Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Infographic: #TotalCEL 2012 Retrospective

Total Customer Experience Leaders may be behind us, but the learning and sharing doesn't end with the event. Be sure to join our LinkedIn group to network with your customer experience colleagues all year long and stay tuned here or follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more industry and event updates.

Speaking of Twitter, we had a great conversation during the event on our #TotalCEL hashtag. This infographic from sums up some of the highlights:

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Thanks so much to everyone who came and tweeted from the event!

If you missed our 2012 event, or need a reference now that you're back in the office, you can read recap posts of each day here:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit Day 3 Recap

The final day of the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit certainly didn't disappoint as we were privileged to hear an amazing line up of leaders who are aligning organizations around a customer experience mission and teaching us to effectively do the same.

We started the day discussing customer experience in a digital age. How to effectively implement customer experience loyalty programs and communicate the needs and action steps of the program to our organization.

Customer Experience Conference
We learned about the power of happiness within our organization to engage employees and unite people around a customer experience service mission. We also explored a case study of an airline that has effectively implemented a successful, premium flight experience in an age where customers are shopping for bargains. Here's a recap of some of the key discussions on our third and final day of our customer experience management conference.

Delivering Customer Experience Value in a World Gone Digital

Neff Hudson from USAA masterfully showed how USAA has been able to leverage technology to bring the clients at USAA the greatest value in service.

Customers today are spending more time researching, connecting, and interacting with our organizations before ever picking up the phone and interacting with a human being at the company. Because of this, it's not enough to have a great Web site today

We need to develop systems within our companies that connect our people, to our site, and our customers so that we know about our customers as the customer contact is being made. Using the latest technology available we can create smart call centers where customers are connected to agents who are armed with all of the tools and information about the customer and is able to bring real value to the customer interaction.

How a State of the Art Customer Experience Program Can Prevent the CEO Losing Sleep

Bill Barnes, from Burke, Inc., broke down the worries and concerns of executives when it comes to customer experience programs and shows us how to prepare our company executives to embrace customer experience and see the value it brings to the organization.

The most important question that any customer experience professional has to answer to the organization is: What is the financial impact to the organization for improving the customer experience?

We answer that question, by laying out a customer experience program using the linkage process. Within the linkage process we:
  • Blueprint - lay out all of the business processes changes required in customer experience.
  • Assess - review what systems contain information that will be needed for customer experience change.
  • Analyze - propose changes to existing business systems and processes to contribute to a better customer experience
  • Simulate - test out the changes and determine if the change is significant to be fully implemented.
Following this pattern when implementing customer experience programs, ensures us that we complete all of the requirements for effective customer experience change:

Case Study: The Porter Airlines Customer Experience

We were privileged to have Robert Deluce, CEO of Porter Airlines, with us at our conference. Robert discussed the Porter difference in how they have been able to thrice as a premium regional airline in a time where the margins in the airlines business are slim and customers are looking for bargains.

Porter Airlines goes above and beyond by carefully targeting their customer base and masterfully defining their brand and service experience. They realize that the most budget conscious consumer may not be willing to choose Porter, but providing a dignified, exceptional service experience still matters to many customers.

Toronto-based Porter Airlines enjoys the highest ratings in its airline category and is currently ranks along the lines of JetBlue and other award-winning service-based regional airlines. They truly show that service matters.

The Value of Happiness in Creating Positive Customer Experiences

JoAnna Brandi, a certified happiness consultant, expounded on the importance of culture in gaining a competitive advantage. JoAnna taught us that you can't put in place great experiences unless you have a culture of great people behind a great mission.

Customer experience is creating organizations that can out-think and out-perform the competition. As we invest in our company culture, the positive emotion we create within our organizations is contagious and helps us become successful in positively connecting with our customers.

Organizations with higher employee engagement have:
  • 27% Higher Profits
  • 50% Higher Sales
  • 50% Higher Customer Loyalty
So why is creating this happiness and focusing on an exceptional customer experience important?

