20 Ways To Celebrate CX Day & Keep Momentum Going

20 Ways To Celebrate CX Day & Keep Momentum Going

What makes customers and employees loyal to brands? Why do some companies thrive during challenging times while others go out of business? There are many answers to this question, but one that is common across all industries relates to company culture. How brands make people feel directly impacts short and long-term success.

Creating a customer-centric culture does not happen automatically or overnight. It requires an engaged workforce and an executive champion at the top who reinforces the importance of customer experiences. They must motivate employees and hold them accountable to put customers first.

Stacy Sherman Advice About DoingCXRight and Customer Experience Best Practices

Celebrate CX Day To Enhance Your Company Culture

CX Day, spearheaded by the CXPA organization is a real day. I didn’t make it up. CX Day, typically celebrated in October each year, is a terrific way to drive awareness about the importance of customer experience and thank employees for their dedication to delighting customers. It is also an excellent time to publicize to customers about the actions you are taking to deliver best-in-class experiences all year long.

20 Actionable Tips To Celebrate CX Day & Keep The Momentum Going:

  1. Measure customer satisfaction and related metrics like Net Promoter (NPS) and celebrate positive scores. Send cake and balloons to top-performing sales offices and those with Y/Y improvements.
  2. Recognize employees when customers mention their names in surveys, social media, and other sources of feedback.
  3. Distribute a CEO video email message thanking employees for creating passionate promoters.
  4. Send customer thank you notes and token gifts of appreciation.
  5. Conduct fireside chats (informal yet structured discussion between a moderator and a guest.) It’s an excellent way to engage customers, and CX experts and provide relevant content that keeps people interested in your brand.
  6. Enable people to recognize each other. Gamify experiences. Tie prizes to customer value.
  7. Buy lunch for people resolving customer issues daily, i.e., call center reps.
  8. Offer a bonus or day off to those who routinely demonstrate customer excellence.
  9. Offer CX swag, like banners, balloons, stickers, buttons, shirts.
  10. Provide training – empathy, customer listening, closing the loop, design-thinking, journey mapping, and more. Certification is also valuable. (Learn more about my University experience & get a discount >here too)
  11. Post photos of activities on the intranet & social media channels for the world to see.
  12. Host “thank you” events for your customers. Showing appreciation goes a long way.
  13. Create a room in your office to share CX projects and progress, so everyone stays informed. For remote teams, leverage platforms for collaboration and knowledge sharing.
  14. Highlight CX examples at meetings and have employees talk about best practices. Employees want to hear from their peers more than Headquarters staff.
  15. Lead a contest that involves both customers and employees.
  16. Encourage employees to join webinars. Create your own or give them a list of online events as there are many offered, especially in October on CX Day.
  17. Hang posters throughout company locations and employee offices. The more people see reminders about delighting customers, the higher likelihood they are to take action.
  18. Plan activities with different departments in your organization—leverage CX Day as a way to strengthen internal relationships and break traditional silos.
  19. Use the day for branding opportunities. Partner with your marketing / PR team to design assets highlighting admiration for customers.
  20. Use hashtag #CXDay on social media to help everyone find and amplify your involvement. Post before, during, and after CX Day.
Stacy Sherman Leads CX Day at Schindler Elevator Corporation

The Power Of Intention

I brought the idea of celebrating CX Day to my workplace, Schindler Elevator Corp, in 2019. It turned out to be bigger than I ever imagined, which we’re be doing even more in 2020 and beyond. My point of sharing is that YOU can create anything you put your mind to. If you want a customer-centric culture, you can make it happen with the right team. It takes a village yet when you have the right support, magic happens!

Check out the below video produced by my co-workers that captures how we celebrated and engaged employees across the organization across five continents. Turn on your volume to hear the song as it says so much!

Final Words about CX Day & Leadership  

  • Small acts of kindness go a long way. “People may forget what you said or did, but never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
  • Employees are your heroes. If they don’t feel important, your customers will feel it.
  • Don’t wait for formal end of year reviews. If you do not appreciate employees throughout the year, your competitors will. They’re searching for exceptional talent.
  • Don’t overthink it. Thank employees everywhere, i.e., meetings, cafeteria, parking lot.
  • Be sincere. “96% of employees believe showing empathy is an important way of improving employee retention.” (Forbes)

Remember: Happy Employees = Happy Customers.

