Customer Experience Management Guide: 55 Tips to Improve Customer Experience

Customer experience management is a top priority for many enterprises, particularly as we look beyond 2016 to the competitive landscape. Today, customer experience heavily influences customer retention, customer loyalty, and customer advocacy – all desirable outcomes for modern organizations.

Managing the customer experience, however, is a facet of business operations that proves challenging. From utilizing the right technology to support customer experience, to empowering employees with a sense of ownership that cultivates a strong desire to provide exceptional experiences for customers, to developing systems and protocols to create a consistent experience across touch points and channels, there are myriad considerations to weigh when designing a customer experience management program.

We’ve rounded up 55 tips from customer experience thought leaders to help you navigate the complex maze of customer experience management, encompassing challenges, best practices, examples, and strategies for creating amazing customer experiences from the top down in your organization.

Click on a category name below to jump to a specific section: 

Use predictive insights to deliver optimized responses in real-time. “To provide an experience where customers can navigate across multiple devices (mobile or desk-bound), brands must deliver engagement and shopping experiences that recognize each device and automatically adjust interactions to deliver seamless experiences. You will want to be able to respond to each customer’s interactions in real time and extend relevant content and offers based on an individual’s real-time activity, when their engagement is at its highest.” – Natalie Petouhoff (Dr. Natalie), Webinar About Best Practices: Customer Experience Management, Technology, Roles and Strategy, Dr. Natalie; Twitter: @drnatalie

Want to see all the tips? You can find them here at NGDATA.

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The CMO Club and Oracle Deliver New Solution Guide to Help CMOs Transform Their Marketing Organization

 

The complexity of marketing has increased exponentially. The question on many CMO’s mind’s range from:

  • Do I have the right technology?
  • Am I using what I have well?
  • What else do I need?
  • Are my processes efficient and effective to take advantage of the technology?
  • Do my people have the right skills, mindsets and capabilities to deliver on all the various aspects marketing has expanded into – from SEO, to demand gen, to lead conversion, to e-commerce, to branding, storytelling and brand personas, to email, social and digital marketing…?
  • Are my strategies going to create the kind of lead conversion rates that will enable to expansion of my team and the respect that they should garner from the senior leadership team?
  • Do I have the right customer analytics strategy and can I execute on the data and data warehouses that are required to really know my customer and service real-time information where (channels & devices) when they need it?

To help CMOs meet skyrocketing customer and boardroom expectations, The CMO Club, along with Oracle,  released “The CMO Solution Guide for Building a Modern Marketing Organization.” The guide, which is based on interviews with CMOs and digital marketing leaders from major brands including Dow Chemical, JetBlue Airways, MasterCard, PayPal, Quiznos, The Hershey Company and Viking River Cruises, includes insights and best practices that CMOs can apply to build customer-first marketing teams that drive measureable results.

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To help marketers successfully manage this transformation, the new CMO Solution Guide provides practical advice from 20 in-depth interviews with CMOs and digital marketing leaders from organizations of various sizes and different industries.

Pete Krainik, CEO, The CMO Club said, “While the number of tools and amount of data available to marketers continues to multiply, the age old challenge of capturing and leveraging the right data to create engaging customer experience across all channels still exists. The first step they must take is to establish the appropriate organizational alignment to successfully create this type of customer experience. While no organization is exactly the same, this guide helps provide easy-to-implement changes that any marketer can use to drive transformation.

While there is no organizational model that fits every company universally, four key themes emerged during the course of the interviews that informed the organizational decisions that CMOs make: Acumen, Alignment, Agility and Accountability. More on those below:

  • Acumen: To become more effective modern marketers, respondents reported that enhancing the skills within their department has become a top priority. From developing valuable customer insights through data mining to investing in content creation and the need for greater evaluative analytics, leading marketers are investing heavily in helping their teams learn new skills.
  • Alignment: From top to bottom and across all functions, the guide shows that it is critical for all departments to follow the same processes and company culture in order to effectively engage customers across all touchpoints.
  • Agility: To meet consumer demands for exceptional customer experience, the guide noted how important it is for businesses to have strong cross-functional teams and the flexibility to pilot something new to test and learn best practices.
  • Accountability: To demonstrate marketing’s impact on the bottom line, the guide recommends establishing the right measures from the outset and instilling a culture of personal accountability around those parameters.

