20 Most Interesting Articles and Interviews of 2015

So much has happened in the field of customer experience this year. From emerging trends, through the concept of branded CX, to great tips for optimization – here is you ultimate 2015 roundup of the best customer experience news, interviews and insights, by the best in the biz. Enjoy.

1. Comcast: 5,500 New Employees Won’t Fix Customer Experience

This was one of the more interesting analyses I saw regarding failed CX lately. In this article, Bruce Temkin from CEM explains the defects of Comcast’s CX. In an unexpected way, Temkin discusses one of the most remembered CX debacles of the year, showing us how the adding of 5,500 workers to the company, isn’t helping their chance for good CX, and, as a matter of fact, actually ruins it.

 

2. Media is Where CX Becomes Big

Paul Frampton from Campaignlive says in this article what became a CX mantra this year – new media plays a critical role in customer experience, in a way that completely shuffles the deck of what used to be. Brand essence used to be a strategic marketing pillar that enabled marketers to ensure all communications embodied the values they wanted customers to experience. But now, the longevity of brands remaining in favor is shorter than ever, and customer experience is a big part in this change, together with the emergence of the digital media. Read this article to gain a better understanding of how the combination of social media and cx changed branding as we know it.

 

3. Getting Everyone On Same CX Page

How do we ensure that everyone in the organization is on the same page when it comes to customer experience? In this article, Annette Franz mentions a quote: “no two persons ever read the same book”. Meaning, each person has a different interpretation of things. This is something that we all must remember when developing a customer experience strategy. We must ensure that everyone in the organization is on the same page when it comes to customer experience. Annette gives us a few tools that you can use within your organization regarding to customer experience.

 

4. The Great Takeoff of Saga’s CX

Only two years ago, Saga – a British company offering insurance, lifestyle and other services, was sitting at the 223rd place in the UK CEE rankings. One year later, it was ranked 28. In this post from KPMG nunwood, we get a full analysis of Saga’s astonishing takeoff, which they achieved by establishing an approach of personalized CX.

 

5. How To Enhance Your Customer Experience With A Wine Bar

Let’s start with our usual (but always essential!) weekly roundup author: the almighty Shep Hyken. In this article, posted on Forbes, Hyken shares the marvelous idea of the “wine bar”. What is the wine bar? Basically, when going out, it is agreed that having a wine bar improves the image of a place. For that reason, Shep offers to find the equivalent of wine in our experience. The wine symbolizes the thing that attracts the customer to use the service or experience and come back to use it again. It is not only about bringing customers to the company – it is also about keeping them in business.

 

6. Where Customer Experience Is Winning (And Losing) in Government

According to a report from Government Business Council, Government Executive Media Group’s research arm, public satisfaction with federal customer service is at an eight-year low. Collectively, the government’s American Customer Satisfaction Index score of “64” puts it comfortably behind every major private sector industry.

Similar research from Forrester puts the government in the precarious position of serving customers who haven’t had the opportunity to build goodwill toward the agencies that provide services like tax filings, doling out billions in Social Security checks or managing a $1 trillion portfolio of student loans.

 

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7. How Are Marketers Optimizing the Customer Experience?

MarketingCharts presents this article on the optimization of customer experience by marketers. They present finding of a study, based on a survey of 613 marketers, according to which almost half of company marketers are thoroughly ensuring complete visitor privacy (47%) and monitoring website performance (47%), with many more at least partially doing so. Analyzing the findings, they present some critical research and statistics on marketing changes.

 

8. Customer experience is the future of marketing

The marketing world is going through really great challenges these days. With the internet and the endless amount of information it brings, customer service techniques that are not “customer-centric” are considered outdated and old fashioned. As Daniel Newman from Forbes explains, “In this era where the customer is king, every aspect of business—from strategies and processes to organizational structure and culture—is currently being remodeled to fit a customer-centric frame”. In other words, the service is not enough for these day’s economics – there is a need for a much more complicated experience.

 

9. Do Bank Branches Still Matter? Retail Banking and Customer Experience

Micah Solomon’s article tackles the role of brick and mortar banks branches and their particular appeal in this otherwise mainly self-service industry. Solomon’s article begins with an interesting paradox: On the one hand: Over 80% of a retail banking customer’s interactions take place through self-service channels. On the other hand: A majority (you read that right) of retail banking customers visit a branch at least once every six months. From that point, the article emphasizes the importance of face-to-face customer experience, even in the age of self-service.

 

10. Customer Experience Helps Customers Complete Their Shopping  

Roy Goffer looks at the role of exceptional customer experience in online shopping, especially during the holiday season. He outlines ways to understand what makes a REAL customer experience. In particular, he outlines ways to help customers make shopping decisions, gives tips on how to deliver your message in style, and shows how you can leverage a better internet experience for all.

