UPDATE: Due to the current demand from learners working from home we can now start your course immediately or at any time that suits you. Please ask us

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The Digital Part of the (Customer Experience) Business

If you do a quick google search for ‘How to improve your Customer Experience?’, the advice is geared towards digital and technology solutions. An omnichannel experience utilising AI and Chatbots is presented as a universal solution to all CX problems. However, there is a very thin line between enhancing your CX strategy with digital solutions and turning your brand into the most frustrating robot in the world.

Quote

 

Digitising your Customer Experience

The role of technology in customer experience is constantly changing and expanding. It doesn’t only help us deliver a great experience but also understand the customers. Through data analytics and customer surveys you can discover their needs, habits and emotions. Customer experience and expectations are some of the key drivers in digital innovation.

One of the greatest benefits of utilising digital solutions is data collection. Collecting data and using it in the right way can give your company an insight into the needs of your customers. The data you collect can be used to create a more personalised experience and to improve your products and services.

As your business grows, the amount of data you collect will start to rise exponentially. You can use Artificial Intelligence to help you organise, analyse and manage it. 

Which brings us to the next benefit: easier scalability. Automation can do the time consuming tasks for your employees. This way, they can focus on the customer needs and provide a more valuable experience for them. Similarly technology will speed up the process for your customers to get in touch with your business, if they require assistance.  

However, the technology itself doesn’t create or define customer experience, it enables it.

 

The Pitfall

Technology is great but it lacks the one thing that makes humans so special.

Emotion. 

Customer Experience is all about emotions. It is how we feel when interacting with a product or a service. It encompasses tools, processes and management styles that tangibly put the customer at the heart of a company. Investment into technology and digital solutions won’t bring any benefits if you lose the human touch in your CX strategy. 

Human touch accounts for the edge case scenarios that AI is not able to understand nor deal with. By designing your strategy geared towards the digital side of the business, you may be missing the needs of your customers. 

Creating a bond without any human interaction is impossible and it is through the bond you create with your customers that you build trust and loyalty. Artificial Intelligence lacks empathy and if a customer is in a difficult situation it will not be able to respond appropriately. By design, AI’s main goal is to be efficient. While this may sound good on paper, customers require to be listened to and empathised with when something goes wrong. 

 

Finding the balance

When designing your CX strategy you should always have the customer at the centre of all decisions. Put yourself in the customer shoes and use technology to strengthen the bond with your customers at every touch point in the customer journey. By leaving space for direct human interaction, you are accounting for edge case customer journeys that technology isn’t able to deal with.

Balance

 

Invest in technology suited for your business. Choose software that is easy to use and reduces training time of your employees, letting them focus on the customer. Provide articles that help your staff answer the more difficult questions, and use automation processes to deal with simple queries. 

Ensure you are testing your UX design thoroughly. UX design is a huge part of digital design and if it isn’t designed correctly it will only cause issues. Ensure forms are optimised for specific devices and CTA brings the user to a desired location. Remember to provide ample white space and breathing room in your designs for clarity and ease of navigation. 

While customers like to see technology improvements and omnichannel solutions, 75% desire more human interaction when interacting with different brands. The challenge for all businesses is to create the best of both worlds. The warm experience of interacting with a known local shop owner all done while resting and drinking wine on your sofa!

 

If you want to find out more about how to utilise technology and digital solutions in the right way, sign up for one of our courses today at: https://thecxacademy.org/courses/. 

Customer Loyalty

The result of providing CX Excellence at every step of the customer journey. 

 

What is Customer Loyalty? 

Customer Loyalty is the state when a customer consciously chooses a product or a service from the same brand, repeatedly. 

It goes further. A customer is loyal when they have a strong feeling of support or allegiance for your brand or organisation. They are not actively searching for alternatives in competitors offering similar benefits, even if the price could be lower. They trust that you can take care of their needs and meet or exceed their expectations. 

 

Acquiring vs Keeping Customers

The cost is much lower

Loyal customers are extremely valuable to your business. Acquiring new customers can be up to 5 times more expensive than nurturing and creating a stronger bond with your current customers. As you create a bond with your customers, they will become more inclined to choose your products and service over your competitors. 

