Top Stories of the Week: The Value of Persistence and more

Welcome to another Friday Five, bringing you some of the most interesting customer service articles from the past week. Let’s get to it:

The Essential CX Leader Quality: Persistence.

Ian Golding writes in CustomerThink that while customer-centric leaders and organizations share a number of positive qualities, they all have persistence.

“When you choose to go down the path of Customer Experience… you are unwittingly making a decision to do something that is really not easy to do. Trying to change the way a business works; the way a business thinks; is one of the most challenging things any business professional can do,” he writes.

He gives the inspiring example of Fiona Templeton, who spent twelve years – 12 – transforming Scottish Water from a typical government-protected monopoly into “the most customer centric utility business in the UK.” She was recently named the UK Customer Experience Professional of the Year.

It takes time, friends, it takes time. Years-long efforts are common. But if it’s the right thing to do, and you know it, you’ll do it.

Mobile Essential for In-Store CX.

Writing in Forbes, Fiona Briggs reports on new research finding that “Mobile technology in bricks and mortar stores is having a direct impact on the customer experience.”

Shoppers, the research finds, “regard in-store mobile technology as key for an enjoyable shopping experience, with 73% of respondents stating those retailers which provide the technology offer superior customer service.”

And a rather statistically significant number – 94% – of those surveyed want more interactive kiosks, barcode scanners and other mobile tools.

Why is this? In-store mobile technologies “bring together data from different touch points, in order to provide better customer service and relationships,” giving shoppers “a more informed, more efficient and stress free shopping experience, resulting in critical brand loyalty.”

Seven Steps to Lasting Customer Loyalty.

B2C.com offers seven ideas for building lasting customer loyalty program, defined as “incentivizing your current customer base to make more purchases:”

  • Use a points-based reward system. People can understand being given currency to exchange for goods or services. It’s simple and effective – don’t overthink things.

  • Give away free digital products. This costs little and is very easy.

  • Offer a referral program. Especially if you’re selling repeat digital products – Dropbox does this to great advantage.

  • Establish partner offers. If you’re selling a service based on monthly payments, you can offer discounted subscriptions and special promotions.

  • Run discount events and giveaways. Monthly giveaways are popular among customers, and they’re easy to fit in a marketing strategy.

  • Look at sustainable reward structures. “Ethical” brands are more popular than ever. Rewarding positive customer behavior marks you as a principled, ethical company.

  • Reward active community members. “Customers that are in communities associated with a business spend 19% more than those that aren’t.”

Does your Customer Experience Strategy Include the Customer?

Marketers have much to atone for, writes Alasdair Graham, head of online marketing at Shout Digital, but forgetting about the customer is their cardinal sin.

“Ultimately, the only thing that really matters at a strategic level in marketing, and indeed the majority of the business world is customer experience – something we seem to have forgotten,” he writes.

How to find redemption? “Delivering amazing customer experience. A good customer experience strategy should consider everything from off-site content strategy and social media through to product delivery and aftercare.”

Who’s doing this well today? Uber, says Graham. In fact, they’re delivering such a great customer experience, they don’t need traditional marketing for customer acquisition. The company is famously driven by word of mouth – “The fact that they press a button on their phone and in under 5 minutes a car appears, they inevitably become a brand advocate,” an Uber official says of their customers.

Focus on the customer experience and watch brand awareness and customer referrals take care of themselves: “The brands that take the time to build truly exceptional customer experiences across multiple touchpoints over the duration of their relationships with their customers are going to come out on top.”

Three Keys to the Online Customer Journey.

Experian’s Tom Blacksell writes on Finextra that when thinking of the customer journey, in the financial sector as elsewhere, there are three key things to keep in mind:

  • Identity. Be able to recognize your customer no matter what channel or device they’re using. Frustration with friction in online journey processes causes lots of customers to disengage.

  • Intelligence. The more you know about your customers the more intelligently you can communicate with them. You need not only the right data, but the ability to turn that data into actionable insight.

  • Interactions. The method and approach you use to communicate requires integrating across all channels for seamless interactions – in print, online, social, display, mobile, everything.

Now have a great weekend!

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