banking customer experience fails

Poor Integration is Bad for Customers and Worse for Brands

Although we all have bad customer experiences, there is still a big debate about “the CX field” and whether it will survive the test of time. There is no doubt in my mind that customer experience is here to stay. The brands that catch on to this truth will be our service providers in the future.

Do you need an example to make your business case in the board room? By all means, use our recent horrible experience with TD Bank Small Businesses Banking.

Continue reading “Poor Integration is Bad for Customers and Worse for Brands”

customer-centric culture

Why You Need Culture Not Call Center Training for Customer-Centric CX

You have some serious work to do before your customers experience your CX vision. First, you need to educate your organization on the core principles of customer experience. If the organization does not understand what customer experience is, you will not get the funding or organizational support you need to build customer-centric experiences.

This realization is particularly painful for those of us who see the inefficiencies that cause bad journeys and want to make the experience better for our customers. At this stage, though, the best advice I can give you is to wait before you move. Measure three times and cut one time.

Educate the C-Suite on CX Fundamentals

First, you need to educate your C-Suite on the concept and discipline of customer experience. Your C-Suite may or may not know what NPS is. They may use NPS already. Or, they may use NPS only for one touch point rather than the whole journey. They may identify NPS as a corporate goal that signals that CX should be a priority for the entire organization. Or not.

You need time to assess your particular scenario and start building awareness to reach the next level of understanding and organizational buy-in. This may take months or a year. However long the expected turnaround is, you need to endure it before you start solving customer problems.

Get Buy-In for Measurement

Why can’t you (or the C-Suite) expect an immediate turnaround? Because of our good old friend measurement. You do not want to do all the work and not get credit for it when it does not directly (or immediately) impact revenues or costs. You need NPS (or another CX measurement) to evaluate your work. It is important to have a CX measure so you can correlate it and tie it to productivity, to savings, or to another benchmark that is part of your current corporate measurement structure.

Go Beyond CX Training

The first part requires heavy lifting: getting your executive team to accept that you will measure NPS across the customer journey within the organization. This includes looking at cross-functionally that risks revealing some inefficiencies in their departments.

Now, you are ready to educate the teams of employees who will deliver the personalized experience you have envisioned.

How do you do that? The easy answer is training. That works for those who want to influence the culture of one division. Or, if all you are doing is running a Call Center.

However, if your organization is more complex, training alone will not help you achieve your CX goals. The entire organization needs to buy into your customer experience vision.

Don’t Limit Your CX Vision to Customer Service Providers

Imagine you want to help your customers complete an interaction with you early so they are not forced to wait later. This could be to check in for a flight or to advance register for an expo.

When you think of CX vision, this is probably not the first example that comes to mind. But remember what we spoke about last year: you may have a CX job already and not know it. So, back to our example. To remind an app user to check in early, you need your digital team to prioritize this feature on the app before other features that are on the list from other departments. To send a tailored email campaign to all your exhibitors, you need the marketing team to schedule your campaign on the right date to meet your CX needs. This could push other company messaging to a later date.

If all you do to initiate customer-centric CX in your organization is hold a customer service training, the digital and marketing teams you need to buy in will be excluded. They will not hear or understand the CX vision you are trying to implement and the value it has for the organization as a whole.

Create Customer-Centric Culture Across Departments

This is why CX professionals need to start educating everyone in the organization. And I mean everyone, from the front desk greeter, to the marketing manager, to the IT staff. To do this you need a lot of time and patience. You also need to inspire the teams and explain why it really matters to do what you want them to do when you want them to do it.

The trouble with building journeys is that you cannot do it only with one touch point. You need more in order to connect those points and build the seamless experience that truly puts the customer at the center. Educating all departments on customer-centric culture helps to do that.

Walk the Talk

So, be the brand ambassador for customer-centric culture and infuse that in every conversation you have with every person in your company. Try to customize your messaging so you do not come across as self-serving, but rather as someone who genuinely cares about the customer (as you do!).

If you need help strategizing how to put the customer at the center of your organization or if you need help getting started with CX, talk to us!