 

11. European Brands Fail to Deliver on Customer Experience

We all know how much the customer experience industry have grown in the last few years. Still, I’m surprised by how much more companies need to know about their own CX. Look, for example, at this: Emma Hall from AdvertisingAge, wrote a great article analyzing a research made for Forrester. According to the survey, 70% of European businesses define customer experience as their top priority, but none achieve a decent experience. Why does that happen? Read and be amazed.

 

12. Why Organizations are Changing their Customer Experience Priorities

This piece, by First Post, can actually make a difference in the way people see customer experience. They examined a survey about CX priorities of organizations, made by Gartner, and found a few details worth mentioning. While tracking changes in CX proprieties in the past 2 years, they noticed that the understanding of the importance of delivering a great customer experience has caused a change in companies’ business models.  The majority of business model changes mentioned by the participants involved changes to the process around the production of products and services, including supply chain and internal processes. In one-third of cases, the business model changes related to changes in the way the customer interacts with the organization.

 

13. Your First 10 Customers Can Make or Break You

This article by Sean Jacobsohn takes a look at how your first 10 customers can make or break your product. They are the ones who are first to experience the product, and will refine your product for the next cycle of customers. Getting these customers and working with them effectively is a challenge for any startup, and this is where Jacobson steps in, with 4 tips he learned in his many years of a venture capitalist.  One important note from this article is to focus on initial sales efforts on prospect who aren’t your friends. Meaning that in order to be scalable, you will need to think outside your initial network, and get honest feedback from those other than your friends.

 

14. Ten Ways To Improve The Customer Experience Of Air Travel

Flights are not greatest experience. With the sitting, the waiting, the annoying sound of crying babies and the not-so-edible food – the frequent flyers have their fair share of troubles.  Still, many companies seem to be adding to the big trouble dish, and add bad customer experience.

This is where Blake Morgan from Forbes Leadership enters. In her article, Blake offers great tips for airlines, in order to prevent cases of bad customer experience, like the one she’s been through: “I just got off a 16 hour flight from Mumbai, India to Newark, New Jersey I cannot get my head around the customer experience of the air traveler”. Her experience summarized in two words – not fun.

 

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15. Your New Secret Weapon to Maximize Customer Experience

Augmented Reality. It will change your whole view on customer experience. Think of the ability to create something, out of nothing, to appear in front of you. A hologram that allows you to try on a scarf you want to buy, or have a closer look at that TV screen you looked at in store…

According to this LinkedIn article by Daniel Burrus, the experience each customer gets is more realistic than it ever was before. For the first time, the customer experience replaces the customer service – because we don’t need to go to the store anymore. We can have a shopping experience using our phones. This is the future.

 

16. Customer Experience for Advocates

In this article, Jeannie Walters from 360Connext introduces us to a sector in need of excellent customer experience – advocates. Customers can become your advocates, and bring new customers in house. But in order for them to do that, you will need to provide them with the best customer experience possible. Jeannine helps readers recognized their advocates and leverage their marketing potential.

 

17. The Human Factor of Customer Experience

“How do we improve our CX?” This is one of the key questions us CX experts deal with on a daily basis. Michael Lowenstein attempts to answer this question, at least for time being, by offering a new technique – being human. In this post, he tackles this buzz-phrase and presents a trailblazing idea.

 

18. ‘Chalta Hai’ No More: Why Customer Experience Strategies in India Need Overhauling

This article takes us to a different part of the world. We mustn’t forget – customer experience and businesses in general do not exist only in the western world. Actually, as this article by Pranjal Kshirsagar from FirstPost Business, shows, customer experience is generating more and more power in India.

The days of the “Chalta hai”, or “everything goes” experience – are gone. Today, Indian customers are more pro-tech than before, though still, the CX in India according to a survey of Forrester is barely OK. What would you suggest?

 

19. Great Prezi Presentation – 7 Customer Experience Tips to Guarantee Customer Retention

In this great multimedia, you’ll find 7 great tips for guaranteeing the efficiency of your insurance service performance. It is very important! The service given by insurance companies can change their whole performance – publicly, and financially. This is so simple, and yet, so efficient: A Prezi presentation that can help your insurance services so much without even trying. Why not take a look?

 

20. Live from OpenStack Silicon Valley – 2015

This great interview with Vivek Mehra of August Capital and Sumeet Singh of AppFormix explores the evolution of customer experience, in the midst of the  Hybrid Cloud and the Internet of Things revolution, and what innovations we should expect in the coming year. There’s a big shift now, in the area of cloud tech customer experience. Users now demand ease of use from deployments and products. People want “turn-key everything now”. Their main point is that if software isn’t “easy to consume,” users will shy away from the product.

 

Matthew Thomas
Matthew is the Lead Author & Editor of CXperience Blog. Matthew established the CXperience blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Customer Experience.
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