Messages

It has been a while since I completed the HEAO (international marketing). I lost a lot of what I was taught there. But what still stands on my mind are Kotler's 4 P's: Price, Place, Product and Promotion. They have been rammed in and I know them as the marketing mix.

While browsing LinkedIn I was recently drawn to a message that started with the sentence: 'At the right price'! With two exclamation marks. This wasn't just a message, the writer wanted to reinforce it. The picture accompanying the message gave further colouring with the text: 'We are honest about the price'. This company gives the right price and they are honest about the price. Isn't that crazy?!

The Price. A P from the marketing mix. Most companies that distinguish themselves with this P go for a positioning as cheapest. I remember learning on the same HEAO how to calculate price elasticity. What price are consumers willing to pay and how do you optimize your turnover? What is the fair price? A good question. Is that the price you as a consumer are willing to pay? Or is that the price a product or service is worth? A very difficult discussion. When the new iPhone X came out, it had a - in my opinion - ridiculously high price. Until a connoisseur explained to me what this device can do. Surely it was worth it?

The relevant message on LinkedIn came from a kitchen farmer. I remember buying my kitchens well. The hassle with negotiating. That half the price went off in no time. "No, ma'am, we can't go any lower. That I'd run away and get another 30% off. I never got a good feeling about that. Beautiful kitchens, but always that doubt. Did I pay the right price?

What I find honest in the LinkedIn message is that everyone has to get used to 'Equally the right price'. The staff, who were used to giving a lot away, now have room for a real conversation. But also the customer, who actually walked into the kitchen shop 'with the knife between his teeth' to immediately negotiate that too high price, can now put his wishes on the table and start a conversation.

This specific kitchen company is taking a nice course. In my opinion it is distinctive in this industry, with the focus on the P of Price. Not as cheap, but as fair. Anyway, now that I'm looking for a new kitchen. I'm also curious what the fair price of such a kitchen is.

 

This blog was written for CustomerFirst and published on 26 September 2018

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For years I went to a pastry shop every Saturday morning. Not just any confectioner, but the best baker in town. For crispy baguettes, works of art of pastry and the most delicious chocolates. I had to cycle a bit for it and stood in a long queue for my delicacies, but I was happy to do that. Still, I stopped this Saturday ritual. These days I'm scurrying around for bread.

Sometimes I take bread with me when I go shopping in the supermarket, on Saturdays I get my croissants at the market or I pick up freshly baked bread very early in the morning from the bakery four streets away. Why don't I come to this patisserie anymore? Was the bread no longer tasty? Were the pastries spoiled?

None of that. There were always several nice girls as Saturday help and then I hoped that one of them would help me. Sometimes I was unlucky and was helped by the owner of the business. This chagrin corrected me when I didn't pronounce the name of a pastry correctly. Or she just looked me out of line. No matter how cheerfully those cakes beckoned to me, while I was standing in line I calculated how many customers there were in front of me. Based on how quickly everyone was helped, I almost thumbed that I wasn't helped by the big boss. Too crazy for words.

Until I realized I was reluctant to go to this baker. That they made the most delicious bread and pastries in the city and maybe the region, but that I didn't feel like facing her anymore. That I didn't want that uncomfortable feeling anymore. I discussed this once with someone who knows the baker's family very well. He told me he recognized this feeling. Did I want to talk to her about this once? Well, I've considered it, but I'm not really comfortable with it. So I'm just gonna stay away. One less customer for this baker.

I now go for nice people around bread and pastries. People who feel like helping me. The bread hasn't been as crunchy since then. The cakes just a little less crispy. But I go for 'nicest' above 'tastiest'. Service over product quality. Of course I would have preferred the combi, but it's not available for a while.

Now, I guess I'm not the only one making those choices. What do you do in such a case?

 

This blog was written for CustomerFirst and published on 1 August 2018

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There is so much going on when it comes to customer experience. I see brilliant initiatives, professionals, strategies, projects and transformations going on at my clients and I read all your stories on LinkedIn. It makes me smile and as a CX colleague, it makes me proud. We are all on our way to deliver great customer experiences to our clients, or have the urge to do so in a better way. In contact centers, social media teams, HR, employee experience and of course customer experience teams.

Did you know that you can get international recognition for what you are doing? I think you should try and win an International Customer Experience Award!

