed/ 0 In today’s world, so many of our consumer interactions happen remotely. As banking, retail and other experiences have moved into the digital realm, their support functions have gradually transitioned out of the physical store or branch, and into the contact center. These changes mean that verbal interactions are playing a more important role in shaping consumer’s relationships with brands, and so we need to understand how verbal interactions influence the customer experience. When you interact with someone face-to-face, 80% of the communication is non-verbal, but what happens when you take away the in-person aspect? In this case, an employee’s voice becomes the “face” of the brand. Organizations need to craft each customer touchpoint for maximum impact, and if you only have a handful of human interactions along the journey – as is increasingly the case – they had better count. Within this context, verbal interactions are so much more than just a means to gather or relay information. They are a medium for connecting with consumers, setting the tone of the relationship, and differentiating the brand. In late 2017, I had the opportunity to interview Marianthi Dickie, the founder of Voiceworks. Marianthi has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Drama and Psychology from Rhodes University and an LTCL Speech & Drama Teacher’s Diploma from Trinity College London. She is passionate about changing the way we sound, by teaching people to use their most valuable communication tool… their voice. She believes in finding new ways to communicate through her dealings with a wide range of people and her extensive travel. While Marianthi is not a traditional customer experience specialist, her work contributes to an organization’s ability to deliver on brand promise, and as business leaders heighten their focus on customer experience, she has helped many brands enable their teams to improve the verbal communication aspect of the customer journey. Her areas of expertise encompass the teaching of voice techniques, presentation and communication skills to ensure exceptional outcomes in a professional and corporate environment.   Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here. In today’s world, so many of our consumer interactions happen remotely. As banking, retail and other experiences have moved into the digital realm, their support functions have gradually transitioned out of the physical store or branch, and into the contact center. These changes mean that verbal interactions are playing a more important role in shaping consumer’s relationships with brands, and so we need to understand how verbal interactions influence the customer experience.

When you interact with someone face-to-face, 80% of the communication is non-verbal, but what happens when you take away the in-person aspect? In this case, an employee’s voice becomes the “face” of the brand. Organizations need to craft each customer touchpoint for maximum impact, and if you only have a handful of human interactions along the journey – as is increasingly the case – they had better count.

Within this context, verbal interactions are so much more than just a means to gather or relay information. They are a medium for connecting with consumers, setting the tone of the relationship, and differentiating the brand.

In late 2017, I had the opportunity to interview Marianthi Dickie, the founder of Voiceworks. Marianthi has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Drama and Psychology from Rhodes University and an LTCL Speech & Drama Teacher’s Diploma from Trinity College London. She is passionate about changing the way we sound, by teaching people to use their most valuable communication tool… their voice.

She believes in finding new ways to communicate through her dealings with a wide range of people and her extensive travel. While Marianthi is not a traditional customer experience specialist, her work contributes to an organization’s ability to deliver on brand promise, and as business leaders heighten their focus on customer experience, she has helped many brands enable their teams to improve the verbal communication aspect of the customer journey. Her areas of expertise encompass the teaching of voice techniques, presentation and communication skills to ensure exceptional outcomes in a professional and corporate environment.

 

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

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In today’s world, so many of our consumer interactions happen remotely. As banking, retail and other experiences have moved into the digital realm, their support functions have gradually transitioned out of the physical store or branch,
When you interact with someone face-to-face, 80% of the communication is non-verbal, but what happens when you take away the in-person aspect? In this case, an employee’s voice becomes the “face” of the brand. Organizations need to craft each customer touchpoint for maximum impact, and if you only have a handful of human interactions along the journey – as is increasingly the case – they had better count.

Within this context, verbal interactions are so much more than just a means to gather or relay information. They are a medium for connecting with consumers, setting the tone of the relationship, and differentiating the brand.

