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Customer Experience

  • Adidas and the case of the Consistent Cross-Border CX delivery August 8 2017

    Last year I was impressed by the customer experience delivered by the Adidas flagship branch in Paris. Whilst we didn’t buy

    anything on the relaxed family holiday visit, my 10 year old spots mad son has gone on to become a fan of Adidas with it often being his first choice. Fast forward one year and I’m charged by Henry, my son with purchasing a specific Adidas flip flop (Havanas now ditched) it’s all about the flop and the sock. Who would have thought flip flops and socks would be in style.

    Following a meeting in Holborn so dressed in business suit an tie this time, I headed to Oxford Street and specifically the Adidas shop. Would I find consistency in the customer experience in a different country, looking like a different ‘customer segment’ and with a purchase ticket price of just £15?

    Absolutely. It was like being back in Paris!

    The decor and style of the store was consistent (and so it should be you could say). The Adidas brand promotes itself as ‘only the best for the athlete’, so the store was full of decor which demonstrated they are serious about this. From running machines, twitter feeds of athletic endeavours happening now around the world by customers and the brand alike, to athletically posed mannequins and energetic happy staff bouncing across the shop floors with a spring in every step and an attitude that says, ‘only the best means best service too’. Smiles all round.

    I’m no world authority on flip flops so when armed with details limited to size, price and a rough description, I was grateful to two members of staff who searched stockrooms for me to find the pair that matched my son’s criteria.  For one member of staff this meant it being at the same time as being briefed on new lines by a supervisor. This showed to me, they are always on, with a demonstration that both service and an updated product knowledge are equally important to customers so neither should be neglected for the other.

    Plus things move fast in the world of sport. Hence this novel ‘magnetic’ board to display items and change daily or even hourly depending on what product lines are to be featured.

    I left the store feeling uplifted and convinced that everyone who worked there lived and breathed athleticism, making it feel fun accessible for all – even when you turn up in a suit!

    The decor massively reflecting this, with it’s attention to detail from every corner of the store, amplifying the differentiated brand experience Adidas offers compared to other more general soulless sports superstores.

    England. France. Shopping with son. Shopping in suit. Football Boots. Flip Flops – the same Adidas experience.

    Keep it up Adidas, unsung heroes of Customer Experience.

    Posted by Christopher Brooks, Director Lexden [Independent Customer Experience Consultancy]

    Lexden helps deliver effective customer experience strategy and solutions for clients seeking sustainable profit from customer experience.

    If you like what you’ve read please sign-up to Lexden’s ‘Customer’s World’ Update for ideas, inspiration and insights to improve your customer strategy endeavours. 

     


  • How bottled water, fresh fruit and Ipads build a more emotive Customer Experience July 18 2017

    I was judging at the FS CX awards last week. Each year the standard and the activation ideas improve. With some significant developments such as retail banks shifting from business discipline silos to customer journey org structures and others ditching CSAT and other measures in exchange for measuring their ability to fulfil ‘what matters to customers’.

    It was a day of inspiration. And being a day time judging and dinner event, I returned home by Greater Anglia train at a reasonable time, stopping at Tesco to pick up some provisions on my way home. At the event, the passion, the performance and the future potential of the finalists impressed me. But so did Greater Anglia and Tesco in their own small way too.

    Reflecting on what I’d heard at the event I realised that for all the strategically sound structure and progressive programming, it was the emotionally engaging stories of how customer-led thinking had resulted in a betterment for customers which were staying with me. Especially because the organisations believed it would mean they would retain the heart and the purse of the customer.

    It’s the same when I think about the ever increasing number of ‘professional’ speakers on the CX circuit, for all their philosophy without practice experience, it is their emotionally connecting self stories of CX that stick.

    With the right framework to ensure ‘what matters most and when’ is prioritised, and is designed consistent to amplify the strength of the brand across all experience activity, any organisation can create it’s own set of low cost, emotionally engaging experiences which customers value, and motivate colleagues.

    Here are three which I encountered on the aforementioned day of judgement:

    1. Greater Anglia offering bottles of water, for free, to help passengers with the sustained spell of warm weather. It might not have been their idea and it might be an investment to minimise the impact of not being able to deal with dehydrated customers, but leaving cynicism at the ticket gate if I may, this is a lovely gesture.

    Whilst not own-able I accept, it doesn’t need to be. It just fulfils a need for a customer, whose route to work is ingrained, they probably only think about refreshment on a hot day when they are half way there.

    2. Tesco offering free fruit to children of shoppers. I recall a few years ago working with the Tesco group, before CX really took hold. They were attempting to reaffirm their difference through hundreds of small improvements to the customers experience. Some we see, such as this, others are more operational but help customers in the long run.