Consider the facts:

“Engaged teams generate 21% more profit than their disengaged counterparts.  (Gallop))

“Employers who increase their workers’ engagement by just 10% can boost profits by $2,400 per employee every year.” (Recruit Loop)

When people are satisfied with their job, have good communication with their superiors, and their colleagues, and set clear goals, they are motivated to achieve great results. And they often do. According to Gallup’s engagement statistics, teams that work in companies that nurture a high-engagement culture reward those companies with higher productivity, better customer engagement, better employee retention, and a 21% increase in profitability.” (Gallop)

If you only take away one point, it would be this:

Everyone owns the customer experience, not just an individual or department. CX starts with YOU!

21 Powerful Ways To Build Brand Loyalty

21 Powerful Ways To Build Brand Loyalty

ShoppingGives asked 21 Customer Experience experts about proven ways to create brand loyalty, especially during an increasingly competitive eCommerce space. It’s a great article, which includes quotes from my CX friends like Shep Hyken, Adam Toporek and others (including me). You can read the original article here.

Experts agree that it can be challenging to engage your customers with your brand. It is even harder to build consistent loyalty throughout your customer base. However, cultivating loyalty is well worth the extra effort and expense.

Brand loyalty can increase your company’s overall revenue, make better use of marketer investments, and insulate your company against changes in the economy.

 

What is Brand Loyalty?

You probably know that it is good for a customer to be loyal to your brand, but every brand loyalist is good for a company in more ways than you may realize. One good way to understand brand loyalty is to ask consumers what they think it is:

  • Repeat purchasing. About 68% of consumers think that choosing to buy from a brand over and over again is indicative of loyalty.
  • Love of the brand. This is a pretty vague description of loyalty but accounts for 39.5% of consumers. Brand love may be expressed by being outspoken about positive feelings toward the brand, sharing the brand on social media, and encouraging friends and family to buy from the brand.
  • Preference despite price. 37.7% of consumers think that loyalty is expressed when you buy from a brand even though a product or service may cost more than very similar competitors or have experienced a price increase. Loyalty marketers find that their consumers keep purchasing through price changes. 

 

Why Build Brand Loyalty?

Customer Retention

Retaining your customers is highly profitable. 82% of companies believe that retention is much cheaper than acquiring new customers. The numbers seem to prove them right: An increase in keeping customers of only 5% may boost your profits by as much as 25% or even 95%. 

More customers coming back more often means you earn more from each customer over time. It also means that your business will be more consistent even in downturns of the market. 

Increase Earnings and Reduce Spending

Customers don’t just spend more often when they feel loyal to a brand; they also spend more money. In fact, as many as 43% of customers spend more money at a brand that they are loyal to. 

Getting a new customer through the door and buying something costs 5 times more than keeping a current customer. Investments into current customers is more logical than pursuing new customers. The customers that you keep will make it well worth your while to invest in loyalty. 

Gain a Competitive Edge

Brand loyalty has a lot of advantages, but most business owners don’t think that customer retention is a priority. If you invest in brand loyalty now, you can take a significant chunk of the customer base. You’ll also be able to keep them, even as ebbs and flows negatively affect your competitors.

 

How to Build Brand Loyalty

Knowing that brand loyalty is important doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll do a great job of building it. A successful brand loyalty program can be a great investment. However, you need to know that your techniques will be successful. 

Here are some powerful tips to build brand loyalty from professionals in the industry. 

Communication is Key

One of the most frequently overlooked and yet most effective ways to build brand loyalty is to have great communication with your customers. Whether you have something to tell your customer about their order, exchange, or whatever else they’re asking about or not, communication is better than silence. A great relationship can quickly be destroyed by perceived indifference from your company.

Stacy Sherman, Founder at DoingCXRight.com:

“Customer satisfaction and loyalty do not happen automatically or overnight. It requires intentional focus and engaged employees who COMMUNICATE to customers on a timely basis. Even if there’s no information available to tell customers who are waiting for status updates, let them know you haven’t forgotten about them. Email, text, or best of all, pick up the phone and call as they’ll appreciate the follow-up. Silence is never an option!”

Make it Easy

Sometimes, gaining your customers’ loyalty isn’t about making a deep emotional connection or offering something nobody else has. It’s just about making it easier for your customer.

Brands that engage easily on social media, offer convenient delivery options, and offer other conveniences make it simple for their customers to work with them. They are more likely to get repeat customers that have no reason to go anywhere else.

Shep Hyken, customer service/experience expert and author of The Convenience Revolution:

“Be the easiest (as in most convenient) company to do business with. Be accessible when and where the customer needs you. Use technology to create a better experience when applicable. In other words, reduce or eliminate friction. The brand that is the most convenient and easiest to do business with has an amazing competitive advantage that can disrupt competition and create fierce loyalty.” 