Advocates (Your Best Sales Team)

Today, our potential customers find it difficult to trust a company they have never been in contact with before. However, if their friend, colleague or family member recommends a brand to them or they post an update on social media, they automatically have ‘positive prejudice’ towards the brand. If you can take care of your current customers exceptionally well, they will get you new customers through their contacts. 

Remember: This works both ways. If you don’t put the customer at the centre of all decisions they might spread negative publicity about your organisation.

Lower Price Sensitivity

86% of customers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. Loyal customers are willing to pay a higher price and will buy more products, more often. It’s important to note that if you start increasing your price for your loyal customers without upholding or surpassing their expectations, their trust and loyalty may be affected. 

 

How to Measure Customer Loyalty?

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

NPS asks customers the likelihood of them recommending your brand to others. It is also a way to measure customer attitude towards your company. Calculating NPS properly is all on our courses!

Net Promoter Score(NPS) = % of promoters - % of detractors

 

Regular Purchases

Tracking if your customers purchase repeatedly and within different departments is a direct indicator of customer loyalty. You can also use these metrics to alter your marketing strategies. Adobe found that 40% of revenue is generated by returning customers who only make up 8% of the total amount of visitors. 

Engagement Levels ( SM, Memberships, etc) 

Levels of engagement on social media, memberships or in person events can be a great indicator of customer loyalty. Although it’s extremely difficult to get information on specific individuals, the statistics such as likes, shares and comments can be a good indicator if people are interested in your products. The levels of signups for your membership will let you know if your customers are interested in being a part of your brand’s family. 

 

How can you improve Customer Loyalty?

The answer is simple. Strive for Customer Experience Excellence. Using our CX Academy Framework you can create a strategy that will ultimately improve your CX and your customers will become more loyal. 

If you want to find out more about how to nurture and create loyal customers sign up for one of our courses today at: thecxacademy.org/courses.

For more information please contact: info@thecxacademy.org

Make CX your Unique Selling Point – Differentiation & ‘Sameness’

What’s your Unique Selling Point? Do you have a truly unique product or service? Maybe you created a service that everybody wanted but it didn’t exist? (And nobody has duplicated it yet) Or maybe your market is so niche that you are simply the only player in the game?   If so, you would be in the minority!

Gartner predicted that by 2020 90% of brands will compete on customer experience rather than price or product quality. It is 2022 and salesforce found that 80% of customers choose a brand to work with, based on their Customer Experience. Gartner were not far off. 

On our courses, we use a concept called ‘sameness’. Sectors such as banking, insurance or utility providers, are mostly hit by the ‘sameness’ within their products and services. The differences in the products can sometimes be so miniscule that it’s extremely hard to decide which to choose. Remember, feelings are more memorable than price or the features of a product. Therefore, customers are more likely to remember how you made them feel, while they were using your service or you were helping them sort out an issue. This is why today’s customers choose based on the next best thing… their experience.

So, how do you differentiate your business from the competition?

 

  • Customer Journey Map

Analyse it. Is there a way you can simplify it? Are there unnecessary steps somewhere along the way that could be removed? Is it designed with a clear customer goal?  

 

  • Feedback & Customer Input

Do you regularly reach out to your customers and ask for their feedback? Are you sending them surveys, asking for feedback directly on the website or prompting them to rate your app? Are you listening to their complaints, queries and concerns on social media and forums? 

 

  • Employee Experience

Are you ensuring your employees have good working conditions? Do you have regular one to one meetings with them to create real team bonds and strengthen relationships? Are you empowering them to make decisions and create an environment where customers feel taken care of? Remember, you can’t ask your staff to do things for your customers that you won’t do for your staff.

 

  • Human Touch

Are the customers able to talk with a human if they are experiencing an issue? Are you using technology to make things simpler for your company or your customers? Are you using it in the right places in their journey? Do you treat the customer as an individual or a number? Do you use data collection to your advantage?