Along those lines is a larger question that looms in most organizations. That question is who should be the general manager of the overall customer experience? CMO’s are well positioned to be that person, but there are risks as well as rewards in taking on that responsibility. I’ve outlined some of them in a new report Should the Chief Marketing Officer Oversee the Whole Customer Experience? And I look forward presenting  the accompanying webinar coming up later 2016.

Should CMO Lead The Whole Customer Experience

While most brands may not realize it, they are competing on one important variable: customer experience. With all other things being equal, we are in a service economy and there’s nothing that is more important than the experience customers have with companies. And it’s not the brand promise creating by marketing that makes up that customer experience, but also the experience customers have with sales, service and back office operations. It’s not an easy question, but one that must be answered by every senior leadership team and their board of directors. That is what digital disruption is all about and companies not understanding this will go out of business or be acquired or merged for their customer list and cash flow. Poor customer experience, no business. Period. It’s that simple.

@DrNatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Customer Facing Capabilities of Organizations to Deliver on Better Customer Experiences

 

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Should the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Oversee the Whole Customer Experience?

Customers, Value Chain and The Customer Experience Imperative Should the CMO oversee the whole customer experience? Today, the value chain in business has gone from products that became commodities to services that fuel anticipation of superb customer experiences that go beyond anything customers have expected previously. These new customer expectations have put pressure on companies to deliver on these experiences, which affect the revenue, margin and profits of a company. Brands are under a new type of pressure to keep the right customers and ensure that each of those customer’s experiences live up to their customer’s expectations. In order to make that happen, especially in large organizations, someone has to have customer experience as their primary responsibility and also have the clout to improve it. This is not your grandpa’s CRM. It’s starts with strategy and difficult leadership questions.

The big question? Who should lead the entire customer experience? With the shift to digital marketing, electronic commerce, social media and mobile interactions, brings a massive transformation to how brands and organizations engage prospects and customers. Customer Experience Management is a major pillar in many B2C and B2B organizations’ efforts to engage and retain customers. As it gets more complicated to engage and retain customers, organizations are realizing there is more to the job of customer experience than many first realized. This is in part because providing superb customer experiences often means getting many different departments or functional areas to collaborate, especially when they had not been in the habit of doing so before. Many times the reason for the lack of collaboration and why it has not happened before is because it’s not easy. Again, it’s not your grandpa’s CRM – it’s not about technology really. It’s really starts with a cultural mindset.

Falling Through The Cracks? There are many points along the customer experience journey where an organization can miss the mark and not even come close to meeting customer expectations. However, market leaders realize the future requires proactive, digital online engagement, integrated with in-person and/or in-store experiences to support the strategy. In this research we spoke to many leaders to find out how they are tackling the issues around customer experience and leadership and how best to lead this key strategic initiative in their organization.

The Research Found: The Role of Chief Marketing Officer Is Undergoing Fundamental Transformation, Yet Few Are Ready  As we explored the readiness, rewards, risks and gottcha’s for a CMO to step into an all-encompassing role to deliver the end-to-end customer experience, Constellation identified what CMOs are going through as they are being asked to add more to their “already” full plate. As they lead their organizations to become more customer-centric by creating and maintaining top-notch customer experiences, they helped us identify issues that can inhibit a CMO’s success –if how the business is run and the role of the CMO itself –doesn’t change. Here is a condensed version of the challenges we learned CMOs are facing:

10 challenges of the CMO in leading the customer experience natalie petouhoff constellation research

1. Confusion abounds on who should lead (own) the customer experience.

2. Agile, design-thinking is required to lead changes needed for successful customer experience.

3. Marketing is often focused on communications rather than innovation, product development and business innovation.

4. Marketing only recently became more accustomed to being highly measured, so building the business case for the additional responsibilities of the “new” CMO role may be difficult.

