#agilemarketing Vlog – Episode 1 – Customer Experience (CX)

Let’s kick it off, in my first ever published Blog, Vlog, Article I give my view on Customer Experience or CX in short, what elements are important to be successful and why it is related to Marketing in an Agile Way.

You will find an Article, Video, Slide-Deck, Audio and the Transcript of the Video.

Customer Experience (CX)

  • Forbes reports that nearly 86% of the buyers would prefer paying more and purchasing products and services from brands that deliver a truly memorable customer experience. 
  • About 32% of the consumers walk away from brands that they love after having a single bad experience.
  • According to an Econsultancy report, nearly 64% of the companies claimed customer experience to be the best tactic for improving the customer lifetime value. 

Brands offering true value and a memorable customer experience stay one step ahead of their competitors.

The Vlog below explains what customer experience (CX) is all about and what you should know to build a result-oriented CX strategy for your brand.

The same article was also published on my LinkedIn Page:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/customer-experience-cx-michal-myszkowski

My Vlog – Episode 1

Slide deck

Here you can find my slide deck, fast forward to slide 6 to see the slides from the Vlog.

What’s Customer Experience (CX)?

Customer Experience refers to the sum of all the interactions your consumers or audience have with a Business or brand. Right from getting to know about your business to using your products and services to interacting with your customer-care executives, customer experience includes all points of contacts and interactions between the customer/consumer and the products or services, throughout the full-value chain and customer lifecycle.

Delivering an outstanding customer experience is all about listening to your consumers’ voice, getting to know them along the full customer lifecycle and all touchpoint.

Following are aspects of Customer Experience:

  • CX includes all touchpoints as well as encounters (Omnichannel): Omnichannel means streamlining all of your customer interactions across different touchpoints in a unified manner for delivering a consistent brand experience. 
  • CX drives the perception of the audience.
  • CX impacts brand awareness.
  • There’s only one CX across all the channels.
  • CX is measured by data and not opinion.
  • CX has a direct impact on a brand’s overall success and growth.

Brands need to be consistent across all their channels and make sure that customers/consumers praise them for providing added value.

While building a winning Customer Experience strategy for your business, it’s important to educate yourself about what I call the “CX artifacts” which we will be shifting our focus on now.

“Artifacts” of CX

To create a meaningful impact, you’ll have to define, build, execute and revise your brand’s customer experience.

Following are some of the artifacts that need to be focused on:

  • Find the right CX use-cases and CX business cases that fits your business (Focus on the most important).
  • Build shared CX purpose and a community of practice in your company (Especially in large corporations).
  • Build a KPI Framework and regularly review the aligned measures across CX touchpoints.
  • Know your brand’s most important touchpoints and focus to deliver an aligned Customer Experience there.
  • Understand the user journey of your most important Customer Segments or Customer Profiles.
  • Create and deliver relevant content per channel, orchestrated across all channels.
  • Build team capabilities with a clear focus.
  • Interconnected systems with APIs.

Let’s look at each of these artifacts one-by-one.

Finding the Right Use-Cases & Business Cases

To refine or revise your brand’s CX, it’s important to consider finding the right use-cases and business cases. This can be achieved by bold thinking from the customer’s point of view. 

Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes will help you understand what their pain points are, what they are trying to solve and what they really need.

On top of this, it’s also about thinking from the company’s and stakeholders’ perspectives and asking yourself some of the following questions like:

  • What are our strengths and weaknesses?
  • How do we boost the profit margin?
  • How do we generate more revenue?
  • What role do our employees play in all the touchpoints and encounters?

Building Shared Purpose & a Community of Practice

In larger companies with multiple larger marketing teams focused on delivering a memorable customer experience, it’s important to build a shared purpose revolving around the customer’s needs and create a community of practice, which helps everyone customer how to achieve the goals.

Regularly Reviewing Aligned Measures & KPIs

Harnessing the power of data will help you achieve your goals, which is why it’s crucial for brands to regularly review their aligned measures and KPIs. 

