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Deep Dive: Mapping Touchpoints Saves $500,000 on STAMPS

stamp

My team came across an interesting discovery when improving the experiences of new small business customers of a Fortune 30 telecommunication firm. We were examining how to improve the touchpoints of those small business customers that signed up for a bundle of services.

We found that for each of the services that made up the bundle, the customer received a welcome letter and other introductory communications via postal mail. With so many letters, customers started to view mailed communications from the phone company as junk mail.  As a result of not accounting for multiple, overlapping direct mail touchpoints, customers occasionally ignored mail that actually contained important information.

Saving a half million on stamps 
After researching and mapping the touchpoints, one of our recommendations was to combine these welcome and introductory messages into a single mailed piece. This provided a dramatically improved customer experience, a key goal, but it also resulted in a savings of over $500,000 a year in postage alone.

Over and over, using the mapping and implementation process detailed in TOUCHPOiNT POWER, I have led efforts that not only improved customer touchpoints and customer journey results, but saved the organization time, effort and/or money.

Truth: It is typically more cost effective to deliver better customer experiences and touchpoints.

Remember, to your customers, you are your touchpoints.

This post an excerpt from my book, TOUCHPOiNT POWER! Get & Keep More Customers, Touchpoint by Touchpoint (William Henry Publishing, 2013), an Amazon international top 10 customer service best-seller. For information and to order, visit TouchpointPower.com or view the TOUCHPOiNT POWER! listing on Amazon.

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Rant: Focus on the Basics, not Wows!

PeanutButter

A key to success of a CEM Plan is to be realistic regarding the current situation and where to start. Work to become really good at the basics before jumping to “adding value.” So many companies I work with have language about exceeding expectations or “wowing” customers when they don’t even deliver the basics well. Focus on consistently delivering Valued Touchpoints around your product or service, especially when customers:

  • Inquire
  • Consider
  • Purchase
  • Receive
  • Pay for
  • Use
  • Comment
  • Post -Review

A July 2010 Harvard Business Review article, “Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers,” provides a number of statistics from customer calls to customer service that support the article’s title.

To me, the most poignant statistic is that customers are four times more likely to become disloyal than loyal as a result of a service touchpoint.

Yikes! Given a chance to engage customers and address an opportunity, many businesses actually fail miserably.

Secret: Focus on getting great at customer service, experience and touchpoint basics before investing in value-added efforts.

In your personal relationships, sending a gift won’t make up for not returning calls, being late or failing on other basic common courtesies. The same holds for business relationships. Throwing great parties, providing sports tickets, offering staff training, etc., won’t get you the bang you are seeking if you don’t deliver on the expected basics.

Truth: Transitioning personal or professional relationships to a state of loyalty takes time and actions that prove that you can and will consistently deliver the basics well.

Remember, to your customers, you are your touchpoints.

This post an excerpt from my book, TOUCHPOiNT POWER! Get & Keep More Customers, Touchpoint by Touchpoint (William Henry Publishing, 2013), an Amazon international top 10 customer service best-seller. For information and to order, visit TouchpointPower.com or view the TOUCHPOiNT POWER! listing on Amazon.

Please post a comment or question.

I welcome your questions and inquiries.  Please connect with me via
email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

direct  904.466.1805904.466.1805
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Rant: Customer Experience Management (CEM) and Your Organization – the Five Organizational Success Factors

BusinessPeople2

So many organizations start out with the best of intentions when it comes to their Customer Experience Management (CEM) efforts. Many trip over unforeseen organizational challenges.

Maximizing CEM success involves five organizational success factors:

  1. Independence
  2. Support
  3. Resources
  4. Expertise
  5. Political acumen

Independence – a standalone department
First, CEM shouldn’t be in a department. Customer journeys traverse departments and CEM needs to have line of sight to the entire journey and deal on equal footing with all of the departments along customer journeys. If CEM resides within one of the departments, it hinders success and collaboration. CEM should reside as a stand-alone function.

Support – organization leader must lead
IBM in-depth interviews with hundreds of business executives around the world found:

  • “Top-down, ongoing support of senior executives and clear links to overall corporate goals” was one of the most critical factors that differentiated successful initiatives
  • Nearly three out of four companies designate ownership of CEM initiatives with sales, marketing, IT or some other department
  • Only a quarter of firms assign it to a corporate-level team
  • If CEM is owned at the corporate level it has a 25 percent to 50 percent greater chance of success

Source: Q&A with Don Peppers and Martha Rogers: Measuring Customer Value Can Be More Important than Measuring Revenue (3/2/2006) CRM Project Volume 6, by Don Pepper, Martha Rogers, Peppers & Rogers Group

Independence and support is best represented by a direct reporting relationship to the chief executive who not only talks the talk, but walks the walk.

Resources – budget helps positioning
Positioning is important. Your CEM group, department or team should be positioned as there to help others succeed. There will be problems if the team is viewed as adding work or requiring or expecting significant efforts from others. The team needs to focus on how it can help those working along the customer journey improve their customer touchpoints and infrastructure, making their work life better.

To aid its position as a helper, the CEM team needs resources with which to work. The team will be embraced if it can bring people and/or budget to contribute to facilitating improvements.

Expertise and Acumen – knowing what and how
Lastly, CEM success needs both CEM expertise and political acumen. CEM expertise is knowing what to do to succeed. Political acumen is knowing how best to get it done in the organization.

