Hi Maranda, tell us about yourself, your background?
I am the Senior Vice President of Customer Success and People Ops at Swiftly. I have over 20 years of experience both working in and building world-class operations. I have extensive experience building and scaling teams in early and mid-stage startups and have been part of 3 companies with successful exits (one unicorn).
My specialties are in Customer Success (B2B, B2C, B2B2C), Renewals Management, Customer Support (B2B, B2C), Tech Support, Contact Centers (Inbound/Outbound), Sales, and various other teams in operations.
I have been honored as a Top 50 Customer Success Influencer for 2021, Top 25 Customer Success Influencer Judge in 2020, Top 100 Customer Success Strategist in 2017 & 2018. I also sit on numerous boards and am on the advisory board for the University of San Francisco’s Customer Success and Insight’s MBA Program.
Online commerce was booming in 2020, and so did consumer reviews. – How can brands better utilize this data to improve their customers’ experience?
Customer experience is more important now than ever. Customers have so many options. The reality is you need them more than they need you. A few things brand should be doing with this information:
Aggregating all of the reviews and identifying trends and utilizing that information to improve the overall customer experience.
Publicly addressing negative reviews. Consumers read reviews. Negative reviews carry a heavier weight than positive reviews. It’s an unfortunate reality.
View reviews as an opportunity to double down on what’s working well and quickly pivot away from what’s not.
Leverage the positive reviews to create promotors and customers for life.
Most importantly, make sure the information you get from the reviews does not just live in the CX or CS departments. This information should be shared company-wide. Everyone in the company impacts the customer experience therefore should have ownership in celebrating the wins and collaborating to solve for bad experiences.
Maranda’s tips for personalization
What tips do you have for companies that want to improve their personalization strategies?
Segment, segment, segment. It’s important to understand the desired experiences of each of your customers and personalize the experience based on that. While it’s almost impossible to personalize the experience customer to customer, but if you segment out, it makes it more approachable and scalable.
Do you think personalization and customer-centricity are going to become increasingly more relevant in the coming year? How so?
I think both personalization and customer-centricity have been increasing in importance over the years and will continue to do so. This is very apparent in the rise in demand for Customer Success roles. Companies know that customers have many options available for them so they can no longer treat a customer relationship as one and done. They have to be thinking through the overall experience from start to finish and to repeat. Customers hold the power in the relationship and as long as this is true, companies will have to be laser-focused on the experience in other words, very customer-centric!
Social media pages have become crucial for companies in most industries, especially in eCommerce. What’s the most common mistake you see in a company’s social media strategy?
The biggest mistake I have seen companies making on social media is not responding. That’s closely followed by responding in a negative manner or hashing out issues in a public way. First and foremost, always reply. Lastly, if you are not able to solve the issue through a simple response, take it offline to solve it and close the loop publicly once the issue has been resolved.
What’s the most insightful book you read in 2020?
While not a new book, one of the most insightful from 2020 is Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. Great read!
It looks like working from home is going to stay with us for the foreseeable future. How should Executives gear up to the changing times?
Listen to what your teams want. Be open to not returning to the way things were before. Companies that are not open to a hybrid office model are likely to lose team members to companies that’ll give them that option.
Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?
It’s a tie between NPS (net promoter score) and CES (customer effort score). Both are crucial measurements around overall CX. Boards care about NPS, so I always measure that to monitor the trendline.