Shaun Smith

Royal Mail strikes hope for customer experience

Photo copyright (c) istockphoto. Licence purchased. Janine Dyer writes: I like my postman. He’s always polite, cheerful, smart and delivers my DVD rentals without nicking them. I also empathise with him.  He has to get up at 5 o’clock every morning and deliver not only…

Putting the customer before the technology: Make sure CEM learns from the mistakes of...

I think it’s time to put down a marker and outline how we can avoid CEM (Customer Experience Management) technology investment repeating the same mistakes as the last decade or so of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) investment. Hence this post. Here goes… Gartner, the information...

Customer Experience Management: 10 Best Practices to Create Real Business Value

I was speaking at a Customer Experience conference recently and was asked by one of the delegates "So what comes after CEM?" We have grown up on a diet of TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) first being exhorted to embrace TQM, then BPR, through CRM,...

Empathy – soft skill or hard headed?

(c) Photo copyright istockphoto . Licence purchased. The Sunday Times of the 9th August published a letter from British Airways in response to a complaint from a Mr Rae. The passenger had purchased business class seats for himself and his wife as a special treat...

Brands, Trust, Choice: From One-Way to Two-Way Street

Brands have always been about trust and choice. Brand versus non-brand or rival brand propositions have always come down to "You (consumer) know me (product). You want to know what you are buying. You know you like me. So you buy certainty," versus "You...

Empathy or Apathy in the Contact Centre?

I was talking to Jamie Lywood, of Harding & Yorke recently. Jamie's company works on empathy – 'empathy architects' they call themselves. Customer empathy is the sense of rapport (that you are on their side and understand them) and, as a result, loyalty,...

Twitter: Time to Dip Your Beak in the Water

What do Barack Obama, Stephen Fry and Sir Richard Branson have in common? They are all avid 'Tweeters'. Twitter.com is now the 3rd largest social networking site after MySpace and Facebook with 6 million users according to latest estimates. It is also the fastest...

Luxury Retailers Find Quality Never Goes Out of Style

Luxury brands surveyed by the International Council of Shopping Centers reported an average 10.9 percent decline in September same store sales and the misery continues with the British luxury brand Mulberry, reporting a like-for-like sales decline of 12 percent in the period leading up...

Customer Experience in Hospitals: Patient by Name

Over Christmas I managed to rupture my Achilles tendon playing tennis with my wife. As a result I am sitting here in a leg cast having had surgery to repair the tendon. It has been many years since I was last hospitalized and so...

Be Bold. Be Brave. Be Different. The Future for Contact Centers.

Here's a shock I presented a keynote speech at the Call Centre Association Conference in Edinburgh recently and the figure quoted above is an excerpt from my presentation. The statistic comes from RightNow Technologies and shows that even in these difficult trading conditions many customers...

Where Does Value Come From?

IBM's annual survey of CEOs* identifies five traits for what IBM calls 'the enterprise of the future'. One of them, intriguingly, is "innovative beyond customer imagination". In other words, don't ask customers what they want from the customer experience, surprise them. This is right, of...

Ten Ways to Beat the Recession

Well, it looks like the promised recession is finally upon us: But this is the opportunity to put distance between you and your competitors by improving your customer experience whilst they are busy cutting back. It has been estimated that reducing your customer churn...

Technology Needs to Enable, Not Inhibit, Excellent Service

I was on business in Cambodia when I received a text message from First Direct, asking me to call back at my convenience. I called in the morning. As always, I immediately got through to a helpful First Direct agent, who sounded cheerful, alert...

CEM in the Contact Center

I was on business in Cambodia recently when I received a text message from First Direct, my bank in the UK, asking me to call them at my convenience. I called during the morning, which was the middle of the night in the UK....

A Radical Thought: Focus on Your Profitable Customers

When was the last time you talked to your customers? No. I mean really talked to them, as opposed to researched them? Many executives no longer bother talking to customers. They outsource that to specialist research companies or brand consultancies, each with their own...

The One Thing I Learned From Richard Branson

A couple of weeks ago I chaired day two of the European Conference on Customer Management in London. There are always hundreds of memorable learning points flying around at an event that features the likes of Stephen Covey, Richard Branson, Ken Blanchard, Dan Pink...

Ten Years on From the Service Profit Chain

How different would your organization be if you perceived customers and employees as owners? Employees as owners may not at first glance appear radical. Organizations use share ownership to engage employees by giving them a sense of ownership. But, this is a different...

Be Bold: It’s the Next Customer Frontier

Just being 'very good' is no longer enough to stand out in the customer's mind. In an age of over-supply, you have to be different, you have to stop playing it safe; in short, you have to be bold if you are to be...

Marketing Is a Tax You Pay for Being Unremarkable

Robert Stephens, founder of The Geek Squad, the IT support company that changed the way consumer technology support is delivered, has a great quote on how a distinctive customer experience makes marketing spend almost unnecessary in some cases: "Marketing is a...

What Does Your Customer Experience Smell Like?

IHG (Intercontinental Hotels Group) announced recently that they are deepening the design of their customer experience by creating signature smells for their hotels as part of their guest experience. This makes a lot of sense. The sense of smell accounts for 70 per cent of...

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