What is Customer Experience Transformation?
To meet the needs of the empowered 21st Century consumer, most companies, especially larger enterprises, need to embark on a customer experience transformation.
Imagine a car manufacturer that does not allow any vehicle customization, or a retail bank with no app-based self-service. Customer experience transformation is an expensive, years-long journey. But for companies who want to serve the customers of the future, it is imperative.
While this sounds like a daunting task (and a risky business case), you cannot afford to avoid it. Especially if you are a large firm, the time is now to figure out the how-to of customer experience transformation.
Introduce Your Board to Customer Experience Transformation
Start with the Board. Because difficult choices accompany transformation, you need their buy-in and support. In many cases, transformation forces your organization to stop doing things that have worked in the past. This is the most difficult step of a successful customer experience transformation. It is also the most important.
Remember Kodak? The now hardware and software company invented digital photography. However, it failed to make the difficult decision to transform, invest, and innovate. As a result, their name disappeared from the landscape of the new age film and photography industry.
So, when you get anxious about change management, and start focusing too much on short-term financial results, think about Kodak. Customer experience transformation requires engaged board oversight. If executed correctly, it will change your business model. It should! That means you redefined yourself successfully and you found innovative ways to meet changing customer needs and expectations.
Executive Owner Engagement
Customer experience transformation is exactly that – transformation. With transformation comes responsibility. And the need for a deep understanding of two essential elements: the current state of your experience, and the desired future state of your business.
A well-executed transformation retains elements of your core brand that made you successful up to the point of transformation. Then, you are able to bring those core elements into the new version of your organization, enriching your overall experience and brand ethos.
Of course, one of the more challenging pieces of the puzzle is identifying those evergreen, competitive elements of your strategy and brand identity in order to safeguard them and carry your brand into the future. Knowing you need this is not the same as being able to execute it. To do so, you need an executive level strategic thinker with cross-industry experience to own your customer experience transformation.
Think Customer, Think Transformation
So, when is the right time for customer experience transformation? We present this question with the understanding that investment in transformation is a significant financial risk, and a real disruption. The time for customer experience transformation is when the trends of how we live reveal a new environment (a new reality) that is entirely separate from your brand experience.
Often, the time for transformation is even more obvious. Remember Kodak? When a new set of customer expectations emerge that you can provide, but you have not designed your business to do so, it is time to transform your experience.
Let’s imagine you are a money manager, and your client base is age forty and younger. If you lack a digital, intuitive self-service experience that enables investors to see and manage their portfolios, start your customer experience transformation.
Ten years ago, we built trust with phone calls and drinks in the clubhouses. People had personal relationships with their investors. The business of moving money was done in person. It may be hard for an old, established bank to face the shift towards the self-service digitally enabled movement of money. But the truth is, today, we build trust with seamless, intuitive digital experience, as well as in person interactions.
We are not suggesting you stop building personal relationships. Rather, we are saying do not miss the boat on digital experience. Digital experience can build trust because it gives your customers flexibility and independence in any situation. They can rely on you anywhere in the world to help with transactions and problems. So, no need to worry about digital experience being impersonal. Digital is personal. It empowers you to be there for your clients wherever they are.
If you are an airline in the post-COVID world and, historically you have catered to the business traveler, it is time to start your customer experience transformation. A business traveler travels with fewer bags, works on the plane, and knows their flight attendant by name.
The post-COVID leisure traveler has more bags, more anxiety (that you can address with entertainment in flight), and asks mores questions in order to feel reassured that travel is safe.
If, historically, your experience prioritized business traveler needs, now is the time time to look at your experience through the lens of a leisure traveler. Give yourself honest feedback on how well you are meeting those needs.
The New You
Remember, the New You retains the essence of your brand and the evergreen competitive features of your business.
It also has new processes, technology, and product mix. And it brings in new people. Unfortunately customer experience transformation brings organizational restructuring and culture revitalization. In other words, you will likely lose 20% of your staff. I know it is hard to read (and even harder to execute), but keep in mind that with new ways of thinking, you will contradict the old way of thinking.
There will be people who will resist the change. There will be people who will not be willing to reskill, there will be people that will resent your new culture and will not let the change you need happen. Especially if they are in leadership roles. Make the right leadership calls for your business, no matter how hard they are because a customer transformation for the thousands of employees is more important than the 15-20 uncomfortable conversations you will need to have with the leaders that are not coming on board.
Customer Experience Transformation is not always necessary. However when it is, there is no substitute for it. So, embrace transformation, structure it well at the top, fund it well, and let it take care of you for the long haul. And remember, consulting firms like ours exist so that you are not alone on this exciting journey of success and growth.