    So whilst this could be Every Little Helps #147, it stands out because of the benefit to parents, who often need a pacifier for children in store and feel guilty about serving up sweet treats and the children (and from what i can see in our store it’s working) who still seek a distracting pacifier to keep them occupied, but now have one which is good for them. Which in turn is good for the parents soul too.

    3. GI provider discovers speaking to the grand kids on Facebook comes before rebuilding the house. I am sure this is becoming common place practice with Home insurance providers, but it’s great when you hear it being delivered all the same. When treated as a standard insurance claim, customers are taken care of through a logical but generic risk management process with steps to put people who encounter a flood or a fire, back to the position they were in before it occurred. That’s what insurance does after all.

    Typically the big things like temporary accommodation and assessing what’s damaged are the first steps to be undertaken. But that’s often not what is on the customer’s mind. If you ask them, ‘what do you want done first?’ it’s a more personal and human request pertinent to the life and behaviours they’ve established. For instance, the example I heard was a couple whose house had been impacted had wanted a replacement Ipad because the highlight of their week is a Sunday catch up with their grandchildren in Australia.

    I’ve gathered quite a catalogue of these small improvements on my travels. If you have your own, please comment below, I’d be delighted to hear from you.

    Posted by Christopher Brooks, Director of Lexden, Customer Experience Consultants.

    Lexden helps deliver effective customer experience strategy and solutions for clients seeking sustainable profit from customer experience.

    If you like what you’ve read please sign-up to Lexden’s ‘Customer’s World’ Update for ideas, inspiration and insights to improve your customer strategy endeavours. 

     

     

    Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_stockbroker’>stockbroker / 123RF Stock Photo</a>


  • What’s are the hot topics on the CX Event agenda this year? June 26 2017

    From what I heard, ‘It´s (still) about the emotions and the figures’

    Speaking to various participants and listening to the key note speeches at Germany’s CX Forum 2017 earlier this month, I tried as always to get a sense of ‘the’ questions which are driving the CX scene here in Germany.

    There was no surprise that the responses are highly dependent on the CX maturity level of the companies involved. But priority points most often heard were:

    • How do I prove and link figures to CX activities?
    • How do I get the ‘people’ on board?

    Our own experience with assignments across Europe echoes these two points as well. it seems conventional thinking on what is a sound measure of CX and some of the ‘lean’ style transformation programme approaches adopted for customer experience have created problems for organisations hoping to progress with CX.

    Why is this?

    One reason is many companies settle for a measure which is easy to obtain and simpler to report when it comes to CX. So whilst the business is interested in what drives profit, the CX team is reporting how many customers (say they) are promoting the business? Evidence from studies conducted by Dr Prof Phil Klaus (Author: Measuring Customer Experience) show a less than 1% correlation between ‘recommend’ measures and profit. Not the sort of weapon you want to take in to the boardroom when it comes to justifying CX investment!

    The good news is that we are finding many are waking up to the value of the right CX measures and the investment in cultural change required to support CX.

    And more good news: B2B companies are now asking for the applicability and best practice for their businesses when it comes to CX. The top 10 messages shared are not new, but probably cannot be repeated often enough for new entrants into CX, and as reminders for the converted:

    1. Make sure you have your sponsor on-board and understanding the commercial potential from CX
    2. Measure, measure, measure what matters to customers – but what CX drives behaviour change as well as inference and sentiment (such as NPS and CSAT)
    3. CX, like all strategic imperatives, takes time to establish, normalise and create return. It is a journey of discovery for organisations with several steps to take before reaching ‘the land of unicorns’ (quote Stefan Osthaus)
    4. Stop over surveying. Feedback fatigue is a modern virus. Start watching more.
    5. Bring CEOs in contact with the real world in creative ways (Samsung’s channel: Email to CEO is a great example of this)
    6. Don’t forget we measure for the ‘why’ not the ‘how many’ verbatim from CX are a much more valuable source for improvement than a score of -3 or +28.
    7. Involve your people and take care of them like you take care of your customers. employee experience is not a nice to have, it’s a fundamental. Colleagues who feel the value of CX, deliver the value of CX.
    8. Use methodology and techniques like customer journey mapping for a structured approach. It’s amazing how many organisations map the customer journey from a ‘how it impacts our process’ perspective. Start with the customer problem, to arrive at a better outcome overall.
    9. Know your customer before starting other effort – not demographically but what makes them tick, what drives their choices and what fulfils them. Think ZMET.
    10. Think digital but with the customer experience in mind – not the technology. Digital first is really modern customer first. Don’t sacrifice engagement for effortless or satisfaction for self-serve.

