The Goals and Focus of the Chief Customer Officer

Wanted – Chief Customer Officer !

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The above posting for a Chief Customer Officer has been seen in increasing numbers in the past 10 year.  Why you might ask? The reason is simple in that many companies are starting to realize that if the customer is elated with their customer experience, they will transition themselves into unpaid sales and marketing {free} viral agents for the company, telling everybody they encounter how great the company is, how much the company cares about their customers, how they truly deliver wonderful customer experiences. The company then becomes a market leader with a cult-like and rapidly growing customer following while having virtually no sales and marketing budgets.

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Costco wholesale club, which is a membership-only warehouse club store chain has done exactly that and has grown to over 785 locations and nearly 100 million members despite having a minimal marketing and advertising budget. The reason is that they have become a leader in their industry in customer satisfaction and have grown cult-like customer loyalty.

Costco has grown by being a leader in customer service

Costco has grown by being a leader in customer service

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Another firm experiencing dramatic growth with minimal marketing & advertising spend is Chick-fil-A.  Again, there are countless stories about how Chick-fil-A has become a model for delivering legendary customer service and the resulting customer satisfaction.

Chick-fil-A has grown by being a leader in customer service

Chick-fil-A has grown by being a leader in customer service

Due to the success of companies like Costco and Chick-fil-A, companies are now staffing a new position at the CxO level to oversee the holistic development of customer service and experience excellence programs. This relatively new position is called the “Chief Customer Officer” and most top tier companies now have staffed this position.

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Evidence of the growth in this role can be found everywhere like this excerpt from Wikipedia: “A 2010 study by the Chief Customer Officer Council documented that there are approximately 450 executives worldwide with the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) title or having comparable authority and responsibilities under a different title. While growing from fewer than 30 in 2003, CCOs are the newest, and by far the smallest, component of the C-suite. With an average tenure of just 29 months, the chief customer officer has the shortest lifespan among all C-suite executives.[1]

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In addition, Forrester reports that 76% of executives say improving CX is a high or critical priority and many companies have established a C-level position to oversee it. Great read, source: “Why every company needs a Chief Customer Experience Officer”, Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2019/06/why-every-company-needs-a-chief-experience-officer

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Here is the definition of role of the Chief Customer {Experience} Officer (CCO) also from Wikipedia: “the CCO is properly defined as an executive who provides the comprehensive and authoritative view of the customer and creates corporate and customer strategy at the highest levels of the company to maximize customer acquisition, retention, and profitability.”

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In other words, the Chief Customer Officer or Chief Customer Experience Officer is first and foremost a strategist, developing new methods, standards, tools, techniques to develop and deliver world-class customer relationships and experiences. This means the Chief Customer Experience Officer is generally not tactically oriented, focused on customer day-to-day operations or oriented toward Quarterly sales, helping to drive shorter-term customer service cost reductions, etc. These roles are more geared toward customer operations, customer support and/or a process improvement leader.

Chief Customer Officer Humor

Chief Customer Officer Humor

Here is a high-level description of the typical major goals of the Chief Customer Officer (CCO):

  1. Engage the organization in developing and maintaining meaningful and valuable customer relationships

  2. Develop customer service standards that define and deliver consistent levels of legendary superb levels of customer service

  3. Create a customer first mindset in every decision the company makes.

  4. Breakdown organizational and departmental silos as to deliver consistent superb levels of customer service across all customer touch-points (point of purchase, payment, returns, etc.)

  5. Champion cultural change to focus on aligning the company around the customer as well as improving the satisfaction levels of both employees and customers alike._

While the Chief Customer Experience Officer’s primary role is strategic, here are the excerpted requirements from an array of recent Chief Customer Experience Office positions posted on LinkedIn:

  1. Strike the perfect balance between managing a high-performing customer experience team and prospecting/pitching/closing your team’s sales targets –a CCO role should not be oriented toward shorter-term sales!

  2. Directing and overseeing customer support work-flow through Directors, Managers, and Supervisors. –a CCO role should not be geared toward shorter-term tactical operations or be responsible for tactical and current state detailed process.

  3. Handling customer escalations. CCO role should not be geared toward becoming a tactical contact center manager as these tactical duties will consume them and de-focus them from the long-term strategic improvement of the overall customer experience.

  4. Creating a long-term vision for delivering an efficient customer-centric service and support –If the CCO is seeking to drive costs out of the business, then often the customer experience will be sub-optimized, which is contrary to their longer-term customer experience improvement goals. For example, the goal of reducing average call handling time (keep the call as short as possible) often undermines the goal of improving the delivery quality of customer service (staying on the phone longer to find out more about the customer’s needs, information, etc.).

  5. Leading and developing a team that interacts with customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, providing quality support through online help tools, email, text, chat and phone –a CCO role should not be geared toward becoming a tactical contact center manager as the tactical and reactive management of customer issues will likely be all consuming, leaving little focus or time for the more strategic effectiveness improvements

  6. Lead for {company name} on client relationships during the sales campaign and establish appropriate relationship mapping between {company name} and the client organization through various departments (marketing, legal, operations, IT, etc.) and play a lead the sales kick off process –a CCO role should not be geared toward short-term sales, but rather on improving longer-term sales rates via improving the customer experience which will in turn drive more rapid and increasing customer acquisition, increased customer loyalty, increased same customer spend, etc._

The above requirements hint to the fact that they are not truly bought into the role of a Chief Customer Officer from a strategic standpoint and are really looking for a tactical manager to drive short-term profits.  In addition, without having the role at the CxO level, there will be minimal leverage in making strategic and longitudinal changes that dramatically improve the customer service quality to superb/legendary levels.

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Below is my viewpoint on how to best structure the office of the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) whereby a better balance can be maintained between the strategic focus of the role and the tactical focus. In other words, if you are going to co-mingle both the ongoing tactical customer focus and the strategic focus of making revolutionary changes in your customer service such that the customer experience becomes legendary, then the following organizational structure is recommended.

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Optimal Chief Customer Officer Goals & Organizational Structure

Optimal Chief Customer Officer Goals & Organizational Structure

 

Only when you consistently achieve outstanding customer service ratings will you develop customer service into a competitive advantage

Only when you consistently achieve outstanding customer service ratings will you develop customer service into a competitive advantage

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Here is a company that got it mostly right with their recent posting on LinkedIn for a Chief Customer Experience Officer that will be strategic and will be truly at the CxO level:

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Chief Customer Experience Officer – NYC

What You Will Do

As the Chief Customer Experience Officer, you will play a significant role in implementing the strategic goal of providing industry-leading products and services.–Ok as it is strategic focused, but should have mentioned service quality, levels, etc. While the CCO should provide insights and customer feedback into product and service needs, deficiencies, etc., they should not be placed in charge of product or service line development as these roles require a different skill set.