In late 2017, I had the opportunity to interview Marianthi Dickie, the founder of Voiceworks. Marianthi has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Drama and Psychology from Rhodes University and an LTCL Speech & Drama Teacher’s Diploma from Trinity College London. She is passionate about changing the way we sound, by teaching people to use their most valuable communication tool… their voice.

She believes in finding new ways to communicate through her dealings with a wide range of people and her extensive travel. While Marianthi is not a traditional customer experience specialist, her work contributes to an organization’s ability to deliver on brand promise, and as business leaders heighten their focus on customer experience, she has helped many brands enable their teams to improve the verbal communication aspect of the customer journey. Her areas of expertise encompass the teaching of voice techniques, presentation and communication skills to ensure exceptional outcomes in a professional and corporate environment.



 

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 24:04
Solving 99 customer problems: interview with Multichoice SA – E06 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/solving-99-customer-problems-interview-with-multichoice-sa-e06/ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 13:18:38 +0000 http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=645 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/solving-99-customer-problems-interview-with-multichoice-sa-e06/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/solving-99-customer-problems-interview-with-multichoice-sa-e06/feed/ 0 This episode of Decoding the Customer explores how Multichoice, Africa’s largest satellite TV provider, ignited CX transformation through customer-centric culture change. It started when their CX team brought in several angry customers to give the executives a reality check, and then culminated with a campaign to rally the entire organization around 99 customer journey problems that just needed to be fixed. In our interview, Clint Payne and Landile Chauke, from the Multichoice CX team share insights from their efforts to engage employees, elevate the voice of the customer, and drive customer-centric change across the business. Multichoice’s innovative approach led to them win recognition in several categories at the inaugural CX Africa Awards, in 2017. There is no denying that the field of customer experience management has deeper roots and a larger presence in developed economies such as the US and Europe, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t inspiring work happening in other regions. As a judge for the 2017 the CX Africa Awards, and I was personally impressed by the caliber of work underway at companies in Africa. Hopefully this episode provides an opportunity to highlight and share some of the excellent CX work underway in developing markets.                 Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.       This episode of Decoding the Customer explores how Multichoice, Africa’s largest satellite TV provider, ignited CX transformation through customer-centric culture change. It started when their CX team brought in several angry customers to give the executives a reality check, and then culminated with a campaign to rally the entire organization around 99 customer journey problems that just needed to be fixed.

In our interview, Clint Payne and Landile Chauke, from the Multichoice CX team share insights from their efforts to engage employees, elevate the voice of the customer, and drive customer-centric change across the business. Multichoice’s innovative approach led to them win recognition in several categories at the inaugural CX Africa Awards, in 2017.

There is no denying that the field of customer experience management has deeper roots and a larger presence in developed economies such as the US and Europe, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t inspiring work happening in other regions. As a judge for the 2017 the CX Africa Awards, and I was personally impressed by the caliber of work underway at companies in Africa. Hopefully this episode provides an opportunity to highlight and share some of the excellent CX work underway in developing markets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

 

 

 

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This episode of Decoding the Customer explores how Multichoice, Africa’s largest satellite TV provider, ignited CX transformation through customer-centric culture change. It started when their CX team brought in several angry customers to give the exec... Multichoice, Africa’s largest satellite TV provider, ignited CX transformation through customer-centric culture change. It started when their CX team brought in several angry customers to give the executives a reality check, and then culminated with a campaign to rally the entire organization around 99 customer journey problems that just needed to be fixed.



In our interview, Clint Payne and Landile Chauke, from the Multichoice CX team share insights from their efforts to engage employees, elevate the voice of the customer, and drive customer-centric change across the business. Multichoice’s innovative approach led to them win recognition in several categories at the inaugural CX Africa Awards, in 2017.

There is no denying that the field of customer experience management has deeper roots and a larger presence in developed economies such as the US and Europe, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t inspiring work happening in other regions. As a judge for the 2017 the CX Africa Awards, and I was personally impressed by the caliber of work underway at companies in Africa. Hopefully this episode provides an opportunity to highlight and share some of the excellent CX work underway in developing markets.