Customer experience is what you'll do after marketing. It's taking care of the customers you've brought in. If you want to keep them, you have to care for them.

Creating a Customer Focused Culture

Janet LeBlanc rounded out our conference talking about the responsibility to develop a customer-centric organization. Ultimately, it's not the CEO's responsibility to create the customer culture and it's not the customer experience manager's responsibility to do so.

The responsibility to create a customer-focused organization lies with every employee of the organization. It's a team effort. Customer experience can't be seen, it can't be heard, it can't be smelled or touched. Customer experience is intangible, it's the feelings you create within the customer.

Every customer touch point or experience has the potential to improve or diminish the power of the value of your brand. Everything the customer encounters is part of the customer's experience.
  • 87% of organizations want to be customer experience leaders.
  • 13% have achieved any level of customer-centricity.
  • The key is making memorable connections.
  • Your culture is who you are as a company.
  • Culture is an organization's personality.
Customer focused organizations focus on customer action. They share the same characteristics:
  • Customer requirements are considered first.
  • Customer is talked about constantly.
  • Customer feedback mechanisms are built into everything.
  • Leaders visit with, talk to, and talk about the customer regularly.
  • Employees feel connected to and are able to act for the customer's needs.
Customer experience focused organizations share the same benefit:
  • Better financial performance.
  • Higher employee involvement.
  • Stronger internal communication.
  • Healthier risk-taking and more innovation.
Putting the customer first eliminates the disconnect that companies often struggle with. Throughout our 3 days of customer experience we learned about the big things and little things that matter in exceptional customer experiences and customer experience programs.

We learned from organizations that get customer experience and from those that have learned to successfully align organizations around a customer experience mission.

With this rich experience, we'll now be able to be more effective at understanding the trends, the processes, and best practices to engage employees, educate executives, and manage the processes that allow our companies to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit Day 2 Recap

We spent day one of our customer experience conference looking at ways to design and measure our customer experience actions. Day two took us a journey of how to get our people connected with customer experience and the pitfalls of using customer experience the wrong way.

Never by Chance: How Leaders Align Intentional Customer Experience to Accelerate Strategy

Chuck Feltz started the day by answering the greatest question about implementing customer experience in our organizations: if we only had 30 seconds to tell an organization how to get the best return on their dollar, what would we tell them?

 Chuck's answer? STOP.

Stop doing what you're doing. Too many companies are spending more dollars in customer experience, than their efforts bring in.

Chuck goes on to says that the ESSENCE of strategy, is choosing to perform activities DIFFERENTLY or perform DIFFERENT activities than rivals. That's the first place we need to focus our customer experience development efforts. 

We do this by asking ourselves:

-WHAT problem do we want to solve?
-FOR WHOM do we want to solve it?
-WHY is our solution the best option?

Most customer experience strategies fail, not in execution, but in return for investment.

We fail to get the return we want, because we haven't asked ourselves the right questions and developed our customer experience process to answer those questions.

You CAN'T achieve DISTINCT competitive advantage from things you do REASONABLY well MOST of the time.

Never build WOW experience when your CORE experience is bad. Build your core process, then get started working on adding the WOW factor.

Experience Matters: The Role of Brand in Creating Customer Experiences That Count

Peter Dixon with Prophet ran through a case study on how the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas went from failed real estate project with $1 billion dollars lost and nowhere near completion, to successful Las Vegas contemporary hotel by using customer experience to build a brand.

Peter's presentation shows that customer experience is about telling a story that creates feelings within customers. It's not just done with human interaction.

Everything presented to the customer, people, location, objects, all contribute to the overall customer experience.

 Peter left us with the following advice about how brand and the customer experience:

Before starting anything think: what will be the touch points what are the experience objectives what will be the touchpoint priorities what are the segments what will be the inspiration what will be done new/different.