What is Human-Centered Design and how to Leverage it in 2021?
At its core, design is about value creation. In the world of Customer Experience, value-driven design requires CX professionals to use empathy to imagine a future customer experience that is…
Culture Is King – The Power of Employee Centric Culture
In 2017 we introduced our ROI series recognizing the challenges all customer experience professionals have to obtain funding for CX initiatives and to prove their positive returns. Our second ROI…
Customer Experience, Self Service, and the Gift of Time
Time is the most precious gift in life. If you think about it, time is the one thing we all want more of. As we get older and busier, time gets even more valuable to us.
Create Your Tribe: How Great CX Makes a Lifestyle Brand
Newcomers to the market realize that their business is only as strong as the growth of their customer base. With that in mind, senior leaders work hard to shorten the distance between them and the customer.
Travel Experience Stories: How Not to Leave Customers Stranded
Meet Diane, and get to know her travel experience story. Diane is traveling with her 2 year old and 5 year old to her in-laws’ house for Thanksgiving. This is…
Do You Know Why The Iconic Brand Toys ‘R’ Us Closed Doors Despite All Our Memories? #RetailBlues
The year is 2016. You are the CEO of Toys ‘R’ Us. Your brand still controls 13.6% of the toy market although the company is highly leveraged, a strategy of…
Poor Integration is Bad for Customer Journey and Worse for Brands
Although we all have bad customer experiences, there is still a big debate about “the CX field” and whether it will survive the test of time. There is no doubt…
Aviation Industry, Coronavirus Isn’t the Only Thing Killing Us
Eighteen years ago, September 11th caused a three-day halt of the US commercial airlines and resulted in a 31.6% reduction in travel in September 2001 compared to the previous year….
Lessons Learned at the Forrester Conference: “Data is the New Sexy”
Once a year I look for an event to attend where I can learn something new and get better at what I do. This year, I attended an event hosted…
Customer Experience Survey: Why Customers Are Not Responding
When you solicit customer feedback sometimes matters more than how you ask the questions. In the case of a survey about new biometrics boarding initiatives my team and I created for JetBlue, we had a list of feedback that was most important for us.
3 Ways to Create a Better Employee Experience Strategy
Guest Post by Gabe Smith, CCXP for The Petrova Experience The relationship between employee experience strategy and customer experience has long been discussed. Without engaged employees, we’re told, it’s difficult…
Why You Need Culture Not Call Center Training for Customer-Centric CX
If the organization does not understand what customer experience is, you will not get the funding or organizational support you need to build customer-centric experiences.
Customer Experience Design – How Do You Want Customers To Feel?
Last week, we talked about CX Design in terms of space and function. Today, we continue our CX design journey to talk about the design of emotions and feelings. The new…
What is Customer Experience? What are the Faces of CX?
Each area of CX represents a path for CX professionals to impact business health and build successful careers. One of my favorite CX analogies is that it is like the blood in our bodies. When CX is done well, it touches every aspect of an organization. That’s what makes customer experience so much fun! You will never be bored working in CX.
Freelance Customer Experience Lessons for Freelancers
For small businesses and freelancers alike, it’s important to recognize that your business is as strong as the relationships you build with your customers. That’s just one of the key…
Customer Experience Audit: eBay’s Vibrant Marketplace of the Future
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Customer Experience Audits. They highlight advances in artificial intelligence in retail and other technologies. See all audit stories. Two years…
Customer Experience Audit: FedEx Omnichannel Disaster
In our Strategy, Org Design & Culture series we cover customer-focused companies that are willing to adapt, take risks and discover new ways of staying relevant. Sometimes, we encounter brands…
Customer Experience Audit: Domino’s Making the Right CX Choices
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Customer Experience Audit – as series of articles featuring examples of good customer experience and bad customer experience in practice….
Culture Starts at the Top
Without a leader who believes that today’s business success is about acquiring and retaining customers, you cannot even begin the process of building a culture. Leaders who are passionate about the customer are also passionate about creating culture and employee engagement.
WeWork Does CX Right with a Wow Moment
Used at the right time and place along the customer’s journey, the Wow Moment is an excellent retention technique. When a brand creates personal, relevant experience at exactly the right time, it can build a lifelong, loyal customer relationship.
Would You Pitch In To Save Toys “R” Us For Your Children To Experience? #ToysRUsGoFundMe
Last week we laid out the big moves that the leadership of Toys ‘R’ Us failed to take to evolve with customer needs and thus joins other brands as examples of…
Why Bt2B Businesses Must Think Like B2C in the Next Decade
B2B vs B2B thinking makes a real difference when it comes to customer experience. According to Gartner at least 80% of B2B buyers now expect the same buying experience as…
Let’s Get You Certified as a Customer Experience Professional!