As The Chief Customer Experience Officer, You Will

  • Set an inspirational vision and establish clear objectives, goals and milestones for the customer experience strategy; –Excellent, strategic (vs. tactically) focused

  • Drive continuous improvement and champion positive change to improve service levels and increase customer satisfaction; –Great: Strategic Change agent, Chief Customer Advocate

  • Act as a content expert on emerging customer experience trends and best practices; –Excellent: Longer-term focused on achieving quantum improvements in customer experience (vs. focused on smaller tactical improvements)

  • Measure and observe customer usage and satisfaction and incorporate those findings into product and service developments; –Excellent: Acts as the Steven Covey, “Sharpen the Saw” person/organization focused on continuous customer experience improvement.

  • Identify and implement industry best practices, strategies, and processes to support a best-in-class service experience; and –Perfect: Performs as a strategic center of excellence for making major holistic improvements in all things related customer experience

  • Work closely with key cross-functional stakeholders to improve customer experience, ensuring customer priorities are considered. -Great: Works strategically across groups to enact global customer experience changes vs. tactically focused on reactive customer service which will not move the needle across the enterprise.

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Other (top 10) Chief Customer responsibilities that might be found in the role description are as follows:

  1. Customer Insight Management. Develops and supports a voice of the customer program aimed at ensuring customer input, feedback and insights is incorporated into all ongoing programs that the customer experiences.

  2. Customer Experience Measurement. Create and track key customer experience metrics and related management reports and dashboards.

  3. Employee Customer-centric communications. Make sure that employees are informed and engaged in all customer programs as well as their results, shortfalls, improvements, strengths, etc.

  4. Customer Journey and Process improvement. Help the organization map customer journeys and then redesign and/or optimize the overall customer management processes.

  5. Customer Advocacy. Make sure that customers’ needs are taken into account in all key organizational decisions. Go beyond this and include the customer in the decision making process prior to any major program’s launch (practiced at world-class customer service leaders like Wells Fargo, Apple, Southwest Airlines, Marriott, etc. and is a growing practice being adopted by many market leaders)

  6. Customer Culture DevelopmentEnsure that customer excellence programs are not being created in a vacuum and that there is an ongoing continuous improvement program to ensure high levels of employee satisfaction through a supportive customer culture.

  7. Customer Service Training. Actively work on improving the organization’s customer service capability and employee service aptitude by developing and delivering training that supports the achievement of customer service standards and policy.

  8. Issue resolution management. Establish and support the process for solving customer issues that get escalated.

  9. Cross-organizational Coordination. Support the cross-functional teams and processes that govern the customer experience efforts across all organizational silos.

  10. Develop Surprise and Delight Customer Service Systems that drive exceptional and world-class customer service as to develop a cult-like brand following and advocacy from customers.

Responsibilities on the Radar of the Chief Customer Officer

Responsibilities on the Radar of the Chief Customer Officer

Beyond the typical ‘been there, done that job’ job positing information found above that you would otherwise see in a typical posting for a Chief Customer Officer, here are some additional guideposts and qualifiers to use as to what attributes and experience a great Chief Customer Officer should possess (sample-based on my own personal experience and interactions with Chief Customer Officers):

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  • Key Motivators and Drivers:

    1. Truly believes the customer comes first and when superb customer service is being delivered, then profits will follow

    2. Believes that a great culture must be developed and supported in order for great customer service to be developed and delivered

    3. Biggest career satisfaction is derived from the stories of surprise and delight exceptional customer service from both customers and the employees that made a difference in their customer’s lives

    4. Believes in receiving customer feedback and believes customers should be encouraged to provide insights, feedback, improvement ideas, etc. in addition, the truly great CCO views customer complaints as a valuable gift to the business since these insights are key customer service improvement opportunities.

    5. Is generally a people person and cares about their team and especially cares about their customers, is truly a customer advocate

    6. Believes the role of the Chief Customer Officer is to strategically develop and position the company to become the industry leader for customer service 2nd to none whereby customers are drawn to the company organically through word-of-mouth referrals.

  • Customer service related experience, attributes, skills:

    1. Has experienced first-hand what world-class customer service looks like numerous times and can provide examples

    2. Is a strategic customer visionary with the skills to bridge the gap from conceptual program visioning to customer service program implementation

    3. Has personally provided a great deal of personal customer feedback on sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, Facebook, Glassdoor, etc. (i.e. he/she has walked the walk).

    4. Has a blog or other thought leading set of materials that reflects their views on how to develop or deliver great customer service

    5. Has experienced abject poor customer service and, as a result, is on a mission to ensure customers under his/her authority experience the complete opposite – superb customer service

    6. Has experience in delivering and receiving what I call surprise and delight customer service whereby the customer is elated by the service delivery and reports being extremely satisfied (10 on a scale of 10) by their customer service experience

    7. Is skilled at breaking down organizational silos in order to create a persistent customer-first mentality across departments, locations, and all customer contact channels.

    8. Possesses natural diplomacy skills, an innovative spirit and a quantitative data-driven mind-set.

    9. Is excited about and totally motivated to change the life of the customer for the better

    10. Can reference 2-3 companies that they consider as models for how to deliver world-class customer service and customer experience and frequent these companies as a result.

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More than anything listed above, the last item is what I consider the most important. The best CCOs I have spoken to are excited about changing the customer experience for the better and become as excited when talking about the subject as they do when speaking about their own family. They have and do go on for hours when on the topic of customers and customer experience including speaking about the future of the customer experience, the major customer trends, their top customer success stories, etc. You can tell when a Chief Customer Office has truly found their calling as they are truly passionate, if not obsessed, about the topic.

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Summary:

  • The role of the Chief Customer Officer is important to ensure that the goal of making customer service a distinct competitive advantage is achieved. Having the role represented at the CxO level (along with COO, CIO, etc.) ensures the function is adequately funded and has the authority/influence to drive customer focused cross-enterprise changes and collaboration, etc.

  • Some companies are diluting the strategic focus and role of Chief Customer Office by assigning them both strategic tasks as well as tactical tasks.

  • Companies are giving the Chief Customer Officer the responsibility for developing customer service as a long-term strategic competitive advantage while simultaneously requiring them to drive short-term sales, revenue and customer operations efficiency improvements.

  • By focusing the Chief Customer Office on short-term and tactical and ongoing customer service assignments, the company will be much less likely to develop customer service into a distinct competitive advantage and attain market leader status based on service differentiation.

