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CXU Student Brief 17

The CXU Student Brief

A monthly newsletter for Upgraded Online Course Subscribers

Insights from the 2018 Customer Experience Conference at The Conference Board

Customer experience is best when it fits with the emotions of your customers. They want to feel they can trust companies, regardless of industry. Therefore, they look for evidence. In the 2018 Customer Experience Conference at the Conference Board, observations from 112 senior practitioners were recorded. Here is the first set of observations…

Issue 4: Companies need to learn from both direct and indirect feedback as fast as possible to improve the overall experience.

The Pitfalls of Surveying

Surveys aren’t always reliable because people will tell you what they think you want to hear rather than how they really feel. Instead, talk directly with customers and look at unsolicited data from social media and recorded phone calls to find their pain points. The negative feedback will often be your most valuable. Also talk to front-line employees to hear what customers are telling them. You will eventually find patterns in the conversations. Then you can work with customer-facing employees to create solutions. Here are how some companies are collecting employee feedback:
  • An insurance company holds employee huddles every two weeks where they ask each other—What have you heard from customers? What are their pain points? How did you fix them?
  • A jewelry and luxury goods retailer reviews speech analytics from recorded phone calls and makes mash-ups of different customers repeating the same phrases, such as “I was just online and XYZ didn’t work.” Then it looks at how this data compares to data from other sources, such as social media. In one case, it found that customers really wanted shopping bags included with online purchases to use when giving a gift.
  • Supervisors at a telecom company call customers back to hear what they have to say.
  • A telecom company provides and tracks customer experience on national, divisional, and regional levels.
The worst thing you can do is collect someone’s feedback and then let them think it went into a black hole. Let them know what common problems you found and what actions you’re taking to fix them.

Connect with Customers in Other Ways

Here are some trends you can adopt to better connect with your customers:
  1. Customers are far less tolerant of chores and boredom when engaging in a shopping experience. For example, waiting in line for a long time makes them feel less valued. This dislike of waiting will most likely get worse.
  2. Experiences and programs have to be easy for people to want to participate, so simplify processes. Instead of making people log into something, which feels like extra work, use an app or wearable device. As you reduce friction points, you will increase the amount of time a person will want to spend with your product or service. A cruise company gives passengers on one ship (it’s a “smartship”) a wearable “medallion” to provide a more seamless, friction-free experience—this device offers access to their documents portfolio, automatically unlocks their cabin door, shows their location so they can have drinks delivered poolside, helps them locate friends and family in other parts of the ship, and lets them participate in special games and activities around the ship.
  3. Building gamification into your experience helps people feel involved. A life insurance company provides customers with a wearable device to track their exercise, and they can earn points for steps, gym visits, healthy eating, meditation, and other healthy activities. As they earn points, they go up in status level where they can claim rewards such as discounts on their premiums, at grocery stores, and for hotels. The company found that customers preferred smaller, more frequent rewards than one big reward at an anniversary point.
  4. In an internet-based world, companies need to offer an omnichannel experience. For example, a legacy print and media company started offering more digital and interactive experiences such as conferences, breakfast roundtable discussions, webinars, videos, 10-part in-depth series, podcasts, and radio interviews. And a wealth management company hosts themed dinners with curated seating assignments to connect people who wouldn’t regularly interact.
  5. Augmented and virtual reality will become increasingly popular to help customers understand experiences. For example, a hospital can show a child a virtual operating room to help alleviate anxiety before surgery, and blue jeans aficionados can visit a virtual jeans store in a mall in Shanghai.
  6. People want immediate gratification, so offer live chat options and live to share—one university professor found that people feel more connected to experience when they watch it in real-time rather than as a recording because they can interact with other viewers even if they don’t know each other.

How to Create Better Customer Connections {Quick Video}

Watch as Alec Melger from Design Pickle shares 5 tips on how to connect with customers. Hint: it’s all about being genuine!

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