The key is to create signature touchpoint for the customer. We need to create distinctions that stand above the rest.

Our customer experience solution has to be: 

-Effective/Behavior Changing

Meeting the Expectations of Your Customers

Scott Hudler from Dunkin' Donuts discussed how brands can evolve to meet the needs of customers.

Not all customers are the same and effective brands know how to cater to the individual needs of their specific customer segment. Dunkin' is not in the business of providing coffee for the whole world.

They know who their customer base is, and they create a customer experience to connect with their target audience, listen to their customers, and make changes as their customer needs change.

Scott reminded us that: Putting the consumer first is ALWAYS the right strategy.

Dunkin' Donuts implements this strategy by focusing on their Dunkin's Half-Dozen Customer Experience Rules:

1. The power has shifted to shifted to consumers.
2. Brand has to be build around customer insight.
3. Customer has to be the center of everything we do.
4. Create dialogue with your customers.
5. Data is powerful...only if you put it into action.
6. Problems happen, how you resolve is the key.

The Seven Deadly Sins (and Seven Heavenly Virtues) of Voice of the Customer Research

Howard Lax from GFK enlightened us to the seven sins we're all guilty of committing in our measurement and research at one time of another...and many times we do this without even knowing it!

The 7 Deadly Sins of Customer Measurement:

Vanity - We focus on easy metrics or just those that make managers look good.
Provincialism - We don't ask the questions that really matter.
Narcissism - We looking at experience from company's perspective, not customer.
Laziness - We think we know what customers wants, more than the customer.
Pettiness - We limit the scope of the problem. Or underplay the gravity of the problem.
Inanity - We lose sight of the consequences of measurements.
Frivolity - We fail to take action.

From Bow to Stern: How Royal Caribbean is Strengthening Guest Engagement

Kara Wallace from Royal Caribbean teamed up with Judy Melanson from Chadwick Martin Bailey to show they they were able to build a customer engagement program to measure the customer experience in Royal Caribbean's cruise offerings.

Kara showed us how Royal Caribbean sets the bar high by showing customers that they operate on a brand promise. Based on the brand promise to its customers, the brand then prioritizes all of its investments on those that make the biggest difference to the guest experience.

The cornerstone to maintaining a high level of customer engagement for Royal Caribbean comes down to closely monitoring what customers are saying and making constant changes to the process based on what customers are saying.

Measuring Customer Loyalty

Renee Pezzi and Kerry Whiting from Citizen Bank demonstrated how Citizen Bank is staying on top of customer needs and focusing their actions as an organization on those that build customer loyalty through their custom customer loyalty index.

The Citizen Bank Customer Loyalty Index helps the organization make sure that they are monitoring the needs and wants of the customers across all of the services and components that customers interact with. Renee and Kerry reminded us that when creating customer loyalty programs:

  • One size does not fit all. Do what's best for your organization & customers.
  • Make sure metrics link to desired business results and why! 
  • Sell the process internally, showing why!
  • Always have ongoing assessment & improvement of metrics.
  • Create great partnerships across business departments. You'll need it!
  • Not all customer experience improvements cost $$$.
  • Celebrate the quick wins in customer experience.

Integrating Voice of the Customer Into the Organization

Master storyteller Scott Swift from Hunter Douglas delivered a master presentation on the power of story telling to connect people with customer experience objectives.

Scott showed us how customer stories can show that we're using the data we receive and anchor it in the heads of the people.

The problem we often have with data is that we love it and would marry it if we could. The problem is that we transform it, manipulate data, play with it, and complicate it.

At the end of the day, stories are remembered much better, it's especially good if the story anchors to a specific piece of data.

We can be more effective at making customer experience organization changes if we:

  • Train our people to show data.
  • Explain what the data means.
  • Show what we're going to do about the data.
  • Determine the expectation from the process change.
  • Measure the outcome of our changes against our expectations.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit Day 1 Recap

1 day, 10 sessions, all customer experience. For everyone in attendance, this was a customer experience event worth every minute. If you weren't able to be there, here's a recap of what you missed. First, make sure you check out the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit Web site and stay tuned for details for the 2013 event. Trust me, after the smashing customer experience topics discussed this year, you won't want to miss this event again.