Why enter the awards? I give you 9 reasons why you have to give it a GO

Your entry:

1. You reflect on what is your success and your strategy behind it

2. You really get to the point and feel your pride on your journey

On the day itself:

3. You get to present your success strategy in front of international CX professionals

4. You battle with peers and learn from their entries

After the awards:

5. You get a huge applause from your peers if you win

6. Get international recognition for all your efforts and CX brilliance

7. As a winner: share the pride within your organization and celebrate success

8. As a winner: use it in your marketing that you excel in your category

9. Get a benchmark feedback report how the judges ranked you (BONUS)

You see, there are so many reasons and maybe you can even add some mor... Even if you don't win, you'll experience a fantastic event and you'll learn a lot from your peers of course!

With all the categories you can win (19 in total), there must be a category for you, your department or your company. First I thought I didn't have to list them, but I have talked about it with many of you and the categories are not known enough for the first edition of the International CX. SO here we go:

All 19 categories in which you can WIN an award

  1. Customer-Centric Culture - That is sustained across the entire organisation with all employees, systems, processes and that puts the customer at the heart of everything that is done
  2. Best Customer Experience Strategy - A customer experience strategy that demonstrated a tangible shift in direction and that lead to positive business results.
  3. Business Change or Transformation - A Significant Customer Experience focus that led to sustainable change or transformation of the organization
  4. Customer Insight & Feedback - An active programme to listen to customers (multi-channel), to create feedback opportunities, & effectively use customer insights to make high impact changes to products, services, processes and the overall customer experience.
  5. Customer Complaints - focuses on how businesses manage consumer complaints
  6. Best Measurement in Customer Experience - That demonstrates the use of key CX metrics to bring a greater customer focus to tracking, analysing and effectively measuring initiatives
  7. Best Multi/Omni-Channel Customer Experience - A customer focus on delivering a consistent and persistent customer experience across all channels when interacting with your company.
  8. Most Effective Customer Experience in Social Media - Demonstrate the effective use of individual or mixed social media channels to build active relationships that fully engage customers - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+.
  9. Contact Centre - A contact centre transformation project demonstrating great customer experience and making it easier for customers to do business with you
  10. Client Relationship Management - Designed and implemented new and effective techniques to enhance the customer experience through better customer relationship management (CRM).
  11. Best Use of Mobile - Using phone, tablet and other mobility devices to deliver an exceptional customer experience
  12. Digital Transformation - The profound transformation of business and organizational activities. A focus on processes, competencies and models to significantly enhance customer and employee experiences that fully use changes and opportunities available in a mix of digital technologies.
  13. Best Digital Strategy - That implemented an effective digital strategy that lead to positive customer engagement and improved business results
  14. Diversity & inclusion - That has diversity and inclusion at the heart of its business, providing outstanding support and opportunities to everyone equally
  15. Employer of the Year - Engaged and highly Motivated Employees, High Staff Retention Rates, Human Resource Initiatives, Personnel Development Initiatives
  16. Employee Empowerment - A Strategy designed to enhance the employee experience, demonstrate corporate wellbeing and linking employee engagement and empowerment to the heart of the business.
  17. Customer Experience Professional - Who has identified & responded to an opportunity resulting in influencing the organization to shift and significantly impact the overall customer experience.
  18. Customer Experience Team - A team that has identified & responded to an opportunity resulting in significant impact on customer experience and the organization.
  19. Customer Experience Leadership - A leader whose influence, communication, passion and focus has significantly impacted the adoption of a more customer focused culture and transformation empowering their organization or community.

I really hope I have motivated you to GO for it. To aim high and imagine yourself the15th of November on internship in Amsterdam, winning an International Customer Experience Award. Click here for more info on the awards and how to enter. Or if you have questions, please leave them as a comment and I will answer them. Hope to meet you in November!

 

** Nienke Bloem is an expert in Customer Experience (CCXP), both as Trusted Advisor, Keynote Speaker and co-founder of the customer experience game. Do you want to read her blogs or learn more about her? Visit her website or subscribe to her monthly CX Greetz. **

** Feel free to comment on this blog and share it in your community! **

That's not a lady's language, is it? No, it's not. Sorry in advance. But sometimes it slips my mind. Does the steam come out of my ears, when I'm looking for the answer on a website. If I get lost in the Frequently Asked Questions again.

FAQ is a widely accepted English term in the world of customer experience. Now I understand that well, because V.G.V. - as in Frequently Asked Questions - sounds a bit weird. It also looks too much like TGV and let's be honest, few customers experience their digital search on websites as that of a high-speed train. More of an old-fashioned mess between tjilitjap on the heath and flapperdieflap by the sea.