 

Hands shaking illustration statistic: 32% will walk away from a brand after just one bad experience

Source: PWC Publication

By differentiating yourself through Customer Experience you can gain a competitive advantage and by striving for CX Excellence, you are creating advocates for your company. It is important because according to PWC, 32% of customers will stop doing business with a brand just after one bad experience. Additionally, 9 out of 10 customers will leave you and not even bother to complain.

Even though customer expectations are rising it’s not too late to differentiate yourself through CX. 54% of customers claim that CX needs to improve in the majority of the businesses. This means that if you start your strategy to achieve excellent Customer Experience today, you have a chance to generate an army of advocates that will spread the word about how great your business is and get ahead of the competition … if they don’t do the same. 

To learn more about how you can achieve this, get in touch or check out our Professional Certificate & Diploma Courses. 

CS is different to CX – How is UI different to UX?

We know that while there are similarities, CS and CX are not the same. Ideally, the difference between them would be black and white. Unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world. Customer Service is certainly connected to CX but it mainly focuses on the technical and functional aspects of the customer journey; the CRMs, procedures, assistance and service provided to a customer. Customer Experience concentrates on the emotional aspect of the journey. CS will affect how the customer feels, of course, but when we are talking about strategy and design, Customer Experience is the umbrella term where the goal is to design an excellent experience for the customer so that they remain loyal and ultimately they become an advocate.

Likewise, UI and UX may seem a lot like each other, but are they?

Just as Yin and Yang are opposites but complementary forces in the ancient Chinese culture, so are UI and UX within Customer Experience design.

User Experience is an umbrella term that refers to the ease and intuitiveness with which an app or website can be used. User Interface focuses on the look and feel of said application to ensure the user will mostly find it aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable to look at. Understanding these differences will help with work organisation, goal setting and planning out the design process.

CXvsUXvsUI 01

 

A deeper dive into the differences 

UX focuses on the journey the user is taking through the use of the product. It keeps the user at the centre of all decisions, ensuring that the journey is ubiquitous to their life. The design process needs to take into account the level of computer literacy of the user as well as how the user interacts with the app or website. 

It may be a tired mother feeding a baby and trying to book flights at the same time. 

A good UX design will make the flight booking process easy, quick and painless to help the user out in these situations. The goal of a UX designer is to reduce the chance of the user getting frustrated and walking away from the product or service before completing the process of a purchase or sign up. 

UI deals with the visual aspects of the product. It has to represent the brand and be designed accordingly to company standards. It can have an indirect effect on the customer’s feelings, however this is not fully predictable. 

A very important distinction between UX and UI can be seen in our potential user example above. 

A tired, busy mother will have zero regard or care for whether the button is blue or yellow, whether the type is Arial or Helvetica or whether she sees an impressive and colourful illustration somewhere along the way of booking her flights. She will ignore all of these factors just to be done with it and get back to her baby. 

Unless a product is specifically designed for designers, artists or other subgroups for which the colour theory is of the utmost importance, the average user will more than likely either like it or not. 

That is as far as the emotional side of UI goes. 

If a button brings a user to an unexpected result, or if they have to fill out their address three times during the booking process, it will directly impact how they feel about the app, product and in turn, the company. 

digital part of business

 

How CX applies to the digital part of the business?

Excellent Customer Experience without an excellent digital experience for your customers is like Santa Claus. It doesn’t exist. 

To fully achieve CX Excellence, all touch points on the customer journey must be thought out and designed with the customer in mind. This includes UX/UI. 

It doesn’t have to be hard. In reality good research and ability to listen is half of what you need. Research will provide you with insights on what is missing within the experience with your product. While improving your UX design, you should be always creating solutions to a real problem, rather than making improvements based on your assumptions. 

Remember in today’s day and age everything is moving more and more towards the digital side. In the majority of the cases most of the customer journey will take place on your app or website. It would be foolish not to invest time and effort into making it easy and intuitive to use. 

