Thanks for dropping in for another Friday Five, rounding up interesting news articles for the week. We have five good ones for you this week, so let’s get to it:
Measuring the Customer Experience.
CustomerThink has a good look at efforts to measure the customer experience, noting that such measurement is essential, but usually badly done.
It offers four ways to tell that your CX is being measured poorly:
- Failure to measure sufficient voices. Are you measuring the Voice of the Employee and the Voice of the Process along with the Voice of the Customer, to correlate and prioritize action?
- Failure to measure the true “end to end” customer journey. Does the Voice of Customer you’re capturing represent the typical end to end customer journey – for most, if not all, types of customer?
- Failure to align business process to the customer journey. Can you measure the cause and effect between what happens in your process and how it affects the customer journey?
- Failure to take action. A shockingly common failing, even for companies who avoid the first three failures. Because without taking action, what’s the point?
CX Investment Needs Examined.
Jim Marous, co-publisher of The Financial Brand, has published an interesting, wide-ranging look at the increased investment needed for customer experience initiatives.
Everybody seems to agree on the need for a positive customer experience, he writes, but investment isn’t keeping pace, and “key areas of opportunity are being ignored.”
Marous focuses on banking and financial services, but his insights hold true for most any CX initiative.
The entire article is worth reading, and at the end Marous boils it down to three recommendations for companies looking to improve their CX:
- Gather data on CX initiatives that make the ROI case for additional investment. Marous discourages research into “soft KPIs,” saying companies need to “find measurements that relate to cost savings and revenue enhancement” to spur additional investment.
- Make mobile the centerpiece of a leading CX strategy. That’s increasingly where your customers are, and they see no good reason why they can’t have just as positive an experience there.
- Increase the investment in social media customer experience enhancement. Marous notes that as customers are increasing their reliance on this channel, your investment should follow suit. He calls the current lack of investment in social media “surprising.”
Shifting from CRM to CEM.
Annie Bustos argues in Business2Community that business needs to shift the focus from Customer Relationship Management to Customer Experience Management.
“More than a semantic difference or tech marketing gimmick” she writes, there needs to be a broader change in how companies not only improve sales, loyalty and retention, but “to also make their customers happier.”
She offers three essential CEM features your company should have:
- A 360-degree view of the customer along with actionable insights. CRM focuses on data and processes, CEM focuses on metrics that measure customer satisfaction.
- Multiple language capabilities. Demographics are shifting, and good CEM can handle a variety of languages.
- Fully web-based User Interfaces. Personalized dashboards too, and experience-based data points.
Should You Care About AI Chatbots Yet?
Diginomica’s Jon Reed takes a look at Facebook’s (okay, slightly overhyped) Facebook Messenger AI chatbot rollout, and wonders if the enterprise should be taking notice “as messaging becomes a platform unto itself.”
Announcing the bots on Messenger, Facebook officials said the mobile app shopping experience, apart from Messenger, is “tedious, involving slow loading links and difficulty comparing products, etc.,” according to Reed.
Already over a billion messages are exchanged between businesses and consumers per month on Messenger, FB officials say, and the new rollout includes a “personal shopping assistant” named Spring. It’s early stages yet, the bots are still rudimentary, but as Reed says they’ll improve, and Facebook is betting that a single Messenger feed will replace a host of apps for consumers.
Hey Salesforce and Dropbox are already using Messenger services. So watch, yes, but don’t jump in with both feet quite yet.
Blind Spots in the Customer Journey.
Brian Foster, senior vice president of information services at Neustar, writes in AdExchanger that “connecting online-to-offline interactions often leads to blind spots, creating an incomplete picture that may threaten the marketer-customer relationship.”
He means that unless marketers can put online and offline customer identifiers together, “they may end up with gaps” in their customer journey constructions.
Real people don’t live in a screen, he says – they might go online to check out vacation packages and compare prices and have a great experience, but wait on hold ten minutes when calling a travel agent and have to repeat everything for a poor experience.
It’s the challenge of the omnichannel, and it’s how companies blend digital and offline consumer identities with transparency and respecting consumer privacy.
That’s it for this week, see you next Friday!