There are three options to combine expertise and acumen:

  1. CEM expertise in-house with strong political mentors and advisors
  2. Tenured in-house personnel in CEM positions with external CEM expertise engaged on an ongoing basis as a coach and/or consultant/vendor
  3. Mix of CEM expertise and tenured professionals on the in-house team plus some external expertise hired as/if needed

Each of the three options can work. The key is that you have large and ongoing doses of both CEM expertise and internal political acumen.

Rule: To maximize success, set CEM efforts up independent of other departments and provide solid leadership support, resources, expertise and acumen.

Remember, to your customers, you are your touchpoints.

This post an excerpt from my book, TOUCHPOiNT POWER! Get & Keep More Customers, Touchpoint by Touchpoint (William Henry Publishing, 2013), an Amazon international top 10 customer service best-seller. For information and to order, visit TouchpointPower.com or view the TOUCHPOiNT POWER! listing on Amazon.

Please post a comment or question.

I welcome your questions and inquiries.  Please connect with me via
email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Mini Rant: Make Experiences Consistent with Marketing Communications

DHL

Marketing communication needs to be consistent with customer touchpoints and/or experiences. Years ago the package delivery company DHL ran a prominent ad campaign claiming that they were “putting service back into the delivery business.” One ad showed a DHL delivery driver taking his shoes off as he sought to quietly deliver a package to a library.

One day during the ad campaign I saw a DHL truck and went up to the driver. I asked what type of training he had gone through to help fulfill the ad campaign’s promise. He laughed. There had been no training. It appears as though marketers decided to promote a new brand promise/Identity without the organization building the ability to deliver on the promise.

Remember, to your customers, you are your touchpoints (not your marketing promises).

This post an excerpt from my book, TOUCHPOiNT POWER! Get & Keep More Customers, Touchpoint by Touchpoint (William Henry Publishing, 2013), an Amazon international top 10 customer service best-seller. For information and to order, visit TouchpointPower.com or view the TOUCHPOiNT POWER! listing on Amazon.

Please post a comment or question.

I welcome your questions and inquiries.  Please connect with me via
email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

direct  904.466.1805
text   415.515.6391
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Receive tips, tricks and secrets from the front lines of customer experience by signing up for my TOUCHPOiNTER eNewsletter:

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Mini Rant: Important Assets to Bring to Your Customer Experience Defense

lifecycle

We work in environments where people and organizations are motivated to seize today’s pennies forgoing tomorrow’s dollars.  This is a contributing factor as to why so few companies are customer-centric.  Becoming customer-centric not only requires the Three Competencies – Identity, Intelligence and Consistency – but the patience to allow the competencies enough time to become culturally ingrained and to show results.  In a “right now” world, becoming customer-centric is a long-term play.

So how does customer experience (CX) avoid becoming the next new thing that eventually fades into history?   There are few factors in large organizations that win out over the temptation of seizing short-term gains to make the number and get a juicy bonus.  Of course those in Accounting or Finance will always be able to quantify the upside of the short-term gain.  What do you do when the organization is behind and looks like it is going to miss its revenue target and Finance comes to the table proposing going from 2-day to 5-day shipping, saving $19 million dollars this year?

Bring out the big guns
To fight this fight, you need big guns.  Your big guns are Values, the correlation of the macro metric, (i.e. Net Promoter® Score, American Customer Satisfaction Index, etc.), to a key financial metric such as top line revenue or Lifetime Customer Value.  Values provide the soft defense while financial correlations provide the hard.

Values should be honored as if law.  You can’t go against your Values.  This is a huge reason I push organizations to clearly define them.  First, Values help in the delivery of consistent touchpoints and establishing the desired brand Identity.  Second, Values are a parameter for decision-making.  The very essence of Values is that they are foundational for all that the organization does.

Values represent a solid yet soft defense.  Of course, Values can be a grey area where one can often argue both sides – this is why you also need hard metrics.

A hard metric
Lifetime Customer Value (LCV) is a hard metric.  Understanding its components and drivers positions you to make a hard argument.  Finance will be able to quantify the $19 million dollars savings to help “close the gap” or “make the number.” You can use LCV or my one point movement in NPS formula to quantify the other side of the story - the potential negative impact on customer value if the shipping proposal is accepted.

Without Values and/or financial correlations, what is your argument not to go to 5-day shipping and save $19 million dollars?  Values and financial correlations will help an organization maintain its customer-centric compass when there are voices singing to seize the short-term financial benefits that will ultimately harm customers and their value to your organization.

Note: There are also a number of good articles and books on the subject of Lifetime Customer Value.

Remember, to your customers, you are your touchpoints.

This post an excerpt from my book, TOUCHPOiNT POWER! Get & Keep More Customers, Touchpoint by Touchpoint (William Henry Publishing, 2013), an Amazon international top 10 customer service best-seller. For information and to order, visit TouchpointPower.com or view the TOUCHPOiNT POWER! listing on Amazon.

Please post a comment or question.

I welcome your questions and inquiries.  Please connect with me via
email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

direct  904.466.1805
text   415.515.6391
  linkedin
facebook twitter youtube

Receive tips, tricks and secrets from the front lines of customer experience by signing up for my TOUCHPOiNTER eNewsletter:

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Hank Brigman

Hank Brigman

President & TOUCHPOiNT Strategist
Customer Experience Strategies, Inc.
Qualified Member National Speakers Association
Keynote Demo Video
Best-Selling Author of TOUCHPOiNT POWER

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