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.
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.