*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone. They do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

 

customer experience consistency

Get Customer Experience Basics Right and You Don’t Need to Invest in Wow Moments

Wow Moments are a Customer Experience hot topic. Customer experience professionals ideate how to build, prioritize, finance, and measure these Wow Moments. Chip and Dan Heath wrote a whole book on the topic: The Power of MomentsNo Wow Moment saves you from negative word of mouth if your brand fails to get the customer experience basics right or to deliver the expected brand experience consistently.

A Bottle of Champagne Cannot Save Your Brand

Last week, I spent four nights at the Marriott in Berlin, Germany. My husband and I represent a loyal customer with high lifetime value. He has the Marriott Elite Status. We are in our late 30s – plenty of time left to travel. Our recent hotel customer experience confirms that, when basic CX work is missing, a bottle of champagne cannot save your brand.

The hotel employees had zero communication with each other. The maintenance person who unsuccessfully tried to fix the AC the first night failed to tell the front desk he recommended a room change. The next day, after the front desk said the move could “only happen later,” hotel employees arrived to take our things to our “new room.”

customer experience fails

When I forgot my flip flops in the original room it took 3 business days, 2 front desk phone calls, 2 in-person front desk conversations, and 2 conversations with room service to get them back. The flip-flops arrived the night before my flight back to New York. Somewhere among these bad customer interactions, we received a bottle of champagne and an apology note from the hotel.

Is Poor Customer Experience the Norm?

The sad part is that customer experiences like this are part of our everyday lives. The Mount Sinai Hospital appointments system is literally non-existent. A patient can schedule one appointment for the morning and another for late afternoon. However, the nurses cannot optimize the visit and make both appointments in the same half-day. When my girlfriend was re-admitted to the hospital a week after her release, her parents had to answer the EXACT SAME questions they answered the first time. The system did not allow the new nurse to see the original answers.

In a nutshell, the hospital lacks internal communication systems for employees to refer to across touch points. As a result, the poor front line employees constantly look like fools to frustrated customers.

What is the ROI on Good Customer Experience?

Since the need is dire and the impact is grave, why don’t brands just fix this? There are several reasons.

First, “fixing” this problem means investing a lot of money in technology. And investments need ROI. What is the ROI of improving service? Will you sell more rooms if the flip-flops get back to me faster? How does a CX professional prove that claim?

Second, organizations (incorrectly) fail to recognize this extensive work as customer-facing. If you go to any organization (the way they are set today) you will see that the communication systems for employees is considered “back office.” Leaders rarely make the connection that empowering the front line is the key to improving CX.

Third, this work is not “sexy.” It just isn’t. It is full of Excel spreadsheets and ancient legacy systems that need to be integrated or rebuilt. And the solution must be real-time to empower employees. That brings complexity and drives the price tag even higher.

Wow the Customer with Consistency

Brands should work on wowing the customer by delivering consistent experiences and getting the basics right. They need to do that before introducing all the great one-off experiences they can deliver to a few guests.

Customers are wowed much more if their digital key can open their room door in Boston AND Berlin. Or if they can rely on digital checkout in both countries. The bottle of champagne only brings value when the customer’s basic needs have been met.

Don’t deliver champagne in lieu of consistent, positive customer experience.

Sign up for our newsletter to continue learning how to increase your skills and transform your organization! When you register now, you will get access to our whitepaper on how to go from CX Novice to CX Expert.

 

 

*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

#CXTHUS Exchange Insights – winners and losers?

Attending conferences is a significant investment of both time and money. Even if you are speaker at the conference, like I was last week, the time away from your non-stop email flow can bring more stress than pleasure to your days. Once we reach a certain level of responsibilities, learning becomes a luxury. The key for all of us is not to let those other demands on our time stop us: there is no professional growth without learning from the successes and failures of our peers. Events like the CX Exchange Travel & Hospitality Conference make us more aware of what is going on in our industry and adjacent industries. They help us to better shift our own organizations ahead of our time.

So what did I learn from my peers at the conference?

