Discover more from DCX - Perspectives and Insights on Digital CX
#74 | DCX - Perspectives and insights on digital customer experience
Part 2 of my Interview with Sam Stern - Accountability & CX; Unleashing a Customer Experience Revolution with CDPs; DCX Poll; Links to Industry news and the DCX Thought Leader Profile of the Week
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Accountability & CX
I’m excited to share part two of my conversation with Sam Stern, host of CX Patterns. In this session, we discuss accountability and its connection to creating great customer experiences, emphasizing the importance of vulnerability and self-reflection. Sam summarized the discussion masterfully here.
Accountability and vulnerability are closely intertwined, and honesty and vulnerability about one's mistakes are necessary for true accountability.
Holding oneself accountable can be challenging, but it is a crucial first step towards demanding accountability from others.
CX teams are responsible for pushing for better customer experiences and holding themselves and their colleagues accountable for prioritizing the customer.
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Unleashing a Customer Experience Revolution with CDPs
We are all seeking innovative tools and strategies to gain a competitive edge. One such tool that has gained significant traction in recent years is the customer data platform (CDP). CDPs are emerging as game-changers, empowering businesses to create unified customer profiles and deliver personalized experiences across all channels.
What is a CDP?
A CDP is a software platform that collects, unifies, and manages customer data from various sources, providing a single, holistic view of each customer. This centralized data repository enables businesses to gain deeper insights into customer behavior, preferences, and needs. Armed with this knowledge, businesses can tailor their marketing campaigns, product recommendations, and customer service interactions to each individual, fostering deeper customer relationships and driving business growth.
Why are CDPs becoming increasingly important?
The growing adoption of CDPs is driven by several factors, including:
The increasing volume and complexity of customer data: With the explosion of digital touchpoints, customers generate vast amounts of data across various channels. CDPs help businesses organize and analyze this data effectively, making it actionable for better decision-making.
The demand for personalized customer experiences: Today's consumers expect personalized interactions tailored to their unique preferences. CDPs enable businesses to segment their customer base and deliver personalized experiences across all channels, from email marketing to in-store interactions.
The need for omnichannel customer engagement: Customers seamlessly interact with brands across multiple channels, from social media to mobile apps. CDPs facilitate omnichannel engagement by unifying customer data across channels, providing a consistent and personalized experience regardless of the touchpoint.
How are businesses using CDPs?
Businesses are using CDPs in a variety of ways to enhance their CX strategies, including:
Creating unified customer profiles: CDPs consolidate data from various sources, including CRM systems, marketing automation platforms, and social media, to create a complete view of each customer. This unified profile enables businesses to understand the customer's journey across all touchpoints.
Segmenting customer data: CDPs allow businesses to segment their customer base based on various criteria, such as demographics, purchase history, and website behavior. This segmentation facilitates targeted marketing campaigns and personalized product recommendations.
Predicting customer behavior: CDPs can analyze customer data to identify patterns and predict future behavior. This predictive modeling helps businesses proactively engage with customers at critical moments, such as when they are likely to abandon their shopping cart or switch to a competitor.
Bringing CDP Benefits to Life
360-Degree Customer View: Picture Sarah, who interacts with your brand through various channels. She once called customer service about a product issue, frequently shops online, and participates in your loyalty program. Without a CDP, her interactions are siloed, leading to fragmented service. With a CDP, you can see Sarah’s entire history with your brand, ensuring that every interaction with her is informed, personalized, and seamless.
Consistent Cross-Channel Experience: Imagine John, who browses products on your mobile app but prefers to buy in-store. Without a unified view, John's in-store experience might not reflect his online activity. A CDP links these interactions, enabling sales staff to offer John personalized in-store experiences based on his online behavior, creating a cohesive shopping journey.
Long-Term Customer Relationship Insights: Consider Emily, who's been a customer for several years. A CDP tracks Emily's evolving preferences and engagement over time. This long-term view helps you understand how her needs have changed, allowing you to adjust your approach and keep your relationship with Emily strong and relevant.
Enhanced Customer Segmentation: Let’s take the example of a group of customers like the Millers, a family that engages with your brand across multiple channels. A CDP helps you recognize such high-value customers and their unique patterns, enabling you to create tailored offers and rewards that resonate with their specific family dynamics and preferences.
Effective Response to Customer Life Events: Imagine a customer, Chloe, who just had a baby. A CDP identifies this life event based on her recent searches and purchases. You can then reach out to Chloe with personalized offers and content related to new parenthood, showing empathy and support during this significant phase in her life.
Proactive Customer Service: Think of Alex, who encounters a payment issue on your website. A CDP alerts your customer service team about this hiccup. They proactively contact Alex, offering to resolve the issue or suggest alternative payment options. This immediate response turns a potential negative experience into a positive interaction, enhancing Alex's trust in your brand.
Unified Marketing Messages: Consider Laura, who recently purchased a new coffee maker from your site. A CDP ensures she doesn’t receive redundant marketing emails promoting the same product. Instead, she gets tips on how to enjoy her new purchase or suggestions for complementary products like gourmet coffee beans or eco-friendly cups, making her post-purchase experience more enjoyable and relevant.
