Digital ubiquity and enabling technologies provide us the opportunity to create beautiful solutions that deliver meaningful organizational and customer value. I find however, that there are basically two problems when it comes to leveraging enabling technologies to drive customer value and they include the “Type A Problem” and the “Type B Problem” and I would describe them as follows: The Type A Problem This is when organizations assume that connection architecture, artificial intelligence, digital ubiquity and enabling technologies mean virtually nothing to the way in which they operate their business and/or deliver value to their customers. In my consulting practice I’ve set in board rooms usually comprised of older men that essentially believe that all of this technology stuff is hogwash and over exaggerated. I get it – I am an old guy too, but I’m not an idiot! I spent virtually all of my time reading the technological tea leaves to make certain that these massive trends do not make me irrelevant. The Type A Management style tries to ignore technology as much as humanly possible. Not surprisingly these organizations are routinely blindsided by emerging disruptive innovators. The Type B Problem This is an organization that understands that their industry and for that Read More
After three years of researching the concept of customer experience as an innovation design process, I unearthed many interesting things. The first thing I discovered is that in lieu of innovation, organizations create a hate vacuum? In other words, when we not willing to do the heavy lifting of inventing new exceptional experiences across the customer’s journey we simply default by developing punitive policies that proved to our customers that we hate them. This may sound like an exaggeration, but I found that the “no shoes, no shirt, no service” mentality to be alive and well across small, medium and large organizations. Let’s take for example an art gallery located in the central coast of California. This organization in my opinion made two very basic mistakes that will result in bankruptcy. So here is my assessment: This business doesn’t know who their customers is You will note in the mission statement in the photograph of this blog post that they don’t even mention the customer, they only mention their supplier the artist. I got news for you Art gallery your artist is not your customer, this may not sound profound but… your customer is your customer. Your organizational mission statement Read More
If customer experience is a design process, and it is, then it’s incredibly important that we pay attention to micro-moments. Today we have the power of digital ubiquity, connection architecture and a wide range of enabling technologies to invent perfect human experiences. The problem is, most organizations are using the wrong tools to glean insights about what customers hate and what customers love. I suggest to my clients to become far more thoughtful about micro moments so that we can create contiguous experiences that are amazing. Let me give you a small, but important example. I typically go to Chevron stations to get my gas. When I go to the pump and insert my card it always asked me the same question “are you a Safeway rewards member?” and my answer is always the same NO. It turns out most people aren’t a Safeway rewards member (See the worn out NO button in this post) so why does it keep asking, and for that matter why should I care. Getting gas is a pain, but when the wind is blowing and you’re trying to fill up your car the last thing you need this for Chevron to ask you the same damn question. Asking Read More
After three years of research and writing my book What Customers Crave I discovered some very shocking things. One pervasive phenomenon I entitle, “Customer Service Crack” (CSC). So what is CSC? Simply put, it’s when organizations try to leverage technologies to gain insights about customers hates and loves so that they can set around a conference table and look at beautiful graphs and charts about customer satisfaction. I call this crack because it’s a bizarre addictive behavior that produces a mood altering mindset that everything is going to be okay because we have great data from these technologies. These technologies are like the automatic vacuuming robots that are sold in stores like bed Bath and beyond. The technology is awesome the the only problem is they don’t really work. Bathroom experience rating systems are well… crappy – pun intended! I travel to about 70 events worldwide each year and of noticed the newest form of CSC is a bathroom rating kiosk that allows you to let them know if your experience was great or well… crappy, sorry I couldn’t help myself. So let’s break down this new technology and ask yourself some very basic questions. First, if you’re anything like me, Read More
The future of home security is the subject of massive disruption. The old-fashioned model of selling monitoring services to residents and businesses no longer delivers enough value to consumers and business owners to make it worth it. In fact, some studies suggest that as much as 90% of alarm incidents are faults. Compare those percentages to successful consumer products such as pregnancy tests which are accurate 99% of the time. The best way to look at the future of home and business security is to see it as essentially an APP. The Kindle is one example of a great technological platform, however when the iPad was introduced that had far more technological value, the Kindle was reduced to an APP. This is the future of the home and business security industry. The Three Dimensions of the Future There are three distinct dimensions of what I call “The Actionable Future” and they include: The Gibson Dimension I entitled this dimension the Gibson dimension in honor of author William Gibson wherein he famously stated – “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed” In other words, this is what’s happening to an industry right now that most executives simply don’t know about. The Near Read More
“The future for both organizations and entrepreneurs is in leveraging innovation techniques to design masterful customer experiences.” Nicholas Webb knows a thing or two about both customers and innovations. As an inventor, he’s been awarded over 45 patents. He now channels his innovative skills to help some of the world’s top brands excel at customer experience. We discussed all of this and more on this week’s episode of the On Brand podcast. Creating Experiences Customers Crave with Nicholas Webb
The Freakin Future The future has been described as disruptive, however disruption suggest that the future will see significant and breakthrough changes in virtually all areas of our life and business. The truth of the matter however, is that the future can better be described as destructive. In other words, consumer experiences, economic models and enabling technologies will displace and destroy ineffective, non-valuable and unacceptable consumer experiences, in favor of massive breakthroughs. There is a worn-out adage that suggests that “the future belongs to those who prepare for it.” However, today organizations and innovators should live by the new adage that suggests that “the future belongs to those who invent it.” The Freakin Future provides a playbook for the future for both individuals and organizations. Additionally, The Freakin Future helps organizations understand the four monster shifts of the future so that they can build out future ready enterprises that drive sustained profitability, customer satisfaction and efficiencies.
I am pleased to announce that my just released book, What Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint, has become the number #1 Amazon Kindle Best Selling book in both Customer Relations and Business Leadership Training. What Customers Crave examines how the hyper-connected economy is radically changing consumer expectations, and reveals what companies need to do to stay on top. The solution rests on two simple questions: What do your customers love? What do they hate? Find the answers, and you’re well on your way to success. Jam-packed with tools and examples, What Customers Crave helps you reinvent how you engage with customers (both digitally and non-digitally) and: Gain invaluable insights into who they are and what they care about Use listening posts and Contact Point Innovation to refine customer types Engineer experiences for each micromarket that are not only exceptional, but insanely relevant Connect across the five most important touchpoints Co-create with your customers And much more When you learn to provide your customers with exactly what they want, they not only buy—they come back again and again…and bring their friends. You can buy the Kindle edition here. You can buy the hardcover edition Read More
You need to own the Guest Relationship! At a recent “Hospitality Hackathon” that I facilitated for top executives in the hospitality and travel industry, I discovered something interesting. In the old days hospitality and travel led the world in customer experience, then something terrible happened! The executives that led these organizations made a philosophical shift from believing that they were in the guest experience business, to believing that they were in the real estate business. This may seem like a simple mindset, but it turns out that the best organizations in hospitality have continued to reinvent each and every guest touch point, whereas organizations that believe there in the real estate business are simply polishing the deck furniture on the Titanic. My message to hospitality is simple… You need to own the guest relationship or it will be stolen from you by aggregators and online booking services. My estimate is that there is a potential for his much as 30% growth for hospitality and travel organizations that leverage guest experience design. One footnote, stop trying to sell guests $10 bottles of Evian water! Engineer each and every “micro-guest moment” and you will lead your industry and guest satisfaction, growth and profitability.