A good expansion strategy may or may not work

TripAdvisor, the travel website that “enables travelers to unleash the full potential of every trip” reached 60% of all people who booked their travel online in the second half of 2017. TripAdvisor had a great strategy in mind – allow users to complete purchase without going to the hotel websites. Unfortunately, that strategy did not work. We are talking about this conference takeaway first, because we often overshare successes and do not talk enough about business failures. We can learn even more from our peers’ unsuccessful programs.

Conference speaker, Matthew Mamet, did not delve into exactly what went wrong at TripAdvisor, other than to explain that the hotels did not make it worthwhile to keep on TripAdvisor. You can imagine how long it took to build and launch this e-commerce experience on the travel site. Did somebody put the wrong assumptions in the financial model or did the contract with the hotels lack the proper incentives for commission? Regardless of the reason, sometimes things don’t work as planned. The best thing to do is move on and pivot as fast as possible. That is exactly what TripAdvisor is doing right now. An estimated 1 in 11 worldwide users visited TripAdvisor last July. I would not worry too much about the company. I am sure they will find another way to monetize such a powerful position.

Uber really gets it. All of it.

When Uber achieved 20% growth per month for 43 consecutive months, the company had to start from scratch with all of their processes and procedures. The innovator did not simply scale what it had (something many brands do). Instead, Uber used new technologies to reinvent itself. Uber uses machine learning to flag voice and text messages that over-index on negative sentiment, so they can pay attention to those messages and respond to them faster (read more about how Uber does this). The rideshare company uses the same technology to intercept customer care cases that are forwarded among many agents and do not fit a particular category (the ping-pong effect). Those cases are re-routed to a specialized team to handle. The AI technology also allows Uber to find a needle in a hay stack – the extreme cases in which something really bad happens to the customer. The algorithm looks for specific words early in the customer support message. When those words are there, the complaint is sent to a special care team.

COTA is the Uber in-house platform for digital agent assist that already has saved the company 9.5% – 10% of costs. Uber also does something very few brands do well. The company has a living document, a playbook. When they do something, they actually document it so other sites can replicate it. Not earth shattering in concept, but none of us does it! An important takeaway for Uber (and many of us) is that the saying about self-service – “build it and they will come” – is not working. Much more needs to be done in order to increase adoption of self-service. Many people underestimate the amount of effort and design required AFTER you launch something. Last, but definitely not least, Uber has already realized that the human agent of the future will have a completely new profile. He/she will have new skills, will come from different backgrounds and geographies, and will be paid much more. Uber’s estimate goes as high as 20% – 40% more pay. How do you fund that? With the savings from the digital agents that will be solving basic customer problems.

MGM Rocks

Before you read any further, watch MGM’s Welcome to the #SHOW ad – and pump up the sound. You will not be bored. I promise.

After the 2008 financial crisis, MGM had to find a new identity for the organization. “Welcome to the Show” is a story about the integration of 27 independent brands and the rebuilding of a company culture on the core belief that entertainment is a fundamental human need. To achieve that, MGM incentivized their executive leadership (through bonus and compensation) to travel around the world and become employee trainers on new service level standards. They made the MGM employees heroes and gave them a stage where to run their own shows. The brand is a year into this transformation so it is hard to prove results. One thing is certain though – MGM still strong and employee engagement scores are up. One lesson from MGM – stay longer at the local level when you think you are done, to ensure sustainability and reinforcement of standards. This is probably the hardest part of any hospitality program, especially with 27 resort destinations and 15 brands.

Hertz will not be in business by 2025

This may sound like an extreme prediction, but it is fairly obvious. One of the items covered at the conference was the need “to operationalize their loyalty program in the field.” What does that say to you? To me it says, our loyalty program is not working. The speaker talked about the realization that Hertz is not in the transportation business, but in the customer service industry. The conversation then became more about Hertz’s “concierge” program making “wow” experiences. I hope they have many loyalty members since it seems all efforts are channeled to those customers only.

The most alarming part was the Q&A during which the speaker said that the rideshare industry is NOT a threat to Hertz’s business. This is a classic case of not seeing the red flags as Allen Adamson writes in his great book Shift Ahead. Unless Hertz learns the importance of recognizing and acting fast on new business trends and shifts ahead soon, it will not exist in ten years.

Lessons from the CX Exchange Travel & Hospitality Conference abound. We are all returning to our offices ready to put into action what we have learned from the successes and failures of our CX colleagues.

