Hi Adam, tell us about your background.
I co-founded Summit CX, a technology and consulting partner focused on the voice of the customer and employee experience programs. I’ve spent the last 12 years building global customer experience, customer retention, and customer growth teams in both B2C and B2B.
How did you first start working in the CX space?
My first customer experience job was as a call center agent, and later a customer care manager responsible for service escalations and voice of the customer management at 1-800 Contacts.
What are some of the common misunderstandings related to customer experience?
There is, in my opinion, often a misunderstanding of the purpose of a customer experience management program. I’ve seen many examples where the CX champion’s goal is to earn the reputation of the best service company in their space when in reality, financial ties and business impact of the program are poorly scoped or immature. Optimizing the customer experience balances the customer and employee experience, with a deep focus on the impact of better service.
Have you seen any interesting new trends in eCommerce this year?
I think augmented reality (AR) is really driving a more personal eCommerce experience. The ability to visualize a product before you buy it without having to visit a retail location will help many overcome their hesitation in buying certain categories of products online. For example, IKEA has a VR app where you can see what furniture will look like in your home before you purchase.
eCommerce boomed in 2020, and consumers started leaving more product reviews online. How can we make the most out of this momentum?
One of the few silver linings of the pandemic has been a leap in better online experiences, especially in the variety of products and experiences you can easily purchase online. Reviews are so critical in providing social proof to potential customers. They also drive search engine optimization, brand recognition, and authority. We should capture the surge in reviews and leverage them for both marketing and an opportunity to close the loop with any customers who are unhappy with their experience.
What are some CX companies/solutions you’re keeping your eyes on right now
Qualtrics’ acquisition of Usermind is very interesting. I think more tools that monitor customer behavior and the large steps of customer data we have to identify points of friction in a customer journey will likely be the most powerful companion to a customer’s opinion over the next few years.
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 certainly believe customers’ expectation for an easy and fast digital experience, whether they are ordering food online or furniture, is here to stay. I also believe humanizing digital experience (think zoom versus a traditional phone call) is a trend that won’t be going away any time soon.
Do you believe focus groups are still relevant in the era of eCommerce? Why?
Absolutely. Any opportunity to hear from customers and leverage their feedback is valuable. However, the nature of these groups and the technology to gather feedback is evolving, as it should.
Last but not least, what is your favorite CXmetric?
Customer Retention. We see budgets get tight with all of the uncertainty we face, and it is critical to focus on your customers and help them grow. You can drive loyalty and second (and third, and fourth) order revenue by focusing on the value that brought them to you.