    Events are great to get a sense of where your industry is in it’s growth. I went through a storm of mixed feelings during the day. In the morning, I was happy to see 170 participants name tags. Compared to last year there were more titles and roles included in Customer Experience.  it’s a great sign that CX has arrived in the organisational setup.

    Having said that I went to the state of shock at the podium discussion in the of the day: Were they seriously arguing which department (!) was best to lead CX in companies?  Sad but true – in times of discussing agile working ‘old world’ is still out there. We still have many who just don’t get it or see CX as a new model for a quick buck – beware of these pretenders!

    There were some other moments which connected with me emotionally:

    • I had admiration for the guy from ThinkPen with his great visualisations of the key notes. My brain and I just love that kind of communication.
    • I was amused about Prof. Heinemann who is the digital optimist and her entertaining ‘show’ after lunch on why digitalisation is no revolution but more yesterday’s news as it is out there everywhere already. Although quite a few companies in Germany still think it´s a buzz word and do not align it with the purpose of their business. Mmmh… not so amusing!
    • Respect for all the companies who have the courage to and share their learnings like Stepstone, even though they have just started
    • I was thankful for the openness during the sessions as well as the breaks. Once again I experienced the people who were very enthusiastic on the matter of CX and eager to learn and share.
    • And not to also thank the team from MaritzCX for pulling together this event in times where time is limited and precious. Nothing is more worthwhile then talking to others who are battling the same grounds.

    And finally, a take away from Markus Nessler’s presentation on Samsung’s path to superior CX: Online Channels upfront are great but in the end the trend is clear: Customer still love personal contacts – CX is clearly a people business! And that’s from a world leader in technology.

    There are many CX events throughout the year. Pick which ones you go to wisely. And be prepared to share if you want to learn.

    Posted by Karin Glattes, MD & CX Consultant, Lexden (Germany)

    If you’d like to receive more articles on driving more profitable Customer Experience, please sign up to our free monthly ‘Customer Experience Update’.

    Lexden helps deliver effective customer experience insight, strategy, content and creative activation clients seeking sustainable profit from customer experience.

     

     



  • 3½ Customer Experience Lessons from Copenhagen Airport May 19 2017

    Airports are busy places with many different stakeholders with very different objectives. In that environment, the end customer can often be forgotten or marginalised. Whether it’s being taken on a meandering detour through a retail jungle when you are in search of a departure gate, struggling to understand why it feels like there is only one loo for every 1,000 passengers or having to sprint to meet the person picking you up so they avoid a £50 fine for waiting to greet you for more than 5 minutes.

    That said, despite pressures from retailers and regulators, some airports can be inspirations with a wealth of Customer Experience ideas for any practitioners to learn.

    #1 Managing your customers’ expectations

    Too often brands miss the opportunity to reduce their customer’s anxiety. Filling the gaps explaining what will happen next and when it will happen not only legitimise the important on-going engagement with customers, but it also demonstrates they know how to help customers, recognising enhancing their emotional state connects with customers at a deeper level.

    It’s played out brilliantly here. The time it will take to get to the departure gate is blasted to the ground. The anxious passenger can now assess their situation and with every 30 second increment displayed, they can track their progress. If enough time, the passenger can relax more. If the passenger is short of time, they can speed up. Either way the signpost on what is otherwise a redundant space is helpful and increasing appreciation of the airport.

    #2 Personalising the experience

    I’ll never forget being at an Airline conference where a customer aviation expert claimed the future of airline travel was about personalisation. Only to then present several airline ticket, insurance and hotel bundles labelled as ‘the weekender’ and ‘family fun’ proposition which he boasted when bought together were actually more expensive than the individual parts. But it would be made so complicated that customers wouldn’t be able to work it out. Even worse than this, the audience applauded!  I felt very alone sitting on that panel debate.

    Personalisation means something very different to me. I feel this example explains it well. At Copenhagen, like many airports all passengers need to pass through the baggage collection section to get to the exit. Those with only hand luggage don’t need to get caught up in there, so this example below is personalised to that segment.

    The only thing that matters to this audience is getting through the airport fast and one with their trip – after all it’s in part why they’ve crammed everything in to their hand luggage. This message connects with what matters most to that customer type. Personal doesn’t need to be 1 to 1, it’s about being relevant to specific needs.

    #3 Keep customers before you lose them

    Some sectors are guilty of this more than others. Here’s the scenario. The retail company knows it has a problem with it’s returns because they see social media noise and get angry calls to the call centre. But it’s not tracked in VoC because the VoC vendor hasn’t scoped it in their requirements. So, first the additional work is scoped and paid for. Feedback is then collected. There is a delay in acting on the feedback until there is enough evidence to make it statistically valid. The CX team get to work on it (maybe after some more mapping) and eventually the team identify it’s down to the poor service contract in place with the outsourced collection courier company. But procurement say the contract is locked down for 12 more months on the terms agreed (which were never checked with customers). Following which a change can be looked at. 6 months on and the CX team start to work out what’s needed (a new collection courier company) and put together the Requirements Specification for a new vendor selection process. Which they initiate 6 months later.

