Archive for the ‘Customer Trends’ Category

Happy New Year? Key Customer Themes for 2013

December 31, 2012

As we leave 2012 and enter 2013 I wanted to write a quick note to thank all our clients and friends for entrusting us with some fantastic challenges in 2012 and to look forward to what 2013 might hold in store.

In Summary, we believe 2013 will be characterised by Smarter Professional Contact Value with ‘MMFF. Let me explain…

Smarter Technology leading to breakthrough consumer and business applications

Pervasive Internet, wealth of Smart Devices with standardised protocols, intuitive applications and cheap sensor technology are leading to many disruptive business models and propositions. In particular, we enjoyed seeing the launch of the Smart Homes propositions, as featured in British Gas’ TV brand re-launch. We were fortunate to help Dan Taylor, Gayle Terry and teams with Customer Experience Design, Operating Model definition and go to market planning.

Customer Value vital for brands and their customers

A key theme for 2012 was and will continue in 2013 to be Customer Value. What will differentiate brands in the long run will be whether they choose to get it FROM or create it WITH customers. (See Show Me the Money article). This was best exemplified in our work with Moneycorp’s Corporate Business team (thanks to Mark Horgan and team, who have a compelling FX proposition for consumers, SME’s & Corporates). Everyone should have a customer value waterfall. No matter how well managed, there’s always opportunity by focusing on the drivers of customer value exchange and how brands find, keep, grow and manage their customers. This theme was continued at ECEW, where we facilitated the Financial Benefits Workstream. Notable was Peter Sinden’s LV= presentation. It reminded us that significant value can be attained if you focus on service delivery and fix the people side of the business.  Thank you Maggie Wheeler for putting together a great conference, we look forward to ECEW 2013!

Customers getting Smarter than organisations

We wrote our key white paper of 2012 on this theme, it has significant implications for organisations. Our paper set out 16 key CEM disciplines required for the Smart Organisation to systematically deliver customer value. We set up a benchmarking capability to help organisations understand their capability, gaps against the 16 disciplines and systematically improve. If you missed it see our CE benchmarking Guide for sources of CE benchmarks.

I’ve challenged a number of executives in 2012 to think what they would do if their customer service policy manuals were published (as it won’t be long before consumers do!). This was no better brought to life at ECEW than by Dave Carroll, with his “United Breaks Guitars” story. Much froth has been written about social media in 2012. 2013 will see organsations start to embrace it and embed it proactively throughout the customer lifecycle. Consumer power was seen towards the end of 2012 in the boycott of Starbucks regarding fair tax. Brand Trust and Reputation are everything in this connected world and we’ll continue to see major brands re-habilitate themselves with extensive corporate and social responsibility programmes in 2013.

Multi-channel Contact drives change

Contact channels, useage and attitudes are shifting significantly. Be in no doubt, the multi-channel world is here. Customers will demand joined up treatments or take advantage of arbitrage opportunities. That combined with pressures to reduce costs will put organisation structures under pressure and demand joined up treatments and understanding. Continued focus on effective automation for transactions will be combined with the contrasting need to manage increased complexity and added value contact. On a personal note, it was gratifying to rapidly set up and deliver new contact channels in 2012 for a number of clients including Yodel, our thanks to Nicola Collister and team for their support. We utilised the highly agile multi-channel tPoint platform and the Contact Innovation Delivery facility in Swindon with Carpeo to set these up in weeks. There is enormous value to be delivered from adjusting and delivering revised contact strategies. 2013 will be the year to improve this and we hope our end to end incubation service will play a key part in enabling more new ideas to be tested.

Customer Experience gets Professional

In 2012, the CXPA was established to give Customer Experience Professionals a home. As Customer Experience moves through the hype curve from early adoption to mainstream, more and more organisations are establishing programmes and teams to get it done. Customer Experience has moved from being something everyone talks about to a discipline many are trying to embed.

In 2012, we established the HOWTOEXPERIENCE Academy. Set up to deliver CEM Training and tools around the 16 disciplines smart organisation framework. Its for CE professionals and provides recognition through accreditation for Customer Journey Mapping. I didn’t quite manage to publish the book (again!) but we did embed the leading edge methodologies and know how into our licensable CE Toolkit, X-ccelerator.  It’s the most comprehensive online CE toolkit that accelerates customer experience improvement. It offers everything from Benchmarking, Customer Journey Mapping to CE Dashboards and Programme Mgt to assure improvement delivery. All backed by an extensive CE knowledge base. It reinforces our commitment to work WITH organisations, up-skill individuals and deliver sustainable improvement in CEM capability. It will be our major focus in 2013.

And what can you expect from HOWTOEXPERIENCE?

We’ll be continuing to “Give it ‘MMFF” (Meaningful, Memorable, Financial and Fun)

This defines the experience we try to deliver at HOWTOEXPERIENCE. Nowhere better exemplified than the work we did throughout 2012 with the Vodafone Top 250 Leaders. We delivered a series of Customer Experience Safari’s that helped them ground the Vodafone Way and define their version of an unbeatable customer experience. Our thanks to Julia Jack and Emmanuel Gobillot. We’ll introduce an open Safari programme for others in 2013.

We’ll also re-establish the HOWTOEXPERIENCE Networking Events. I’m interested in clients who are willing to host, so we add more value to them. First one will be 13th Feb focussed on Customer Experience Improvement. Please get in touch if you’re interested. We’ll be doing our upmost to maintain our own 100% Client Net Promoter Score!

All in all, 2013 the year for Smarter Professional Contact Value with ‘MMFF!

Look forward to engaging with you during 2013. We hope that’s it’s a happy and prosperous New Year for you, your customers and shareholders.

David Williams

PS If you need some suggested New Year’s Resolutions – you’ll find them here!

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