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

 

 

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Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 42:45
The role of compassion in customer experience: interview with Laura Jack – E05 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-role-of-compassion-in-customer-experience-interview-with-laura-jack/ Tue, 28 Nov 2017 16:11:14 +0000 http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=604 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-role-of-compassion-in-customer-experience-interview-with-laura-jack/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-role-of-compassion-in-customer-experience-interview-with-laura-jack/feed/ 0  Understanding the perspectives of others and making decisions within this context is the foundation good customer experience. Customer compassion is key to developing engaging customer experiences, and rallying teams around a common customer-centric goal. Laura Jack is an expert on the topic of compassion, so I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak with her about how embracing and enabling compassion can improve CX. Laura Jack is a counselor, coach and author of the bestselling book, The Compassion Code. Laura is also a close friend, and during a recent visit to the US, we were catching up about life and our jobs. Laura was telling me about her work helping people understand and relate kindly to others, when we realized that our careers had an interesting and unexpected common vein.  A few weeks later we recorded an interview via Skype for the podcast. Laura kicks off our podcast conversation by sharing how compassion has become an area of heightened interest, the definitions of sympathy/empathy/compassion, why they are different, and the role of compassion in customer experiences. Later in the episode, discuss the importance of compassion in the workplace, how managers of frontline teams can mitigate “empathy fatigue”, and finally, how to teach back office employees to relate to a customer they may never meet in person. To find out more about Laura’s work, please visit her website. You’ll find information about her services, as well as her contact information. The Compassion Code is an excellent read. It’s available in print in the US, or globally as an e-book.                   Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about how Julia can help your business thrive in The Age of the Customer, click here. To hear other episodes of her podcast, click here.  Understanding the perspectives of others and making decisions within this context is the foundation good customer experience. Customer compassion is key to developing engaging customer experiences, and rallying teams around a common customer-centric goal. Laura Jack is an expert on the topic of compassion, so I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak with her about how embracing and enabling compassion can improve CX.

Laura Jack is a counselor, coach and author of the bestselling book, The Compassion Code. Laura is also a close friend, and during a recent visit to the US, we were catching up about life and our jobs. Laura was telling me about her work helping people understand and relate kindly to others, when we realized that our careers had an interesting and unexpected common vein.  A few weeks later we recorded an interview via Skype for the podcast.

Laura kicks off our podcast conversation by sharing how compassion has become an area of heightened interest, the definitions of sympathy/empathy/compassion, why they are different, and the role of compassion in customer experiences. Later in the episode, discuss the importance of compassion in the workplace, how managers of frontline teams can mitigate “empathy fatigue”, and finally, how to teach back office employees to relate to a customer they may never meet in person.

To find out more about Laura’s work, please visit her website. You’ll find information about her services, as well as her contact information. The Compassion Code is an excellent read. It’s available in print in the US, or globally as an e-book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about how Julia can help your business thrive in The Age of the Customer, click here. To hear other episodes of her podcast, click here.

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 Understanding the perspectives of others and making decisions within this context is the foundation good customer experience. Customer compassion is key to developing engaging customer experiences, and rallying teams around a common customer-centric g...
Laura Jack is a counselor, coach and author of the bestselling book, The Compassion Code. Laura is also a close friend, and during a recent visit to the US, we were catching up about life and our jobs. Laura was telling me about her work helping people understand and relate kindly to others, when we realized that our careers had an interesting and unexpected common vein.  A few weeks later we recorded an interview via Skype for the podcast.



Laura kicks off our podcast conversation by sharing how compassion has become an area of heightened interest, the definitions of sympathy/empathy/compassion, why they are different, and the role of compassion in customer experiences. Later in the episode, discuss the importance of compassion in the workplace, how managers of frontline teams can mitigate “empathy fatigue”, and finally, how to teach back office employees to relate to a customer they may never meet in person.

