Hi Mishel, tell us about yourself, your background?
I am a Marketing Technologist who moved to Los Angeles in the ’90s and adopted Southern California as my forever home. I currently live in San Diego, California. When I’m not geeking out on the latest technology for marketing teams, I love baking cakes and riding my bike at the beach.
At this stage of my career, I consider myself a well-seasoned marketing professional (please forgive the baking pun, it was intentional). My superpower is the ability to understand the life of a marketer, no matter what role they hold on the team. I have been a graphic and website designer, built marketing and sales departments from the ground up, ushered in social media as it became a game-changer, and, in my current career iteration, I am highly specialized in marketing automation and CRM technology.
Online commerce was booming in 2020, and so did consumer reviews. – How can brands better utilize this data to improve their customers’ experience?
Consumer reviews are a great way to measure sentiment and real-life engagement with a brand or service. Brands need to take advantage of this data to create highly personalized experiences and conversations with their customers. This is, of course, easier said than done, right? Let’s break this down just a little bit. The challenge here is to ensure your employees are enabled with the right technology tools to consume and then understand all of that data. Pretend that you are a customer service representative. You have just started an online chat with a customer. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a dashboard that quickly showed you how engaged this person was with your company, what marketing has been talking to them about, what they have already purchased, and if they were a fan (or not)? How would that change the way you served that customer? If I were that customer service rep, it would make it really easy for me to understand when empathy is needed to turn a frustrated customer into a brand fan.
What is one element that must always be considered when working on a CXM (customer experience management) strategy?
CXM doesn’t happen in a single department. Your sales, customer service, billing, and marketing teams all own a piece of that experience. When you are mapping that holistic CX, make sure that you include a representative from each of the departments that are client-facing so that your strategy will be successful across the entire organization.
Do you think personalization and customer-centricity are going to become increasingly more relevant in the coming year? How so?
Personalization and customer-centricity are ALREADY relevant. Covid has forced organizations to very quickly learn how to be nimble and creative to just stay in business. If an organization isn’t able to shift the way they do business to be in the place/time/moment that their customer needs them, There are 10 other competitors that can (and already have).
What are some of the ways companies can strive to eliminate the CX Gap?
I know that this type of transformation is hitting everyone very hard and fast. If I could offer one bit of advice here, it would be to hit the pause button and go through the exercise of truly understanding the pain points of your customer experience journey (don’t forget to include everyone who is client-facing as part of the CX team). Use the insights learned from this exercise as a guide for where you need to improve the personalized experience that your customers are expecting from you.
What’s the most insightful book you read in 2020?
Neuro Fitness, by Rahul Jandial, MD, Ph.D. Rahul is a brain surgeon with a sense of humor and a very down-to-earth point of view. If you don’t have time to read his book, look him up on YouTube. He’s brilliant and is able to explain complex topics using words we can all understand.
What are your predictions for trends in customer experience in the coming year?
I am a marketing technologist, so I have to answer this question from a technology point of view. How do you feel when I say, “AI-enabled experience”? If you are in the IT department, do you get a headache? If you are a marketer, do you get excited or frustrated? How about our customer service representatives – do you even think about AI? AI-enabled experiences may sound scary right now, but I predict that AI will be the only way organizations will be able to consume and manage all of the data being generated online by their customers or future customers. AI will help tell the story that all of the data represents so that the CX can be crafted and acted on at the moment it is needed.
Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?
That’s easy – NPS (Net Promoter Score) what’s not to love about a single click from your customer that communicates their love (or lack thereof) for your brand.