Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Customer Experience Conversations: Crystal Collier

In this next post in our Customer Experience Conversations series, we sat down with Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit’s keynote speaker Crystal Collier, CEO of CX Act, formerly TARP Worldwide.

CX Act has pioneered the science of quantifying, managing and optimizing the customer experience and has remained a leader in the CX market since 1971. Today, through its innovative research, technology and customer interaction programs, it continues to set the standard to improve clients' customer service performance, customer value and "The Profit of Interaction.”

In April, Collier and TCEL will explore these topics and the all of the new realities of building brands and relationships in today’s socially driven and data abundant world. The event will shine an important lens on the power of insights and the critical need for marketers to focus on factoring emotion into the bigger equation to get a return on customer relationships.

Here is what Collier had to say:

IIR: How is empathetic leadership changing leadership in customer experience today?

Collier: Without considering empathy—from the C-suite to the frontline employee—delivering a superior CX is nearly impossible. Customers are driven largely by emotions, and their behaviors result from feelings. If you don’t understand the emotions and leverage empathy to drive change throughout the organization, you are missing incredible opportunities to drive bottom-line results.

IIR: Why are empathy and emotion so important in when it comes to customer experience?

Collier: Emotions govern so many of the decisions we make, so CX must consider and accommodate that reality. Understanding the emotions associated with each customer touchpoint is critical—adding emotions to the customer journey mapping process is a great first step.

IIR: What are the key traits of a great customer experience leader?

Collier:  A great CX leader knows how to balance efficiency and effectiveness metrics for a complete measure of CX performance. A great CX leader knows that satisfaction is more than a score. A great CX leader taps into the voice of the employee as well as the voice of the customer. A great CX leader regularly, frequently, and passionately monitors and observes customer interactions. A great CX leader knows what touchpoints matter most to her customers and ensures they are best in class.

IIR: If your customers have a bad customer experience, how do you reconnect with them moving forward?

Collier:  One of the most important things to recovering from a bad experience is taking ownership. Ownership and accountability can set the stage for recovery. You need to own the issue with a genuine apology and deliver on promises to fix it. From there, putting measures in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again is key.

IIR: How has the digital revolution changed the overall customer experience?

Collier: The digital revolution has revolutionized access—access to customers, to data, to companies. Understanding what channels you control and where resources should be allocated is critical to an effective digital strategy.

IIR: Employee recognition can positively influence employee behaviors and cultivate a customer-centric culture. How do you recognize and motivate your employees?

Collier: Regular, timely, meaningful, and relevant employee R&R can help keep the focus on the CX; linking it to VOC metrics is also helpful.

IIR: How do you strategize and innovate on your company’s customer experience to continuously improve it as the marketplace grows increasingly competitive?

Collier:  You must understand what your customers want in 2 areas: 1- what do they need to make them totally satisfied and 2- how do you best deliver this service to them.

IIR: How do you make the connections between experience, brand and loyalty, which together create customer expectations?

Collier: The brand sets the standard for the experience and the experience drives loyalty. Delivering on the brand promise with employee behaviors is important exercises to increase loyalty and deliver a superior CX.

Want to hear more from Crystal on customer experience in person?  Join her at Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit 2014 in Miami in April where she will be presenting a keynote session entitled, “Bringing Empathy into Your Organization.”

Your experience at TCEL will include three full days of high-level visionary keynote presentations and in-depth case studies illustrating linking insights & data, data measuring & mapping, design thinking, synthesize intelligence from B2B and B2C companies across verticals, disciplines and cultures to march forward with a sound total customer experience plan.

To learn more about the event and register, click here:   http://bit.ly/1dQq6xh

About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.

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