  • Once the CCO is able to focus strategically and make quantum improvements in service quality, it will become a distinct competitive advantage and then sales and revenue will soar over the longer-term from the grass roots customer following that will result._

If your organization is seeking a proven resource in measuring and improving your customer service and experience or need advice on hiring a Chief Customer Officer (CCO), then give me a call or e-mail me at 518-339-5857 or stevenjeffes@gmail.com

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Lastly, this is just one article of 50 articles I have written on customer strategy, customer experience, CRM, marketing, product management, competitive intelligence, corporate innovation, change management – all of which I have significant experience in delivering for Fortune 500 companies.  In fact, my blog is now followed by nearly 121,000 world-wide and was just named one of the top 100 CRM blogs on the planet by Feedspot, alongside Salesforce.com, Infor, Microsoft, SAS, etc. – Reference this informative site here: https://blog.feedspot.com/crm_blogs/

 [1] Chief Customer Officer Council (2015), The 2014 CCO Council Chief Customer Officer Study, Predictive Consulting Group, Inc.

Best Practices in Customer Experience (CX) Measurement and Analytics

The following are the top 10 concepts you will learn in this blog article:

  1. What are the most common set of metrics used to measure customer experience quality and effectiveness.

  2. What these common customer experience metrics are used for

  3. When are these best practice customer experience metrics best measured

  4. What a customer journey (a.k.a. customer life-cycle) is and how it related to customer experience metrics

  5. Why a balanced scorecard is better than any one single customer experience metric

  6. Why NPS is not sufficient to provide a comprehensive picture of your customer experience quality and effectiveness

  7. The top 10 best practices in developing a world-class customer experience measurement program and balanced scorecard

  8. Sample of what a customer journey looks like as well the customer experience analytics collected at each journey phase

  9. Examples of embedded detailed customer journey phase analytics paired with summary & executive level customer experience analytics

  10. How to develop customer experience analytics that also drive the development and support of a customer first, surprise and delight culture.

Peter Drucker once said “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. This ageless and famous quote applies to almost all situations and customer experience is no exception. There is virtually no way to determine how effectively your customers are being treated without a robust set of measures to gauge how well you are fulfilling their needs, wants, desires, etc. In this blog article, we will cover the specific metrics that best practice companies use to measure their customer experience delivery along with it is done.

 

Peter Drucker's Famous Measurement Quote

Peter Drucker’s Famous Measurement Quote

The Chart below illustrates some of the more commonly used customer experience (CX) metrics and how/where they are used in the customer journey continuum.

Commonly Used Best Practice Customer Experience (CX) Metrics

Commonly Used Best Practice Customer Experience (CX) Metrics

  • Customer satisfaction (CSAT) – one of the most common uses of customer satisfaction ratings is on ratings websites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Google, etc. using the now famous five star rating system seen below. Other customer satisfaction feedback mechanisms are more sophisticated, querying customers on an array of customer experience topics that are multi-dimensional in nature.

Customer Satisfaction Score Example

Customer Satisfaction Score Example

  • Customer Churn Rate: Customer churn rate is almost always expressed in terms of a percentage and is a product of the number of lost customers divided by the number of retained customers for any given period (day, week, month, Quarter, Year).

Customer Churn Rate Example Calculation

Customer Churn Rate Example Calculation

  • Customer Effort Score: Customer Effort Score is recorded to keep a pulse on how easy it is for a customer to accomplish certain transactions with your company (e.g. return a product, handle an issue, inquire about upgrades, etc.). It is obtained via surveying customers following a major interaction and is expressed in terms of a numeric, typically on a 1-10 or 1 to 7 scale. Here is a sample I developed for a client where the score is translated into a 1 to 7 scale (from “Strongly Disagree”=1 to “Strongly Agree”=7).

Customer Effort Score Example Quantification

Customer Effort Score Quantification Example 

  • Customer Average Time to Resolution (CATTR): This metric is a measure the average time it takes to resolve categories of customer interactions (inquiry, product issue, service issue, contract renewal, return, etc.). This is expressed in average time per interaction category as shown in this example

Customer Average Time to Resolution (CATTR) Example Calculation

Customer Average Time to Resolution (CATTR) Example Calculation

  • First Contact Resolution (FCR): All companies should strive for what is called “one and done” customer service, enabling the customer to handle any need with one short effort. The benefits of achieving this are endless including the following: Research I have read has indicated that a 1% increase in FCR rates translate into decreasing operating costs by 1%, increases of both customer satisfaction and employee scores by 1-3% as well as increasing customer loyalty (up to 20%). How companies measure FCR vastly differs including surveying customers, tracking it in a CRM system, tracking it in a contact center database or querying the customer at the end of a call. Many companies sadly do not track this metric and lose out on the visibility and resulting benefits this provides.

One & Done Customer Service

One & Done Customer Service Creates Elated Customers

  • Contract Renewal Rates: This metric is more company specific but, when applicable and used in conjunction with the other metrics, provides a great barometer on the health of the contract oriented business. For example, you might be experiencing great FCR and customer average time to resolution, but contract renewal rates might be lagging due to a perceived lack of value by the customer for the price paid. By using this metric in a balanced scorecard along with CSAT, FCR, CATTR you have a much more comprehensive view of total customer satisfaction than with just a few measures, allowing you to reduce business risk and potential revenue surprises.

High Contract Renewals = High Customer Satisfaction

High Contract Renewals = High Customer Satisfaction

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): Net Promoter Score (NPS) is the most commonly used and simplest customer experience metric that exists.  NPS is typically measured by asking the following question:

How likely are you to recommend [business, service, product] to a friend or colleague?

Customers rate your company, service, product, etc. on a scale of 0 to 10. Respondents are grouped in the following categories:

    • Customer Promoters (Score 9-10)

    • Customer Passives (Score 7-8)

    • Customer Detractors (Score 0-6)

Calculate Net Promoter Score is typically calculated by subtracting the percentage of net detractors from net promoters. Here is a great illustration on how this is determined, calculated:

Net Promoter Score Example Calculation

Net Promoter Score Example Calculation

It has been found that only those customers who provide a rating of a 9 or 10 on the NPS scale are those who will truly become adjunct volunteer company sales and marketing agents and are a result of experiencing surprise and delight levels of customer service. These same elated customers are the ones who tell everyone they meet about your exceptional company and your amazing, services, products, customer service, etc. More on this in a future blog that will address the topic of “Delivering Consistent Surprise and Delight Customer Service”.

