Category Archives: #CX

Book Review – “Customer Understanding” by Annette Franz

Annette Franz is founder and CEO of CX Journey Inc. She’s a respected voice in Customer Experience and Coaching, and has just published her new book “Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the ‘Customer’ in Customer Experience”.

The book is written to enable organizations and leaders within them to understand their customers and not pay lip-service. In addressing the either/or customer service versus product development (or any other initiatives we put first in our organization), she sets the framework from the very start to have leaders think about the customer in all aspects, and centrally, of their work. Products and services, in Annette’s words, are being commoditized, but customer experience should not.

Are you ready to put the “customer” in customer experience? In this new book, learn the three ways to do that – including instructions on how to properly execute the journey mapping process! #custexp #cx #customercentricity #journeymapping #voc #personas

Annette break each chapter down very succinctly, which is great to digest in smaller pieces in today’s pace or work. But the most important thing she does in her work is giving great applications and resources to make the change real. Many books give theory with little application, and yet Franz packs a great amount of workable solutions into this book to help leaders assess, plan and implement the next steps on their customers journey.

Customer-centric businesses don’t happen by accident. In this new book, learn how to put the “customer” in customer experience – and at the heart of everything your business does! #customercentricity #custexp #cx #culture #leadership #customerunderstanding

Annette’s writing is very conversational and easy to relate to. She speaks plainly but effectively, and you can easily see how she relates to common obstacles in organizations and guides you through them in her coaching style of writing.

#Customerunderstanding is the cornerstone of #customercentricity. In this new book, learn why and how to put the “customer” in customer experience – and at the heart of everything your business does! #custexp #cx #journeymapping #voc #personas

A great book and practical to provide your customers with what they need to experience the journey of what your company brings to the table. I highly recommend it.

If interested, here’s the link below to get your copy:

#ThursdayThought – How Receptionists Kill Your Brand

If you have a receptionist at your organization, you should give them a call just like you were a customer.

As you interact with them, ask yourself how they represent your company and brand.

A while back, I called an acquaintance at their work to check in on them. They were having some private issues not disclosed to the public, and I wanted to see how they were doing.

The woman who answered the phone was very abrupt and gruff in her tone:

“Hi, who is this?” I informed her who I was.

“What company are you from?!” As it was a personal call, I told her I wasn’t representing anyone.

“Who are you looking for?!” I told her in a calming manner.

“What is this regarding?!” I let her know it was a private matter.

“I need to know what this is regarding.” I repeated myself and in an even calmer tone.

“Sir, I need you to tell me what this is regarding!” I informed her it was a private matter and the individual I was calling would know why.

She then promptly said “Well I need to know why you’re calling, but will try to give him the message,” and promptly hung up.

Whether this person sees herself as the gatekeeper to those in the office, the way she reflected the company would have had me go elsewhere for my needs if I was a potential customer.

If your receptionist, whoever he or she is, does not exude a pleasantness that personifies their brand, they should be retrained, or most likely let go.

And that goes for your automated phone tree as well. Many times companies that claim to have superior customer service fail in this regard when the phone options don’t create a positive customer experience.

Brands can be hurt when the wrong people touch the most customers.

(image: pixabay)

When Customer Success Isn’t


Customer Success.

Any organization that dedicates a team towards customer success (CS) sounds like they have a competitive edge in the marketplace.

But when “customer success” results in pain points for the customer, it may be time to review what it means to have a said “success” program.

Here are some of the common errors that many companies commit in their pursuit of having a team for customer success.

  • Customers are not the real focus. If your department is geared simply towards hitting KPIs, CRM management or other processes or metrics, then the customer has been relegated to a lower priority. The focus of success then becomes that of the team instead. Making the customer at all times to focal point will make the team successful every time.
  • Those outside the team don’t support success. The person in other department who is told about a customer issue then says it’s not my job and moved onto their focus. The salesperson who got their sale and met their metric then did nothing above and beyond when customer success faltered. If the entire organization is not dedicated to CS, then the entire organizational culture will struggle to support customers in the future.
  • The customer gets held up in bureaucracy. Most of this stems from the silos from non-CS team members. But if your processes and systems bog down quick success or resolutions and leave the customer with a negative experience, you will need to refine them to ensure all touchpoints in the relationship are smooth and beneficial.
  • They only address symptoms, not causes of the issues. “Customer has an issue? Click this. Submit that. Done. Next.” You may be great at on-boarding, yet poor at continued support. If your team and systems only resolve surface issues without delving into the root causes to prevent further instances, then true success cannot be achieved. Review every issue and track trends to ensure underlying causes are identified and rectified to create a smoother experience for the customer.
  • There is no building relationship or customer experience. Due to our digital workplaces, many of these folks are regional, remote and detached from the customer. No one attempts to bridge the gap by adding any value. CS teams need to develop a culture of making each and every customer feel connected. When customers feel valued they’re be less likely to churn, and more committed to working with you towards their success as well.
  • Not qualifying customers to determine fit. I have a saying “We want every customer, but we don’t need every customer”. Not every client that’s brought on is the right fit. Customers may not be successful due to their own internal issues and this puts a strain on your resources and ability to guide them. By better qualifying what type of customer is best suited to be successful in using your services, you can ensure more resources to ensure your other customers succeed.

Customer success, such as displayed by industry leaders like Zappos, is a holistic, cultural approach. It cannot be done in a silo. It requires all or your people to have a complete commitment towards that vision and bringing this value proposition to life.

Make your customers succeed at all costs.

(image: pixabay)

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