The recording of my speaking engagement at the CX Exchange Travel & Hospitality Conference will be available for our readers on our Speaking Page in two weeks. Last, but not least, my favorite quote of the conference: “Do not confuse activity with results.”

If you like this article, please share with others so they can benefit. Sign Up for our newsletter to continue learning how to increase your skills and transform your organization! When you register now, you will get free access to our whitepaper on how to go from CX Novice to CX Expert

*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

CX Skills Builder: How to articulate your CX Value and secure your budget

Two weeks ago we urged you to find CX problems and fix them instead of diagnosing and mapping them. That is  Continue reading “CX Skills Builder: How to articulate your CX Value and secure your budget”

TpysRUs bankruptcy why

Do You Know Why The Iconic Brand Toys ‘R’ Us Closed Doors Despite All Our Memories? #RetailBlues

The year is 2016. You are the CEO of Toys ‘R’ Us. Your brand still controls 13.6% of the toy market although the company is highly leveraged, a strategy of your private equity investors. Amazon has its best ever holiday season and digital commerce is becoming the way customers purchase consumer goods more and more. You also have read about the epic miss of Kodak to move to digital photography. Last but not least, you have observed other retailers invest in their websites and build e-commerce customer experiences in an effort to avoid a “Kodak moment.” What do you do?

Nothing new, is the answer, and bankruptcy is the outcome that we are all reading about this week.

Sometimes, the ROI of the CX business case is survival. Literally. If Toys ‘R’ Us had listened to its customers and had build a digital experience on their website, the historic brand of our childhood would have become part of the childhood of our children. It is not easy for a brick and mortar business to reinvent itself into a digital business. It is not impossible. To survive, companies must evolve with their customers or die. The survival of the fittest in full effect on the business landscape, especially in retail.

Every organization has capital funds to invest in big bets (or not). Disruptive technologies today are redefining our way of life and the way that we consume goods and services. Big brands today need to ensure their boards and executive teams are made of bold, visionary leaders who are not afraid to recognize the future when the future is coming their way, and to invest in righting their ship on time. The leaders of Toys ‘R” Us were not aggressive enough until the end. This navigated the brand into oblivion.

Another 2016 scenario for Toys ‘R’ Us could have been to focus its remaining funding into a digital transformation, to build an interactive website and a user friendly app. The stores could have become places for customers to interact with the toys and order them on apps on their own devices, or on iPads in the store.

Toys ‘R’ Us could have built an interactive loyalty program following the growth cycle of the children who received toys from their stores. I have a Toys ‘R’ Us loyalty card and for the last 5 years I have not received a single communication from the brand about its loyalty program. No coupons, benefits or programming of any sort.

I do not know what Toys ‘R’ Us has invested in, in the past 5 years. One thing is evident. The brand did not have an aggressive digital strategy and vision to stay relevant in today’s world. A better management team would have never let this happen…while they were buying their new smart phones with more and more apps and digital products on them every year.

 

 

*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

CX Design – Make the Customer Know Who You Are

Now that we have helped you become experts in the design of space and function and the design of feelings, it is time to turn our attention to aesthetics, and to connect customer experience to brand identity.

T5 is an expression of the JetBlue brand. When customers enter the space, they feel and know that they are flying JetBlue and not another airline. How can you make customers know, without a doubt, that they are experiencing your brand?

Know your brand!

At first pass, the direction to know your brand is self-explanatory, but you would be surprised by how many CX professionals believe that only the marketing department needs to know brand identity.

In today’s digital and mobile world, every member of a company must know the brand. Without a deep understanding of the brand you represent, you are a blind painter. How can you even begin to express brand values and beliefs that you do not know and understand? Know your brand. If you don’t, find a way to learn it! Now.

Convince your CFO that brand equity funding is a long term investment

If many people do not know the brands they work for, even fewer fail to understand the fragile nature of brand equity. If you go to your CFO tomorrow and ask for funding to “infuse the brand” in whatever physical or digital experience you are building, you will be asked for the ROI on this undertaking. You will also be told that it feels like this “brand stuff” is a “nice to have,” not a “must have” feature.