So there I went. Travelling in the FAQ. Getting a quick answer to a question I had: how to convert my subscription. I didn't understand the information I was getting. I also had the feeling that this answer wasn't about my question and problem. Of course I searched on, clicked adrift and after a few minutes - yes, I'm sometimes impatient and I'm not the only customer - I decided to call. Maybe this was the shortcut I needed, because I couldn't get out on my own. It felt like a weakness offer. Of course, I would have preferred to have found the answer myself. The company would also have preferred that I didn't call. Not only did they try to hide their phone number (but I'm a master-googler, HA!), but the employee also made this clear on the phone. In no time she found the answer and she didn't understand that I hadn't gotten there myself. It could also have been in the Mine environment, she told me.

If you lose me in your own FAQ, it's not my fault, is it? Too often I see that the flow is set up from an internal perspective. Or that there are words in it that I don't use as a client. Or that I want something that is not allowed online. Like cancelling a subscription. That's only possible during office hours and by phone. That FAQ remains a mystery to me. If I pronounce it in Dutch, we also say EF, EE, KIOE. But then there would have to be dots, right? Which, by the way, few companies do. For me it remains just the FAQ. If you look at it phonetically it looks suspiciously like F#CK. Unfortunately, I can't make anything else out of it.

 

This blog was written for CustomerFirst and published on 30 May 2018

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“Good morning Miss! Are you looking forward to join us on our flight to the Netherlands?” A big smile on his face clearly gives away that he's enjoying his day. His female colleague, right behind him, looks sternly past me and ignores my cheerful “Good morning!” Whilst looking for my seat - 2F - I see a third flight assistant, who is very busy organizing all the luggage. Her expression oozes that we, the passengers, obviously have no clue how to do that.

Before take-off, we get our safety instructions. I see the happy camper, two rows in front of me, smiling away. He carries out his routine energetically whilst making eye contact with several passengers. From safety belt to life jacket, he keeps smiling and just won't be put off by anything today. Behind him, the purser on this flight proceeds with her usual drill. She just about manages to avoid a big sigh when she's finished, but this grumpy lady clearly doesn't seem to enjoy her day at all.

We're taking off and soon it's time for drinks and snacks. You need to pay for food and drinks with this airline and all of a sudden I realize that my wallet is in the overhead locker. Still, I have this craving for a noodle soup (guilty pleasure, I admit!). My happy camper takes my order, and shares with me that it is also one of his favorites. He then asks the grumpy colleague to prepare a “noodle soup for the lovely lady in seat 2F please”. Then I have to tell him that my wallet is in the overhead locker. “No problem at all, Miss”, he says enthusiastically, “that could happen to all of us.” Grumpy colleague utters an audible sigh and turns around to prepare my noodle soup. My backpack appears, and he adds that pink is also his favorite color, and a lot of people around me have joined in the laughter at this stage.

This guy is really enjoying his job, fantastic! I'm sure this must be the second flight of his work day and he may have been up well before the crack of dawn. Just like the grumpy one by the way, who is by now far from pleased. She has forgotten about the noodle soup and when I ask her about it she nearly snaps.

After two months and four flights with different airlines, I still remember that particular flight, with the grumpy purser and the contagious energy of the happy steward. That happy camper who managed to put a smile on everyone's face. Thank you! And I hope I can fly with you again some day soon!

 

This blog was written for CustomerFirst and published on 28 March 2018

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When booking the finally chosen hotel in Maastricht, the pictures on Booking.com immediately gave me a cheerful feeling. That first sentiment of 'Yes, that's where I want to sleep' is a crucial one for me, whether it's an overnight stay for work or private purposes. The pictures alone set the positive tone, and the reviews of other guests (or shall I say guests, but more about that later) were also very enthusiastic. The hotel in question scored an 8.4 and customers praised the breakfast, the clean rooms and the free cup of welcome soup. While reading further in the reviews I also came across the 'Sleeping Cap'. This made me - especially as a customer experience professional - very curious. What are they doing there so cleverly?

During a short exploration on the hotel's own website, I came across this sentence: 'You come and stay with us, not spend the night'. That's where the penny fell for me: that's the distinguishing feature of this accommodation. Not a 13-in-a-dozen hotel, but a hotel with its own identity. They don't have hotel rooms, but guest rooms. With us, hospitality becomes as real as at home or with friends. You get 4 stars and you pay for 3 stars. The fourth star is free, with compliments of the business.' Isn't that cool?! That's what you want as a customer, isn't it? At least, if you're the customer in their target group, which happens to be me. So, I booked this hotel and was looking forward to my stay.

