Why?

Jay Baer on his show Jay Today went on a rant last week about ads promoting social media accounts for no apparent reason. And now thanks to Jay, I’m seeing examples of this waste of advertising space everywhere I go. It’s haunting me. I saw three just today. Thanks a lot Jay.

The point Jay was making is that too often brands are just slapping their social media accounts on their ads without giving us any reason to connect with them there. Jay’s assertion is that the brand needs to tell us why? Why should I connect with you there? Spot on.

But it goes further than that. That “why” better be based on what you know about me. Not why you (the brand) think I ought to connect with you. Tell me why the connection will be valuable for me. Not what you want me to realize as value.

After all, isn’t that the difference between social marketing and old school in the first place?

Bonus Features

They are in large part responsible for the continued viability of physical entertainment products; CDs, blu-ray movies and the like. And I love it all. In fact, I often find I end up going back to the bonus features more often than the main content. We’ve seen several musical artists, directors and studios use these extra nuggets to drive cool innovation in the medium. Or, to reenergize fading careers and revitalize aging material.

And while innovation and something new is always great, a lot of these bonus features are just cleverly packaged and presented content that was going to go to waste in post production. How many times have you roared with laughter at deleted scenes or outtakes at the end of a film?

The point is that I bet you have stuff laying around your shop that could be packaged up and given to your customers as a nice little extra. Bonus features, whatever constitutes your main business, don’t have to cost more or require additional development. They’re likely already lying around waiting for garbage day. With a little thought and creativity, you’ve likely already got something really unique that will get your customers talking.

So before you ship your next whatever, look around and see what else you can include in the box. That just might be the thing that keeps your customer coming back.

The Survival Guide to Customer Experience

I wanted to reach out and share a Project I was fortunate to be part of. It is a new eBook from Sprinklr called, “The Survival Guide to Customer Experience.”

CXM-data-point

I am joined by 19 other thought leaders including Jay Baer, Frank Eliason, Annette Franz, Stan Phelps, Richard Shapiro, John Goodman, Steve Curtin, Roy Atkinson and Jeanne Bliss.
Here’s a synopsis of the eBook:
It doesn’t matter what your ads say. In today’s world, the only thing that customers care about is the EXPERIENCE. Customers want a consistent brand experience each time they interact with your brand – and they want this across all channels. But how exactly do you pull this off? Through successful CXM (Customer Experience Management).What’s CXM? CXM is the process of providing unforgettable experiences to your customers at every touchpoint – online, on the phone, on social, and in person.The reasons to invest in CXM are clear:

  • Customers are twice as likely to share a negative experience with a business than a positive one.
  • 86% of customers will pay more for a better customer experience.

Interested in learning how to create a sustainable CXM initiative?

Download your complimentary copy of the ebook here.

quote-barry-daltonMy chapter in the eBook is called, “Bigger Isn’t Always Better in the Customer Business.” I hope you enjoy it.

The Social Customer Service Talent Show

talentMany of the most progressive companies are blazing a path forward with new business models and technology to support a shift from reactive customer service (solve my problem) to proactive customer engagement (insure I don’t have any problems…or at least anticipate and minimize them).

This shift to proactive customer engagement has far-reaching implications across the enterprise. Too many to explore with any meaning in one blog post. So, since I’m sitting here in a contact center, lets dive into what that means here. For one, just when some of us old-schoolers have started to get their arms around the shift in terminology from “call center” to “contact center”, we now need to focus on this transition to the customer engagement center.  Yes.  In this case, a name is not just a name.  It is a vital element in supporting the enterprise shift to proactive engagement.

Proactive, predictive, multi-channel, cross-channel, omin-channel. In this human-capital intensive function within the enterprise, I’m wondering how’s all this impacting your customer service human capital strategy? The skill profile of the omni-channel customer engagement center representative is certainly different from that of the single-channel phone or email agent. So too are the methods by which the customer engagement center will acquire these human capital assets. The days of recruiting, staffing and deciding whether or not to outsource this function based solely on cost are long past. Customer demands of the engagement center are rising at a steady rate.

The complexity of this environment is not the only contributor to the need for broader and deeper communication skills. The ever-increasing public exposure of both service successes and epic service failures leaves no place for poor service to hide.  No longer is it even minimally acceptable for customer service agents to mechanically read from a script, capture some call notes and insure that the 53 elements of the quality form have been adhered to.  Customer service representatives have to be effective communicators.  Be able to think on their feet.  And possess sound judgement in order to do the right thing for the customer AND the company.  Oh, and the organization needs to empower the front line troops to do this.  But that’s another story.

In addition, the customer engagement center, through my lens, is fast become one of the focal points in the organization for not only collecting, but aggregating and analyzing the exponential growth in customer data.  Customer engagement professionals will need the skills to deliver actionable insights to various data consumers across the enterprise.  No longer is it sufficient to produce a static report and blast it out in email.  Not if customer service is to realize the strategic importance of sales, marketing, product development or other more traditional “knowledge capital” functions.

So, where is this new breed of customer engagement professional going  come from?  What does that hiring profile look like in your organization?  How are you going to identify those current customer service reps with the potential to take on this new role?  What are the new training requirements?  Methods? What does this do to how you model the finances of customer service?  It is certainly a different justification process.

Perhaps THIS is how marking and customer service finally get engaged…and tie the knot.