If there is one moment when you can self-destruct the business case of Customer Experience, it is the moment you agree with this statement. The right answer is “Investment in the brand side of customer experience is a must-have feature because without reinvestment in the brand equity, the customer will not connect the experience you have built with the brand you represent.”

Treat your brand with the same empathy you treat your employees and customers

If your brand is strong, it has personality. If it has personality, you can treat your brand as a person – with empathy and care. JetBlue’s persona is smart, fresh and stylish. As the CX designer, I translate this to edgy and innovative, taking a modern view – chic and modern, regardless of time. What does that mean during the design phase? Obsession over every detail.

Details make the customer experience memorable and unique. Nothing is too small for the CX designer to touch. The kiosks in T5 are slim, white and without the “catcher” boarding passes. Brand-driven decisions and compromises made this happen. Crewmembers would have preferred wider kiosks to lay down their cups of coffee. They also would have preferred another color that does not require as much cleaning. Customers would have preferred the metal, functional and protruding catcher for the boarding passes.  The brand persona did not fit with any of those functional needs, so they are not in the lobby today.

Without attention to details, the look and feel of the T5 lobby would not have screamed JetBlue the way it does now. By respecting the brand identity, the design came out sleek. Customers tweeted praise for the design, comparing it to Apple.

Location, location, location

How the customer experience touch points are sequenced can also express brand identity. JetBlue is “nice.” Flying with JetBlue is a “nice experience.” The airline is “human and comfortable.” So when the decision was made to invest in custom-made repack stations with integrated scales, we took brand identity into consideration. The table could have been made more cheaply out of metal. But that would not have made the experience “nice.”

Instead, customers would have felt like they were in a factory, or like they were in surgery. The tables also were conveniently built in close proximity to the new real “Bag Drop” in order to make it more comfortable for customers to move between the two touch points.

Customer experience professionals must be the loudest brand ambassadors and brand managers. CX professionals deliver on the promises brand marketers communicate in their campaigns. Without this link, and without that collaboration, customer experience feels disconnected, at best.

As a customer experience professional, you must own the brand equally to the marketers and serve the brand’s values. If you fail to do that, you are delivering a customer experience that has no soul, and you are missing the opportunity to build a deep, meaningful, memorable connection with the customer – the ultimate goal of every brand.

Image courtesy as featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine

*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

CX design brand goals JetBlue Liliana Petrova CX

CX Design – How Do You Want Customers To Feel?

Last week, we talked about CX Design in terms of space and function. Today, we continue our CX design journey to talk about the design of emotions and feelings. The new look of the JetBlue T5 lobby created customer experience interactions in more open spaces for the benefit of both customers and crewmembers.
The next element of the design, connecting to the feelings of customers, drives that make-or-break goal, ROI. While designing for a customer’s feelings is critically important, it is often overlooked.  Meeting the functional needs of customers is only the base of the experience pyramid. Most brands stop there. They believe that meeting those basic functional customer needs is enough to deliver great customer experience. It is not. In his book Outside In, Harley Manning revisits the three levels of the CX Pyramid: “meet needs,” “easy,” “enjoyable.”
To design great customer experience like we did with the T5 project, we jump right to the top of the pyramid, working on making our customers say “I feel [blank] about this experience.” How you fill in that blank depends on your brand and culture values.

 

How do you want customers to feel?

It is important to think through the emotions you are designing, since those emotions will trigger repeat business. As Maya Angelou said “…people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
That memory of a feeling is both a risk and an opportunity to create a long lasting relationship with your customers. When we were designing the lobbies, the customer experience team wanted our customers to feel efficient, taken care of, empowered and smart enough to do things themselves without help. We knew the goal: create simple, personal and helpful customer experience. All we had to do was think about what that meant in terms of emotion.

Manage Change 

How big is the change you are introducing? Are you adding enough new customer experience elements to compensate for the discomfort of those you are removing?
 

Start with change management. When we removed the podiums from the lobby, we essentially took away our crewmembers’ comfort zone – their anchor, their place to hold personal items. This change was disruptive to their daily lives. It was important that, as we took away tools, we also gave crewmembers new tools to make them feel heard and understood. So we designed a hospitality training, a CX soft training with standards and tips on how to interact with customers and keep the brand promises we made.