Like all mature professions, customer experience has a certification that is internationally recognized. Adding it to your resume will signal to the business community that you are serious about customer experience and your aspiration to be part of its leadership ranks…
Why Customer Retention is the True Measure of SaaS Success
Guest Post by Callie Reynolds for The Petrova Experience In SaaS (Software as a Service), like in most businesses, sales is king. Sales gets the glory, and while I’d like…
Even the US Government is Jumping on the Customer Experience Train
As we get ready for 2021, we have been diving in to the top customer experience trends we see on the horizon. So far, we have looked at why customer…
Holiday Wishes for Great CX: Career Advice Edition
Every successful customer experience initiative starts with a skilled CX team. Brush up on your CX skills to strengthen the business case for CX; to develop relationships within your organization; and to deliver standout customer experiences in the new year.
4 Career Tips to obtain a Customer Experience Role
In honor of the 4th of July, we are rounding up 4 career tips for CX professionals. Set aside some time during the break from work to take stock in your CX career and evaluate the steps you need to get to the next level.
Leadership During the Pandemic: Guest Post by Rachel Dreyfus
This is a guest post by Rachel Dreyfus, President, Dreyfus Advisors, who researched leadership during the pandemic. How has Covid19 influenced leadership over the past three months? Research results show…
Are You Ready to Go Exclusive with Jane, Your Digital Concierge?
In 2015 JetBlue introduced bag fees. Seven years after the competition. The media exploded. Many publications were negative. They blamed the airline for “selling out.” One headline read “A New…
Autonomous Customers, Traveler Privacy and More Questions for CX Professionals in a Changing World
“As we move toward a more automated culture, most travelers will adapt to a Jetsonian, automated lifestyle. Every industry we know will be disrupted. For those of us in aviation,…
How to Prepare for AI: Dispatches from CR Summit, Charleston
On the eve of the #CRSummit in Charleston, customer experience leaders from various industries held the first AI Committee meeting. AI is a challenging topic to cover because it has…
Customer Experience Technology View of your Call Center
By 2022 the global cloud based contact center market is growing from USD 6.8Bn in 2017 to 20.93Bn in 2022. This makes for CAGR of 25.2%. If you do not…
From Pain Points to Magical Moments: Transform the Customer Experience
Argyle Journal interviewed Liliana Petrova about emerging self service technology and meeting and exceeding customer expectations in airports. One such way, as Liliana explains, it to create magical customer experience…
Hospitality Experience and Why We lack Seamless Travel Experiences
Hospitality is taken for granted across government agencies, airlines and hotels. In my line of work, I often hear “I want to have the JetBlue customer experience.” Although many claim…
Get Customer Experience Basics Right and You Don’t Need to Invest in Wow Moments
Wow Moments are a Customer Experience hot topic. Customer experience professionals ideate how to build, prioritize, finance, and measure these Wow Moments. Chip and Dan Heath wrote a whole book on the topic: The Power of Moments. No Wow Moment saves you from negative word of mouth if your brand fails to get the customer experience basics right or to deliver the expected brand experience consistently.
Coronavirus Travel: What Does Hospitality Mean Now?
I want to tell you about my recent passenger experience. Earlier this week, I traveled to New Orleans from JFK Terminal 5 in New York. I had planned an airport…
Customer Experience Audit: Starbucks Bets On The Physical Experience
Starbucks is opting in for the physical experience in order to become a lifestyle brand while other brands are investing in omni-channel experience.
A Customer Experience Strategy will Define Your Success in 2021
While there may not be a magic pill to guarantee the perfect customer experience, there is one thing that every organization needs to transform into a customer-centric business. And that…
How to Extend Your Travel Experience Value Proposition
Last December the Ladders published that discusses business travelers who extend travel beyond the timeline of the business trip. The article says, “[a]ccording to a new study by La Quinta by…
Employee Experience Strategy and Customer Experience Depend on Strategy
This week, Andy Newman wrote a great article in The New York Times about the life of a retail sales agent. He used the example of an Old Navy sales…
What Can Casino Consulting Firms Learn from Airlines?
Today we’re talking about casino experience. Casinos and airlines are similar in their operational complexity and sense of wonder. They also are similar in the way they can implement technology…
Customer Experience Audit: Cadillac Scores Millennial Customers with Future-Forward Thinking
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a Customer Experience Audit series. See all the audit stories. The automotive industry is right next to the airline industry in terms of…