The State of Customer Experience Today

David Blair, with Rockwell Automation reminded us that the sad truth is that loyalty programs, customer satisfaction programs can all disappear. If people don't find value in it, it will disappear. Our focus is to ensure that keep moving this space forward, evolving.

Managing the Customer Experience - What It Means and What it Takes to Do It Well

Randy Brandy from Maritz and Loy Carbone with Experience Engineering discussed the frequent difficulty customer experience leaders have in connecting their organizations with customer focused action.

The problem is that we often don't have a clearly articulated definition and direction, with the exact role of customer experience management. We end up adding on pieces and components onto something that's already existing. But it's not a clearly outlined process. We spend so much time designing the experience for the customer, but it's critical to design the customer experience internally for the organization!

How to embed a culture of customer experience in your organization.

Kelly Harper, Director of Customer Experience at the Bank of Montreal (BMO Financial) showed us that not all banks are failing in the customer experience game.

BMO is leading the way at turning around the banking industry service model and showed us how BMO is taking customer experience to the next level. Kelly reminded us that customer experience isn't one thing. It's everything.
  • Customer experience is how customers feels about us.
  • Customer experience is our image and reputation in the marketplace.
  • Customer experience is what our customers say it is.
...and effective customer experience management means we should know all of this.

Customer Feedback Systems: What the Academic Research Evidence Says About Customer Experience

Neil Morgan, from Indiana University, probably made the most earth shaking news during the day when his presentation showed what scientific data says about customer experience, customer satisfaction, and the various customer experience programs available to organizations.

 Neil showed that studies show that market oriented organizations are likely to be more innovative and able to implement faster than those that aren't market oriented. When an organization is market oriented:
  • Innovates faster
  • Greater focus on perceived quality
  • More efficient and effective organizational performance
Neil discussed why statistical precision matters. Specifically, reminding that because of statistics, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) requires 13x greater sample size vs. standard satisfaction index. Ultimately, there is 0 academic evidence that customer satisfaction has impact in market share.

That's right. Customer satisfaction DOES NOT lead to greater market share. In all actuality, as the market share of an organization increases, there is a greater likelihood that customer satisfaction will actually DECREASE due to the size of the company, nature of a wider customer base, and inability to please every single customer!

 Does that mean that customer service scores don't matter? NO! But we HAVE to give CONTEXT to what the number say. Don't just give people scores, tell people what needs to be done with scores and what actions scores represent. Focus on actions!

Customer Experience Keeps Going and Going!

At this point, believe it or not, we were still just getting started with day 1!

 Other topics we discussed today were:

  • Designing Customer Experience - Going From Strategy to Experience Engineering.

  • Measuring Successful Voice of Customer and Speech Analytics Deployment. 

  • Customer Care-opoly: Gamification to Teach Customer Experience! 

  • How to Effectively Measure and Analyze and Leverage Multi-Channel Voice of Customer Data 

  • What Lessons We Can Learn From How Voice of the Customer Leaders Measure Customer Experience 
Customer experience is more than numbers and measurements. Some things we do in customer experience has a big impact, but doesn't show up in the numbers.

So remember to give context to the customer experience actions we want to take and the value to the organization.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Welcome to day one at The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit!

The Total Customer Experience Leader’s summit kicks off at 8:00am today with opening remarks from our chairperson, David Blair, Director, Customer Experience, ROCKWELL AUTOMATION.

Join the conversation: follow our team on Twitter @TotalCustomer and if you're tweeting from the event use #TotalCEL. You can also catch up on sessions here throughout.

Thanks so much to our event sponsors:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Are you committed to customer experience? Don't miss out on this!