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On this last point of NPS, there exist many misnomers about what to measure for customer experience effectiveness. Many professionals I have met in my consulting travels have the misconception that measuring one metric like Net Promoter Score (NPS) is sufficient to measure the quality of the customer experience you are delivering to their customers.  This is equivalent to believing that taking your body temperature is sufficient to determine your overall health when in actuality there are many measures taken together that help make this healthy/not healthy determination. The same is true for measuring the quality of your customer experience. While NPS is a good measure for helping to determine the quality of your customer experience effectiveness when used correctly, similar to body temperature, it must be augmented with many other measures to determine its overall effectiveness.

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Other customer experience metrics include employee turnover (a leading indicator of customer satisfaction), year-over-year same customer spend, customer loyalty and average longevity, customer acquisition rates over time, etc. I will go more into this when I cover the topic of customer journeys.

Customer Experience, Satisfaction Humor

Customer Experience, Satisfaction Humor

First, let’s examine my recommended top 10 best practices for measuring your customer experience delivery effectiveness.

  1. Monitor Customer Experience Metrics in Real Time and continuously improve customer experience programs based on actual CX metrics/program performance.

  2. Track top level Customer Experience (CX) Metrics for all customers (i.e. average customer satisfaction) and for individual customer segments (i.e. price sensitive customers or high value customers).

  3. Request both customer qualitative and quantitative ratings throughout the Customer Life-cycle during critical customer interactions. Accomplish this my providing a conduit for your customers to become brand partners who are invited to participate in providing program feedback prior to full launch, provide detailed focus group feedback on selected topics and for most valuable customers to participate in exclusive customer advisory boards.

  4. Ensure group appropriate customer experience metrics are being delivered to each layer of the organization (highest importance summary level for CEO – Chief Customer Experience officer, more granular metrics for tactical managers and line staff).

  5. Cultivate and measure your own internal customer metrics and calibrate against externally measured CX like the American Customer Satisfaction index or metrics collected by firms like the Service Management Group (Kansas City), Direct Opinions (Beachwood Ohio), C-Space (Boston), Engine Group (NYC), etc.

  6. Track customer experience effectiveness via a balanced scorecard of Customer Experience Metrics including customer satisfaction, NPS, Customer Churn and renewal rates, customer spend per year and employee turnover (a proven leading indicator of customer satisfaction).

  7. Ensure the collection and dissemination of Customer Experience metrics meet the golden rules of being seamless to your customers, easy to obtain and are ingrained as part of normal business operations.

  8. Review customer experience metrics during key management reviews like operational reviews, leadership team reviews and financial reviews. Ensure action plans are developed for metrics above and below expected performance levels.

  9. Ensure that the company culture and training is supported and in-line with customer experience metrics by making everyone’s KPIs metrics align to the performance of key customer metrics.

  10. Develop customer journeys (a.k.a. customer life-cycles) and develop customer experience metrics for each major step in the customer journey.

The last best practice is to identify key end-to-end customer journeys or paths of customer progression when engaging your company and then attach appropriate customer experience journey analytics along those customer paths. Once you understand the different touch-points and how they impact the overall customer journey, you will be in a far better position to pick the most appropriate metric to use at each touch-point. The best metric is company determined based on a developed set of customer experience standards and goals.

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In my example in the introduction, Net Promoter Score (NPS – which answers the question, “How likely are you to recommend [business, service, product] to a friend or colleague?” and is rated on a 0 to 10 score), is not a total customer experience solution metric. The reason is that NPS works best when measured at the end of a customer journey (a.k.a. customer life-cycle), such as at contract renewal time. For example, if a customer is getting frustrated returning a product or trying to resolve a service issue, then they will likely defect long before they are queried on NPS. It is better to measure customer satisfaction right after an interaction to have real-time insights into a customer’s experience satisfaction and not wait until NPS query time.

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Here is a sample customer journey I developed from a recent client consulting engagement along with the metrics they decided to collect at an aggregate level as well as along this customer journey. Some of the metrics and customer journey names have been changed to protect my client’s identity. In addition, this client wanted to err on the side of measuring many metric points frequently and not all clients are this exhaustive in measuring their program. Some of these metrics were already in place before we added many others.

Customer Journey Analytics Illustration

Customer Journey Analytics Illustration

The above illustrates one of the main customer journeys (discover to renewal) in the life of a customer along with the Macro customer phases in that journey (i.e. 1-customer discovery, 2-customer sales & on-boarding, 3-customer support, 4-customer renewals) as well as the micro phases in that journey (product, service credibility evaluation).

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The above chart also illustrates the fact that it is important to track global/summary metrics at the top of the organization (i.e. total customer satisfaction) in order to gauge overall customer experience health and to balance these with more granular measures along the customer journey phases (i.e. First Contact Resolution in the on-boarding and support phases). While there is a recommended set of best practice metrics to collect for standard customer journeys, each company will make a different selection of the mix of metrics. For example, if a company’s life blood is contract renewals then the metrics will be more geared toward gauging the customer’s satisfaction for the existing contract experience (value for contract price, value of contract to client’s business, contract terms & ease of doing business vs. perhaps product return rates).

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One best practice embedded in the above is to report on the number of customer stars (in the 1st and 3rd phases above) per period whereby employees who have delivered exceptional “surprise and delight customer service” are recognized and rewarded. Customers of this company as well as executives from the company are provided incentives to recognize employees who went above and beyond in delivering exceptional customer service. This company tracks this via reports and recognizes top employee customer stars quarterly and annually with top company customer stars getting recognized, rewarded, etc. This helps build a culture of support for being customer exceptional with top stories being told over and over to teach employees what it means to be customer exceptional  and encourage others to emulate this valued behavior.

Summary:

In summary, measuring your customer experience quality/effectiveness must be guided by a set of best practices to be effective and comprehensive. The use of customer journeys as well as customer experience journey analytics, balanced by summary customer experience metrics comprises a customer experience balanced scorecard.  By not measuring or under-measuring your customer experience delivery effectiveness, you are flying blind and having to take guesses as to whether your program is delivering exceptional customer service to your customers or not. Only when you reach the level of consistently delivering exceptional “surprise and delight” customer service will you reap bottom line benefits of accelerated customer acquisition, reduced sales and marketing costs, increased customer loyalty and increased employee and customer satisfaction.

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With all this being true, there is no excuse to not actively work on creating the best customer experience program possible!!