From defining your KPIs and measures to tracking them, this will help brands understand whether they have put the right platforms and processes in place that drive employee engagement and happiness, leading to more sales.

Knowing Your Most Important Touchpoints

While building your CX strategy, you’ll have numerous touchpoints defined. To make the maximum impact, knowing the most important ones of them is important.

Focusing on too many touchpoints will refrain you from achieving your goals, which is why brands should filter out the most important touchpoints when building a CX strategy. Even in big Teams its hard to maintain “all” touchpoints with hight quality, so its best to start with the few most important touchpoints and the slowly extend to more and more touchpoints.

Understanding User Journey

Putting yourself in your customers’ shoes will help you understand their pain points and what problems they face on a daily Basis.

Ask yourself: What’s my customer’s day look like and how can I help them solve their problems?

This includes thinking about the problems they face and the problems their customers face, subject to B2B or B2C segment.

Understanding your customer’s journey will help you truly focus your efforts on the most important aspects, rather than focusing on everything all at once.

Creating & Delivering Relevant Content Per Channel

“Marketing is telling the world you’re a rock-star, whereas content marketing is showing the world you are one.”
– Robert Rose

With an ever-increasing number of brands realizing the importance of content marketing, businesses should focus on creating and delivering relevant content across different channels in a well orchestrated way.

Whether it’s your blog section or social media channels, I’d advise you to create custom-tailored content focused on adding value to make the maximum impact. But, while doing so, brands should make sure that their message stays the same across different channels. 

Having different messages across different channels will lead to negative customer experience. Hence, brands should be really consistent creating and delivering content across different platforms.

Building Team Capabilities with Clear Focus

With multiple aspects of the customer experience journey, brands should focus on building team capabilities with a clear focus.

While some may be responsible for running paid campaigns, some will be content creators, Graphic Designers or Developers. But, to deliver the best possible CX, everything should be orchestrated in a close functional way, especially in large companies. 

Interconnected Systems with APIs

Let’s say you are running a paid ads campaign that redirects your audience to your brand’s landing page. On this page, the audience can then download an eBook after filling out and submitting the lead generation form. Once they hit the submit button, your audience will successfully be able to download the eBook. And your customer’s data will be loaded into your CRM. Based on what data the person is willing to share, brands can then start to build a more tailored experience.

Then when you choose to run an email marketing campaign, you’ll then be able to deliver personalized content tailored to these leads.

With interconnected systems through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), you can make your data flow from one platform to another and run results-driven marketing campaigns.

Conclusion

Your customers are the key to your brand’s success. And that’s the reason you should be heavily focused on delivering them the best experience wherever they are, whenever they want and in the format they need it at this moment.

In today’s digital world, CX is an important investment brands must make to drive business results.

Make sure that your customers interaction with your brand throughout the full Customer Lifecycle and all User-journeys are pleasant, smooth and continuously improving. This will help you drive loyalty and boost your business’ overall growth.

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Transcript of the Vlog

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#agilemarketing Vlog – Episode 1 – Customer Experience (CX)

[00:01 – 05:08]

Welcome to the first episode of #agilemarketing. Today is the first episode and I will jump straight into it. I will talk about customer experience, or CX in short. Bear with me as I am still finding my rhythm. I am trying to manage all the slides, and cameras, and lights, and microphones in parallel but I do hope, I will get you some valuable content across today. So, what is customer experience (CX)? All points of contact and interactions between the customer/consumer and the products or services, throughout the full value-chain and customer life cycle. Now, what does that mean? This means that customer experience includes all touch points and encounters; Omni-channel, much rather than multi-channel; meaning that all your experiences of all the channels are orchestrated towards one experience. Same as the Omni channel approach, there is also only one customer experience across all channels. You need to be consistent across all your communication, across all your channels, and you need to be sure that your customers perceive you as providing added value. Customer experience is measured by data and not opinions, and it has direct impact on the company’s success. Good customer experience means, also listening to the voice of the customer, which is also a term used to describe customer experience. So, voice of the customer is also something that you can google and find relevant information around customer experience. Also maybe, reviewing the overall business with your customers might be needed, or maybe even the business model itself. Is it the right way that we sell to our customers? Is it the right way we communicate to our customer? And all this, through all the touch points encounters and all the CX customer experience journey. It is not easy. All needs to be measured by data; all has impact on your company’s success, and you need to take care of all the elements in parallel. On the next slides, I will explain a bit more about what that all means. 