Focus on the Customer Journey

Every experience that a given customer has with your brand affects their customer experience and resulting loyalty. Customer satisfaction shouldn’t be an afterthought at the end of a purchase. It should be a carefully thought-out aspect of every interaction a customer has with your company. Consider each customer’s experience on social media, at brick and mortar locations, and online. 

Adam Toporek, Customer Service Keynote Speaker, at Customers That Stick:

Evaluate your customer journey to identify and anticipate the customer’s emotions at key touchpoints. Design the experience to prevent negative emotions and to help facilitate the positive, emotionally resonant experiences that generate loyalty.”

If you want your company to have loyal customers who spend more, buy more often, and keep coming back more consistently, you should put effort into building a strong brand loyalty campaign. Consider hiring brand ambassadors to help you build a strong strategy. Loyal customers are well worth an investment.

The Relationship Between Customer & Employee Experience (Podcast)

The Relationship Between Customer & Employee Experience (Podcast)

Have you heard about “Be Customer Led” hosted by Bill Staikos?  The show explores the symbiotic relationship between customer and employee experience, and how companies are creating leaders and cultures maniacal about the customer. Stacy had the honor of being a guest on the show.


What You’ll Hear On “Be Customer Led”

During the episode, Stacy and Bill talk about a ton of different and important topics, including what ignited Stacy’s career in the CX field, and how two “wow” moments transformed her professional career from Marketing into CX; the key attributes that can differentiate CX leaders, CX measurement, where the CX function should sit in the org, and more to elevate your customer experience skills.

They also talk about their shared love of Shep Hyken. The audio cut out for a min at 48:18, but Stacy shared a personal story about her interaction with Shep.

Listen to the Customer Experience podcast below. 

Please let us know what you think and what resonates most.

Listen To Stacy Sherman Talk About Customer Experience on Be Customer Led Podcast
Business Success Tips Based On 25 Yrs Of Marriage

Business Success Tips Based On 25 Yrs Of Marriage

Today is my milestone 25th wedding anniversary. Having come from divorced parents, it’s a big deal for me. I tell you this because there are many relationship lessons I’ve learned over the years and want to inspire you to enrich connections with your partner, friends, colleagues, and customers too.  You may be wondering what does marriage have to do with business? My answer is a lot!There are many correlations because when employees feel satisfied, included, and cared for (like a happy spouse), they pay it forward. Their actions impact customer experiences and ultimately brand loyalty.

10 WAYS TO ENHANCE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

  1. Show appreciation in big and small ways. People naturally do more for others when they feel valued. Say thank you often. Tell people how much they matter. Gratitude goes a long way.
  2. Listen intentionally. Concentrate on what people are verbally expressing as well as what they are NOT saying. Read between the lines and react appropriately.
  3. Pick your battles. Focus on your end game. Ask yourself: do I want a relationship or to be right? The answer will drive your actions.
  4. Practice radical acceptance. People will behave in ways that do not always make sense. Accept others for whom they are versus who you want them to be.
  5. Throw away perfection. It takes a lot of energy and often results in diminishing returns. Keep doing your best and accept flaws.
  6. Be forgiving. Mistakes will happen. Avoid fighting in public and whenever conflict happens, review lessons together to avoid issues happening again.
  7. Communicate. Let me stress this again. Communicate a lot! Pick up the phone more than emailing and texting as they often lead to misunderstandings.
  8. Celebrate not just Hallmark designated holidays. Create unexpected memorable Wow moments throughout the year.
  9. Don’t take things personally. As I’ve learned in the Four Agreements, people misinterpret stories and believe they are involved when that is not the case. Be mindful and avoid this habit.
  10. Present a united front. If you have kids, for example, show them what a good partnership looks like. The same is true with customers. Do not let different department goals get in the way of how the team shows up. Alignment is essential. 
Stacy Sherman Relationship Success Tips

#1 RELATIONSHIP KEY TAKE AWAY

 It’s easy to walk away and harder to stay when times are tough. Nothing forces us to keep a relationship alive and thriving. It must be purposeful and intentional, which means waking up each morning and being clear how you want to EXPERIENCE THE DAY with people you care about.  What you do today affects all your tomorrows!

I’m interested to know your views about creating and sustaining a long term relationship.  

If you like this article, please read my other one about the Four Agreements. It’s a life-changing book, which I have summarized for you. 

