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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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

University Credit Rated CX Education

Glasgow Caledonian

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are delighted and proud to announce today that our Professional Diploma in Customer Experience (CX) has been credit rated by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU).

This is a significant, internationally respected and recognised educational body. GCU would be considered one of the UKs top universities and they have over 20,000 students and 1,600
administrative staff.

We’ve looked around and as far as we are aware no other CX courses are credited rated or accredited by an official university.

GCU were a natural fit for us. They understand business and have a well developed understanding of the ‘university to business’ mindset.

They know that programmes must be practical, accessible for professional learners and underpinned by solid theory.  They have been our partners during this whole process and we are delighted to be
working with them.

Now, the CX Academy’s Professional Diploma in CX is the first globally recognised, university credit-rated qualification for CX.

The programme is rated by the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) at Level 8 qualification which equates to a Level 5 in the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

Please ask ana@thecxacademy.org if you want more information on the Professional Diploma in CX.

Thanks!

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE WEBINAR 24TH OF JUNE

Michael Killeen Presenting DATA square LOGO278

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re delighted to invite you to join us on Monday 24th June at 10am (BST) for a webinar in this fast-growing sector.

Our guest speaker will be Michael Killeen, Managing Director of The CX Company and a global and passionate voice for CX over many years.

Please register here:

https://tinyurl.com/y5ok6882

Michael will talk about:

• Using CX to drive loyalty & retention
• Growing your business through the new method of customer acquisition
• Staff Empowerment and the implementation of a CX Excellence programme into your organisation.

We’ll also discuss why Michael has set up The CX Academy, the employment opportunities and the importance of recognized CX education. We’ll talk about how The CX Academy’s programmes are setting the global standard for CX certification.

During his career Michael has worked with General Electric, Harley Davidson, FAO Schwartz, and American Airlines. He also works day-to-day in the ‘real world’ with global CX leaders such as Microsoft, Virgin, Diageo and many more.

The CEO of The CX Academy, Julian Douglas will moderate the session.

The session will last for approximately 40 minutes and you can ask questions regarding Customer Experience which Michael will be happy to answer.

There is a limited number of places available at this session so please register now.

Steps to Successful Customer Journey Mapping

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Below is an excerpt taken from Module 4 of the Professional Certificate in Customer Experience.

This module includes all the below and a huge amount of detailed information on how your business can create and utilise your customer journey.

What is a Customer Journey?

A Customer Journey is defined as every interaction across every touch-point that a customer has with a company. Each interaction in the journey contributes to the overall customer experience.

What is a Customer Journey Map?

A Customer Journey Map is a visual representation of the process a customer goes through to achieve a goal with a company. It includes every interaction a customer has at each touch-point for that specific journey.

A Customer Journey Map focuses on what the journey currently looks like – this is what we call the “as is”.

For each stage of the “as is” journey, you should look at: 

  • What actions happen – what is the customer doing?
  • Which touch-points the customer uses – are they going online, or making a call, using an app or visiting a store or branch
  • What the common issues and pain points are for customers? (by pain points we mean what are the barriers to the customer completing their objective, what annoys them and may cause them to abandon the journey, complain or even stop doing business with the company)
  • How the customer is feeling at each stage – are they happy, annoyed, frustrated, satisfied etc?

It also includes how the journey can be improved – this is what we call the “to be”.

For each stage of the “to be” part of the Customer Journey Map, you  should look at: 

  • What actions can be put in place to improve the “as is” experience?
  • How specific pain points can be addressed or removed?
  • How the customer journey can be simplified

What is Customer Journey Mapping?

It is very important that companies take the time to understand each journey from the different customers’ perspective and consider how the customer experience can be made as good as it possibly can be for them.

To do this companies need to walk in their customers shoes and map out every interaction at every touch-point along the customer journey for each different type of customer. This process is referred to as Customer Journey Mapping.

What questions do I need to address?

Before and during the process of Customer Journey Mapping, ask yourself the following questions. You need to answer honestly and always with your customer in mind.

Who is the Customer? – create at least one description and picture (persona) of the customer you are focusing on. Imagine the customer is sitting in the room with you and constantly refer back to them

What is the Customer Goal? – what is the overall goal the customer is trying to achieve?

What are the stages? –what stages of the journey does the customers go through to achieve their goal?

What are the Touch-points? – what  touch-points does the customer use through each stage of the journey?

