Sunday, November 11, 2012

Designing great customer experiences

Call it delight, caring, innovation or service, some companies set themselves apart by earning the durable preference of their customers. If your view is that "life is too short for standard results" then here is what I've learned from business leaders who know how to earn the involvement and loyalty of great cusotmers.
These loved firms grow faster, maintain stronger margins, and navigate downturns better than those firms with customer relationships based on toleration and transaction. And, it turns out, there are patterns to how companies become loved.

After a year of meeting with breakthrough businesses that have made their names on fantastic customer relationships, my team brought together the very best of these in Portland, Oregon and Boston to talk about how they do business. Here are the themes that will stay with me after these great conversations.


Who owns the customer experience?

Brands like Nordstroms, Gemvara, Life is Good, Zipcar, Warby Parker, Boloco and Mt. Hood Meadows answer this question differently. The titles of our cutomer experience leaders ranged from CEO and CMO, to VP of Customer Experience, and the Chief Customer Officer. One of our speakers ended their marketing department entirely, giving responsiblity to every department to create the plan of how they will market their organization through radical service.

1. Delight isn’t a tagline – it’s the bottom line

2. Delight isn’t an ideal – it’s a pragmatic everyday activity, and its built on failure

3. Get clear about the value of your brand to customers

4. Rethink the role of customers for your company

5. Rethink content: Less story telling – More story living

6. Technology is nothing without humanity

7. The age of miracles is not past


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