If your organization is seeking experienced assistance in measuring and improving your customer service and customer experience, then give me a call or e-mail me at 518-339-5857 or stevenjeffes@gmail.com

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Lastly, this is just one article of nearly 50 articles I have written on Customer strategy, customer experience, CRM, marketing, product management, competitive intelligence, corporate innovation, change management – all of which I have significant experience in delivering for Fortune 500 companies.  In fact, my blog is now followed by nearly 121,000 world-wide and was just named one of the top 100 CRM blogs on the planet by Feedspot, alongside Salesforce.com, Infor, Microsoft, SAS, etc. – Reference this informative site here: https://blog.feedspot.com/crm_blogs/

The Top 10 Best Practices in the Development of Customer Experience (CX) Excellence Programs (CEEPs)

Customer Experience (CX) is becoming a greater focus for many companies world-wide. WHY? The development of Customer Experience Excellence has been demonstrated to enable marketplace competitive advantage and to create fiercely loyal customers who are willing to advocate for the company and its brands and are also willing to pay more for their products and services in exchange for uniquely excellent customer service. In addition, when customers are provided with truly exceptional/memorable customer service time and time again, they repeatedly tell positive stories about their amazing customer experience, telling as many people as they can influence about your company, how their experience made a positive difference in their lives and how your company cares about them vs. your competitors. In essence, delighted customers transition themselves into adjunct company marketing and sales agents for the company that is equal to millions in company paid efforts, plus their grass-root and viral influence is judged at least 5-10x more credible/believable vs. company paid advertising, marketing and sales.

 

The chart below is a small sample of the benefits gained by my clients and many other companies as a result of the systemic implementation of a customer experience excellence program. In addition to the above, employees are found to be much more content working for a company who truly cares about the well being of their customers and the service they are receiving.  It makes employees, as a client employee once said in a leadership meeting, “ I am Part of it, Proud of it”. In essence, making customers happy in turn makes employees feel satisfied.

Benefits of Having an Excellent Customer Experience
Benefits of Having an Excellent Customer Experience

As a result of my experience developing Customer Experience Excellence and CRM Programs for numerous Fortune 500 companies including {American Express, Intuit Software, HP, Ritz-Carlton, Pfizer, Wells Fargo, AT&T, Starwood Hotels, Marriott, JC Penney, Macy’s, Toyota of America, Nissan, General Motors, Lenox, Southwest Airlines, Astra-Zeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Welch Allyn Medical Systems, Vanguard, Citibank, Allstate, AXA Insurance, SONY, Siebel & Oracle Systems, SAS Software, Unica Software, Neopost, Bank of America, Samsung, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, Hilton, etc.}, I have developed the following set of top 10 best practices in relation to the development of a customer experience excellence program:

 

1. The program must be advocated, supported and championed at the CxO level. This is evidenced by the increases in staffing of the position called the “Chief Customer Experience Officer” that most top companies now have.

WHY?:  Forrester reports that 76% of executives say improving CX is a high or critical priority and many companies have established a C-level position to oversee it. Great read, source: “Why every company needs a Chief Customer Experience Officer”, Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2019/06/why-every-company-needs-a-chief-experience-officer

 

2. A set of balanced scorecard metrics must be developed to measure the ongoing effectiveness of the program so that it may be continuously improved. A heavy emphasis must be placed on customer ratings of the program and associated service delivery.

WHY?: The metrics are the vision of the program and without these, the program is flying blind on whether the program is resonating with the customer.

 

3. The customer must be invited, as a brand-company partner, to participate in the program development, roll-out and ongoing evolution.

WHY?: Without really asking the customer about what they want/need directly, all other attempts or approximation of customer needs through analytics or intuition based decision making are merely guesses of what the customer really needs and wants and are likely to miss their mark.

 

4. The program must be benchmarked against, and kept competitive with, all companies who are considered to be world-class customer experience companies.

WHY?: You might feel you have a great customer experience program, but without quantitatively benchmarking it against the best of the best companies, you will have no idea how really good it is, whether it is falling behind with current/leading practices, etc.

 

5. Customer Excellence procedures, policies (SOPs) and standards must be developed that are in total alignment with the customer service vision statement and overall strategy.

WHY?: Customer experience excellence procedures is the bridge and playbook that takes the higher level customer service vision and strategy and translates into the behaviors (culture) and major actions are needed on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly basis to bring this vision and strategy to life and make it real to every employee.

 

6. Employees must be supported in the delivery of customer experience excellence by a set of training and development programs that certify them to be able to deliver on the customer service and experience excellence standards, policies, SOPs, etc.

WHY?: The customer experience excellence training programs translate the higher-level customer experience excellence procedure and policies into a detailed playbook of specific and tactical employee actions and interactions that are required to deliver an exceptional customer service experience. In essence, these are the detailed ‘how-to’ of customer experience excellence delivery that makes the program real for front-line and customer facing employees.

 

7. The program must be underpinned and supported by best of breed technology infrastructure to capture customer knowledge and intelligence, mine customer information, automatically deliver relevant customer information real-time, allow customer to set preferences, etc.

WHY?: Technology will not only become the longitudinal memory for customer insights including needs, wants, preference, etc., but it will also serve to automate the delivery of intelligent customer interactions such that the program doesn’t become burdensome (vs. simple) to operate as it evolves and grows.

 

8. Related to #7 above, the program must be sophisticated in delivering on the various customer segment needs and wants, yet needs to be simple to engage and manage for customers and employees.

WHY?: People do business with companies that make it easy to do business with – fast, efficient, responsive companies are sought out more than those that are not. In addition, a program that is difficult to administer is at risk for execution errors by employees or by them short-cutting or avoiding the process.

 

9. The organizational culture at all levels must be created that is supportive of the customer experience excellence standards and all incentives must be aligned to encourage employee excellence in its delivery.

WHY?: Research by Gallup shows that work units in the top quartile in employee engagement outperformed bottom-quartile units by 10% on customer ratings, 22% in profitability, and 21% in productivity — and they experienced lower employee turnover, absenteeism, and safety incidents. In other words, it is difficult (impossible?) to deliver excellence customer service without a great corporate culture.  Original Source:  https://www.gallup.com/workplace/236927/employee-engagement-drives-growth.aspx

 

10. The CEE program must be viewed holistically that takes into consideration people, process, technology and culture (PPTC) capabilities as well as all customer segments across all customer preferred channels of interaction.

WHY?: Pure and simple, a great program is implemented with the full (holistic) spectrum of capabilities considered. Focusing on only 1 or 2 of the 3 pillars of CEE (refer to CEEF framework chart below) will sub-optimize its performance.

Symptoms of a Poor Customer Experience

Symptoms of a Poor Customer Experience

While the previous chart pointed to benefits of implementing customer experience excellence, the above chart, while self-explanatory, highlights a few negative impacts of having poor customer experience delivery. In addition to the above, companies that have a poor customer experience also experience the following:

  1. Market share erosion

  2. Declining customer acquisition success

  3. Declining cross-sell and up-sell success

  4. Customer social sentiment that is increasingly negative across an array of social media platforms

The above chart illustrates that in order to effectively gauge the effectiveness of your current customer experience program, you must be measuring across a number of company areas to determine what is working and what is not. Sound familiar?   2) ” A set of balanced scorecard metrics must be developed to measure the ongoing effectiveness of the program so that it may be continuously improved. A heavy emphasis must be placed on customer ratings of the program and associated service delivery.”