So, what are the artifacts of CX? I use this term from scrum, where there are artifacts of scrum, to explain a bit more in detail what I mean, what CX means from a marketing team or cross-functional team perspective. So, artifacts are the elements that need to be considered when defining, building, executing, and revising the customer experience. They are usually around the three Ps, so like people, processes and platforms. And I will explain you in a second what I mean with that. So, one of these elements is finding the right use case or business case to develop or refine your customer experience. This can be both, thinking from a, let us say, a customer’s point of view of, what are the jobs to be done of a customer? What is she or he trying to solve? Where can we provide value? But also, from the company perspective, like where do we generate revenue? What is our strength? What is our weaknesses? How do our employees are involved in all the customer experience or these Touchpoints or elements of the customer experience? And it will help you to focus on the first and most important Touchpoints and use-cases and business-cases for your customer experience. 

Next is, building a shared purpose and the community of practice. So, especially in larger companies, with larger teams or with multiple marketing teams that somehow work together towards one customer experience for one product, one service, or other elements that is key. So, you need to provide this shared purpose around the customer and then you need to build a community of practice, which kind of understands in detail how to achieve this customer experience. Of course, you need to have a whole data aspect as well. As I mentioned before, you need to be regularly reviewing those measures and KPIs; you need to first define those KPIs, which I have a slide in the resources which should give you some indication how you could start to do that. And this, as I mentioned, from the people perspective; so, are our employees happy so that they can kind of drive happy customers? Do we have the right processes in place? And do we have the right platforms? 

next is, knowing your most important Touchpoints because you will have so many Touchpoints identified, when you start to define your customer journey and your customer experience of all your journeys, that you need to make sure you know your most important Touchpoints. 

[05:09 – 10:10]

There is this term of finding the moment of truth, to finding when is my customer saying ‘Aha!’ that is when I need to buy it; that is when I am clear, I need to buy it. Through all the life cycle of the journey, even after the sale, what are the moments of truth and what are the most important Touchpoints and the most important elements of the customer journey you need to focus on? Because otherwise, you will focus on too many things and get nothing done. You need to also understand your customer journey, which also I have resources to that in the resource slide, so that you know what is a day in life of my customer. And going towards, how can I help in the overall life of my consumers, my customers, or the consumers of my customers if you are in a B2B or B2B2C segment. So, it is it is very important to understand this journey and this day in life of your customer. 

Then you need to also think, maybe also from a channel perspective, what is the right content to entertain this journey, to entertain this experience but to make it orchestrate? Right? Do not have one message in one channel and then another message in the other channel; your customers will identify that; you need to be consistent. Further again, you need to build capabilities and with clear focus, right? you have so many aspects now, of this customer journey, starting with data, with some kind of project management, some kind of leadership and management, some kind of content creation which needs skills; you have video; you have audio. Voice, for example, will become very important; you have text, which also needs to be done. Also, never count out print because print might be a good return on investment. You will have real life events, like sales and then all the sales force. So, all of this you need to have clear capabilities but need to be orchestrated in a cross-functional way. So again, a huge challenge on the company, especially if you work in a rather big company with multiple teams. 

