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HomeInterviewsCXBuzz Interview with Daniel Lafrenière, Multichannel Customer Experience Strategist, Canada

CXBuzz Interview with Daniel Lafrenière, Multichannel Customer Experience Strategist, Canada

Hi Daniel, tell us about yourself and your background.

I am a consultant, author, and public speaker in the field of customer experience. For the past 30 years, I have worked as a customer experience consultant (including user experience) for companies in a wide array of industries, including finance and banking, pharmaceuticals, insurance, tourism, transportation, healthcare, and retail.

I am the author of 10 business books, in CX (customer experience) and UX (user experience). From 1992 to 2006, I taught UX at the bachelor’s and master’s degree level at Université Laval and was also a guest professor at Université de Montréal and Université de Lyon in France

How did you start working in the customer experience space?

I started in UX (user experience) more than 30 years ago. I noticed that most digital projects were disconnected from all the other channels and I caused many problems. In 2010, I decided to invest time and research into the brick and mortar side of CX.

Can you tell us a little bit about your current role?

I do consulting (client research, personas, customer journeys, etc.), coaching, training and public speaking about CX and digital transformation in large companies and government agencies.

How can companies better listen and understand their customer base?

Simply by doing client research: surveys, interviews, passive/active observations (contextual inquiries), etc. Asking the client is the first step. We must know as a business how it is easy or difficult to interact with us. By the way, NPS (Net Promoter Score) is not enough. We must understand our customers qualitatively and quantitatively.

What are some companies that you think are doing an excellent job at customer experience, and why?

I’ll mention the usual names here: Apple, Nespresso, Starbucks, Nordstrom. Why? It’s the attention to the details. The seamless interactions, the omnichannel integration and the time and effort to recruit and train their employees. Most of them are true ambassadors of the brand. It all starts with the employees.

Many companies are currently undergoing digital transformation processes – what are your tips on a successful digital transformation?

Don’t think about technology. Think about the human first, the clients and the employees. Ask yourself: what are the elements of value of my customers? What are the elements of value of my employees? How can I respond to those elements? I suggest you read this amazing paper published in HBR « The Elements of Value » (September 2016). Then draw the customer journeys. Look where it hurts. Then use technology to simplify things for customers and employees. Create and implement rapidly digital solutions and measure. Does it work? Make corrections and iterate. It’s not rocket science.

What are some CX solutions or tools that you’re keeping your eyes on right now?

I don’t really use any CX tools. Maybe I should 😉

Did you read any interesting books this past summer that you’d like to recommend?

  • Would You Do That to Your Mother? by Jeanne Bliss
  • The Experience Economy by Joe Pine
  • The Customer of the Future by Blake Morgan

What is your favorite CX metric?

The CES (Customer Effort Score). I like to focus rapidly on what’s not working and fix it. There are so many quick fixes that we can do to improve customer experience! It’s better to do 100 x 1% of CX improvement that trying to figure out THE solution that fixes 100% of the problems. I like to ask two questions: What are the 3 things that you liked the most? and What are the 3 things that you disliked? Those questions are simple, and most of the time, the answers are actionable.

About the author

Simone Somekh
Simone Somekh
Simone Somekh is a New York-based author, writer, and communications manager. He teaches Communications at Touro College. He is the Managing Editor of CXBuzz.


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