With the hospitality training, JetBlue crewmembers had the cultural/brand guidelines of service delivery that perfectly complemented the new space we built. One of the 5 Whys informed us that the only thing a “Bag Drop” position should do is check IDs and scan boarding passes and bag tags. Podiums and computers were replaced with Blackberries to do just that, and the transaction times at Bag Drop dropped in half.  Customers spent 30 seconds dropping their bags and continuing on their (CX) journey. The lines disappeared. The negative comments about long lines in our VOC surveys also disappeared. We had a drop of 65% of any mention of “long queues”.
 

Does your corporate culture support the internal disruption you are creating?

Since we completely disrupted our crewmembers’ work space, we needed to think about the soft side of this innovation. At the time, we were the first airline in North America to remove podiums at Bag Drop. This is where JetBlue’s culture is a true differentiator. The CX design did not stop with the Ccustomer. It included the crewmember.
We treated our employees as customers.
We spent equal time deliberating how to design (and pay for) the new Bag Drop positions to minimize the functional changes in the lives our crewmembers. For example, where would they leave their phones, purses, wallets, when they worked? We built drawers in the blue arcs above the intake bag belts to meet that need. The thinner design better matched the overall open space approach of the lobbies. Despite that, we built them thicker, making the trade-off between brand look and function to manage the customer experience of our crewmembers and their acceptance of change.
The design of exceptional (and memorable) customer experience requires empathy. To connect to your customer, you need to go beyond meeting the customer’s functional needs. Making an experience like this easy for customers is very hard for CX professionals. There is no doubt about that. But ease only connects with the rational side of your customers. To generate more ROI through CX, you need to also create a positive emotion that will trigger the irrational decisions to (hopefully) pay for your product or service at a premium next time.
They will come back to you, even at a higher price, not only because they had a seamless customer experience, but because they want to relive the feeling you gave them. You will be one of the few brands that is not just offering a product or a service.  You are offering amazing customer experience – you are a well oiled machine for feelings.
 
Image courtesy of JetBlue
*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

CX Design Makes Form and Function Beautiful – and Cosmopolitan Magazine Notices

At its core, design is about value creation. In the world of Customer Experience, value-driven design requires CX professionals to use empathy to imagine a future customer experience that is easy, fast, and seamless.
The specific CX design can be building a new lobby, changing an existing customer-facing process that takes too long, or simplifying an internal procedure that prevents employees from solving customers’ problems quickly. Due to its importance, CX design is also one of the six disciplines that the CCXP Exam covers. Every CX professional must feel accountable and responsible for CX design. It is our job to design customer-centric experiences and to prove the ROI of that design.
All of this can feel overwhelming. How can one person solve all of these structural problems in a creative way? Where do you even begin?
 

What do you want the customer to do?

Begin with the process. Look at the current process, envision the future process, and identify the gaps. In the case of the JetBlue lobby, before we even began building T5, we met with industrial engineers to go over the mechanics of the space. Our objective: “We want movement. No queues.” Airports and airlines share that goal. But it is too generic a statement to foster an immediate design solution.
 
Answer the following questions at this first phase of the CX design process: “Why is there no movement today? Why are people waiting on line?” 
Next, use the 5 whys technique to really understand what to address in your design (in the case of the lobby, we looked at what we needed to do to create movement). In order to create the customer-centric design to meet the “create movement” goal, we needed to address a number of existing issues. There were long lines at the “Bag Drop” position. And, often, the Express Bag Drop line was even longer than the Full Service line that offered more services. All of this left customers and crewmembers feeling frustrated.
 