What is the current Customer Experience? (the “as is”) – what are the actions, pain points and emotions of the customer?

How do we make Improvements? (the “to be”) – what are the opportunities to improve the Customer Journey?

 

If you would like to learn more about Creating and utilising your customer journey, and receive our Customer Journey template, sign up to our next course: the Professional Certificate in Customer Experience

Book Review – Customer Experience what how and why now

book

‘Customer Experience what how and why now’ – Don Peppers

When it comes to customer experience, Don Peppers is one of the world’s most respected authorities. Over the last twenty years he and co-author Martha Rogers have written a series of best-selling bo

oks on the subject. They have collectively sold over a million copies in 18 languages. Businessweek Magazine called one of their books “the bible of the new marketing.”Accenture listed Don among the “Top 100 Business Intellectuals,” and The Times of London listed him as one of the “Top 50 Business Brains.”

In 2015 Don Peppers capped the list of “Top 25 Customer Experience Leaders” compiled by Satmetrix, based on factors including Klout score, LinkedIn presence, book sales, and “creation of an industry-changing methodology.” So if you’re looking for advice on how to think about, improve, and deliver a better customer experience, then this is the book for you. Organized as a series of short, easily digested and self-contained essays, it’s packed with concrete examples, suggestions, and inspiring ideas. Read it straight through, or snack on it as you like.

You can buy this book or download the audiobook on Amazon now

Does Artificial Intelligence have a role in CX?

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Does Artificial Intelligence have a role in CX?

 

Let’s talk about change. Not many people are comfortable with change. We have our routines, our regular customers, trusted suppliers and, yes, we have our competitors too but we know who they are, where they work from and we like it that way.

But the change that software and technology has brought over the past 15 years is something else entirely. However, when I sit back and realise that it’s the way of the world since time immemorial – I begin to get comfortable with that. Genies and bottles, toothpaste and tubes, there really is no going back now.

There’s no doubting the change is massive. Even for small businesses, globalisation and not localisation is the new norm and technology is having a faster and more dramatic impact on our society than the Industrial Revolution. Is it for better or for worse? – richer or poorer? It doesn’t matter – it’s a fact and that ‘bird’ has flown.

How do we manage all of this change and upheaval? There is talk of robots taking all our jobs and there’s drones in LA delivering everything from parcels to pizzas.

So, is there really a place for Artificial Intelligence in CX? And how should we use it?

Bring it on, we say. But be careful how you use it because it really does have its limitations. For the moment we are still the bosses and let’s not forget that.

‘Cybernetics’ is a word that should provide a part of the solution. It’s the study of people and machines. More formally it is “the scientific study of control and communication in the animal and the machine.”

Without getting too scientific about it, Cybernetics can be a way of using technology to help people do their jobs more easily and better. Take radiology for example, where Artificial Intelligence is used to analyse and detect cancer.

cells on MRI scans. This is not to say there is no Radiologist reading our x-rays but it does say that for such crucial work there is another ‘pair of eyes’ available. A good thing? – Yes!

In Customer Experience, we cannot devolve ourselves from emotion. Emotional drivers are the very foundation of the principles of CX and robots don’t have them! We need to use technology for the right things and at the right time, making it work for us so that we get better, faster and more personal.

Another great example would be how Artificial Intelligence can help us is to analyse dense data for anomalies, integrating multiple ‘voice of the customer’ sources such as survey data, call centre and social data which is key to better insights which in turn output useful predictive data. These are monotonous jobs that machines actually do much better. Once the alarm bell has gone off, we can intervene to diagnose the anomaly, then design a solution and implement that solution. No matter how advanced technology becomes, implementation and effective application is crucial. Companies need to be agile, accept the fact that they get things wrong sometimes and be able to change.

A slightly different example of technology is the use of chat-bots and voice command. These technologies have revolutionised how customers interact with companies, provide great personalisation and are very useful for factual, repetitive tasks and initial customer interactions. Companies like Intercom strike the perfect balance of fast automated solutions and having a human ‘feel’.

The interesting thing is we are comfortable interacting with chat-bots or automated voice systems provided we recognise they are automated. It’s okay to make automation ‘feel’ as human as possible but not a good idea to make the customer believe they are talking to a human when in fact they are talking to a robot. This will lead to distrust and frustration through the process.

Another key to the success of chat-bots and automated voice technology is knowing when  to use them. And from a customer’s perspective, once required, a human can intervene.