The time is here! The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit begins! Live from Boston, MA, we'll be experiencing 3 jam-packed days of customer experience, customer experience, and more customer experience from the leading experts in customer experience design, measuring, development, and alignment.

The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit will walk us through leading strategies to implement a successful customer experience culture in our organizations.

Throughout the three days we'll explore, collaborate, and build the ideas of designing successful customer experience programs, effectively measuring the impact of customer experience, strategically establish customer experience processes, and align entire organizations around customer-focused principles and processes.

Here's a quick preview of some of the hot topics we'll be covering here during the next three amazing customer experience days!

Design the Customer Experience

-The Academic Research Evidence for Customer Experience
-Customer Experience Design—From Strategy to Experience Engineering
-Successful VOC and Speech Analytics Deployment - A Real-Life Case Study!

Measure the Customer Experience

-Customer Care-Opoly
-How to Effectively Analyze and Leverage Multi-Channel VoC Data
-Lessons Learned From Voice of the Customer Leaders
-The Seven Deadly Sins (and Seven Heavenly Virtues) of Voice of the Customer Research
-From Bow to Stern: How Royal Caribbean is Strengthening Guest Engagement
-Measuring Customer Loyalty

Strategically Establish Customer Experience

-Integrating Voice of the Customer into the Organization
-Summiting the Customer Experience Measurement
-How Emotion Drives Customer Experience, Engagement and Loyalty
-The Value of Happiness in Creating Positive Customer Experiences

Align Around Customer Experience

-How Highly Engaged Employees Deliver the Brand Promise through Customer Experiences
-Linking the Voice of the Customer to Business Processes and Results
-Creating a Customer-Centric Culture
-Integrating a Management Decisions into the Customer Experience

Stay tuned! I'll be giving you a little taste of the customer experience feast that will take place at the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Understanding How Key Customer Life Events Drive Brand Innovation - Complimentary Web Seminar

In association with Questback, The Institute for International Research invites you to join us for a one hour complimentary Web Seminar. This webinar is part of the 2012 Insights Webinar Series: Your resource for insights on the cutting edge.

Understanding How Key Customer Life Events Drive Brand Innovation
Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 1:00PM - 2:00PM Eastern Time

Presenter: Jim Whaley of Questback

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
Please mention your priority code: MWJ0021-Blog

Consumers are faced with brand decisions everyday - from the browser they use when surfing the Internet, to their toothpaste choice and where they get gas. When did these brand choices begin? How early in the buying cycle did the consumer experience influence their purchase decision? This is a question we may lose sight of. But today, brands must understand key milestones and triggers in a customer's life (a baby shower, opening a checking account, or moving out on your own) to build a better brand promise. They must understand where and how customers get information and their experiences and how they use that information to make decisions about your brand.

As a result, leaders struggle with decisions about funding and prioritizing projects and new campaigns. It is critical now more than ever, that brands take a deeper look at their insights programs and marketing channels and how they manage them. Join Questback Vice President, Jim Whaley, as he presents "Understanding How Key Consumer Life Events Drive Brand Innovation."

During this 1 hour complimentary web seminar, Jim will cover the challenges facing marketers today: 

•    Understanding key customer-event touchpoints;
•    Aligning marketing communications and your agency partners with new media realities;
•    Incorporating insights into business process; and
•    How to best share information with key stakeholders in your organization for decision support.

Jim will share what some of the biggest brands are doing to engage with customers and track customer experiences to gather insights for product, channel and brand innovation. And he'll wrap it up with some recommendations on what you can begin doing today to better understand the influences on your customers and their buying behaviors.

Title: Understanding How Key Customer Life Events Drive Brand Innovation
Speaker: Jim Whaley, Questback
Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 PM EDT

Register Now:
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the web seminar.

Customer Experience Support for the Customer Experience People

We've finally arrived at the week of the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit! I'm looking forward to hearing from an excellent line up of customer experience leaders and hope you are looking forward an amazing and insightful week.