When I arrived in the hotel lobby, which is not called lobby but living room here, I felt right at home. Nice couches and chairs, but again just not too chic. Lots of wood, flowers and friendly receptionists, and of course that cup of welcome soup: mustard soup tonight. At 9 p.m. we were also allowed to take the nightcap, let's call it a 'sip of the house'. It made me happy. I walked around the living room and my eye fell on an aquarium full of goldfish. There was a sign saying 'A fish as a guest in your room? That's possible! For € 3.50 our goldfish will join you.' My smile got bigger and bigger. How very clever of this hotel. They've converted the concept of guest accommodation into a cross-sell opportunity. And also one that makes me feel good.

A moment in my customer journey, not to be forgotten. Thank you dear Blub, it was an unforgettable sleepover. I'll be back soon!

 

This blog was written for CustomerFirst and published on 25 April 2018

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Yes, you are a CX Professional. Or you are curious to learn more about Customer Experience. You want to extend your knowledge. Learn the theory behind elements of CX, want to learn from peers, want to grow as a leader? That is where you have to act. It's important to keep awarding yourself with learning experiences. How to grow and learn? There are several ways and I thought, I give you my ideas.

1. Read Blogs

There are many blogs out there but I want to share 2 of the ones I read.

  1. Ian Goldings blogs. They are sharp, they are witty and they make you think.
  2. Temkin Group blogs and CX Insights. These blogs share research and often the thoughts of Bruce Temkin. He is a visionary CX Leader who speaks the CX truth.

2. Read CX Books

We can talk hours about CX books and there are so many out there. What are the books that I read and I recommend? Two that are basics and you probably know, but nevertheless.

  1. Outside In. For me this is the bible of CX. The 6 pillars of a sound CX framework, great stories from Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine from Forrester, one of the leaders in CX research.
  2. Delivering Happiness. A fun read, the story of Tony Hsieh how he started Zappos. Being an entrepreneur and proving their brand promise was the differentiator.

3. Visit CX events

Yes, try to visit some marvelous CX events, at least one a year, either by vendors or by CX peer groups. You get to hear best practices, meet peers and enjoy a couple of days with likeminded spirits.

  1. CXPA Insights Exchange. The Flagship event for the CXPA this year the 8th and 9th of May in New Orleans. Top of the bill CX, insights, networking and fun. Also keep an eye out for our local Dutch chapter, we are hosting fab events too.
  2. CX Forum by Forrester. This is a high end CX Event, where you get to meet the CX Leaders. The C suite and brilliant speakers and content.
  3. Multichannel event. For my Dutch readers, the yearly event hosted by BMC Media, the 18th and 19th of April 2018. A 2-day event with everything there, about customers and customer experience.

4. CX Education

How to grow as a leader? How to put CX into practice? Different kind of schooling and CX training is out there. I have picked two, face to face learning, since I believe that peer learning is an important element to grow as a CX Leader.

  1. Masterclass Customer Experience and Omnichannel Management, at Nyenrode business university. A 4-day program in Dutch, starts again in October.
  2. Masterclass Customer Experience. Our own CX Masterclass. A 2-day full focus Masterclass, tailored around the 6 pillars of the CX framework. Where we combine theory and practice and prepare you for the CCXP exam. Next Masterclass 7 & 8th of June.

Just some ideas to keep on learning. To stay inspired. To enjoy new learning experiences. Do you have other suggestions? Please let me know so we'll all keep on learning. Including me! Thank YOU.

More and more, I come to the conclusion that this is the missing link in many businesses and a must have when it comes to customer experience. The need for clear promises to customers. To see if this is an issue in your company, please try to answer these questions:

  • How does your company or brand stand out in comparison with your competitors? What is really distinguishing your company when it comes to the offering to your customers?
  • What do you promise your customers when they do business with you? What can they really expect from the product?
  • What kind of service promises do you make to customers? What do you want your customers to experience in which channels?

To deliver great customer experiences, you have to begin with the end in mind

What do you want your customers to experience? Were you able to answer at least 2 of the questions above? No? Now it is time to pay attention. I like to use airlines and cruises as examples. Let's start with airlines.

Two complete opposites when it comes to flying. RyanAir and Emirates. When diving deeper into Ryanair, they have the brand promise "Low fares, made simple". Everything they do is translated from this branding principle. The blue and yellow returns everywhere, on their website, banners, even in their planes. As a customer, you know what to expect. The low cost airline in Europe.

