Qualtrics CXweek™ 2016: Top Tips and Quotes from the Pros

Alex Allwood Customer Experience

From May 17-20 we enjoyed this year’s Qualtrics CXweek™, “The Largest Customer Experience Event in World”. Alongside Holla’s own CEO Alex Allwood, 41 highly respected Customer Experience professionals from around the world delivered insightful webinars covering all aspects of what helps to drive CX success.

Below are some of the best CXweek™ tips and quotes to help boost your own CX expertise:

Alex Allwood: The Holla Agency
“Great experiences get people talking”

3 Critical Steps for CX Transformation
1. Customer Empathy
2. Cultural Alignment
3. Co-creation Design

Bruce Temkin: Temkin Group
4 CX Core Competencies for Customer-Centricity
1. Purposeful leadership
2. Compelling brand values
3. Customer-connectedness
4. Employee engagement

“The fundamental element of CX is do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”
“Companies tend to overly focus on success when building a customer experience, whilst ignoring emotion and effort.”
“Turning common goals into shared goals ensures the commitment of every individual’s passion.”

The Five I’s of Employee Engagement are:
Inform // Inspire // Instruct // Involve // Incentivize

Jeanne Bliss: Customer Bliss
92% of consumers worldwide trust recommendations from friends and family more than any form of advertising.
300% revenue gained by reducing negative word-of-mouth versus improving positive ‘buzz.’

“Re-examine life, and then improve it.”
“Don’t boil the ocean, there are 10-15 touch points that mean the most to your customers, so start there.”

5 Customer Leadership Competencies
1. Honour and manage customers as assets
2. Align around experience
3. Build a customer listening path
4. Proactive experience reliability and innovation
5. Leadership, accountability, and culture

Sam Stern: Forrester
“Customer experience is like walking up and down an escalator, and to stand still is to fall backward”
–Mark Harrison, CX lead at Shell
“I figured out…that I had to talk to different stakeholders in different ways. I had to use language and elements of CX that were important and relevant to them.” –Brad Smith, CCO of Sage Software, formerly of Yahoo!
“The customer insights are your quick-win, and the way they inform your strategy sets you up for long-term success.” –Kathleen Cattrall, VCA Animal Hospitals
“The day you start working at a company is the day you lose objectivity. So you have to let the customer research and data guide you.” –Phil Bienert, CCO and CMO at GoDaddy

5 Steps to Create and Sustain Customer-Centric Cultures
1. Secure executive support
2. Build a customer experience team to lead the transformation
3. Create a shared understanding of the intended experience
4. Rally and align all employees to the cultural transformation
5. Embed customer experience principles into the organization

Shep Hyken: Shephyken
“Customer-centric companies empower employees to make decisions that are beneficial to the customer.”
“Customer-centric companies know the importance of keeping employees engaged and enthusiastic.”
“What’s happening on the inside of the company to the employees is happening on the outside to the customers.”
“Customer focus doesn’t cost—it pays!”

“Hire for attitude, train for skills.”

6 D’s for the Customer-Centric Company:
Disseminate it // Deploy it // Demonstrate it // Defend it // Define it // Delight in it

Drew Hansen: Qualtrics
Typical Challenges to a Customer Feedback Program:
1. Expensive research projects that are slow to yield findings
2. Results that are imprecise
3. Insights that are not actionable for front-line employees

“After an effective service recovery, customers are often more loyal than if no error had happened.”
“Closing the loop is more than a phone call–the strongest feedback loops drive change across the organization.”
“Closing the loop is sharing feedback to the employee directly responsible for a customer experience.”
“When a customer goes through a negative experience it should be received as an opportunity to go above & beyond.”
“A customer-obsessed company starts with its culture.”

Maura Dailey: Zappos
Happy Employees = Happy Customers.

“The telephone is one of the best branding devices available.”

6 ways to make your company’s brand a culture of CX:
1. Establish committable core values
2. Hire for culture
3. Make everyone accountable and responsible for culture
4. Focus on creating relationships
5. Emphasize trust and transparency
6. Create an empowered workforce

In every customer interaction, create a Personal, Emotional Connection (PEC).
Hire slowly, fire quickly!