    In the meantime all the customers have left!

    Why not share progress with customers throughout? If you know something’s wrong, flag it. As you start to get an inclination of what’s gone wrong, get on to it. Don’t wait for the 75th complaint to make it valid. And tell your customers you know it’s not working, why and that you are on to it. Share your plans with on how you will get it right and by when. Offer customers the chance to put in their views to help get to a better place.

    This example explains why there is disruption, what the improved airport areas will offer and helps passengers engage with the change. Even if they don’t get to benefit from the change they know it’s happening and why so are comfortable with it. So rather than moan about disruption, they can appreciate the move from ‘AS IS’ to ‘TO BE’.

    So that just leave the extra 1/2

    For me this is about observation. Customer Experience is all around us. We interact and are a part of a company’s intentions every day. There are lessons to learn daily.

    I didn’t make a b-line for Copenhagen Airport to write a blog on my customer experience observations, I was there to help a client structure a business case for CX investment against return. But whether it’s walking through Copenhagen Airport on the return leg of a work trip, purchasing corner flags online from Sports Direct for a team development workshop (which turn up after they were needed) or noting how many companies follow-up and remember what you were interested at the Grand Designs Show (AXA weren’t making the most of their investment there – I’m still waiting for a follow-up two weeks later), opportunity for CX ideas are everywhere.

    So, put a Moleskin pocket-book on your birthday list, set you iPhone to camera mode and build your own insight bank of CX ideas and inspiration as you go about your daily business.

    In the meantime, feel free to review our blogs, or contact me to borrow examples from my much cherished collection.

    To finish, when it comes to finding new ideas for CX, as Ferris Bueller, the most eligible bachelor of them all put it…

    Happy CX hunting.

    Posted by Christopher Brooks.  Director, Lexden Limited, Customer Experience Consultancy.

    If you’d like to receive more articles on driving more profitable Customer Experience, please sign up to our free monthly ‘Customer Experience Update’.

    Lexden helps deliver effective customer experience insight, strategy, content and creative activation clients seeking sustainable profit from customer experience.



  • Free Customer Experience Progress Assessment May 8 2017 As independent Customer Experience Consultants, we have launched a free Customer Experience Programme Assessment tool to help clients review their internal practices against several areas where alignment is required to achieve distinction through customer experience.

    We see the benefit to you as follows:

    • Identify the key areas involved in progressing CX
    • Identify where you are ahead or behind others in terms of your CX progress
    • Assess what progress looks like, to ensure you are good shape to get there
    • Help you assess where you are ahead of any resource decisions coming up
    • Get a quick read (within 3 days) with minimum impact on the business
    • Provide current state insight which you can share with others helping you take CX forward
    • Validate or challenge advice and recommendations received from current CX partners
    • Receive an independent observation separate to any vendor supported opinions

    As independents we have no invested interest in the outcome

    We include consideration of feedback platforms and other technologies alongside the other key areas of CX rather than the focus as is often the case with vendor assessments. We are in the business of best practice guidance and effective advice rather than tech solutions. So our report provides you with a broader appreciation of how far you’ve progressed. Each of the key practice areas (such as channel management, accountability, tech, adoption, measurement and culture) are graded from ‘Unaware’ to ‘Differentiating. The grading is based on Lexden’s extensive experience in setting up and improving clients CX programmes. Your progress is plotted accordingly with an output report highlighting your overall progress and breaking this down across key areas. A comparison of your performance to other companies is also made across each area. More than one assessment per company can be completed. This means you can use the approach to gauge the variance in perceptions of CX progress across the business between different individuals, levels, roles, departments, locations or even brands in a group set up. Let us know if this is the intended purpose and we will aggregate results as well as supply specific reports. Click this link to the survey which will take 10-15 minutes to complete. Information collected is confidential. Once the assessment is complete we will confirm this and forward the output within 3 days.

    How to achieve 600% from your Customer Experience Programme

    If you are looking for something more comprehensive we also provide a robust assessment of the profitability level your CX programme is achieving, bench-marked against over 1,000 organisations. Adapting the award winning CX Typology(c) Measuring Customer Experience research of Dr Professor Phil Klaus, we assess your current programme against 47 practice points. Arriving at a score, CXPPA (Customer Experience Programme Profitability Assessments) pin points where improvements in your programme should be focused, and how to align your actions to those of organisation who are driving 600% more from their CX programmes. To receive more information on this exclusive assessment please contact us. [contact-form] If you’d like to receive more articles on driving more profitable Customer Experience, please sign up to our free monthly ‘Customer Experience Update’. Lexden helps deliver effective customer experience insight, strategy, content and creative activation clients seeking sustainable profit from customer experience. If you’ve got a CX challenge, see if we can help.

