Notes and quotes from the customer experience field: #ForrForum London


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A meeting of minds and customer experience professionals at the Forrester Forum in London is always bound to surface some valuable insights and customer experience wisdom from those that know and do on a daily basis. As Andrew Murphy – Retail Director for John Lewis puts it:

The opening keynotes touched upon a broad canvas of customer experience theory and reality. How to setup your organization for customer experience excellence; the new rules of interaction with a view to how we must ‘engage differently’ and the value of breaking down every customer experience touchpoint to deliver incremental adjustments that create an overall benefit for the consumer.

Opening remarks by Harley Manning – Forrester’s Vice President and Research Director

Setting the tone for the day on “Why good is not good enough,” because improvement is a natural human curiosity and ambition, he cites the example of Usain Bolt shaving 0.03 seconds from his previous gold medal winning run as the ultimate example of continuous self-improvement and being incrementally better. To an athlete raising the bar should not come as a surprise and so why should it be any different for brands or customer experience professionals? As organizations, 59 per cent want to be the leader in CX for their particular industry and 10 per cent want to be the jewel in the crown of all industries when it comes to customer experience.

The making of a great customer experience – Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian

At the London Olympics the cyclists for Team GB won 7 out of 10 Olympic cycling gold medals, an improvement on the 2 of the previous Olympics. Applying the theory of incremental gain and all manner of data and sports science techniques saw the team achieve substantial results because they deconstructed every aspect of performance and cycling to find the margins of improvement. “You need a scientific understanding of the factors that lead to world class performance”

How do you judge great customer experiences?

There is a need to measure loyalty as that touches upon every aspect of experience. Retention, enrichment and advocacy loyalty factors form part of the Forrester CX index because how well a company performs with regard to customer experience helps to create and sustain loyalty.

3 areas of importance when it comes to defining factors of influence in customer experience

  • Customer experience is emotional, it is a real hook to the moment and enabling future opportunities to interact and do business. People are more inclined to remember how they felt than they are to remember what you said.
  • Customer experience can be made or destroyed on the value of the commodity of time. Simply put…waste time and lose customers.
  • Plain language breaks down barriers and better still, the right language makes a substantial impact.

“Priortise your CX to-do list; return on investment should be forecast as current performance against the relative importance to customer loyalty.”

How experience fails to deliver in a world of extreme expectations – Dayle Hall

“As a consumer and as a brand we need to think and engage differently.”

“We will make choices to work with vendors that give us the best customer experience. Delivery outweighing expectations is what you need to rely upon but expectations are rising.”

This essentially becomes the cycle of customer experience life. Only the fittest customer experience will survive and by extension, the business. The bland, the just making do and the ordinary will disappear but that erosion of solid land where customer expectations reduce to a finer point of standardization will mean that differentiation and innovation will require significant investment and understanding for those that already excel.

Community delivers bigger baskets and more engaged customers and advocates. Sephora community members spend 3x more than non-members. Virgin Atlantic gain a 20 per cent increase in bookings and 27 per cent larger deal sizes that can be tracked right back to their blog.

John Lewis: Aiming for excellence – Andrew Murphy

As market leaders in the field of customer experience for retail, the NPS score of 71 must have a compelling story behind it and almost certainly a captivating strategy that simply works.

“The first step to CX excellence starts with our staff.” A company that is owned by its staff is likely to drive results and achievements towards that ultimate end goal of profitability and fully satisfied customers but there is a lot of organizational structure and process that goes into creating this environment.

“The thing at John Lewis that we put the most energy in to is communication.”

Delivering through a coherent customer experience ecosystem means that there are continuous challenges of keeping up with change and the need to innovate and pivot is crucial to keeping the boat steady because customers have come to expect exceptional, to know they will be delighted and that John Lewis will deliver fairness in being “never knowingly undersold” and in their policies and procedures when it comes to after sales care too. Not surprising that 86 per cent of John Lewis customers feel valued when they shop in-store or online.

Redefining the moments of engagement – Howard Beader

The average attention span of a human is now down to 8 seconds. A Goldfish still sustains 9 seconds of attention span.

“This is a giant challenge when competing for mindshare.”

“You are competing with the best experiences your prospects have ever had.”

Customers take their own journey deciding which way they will go and we have lost the ability to orchestrate. Working with that 8 second window to convert is critical and so content must be compelling, digestible and in the right language of the customer. Being contextual can be the difference between arresting and losing attention.

The customer experience disconnect

Marketing, Sales and Services are silos seeking to solve specific problems but they are not necessarily integrated and working in unison or towards a common goal. From a customer stand-point, they just want to see a seamless experience and some empathy. The entire customer journey matters and should be measured at every point along the way, it is not just the marketing acquisition side that we should get excited about. Much like the idea of incremental improvements helping Team GB, the customer journey has areas where a little can mean a collective lot.

What compelling soundbites, points of discussion or statistics have caught your eye as part of Forrester’s Customer Experience Forum event in London?

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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