To find out more about Laura’s work, please visit her website. You’ll find information about her services, as well as her contact information. The Compassion Code is an excellent read. It’s available in print in the US, or globally as an e-book.





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about how Julia can help your business thrive in The Age of the Customer, click here. To hear other episodes of her podcast, click here.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 33:57
Executive champion for the customer mandate: interview with Michelle Beetar, Chief Customer Officer at Cell C https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/executive-champion-for-the-customer-mandate-interview-with-michelle-beetar-chief-customer-officer-at-cell-c/ Thu, 26 Oct 2017 13:17:37 +0000 http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=559 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/executive-champion-for-the-customer-mandate-interview-with-michelle-beetar-chief-customer-officer-at-cell-c/#comments https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/executive-champion-for-the-customer-mandate-interview-with-michelle-beetar-chief-customer-officer-at-cell-c/feed/ 4 In 2016, the South African telecommunication firm, Cell C, hired Michelle Beetar as their first Chief Customer Officer. A year into her new role, I had an opportunity to speak with Michelle about her experience, progress to-date, what she's learned, and her tips for others stepping into senior CX leadership roles. Michelle has been striking the balance between driving incremental improvements to the journey, and rallying the entire organization around a unified CX strategic vision. She refers to the continual journey improvements as "moving the boat forward". Michelle meets with her team on a weekly basis to celebrate the wins, discuss challenges, and make plans for next steps. This approach enables her to keep her team focused and motivated as they drive ongoing experience improvement efforts. During her first year, Michelle also made it her mission to establish a "common language" for Cell C's customer experience. She started by mapping the customer journey life-cycle, and has used this as a focal point for fostering awareness across the organization, driving departmental accountability, and measuring performance. As Michelle says, "customer experience is everything", and a unified understanding of the customer journey has improved cross-functional collaboration towards common goals. While Michelle will be the first one to tell you that there is still much work to be done, Cell C is already seeing results. NPS scores have improved steadily since the appointment of the organization's first CCO. Michelle shared many more insights that I hope will serve as inspiration for those who are championing the customer mandate within their organization. Michelle Beetar, Chief Customer Officer at Cell C Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To explore other episodes of the podcast, click here. In 2016, the South African telecommunication firm, Cell C, hired Michelle Beetar as their first Chief Customer Officer. A year into her new role, I had an opportunity to speak with Michelle about her experience, progress to-date, what she’s learned, and her tips for others stepping into senior CX leadership roles.

Michelle has been striking the balance between driving incremental improvements to the journey, and rallying the entire organization around a unified CX strategic vision.

She refers to the continual journey improvements as “moving the boat forward”. Michelle meets with her team on a weekly basis to celebrate the wins, discuss challenges, and make plans for next steps. This approach enables her to keep her team focused and motivated as they drive ongoing experience improvement efforts.

During her first year, Michelle also made it her mission to establish a “common language” for Cell C’s customer experience. She started by mapping the customer journey life-cycle, and has used this as a focal point for fostering awareness across the organization, driving departmental accountability, and measuring performance. As Michelle says, “customer experience is everything”, and a unified understanding of the customer journey has improved cross-functional collaboration towards common goals.

While Michelle will be the first one to tell you that there is still much work to be done, Cell C is already seeing results. NPS scores have improved steadily since the appointment of the organization’s first CCO.

Michelle shared many more insights that I hope will serve as inspiration for those who are championing the customer mandate within their organization.

Michelle Beetar, Chief Customer Officer at Cell C

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services, click here. To explore other episodes of the podcast, click here.

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In 2016, the South African telecommunication firm, Cell C, hired Michelle Beetar as their first Chief Customer Officer. A year into her new role, I had an opportunity to speak with Michelle about her experience, progress to-date, what she's learned, Cell C, hired Michelle Beetar as their first Chief Customer Officer. A year into her new role, I had an opportunity to speak with Michelle about her experience, progress to-date, what she's learned, and her tips for others stepping into senior CX leadership roles.

