Customer Experience Strategies for 2011


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Customer experience spending and adoption continues to rise in 2010, with most companies that offer better customer experience levels outperforming their competitors. Here is a summary of effective customer experience strategies heading into 2011.

1. The Voice of the Customer

Emotions account for over 50% of an experience, as Colin Shaw points out in The DNA of Customer Experience. Emotions can only be captured qualitatively, and voice of the customer programs are the way to do it.

Encourage and measure feedback from customers across all channels and touch points. Customer perceptions of the company and experience should be measured, analyzed, and acted upon to drive the customer experience forward.

2. Key Performance Indicator Benchmarking

In addition to qualitative feedback gathered above, quantitative key performance indicators (KPI’s) that measure progress towards customer experience goals should be established. These may vary from organization to organization, but it is important to ensure the KPI’s selected have a significant impact on the customer experience, are measured accurately, and can be acted upon.

3. Diverse Communication Channels

Customers have unique and diverse preferences on how they would like to interact with companies. The more communication channels you provide, the more likely it is that you cover their desired channel.

Emerging channels such as chat, online communities / forums, and social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc…) are popular among younger demographics, whereas the telephone is still the method of choice for older customers.

4. One View of the Customer

Nothing destroys a customer experience better than a broken / incomplete view of the customer across different departments or channels. Provide a complete view of the customer and interaction history across all channels and touch-points in the organization to ensure this does not happen. Customers should experience little to no disruption when being transferred between channels for support.

5. Engage Your Employees

Employee engagement has a positive impact on customer engagement. Aligning employee incentive programs such as bonuses to customer metrics is a great way to improve the experience.

As an example, information infrastructure provider EMC’s online community lets employees connect and engage through blogs, social networking tools, and RSS feeds. Employees are now well connected to the company strategy and culture, with a positive impact on customer service.

6. Create A Knowledge Foundation

Understand what your customers want and need, and continually model this information into a knowledge base. Provide your agents and employees with rapid access to this knowledge to ensure consistent experiences and the right support is provided to your customers with each interaction.

7. Customer-Focused Business Decisions

With each business decision your organization makes, you should ask one question: what is the impact on the customer experience? This impact should be a key factor in your decision-making if improving the experience is a core objective of your business.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


  1. I agree with your summary of the necessary elements of creating an effective customer experience strategy for 2011. But I think the foundation of all of those points is finding ways to engage customers in a highly personalized and tailored way. That’s a concept called Engagement Communications.

    Engagement Communications comprises the blending of advances in communications, such as voice messaging, text messaging, email and social media, with a human touch. Together they create points of engagement with a customer rather than a simple connection. Making a connection might inform but it doesn’t necessarily activate. Create engagement points and the path is opened up for activation.

    Engagement Communications involves customized campaign-based outreach which encourages two-way dialogue. While outgoing messages can be scaled to the hundreds and even thousands, each is delivered and experienced in a personalized manner.

    For example, one of our utility clients is leveraging Engagement Communications to better engage with and support its customers. Because the utility has asked its customers questions about the types of information they want to receive, it knows a segment of them are highly concerned with energy conservation. With that in mind, the utility engages these customers with energy conservation tips. During the hot summer months, customers receive email, text or phone messages reminding them to conserve energy by cooking during later hours or closing blinds during the day.

    Similarly, a retailer can send text messages to a group of customers to inform them of upcoming holiday specials; another retailer can offer a coupon for a free gift for its followers on Twitter or invite their fans on Facebook to a Midnight Madness sale held exclusively for them.

    Today’s consumers expect, and in many cases demand, that information be tailored to their ever-changing needs and interests. Companies that pay attention to what customers do, and listen to what they say, will build better customer relationships and improve the overall customer experience.

    Thank you for the post.

    Scott Zimmerman


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