In each of these scenarios, a CDP acts like a knowledgeable friend of your brand, aware of every customer's history, preferences, and needs, ensuring each interaction is thoughtful, personalized, and impactful.
The future of CDPs
CDPs are poised to play an increasingly crucial role in CX management. Integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) into CDPs will further enhance their capabilities, enabling businesses to gain deeper customer insights, predict behavior with greater accuracy, and deliver hyper-personalized experiences in real time.
CDPs are not just about technology; they represent a shift in mindset, emphasizing the importance of customer-centricity and data-driven decision-making. Businesses that embrace CDPs and effectively utilize customer data will be well-positioned to thrive in the competitive and data-driven world of customer experience.
This week, I asked our colleagues in the Customer Experience Professionals Group on Linkedin, where the accountability for great CX lies.
The responses we received offer an incredible panoramic view of the current perspectives in the field of customer experience.
The dominant response, labeled "Every Employee," represents a game-changing paradigm shift. It brings to light the growing belief that the responsibility for customer experience goes beyond just a specific team or frontline staff. Instead, it should be woven into the very fabric of the entire organization. This holistic approach acknowledges that every interaction, decision, and strategy at all levels has an impact on the customer experience.
However, Scott Gilbey sheds light on an important issue called the 'experience gap.' This gap reflects a potential disconnect between leaders' perceptions and actual customer feedback. Gilbey's focus on the frontline perspective is crucial because those individuals directly interacting with customers possess invaluable insights into their needs and preferences.
Karl Sharicz and Chris Ippolito introduce us to another critical dimension - the distinction between accountability and responsibility. They argue that while every employee can contribute to CX, there is a need for specific roles or teams to be accountable for overseeing and ensuring the quality of the customer experience. This distinction is vital for effective CX management and aligns with the RACI model, which clarifies roles and responsibilities within organizations.
While these insights from various experts in the field of CX provide a well-rounded and thought-provoking view, it is clear that creating exceptional customer experiences requires the involvement of every employee, a focus on the frontline perspective, and clear accountability and responsibility structures.
Tools for a better life. Learn More.
Free Download: The Accountability Exercise - "The Accountability Exercise really helped me through a tough time. I think I would’ve been lost without it.” - Bill S.
In the future, artificial intelligence "agents" will be able to understand and help us with tasks, making our lives easier. These agents will be able to learn from our behavior and make recommendations, such as planning trips, organizing our schedules, and even assisting with healthcare and mental health care. This technology will have a big impact on various industries and will be accessible to everyone, regardless of their location or income.
Fit-tech companies are creating tools that help retailers reduce returns and increase online sales by accurately determining customers' measurements and suggesting the right size for them. This not only saves retailers money, but also improves the customers' shopping experience.
Citibank is pushing customers to go paperless, threatening to cut their online access if they refuse. This is part of a program to save costs and invest in digital features. However, many customers are hesitant due to concerns about data security and record-keeping difficulties. Citibank's stock has improved in the short term, but is down for the year.
Airbnb has announced a new feature called "Guest Favorites" that aims to identify and highlight the best listings on the platform. This feature, which will be rolled out gradually, will be identified by a special badge on listings that meet specific criteria, such as consistently high reviews and exceptional customer service from hosts. Airbnb hopes that this will help guests find the best possible experiences on its platform, while also encouraging hosts to step up their game to achieve this prestigious designation.
Walmart is making their stores more sensory-friendly by changing lights and sounds, and offering special hours for people with sensory disabilities. This is part of a larger movement towards sensory-friendly programs in mainstream establishments.
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DCX Thought Leader Profile of the Week
Every week, I am excited to introduce you to another inspiring professional from LinkedIn who has the potential to make a significant difference in your life and career.
This week, meet Martin Gill, VP, Research Director - Customer Experience at Forrester
Get ready to meet Martin Gill, the powerhouse professional hailing from the heart of Nottinghamshire, England, UK. His expertise in digital strategy, enterprise architecture, and e-commerce has made him a formidable force in the tech world.
Currently, at the helm of Forrester, a renowned technology research and advisory firm, Martin serves as the Vice President and Research Director for Digital Strategy and Experience. Before this, he was flexing his strategic prowess as the Vice President and Principal Analyst for E-Business and Channel Strategy.
Previously, he worked his magic as the Head of Enterprise Architecture at Boots UK, one of the leading players in the pharmacy-led health and beauty scene. Here, Martin orchestrated the orchestration teams, driving them towards being more enterprise-focused. The plot thickens with his tenure at Egg, an innovative online bank where he served as the Head of Technical Project Management as well as the Head of Solutions Proposition.
"Empathy…we talk about it, think about it, feel it, maybe even train for it. And yet it is a hard thing to pin down, to make tangible, to get right, to sell internally, to make actionable. In fact, only 62% of senior executives say that they can put themselves in the shoes of their customers." - Martin Gill
Want to keep up with Martin's tech journey and pick up some digital insight along the way? Head over to his LinkedIn and hit that follow button!
Customer experience (CX) leaders are positioned to win big with generative AI (genAI) in 2024. But there’s a caveat: They must identify and augment the right drivers of CX performance. Learn more about CX in 2024 in this episode featuring VP and Research Director Martin Gill and Principal Analyst Judy Weader. https://forr.com/49iAfCO
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