Before we start with the interview, here’s some information about Stacy:
She is a Certified Customer Experience (CX) pioneer and the Founder of DoingCXRight®, helping business leaders apply her unique ‘Heart & Science’ framework to improve customer and employee experiences while maximizing results.
What is the biggest misunderstanding about customer experience, in your opinion?
People misunderstand the difference between customer service and customer experience. Customer service is one interaction point with a company, where people typically contact customer care to seek help with their product or service. It’s an important touchpoint because if people can’t get support, they’ll leave and often tell others on social media. Customer experience is about an entire journey (learn, buy, get, use, pay, help). Best in class companies measure customer perception and satisfaction across many micro-moments. Learn more about Journey Mapping and how to leverage the process to differentiate your brand.
What are some of the newer CX companies/solutions you’re keeping your eyes on right now?
Knowing that the voice of the customer (VoC) comes from so many different sources (surveys, social media, ratings and review sites, customer care rep notes, online chat, and more), I am keeping my eyes out on which providers can best aggregate all the insights, prioritize and predict future behaviors from multi-sources of data. Business leaders can’t make informed decisions without digging deep into what customers need and want. While the list of providers is growing, they each have their pros and cons.
Stacy’s tips for improved customer loyalty
What can companies do to improve customer loyalty and retention?
Get the basics right. Communicate with customers in a proactive manner. When there are no status updates yet, customers are waiting for their product or service delivery, pick up the phone. Let customers know you have not forgotten them and be transparent, as they’re more forgiving when there’s good communication. Silence is not an option.
What do you think is most relevant and why: CSAT (customer satisfaction score), NPS (net promoter score), or CES (customer effort score)?
They are all important in different ways. The issue is that many companies only rely on NPS and which does not dig deep enough into the WHY or why not customers would recommend a company. Customer Effort score happens to be one of my favorite measurements because if it is difficult to buy or pay for example, people quickly give up.
How can companies better use social media in the era of customer-centricity and personalization?
Social media is a great source of customer feedback, as described in question #3. Here are a few tips:
Actively respond to what people are saying, both positive and negative views. People feel more positive about a brand when their Tweet has been replied to. Use social media to thank customers for positive reviews and to answer questions.
Leverage social media to establish and reinforce that your company is customer-centric. Respond PUBLICLY first (even if you move the conversation to a direct private chat to handle the specifics). When I see a customer complaint and no brand response, it makes me wonder if the company cares. When the brand is quiet, there is no proof that they are committed to resolving customer pain points. Perception is reality!
Capitalize on social media to provide best-in-class customer support. While an 800 number is a common way to provide support, people want options. According to J.D. Power, “67% of consumers have used a company’s social media channel for customer service.” Keep in mind that response time matters. Research cited by Jay Baer reveals that “42% of consumers expect a response within 60 minutes.” If it takes too long, social media can cause customer dissatisfaction and turn a brand promoter into a detractor (Learn more about NPS impact here). The opposite can happen too.
What is your opinion on AI-based chatbots to handle customer support?
I believe chatbots are useful for initial inquiries about common questions that are scalable and easily answered, such as locations of company stores or offices that may be listed on a website. There must be intelligence that detects when customer questions are not answered and offer another option before they lose patience. In general, the use of AI or any technology needs to enhance customer experiences, not replace human connections.