  • Are you wasting money on Customer Experience? April 26 2017

    With 90% of CEO’s prioritising Customer Experience as a leading business practice(1), financial scrutiny on performance will only increase to retain board confidence and commitment. However, 90% of programmes are failing to deliver (2) their potential.

    How can you be sure Customer Experience investment is correctly prioritised?

    Most manuals and professional CX speakers would advise practioners to fix what’s upsetting customers and move on to making a point of distinction on what they rave about. Which should push up satisfaction and recommendation scores.

    However, both these customer experience strategies require investment to succeed. What if there is no budget? Can you ‘hedge’ the required investment against incremental sales/profit this focus will deliver? It’s probably not that safe to do so. Evidence shows that only 1% of share of category can be reliably attributed back to these conventional measures (email me if you want more on why this is).

    A more linear approach is to show the reduction in ‘bad demand’ operational costs associated with managing activities creating negative feedback on specific touchpoints. This would show an accountable reduction in costs. Albeit costs created by a bad customer experience in the first place. So should they be classed as a win, or an own goal? Either way, it’s a start.

    This gives you the two more common strategies for CX growth pursued:

    1. Improve that which the business is poor at but customer’s value (also known as the ‘Fix’ phase)
    2. Leverage that which the business is good at and customer’s value (also known as ‘Build’ phase)

    The shortfall here is that the hit list for these strategies rely on customer’s feeding back about what’s great and what’s not. But what if customers don’t vex about an issue? And why wouldn’t they –  because it’s not on their radar? What if there’s nothing wrong or right about an experience but because it’s not important to customers it never gets raised? With most VoC set ups if you don’t hear about it often it gets considered not worth looking at.

    A conventional approach focuses on capturing feedback on customer’s sentiment and intention. But as proved on most voting days, intention and behaviour are often distant relatives. Whereas, understanding actual behaviour caused by Customer Experience is evidence of what customer’s do.

    So rather than only asking how satisfied a customer is with an activity or experience, or which activities they are satisfied with or otherwise, understanding how important an activity is to a customer’s share of category commitment brings behavioural based measurement in to CX. Actual behaviour is a significantly more reliable indicator of decision making than intention.

    This moves the focus from knowing some of what’s going on, to knowing everything

    With fix and build programmes linked to CSAT and NPS inferred scores, there is a read on, ‘what we are good at and what we are not so good at’. By complimenting this with behavioural change insights we are now answering, ‘what customer experiences matters most to a customer’s decision to commit share of category’. This adds the missing commercial dimension to CX performance management and with it reveals two further CX strategies for practioners to pursue. As well as sharpen the purpose of the ‘Improve’ and ‘Leverage’ strategies too:

    1. Monitor and refine/remove CX which the business is poor at and does not impact customer’s decision to commit to us
    2. Improve CX which the business is poor at but impacts customer’s decision to commit to us
    3. Leverage CX which the business is good at impacts customer’s decision to commit to us
    4. Explore the potential in CX Opportunities which the business is good at but does not impact customer’s decision to commit to us

    These are shown in Lexden’s MILO matrix below, which enables prioritisation of CX investment.

    Lexden’s CX MILO Matrix

    The ‘Monitor’ strategy identifies investment which is under-performing and not needed (or as the headline state where a company is ‘wasting money on CX’).

    With conventional feedback this insight isn’t unearthed because it’s the customer experience that doesn’t matter to customers, so it rarely gets asked for or feedback provided – whether it’s good or bad. But if this collated less meaningful activity can be refined, reduced or removed and rationalised costs redeployed to the ‘Improve’ and ‘Leverage’ strategies.

    Which leaves the ‘Opportunity’ strategy, which provides untapped potential for new areas to consider. These could provide future advantage in a maturing CX-led organisation if reshaped and made important to the customer’s decision making or outcomes fulfilment.

    You may be questioning this only works if you know what activities matter in the first place, and their relative degree of importance. If you were starting from scratch that would take longer and cost more to work out than would be of use.

    Fortunately, the missing golden insight is already available

    Leading CX academic Dr Professor Phil Klaus developed a quality of experience measure which identifies which customer experiences impact customer’s behavioural decisions. In conjunction with Prof Klaus, we work with this leading edge CX insight measure, which means we can now add ‘behavioural change’ insight to existing NPS and CSAT measures to create the missing commercial rigour CX deserves.