5. The Consumerization of IT has created often unfulfilled customer experiences.

6. The abundance of data requires immediate analysis and action to provide meaningful mass personalization at scale.

7. The plethora of data requires a data management and utilization strategy

8. Marketing can be isolated from other departments that affect customer experience and that isolation hurts the ability to lead change.

9. Marketing can be isolated from other departments that affect customer experience and that isolation hurts the ability to lead change.

10. Customer experience requires a highly collaborative individual to lead cross- functional collaboration.

The truth is there is not any “right” way to lead and deliver customer experience. Every single company has to think about their brand, the type of customer experience they want to deliver and their ability to do that consistently. As products and services have become commoditized, the last frontier to compete on is differentiation of the customer experience, so it is something that is more important than ever. What’s your take on who should lead the customer experience in your organization and why? Click here for more of what we found and read my latest research report, Should the CMO Lead the Customer Experience?  Download the table of contents and an excerpt of the report here: http://info.constellationr.com/report-download-cmo-oversee-customer-experience

@DrNatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering IOT of Customer Facing Initiatives in Marketing, Sales and Customer Service that Create Great Customer Experiences

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5 Easy Steps to Solve Your Digital Marketing Challenges Using Big Data Analytics: A Clear Path Forward for the CMO

The world has gone digital, and no one feels the pressure more than the CMO. Customer segmentation presents challenges that are not possible to uncover with traditional methods. According to Forbes, “Gartner analyst Laura McLellan recently predicted that by 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than their counterpart CIOs.” Those who don’t embrace analytics fully will lose their seat at the C-suite table. 

In this webinar, I will share my expertise on how CMOs can navigate the challenges of their evolving roles. Her marketing optimization framework enables assessment and evolution of marketing efforts as well as integration of analytics to improve bottom-line results.  We’ll use a 5-level maturity capability matrix to show how you can progress your marketing capabilities.
 Christy Maver, Director of Product Marketing at Actian, will present a set of Customer Analytics Blueprints designed to give CMOs a roadmap to address big data marketing challenges.
Reserve your seat to hear how Actian can help you accelerate Marketing analytics!
@drnatalie
VP and Principle, Constellation
Marketing, Customer Experience and Customer Service
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Data-Driven Marketing Campaign Optimization

My report is about how CMOs can use big data and analytics to transform marketing decision-making and advance corporate innovation by using big data to optimize your marketing efforts.  The way I went about writing this report was I interviewed both vendors and CMOs to understand where the market place is with respect to actually using marketing automation software / platforms.

 

There is a lot of software that delivers on the promise, unlike 25 years ago when CRM- Marketing, Sales and Customer Service vendors (either point or suites) had the right ideas and desire to provide this type of business impact, but the software really wasn’t not as advanced as the marketing brochureware (sales pitch and slides) was.

 

In addition, from working with CMOs when I was in the agency world and throughout my career, the story has been very similar. Software has the potential to create and drive revenue when it’s attached to the right strategy. Technology without the right strategy just means we do more of the wrong things faster. That’s not such a good idea, though it happens every day.

 

Level Self-Identification Leads to Marketing Transformation

You can’t change what you “don’t know, you don’t know.” In the report, I provide a picture for Marketers so that they can self identify where they are in the various levels of using marketing automation and then to identify what they’d like to be doing. In consulting or advisory work, this is often known as a “gap analysis.” It helps people see the present as well as the possible future state.

 

What we found in the research is that many Marketers learned that the way they were using marketing automation software as at Level 1 &2. They do not realize there’s more they could do. Others found that they have not chosen software that help them advance their Marketing capabilities to Levels 3, 4, and 5. In the report, I describe some ideas on what those other levels are and what it might look like.

 

The Five Levels Seek To Drive Marketers To Become Chief Intelligence And Revenue Officers

In theory, let’s say that Marketing really drove revenue in your company. The idea I’m really aiming for in this report is to provoke CMOs and Marketers to think about becoming chief intelligence and revenue officers.

