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Keeping the Experience Alive and Vital

Many companies have had a formal customer experience program in place for many years. They have accumulated thousands, and in some cases, hundreds of thousands of interviews. Employees have completed training, and new technologies have been implemented to improve the customer experience. Among our long-time clients, all have a customer experience that is superior to what it was in the past. As I work with these clients, I have had several discussions about how to keep their program both fresh and effective. I want to outline some suggestions that can help keep the feedback component of your program alive and well:

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Do Your Customers Trust You?

It is a question not often formally asked of customers. The response to this question is assumed. “Customers trust us. Why else would they do business with us?” However, it is a question you should consider asking your customers based on our experiences. Their responses may surprise you and may also make a difference to your company’s bottom (and top) line.

Trust and Loyalty: What’s The Connection?

Intuitively, managers know that it is better to have customers that trust them more than less. Since trust, we think, is derived from experiences customers have with a supplier, I want to identify those areas that are critical to enhancing the level of a customer’s trust in your company.

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How to Cut Out Customer Feedback Friction

Customer feedback is an essential ingredient for building better customer experiences, which help businesses survive and thrive.

Too often, though, feedback processes contain unnecessary friction, which causes customers to drop out of the process.

This is a lose-lose situation. The company is deprived of customer insights and customers waste their time.

Here’s the good news: By following a few simple steps, you can prevent or solve much of the friction in feedback processes. Before getting to those, though, let me share why I’m writing about this in the first place.

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Customer Experience KPI’s: Unintended Consequences (and How to Avoid Them)

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be invaluable in helping companies manage progress towards their goals. A KPI answers the question “Are we on track?” with a single metric. Put enough KPIs on a dashboard, and you’ve struck management gold: a snapshot of your business, distilled to a single page.

Applied to customer experience improvement efforts, KPIs can help businesses put actionable, “hard” metrics around what can otherwise be a “soft” topic. Just the ticket for aligning your efforts to become more customer centric. So, what’s not to love?

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The B2B Sales Rep.: 3 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty

With all the talk of social media and its importance in marketing and lead development, sometimes the importance and value of the sales representative in the B-to-B environment are overlooked. This concept was reinforced to me this week while working on a project for a client.

We conduct product delivery surveys for this client, and these surveys are designed to measure customer satisfaction with the product and their sales process. Our client, like many, has a network of dealers that sell and support their products to the end-user. They wanted to know which of the questions on the survey were most strongly correlated with overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend.

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The 5 Emotions of Customer Surveys

Customer surveys can help companies measure customer loyalty and identify opportunities for operational improvement and innovation.  Done right, they leave customers feeling valued and your organization better equipped to serve them.

To give your business the best chance of running an effective survey, besides applying technical best practices it helps to know how the process may feel to members of your organization along the way.

Below are five common emotions we see our clients experience in the course of performing a customer survey, along with tips on how to manage them:

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Unsung Heroes of the Customer Experience: Your Back Office

Believe it or not, your non-customer facing employees, from Sales, Support to Finance, to Legal, are the foundation on which great customer experiences are built. Yet, too often, organizations don’t realize this, or they forget the importance of the support team until it’s too late and your customers begin leaving for your competitors.

If you work in a sales function, take a moment to read the story below and consider the importance of your support team. If you’re in support, take a moment to pat yourself on the back!

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Connecting Customer Experience and Your Brand Promise

If your company is looking to strengthen its brand, consider including the customer experience as a key component of your strategy. The customer experience matters, because brands are built on promises made real.

Consciously or subconsciously, your customers compare what your company logos and slogans are saying to what you’re actually doing. If you consistently make good on the promises you make, your brand grows stronger over time.

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Who Moved My Cheese(burger)?

Imagine you ordered a cheeseburger.  But as you prepare to dig in, you discover there is no cheese.  Now you just have a burger.  I recently spoke to a customer who had a “burger only” experience.  He rented a backhoe and was ready to dig in at his construction site.  But the bucket was loose and the dig was a disaster. You guessed it -- no cheese.

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Rethinking Risk in Customer Experience Improvement

This summer, we finished rewriting a major part of our customer portal software to make it easier to use.

It took a lot of time, money, nights and weekends, and we ran into our fair share of bugs and headaches along the way.

After we had launched the update, I thought “rewrites aren’t for the risk averse!”

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