Then coming to the platforms; they need to be interconnected. And, you know, that is a very big buzzword in, to start off you could also say, ‘Look, we have some manual step in between.’ but you need to find those correlations of your website, your social media, or maybe of your video content with the sales call and your zoom calls and so on. And linking that all back to a correlation to CRM data, ERP data, so transactional data versus customer focused, like empathy data. So, all of this needs interconnected systems with APIs, so application programming interfaces is the word for that, but I do fully understand that this is not always possible from day one but you should. That is why, coming back to the most important touch points. You should think of it as a kind of, you know, what are the most important Touchpoints? What is the most important data we want to get out of it? What are the systems involved? And then you can start with some kind of dashboard which has some manual elements in it. So, there is no challenge in that, I know, no issue in that; that is perfectly fine to start. of course, eventually, if you come up with your full customer experience, you know your journeys, you know your Touchpoints, you know your measures, you have a community of practice which solves for a business-case and a business-case, and you have all your interconnected systems, that is a sweet spot to be in. so, as you see, most likely most of the elements will have some, one, two or three of the 3P framework in it, and need to be reflected from a customer point of view. So, when you define your technology strategy, do not think from inside out; do not think from your rules and regulations or your existing legacy system; think of it from the customer perspective, what would the customer expect when he interacts with us? Example, would he want to see all his data in his login so that he knows all his previous orders? And, would he like to see content around? What interests her or him, particularly, rather than some general generic content about the product specific, but rather helping him to generate value? So, these are some of the artifacts, of course not all, and in the next slide, we will get into some examples of how to use it. So, now I was thinking of an example of a customer experience. I was trying to go a bit into the future and we might not all be star wars fans, but yeah, bear with me with this imaginary story of customer experience. 

[10:11 – 15:08]

So, imagine we have R2D2 which is the robot on the right hand side, which is trying to sell a hologram lens to OB van Kenobi, a Jedi in the star wars world. So, how would R2D2 approach that, how would the company of R2D2 approach that in the future having such a futuristic product which is a whole lens where you can kind of have holograms of people that you want to talk to. So, starting with, let us say, the regular funnel approach generating awareness but here a key word is pull, so not trying to broadcast too much but trying to, you know, make sure that the right people are interested in our hologram lenses. So, where do we advertise where the customers are, right? So, let us assume we have still all the same channels in the future and in this star wars world so we would be looking at obi wan Kenobi, that is you know, rather senior citizen so in today’s world that means he would be on Facebook. But, no kidding aside. So, R2D2 would need to start to look at it through a cross-functional team, right, because if he or his role as being a sales robot, if only him would look at it that would not be bringing the best results. So, there would need to be a cross-functional team around it, somebody that can do social media, that can do content, that can do video, that can organize events, that can make sure to provide the right value in advertising and so on. So, the start would be to advertise where the customers are and how do you know where the customers are, because you started or R2D2 started with analyzing the journeys as we had in the previous slide, analyzing the touch points, trying to set the hypothesis of the moment of truth, right? He would not know in the beginning so that is why it is also important to not try to perfectionize everything but let us set an assumption, let us evaluate the data we have, let us create the strategy and then let us go, right? So, the second step would be then in the point number two here, if I go with the mouse. A mass one to one communication on social media for consideration. So, what do we mean mass one to one? It is either one-to-one or mass right but if we have identified your customer segments, your personas or your let us say, the actions people take that are relevant to you on social media, you could start to communicate. So, we know that obi-wan, he is a Jedi so he has a sword and he flies around all the different galaxies to help keep the right things, right, the right side, the bright side, no the right side of the galaxy. So, you have his persona and now you try to provide the right social media strategy but always with the mindset of value, so you would not kind of provide the social media post saying we have the best hologram lens, no. You would much rather say, are you traveling the galaxies, do you have your sword always by your side, do you need to have a hologram, we provide the best holograms and that will always make sure you can communicate to your peers, something like that, right? Always also think from the y perspective so that would be then because you want to make the galaxy a safer place. So, something like that and you know, even I guess, in the future do not count our print or TV, it is all about return on investment. So, if of course a television ad is way too expensive for your company, that might be and social media is the right one but who knows down the future and in the star wars world, maybe print and TV will be the cheapest means available and kind of broadcast to millions and quadrillions of galaxies. So, just keeping that in mind, there is no right or wrong channel. There is a kind of bang for your buck type of approach, where do you get what you need from which channel? So, the next thing would be kind of scaling the one-to-one, selling demonstration, merging digital with kind of robot interactions or face-to-face interactions and here as well, an example, so do you organize events and if you do so, do you know who attended them, do you know who signed up, who attended, who then converted and all this can be done via digital, you can also, for example, you can create some kind of app or that there are certainly apps out there where you send invites, right? 