    With ten years and over 1,000 case studies complete, this award-winning insight informs companies on ‘what matters most’ and ‘what doesn’t matter at all’ when it comes to customer experiences impacting share of category decision making. By identifying the most important 25 customer attributes and experiences (refined from a total of 300), the ‘Experience Quality Measure’ accounts for up to 88% of a customer’s decision making. Making it the most reliable CX measurement available.

    Each individual study completed highlights the specific set of activities and their relative importance for that company. No two outcomes are the same making it the unique CX DNA of a company. The principal advantages of this approach are as follows:

    • It doesn’t matter which CX measure you have in place already, or which VoC platform you use, we run a one-off separate study alongside what’s already in place.
    • The volume of customer contacts engaged to arrive at the experience measure is around 125, so it’s a much smaller study all round, than a VoC programme commitment
    • We are now into our third year working with the approach and translating the academic science into a more workable and accessible insight source for clients to prove profitability from CX
    • The measurement won’t shift overnight, because it’s based on actual behaviour change, not just opinion. So, we recommend capturing and tracking progress annually
    • Competitor data is also captured which means we also know 1) who else has your customer’s share of category and 2) what customer experiences attract your customers to them
    • This insight can be identified and the MILO matrix complete within 8 weeks

    So, there you have it. The ability to identify what drives share of category rather than just favourable commentary.  The confidence to pull out from your plan those activities which matters least. The insight to keep ahead of your competition in CX. Which means CX leaders can demonstrate to budget holders that CX investment isn’t being wasted. In fact, with all four of the MILO strategies pursed it’s driving profitable growth.

    If you’d be interested to see how it works with a case study or how easy it is to add this essential CX insight to the CX governance, please contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com 

    If you’d like to receive more of these, and other articles on driving more profitable Customer Experience, please sign up to our newsletter.

    Lexden helps deliver effective customer experience insight, strategy and solutions for clients seeking sustainable profit from customer experience. If you’ve got a CX challenge, see if we can help.

    (1) Bain (2) Dr Professor Phil Klaus


  • 5 of the best: Top Customer Experience ideas and inspiration direct from CX hot seats April 12 2017

    We’ve been running a series of interviews with CX Directors charged with shaping and driving their company’s Customer Experience. With several now complete, we thought we’d pause and share the articles as a collection.

    At Lexden, we are committed to customer experience as an effective business model. And whilst we enjoy applying our expertise to help clients leverage the effectiveness of their programmes, we believe much of what needs to be done can be done by taking inputs from others in the same role. Which means you need external support less, but when it is needed, it’s valued more.

    With utilities, retail, entertainment and finance covered we hope there are tips and advice in here for everyone.

    How intu Are Revolutionising the Destination Shopping Experience for Consumers

    Read the full interview with Roger Binks, Director of Customer Experience. Click here.

    At British Gas a Customer Strategy Is Useless, Unless People Believe in It

    Read the full interview with Richard Shenton, (former) Customer Experience and Continuous Improvement Lead. Click here.

    FSForum CX Award winners, OneSavingsBank say, “Take Everyone on the Journey with You”

    Read the full interview with Kent Reliance’s Head of Customer Strategy & Insight, Stephen Plimmer. Click here.

    When You Are in Your Customers’ Homes, You Have to Make It Right according to Carpet Right

    Read the full interview with Carpet Right’s Head of Customer Experience, Toni Adams. Click here.

    npower explain how customers are taking centre stage

    Read the full interview with npower’s Head of Customer Experience, Kelly Iles. Click here.

    With aviation, insurance, and hospitality lined up for 2017, we look forward to bringing further inspiration later this year. All our interviews are sent to our Customer Experience Update subscribers.

    If you’d like to receive more of these, and other articles on driving more profitable Customer Experience, please sign up to our newsletter.

    Lexden helps deliver effective customer experience insight, strategy and solutions for clients seeking sustainable profit from customer experience. If you’ve got a CX challenge, see if we can help.

     

     

     



  • Customer Lifetime Value – can you solve the formula? March 24 2017

    Can you solve the formula
    to the right?
    If you paid as much attention to algebra as me in maths lessons at school, probably not.

    That said, I can almost guarantee that you do understand the formula (or at the very least will by the end of this blog!).

    In my time working on a very progressive service initiative in the commercial insurance area, the organisation I was with were responsible for a huge upturn in their new business, rate and retention results by understanding that just because a customer doesn’t choose you this time, doesn’t mean they will make the same decision the next time round.

    What will dictate their next decision will be the feelings and associations they have of you and your brand as a result of the experience you gave them.

