The joy of measuring CX is short

The joy of measuring CX
Measuring still seems to be more important than true customer experience in many companies. There are way more than one or two companies that have made an art of achieving the right CX results with measurement. I’ve encountered this numerous times not just in Scandinavia but also in Europe. The joy of measuring CX is very short since measurement itself is just a cost. Gathering CX feedback should be followed by customer-centric process development and improved service management before it leads to improved customer experience and business results.

I was dazzled to meet customer service management in Central-Europe a few weeks back. I got to hear how they had tuned their customer experience to top level using the very same methods I know they use in Finland within the same industry. This service organization chooses the same week of every month when the customer service agent can propose the customer to stay online for a short interview after customer service contact. In this interview the customer is asked about their satisfaction to the service. Continue reading “The joy of measuring CX is short” »

Do investors have a relationship to customer experience?

If you are looking to find out how your company has been doing, ask the accounting office. If you would like to know, how you are going to be doing in the future, ask the customer. The customers know where the company is going even before investors or company management does. For example, the legendary Fidelity Magellan fund manager and investor Peter Lynch said he often invests in companies that bring positive value to your daily life. So even investors have a relationship to customer experience. Or do they after all?

Investment gurus are looking at corporate profits instead of customer experience

Usually stock company owners, the so called investors, are talking about revenues, earnings, return on capital, free cash flow and other hard, financial facts. Gurus, such as Warren Buffet or Peter Lynch put a lot of emphasis on the P/E (price to earnings) number. Especially they watch the development of the company’s earnings, the famous E.

Peter Lynch, who is known for investing in growth companies, used the Lynch value to find suitably priced and successfully growing companies. Ben Graham, the father of value investing, used the Graham number that Warren Buffet developed further into a Buffet-Munger Screener. All these gurus are trying to look for companies that have a lower price than their current and future ability to produce earnings. Customer experience is not part of these figures so the question is: does customer experience have anything to do with guiding investment decisions? Continue reading “Do investors have a relationship to customer experience?” »

How to develop customer service knowledge and win the Customer’s Voice?

Customer’s Voice Awards were granted to the best contact centers for the fourth time. New winners took place in all of the categories. The best customer service title was awarded to Kuopio Energy and the financial group OP was rewarded for the best Customer’s Voice development after improving their customer experience by 140% during 2015. The improved customer service knowledge was also shown in the customer loyalty index measured by the The Finnish Direct Marketing Association.


The factors that influence Customer’s Voice Index

The best three contact centers were familiar from last year but there were new well-performing contestants among the TOP 10. Many of our clients are eager to win the Customer’s Voice title. A very common question I hear is what should be developed in order to win the title. The truth is many customer service organizations are strong with different aspects of customer experience. The factors that heavily influence Customer’s Voice are the service availability, organization’s processes and agents’ resolution and service knowledge. Continue reading “How to develop customer service knowledge and win the Customer’s Voice?” »

Prospect theory in sales management – why customers are not buying

Prospect theory in sales management
Occasionally sales management struggles between the debate of sales and product organizations. Product development claims that the new product has better features than competitors’ and in addition it’s cheaper. However, the sales organization is saying that customers are not interested in the product or that they are simply just not buying. Where do the different views come from and how can we create positive purchasing behavior with better sales management and decision making?

According to prospect theory customers don’t make rational decisions

Many are aware of  the economic principles regarding demand, supply and utility. According to utility theory price is determined in the markets depending on supply and demand and customers make rational decisions based on the price and features of products and services. Better features and cheaper price get rational customers to switch from inferior product or service to a better one. If the product organization is right about the features and price, then sales management and sales people must lack adequate skills to conclude the sales. Continue reading “Prospect theory in sales management – why customers are not buying” »

Start creating smarter customer interactions

In a world that celebrates the new and the recent, it’s time to pay more attention to an industry that is neither of these, and yet it underpins everything we do as companies. It’s not a glamourous industry (yet!), and yet making mistakes here will damage a company’s reputation – sometimes permanently.

I am referring to Customer Interactions. Connecting with our customers, understanding their needs, and resolving their issues. We used to call this a call centre, or customer service; however these definitions are too narrow to really encompass the breadth of what we can achieve as an industry. Whilst many customers still absolutely must speak to us using the phone, because their request is urgent or important, many of the connections we make are on traditional channels such as email or web. And now we are seeing the rise of new channels – webchat, social media, and even WhatsApp!

I celebrated 50 years in the industry last year, and am starting to see the industry complete a full circle. We started with a very personal service, connecting one to one with customers. As worldwide economies grew, we scaled the industry to achieve high levels of efficiency. And now, we’ve automated processes to achieve the scale and efficiency, and are returning to a more personal contact. As an industry, we’re changing the way we measure ourselves, from efficiency, to effectiveness, and now to experiences. Chief among these experiences is that human contact, the return to personal service. Knowing, and sometimes even choosing who to speak to within a company to improve the customer experience.

So how do we as companies move towards this new model? Let’s break it down into three areas

  1. People
  2. Places
  3. Technology

The move from efficiency to experiences means we need a new skillset for the people we are managing and recruiting. They need to listen, to engage like marketing, and then speak with impact. And we must empower them to do this, giving them the tools and the knowledge to be successful.

We need inspiring places to work in. Our work now is varied, and the environment must reflect and support this in both the looks and the acoustic treatment.   If this is the home environment for some people, then let’s embrace this as a way to drive higher employee satisfaction.

Finally, our technology must enable greater connections. Our associates are now enterprise knowledge brokers – it isn’t about what they know, it’s who they know and how they connect a customer to that person or knowledge. Unified Communications will start to be seen as essential technology for customer interactions as well as the rest of the enterprise soon.

It’s time to change as an industry, but let’s not think of contact centre transformation – think of transforming the enterprise to become customer centric, and deliver smarter customer interactions in every way that our customers connect with us.
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