[15:09 – 20:07]

Okay, normal, everybody sends invites but how about sending invites via SMS or WhatsApp? Certain customer groups are much more attracted to the phone because maybe they do not sit all day in front of a computer so they would really like to have the invites on the phone and then by one click, they would be signed up to your event so you also know to whom did I send an invite and who did actually sign up, right? All quite standard but how about you have this event, you know, who signed up and who comes and then in this event showing this HoloLens, you could also have somebody connecting via zoom or via another HoloLens, I guess here it would be, that would be also meaning you could record this and if you have of course, the consent of all the participants, you could also share that later on social media and so you will create content from different channel, all out of this one-to-one selling demonstration. You could, even in the star wars world, hire some freelancer very quickly that makes a transcript of your call and then you could put that on your blog, on your company website. So, you see here, with the digital world and the face-to-face world, you can interact and as I said, there is one customer experience, right, so your blog your website, your video, your podcast, your real life event and your sales force are all becoming one. So, this is very important and also very important is to build loyalty and advocacy after the sale with top customer service. Of course, that is now fairly buzz worthy but imagine only having all the information for your customer service that when your customer calls, they could serve him faster, right? This would be a good start for many big companies. Or if you could build loyalty by making sure that if somebody shares things online and advocates your brand or your product or your service, there could be some reward for it. And with this, one key thing of all this journey is regular feedback. So, some kind of a feedback loop which goes back to R2D2 or other sales robots or his cross-functional team after all, right? So, this feedback loop is key in the resource slide or in the metric slide, I put in some measures that you could start to implement to get this feedback loop. There is a variety of software you can use to get feedback from your customers and also by the way, from your employees. So, there is a positive correlation from happy employees generating happy customers, not so much the other way around but nevertheless, happy customers are of course always good and another element could be now cross-selling laser swords that R2D2 is also selling, right? And it has an automatic API. Remember the word from the previous slide, application programming interface. So, out of your sword, you could immediately have a hologram with your peers. So, even in very stressful situations, you could have immediate communication with your peers or your superiors so to speak. So, obi-wan could immediately call for support in the galaxy. So, good cx, good customer experience means knowing the customer, making it easy for your customer to get information, to get the product, to get the service throughout the full value chain so once he purchased it to get support, before purchasing having an easy way to pay, during purchasing the defining when it should be delivered. It could be that it needs to be fast and within eight hours or it could be that, you know, this product I do not need so fast, it could be delivered on next Wednesday when anyway all the other products related to it will be delivered. Be there where the customer is so the channels that your customers are, that is where you need to be. You need to identify where digitally and physically your customers are. You need to earn trust and you need to earn trust by personalized content, you need to earn trust by transparency, you need to earn trust by making sure that all in the customer journey has one consistent message. You need to reward your customers. If somebody buys your product, she or he expects some reward. Of course, the product itself but also much further than that, especially for customers that are advocates you need to reward them for their happiness. 

[20:08 – 25:03]

You also need to have empathy with the customer. It is called a bit tactical empathy so that you understand why is a customer behaving in a particular way, why does a customer has certain needs. There is a good concept, it is called jobs to be done. I link some resources in the resource slide, which you can take a look. So, take think from a customer perspective and have empathy with the customer. 

