Hi Aaron, tell us about yourself and your background.
I am a passionate traveler and really love working in this space. Unlike other careers, you may not necessarily get to see needles move everyday. In CX you get to be involved in all facets of an organization and can easily measure the success of the work you do. You get to be connected to customers, feel their pain and see their joy.
How did you first start working in the CX space?
I lucked into it. I was asked if I would not mind leading a new area to solicit customer feedback. This rapidly evolved into a passion for me and a huge undertaking for the organization I was working for. I was able to create and grow a new program from scratch.
What are some of the common misunderstandings related to customer experience?
That it is about putting out fires or simple customer service. Both of those are important but CX is much more than simply fixing one-off issues. It is about creating new and unique experiences, doing root-cause problem solving and delighting customers.
Have you seen any interesting new trends in eCommerce this year?
Not e-commerce as much as online gaming. States across the United States have rapidly embraced online gaming or gambling and we are starting to see an enormous new opportunity for legacy companies and new entrants.
eCommerce boomed in 2020, and consumers started leaving more product reviews online. How can we make the most out of this momentum?
Read the reviews and follow up. Where possible, always follow up with the customer. Most companies do not, but those that can, separate themselves and show that they care about the customers that buy from them.
What are some CX companies/solutions you’re keeping your eyes on right now?
I am monitoring the mergers in the space, some of the larger players have bought competitors or merged, I am interested to see what this doing to pricing and solutions that companies can offer to be more all-in-one solutions.
So many things changed in 2020. While some things are going to return to “normal,” what are new trends and habits you think will stay with us in the long term?
I think 2020 accelerated the shift to online, and the adoption of online/offline hybrid models for small businesses. I think about my local farmer’s markets, in the past some vendors accepted credit card payments, but most did not. Now most do, and many allow me to pre-order produce, online ahead of time and simply pickup day of. I get the best selection of produce and a guarantee that what I want is available when I show up.
Do you believe focus groups are still relevant in the era of eCommerce? Why?
Yes, I think they matter when the data you are collecting is unclear or you want feedback on potential choices the business may present in the future. It’s a way to help gather additional forms of feedback that allow customers to interact with one another and the person(s) running the sessions.
Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?
I like metrics that are custom to the business but that can be heavily influenced by individual employees. I love when employees can easily see their impact on the experiences that customers have with a business.