Best Practice Customer Experience Framework

Best Practice Customer Experience Framework

The above chart is a best practice Customer Experience Framework that depicts the major pillars that enable customer experience excellence.

  1. The first pillar is the customer knowledge and insights that enable you to provide the customer with the right interaction at the right time and by the right channel of their choice.

  2. The 2nd is a robust customer strategy and delivery model to define the desired level of customer service delivery and how you will enable it.

  3. The 3rd and last is the development of a customer oriented culture to nurture and expand customer relationships that not only provides a differentiated customer experience, but also drives increased sales, loyalty and spend per customer.

I use this chart above, along with others, to develop the customer strategy, vision, policies, etc. Sound familiar?  5) Customer Excellence procedures, policies (SOPs) and standards must be developed that are in total alignment with the over developed customer strategy.

Key Deliverables in the Development of a  Best Practice Customer Experience

Key Deliverables in the Development of a Best Practice Customer Experience

The above chart is the waterfall development method I use to develop customer experience excellence. With few exceptions, each of the top level items must be mostly developed before the following lower level items can be developed.

For example, the top level CEE program vision, strategy and goals must be developed first, to be used as a guide for the development of its supporting standards, policy and guidelines.  All of these customer experience excellence deliverables align with the ten (10) best practices we covered at the beginning of this article.

Best Practice Customer Experience Development Approach & Methodology

Best Practice Customer Experience Development Approach & Methodology

Above are the depicted major work-streams I employ to develop customer experience excellence for my clients. These major work-streams align to delivering the top 10 CEE best practices as well as my waterfall deliverable development schema in the previous chart.

Summary:

In summary, improving your customer experience delivery doesn’t have to cost a great deal, can start slowly, can now be measured and the return on investment is generally in multiples (2-10x+) of the cost. Without a delivering an exceptional customer experience (via an exceptional corporate culture),  you will be unable to acquire and retain great employees, will have more costly sales and marketing efforts and your customers will not be acquired as quickly or remain as loyal (vs. competitors). With all this being true, do you really have any excuse at all remaining not to actively work on ensuring you are delivering the best company customer experience possible as to create competitive marketplace advantage?!

If your organization is seeking experienced assistance in measuring and improving your customer service and customer experience, then give me a call or e-mail me at 518-339-5857 or stevenjeffes@gmail.com

Lastly, this is just one article of 40+ total I have written on customer strategy, customer experience, CRM, marketing, product management, competitive intelligence, corporate innovation, change management – all of which I have significant experience in delivering for Fortune 500 companies.  In fact, my blog is now followed by nearly 121,000 world-wide and was just named one of the top 100 CRM blogs on the planet by Feedspot, alongside Salesforce.com, Infor, Microsoft, SAS, etc. – Reference this informative site here: https://blog.feedspot.com/crm_blogs/

Developing an Enterprise Level Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Strategy & Road-map

Enterprise CRM Strategy Development Framework

Enterprise Customer & CRM Strategy Development Framework

The chart above is a framework I have used to guide the development and future operational model of a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy and roadmap for a large multi-national company. This framework is comprised of the following major components that must be taken into account in developing a customer strategy & roadmap (from bottom to top) :

  1. Major customer segments that exist comprise the foundation of the framework. These need to be taken into consideration as the major customer stakeholders that either are in place, or need to be defined as part of the future-state strategy.

  2. The customer channel content that exists and will be needed moving forward once the major customer segments have been determined.

  3. The partner matrix and partner relationship model that exists and will be needed – types of partners, partner distribution model, partner communications methods, partner acquisition model, etc.

  4. The current and future customer touch-points specifications – usage, volume, delivery method, cost structure, etc.

  5. Major customer, partner and market insights that exist and that are needed in the future.

  6. The current and needed future state model for customer facing operations and capabilities that exist within each functional area.

  7. The existing and future engagement model that will operate through the customer channels, utilizing the information/insights and channel and customer specific content, etc. – cost structure, automation, key strategies in each (sell in service, one and done customer service, etc.)

  8. Finally the top of the pyramid, the customer and CRM strategy that drives all other structure capabilities and operating models as defined through a series of workshops shown later in this article.

graphic2

High Level Enterprise CRM Transformation Approach

The chart above is a depiction of the transformation approach I have used to guide the development of the actual CRM strategy shown on the top of the pyramid from the last chart. In this chart we have the following:

  1. Left side, “Synthesize Insights” – Depicts sample insights that need to be gathered and synthesized on the left in order to determine a realistic future state customer strategy and roadmap.

  2. Top, under “CRM Transformation Approach” – The delivery, governance and oversight structures that must oversee and manage the delivery of a final customer strategy and 5+ year roadmap.

  3. Middle, under “CRM Transformation Approach” – The major program phases in the delivery of the future state customer strategy and roadmap as well as the major goals and deliverables from each phase.

  4. Right side, under “Net Positive Impact” – The major positive impacts from the development of a customer strategy and 5+ year roadmap stated in both quantitative measures (via a business case) and qualitative dimensions.

 

CRM Opportunity Assessment Process

CRM Opportunity Assessment Process

The chart above is the high level process (level 0) I have used to assess the CRM (future-state) opportunities at a large multi-national company. While I start with this CRM process flow to accelerate the delivery of a customer strategy and roadmap, each is tailored to each client situation and set of requirements. This also includes a detailed approach and plan for conducting a series of “CRM Opportunity Assessment Workshops” attended by key executives and stakeholders whereby many of the components listed in the above flowchart are actually defined.

 “To Be”, Future-State CRM Strategy Definition

“To Be”, Future-State CRM Strategy Definition

The chart above details a small sample of the steps details that exist within the “CRM Opportunity Assessment” processes step. In this particular example, we must define the major customer strategies we want moving forward as well as the supporting details to successfully deliver the strategy:

  1. Performance metrics that will be put in place to monitor the success of the overall program once the customer/CRM strategy is implemented

  2. Budget & governance structure that will manage both the implementation of the strategy as well its ongoing operation of the program

  3. Program success criteria for the strategy to be considered a success

  4. Specific programs and projects to deliver the strategy

  5. The stated strategic goals for each defined customer strategy

CRM Strategy & Roadmap Development Process

CRM Strategy & Roadmap Development Process

The chart above is the high level process (level 0) I have used to develop a future operational model of a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy and roadmap for a large multi-national company. I full project plan that includes task dependencies, project critical path, logical sequencing of project tasks, resourcing plan, etc. accompanies the above chart during an actual client project. This also includes a detailed approach and plan for conducting a series of “CRM Definition Workshops” attended by key executives and stakeholders that provide direct input into the future-state CRM strategy & road-map.