CX Leadership Lessons Based On “The Four Agreements”

CX Leadership Lessons Based On “The Four Agreements”

Leadership Article Originally Featured in Forbes  August 3, 2020 

Many self-help books drive positive changes and personal growth. My all-time favorite is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. While listening to the chapters of the audiobook, I had an epiphany as to why the book affects me more than any other. It reinforces how I live my life personally and correlates to my profession in the customer experience (CX) field. From Ruiz’s four fundamental principles, I’ve drawn lessons on leadership, humanizing business and creating satisfying experiences. I encourage you to read the agreements and apply the leadership principles to your life.

 

Agreement 1: Do Not Make Assumptions

We are all guilty of projecting what we think onto others. When we do not know all the facts, or when communication is unclear or nonexistent, it is human nature to make assumptions that are often wrong.

Misinterpretation is especially true when people email and text each other and inevitably insert their own beliefs about what the other person is thinking. Unfortunately, we tend to make assumptions that are negative and unsupportive.

From this first agreement, I believe we can apply three key lessons for improving customer experience: 

• Pick up the phone. By doing so, you can avoid misinterpretation and useless arguments. Call your customers so they are not left guessing when there will be a resolution to their problems. Silence is not an option. Communication with your employees and customers helps avoid false assumptions and preserves relationships.

• Be transparent. People expect the facts even when the news is not what they want to hear. Communicate often and truthfully — it goes a long way.

• Ask customers what they need. There is no reason to guess. Interview and survey people, and incorporate their feedback into your product development process early on. Leverage voice of the customer (VoC) insights not only in go-to-market phases, but also in post-launch stages because customer expectations continue to change.

 

Agreement 2:  Do Not Take Anything Personally

People often misinterpret stories and believe they have something to do with them when that is not the case. As Miguel explains, when you take something personally, you “take ownership” of that thought. Comments from the communicator are their own perceptions of reality, and we must acknowledge that it’s not because of us. 

There are three things leaders can do to ensure this lesson takes hold: 

• Spend one-to-one time with your staff every week. No excuses. Make the time so that individuals know that they matter and are understood. The more satisfied and engaged employees feel, the greater the chance they will deliver customer excellence, even when their boss is not looking. 

• Facilitate employee communication training. Formal education is good, but I also recommend informal tactics too. Something I am doing with my team that is proving to be incredibly valuable is leading a book club. We first read Simon Sinek’s Start with Why and then The Four Agreements. I encourage you to do the same with your teams and co-workers and hold each other accountable to follow the golden rules.

• Validate your beliefs. Ask people if you understand what they said correctly. You may be surprised how often you miss part of what others are saying. Many disagreements and misunderstandings are avoidable by communicating what one thinks they heard rather than making assumptions.

 

Agreement 3:  Be Impeccable With Your Word

What you say and how you verbalize your thoughts matters. Ruiz explains that “impeccable with your word means you don’t use your words to speak ill of yourself or others.” The basic principle is to never spread bad gossip about others and stop entertaining negative thoughts, as your attitude is contagious.

The author provides an example of a “black magic box.” If you tell an employee that they are not smart enough to be a leader, the individual will often believe it to be true and have long-term deflated confidence.

To improve how we verbalize our thoughts as leaders, here are three steps to take: 

• Use your words to build people up. Express appreciation to your teams and co-workers. Celebrate their successes, and when mistakes happen, use those situations as coaching opportunities. How well your message is received depends on how well you deliver it. The words matter.

• Be intentional with what you say. Perception is a reality. Be mindful of what you say to influence others.

• Know your audience. Some words will be misinterpreted depending on backgrounds, cultures and beliefs. Craft personalized messages — a fundamental practice for sales and marketing leaders.

 

Agreement 4:  Always Do Your Best

I love this statement because we often try to deliver more than 100%. The fact is, there is no such thing. At some point, we experience diminishing returns. As Ruiz states, “Stick to doing your best and your personal improvements and transformations will become an obvious consequence.”

When doing our best, it’s important that leaders take two things into account: 

• Support work-life balance. As company leaders, recognize people who are doing their best, and encourage them to stay motivated but not get burned out.

• Manage more than your time. I find that successful people tend to be organized and great at time management. Likewise, they excel at managing their energy. Know your limits. Run the marathon. Go after your dreams, but know what you can handle. Your best is often good enough, so give yourself a break.

 

I encourage you to read or listen to The Four Agreements and apply these leadership lessons daily. Being impeccable with your words, avoiding assumptions, not taking anything personally and doing your best ultimately contribute to better leadership, especially in CX. You will attract the right people and relationships, which may include profitable customers, too.

Which is your favorite agreement? I would love to hear. 

Read more about leadership, company culture and what happens when employees love their job.