Good UX design is vital for good CX design. Even if the customer has great trust in the company, if they will experience any difficulty in reaching the goal of their journey, more than likely they will go somewhere else. 

 

The answer

UI focuses on the visual. UX focuses on creating an intuitive and positive experience, in which UI can help. While CS is definitely not CX, it is a part of it. In order for you to reach CX Excellence you can never forget about any of these parts, as balance must be kept, just as in Yin and Yang. 

 

To learn more get in touch or check out our Professional Certificate & Diploma Courses

Your Company Is Compared to Everyone

It is a common school of thought that while carrying out competitive benchmarking, you should compare your company to your direct competitors. The tricky part is that while you can choose to compare yourself to your direct competitors, your customers are comparing you to the last experience they had with any company, even if it was in a different sector. 

For example: 

A customer bought a new item on Amazon. Majority of the information was prefilled for her. The package was delivered the next day. Later she wanted to get a quote for a mortgage from a bank. She had to fill out multiple forms and wait 2-5 working days for a response. 

It’s unfair. But in this case it is highly likely that she has created some expectations from her experience with Amazon, for that of the bank. The experience in Amazon was quick and easy. While the one in the bank was time consuming. 

 

It happens subconsciously. 

The customer’s subconscious is filled with feelings they have acquired through different experiences. Once a seed is planted they begin to create expectations that may be unrealistic. Today’s customers have become accustomed to rapid innovation which in turn creates a quick rise in expectations. 

 

What can be done about it? 

You won’t be able to meet the customer’s expectations every time. However, there are a few things you can do to still provide great customer experience. 

  • Set the expectations and be clear about your promise. 

Be upfront and inform the customer of the process length. (Tip: Implement ‘Progress Bars’ into your UI/UX design). It’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver.

  • Be honest. 

Explain why the process is so complicated and why you need to gather these specific pieces of data. If you are experiencing difficulties due to a warehouse malfunction, inform them about it. 

  • Listen.

If your customers are raising genuine concerns, don’t ignore them. Listen to them, try to understand the underlying issue and use it as an opportunity to improve the customer journey.

 

Good news

The good news is that customer acquisition is changing. The focus should be on investing in customer retention and providing the best possible customer experience such that when an advocate is born, they will spread the positive news about your company. Friends, family and colleagues who hear about your products through this way will be already looking into your company with a positive mindset. 

Expectations which may have been there in the past can be now overshadowed by the trust they are already gathering for your company. 

Now, the mission is to not lose it.

Trust Trust

We’re hiring! Corporate Sales Executive

Corporate Sales Executive

Remote/Home Working

 You must be resident in Ireland, have a work permit to work in Ireland and please include both a CV and cover letter with your application to be considered.

This will be a permanent full-time position following an initial trial period.

 

About Us:

The CX Academy is a leading online educational company which is setting the global standard for accredited Customer Experience (CX) qualifications.

We are a global online provider of CX certification and qualifications based in Dublin, Ireland and established in 2018.

Customer Experience (CX) is an exciting and interesting skill and the fastest growing business skill in the world.

We have spent several years developing online CX courses to the highest level and we are now the global standard for certified Customer Experience qualifications.

We sell two courses, a foundation course – Professional Certificate in CX and the more advanced Professional Diploma in CX.

Our learners are split into two groups – firstly, individual learners looking to gain valuable CX knowledge and advance their careers. Secondly, companies who enrol teams to advance CX Excellence throughout their organisation.

The CX Academy is a global company with graduates now in more than 50 countries.

We’re now expanding and looking for a Corporate Sales Executive to join our small team at The CX Academy.

 

About You:

We would like an enthusiastic and passionate person who has a genuine interest in the success of others, to apply for this role.

You will have great communication skills.

You must have at least 2 year’s experience in Corporate/Enterprise sales.

You must be comfortable working to sales targets.

You will have some understanding of Customer Experience (CX) and must be able to deliver on all of our key emotional drivers – Knowing our potential learners, making it easy for them, understanding their individual situations and issues, meeting and managing their expectations, resolving issues smoothly when required and ensuring a high level of trust is maintained between The CX Academy and the learners at all times.