 

When they are able to show that they can repeatedly and consistently contribute to bottom-line, the senior leadership team will give them respect they want. Long gone will be the days of suffering from what I lovingly call the “Rodney Dangerfield Affect” – i.e., the day of “they just don’t get enough respect” won’t exist anymore. And that would only be a good thing.

 

Because Marketing software has changed over the last 25 years and can deliver on may more of the promises it aspired to, Marketers must also change. But there is a gap in the talent pool of CMO’s and Marketers that understand how to use marketing automation and customer experience platforms to get to Level 4 and Level 5 activity (see the report). And that’s what I really want to see happen and why I wrote the report. It’s time that we use all this big data revolution and new technology and transform old roles into new roles where respect for the contribution is earned and acknowledged.

 

What This Means to You

What may not be obvious is the “so what?” What does this mean to you? Here’s some brain candy to think about, As a CMO or Marketer, you need to:

  • Understand how marketing automation platforms have transformed and how big data plays a larger part in today’s CMO role
  • Know where your personal skill level are as well as those of people in your organization
  • Be able to pick technology that can provide these more advanced capabilities; often times buying technology was the role of IT, now CMOs are responsible for this
  • Understand requirements definition documents, capability lists (features and functions), business case justification along with bottom-line benefits — when it comes to choosing technology
  • Fill the skill sets in your organization so that you are able to truly justify to your senior leadership team why you want a larger budget and new technology.

 

I don’t think you can wait to do this. I think it will only going to get worse, not easier to pick the right technology for today’s CMO and Marketer. Make sure you are prepared by educating yourself on your options and learn how to choose technology so that you can show your contribution to the bottom-line.

 

I’d love to hear from some folks who have mastered some or all of :choosing technology and business justification capabilities”— how you did it! You never know, you might become part of my disruptive case studies library!

@DrNatalie

Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+

Catch my latest:
• Thoughts at www.DrNatalieNews.com 
• Upcoming book series: “7 Steps To Digital Customer Experience Mastery” (working title)

SAVE THE DATE!
Constellation’s 4th Annual Connected Enterprise 
The Executive Innovation Conference | October 29th-31st 

Half Moon Bay, CA | Ritz Carlton
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The CMO is Dead: CMOs Use Big Data To Become Chief Revenue And Innovation Officers

I know you’ve seen these types of dramatic headlines before: The CMO is dead. But in actuality, the roles in marketing, sales, and customer service that once governed how business “gets done” are shifting. This best practices report, Data-Driven Marketing Campaign Optimization is about how CMOs can use big data and analytics to transform marketing campaign decision-making and advance corporate innovation and revenue.

What’s driving this shift? A great deal of the shift in roles is being driven by technology that is now available. In attending many conferences over the years, especially in the last 2 years, the technology has changed very dramatically and delivers on many of the promises CRM (Marketing, Sales and Service) wanted to deliver on, but just honestly the technology wasn’t there yet via its fullest capabilities to do this.

Now that we have technology that can deliver more than ever before, we have to make sure that people know how to use it and use it well. You can read the rest of this blog post to understand my point of view on this or jump right to a snap shot of the report.

The Report: Data-Driven Marketing Campaign Optimization     The report is about how CMOs can use big data and analytics to transform marketing campaign decision-making and make better decisions about their businesses. It looks at how to ensure you’re using big data to optimize not just your marketing efforts, but your whole company. A few of the juicy tidbits from the report are that it:

  • Contains a 5 level evaluation marketers can use to determine how well they’re incorporating big data into their marketing efforts
  • Reveals how CMOs can use big data to enhance marketing decision-making and advance corporate innovation and revenue (Level 5)
  • Helps marketers contribute value to making the best possible customer experiences and drive higher customer lifetime values
  • Ensures Marketers become an essential member of senior leadership team that is responsible for driving revenue and showing that’s so by using data-driven marketing
  • Addresses the politics, the “not invented here” and the silly finger pointing (that should actually be a while collar crime) that often happens in companies…
Progression of Marketing Decision Making to Innovation and Revenue Creation

Progression of Marketing Decision Making to Innovation and Revenue Creation

CMO‘s Paradigm Shifting To Innovation and Revenue Officers     I know it’s often tough being a Marketer and not getting the credit due. You might find yourself suffering from what I call the Rodney Dangerfield Affect, meaning you don’t get enough respect in your organization. I get it. But let’s put that idea in the past. You can get credit; you just really need to know that there is a new way to do marketing and the tools and platforms are there to support you.