Michelle has been striking the balance between driving incremental improvements to the journey, and rallying the entire organization around a unified CX strategic vision.

She refers to the continual journey improvements as "moving the boat forward". Michelle meets with her team on a weekly basis to celebrate the wins, discuss challenges, and make plans for next steps. This approach enables her to keep her team focused and motivated as they drive ongoing experience improvement efforts.

During her first year, Michelle also made it her mission to establish a "common language" for Cell C's customer experience. She started by mapping the customer journey life-cycle, and has used this as a focal point for fostering awareness across the organization, driving departmental accountability, and measuring performance. As Michelle says, "customer experience is everything", and a unified understanding of the customer journey has improved cross-functional collaboration towards common goals.

While Michelle will be the first one to tell you that there is still much work to be done, Cell C is already seeing results. NPS scores have improved steadily since the appointment of the organization's first CCO.

Michelle shared many more insights that I hope will serve as inspiration for those who are championing the customer mandate within their organization.



Michelle Beetar, Chief Customer Officer at Cell C

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To explore other episodes of the podcast, click here.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 22:07
CX excellence in action: Interview with Airbnb’s Desirree Madison-Biggs – E03 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/cx-excellence-in-action-interview-with-airbnbs-desirree-madison-biggs-e03/ Mon, 02 Oct 2017 13:51:51 +0000 http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=485 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/cx-excellence-in-action-interview-with-airbnbs-desirree-madison-biggs-e03/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/cx-excellence-in-action-interview-with-airbnbs-desirree-madison-biggs-e03/feed/ 0 Airbnb customer experience is truly something different. The brand is one of my favorite examples of customer-centric disruption. They've gotten it right, and the proof is in the pudding. Airbnb has doubled in size every year since 2014, and taken the travel industry by storm - all without owning a single property. What is their secret to success? In August 2017, I had the opportunity to speak with Desirree Madison-Biggs, their head of CX Design and Improvement Programs. In addition to recording an interview, Desirree also gave me a tour of their headquarters in San Francisco, California. Airbnb has embedded their core values into everything that they do, and have created a culture that is deeply customer/host/employee-centric. The mantra of "belong anywhere" was omnipresent at Airbnb HQ, and for a new visitor, one of the most tangible examples was the physical space. At HQ, employees literally belong anywhere. Teams don’t sit in permanently assigned areas, but rather move freely around the offices and work where it suits them. Whether that means a quiet space to concentrate or a communal work area for collaboration, the Airbnb office is an environment where employees don't lay claim to a specific space, but belong to something much bigger.                         This immersion in the world of customers / hosts keeps the end user top-of-mind. Access to customer feedback data enables employees to see the impact of their contributions.                 The employee experience within the physical work space was just the tip of the iceberg. Desirree also discussed how the company's values are embedded in their talent acquisition process, community engagement, and ongoing experience innovation. Airbnb customer experience is truly the gold standard, and this didn't happen by accident. Airbnb has built community-centricity (a step beyond basic customer-centricity), into everything that they do. Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. As an expert in customer experience management, she has helped global brands understand the needs of their customers and drive value through customer-centricity. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To explore more episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here. Airbnb customer experience is truly something different. The brand is one of my favorite examples of customer-centric disruption. They’ve gotten it right, and the proof is in the pudding. Airbnb has doubled in size every year since 2014, and taken the travel industry by storm – all without owning a single property.

What is their secret to success? In August 2017, I had the opportunity to speak with Desirree Madison-Biggs, their head of CX Design and Improvement Programs. In addition to recording an interview, Desirree also gave me a tour of their headquarters in San Francisco, California.

Airbnb has embedded their core values into everything that they do, and have created a culture that is deeply customer/host/employee-centric. The mantra of “belong anywhere” was omnipresent at Airbnb HQ, and for a new visitor, one of the most tangible examples was the physical space.