    I listened in to a call once where a city Broker spoke with our Trader to say he was placing a £900k risk with a rival insurer after three months of effort on our Traders part. I’ll never forget the startled reaction of the Broker as our trader told him:

    “not a problem, well done, you’ve done a great job to get that price. We’d love to speak with you about it again next year, I’ll put something in our diaries as a reminder”.

    Not only did we win back the risk the next year, but we got a lot more incremental business in the following 12 months from the Broker.

    Moving on to an example of a slightly smaller value, my mortgage company with whom I also have a credit card and a debit card (let’s call it a 321 debit card) recently failed to apply the new rate I had chosen following my initial two year rate coming to its end. They said they hadn’t received the letter, I knew I had sent it – it was their word against mine and as a result of the mistake, I had been overpaying for three months.

    As the conversation unfolded, it became clear that the experience I had expected; application of the new rate going forwards, and no reimbursement for me, wasn’t going to happen. In fact, the excellent, empathetic, and well trained advisor applied and backdated the rate, taking the corresponding amount of money off my next mortgage payment.

    Am I likely to move my mortgage or any of my cards now? Not a chance.

    We at Lexden take the same view. We feel that when deciding whether to set out on a CX journey or not, the last thing any organisation should do is call in the consultants to decide for them.

    It sounds counter-intuitive coming from a CX consultant, but it’s something that we beleive must be owned and driven from within rather than outsourced. It can lead to a complete lack of ownership of CX within the business.

    Whereas we find the most fruitful engagements are those with clients who have a clear desire to deliver excellent experiences. We do of course help them understand what matters most to their customers and how to amplify their authentic difference through customer experience, but throughout we are ensuring ownership, drive and knowledge rests with our clients.

    Our experience of this approach has led to client’s inviting us back in and welcoming us rather than judging the value of CX support provided, time after time. This is my understanding of customer lifetime value (even if I still can’t quite decode the equation!)

    Posted by James Edmonds, Senior Consultant, Lexden

    Lexden helps deliver effective customer experience strategy and solutions for clients seeking sustainable profit from customer experience.

    If you like what you’ve read please sign-up to Lexden’s ‘Customer Experience’ Update for monthly ideas, inspiration and insights to improve your customer strategy endeavours. 



  • At last! A complete listing of all Customer Experience Conference Events March 15 2017

    Earlier this week, we hosted an impromptu gathering of CX leaders for an afternoon tea and a chance to share best practice and trade battles scar stories. One of the areas discussed was the growing number of Customer Experience events and conferences now running.

    Some said they went often, some not at all. But all agreed there are so many now it’s difficult to keep on top of what’s happening and which events you will get the most value from.

    We worked out that if you attend all events you would need a budget of more than £200,000 and over 100 days on the road each year. Increase the budget and you could be travelling from Dallas to Dublin to Dubai to furnish your CX knowledge banks!

    With Customer Experience being such a popular and potentially profitable business model, the signs are that the conference circuit will only be getting busier!

    Which is why we have decided to compile a complete list of all Customer Experience events provided by event promoters and vendors in one place. That way anyone thinking of attending can compare and plan where to go more easily.

    Initially, it will be a listing with some basic criteria highlighted (e.g. sectors, top speakers, location, dates of events, prices, formats, link to websites etc.). But over time we intend to extend the criteria and gather ratings and opinions from those who attend. All of which should allow anyone looking to attend an event a more informed decision.

    If of interest to you, sign up and we will send you the listing.

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    We will be producing a free quarterly listing of what CX events are coming up. We may eventually set this up on our website with filters so you can search based on sectors, dates, prices etc. Our first listing will be released later this month.

    Why attend CX events at all? We support attending the right events. Having spoken and attended before, I know if you pick the right event it will be jam-packed with insight, ideas and inspiration. You can meet some wonderful people in CX there who are generous with the benefit of their experience and will walk away with learning relevant to your business challenges. All of which adds up to a day well spent.

    But pick the wrong event and you could be listening to other people’s worlds failing to connect them to yours, feel passively sold to by vendors, find yourself edging into a corner to lunch away from the over-networking crowd and eventually decide that the ‘not quite so urgent’ email needs immediate attention and leave early.

    So why are we doing this? We are independent Customer Experience Consultants and not associated with any group or vendor running these events. Those who know us know we like to help those in CX improve their skills, what they do and what positive change they deliver. So, whenever we see the opportunity to do this we endeavour to help.

     

     

     

    Lexden delivers effective customer experience solutions for clients serious about sustainable customer relationships.

    If you like what you’ve read please sign-up to Lexden’s ‘Customer Experience’ Update for monthly ideas, inspiration and insights to improve your customer strategy endeavours.