Paying a bill online or getting a statement balance is fine for automated technology. But try explaining a disputed credit card charge on your statement to a robot and your experience will soon turn to frustration and anger. These situations require human discretion and good companies give authority to staff to resolve problems. There will always be a need for human intervention in the resolution of a customer issue.

Where companies see social skills and creativity as important assets there is always a need for human interaction. Automated checkouts in supermarkets may resolve Time & Effort issues but what negative effect do they have on the human touch factor of a cashier? I’ve regularly seen people queuing up for cashiers because they know them and receive a friendly comment or small, personalised conversation. These are highly valued interactions by people who may only have few other conversations during the day.

The key to using technology is to make it work for us and alongside us. Getting technology to do the mundane, repetitive tasks is what technology is great at. But if we want Customer Experience to work really well, human intervention and interaction is the key.

Maybe one day an automated checkout will ask me if I had a nice weekend but even if it does, it wouldn’t be pushed going back because of it!

 

 

Who benefits from CX investment?

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Everyone Benefits from investment in CX

 

Companies that deliver CX excellence receive immediate and impactful benefits that filter throughout the whole business. Each of these benefits ultimately deliver greater commercial ROI and shareholder value.

These benefits can be realised by each business department or C-suite decision maker. Below, we outline which benefits are important to each department. It has been designed to help CX practitioners get buy-in from each department and the company as a whole, enabling a speedier focus on the customer.

The core benefits of delivering CX Excellence are:

 

    • Differentiation from your competitor
    • Greater customer loyalty and retention
    • More cost-effective acquisition of new customers
    • Reduction in cost to serve your customers
    • Greater staff motivation and longevity
    • Greater shareholder value 

 

CX benefits business iconsCEO

Shareholder value CX provides greater ROI for investors

Business differentiation Because most businesses today offer pretty much the same product at the same price, CX is now the only true way a company can differentiate its offering to its customers

Business reputation Companies that treat their staff and customers brilliantly earn stronger reputations in their communities and markets

Internal culture CX creates a positive internal culture and working environment

Motivated staff Happy staff = happy customers = happy business = happy shareholders

Investment arsenal Happy shareholders are quicker to invest and support a successful CEO with a successful CX approach


CX benefits business icons2The Financial Director

Profitability Greater profitability due to less price sensitivity as customers are happy to pay more for great CX

Increased revenue Positive word of mouth delivers greater repeat sales and further opportunities for cross and up selling. It also stimulates strong acquisition of new customers

Cost savings Happy customers are less likely to tie up service lines/contact centres with queries resulting in cost savings. Investment in expensive marketing acquisition programmes are reduced


CX benefits business icons3The Operations Director

Reducing time & effort CX helps operations by making it easier and more enjoyable for customers to do business with us

Reducing costs to serve By removing hurdles customers are less likely to engage the company with queries and therefore reduce the numbers of calls into a call centre

Customer promise Operations can now deliver on the customer promise because they are part of its creation


CX benefits business icons4The Marketing Director

Customer promise Allows marketing to deliver a powerful customer promise that differentiates the company from its competitors

Acquisition of new Customers Lower acquisition costs

Retention of existing customers Stable customer base willing to pay more for better CX


CX benefits business icons5The Sales Director

Acquisition of new customers Cost effective acquisition as a result of increased positive customer advocacy

Higher margin Happy customers buy more product more often and at higher prices

Up and cross selling existing customers Easier to convert existing happy customers to buy more from you


CX benefits business icons6The Commercial Director

Profitability Higher margins created from higher prices and lower costs to serve

Less price sensitivity Customers are happy to pay more for a great customer experience


CX benefits business icons7The HR Director

Purpose Staff feel they have more input in a customer centric organisation

Motivation When staff are clear on their roles and how they impact their companies success they become more motivated

Longevity Great CX companies hold onto their best staff for longer

Rewards Best in class CX champions reward their staff for CX rather than sales


CX benefits business icons8The IT Director

Improved ROI Technology investments based on customer feedback can result in increased usage and reduced costs

Making it easier for staff to deliver customer promise Utilising technology will help internal staff support front facing staff deliver greater CX

Making it easier for the customer to do business Deliver greater UX experiences for their customers


Credit: The CX Company

 

Is CX part of the agenda in your company?
Use this information to arm yourself in your next board meeting. You know how investment in CX will benefit your company. Now you know how to get everyone on board!