At HQ, employees literally belong anywhere. Teams don’t sit in permanently assigned areas, but rather move freely around the offices and work where it suits them. Whether that means a quiet space to concentrate or a communal work area for collaboration, the Airbnb office is an environment where employees don’t lay claim to a specific space, but belong to something much bigger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This immersion in the world of customers / hosts keeps the end user top-of-mind. Access to customer feedback data enables employees to see the impact of their contributions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The employee experience within the physical work space was just the tip of the iceberg. Desirree also discussed how the company’s values are embedded in their talent acquisition process, community engagement, and ongoing experience innovation. Airbnb customer experience is truly the gold standard, and this didn’t happen by accident. Airbnb has built community-centricity (a step beyond basic customer-centricity), into everything that they do.

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. As an expert in customer experience management, she has helped global brands understand the needs of their customers and drive value through customer-centricity. For more information about Julia’s services, click here. To explore more episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

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Airbnb customer experience is truly something different. The brand is one of my favorite examples of customer-centric disruption. They've gotten it right, and the proof is in the pudding. Airbnb has doubled in size every year since 2014,


What is their secret to success? In August 2017, I had the opportunity to speak with Desirree Madison-Biggs, their head of CX Design and Improvement Programs. In addition to recording an interview, Desirree also gave me a tour of their headquarters in San Francisco, California.

Airbnb has embedded their core values into everything that they do, and have created a culture that is deeply customer/host/employee-centric. The mantra of "belong anywhere" was omnipresent at Airbnb HQ, and for a new visitor, one of the most tangible examples was the physical space.

At HQ, employees literally belong anywhere. Teams don’t sit in permanently assigned areas, but rather move freely around the offices and work where it suits them. Whether that means a quiet space to concentrate or a communal work area for collaboration, the Airbnb office is an environment where employees don't lay claim to a specific space, but belong to something much bigger.

 













 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
This immersion in the world of customers / hosts keeps the end user top-of-mind. Access to customer feedback data enables employees to see the impact of their contributions.






 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The employee experience within the physical work space was just the tip of the iceberg. Desirree also discussed how the company's values are embedded in their talent acquisition process, community engagement, and ongoing experience innovation. Airbnb customer experience is truly the gold standard, and this didn't happen by accident. Airbnb has built community-centricity (a step beyond basic customer-centricity), into everything that they do.

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. As an expert in customer experience management, she has helped global brands understand the needs of their customers and drive value through customer-centricity. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To explore more episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.]]>
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Innovation, disruption and staying relevant in the Age of the Customer: interview with Roger Norton – E02 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/innovation-disruption-and-staying-relevant-in-the-age-of-the-customer-interview-with-roger-norton-e02/ Tue, 19 Sep 2017 15:44:55 +0000 http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=446 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/innovation-disruption-and-staying-relevant-in-the-age-of-the-customer-interview-with-roger-norton-e02/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/innovation-disruption-and-staying-relevant-in-the-age-of-the-customer-interview-with-roger-norton-e02/feed/ 0 In August 2017, I had the opportunity to speak with Roger Norton about fintech disruption and the future of the financial services sector. Roger is the CEO of Playlogix, co-founder of the Lead Iterator, and author of the book: Start Here: A quick guide to building tech startups. He's passionate about technology, and its potential to change Africa. He focuses on startups as a vehicle for innovation and has built over 40 tech products in 4 years at Playlogix. Roger has also collaborated with some of South Africa's most prominent banking brands as they evaluated and launched strategies to improve their participation in innovation. Given his involvement with both startups and huge corporations, Roger brings a unique perspective to the topic of driving CX change through innovation. While not a CX specialist per se, there were many parallels between Roger's work, and the responsibilities of a CX professional. We discussed the definition of disruption, why big organizations struggle to innovate, and the business case for change. In the Age of the Customer, companies need to constantly innovate the customer experience, and is his insights are valuable for anyone looking to help brand retain relevance amid a world of change. Roger Norton, CEO Playlogix Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. Originally from the USA, she is now one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in customer experience management. For more information about how Julia helps brands navigate fintech disruption and the challenges of the Age of the Customer, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here. In August 2017, I had the opportunity to speak with Roger Norton about fintech disruption and the future of the financial services sector. Roger is the CEO of Playlogix, co-founder of the Lead Iterator, and author of the book: Start Here: A quick guide to building tech startups. He’s passionate about technology, and its potential to change Africa. He focuses on startups as a vehicle for innovation and has built over 40 tech products in 4 years at Playlogix.