In the past CMOs were charged with top of the funnel activities, driving qualified leads to Sales. It was then Sales job to take the lead and close as many as they could. But just like we know the earth isn’t flat (old paradigm) revenue generation is now not just the mission of Sales (new paradigm). In fact, the CMO role is changing and changing fast. The reason? Because the technology today can show what the Marketer has contributed to the bottom-line. And that’s what you as a Marketer need to know and need to focus on— for your career and for your company.

While there’s lots more to cover in the transition from the old paradigm of Marketing as “top of the funnel” people – to the Chief Information and Revenue Officers— if you are a Marketer who is interested in the “new world”, this report is a good first step in taking a look at not only where your organization is at with respect to how they view marketing, but also how you, as a Marketer are approaching Marketing. I’ve created a 5 level of Marketing Automation and Campaigns capability matrix (see the above figure). Often times you may not know what level your organization is at or what else you could be doing. This maturity level overview helps you to see where you are and also what other levels you can achieve.

How Can You Get Started?

  • Begin to have a revenue mindset
  • As you choose technology, ask yourself, can I show how I generate revenue with this technology?
  • And if I have the right technology, how am I going to present that I am contributing to the bottom-line to the senior leadership team?

Change Means Politics Heat Up       As part of any change in an organization, you’ll want to be careful of organization change management issues that come up with change. The roles of Marketers and Sales are both needed and provide great value. But if Marketers are becoming Chief Revenue and Innovation Officers because they have a lot of data and know how to use it to close sales, make sure to think through how that might affect other departments (Sales, IT, Customer Service…) And if / or when Marketing transforms into a “Revenue and Innovation Organization” what now is the role of Sales, IT and Customer Service?

Redefining Roles    In one particular company that I worked with on this this transformation, Marketing became responsible for the top and middle funnel revenue drivers. Sales then transitioned into executive account management and renewals: they were really the relationship builders and maintainers. And Customer Service delivered on the “promises” made by Marketing and Sales by integrally working together with Marketing and Sales. This meant that all three departments knew what their new roles were and the importance of customer lifetime value (CLTV). They knew that all three department’s goals were to collaborate to increase CLTV so that customers, whether it was a B2B or a B2C company, spent more time and money with the company over longer periods of time- hence increasing the customer life time value.

What business experts are really striving for with Big Data is to create blue ocean strategies where the competition is irrelevant; we learned that from the authors of the Book, Blue Ocean Strategies,  W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. We also learned from W. Edwards Deming, that if we listen to our customers and our employees and take that data, we’d have better products, services and companies — which help to build companies that become their own marketplace or live in an uncontested market space. And that’s what can be done with all the data that we have today — if CMO’s know what to do with it.

Making Cross-Functional Collaboration The Most Rewarded Executive Activity    In this particular company, when cross-functional collaboration was a primary part of their culture, Marketing wasn’t spending millions of dollars to acquire customers only to have the other departments provide such poor relationship building and service that the customer’s defected. Instead they made sure that once the customer had bought and come on board, Customer Service delivered on promises by Sales and Marketing. (In your company, it might mean people in these departments have to talk to each other…) Now that’s an interesting concept!

This is just one company’s take on how they approached these issues. I’d love to hear what you think about the report. There’s much more I could / need to cover in this area. This report just a first look at the idea of CMOs transforming into Chief Intelligence and Revenue Officers.

@DrNatalie

Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+

Catch my latest:
• Thoughts at www.DrNatalieNews.com 
• Upcoming book series: “7 Steps To Digital Customer Experience Mastery” (working title) 

SAVE THE DATE!
Constellation’s 4th Annual Connected Enterprise 
The Executive Innovation Conference | October 29th-31st 

Half Moon Bay, CA | Ritz Carlton
Enhanced by Zemanta
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