John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog


Lebron delivers World-Class service To Cleveland

 

The Shocking Decision – By now you have heard that LeBron James is headed back to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the place he grew up. Like LeBron, I love Cleveland, it is my home and I am very proud of it. However, to be honest, I never thought Cleveland had a chance to get LeBron back. Why would he return? Why would he choose Cleveland, Ohio, over Miami, Florida? The contract was exactly the same. Miami is thought of as one of the best cities in US, and Cleveland is stereotyped as one of the worst. Miami has the better weather, nightlife, and beaches. Miami has been to the NBA finals the last four consecutive years and has won the championship twice. Cleveland has not won any championship in any major sport since 1964. Seems like an easy decision for any professional athlete, especially one like LeBron who could be considered the best of all time; that is if he wins several more championships. So you can see my total shock when he announced he was coming back to Cleveland.

 

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The Customer eXperience Executive Academy

Wanted: Chief Customer Officer – The fastest growing C-level position popping up in the corporate world is CCO- Chief Customer Officer, also known as the CXO- Chief eXperience Officer (see past eService Who is losing sleep at night over the Customer). With the old paradigm, the Customer service duties were left on the plate of the director of training, HR, or the chief marketing officer. Regardless of your company’s size, someone in your organization has to be in charge of the Customer eXperience and all that goes with it. I am not talking about the head of the Customer service department-that is, call centers. I am talking about someone who oversees the entire company’s Customer service, every department. That someone should not be the president, CEO, or owner, but someone who reports directly to them. Companies have heads of operations, marketing, accounting, sales, and human resources, but our second biggest asset (other than our employees) is our Customer. Their happiness is determined by the Customer eXperience we deliver. Until recently, the vast majority of companies had no one in charge of the Customer or their eXperience. Regardless of your company’s size, you need to have someone who loses sleep at night over the Customer and how every department and all employee-training affects the Customer eXperience.

 

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Customer Experience is the new Marketing

Customer experience is the new marketing - Delivering a great Customer experience means that Customers do the marketing for you. In an article, “Customer Experience: Marketing without Marketing,” Annette Franz Gleneicki shares how having this community of loyal fans can save your brand thousands of dollars in marketing. Your company can focus on making the product, service and experience better and not use as many resources to constantly attract new Customers. Gleneicki quotes Robert Stephens, founder of Geek Squad, “Advertising is the tax you pay for being unremarkable.” I love that quote!

 

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Panera’s CEO reacts to decline in Customer experience
July 1, 2014, 12:49 pm
Filed under: Customer Service

 

Panera CEO fixing poor café experience - Panera Bread’s CEO, Ronald Shaich, told investors, “We’ve directly surveyed our Customers, and the top reason they cite for coming less often is the diminished in-café experience.” Slow lines and inaccurate orders were prominent among Panera Customer complaints.

 

*TDG Disappoints [related article]

 

Panera 2.0 Customer Experience – After listening to its Customers and making the Customer experience a top company priority, Panera Bread has launched Panera 2.0− a series of integrated technologies to enhance the guest experience for all consumers no matter how they choose to use Panera.  “Panera 2.0 is an investment in the Customer enabled by technology and powered by operational excellence,” Shaich said in a release. “We believe it will reduce friction such as wait times, improve order accuracy, and minimize or eliminate crowding−all while creating a platform for an even more personalized experience.” Panera is focusing on personalization. It enables a differentiated food experience−when and where you want it−from customized menus and tailored content to offers through the MyPanera loyalty program.

 

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Human interaction endangered? 2014 Secret Service Summit lineup

Is human interaction an endangered species? Every industry is trying to replace people with technology. This isn’t exclusive to ecommerce, but retail as well.  You now see fewer clerks and more self-serve checkouts. According to Michael Chui, a partner at the McKinsey Global Institute, mentioned in an article by  Ilan Mochari, Why Retailers Won’t Nix the Human Transaction , your retail future is unlikely to include actual point-of-sale (POS) transactions. Someday in the not-too-distant future, Chui says a Customer will be able to walk into the store, grab what she wants and simply leave. Chui says, “You grab a pair of shoes and you just walk out.” Chui also predicts that through a population of sensor technologies placed strategically within stores, retailers will recognize Customers when they walk in the door through smart devices or other means. Stores will have payment cards on file; Customers will be billed when they leave the store with the merchandise, essentially bypassing the checkout.

 

*Related article: Cash is Dying

 

Interactions trump transactions – Regardless of technological advances, people need people for information, education, conversation, and most of all, an emotional connection. The bells and whistles are nice; however, relationships will always be the key differentiator in the Customer experience.

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Do you suffer from MSA, and what is more important than IQ?
June 17, 2014, 12:20 pm
Filed under: Customer Service

The Connected Customer - In an article titled “Brian Solis’ Vision of the Future: Connected Customers,” he discusses how businesses need to acquire the “connected Customer.”  You probably know some connected Customers. They are ones who just had the amazing social event, right after they got back from a wonderful vacation. And how do you know about all of this? Because they tell practically everybody about it – before, during and after the experience, by capturing the moment and putting it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Solis points out that today we are living in a connected lifestyle – one that’s digital and increasingly mobile. The connected Customer has changed people’s behaviors and expectations; the more connected, the more informed and empowered a person becomes. Have you targeted connected Customers?

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Hootsuite gave it away free and ended up with 5 million Customers

Give it away and they will pay later - Recently the founder of HootSuite, Ryan Holmes, wrote an article titled, “How to Get 5 Million Customers with Zero Ad Budget,” and shared that for the first three years, HootSuite spent literally no money on marketing, PR or advertising. Rather they built their business on the freemium model. The majority of users, hundreds of thousands of them, paid absolutely nothing for the service. And, it worked! Especially because free users have no vested stake in you, and no long-term contract. If you don’t deliver, they’ll move elsewhere. To this day, over half of HootSuite’s paying Customers-including some of HootSuite’s biggest enterprise clients, were once non-paying, free users. As Holmes says, “put your energies into developing an irresistible product and loyal user base. Worry about making money later. I can’t imagine doing business any other way.”

 

Freemium - The word “freemium” is a combination of the words “free” and “premium.” It is a business practice in which you give your product or service away at first, grow an extremely large Customer base that eventually can’t live without you, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Google, or in which you give a core product away for free to a large group of users and sell premium products to a smaller fraction of this user base, i.e. Skype, Dropbox, and Evernote.  All were built on freemium. While this seems to be a new technique applicable to internet-based companies, this is the way many businesses started off, including brick and mortar, building a Customer base and brand awareness. The following is the marketing plan we executed 20 years ago when we originally opened John Robert’s Spa and couldn’t afford to spend any money on advertising. The result? Two decades of consecutive positive sales growth. 

 

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