Roger has also collaborated with some of South Africa’s most prominent banking brands as they evaluated and launched strategies to improve their participation in innovation. Given his involvement with both startups and huge corporations, Roger brings a unique perspective to the topic of driving CX change through innovation.

While not a CX specialist per se, there were many parallels between Roger’s work, and the responsibilities of a CX professional. We discussed the definition of disruption, why big organizations struggle to innovate, and the business case for change. In the Age of the Customer, companies need to constantly innovate the customer experience, and is his insights are valuable for anyone looking to help brand retain relevance amid a world of change.

Roger Norton, CEO Playlogix

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. Originally from the USA, she is now one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in customer experience management. For more information about how Julia helps brands navigate fintech disruption and the challenges of the Age of the Customer, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

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In August 2017, I had the opportunity to speak with Roger Norton about fintech disruption and the future of the financial services sector. Roger is the CEO of Playlogix, co-founder of the Lead Iterator, and author of the book: Start Here: A quick guide... Playlogix, co-founder of the Lead Iterator, and author of the book: Start Here: A quick guide to building tech startups. He's passionate about technology, and its potential to change Africa. He focuses on startups as a vehicle for innovation and has built over 40 tech products in 4 years at Playlogix.

Roger has also collaborated with some of South Africa's most prominent banking brands as they evaluated and launched strategies to improve their participation in innovation. Given his involvement with both startups and huge corporations, Roger brings a unique perspective to the topic of driving CX change through innovation.

While not a CX specialist per se, there were many parallels between Roger's work, and the responsibilities of a CX professional. We discussed the definition of disruption, why big organizations struggle to innovate, and the business case for change. In the Age of the Customer, companies need to constantly innovate the customer experience, and is his insights are valuable for anyone looking to help brand retain relevance amid a world of change.



Roger Norton, CEO Playlogix

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. Originally from the USA, she is now one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in customer experience management. For more information about how Julia helps brands navigate fintech disruption and the challenges of the Age of the Customer, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.]]>
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Driving patient-centric change: insights from Mediclinic SA – E01 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/driving-patient-centric-change-insights-from-mediclinic-sa-e01/ Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:42:47 +0000 http://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=356 https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/driving-patient-centric-change-insights-from-mediclinic-sa-e01/#respond https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com/driving-patient-centric-change-insights-from-mediclinic-sa-e01/feed/ 0 Kevin Seaman, Patient Experience Manager at Mediclinic South Africa, shares the catalysts for their patient-centric change journey, what it takes to engage ~17,000 employees, and his tips for success. Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. Originally from the USA, she is now one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in customer experience management. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here. Kevin Seaman, Patient Experience Manager at Mediclinic South Africa, shares the catalysts for their patient-centric change journey, what it takes to engage ~17,000 employees, and his tips for success.

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. Originally from the USA, she is now one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in customer experience management. For more information about Julia’s services, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

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Kevin Seaman, Patient Experience Manager at Mediclinic South Africa, shares the catalysts for their patient-centric change journey, what it takes to engage ~17,000 employees, and his tips for success. - Decoding the Customer is a customer experience p...
Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. Originally from the USA, she is now one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in customer experience management. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.]]>
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