Monday, November 10, 2008

Customer Experience on the Social Web

Bruce Temkin at Forrester Research is a tough, thoughtful analyst of Internet strategies, especially as they impact customer experience. Many of us have enjoyed the Customer Experience Rankings he does for Forrester for several years now. Customer experience is critical to success, but in the world of social media marketers no longer control all the elements of experience. Bruce has recently set forth a set of “management laws” to aid in our social media journey. In this podcast, about 9 ½ minutes long, he talks about those management laws. The theme is “weave social media into marketing culture and decision making.” It’s worth listening to.
What lead me to his blog and the podcast was a reference to another set of “laws,” these for customer experience. You can download his white paper from the home page of the blog. I’d like to quickly summarize the laws:

1. Every interaction creates a personal reaction. Individuals have experiences, not segments or markets. How can we make experiences relevant to the individual?

2. People are instinctively self-centered. Whether customers or employees, everyone views the world through their own perceptual filters. They care about meeting their needs, not your business is organized and operates. You have to give them ways to satisfy their needs. See #4.

3. Customer familiarity breeds alignment. Share customer knowledge with your employees so they can be effective in meeting customer needs.

4. Unengaged employees don't create engaged customers. Enough said. The real question is how to engage your employees. See #5.

5. Employees do what is measured, incented, and celebrated. One of Bruce’s posts led me to a page on Tesco’s website; Tesco is my absolute favorite CRM example. Their “steering wheel” is a powerful summary of what they measure—and they are good at measurement!

6. You can’t fake it. And many of us should take a lesson from discredited politicians and remember that you can’t hide it either.

Openness and transparency rule! And thanks to Bruce for the reminder that building trust with our employees is just as important as building trust with our customers. Building trust in both areas should be Job 1!

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