Friday, April 27, 2012

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience News: Smart Customers & Successful Companies

The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit provides both B2B and B2C case studies and translating these innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the conference. Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate this translation and were one of our most highly rated features last year.

Here on the blog we're doing a regular series of idea gathering wrap ups, pulling together some of our favorite stories on customer experience, customer experience design, and overall customer-centricity. Share with us in the comments to add your thoughts!

The 2012 North American Brand Performance Study by Forrester has given brands some very compelling, perhaps even scary, information. Customers are smart, more empowered then ever, and they seek innovation, trustworthiness, and convenience from brands more vocally as a result.

Inspired by the study, Sheridan Orr traces the customer journey way, way back in Retail Customer Experience with "Infographic: The evolution of customer experience." This interesting history starts with the rise of vending machines and traces the customer up to the modern day, where increasingly in each step the customer can customize and practice self-service, but in return expects smart and innovative responses.

While comparing the struggles of Kodak with the recent success of Instagram, Michael Hinshaw, Customer experience innovation strategist and co-author, ‘Smart Customers, Stupid Companies’ wrote in the Huffington Post "Your customers' changing expectations have forever shifted the ways they expect to be treated."

 Forbes called out "Trust, Consistency, and Loyalty" as the "Three Attributes Of Enormously Successful Companies" saying "Self-awareness can be good for the soul; it is excellent for the company’s bottom line." When was the last time you asked yourself if your company was walking the walk?

So: Customer Experience Is Now a Strategic Priority. What does this mean? If you know your company is not providing a consistent customer experience, what can you do? These 5 Traits of Great Customer Service by Total Customer Experience Leaders Guest Blogger Flavio Martins are a good place to start. (We, of course, also recommend attending the conference.)

One thing's for sure, when you do gain a customer's loyalty it is a powerful thing. A recent study amazingly showed that "73% of travelers would choose loyalty-program benefits over a spouse if they could take just one on the road.”

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