It will help if you have a background in CX, HR or L&D.

 

About The Role:

This is a permanent full-time position following an initial trial period.

As a Corporate Sales Executive (this role is sometimes called a Corporate Education Advisor) with The CX Academy you will work with a pipeline of both sales leads and self-generated leads. You will indentiy new business prospects and sell our courses to them.

You will be working with CX Executives, Learning and Development Managers (L&D) and HR Managers in companies to sell courses to their teams and groups. You will advise them on our CX courses and then prepare sales proposals. You will then enrol their teams on the course(s) of their choice.

As this is a sales position, you will have targets and a part of your salary will be based on sales commission.

You will manage your own sales cycle, follow up on enquiries/leads by email and phone, listen to what companies want, advise them on which course or programme is most suitable for their groups, discuss the benefits and content of the courses.

Your goal is to inform companies so that they are equipped with the knowledge to make an informed choice on which courses are most appropriate for their teams.

You will enrol learners and be a point of reference for them as they progress through their chosen course. You may have other operational duties also.

Requirements (Mandatory)

  • A minimum of 2 years corporate (B2B) sales experience
  • Experience of CRM/Sales tools
  • The ability to create Powerpoint presentations

Requirements (Desirable)

  • A knowledge of Customer Experience (CX)
  • Previous experience in sales in the professional learning and development sector and working with HR and Learning and Development executives

Package:

  • Salary is €40k per annum plus commission.
  • Training & Development
  • Remote working expenses, phone etc.

 

If you are interested please send a cover letter and your CV to julian@thecxacademy.org

 

December 13th, 2021

I wasn’t really expecting anything much to blow my mind away. Just another go-through-the-motion course, I thought……..

I attended the Professional Certificate in CX with The CX Academy recently as part of my professional hours upgrading requirement.

I wasn’t really expecting anything much to blow my mind away. Just another go-through-the-motion course, I thought.

I was, however, pleasantly surprised by the refreshingly logical and applicable contents. It differs from most of the overly technical, overly academic stuff which many other similar courses tend to err on. The CX Academy approach is highly sensible, easily digestible and most of all, applicable in most corporate situations. Normally, I would sit in front of my computer for the first 30 minutes or so, and would begin to space out after that. It didn’t happen with this CX e-learning experience, and I was absolutely impressed.

In short, the presentation is correctly-paced and professionally delivered, the contents are relevant and logically arranged, the entirety of the course is user-friendly and the customer-service is immaculate.

The only suggestion I would give is to incorporate examples and case studies of companies not restricted to UK, Europe or North America but also corporations from other parts of the world.

I am very glad that I signed up for this.

 

Allan Chia Hai Choon (Singapore)

2 August 2021

CX – What the hell is it?

What the hell is CX?

The term CX (Customer Experience) is ever more visible in LinkedIn profiles, job titles and sales and marketing publications. It is becoming so ubiquitous that it’s time to get to know it if you don’t already.

All companies whether b2b and b2c now know that, in an increasingly online world, the power of referral and customers’ recommendations is the new sales pipeline.

Your customers are now your sales team and how they talk about their experience with a company is an ever-growing trigger for customer acquisition, cross sales and retention.

The focus needs to shift more to this reality for companies to thrive.

It’s no longer just about service or pricing because for referrals and stories to live, the customer must become passionate or willing to talk about you to others.

Customer Experience (or CX) was born out of this need. It’s defined as how a person feels about all of the interactions with your company. If I feel strongly or positively about my experience with you, your product or your people, I will share the story, I will fill out the testimonial, I will take pride in selling you to others.

With this at its core, CX is essentially a suite of tools, processes and management styles that tangibly put the customer at the heart of a company, reduce staff burnout and provide metrics that show its impact on income and company’s profitability.

 

Ok I get it. But what is involved?

