Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Customer Experience Innovation: Treat Your Customers Like People

With the 2014 Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit just weeks away, I was lucky enough to catch up with Len Ferman, managing director of Ferman Innovation, and former Senior Vice President of Innovation and Ideation at Bank of America.

Today, corporate leaders often lose sight of customer needs in the constant quest toward next quarter’s earnings. But, what is positive for stock prices tends to conflict with long term customer satisfaction and shareholder value.

You simply can’t understand the customer experience if don’t empathize with your customers, Ferman told me. “You have to be able to see them face-to-face and listen to them talk about their pain points and challenges,” he said.

Ferman suggests that corporate leaders need to spend more time attending traditional focus groups – watching their customers talk about their interactions with the company and hear their first hand experiences and further, understand how these fit within the broader context of the goals and challenges that they have as people.

“When you see customers face-to-face, you pick up the body language and expressions that you cannot discern in the most disciplined reading of a market research report,” explained Ferman. “Only when you have seen your customers talking about your company, can you truly empathize with their needs.

Listen to the full podcast interview here: http://bit.ly/1fQymj7

Len will be speaking in just a few weeks at the 2014 Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, taking place April 9-11th, in a session entitled, “Innovation a Roadmap for Customer Experience.”

This year’s conference will explore the new realities of building brands and relationships in today's socially driven and data abundant world. The event shines 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.

For more information about this exciting event, click here: http://bit.ly/OeuKLI

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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