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The 7 Things B2B Customers Demand From Suppliers Many CX experts predict that by 2020, the customer experience will overtake price and product quality as the key brand differentiator. Much has been written about Business To Consumer (B2C) customer experiences, but I want to share some love for Business To Business (B2B). If 40 is the new 30, then B2B CX is the new black. I am in the process of writing a book on B2B customer experience opportunities and have spent many hours absorbing research from industry experts and best in class companies. Also, the majority of my career has included leading B2B customerRead More →

Earlier this week I attended a CXPA Customer Experience networking event and the discussion topic was customer experience technology- how it can help or harm the customer experience. 12 CX leaders across industries and verticals shared some of their current technology pain points and opportunities. We then honed in on the major takeaways and go forward actions from the discussion. As I reflect back on CX technology discussions over the past 10-15 years, the focus has often been about cost reduction. Specifically, how we can minimize the cost of human resources by getting customers to self service, go online and/or use IVR functionality. There wasRead More →

I was recently asked what my personal, key tenants or beliefs are about providing a great customer experience. After pondering this for a few moments, I came up with 4 primary themes which evolved into this week’s blog post on 4 Key Tenants That Drive Positive Customer Experiences: 1) Employees first: We won’t make any progress if we focus on the customer experience without first ensuring that we have a team of satisfied and engaged employees with the right training, tools, leadership and information to succeed. Employees deliver the customer experience. Therefore, employees are the customer experience. 2) Communicate, communicate, communicate: Any customer facing situation, noRead More →

The data is clear. Both B2B and B2C buyers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. So, why do we keep treating customer experience (quality, delivery, people) like a cost center? Every other week I drive about 8 miles out of my way to visit my favorite nail salon for a manicure. There are literally hundreds of nail salons all around the area where I live and where I work, and I keep going back to the same place. When I first moved from Boston to Atlanta almost 2 years ago, I tried a number of different nail salons. I read Yelp,Read More →

Are you looking for the most interesting and active Customer Experience thought leaders on Twitter? I have created a list of some of my favorites who share high quality content about retention, support, wow experiences etc., on a regular basis. If I missed anyone, please add his or her Twitter handle to the comments section. I find that Twitter is a fantastic tool to stay up to date on client experience trends and to learn about local and global CX events and conferences.  In addition to following these 15 thought leaders, you may also want to try searching for client experience related key words in the Twitter feedRead More →

I recently attend the Consero Customer Experience Forum in Miami, FL and had a chance to speak with Peter Leppik, the president and CEO of Vocalabs, a company that applies the scientific principles of data collection and analysis to the problem of improving customer service. Vocalabs shared a white paper which recaps its view of the customer service survey maturity model, and I have highlighted some of the key concepts in today’s blog post. I like the maturity concept, because before you can improve the end to end customer experience, you need to understand the current state. In order to understand the current state youRead More →

Skills to manage customer escalations need to be part of any successful manager’s toolkit. Google’s Dictionary defines escalation as “an increase in the intensity or seriousness of something; an intensification”.  When customer expectations are not met or they feel that their views have not been heard, it is human nature to want to “intensify” and escalate to the next level. There is a general belief among many customers, that if they escalate to a senior leader, then action will happen faster. However, this is not always the case. Your first priority as a leader is to prevent un-needed escalations from occurring. If the experts closestRead More →

Next week I am participating in the Consero Customer Experience Forum with a number of other Customer Experience leaders across industries. As part of the event, I am participating in a panel discussion about the future of customer experience and related trends. We will discuss what customers want and need, and why, now and in the years to come. In preparation for the conference, I completed external research and benchmarking, looking at what customer experience experts have to say. I also considered my own personal experiences and observations. This led to the identification of the following 8 customer experience trends for 2016 and beyond, whichRead More →

Sales wants to add as many customizations as possible, but operations wants sales to sell “what is on the truck” already. I have seen this natural conflict or push/pull relationship at every company I have worked for, from packaging supplies, to online advertising to software. Having worked in both sales and ops, I have been both the requester and the rejector. What causes this conflict? Sales people want to please customers and they often believe that providing custom options and/or all the bells and whistles that the customers ask for, is what’s best for everyone. Their perspective is often about the short term gratification andRead More →

In my personal life, I tend to be drawn to consistent experiences. When I want something really good to drink, I go to Starbucks and get a Grande Soy Latte. It tastes the same everywhere I go. When I want a really delicious dessert, I head for the warm, chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream- rarely a bad choice!  I have my favorite brands of yogurt, wine and coffee so when I consume them, I get that consistent, good experience. I am a big fan of consistency, and it is just as important in my personal life as it is in the business world. 1)Read More →