There is a suite of tools involved to help companies deliver better experiences through CX practices/processes. Remember whether in a b2b or b2c scenario a customer is still a customer! The three biggies are:

  • Developing a Customer Promise – CX practitioners are skilled in developing a clearly defined attractive statement about the unique experience you provide to your customers. It is the answer to a question a customer may never ask but drives their choices… what makes your company worthwhile to me? Think brand values meets customers’ needs.
  • Creating Customer Personas – A persona is a detailed personality profile of how a specific customer type behaves, their needs, attitudes and motivations. It’s a way of aligning the customer promise to specific customer types and for staff to ‘walk’ more in these customers’ shoes.  For those in the marketing world it’s like segmentation but on a much more personalised, needs based approach.
  • Customer Journey Mapping – The customer journey map is a tool to visualize the experience of interacting with your brand from the customer’s point of view. This map is critical because it forces you to look at how your customers experience your brand versus how you think they do. By better understanding your customers, you can better deliver on their expectations. It differs from other project management mapping tools like six sigma in that feelings and pain points are identified where the customer feels frustrated, confused etc. Opportunities lie within these points.

 

All well and good but how is dealing with customer feelings going to help my bottom line?

This was an area CX struggled in for many years as a relatively new discipline. C-suite could not see the link to the bottom line and CX roles in companies were given lip service.

However, this is rapidly changing now that clearer links are being identified between a company’s net promoter scores (i.e., what percentage of customers would recommend us) and sales, cross sales and customer lifetime value.

Other metrics include Average Resolution Time, Customer Effort Score, Customer Churn and Net Emotional Value scores.

Fortune 500 companies are investing significantly in ramping up their CX departments and profits are being attributed to the way the customer is looked after. CEOs of these companies are backing this up by increasingly including customer stories within their individual communication.

 

So, remind me, what do I need to know?

CX is how a customer feels about all aspects of dealing with your company. Any CX programme will have three main building blocks; customer promise, personas and journeys. It’s measurable and in a world where customer word of mouth is king increasingly drives profits.

A Testimonial To Be Proud Of!

This testimonial is from Jeanne Ogilvie, one of our Professional Diploma Graduates.

This is by far the best course I’ve taken since my uni days. What stood out for me:

The depth and the quality: the course directors have really done a wonderful job at encompassing all the different elements of Customer Experience in a clear, thorough and rigorous manner. It has reinforced my passion and knowledge in this field, and has given me new tools and methods to approach Customer Experience. Be it in its planning, strategy and implementation.

Hands on, practical application: this course isn’t just about learning, it’s about gaining knowledge and using it, then and there. The assignments at the end of each module, really made me think long and hard about the common challenges and opportunities in the CX field. Applying the theory to real case scenarios was invaluable. This was my favourite part.

The format: the short videos made it so much easier for me to retain all the information. There is A LOT to take in, but the bite size videos makes it all manageable. The summary notes were also a great help.

The service: the customer service was absolutely brilliant – any question was answered within 24 hours (and I live in Sydney!). I could really feel that there was time and effort put into each and every answer I received. Although it was all done online, I could feel the warmth and genuine care from the whole support Team as well as the course Directors.

All in all, this CX Diploma gave me new tools, new perspectives and most of all the knowledge, insight and confidence I needed to pursue my CX career.

It didn’t feel like a course as much as an exhilarating, intelligent and inspiring experience. I’m actually really sad it’s over!

Jeanne Ogilvie, CX Consultant, Sydney, Australia

CX Success Stories

The CXA Social Webinar CX Success Stories NOV 2020

 

Please join us on Thursday 5th November 2020 at 12pm (noon) for a 40 minute Masterclass.

  • This webinar is all about good news.
  • Specifically good news and success brought about by CX initiatives.
  • We’ve got two great guests from the UK and our own Michael Killeen talking about recent success stories in their business and businesses around the world.
  • What are the keys to success and what does the customer need to hear?
  • You’ll get lots of ideas that you can put into practice right now!
Join Martin Canwell (Aptean), David Orr (Fencor), Tony Clifton (Fencor) and Michael Killeen (The CX Academy) on Thursday 5th November at 12 noon (IST & BST).
Looking forward to seeing you there!