Decoding the Customer https://www.julia-ahlfeldt.com Interviews and perspectives from global customer experience experts Thu, 13 Dec 2018 16:08:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 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 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 and 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, 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 and 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 and overview of the different types of maps, the kind of information that is normally included in a ...
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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Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
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 life 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 life 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",]]>
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

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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. ]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean
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.

]]>
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.

]]>
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

]]>
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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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.]]>
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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.]]>
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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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