Photo: JetBlue

Design Solves Problems by Meeting Needs

The original plan to address the bad customer experience was to introduce self-tagging kiosks in the lobby. The thought was, if customers could print their own bag tags, the lines would disappear. At first look, this sounded logical. 
But then, we all remembered the great book “The Goal” . The Goal teaches to look for the bottleneck of any operation and to chase it all the way down/out of the system. Instead of building the business case only for kiosks, I kept thinking about the end-to-end journey of the customer. Not surprisingly, when we asked our 5 Whys, we quickly found the root cause that we needed to solve with the future CX design.
Kiosks were not enough. We had to go farther.
We never truly had Bag Drop positions. Functionally, there was nothing different between the Bag Drop position and the Full Service position. Customers would go to the fast lane and clog it with questions or needs that required crewmembers to act as a full service desk, holding the line for up to 15 minutes per customer.
As a CX Designer, we solved that by stripping the full service functionality from the Bag Drop position. We removed the computers to signal to customers that those positions have limited abilities to assist. As it turned out, this was not enough. Customers still expected to get the “Full Service” experience at Bag Drop.  

Use Design to Change Behavior

We responded by removing the physical barrier between the customer and the crewmemeber –  the podiums.  The result was a completely different environment for crewmembers to operate in. We not only disabled them from ever functioning again as full service desks, we also SHOWED the customers that these are different positions. In so doing, we made customers behave differently through design.
Featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine, the new design empowered them to deliver a personal, helpful and simple experience by removing the physical barrier between the crewmembers and the customers. In the end, this created an open environment that ignites conversations.
 
Creative thinking, process mindset and empathy are the key ingredients to building CX journeys that differentiate your business and make your customers come back for more. People do exactly what you design them to do. The good news is, as the customer experience designer, you are in charge. There is no such thing as overthinking design. Keep imagining all the things that can go wrong and then amend your design accordingly. Enjoy the art of CX design!
 
Featured Image Courtesy of Cosmopolitan Magazine
Get more tips on CX Design and CX career questions through our DoingCXRight Mentor Program.
*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

Brand Image ROI

Two weeks ago we discussed the power of employee engagement for your brand and the true meaning and ROI of a working corporate culture. Today we will examine the business case of the engaged customer, the powerful brand image and the brand loyalty it generates – loyalty that drives repeat purchases, higher revenues and more engaged customers.
 
An engaged customer requires the investment of the ongoing conversation. The “conversation” dollars go to social media campaigns, closed-loop systems for customer feedback, and a responsive loyalty customer service, among other customer experience levers.
 
Invest in people as much as product
 
Two weeks ago, I received a complaint from a JetBlue customer. In order to keep the conversation going with this customer, I had to relay the information to the teams that were accountable for his experience and get back to him with a comprehensive and empathetic feedback about his experience. CX professionals call this close loop, but close loop is a policy. My taking the effort to connect with people across the organization and CARING to get answers is employee engagement on my part, and that is generated by our corporate culture.
 
This culture is what maintains customer engagement and, which, as a result will create an ancillary purchase in the future. Often, people and service are more important than the product of an organization.  People and service build an organization’s brand image when customers interact with the brand. Customer experience relies more on human interactions with the brand than on the technology that enables those interactions.
 
Empathy and Innovation
 
Magazine Luiza is another great example of impacting ancillary sales and seeing a 35% ROI as a result of deliberate investment in empathy and innovation.  The Brazilian virtual store offers products on credit to the under-served customers in rural areas. Customers can see pictures of their desired products then go home and wait for the delivery in the next 48 hours.
 
To achieve loyalty and repeat business, Magazine Luiza also functions as community centers that offer free internet, literacy, cooking and basic banking classes. This investment contributed to the build out of a strong emotional connection between the brand and its audience, transforming Magazine Luiza into a powerful lifestyle brand to its customers. Even customers apprehensive of taking credit visit a place where a friendly face walks them through the experience of borrowing money while their child learns how to write for free.
 
The brand image of growth and development that come from the education components Magazine Luiza provides is, in a way, transferred to the “product” of buying on credit.  Once customers are empowered to buy on credit initially, they return to buy more things because each of those purchases makes them feel economically empowered.
 
Engaged customers are the blood of every business
 
Without engaged customers, business cannot grow. They provide the steady cashflow and the free cashflow that allow a business to invest in products and customer acquisition. The ROI of engaged customers lies in the growth of the organization and the incremental revenue that ensues. Depending on the growth stage of a particular organization, that ROI also can mean an organization’s survival.
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