Strategic CRM Goals Definition Process

Strategic CRM Goals Definition Process

The chart above highlights the details associated with developing the specific and measurable objectives for a future state CRM & customer strategy. These details are highly variable and need to be tailored based on the specifics associated with the client’s market & requirements, budget, competition, market/customer gaps, etc.

This is just one article of 40+ total I have written on Customer strategy, CRM, marketing, product management, competitive intelligence, corporate innovation, change management – all of which I have significant experience in delivering for Fortune 500 companies.

In fact, my blog is now followed by nearly 160,000 world-wide and was just named one of the top 100 CRM blogs on the planet by Feedspot, alongside Salesforce.com, Infor, Microsoft, SAS, etc. – Reference this informative site here: https://blog.feedspot.com/crm_blogs/

 

The Marketing ROI Calculator – The Simple & Proven Formula for Calculating True Marketing Cost, Value and ROI

Put Your Marketing Team & Your Marketers on Notice! Your company will start using this proven formula to measure true marketing ROI !!

Introducing…The Marketing ROI Calculator – The Simple & Proven Formula for Calculating True Marketing Cost, Value and ROI !!

  1. Having trouble figuring out the value of your marketing efforts?

  2. Need a proven formula to calculate true marketing ROI?

  3. Want to continue marketing efforts that work and provide net income and abandon those efforts that are a net loss?

  4. Seeking to implement an improved world-class and six sigma marketing process to increase your marketing effectiveness while decreasing your marketing costs?

If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions, read the rest of this blog that delivers the true marketing ROI formula to help develop measured ROI driven marketing!

{Note: this is just one of many formulas variants I have developed for calculating marketing ROI and the actual one to implement will depend on the type of marketing you are performing}. 
The Marketing ROI Dilemma

The Marketing ROI Dilemma

Before we get into the main marketing ROI formula, I want to point out a relevant quote and sentiment from John Wanamaker who was an American merchant, civic and political figure, considered by some to be a pioneer in advertising and marketing. To that end and related to this topic, John Wanamaker once had a famous quote to illustrate his frustration with the inability to determine if his marketing and advertising spend was truly effective and if it was producing the expected ROI. This famous quote is as follows:

John Wanamaker & His Famous Marketing & Advertising Quote

John Wanamaker & His Famous Marketing & Advertising Quote

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The following blog content is focused on introducing the proven formula, in use by some advanced marketing companies across the US, for calculating marketing and campaign ROI designed to drive sales orders. The marketing ROI formula will be broken down in sections and then by individual fields. We will cover how the formula is used, what internal six-sigma marketing processes need to be put in place to support the population of this formula and how each field is calculated or derived.

Introducing the Tried and True Full Marketing ROI Formula:

Complete Marketing ROI Formula

Complete Marketing ROI Formula

This formula consists of a pre-launch campaign section illustrated in yellow above and a post-launch campaign section for the entry/update of actual campaign post-launch effectiveness and ROI.

Let’s now review each section in detail as follows: Pre-Launch ROI formula section:

Campaign Pre-Launch Marketing ROI Formula

Campaign Pre-Launch Marketing ROI Formula

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The first column of the pre-launch marketing ROI formula (“Campaign Number”) should be a uniquely identifiable campaign number or code being updated from your marketing automation system and the 2nd column (“Campaign Description”) should be the main goal of the marketing campaign (Customer: acquisition, retention, up-sell, cross-sell, branding or awareness, urgent business alert of crisis communication, etc.).

The 3rd column of the pre-launch marketing ROI formula (“Campaign Quantity”) is the campaign quantity being delivered to your customer audience (i.e. number of e-mails being delivered, mail, texts, etc.)

Campaign Quantity

Marketing Campaign Quantity

The 4th column of the pre-launch marketing ROI formula (“Materials and Labor Cost”) is critical to the ROI formula and will likely require a few marketing process changes, as well as IT system changes. A true six-sigma structured process marketing environment will require your company to track all labor hours and materials cost associated with the planning, development and launching of any and all campaigns. This requires that you create a work breakdown structure (WBS) to appropriately track hours and materials associated with each campaign you conduct. By doing this you will finally have the fully loaded cost for each campaign such as creative hours spent, strategy planning time, cost of materials (for direct mail, outsourced text or e-mail, etc.). The cost shown is the per-unit cost to send the campaign or 34 cents for each delivered campaign item.

Marketing Materials & Labor Cost

Marketing Materials & Labor Cost

The 5th column of the pre-launch marketing ROI formula (“Total Mktg. Cost”) is merely the unit cost expanded out to the total cost of the campaign (10,000 x. 34). If your delivered item is a single unit campaign quantity like web landing page, your campaign cost simply becomes the total labor hours used to develop this page and you can skip both columns 3 & 5.

Total Marketing Cost

Total Marketing Cost

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The 6th and last column of the pre-launch marketing ROI formula (“Plan Campaign Dates”) is the expected campaign execution dates that the orders (shown in the post campaign section) will be tracked against this particular campaign.

Planned Campaign Dates

Planned Campaign Dates (that orders will be tracked against)

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Let’s now review the last section of the marketing ROI formula in detail as follows: Post-Launch ROI formula section:

Campaign Post-Launch Formula

Campaign Post-Launch Formula

The first column is the actual campaign dates that the campaign executed in order to compare it to the planned campaign dates

To obtain the 2nd column of the post-launch marketing ROI formula (“# of Orders”) will require your company to develop the process of direct campaign attribution so that when customers order an item based on a campaign, those customers are incented to provide the campaign code (e.g. in exchange for a small discount) they viewed that drove them to order the item. By making this marketing process change, you have a direct way to track which campaigns drove which orders, by how much, etc. Car rental companies are excellent at this since every coupon is tracked with an encoded code such that they know exactly where the coupon was obtained, what campaign it was associated with, etc.

Number of Orders Associated with Campaign

# of Orders

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The 3rd column of the post launch marketing ROI formula (“Actual RR %”) is the redemption rate (RR) or simply the number of orders driven by the campaign, divided by the campaign quantity launched (column 3 of the pre-launch form).