If you you're still undecided, there's still time! The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit starts on Wednesday, June 6 in Boston, MA. I want to get our week started by talking about why customer experience matters.

An exceptional customer experience take strategy, planning, commitment and hard work. It's not enough to put warm bodies where customers will be and think that great customer experiences will happen, just because you have real, live humans.

The true customer-centric, customer-thinking, and customer-loving organizations understand the needs of customers, and take action for customers at every level to develop the customer experience.
If you’re going to improve customer have to find ways to meet customers’ individual needs and manage the emotional states that impact decision-making. That will require strong relationships, excellent performance, and engaged employees. Your framework must reflect these components.

Curt Carlson, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience Management – TNS North America

Who can you rely on to verify your framework? When the customer service leaders have questions, who can they turn to?

It's often difficult to effectively plan and execute all of the components of exceptional a customer-focused program. Luckily, we have tools, resources, experts, and a supportive community ready to help. They're there because they're also working or have worked out in the past, the same components we're working to implement today.

A Summit for Customer Experience Leaders

One Collective Voice, One Collaborative Congress, One Holistic Customer Experience Training.

The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit is the conference where YOU get the chance to learn and collaborate with industry leaders from across the business spectrum. The conference brings together the top minds to share genuine insights and best practices which speaks to the TOTAL customer experience process.

This unique conference focuses on:

Designing the Customer Experience

See how VOC data and design principles can be used to engineer experiences across your organization.

Measuring the Customer Experience

Drive change and optimize your sales force by measuring customer feedback through the entire framework for customer service.

Strategizing for Customer Experience

Interpret, analyze and evaluate your customer strategy to ensure business relevance.

Aligning to the Customer Experience

Integrate and leverage your customer touch points – measurement, ROI, linkage, VOC, technology, design principles, operational metrics, and senior leadership – to structure a successful and meaningful program.

If you're ready to participate in a conference where you'll be connecting and discussing the most innovative techniques to gain consensus and buy-in, this conference will help you focus on the key areas of change and create a unique customer experience with customer focused interaction that will make a difference and establish your customer experience.

The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit is a great opportunity to take advantage of 3-full days of innovative keynotes, and advanced case-studies that explore Customer Experience Design, Measurement & Feedback, Strategy, and Alignment.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience News: A Balancing Act

It's time for our final Idea Gathering wrap up before we head off to Boston for the Total Customer Experience Leader's Summit to enjoy the real thing next week!

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. This year we're continuing the tradition with extended Q&A Idea Gathering sessions. We have built in extra time for questions, feedback and open conversation during each break. Moderated by Jeff McKenna from Chadwick Martin Bailey, these sessions will provide a forum for more in-depth discussions.

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.

This week, we chuckled at this piece on new finance website The Billfold detailing "How to Score a Refund From Your Terrible Internet Service Provider in 12 Emotionally Complicated Steps."

For that one customer, it turned out that twitter was the fastest way to receive a response. Likely because the company in question has put an effort into improving that channel. However, this recent study found that "Only 44% Of Customer Questions On Twitter Are Answered Within 24 Hours" so obviously not everyone is receiving that kind of results. (, ever the customer experience champion, answered 82 percent of tweets within one hour of receiving them, but they were obviously not the norm in the study.)

Similarly, when it comes to mobile, CMS Wire confirms that many businesses are struggling saying, "Not everyone it seems is having an easy time arranging their customer experience management (CXM) strategies around mobile first."

So how do you achieve that balance between channels? Businesses today need to be available to respond at all touch points, and also be providing the kind of customer experiences that don't drive customers away. As this article on states: "Lip-service isn't enough since anyone can follow a conversation between a company and a customer and make up their own mind."

So how do you handle the juggle? Any tips for finding the balance? Share with us in the comments!

Don't forget, You can follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook for industry news all week long and live updates from the event next week!