Not too long ago I published a blog post entitled, “Let’s Take Back “Customer Experience” from the Marketing Team!” My point was that the term “customer experience” seems to have been hijacked at some point by marketers who use it as a code term for upsell/cross-sell on company websites and online stores. Similarly, I’ve seen “customer experience management,” or CEM, used by vendors selling everything from satisfaction surveys to call recording to multi-channel management. But what is missing is usually the end-to-end view of the customer experience, what elements of the experience drive loyalty, and how to identify those elements so they can be repeated with all similar customers.
To delve into this topic, I was able to schedule time to interview experts on CEM, Bill Moore, the director of CEM training and Dennis Gershowitz, President and Founder of DG Associates, a longtime AFSMI and TSIA partner. Bill is the director of the CRMI, the Customer Relationship Management Institute, where his duties include designing and delivering employee customer relationship training and recognition/reward programs. Bill has a successful background as a service professional with over 30 years of experience working with Honeywell, Data General, Wang Laboratories, EMC, and Kronos Incorporated.
Dennis is a thought leader in service delivery excellence and has led several world-class service delivery organizations, with more than 30 years of service and support experience. As the executive vice president of worldwide support at Alfa Wassermann he led the company to their first globally certified NorthFace ScoreBoard Award for Outstanding Customer Service Excellence. Dennis has a successful background as a service executive with over 30+ years of experience with Coulter Electronics, Alfa Wasermann, Olympus America Endoscopy and Medical Laboratory Automation. Bill and Dennis will be leading a professional development workshop at our upcoming TSW Conference in Las Vegas on Monday, October 18, “Best Practices for Building a Customer Experience Management (CEM) Strategy to Strengthen and Grow Your Customer Base.”
John Ragsdale: Bill, it is a pleasure to speak with you! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me!
Bill Moore and Dennis Gershowitz: Thank you for the opportunity to introduce ourselves and our workshop to your membership.
John: Let’s start with the term CEM: customer experience management. Could you talk about what CEM means to you, and what a CEM strategy entails for a technology support organization?
Dennis: Great starting point, and this comes with various definitions. CEM is a business strategy for acquiring – retaining – upgrading and winning back customers. All technology support organizations must commit to a CEM Playbook Strategy, just as they commit to a marketing – sales – manufacturing strategy. This strategy must be based on the principle that CEM is not a project, but, a lifetime journey whose objective is to continuously exceed the customer expectations to achieve the ultimate goal-LOYALTY. By accepting this principle, an organization begins the metamorphosis to what we espouse as the “CEMDNA playbook Strategy”. That is, all processes must be viewed as to improving the customer’s experiences with your product and your services.
As a certified CEMDNA Playbook Strategy Partner, we teach a proprietary 12 step process to achieving this goal. We measure the success by acquisition – retention – growth – win-back ROI analysis. This strategy must be reviewed at least annually and supported with senior management engagement, funding and employee engagement at all levels. Employee engagement, recognition and reward are mandatory components and must include added compensation for achieving customer satisfaction levels. Establishing KPI’s for at least each customer facing group (sales – marketing – service) is crucial to the success of increasing customer loyalty. We measure customer loyalty by repeat purchasing – upgrades – referrals – extensions and several other key factors. Bob Hayes’ popular and informative book “Beyond the Ultimate Question” confirms the 12 step process within his five (5) major Customer Feedback Program (CFP) components. Hayes also presents a solid argument for the ever increasing NPS skepticism regarding only one (1) question surveys are needed to determine customers loyalty all other type surveys are simply a waste of time and money. Those that choose to become disciples of this NEO-theory and dismiss the decades of well tested and proven survey methodologies that traditionally measure to identify key KPI’s of product issues from service issues, risk high customer churn statistics. This approach is like purchasing a boiler with no gauges to indicate degrees of temperature and pressure-fatally dangerous.
John: In the abstract for your workshop, I’m intrigued when you say, “Discover how measuring loyalty enables the company to focus attention on the “right” customers.” One of the downsides I see to companies jumping on the social media bandwagon is that so much attention is being given to the “loud” customers on Twitter and Facebook. But I suspect these are rarely the most valuable customers. How do you identify the “right” customers for an organization to focus on?
Dennis: Great question often asked by our clients. (more…)