Rate of Return for Campaign

Rate of Return

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The 4th column of the post launch marketing ROI formula (“Avg. Order Sold”) is the average order sold which is populated by your order system and is simply the total value of all orders divided by the number of orders. In this case the total of all orders is equal $2,175 (this becomes the 4th column, “Bookings”) divided by 15 orders = $145 average per order.

Average Order Sold (AOS) $$

Average Order Sold $$

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The 5th column of the post launch marketing ROI formula (“Bookings $$”) is simply the number of orders multiplied by the average $ per order or, in this case, 15 orders x $145 per average order = $2,175.

Bookings $ from Orders

Bookings $ from Orders

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The 6th column of the post launch marketing ROI formula is the Average Cost of Goods Sold (“COGS %”). In this case, the company has calculated that, historically, the cost of an average order is approximately 30% of an orders value. Another way to state this is that average margins are 70% and 30% is the cost to produce an order.

Cost of Goods Sold (Avg.) %

Cost of Goods Sold (Avg.) %

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The 7th column of the post launch marketing ROI formula (“COGS $”) is simply the COGS sold percentage (30%) multiplied by the total bookings $$ value ($2,175 x 30%) = $652.50

Cost of Goods $$

Cost of Goods $$

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The 8th column of the post launch marketing ROI formula (“Contribution $$”) is where we finally calculate the total ROI of the campaign via this simple 2 step process:

  1. Add the cost of the labor to produce the campaign as calculated in column 5 of the pre-launch formula to the cost to produce the orders that the campaign specifically drove.

  2. Subtract the total value of orders from #1 above.

Using the example shown in the full marketing ROI formula above, we first add the pre-launch materials and labor cost of $3,400 to a Cost Of Goods Sold (COGS) cost of $652.50 = ($3,400 + 652.50) = $4,052.50 We then subtract this total campaign cost from total bookings value of $2,175 = -$1,877.50.

Contribution $$

Contribution $$

The 9th and final column of the post launch marketing ROI formula (“Cost Per Order”) is simply the total number of orders divided by column 7 (“Contribution”) to determine how much each order is benefitting or costing the company when produced. In this case it is a contribution of -$1,877.50 divided by 15 = -$125.17.

Cost Per Order

Cost Per Order

Per the last section, it is important to note that, the greater the number of orders, the more likely the cost will go from a negative contribution to a positive. This occurs because you have generated enough bookings $$ to exceed the cost of the overhead associated with the labor cost to develop and launch the campaign.

Break even for this campaign would be to sell at least 34 orders where the contribution finally turns positive of $51 and the cost per order becomes +$1.50. Selling beyond 34 orders becomes pure profit for the campaign and adds to the bottom line contribution.

This sample below shows the equation using break even orders (“# of Orders”) of 34:

Campaign Break Even Example

Campaign Break Even Example

I have helped numerous companies across the US implement, not only the marketing ROI formula/equation, but an entire world class & six-sigma marketing process that accompanies the ROI formula.   Implementing this six-sigma marketing process includes implementing a marketing and campaign work breakdown structure (WBS), campaign tracking codes, a set of governing marketing performance metrics and benchmarks and much more.

Once this six sigma process architecture is in place, companies are able to implement a full closed loop marketing process and enable full marketing ROI and effectiveness tracking for any/all marketing initiatives and programs as well as the associated marketing campaigns. In addition to those benefits, companies experience an increase their marketing process repeat-ability and predictability as well as automation of numerous manual marketing tasks, leading to decreased marketing costs and decreased marketing cycle time.

The Basic S4 (S**4) Building Blocks to Creating and Implementing an Effective Customer Strategy

4S - Customer Strategy Building Blocks

4S – Customer Strategy Building Blocks

 

The following blog article will succinctly and effectively answer the following questions as related to developing and deploying an effective customer strategy:

  • What are the basic building blocks of an effective customer strategy ecosystem?

  • What is the function of each process in this customer delivery ecosystem?

  • What are the critical questions that must be answered by each function in this ecosystem?

  • How can you develop an effective customer strategy that delivers maximized customer satisfaction simultaneous to maximized profitability?

  • What is the checklist to ensuring your customer strategy and delivery is effective?

The Building Blocks of the Customer Strategy Life Cycle

The Building Blocks of the Customer Strategy Life Cycle

 

Above are the basic building blocks to delivering an effective customer experience.  Each process is designed to work in an ongoing continuous ecosystem (loop) in order to deliver a personalized customer experience that matches the customer’s current and future needs, preferences, etc.

Let’s examine each process and how it supports the overall infrastructure model.

  • Segment – the analogy for the segment process is that the more and differentiated customer knowledge you have, the better you will be able separate customers into unique needs groups in order to deliver a unique experience that they truly value.

  • Separate – Once you have effectively segmented your customers and prospects into unique needs groups, you can then start to separate them in order to deliver differentiated and 1-on-1 treatments that are uniquely valuable to each of those customer segment groups.

  • Satisfy – The next step in the process is to deliver content and programs that deliver value, not only to the needs of the overall segment group, but also delivers value to every customer sub-segment within the overall segment group via program sub-segment delivery structures. This is accomplished by delivering customized 1-to-1 customer programs that effectively leverage the unique customer insights gathered (history, needs, preferences, likes, dislikes, previous pain points, etc.).

  • Stratify – The last step in this foundational process is to develop program that migrate customers from low value segments to ever increasing higher value segments. The goal of this process to increase customer’s overall spend, overall share of wallet with the company and overall loyalty and brand ‘stickiness’ such that migrating to a competitor and defecting becomes increasingly difficult. In addition, the migration of customer to higher value segments should also increase the customer’s brand advocacy ranking such that there is a correlation between higher value customer segments and their likelihood to be more likely brand super-advocates {see blog on this topic titled “Achieving Market Leadership by Effectively Managing Customer Loyalty and Advocacy ” : Achieving Market Leadership by Effectively Managing Customer Loyalty and Advocacy  }

The 4S Customer Capabilities

The 4S Customer Capabilities

 

Critical Questions Answered by Each Process in the Above Customer Delivery Ecosystem:

  • Segment – What specific data elements and insights can we leverage or collect to increase our ability to develop unique customer treatment groups.

  • Separate – Which customer groups does it make sense to develop and deliver differentiated treatment strategies based on profitability models?

  • Satisfy – What are the optimal customer treatment strategies that can simultaneously optimize customer profitability, loyalty, brand advocacy and customer growth objectives?

  • Stratify – How do we deliver a progressive and tiered customer program to differentiate ourselves vs. our competitors and grow our market share?

Summary: You might read many complex articles on what a good customer strategy should be based on, but the above basic foundational building blocks are a simple way to start thinking about your customer ecosystem and what corporate capabilities need to be put in place to deliver effective customer and market success.

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