When looking at Emirates, they have the brand promise "Comfort and attention to detail you can rely on whenever you travel." A whole different ball game from a branding perspective and you know what you can expect. Attention to detail, from the greeting in the plane, to the chauffeur service when you fly business class. They focus on a different customer, a different segment as does Ryanair.

Let's also look at the cruise examples

I have picked three.Carnival is the cruise company I traveled with in 2016. They promise you "Fun for all and all for fun". Knowing this,it makes it much easier to translate it into actions. Into moments in the customer journey where fun can be delivered. Also where there are possibilities for up and cross sell.

In the cruise business, there are more and another distinguishing brands. One of them is Disney Cruises. As soon as I write it down, you will know. This is all about Mickey and Minnie. As I have been browsing the web, it is still not crystal clear what their brand promise is, but it all comes down to "Creating happiness through magical experiences" Focusing on families, on entertaining people who love the character experience.

Taking it down a different road is the Monsters of Rock cruise. Yes, a cruise that travels only once a year, fully booked with hard rock fans. No family vacation, but a real niche in the cruising industry. Customers that love hard rock and heavy partying are taking this cruise. So a clear branding, which also easily translates into entertainment, food and beverages. Take a look at their website and browse the FAQ. Their brand identity, has been translated in the way the questions are asked. As would their customers. I love question #9. Not "What kind of food is on board?". No, it is all aligned with their Hard Rock image "Am I going to starve on board?".

The key in all these examples, is that it's about choosing. Who are we to our customers?

Brand promise, customer promises; what is the difference?

Some companies have a brand promise, like Carnival Cruises. Another example I like is KLM. They don't have a brand promise, but they have customer promises. When looking on their website, you'll find WHY to fly with KLM. They promise: 1. Direct flights around the globe, 2. Favorable flight schedules, 3. No charge, 4. Weather in your way? We got your back, 5. 24 hours to cancel, 6. Fly more, benefit more.

See the photo for a clip of the website. Where I especially like the promise "Typo? No charge". It's a very specific promise, where they explain: "Booked flights on klm.com and discovered a spelling mistake in the name on your ticket? We don't charge you for being human. Just contact us via social media to correct your name. Please make sure to have it corrected at least 24 hours before check-in of your first flight starts."

What I like about this customer promise, is that it addresses a fear that customers have. It reassures customers and takes care of them.

Now it comes back to you. What kind of promises do you make to your customers, or do you want to make to your customers? A promise on the highest level: a brand promise? Or rather customer promises that focus on elements in the customer journey?

What are crucial elements when it comes to choosing brand and/or customer promises?

There's no easy answer here. But let's try. When reading the blog of Bruce Jones (Disney Institute), I am attracted to the four elements he claims a brand promise must have from a customers perspective. The four things customers are looking for in a brand promise to be:

  • Important - Customers have expectations regarding the fair exchange of value. In exchange for their money and time, they rightfully expect something meaningful in return. The brand promise must convey what matters most to your customers.
  • Credible - Customers must believe that what you're promising is possible and deliverable. It has never been good policy to "over-promise" and "under-deliver."
  • Exclusive - No organization can be successful at trying to be everything for everybody. Find your niche, and carve out a unique space to "own" in the mind of your customer.
  • Differentiating - The brand promise must truly set you apart from your competitors and be based on legitimate differentiators.

I am curious. Do you dare to set yourself and your business apart from other businesses and stand out with an Important, Credible, Exclusive and Differentiating brand promise? Please let me know where you struggle in your company to stand out with your brand promise and maybe I can help you out. Let's help each other in creating these Great Customer Experiences.

Recently, I have been contacted twice by unknown callers. I know that these are often sales calls. Looking at my phone history, usually this is a newspaper or a creditcard provider. Once again, my phone rings and when I see “withheld” in my display, I hesitate. Maybe something has happened to my parents, my daughter - hospital, scenarios are unfolding in my head. So, I answer my phone.

“Hi, Nienke Bloem speaking.”

“A very good morning! This is Carola from your creditcard provider. Am I speaking to Mister Bloem?”

“No”, I respond, a little surprised. Does she not recognize my voice as that of a woman?

“Apologies, perhaps it is yourself I need to talk to”, she continues.

“Yes, I am the owner of the creditcard. Now I have you on the phone: throughout the years that I've been a customer with you, I have always been registered as “Mr. Bloem”. Could you please amend this for me?”

“Sorry, I'm Sales. You'll need to speak to my colleagues from Customer Service.”

