What do a Bank, an Airline, and an Online Retailer Have in Common?
Consorsbank, Lufthansa, and Zalando—three very different companies—have both undertaken a Customer Experience improvement program. Consorsbank is a bank; Lufthansa is an airline; Zalando is an online clothing retailer. Whilst they each have their unique challenges, their insight on Customer Experience shows us the common obstacles that all of us face when tackling such an important facet of our business.
Econsultancy heard from the people working on the Customer Experience improvement efforts. In a recent article on their blog, representatives from each company shared excellent tips based on each of their involvement so far:
On shifting from a marketing push strategy (media buy) to a marketing pull strategy (product improvement), the bank representative said he believed “it is more important how people perceive and rate your product—more valuable to invest in the product and let feedback bring in more customers.”
On the disruptive nature of improving Customer experience, the airline representative spoke of how the organizational change is “valuable in its own right and should be considered a benefit of focusing on Customer Experience.”
On how personalization can improve a customer’s online experience, the online retailer said it was important to examine “past transactions and entry points to serve relevant content.”
These marketers were also posed the following questions, which I will also weigh in on:
Q: What should a firm focus on: Customer Experience or Branding?
A: If you have to choose one, then choose Customer Experience. However, they work together; they are both marketing functions. Like Consorsbank said, Branding pushes your message out while Customer Experience pulls them in. You could also think of it as Branding puts the promise in the market, and Customer Experience delivers on that promise.
Q: Is Personalization imperative for Customer Experience.
A: YES! YES! YES!!! Personalization is critical to Customer Experience because of how it makes your customers feel. As Customer Experience consultants we are always going on about how emotions drive over half of the outcome for your Customer Experience. When you personalize the experience for a person, they feel cared for, valued, appreciated. Research shows that the emotions generated by these actions in a customer interaction are the same ones present when a person feels loved.
Q: Are products secondary to service?
A: No. Products (and services) are part of an experience. They are just not ALL of the experience. Having a great product or service is the way you bring the customer in. Having a great Customer Experience is how you get them to come back.
Q: How does one tackle a 40-Touchpoint (or more) customer journey as it pertains to providing a consistent Customer Experience throughout all departments?
A: You must break it down into littler parts. If you look at the whole customer journey and all the moments you identify in between, the project can feel too overwhelming. Moreover, if you have a global operation with countless entry points for customers, it can feel impossible to accomplish. However, in our Customer Experience consultancy, we have faced tasks as daunting as this and succeeded. How? By breaking it down into smaller parts. Then, one must look at each of these smaller parts in the customer journey from a rational, emotional, subconscious, and psychological viewpoint.
[Here’s a bonus tip: In these projects, we have been known to choose a smaller department to pilot a program, mostly to demonstrate how well it works and how it improves value for the organization (and senior management). We did this when we were working with a global brand, one of the biggest and most recognizable in the world. It was so successful with this department; the rest of the organization was scrambling to tackle this project with us.]
Would you have different answers for the questions above? Do you agree with the marketers from the article? I’d love to hear your take on any of these areas in the comments below.
Join us on Thursday, July 14th, 2016, at 11 a.m. EST, for more insight on how to create a customer-centric digital experience for your customers in our 30-minute webinar, “5 Steps for an Effective Customer Centric Digital Transformation.” Register here today!
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Colin Shaw is the founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s leading Customer experience consultancy & training organizations. Colin is an international author of five bestselling books and an engaging keynote speaker.
Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter & Periscope @ColinShaw_CX