Rob Markey: Bain and Co
4 Enablers that Allow You to Lead by Letting Go:
1. A clear, simple goal that resonates
2. Freedom within a framework (guardrails)
3. Coaching and support for employees
4. High-velocity closed-loop feedback

“Employee satisfaction is necessary but insufficient to generate energy, enthusiasm and creativity.
We must become employee advocates.”
“Inspirational leadership is at the heart of creating a customer-centric culture.”

A Promoter Employee is:
1. Energetic: Never rushes the customer off the call, demonstrates empathy throughout
2. Enthusiastic: Ensures full resolution of customer issues
3. Creative: Proactively identifies new ways to please customers

Bob Kharazmi: The Ritz Carlton

“Any interaction, with any organization, is all about experience.”
“…if employees are not confident and comfortable, strategy is nothing.”
“Authenticity is the key. If it’s not authentic, it’s not going to sit right with the customer.”
“When a company believes they have nothing to learn, that’s the first step to failure.”
“Satisfaction is a one-way ticket to mediocrity. It’s about exceeding that. It’s about creating a bond.”

Give employees power and allow them to wow your customers.

“When a customer is dissatisfied, it is an incredible opportunity to reconnect with and wow them.”

3 Most Important Starting Points for Creating Incredible Customer Experience:
1. Know Who you Serve
2. Make Your Value System Known Throughout Your Organization
3. Never Stop Learning

Steffanie Biedler: Dell

“A steady stream of continuous improvements keeps momentum going in between home-run initiatives.”

TOP TIP: Find low-cost, low-risk, easy-to-implement improvements to improve your CX now.
Customer expectations + interaction = customer experience. Look at the WHOLE equation, not just the interaction.

“Jargon doesn’t work when interacting with your customers. You have to be genuine.”

5 Quick Wins to Improve Your Customer Experience Now
1. Clean up your language-timing, trigger, expectations, trust, control, etc.
2. Introduce pre-game huddles and pre-shift stand up meetings
3. Commit random acts of WOW!-make it personal and timely
4. Thank & engage happy customers-thank you notes, email, look for common themes
5. Be easy to promote-well placed links for product reviews and social sharing, follow up with polite survey respondents for future case studies, etc.

Kate Nasser: People Skills
“Communication is critical in a hyper-digital world.”
“Deliver what you promise and don’t promise what you can’t deliver; you will create irresistible customer experiences every time.”
“Rigid processes kill the irresistible customer experience. They’re not in the army.
They’re not there to take orders from you.”

5 Customer Experience Mistakes to Avoid:
1. Disbelief of the value of experience
2. Mistrust of customers
3. Mistrust of employees: disempowered front line
4. Metric/Process Focus versus Customer Focus
5. Thinking irresistible customer experience is for other brands, but not you

“Customers give us their initial trust–it’s a gift. It’s an invitation for trust in them and integrity in return.”

9 Irresistible Draws that Keep Customers Coming Back:
1. Make them feel welcome and wanted
2. Flexible and adaptable to customer’s needs
3. Prevents and relieves difficulty or pain
4. Experience is pleasurable
5. Give‘em something they want
6. Reawakens great memories
7. Elevates them
8. Good surprises not bad ones
9. Experience gets better and better

Kerry Bodine: Kerry Bodine & Co.
“Journey maps are diagrams that visualize the actions, thoughts, and feelings of a person or group over time.”
“The most effective journey maps are ones that are understandable at a glance.”

4 Types of Journey Maps:
1. Current state
2. Future state
3. Blueprint
4. Day in the life

4 Ways You Can Use Journey Maps
1. Improve your current customer experience
2. Envision your future customer experience
3. Drive organizational changes
4. Communicate with customers

Bernd Schmitt: Columbia University
“People want to feel appreciated. Customer experience is about helping customers feel something.”
“An important part of the customer experience is differentiating yourself. Avoid being a commodity.”
“Experience is very much about the emotional aspect of loyalty.”

5 Steps for Creating an Attractive Experience that Leads to Loyalty
1. Analyze the experiential world of customers—understand the lifestyle people value in your product
2. Create an experience platform: position your brand
3. Create a positive experience with the brand
4. Create a positive experience in the user interface
5. Engage in continuous innovation

Brian Pember: UPS
“With everything you do for your customer, go further so that your customer can do more.”
“Focus on balancing operational efficiency and humanity.”
“Tell a story that inspires, educates and entertains.”
“A single-minded, emotional insight only happens with keen listening.”
“Keep social channels as an open form of communication. You’ll see the good, the bad and the ugly.
We don’t try to hide any of it.”