The conversation is going in the wrong direction, so I ask her to put me through to Customer Service. “To be honest, this has annoyed me, even more so because you address me with “Dear Mr. Bloem” in your newsletters.”

“I'm sorry, I can't put you through. You will need to ring them yourselves to get that amended. But as I have you on the phone, in which way do you have your travel insurance set up?”

I sigh and say: “That's all very well organized. Could you please give me the phone number of your colleagues? I'll call them myself.”

“No, I'm sorry, I don't have their number, but you can find it on our website.”

“Okay, I'll let you go and will have a look on your website.”

“Have a nice day, Miss Bloem!” and the call is ended.

I take a very deep breath. Unfortunately I had called her colleagues twice already and even sent a tweet about this issue. I remain “Mr. Bloem” for this company.

What annoys me the most during this conversation, is the phrase “Sorry, I'm Sales.” Why is it that the silo in which some people find themselves gives them an excuse for not helping me as a customer? Of course, you can sell something to me over the phone. But please make sure to give your employees the opportunity to solve other issues as well. Do you hear the phrase “Sorry, that's looked after by a different department” in your organization? You know now what to do: avoid these type of (unnecessary!) irritations among your customers. If not, I may have to devote another blog to this topic!

 

This blog was written for CustomerFirst and published on 28 February 2018

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"All for fun and fun for all." Does this appeal to you or would you rather go on a heavy metal cruise? Would you like to go on holidays with a cruise company who is really clear on what to expect? Let me take you on a cruise and learn about Customer Experience in the meantime.

The slogan "All for fun and fun for all" appealed to me and my 17-year-old daughter when we wanted to take our first cruise ever in 2016. We had some ideas that cruising was for older people, senior fellow humans, to be honest. But when I dived deeper into the world of cruises, I found out there is much more to it. From Disney cruises to heavy metal cruises, from classy to fun and party cruises. That's what we wanted, a fun cruise, on a boat in the sun where at least we could pay a visit to the Bahamas.

The booking of the cruise, the information I received, the boarding (which was the moment I dreaded the most in the customer journey), the cabin, the logistics on the cruise ship, the trips on the islands, the employees... This cruise was a best practice when it comes to customer experience. Not only as a guest, I enjoyed it to the max. But also as a customer experience professional I couldn't stop smiling. Cruising the Caribbean and experiencing a brilliant CX journey. It couldn't be better.

So, let's cruise this CX best practice. What was so brilliant? When I look at a simple (but very effective) strategy, the transformational CX model comes to mind. Companies that want to become customer centric, work on the 3 strategies of the model with determination and fun, will make customers happier, earn their loyalty, their spending and end up with raving fans.

The three strategies of the transformational CX model

  1. Brand Delivery in the Customer Journey
  2. Voice of the Customer
  3. Employee Ambassadorship

Let's take a look at Carnival Cruises and their promise "All for fun and fun for all". For me this is the start of all good customer experiences. No, let me correct myself, for great customer experiences. As a company or as a brand, you probably have a purpose, a mission, even a vision. But what do you want your customers to experience? Elements that are crucial here, are customer promises, or maybe even a brand promise like the one from Carnival Cruises. Because when you know what you want your customers to experience, you can start reverse engineering.

Begin with the end in mind

This is what I mean: begin with the end in mind. What do you want your customers to say, to feel, to tell their friends and family when they did business with you? If you know these words, these feelings; you know what's needed in the customer journey to deliver these experiences daily. Where can you make a difference, what are moments for up and cross sell, what are great moments to listen, what's needed from the employees?

So, begin with the end in mind when it comes to customer experience. At Carnival Cruises they go for Fun. They offered fun from their booking emails to their cabin experience in the towel folding. They had upsell packages at the moment of boarding "Faster to the fun". I could board earlier than other guests, if I paid some extra dollars. What a smart way to use the brand promise, make me happy as a customer (because who likes waiting?) and increase revenue at the same time.

Now it's me who's curious. What are companies that are spot on when it comes to customer experience? That begin with the end in mind and shine in daily delivery? Share your best practices in companies with outstanding customer promises, so we can all learn and dive deeper into the magic behind these great customer experiences.

 

** Nienke Bloem is an expert in Customer Experience (CCXP), both as Trusted Advisor, Keynote Speaker and co-founder of the customer experience game. Do you want to receive regular updates? Subscribe to her monthly CX Greetz and don't miss anything! **

** Feel free to comment on this blog and share it in your community! **