Conference Review: Customer Experience Exchange West Coast

I was recently invited at the last minute to attend the Customer Experience Exchange conference by IQPC held in my own back yard.  Upon reviewing the website and seeing the guest speaker list, I quickly realized I would be among people in the “C-suite” of which I am not.  So what’s the first thing I did?  I went and bought some clothes that weren’t blue jeans!

I want to take a few moments to share five aha moments from this conference.  What better way to illustrate these than with bullet points and bold lettering?

  • Customer Experience Is NOT Just Customer Service: Our chairman for the first day was Ingrid Lindberg and she said something that really struck me as someone primarily focused on customer service.  She said “I don’t want to hear anyone say the words ‘Customer Service.’  We are talking about the customer experience here.”  She went on to talk about how customer service is one piece of the overall customer experience.  Take a moment to think about all of the areas of your site and service that customers may touch without calling customer service and you begin to realize she is right.  I am still partial to customer service but definitely turned on to the broader scope of the customer experience.
  • Customer Experience Is Really, Really Important: Kerry Bodine, author of “Outside In” and Analyst at Forrester Research, showed us this stunning image of the stock performance over six years between the ten best customer experience companies versus the ten worst customer experience companies.  cxShe talked about a lot more but this really cemented in my mind that everyone in the company MUST be listening to customers and working together to make the customer experience the best it can possibly be.  This book sounds fascinating and I plan on reading it in the future.
  • Net Promoter Score Measures Customer Loyalty: Safelite AutoGlass CEO Tom Feeney talked about the importance in their industry of giving customers an experience that compels them to refer Safelite to a friend.  They measure this with the Net Promoter Score metric which simply asks customers “How likely are you to recommend this company to a friend or colleague?”  Click here to read more about how to calculate NPS.  We have been measuring customer satisfaction for a while but I have heard it said, “We don’t want our customer to just be satisfied.  We want them to be loyal and refer us to their friends.”  We are now measuring net promoter score in our post call surveys.
  • Are You Really Listening To The Voice Of The Customer? I spent the first day trying to figure out what in the world they were talking about when they said “Voice Of Customer.”  As I talked with various companies that offer solutions to help hear the voice of the customer, I began to understand what they were talking about.  Companies like Medallia and Clarabridge take mass amounts of company data from customer support calls, emails, chats and surveys and analyze that data to find out what customers are saying.  PeopleMetrics will survey your customer base and analyze results as another way of understanding what customers want and need.  Companies like Lithium provide superior tools to be able to track everything customers are saying about your company over the multitude of social media sites.  Given what these companies are doing, I came to the realization that if you don’t know what your customers are saying, you cannot make smart business decisions to meet their needs and retain them as loyal customers.
  • A Unified Social Media Strategy Is Important: I attended a workshop with Mason Nelder, Director of Social Media and Digital Strategy at Verizon, and found this to be incredibly useful.  Mason spoke in depth on the importance of getting everyone at the company on the same page regarding social media.  From his standpoint, Verizon has many different Twitter handles and it’s critical that the message to the customer is clear and unified.

This was a lot of information to take in but I found it exhilarating to leave the conference with five critical things to think about and consider further.  If you attended this conference or other, similar customer experience conferences, what are some other critical things we should be considering?


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