The spirit of your brand should be embodied in your individual employees.

Diane Magers: AT&T
“Customer experience is the customer’s perception of all the interactions they have with us and the value it creates for them.”
“It’s about the emotions we evoke and our performance against their expectations over time.”

3 types of Customer Experiences:
1. Emotional: How do they make me feel?
2. Accessible: How easy is it to know who to call, where to get my questions answered, do business etc.
3. Functional: Do they meet my needs? What value does it provide?

4 Benefits of Great Customer Experience:
1. Share of Wallet: Engaged customers buy more products and services
2. Positive Referral: Engaged customers convert potential customers to switch. They generate positive relationships and power
3. Churn: Engaged people stay longer and typically buy more—they have lower costs to switch providers
4. Feedback Response: Engaged people give more feedback and opportunities to address issues— the enhanced relationship reduces effort

Steve Curtin: Steve Curtin Customer Enthusiast
“Customer service is a voluntary act that demonstrates a genuine desire to satisfy, if not delight, a customer.”
“Exceptional customer service is voluntary. Employees don’t have to deliver it, and most don’t.”
“…it is the service we are not obligated to give that people value the most.”
“In order to normalize exceptional customer service so that it occurs reliably, over time, by design (rather than inconsistently by chance), incorporate job essence into job function.”

7 Simple Ways to Raise Customer Service:
1. Express genuine interest
2. Offer sincere and specific compliments
3. Share unique knowledge
4. Convey authentic enthusiasm
5. Use appropriate humor
6. Provide pleasant surprises
7. Deliver service heroics

Ted Coine: Meddle
5 Steps to Mastering Social Media Customer Interaction:
1. Recognize and embrace this Social Age fact: the customer holds all the cards.
2. You must be where your customers are, not where you’re most comfortable.
3. As an organization–top to bottom, summer intern to CEO–adopt this as your mantra: “More social, less media.”
4. Customers trust people, so get your C-level executives out there!
5. Customers trust people, not spin-addicted marketing departments.

Flip the role of marketing to help build the personal brands of employees.
“Your customers will only love your company as much as your employees do.”

A question for C-suite executives afraid of diving into social media:
“Would you send someone else to a meeting wearing your suit?”

“Customer Experience has always been a leadership issue.”

Chris Stamper: TD Bank
“We exist to find ways to make people’s lives more comfortable.”

4 Goals for Legendary Customer Service:
1. Show how much we appreciate our customers
2. Create a two-way conversation with our customers
3. Make our employees proud of where they work
4. Provide our audience with shareable digital content to keep the conversation going

Lessons Learned from the Automated Thanking Machine:
1. Genuine Intent: We really wanted to thank our customers
2. Think Digital First: Create shareable, authentic, emotional content
3. Leverage paid, owned and earned marketing strategies
4. Think about on-going conversations

Kyle Groff: Qualtrics
How to Build a Customer Feedback Program:
Ask questions // View metrics // Take action

The “Why, How, Now” Model
What do I measure?
1. Map it out: Create a customer journey map
2. Develop channels: Decide how to collect data at each touch point

How do I measure it?
3. Test format: with 300-400 customers; revise based on feedback and analysis

Now what?
4. Reporting levels: Work from macro to micro
5. Set goals
6. Action process: Go beyond quantitative data

 First Published: https://goo.gl/vMH8yS
About the Author

Alex Allwood

Alex Allwood’s focus is connecting customer and culture to empower customer-centric growth. Working with B2B2C, Alex helps improve experiences that enhance customer value and distinctively differentiate. With a 20 year track record in leadership, operations and marketing, Alex’s strength is developing customer experience strategy: customer understanding and empathy, experience vision and guiding principles and the customer narrative to enable collaboration and alignment. Alex is principal of the customer experience consultancy, All Work Together; has authored the book Customer Experience is the Brand, regularly facilitates Customer Journey Mapping workshops and is a speaker on customer-centric transformation.