The Economics of ‘The CX Framework’

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Delivering Customer Experience Excellence offers companies many benefits which in turn create greater shareholder value. By consistently focusing on ‘The CX Framework’, companies will create an emotional connection with customers, creating behaviours and relationships that deliver growth. But what economic impact will ‘The CX Framework’ have on your company?

The following diagram illustrates the economics of The CX Framework and CX Excellence:

CX Framework SHAREHOLDER VALUE diagram

Let us make a case for how your company will benefit from CX Excellence

 

Increased Retention

1

Customers who have a high-quality experience are 2.7 times more likely to keep doing business with you.

Increased Cross Sales

2

Customers who have an excellent experience are 7 times more likely to try a new product or service.

Lower Price Sensitivity

3

86% of customers state that the experience is now more important than price and even product.

Increased Employee Satisfaction

4

Companies who deliver an excellent customer experience have much higher employee satisfaction and greater employee longevity.

Lower Costs to Serve

5

Satisfied customers make fewer service and support calls resulting in less staff being required to service customer queries.

Increased Profits

6

Customer-centric companies were 60% more profitable compared to companies that were not focused on the customer.

Lower Acquisition Costs

7

Sales are driven from positive word of mouth rather than expensive sales and marketing campaigns.

SOURCES:
1. Forrester 2. Experience Matters 3. Forbes 4. Forbes 5. Digitalist Mag 6. Deloitte 7. Get Feedback

 

Seven key CX trends for 2019

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As 2019 gets underway we can reflect on a 2018 that brought some fascinating changes in the landscape of CX worldwide. Instead of seeing improvements around the globe, we have actually seen a dip in performance. It is clear that the majority of companies are still struggling to deliver CX Excellence. Failing to meet the ever-rising expectations of the customer.

As companies place significant investment in technology, it appears that many have lost focus on the one thing that can create a genuine connection with their customer better than anything else – the human touch.

In 2019 we see the need to find the right balance between technology and emotionally intelligent and empowered staff who truly understand the customer, can build rapport and are able to deliver heroic resolutions. We also see the importance of clear communication throughout companies, making sure every single employee understands and is on board with the customer promise.

Below, we have listed Seven Key CX trends for your company to focus on for 2019.

 

 1. Getting the balance right between technology and people is critical

Technology definitely has a role to play in CX Excellence but it must add to the experience and it can’t be the only area of investment. Customers want the emotional connection. We predict a growth in investment in staff training and empowerment, focusing on emotional intelligence and experience rather than just service.

 2. Businesses must have a clear customer promise

Customers do not tolerate over promising anymore. Trust has gone out the window. Honing in on a realistic customer promise will create a framework to deliver the experience your customers want. It will also be the foundation of your reputation. Honesty and transparency must be central to your promise. Use customer experience camps to develop your promise.

3. Agility will become a critical CX driver

Agile delivery across all channels will be critical to ensure CX Excellence and will become a key competitive differentiator. As customer expectations continue to rise, being able to quickly test, learn and revise will be the difference in getting and staying ahead of your competitors.

4. Silos will be removed

Human beings lie behind every great CX journey and CX champions know and leverage this. Companies need to breakdown internal silos and be structured around the customer with multi-functional teams focused on delivering CX Excellence. Culture, education and communication must be at the foundation of this business transformation.

5. The highly personal touch

More and more companies will design highly personal customer experiences to differentiate their business against competitor offerings, ensuring customers feel like important individuals with distinct needs and taste. Technology will support this by providing real-time customer insights to drive CX initiatives.

6. CX will become the recognised umbrella for business growth and cost savings

Shifting from a focus on short term profits to long term customer success is key. Senior management teams must understand that CX is a long-term programme that has no ‘quick fix’, but is the only way to differentiate their business.

7. The new method of customer acquisition

CX will help your company to not only retain your existing customers, it will also help you to acquire new customers. By delivering great experiences your existing customers will become advocates of your company. They will be so loyal, engaged and connected that they will sell on your behalf. Recommending you to family, friends and colleagues. CX turns your existing customers into sales people. This is the new method of customer acquisition.

While we have seen a dip in performance overall, this has left a huge opportunity for companies to improve and stand out from their competitors. Companies that will succeed are those that can break away from CX mediocrity and deliver a meaningful and consistent customer experience across all channels, while balancing the use of technology with the human touch.