Now, you might think, well this channel is called agile marketing or agile for marketing, how is that related, how is customer experience related to the whole agility point of view? So, good customer experience is never done and cannot be defined for a long period of time. Yes, of course, you need your strategy and you can even have a multi-year vision, right. That is not the point but it needs constant adaptation and an open mindset to engage in customer priorities and preferred channels. So, that means, you know, forget it. You will be never done with optimizing your customer experience with all the customer journeys. They might also change over time. So, this is the reality and this is very much related to agile because as in agile, you need to and you see that on this side here, you need to think of course, you need to have some thinking and then you need to do but then you also need to learn and adapt, right? And you need to do that in iterations. Do not fall into the agile waterfall trap where you think okay, first we are going to take a month and we are going to think it through, we are going to think of all the channels and everything that is best then we are going to kind of three months execute and do our customer experience journey implementation and then we adapt and then we learn and after one year, we might do that again. No, that is not how it is going to work. You need to shorten your iterations because there will be constant changes, there will be constant data that comes into place which will make you change things. So, do not fall into that agile waterfall trap thinking that you can plan that out over a long period of time. Do think of your whys, do think why you do it as in the previous example of having a safer galaxy, do create a multi-year strategy, how to achieve it but then be flexible enough to pivot and to adjust where is needed and where you see from data that it needs to be your strategy, needs to be adjusted. Also, think about it from an experiments and MVP minimum viable product perspective. So, of course quality is important and certain industries require rigorous regulations and rigorous documentation and so on. So, it is not about quality which definitely is needed but do not aim for perfectionism, aim for trying something out in shorter iterations, delivering, let us call it a minimum viable product, learning, adapting and then doing it again. So, also this very related to agile ways of working agile frameworks and so on. Then, limited the team’s work in progress, whip, right? Because if you and we talked about this before, if you do not have your clear priorities you will try to do too much and you will not do it well. So, try to make sure you have clear priorities. Those move into the work in progress, you execute and then you adapt and learn and then you redefine your priorities as well. Do not define priorities for too much in advance. Again, there is the different levels but on task level, you should have the ability to have smaller iterations with a prioritized so-called backlog from agile and think of what is most important first now and then in the next iteration, think of this again, what is important. You need to have cross-functional themes. Again, from the previous example, we saw that if you have silos, you will not have a customer experience. You will have, maybe a perfect customer journey for one channel but you will not have a customer journey which goes across channels. So, cross-functional teams including skills of all the three Ps of people of processes and platforms, so you need to have of course IT, you need to have marketing, you need to have sales, you need to have social media, you need to have advertising, you need to have design skills, you need to have development skills. 

[25:04 – 28:03]

So, all of it, you need to combine in a cross-functional team which is very difficult, especially in bigger companies that do have different teams. You need to have some kind of scaled agile approach and scale team approach to make sure all this works towards one customer experience, one vision and making sure that your top management believes in that and can kind of convey this message. I mentioned the agile trap and here I just want to say that I particularly do not mention here scrum or well, I did but scaled agile as well or lean or design thinking because it is kind of all needed if you want to think about your customer experience, your customer journeys and your channels, but do not do it in sequence and then all this, all the story that I told now is related to change of mindset, centered around the customer because good customer experience means adaptation to data learnings, new business insights and the voice of the customer which loops back to the customer experience and how that all links to agile. So, I hope with that, I gave you some added value.

As mentioned, I have two more slides. One is about possible measures of customer experience which you can google and revise. Of course, there is different frameworks, there is this framework of conversion leads performance delivery engagement. There is the typical sales funnel. There is the McKinney customer decision journey which is more circular. So, you will find with googling your relevant information but with these keywords, you can start your journey into google to get your results faster. Also, there is other measures like net promoter score, customer churn rates and so on, which I also let you google because they are not relevant for all of it. I think if you understand that the customer experience is an all-encapsuling strategy or all encapsulating type of work that you need to figure out then I think you will be fine.

And last but not least, I mentioned I will have all the resources linked here so I let you look at the slides which I will link below here. No, yeah maybe here. Maybe there will be also on top in other platforms but anyway, I will have you this resources linked and yes, I hope you enjoyed the first episode of my journey into providing some content and yeah, up to the next one. Thank you very much and have a great day.