  • Achieve World Class Customer Experience in 3 Steps February 27 2017

    Most organisations have invested in a customer experience programme. Some are making a real success of theirs. We’ve had the pleasure of supporting some of these with their endeavours, interviewed CX leaders about their progress, judged winning CX award entries and experienced award success with our own clients.

    However, we’ve also seen the evidence of programmes which fail to make the grade. There are a number of reasons for this. Sadly, it often boils down to investment in technology choices, neglecting to bring key stakeholders on the journey and chasing the wrong KPI’s.

    But, any company can be transformed into delivering an award winning, world class customer experience which they are recognised for and their customers choose them over other choices for, in three steps. Furthermore, all three steps can be complete with 4 months.

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    Step 1 CX Programmes Profitability Alignment

    Make sure the CX Programme activities are aligned to those which are known to drive success

    Only 10% of CX programmes achieve their profit potential. It’s not surprising, research conducted in this area has identified there are 47 critical activities, which managed effectively, increase programme profitability by 600%. Now available as an evaluation tool (CXPPA) developed from CX Typology research(1), any organisation can benchmark how they are set up and managing CX against the world’s most successful performing programmes.

    This evaluation not only benchmarks, but identifies how programmes compare to the best CX performers, as well as recommends what needs to be improved in which order to increase profitability. This step is achievable in 3 to 4 weeks.

    Step 2 Prioritising What Matters Most 

    Know what experiences matters most to customer’s decisions to choose one brand over others

    Attention should always identify ‘what matters most to customers’ early.

    By which we don’t mean, how to ‘make it easy’ or how to ‘personalise the experience’, we mean understanding what drives customer’s behavioural change. This is the most reliable indicator of customer’s decision to choose one organisation over another. In addition, it is a very effective way to understand how to improve both Customer Satisfaction and Net Promoter Scores.

    Research conducted(2) into what drivers customer experience behaviour has identified that 25 customer drivers account for over 80% of everything any CX leader needs to know about what customers want fulfilled.

    However, many of these 25 drivers have little to no influence on customer decision-making so are surplus to requirements. Which means if you reduce investment in them, performance scores stay the same, but costs can be taken out. Meaning the company is more profitable overall.

    In addition, those drivers which are the most influential, are highlighted. This is where a company should focus CX investment to increase NPS, CSAT, profitability and success.

    These drivers are known as Experience Quality Measures (EXQ) and are the work of Dr Professor Phil Klaus, world-renowned Customer Experience Academic.

    Through Lexden, all companies can now identify their own EXQ set and with it know what to prioritise to improve their NPS and CSAT performance. This step is achievable in 4-6 weeks.

    Step 3 Competitor Advantage with Customer Experience

    Make sure the brand difference is amplified through the experiences 

    The third step, enables a company to achieve competitive advantage through customer experience. Why is this worth noting? Much customer experience efforts are operationally or technologically efficient improvements. These are typically delivered with little consideration of how to build brand distinction. This means competitors can copy the ides and therefore neutralise any brand advantage which could have been achieved. In fairness, brand doesn’t help as the brand architecture is not seen as accessible working tool to apply

    However, by designing a Brand Experience Platform, this is overcome and the brand becomes an asset to the customer experience. It is made up of two principal elements:

    • Brand Experience Idea – which acts as a rallying cry for all colleagues to connect the advantage of the brand to the importance of customer experience, in a way which all can understand.
    • Branded Customer Standards – these are the set of drivers (as mentioned in step 2) which matters most to customers, translated into standards the company must deliver to in a way only they can. This is most powerful when standards relate to profitability. These ‘standards’ can then be used universally by the company to design internal practices and ways of working and external delivery and experiences. All employees can then confidently work to deliver consistent experiences, which will further reinforce brand distinction.

    Step 3 is about putting a framework in place to ensure consistency and making the most of the brand. Achievable in 6-8 weeks.

    So there you have it. Three steps to take any programme from where it is to world-class.

    All three programmes are available from Lexden should assistance getting there be needed. We’d be happy to share more with you and see if we can add real value to your endeavours. However, ownership of what you do and why, must stay within the organisation, not leave with the consultancy or customer feedback platform provider (the fourth reason for failure!).

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    Lexden delivers effective customer experience solutions for clients serious about sustainable customer relationships.

    If you like what you’ve read please sign-up to Lexden’s ‘Customer Experience’ Update for monthly ideas, inspiration and insights to improve your customer strategy endeavours.

    (1) CX Typology is the copyright of Prof Dr Phil Klaus.

    (2) Experience Quality Measurement (EXQ) focuses on the behavioural change achieved by a brand through customer experience. EXQ is the copyright of Prof Dr Phil Klaus.


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