In this week’s episode of Growth Interviews, we invite you to join our podcast conversation with Blake Morgan, a leader in customer experience, a keynote speaker and customer experience futurist.
Blake is the author of two books: the bestseller “The Customer Of The Future: 10 Guiding Principles For Winning Tomorrow’s Business“ and “More is More: How The Best Companies Work Harder And Go Farther To Create Knock Your Socks Off Customer Experiences.“
She also contributes to Forbes, the Harvard Business Review and Hemispheres Magazine. Furthermore, she is the host of “The Modern Customer Podcast” and the “Be Your Own Boss Podcast”.
Welcome to Growth Interviews!
Welcome to Growth Interviews, the fun, stimulating and engaging series of conversations driven by digital business growth. Our mission is to provide valuable insights from the eCommerce arena, and each episode is a fascinating quest into the best-kept business secrets and money-making strategies of an insightful world-class expert.
In today’s episode, Blake Morgan has shared with us her thoughts on customer experience from A to Z, to help everyone understand that although the concept may appear simple and many companies promise they are customer-centric, the truth is rather different.
Here are the biggest takeaways:
- Reasons for not offering a great customer experience – 06:16
- Success vs failure in customer experience – 09:18
- How to measure customer experience – 20:37
- The painful truth behind what companies refuse to admit/don’t know about their customers – 25:20
Reasons for not offering a great customer experience
Reason #1: Creating a great customer experience takes time
“‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t treasure it.’ And I think that what we’re measuring in business has for a long time simply been what we throw up on the board every quarter as our sales. So, instead of focusing on short term sales, customer experience and a lot of these things that are coming up, digital transformation, they require long term investments. […] Digital transformations can even take three to seven years.”
Reason #2: People only see their gain today
“People running these companies, they’re focused of course on their own success, on their own jobs, on their own careers. A CEO comes in three years. They want to leave and go to their next CEO job where they make more money. […] If [customer experience] is so common sense, why doesn’t everyone do it? Well, they’re too busy thinking about today rather than what’s coming on the horizon.”
Success vs failure in customer experience
Blake presents a few cases she studied over huge companies that treat their customer well and had the patience to overgo full digital transformation over the years. In her own words, “these are big companies that have taken their time to do all the steps necessary to transform, to do what is necessary to serve the modern customer and are willing to make the long term investments to pivot”.
She speaks about Microsoft, Best Buy and Hasbro. Microsoft’s digital transformation took about five years, with significant growth of 200% in their stock price (as Blake herself calculated). Best Buy and Hasbro’s transformation took seven years but with a close amount of growth in the stock price.
Blake concludes that “the best companies really simplify things and there’s no question in the values and the mission of the company that they’re a service-oriented company and everyone is in the job of serving the customer”. There is no need for a customer experience team or Customer Experience Officer to do that.
Everyone’s role is to make the customer’s life easier and better. Otherwise, it’s called “putting lipstick on a pig” if you hire an entire team just for it, not communicate efficiently with them, and the CEO keeps talking about it time and time again. Take a good look at your company culture!
How to measure customer experience
- Employee experience
“There’s so much research now that ties employee satisfaction to customer satisfaction. You know your employees can tell you everything that’s wrong with your products and your services. But often we treat our employees terribly and then we bark at them to make customers happy.”
- Customer retention
You need to know if your customers are happy or not. Are they coming back for repeat purchases? Are they telling their friends? (She reminds here about the Net Promoter Score). Make it easy for customers to tell you if they are happy or not.
Moreover, look at the data.
- How are your customers interacting with the customer journey?
- How are your sales? If you’re doing a good job, your sales are going to be up.
- If your sales are low, you’re going to have customer churn.
The painful truth behind what companies refuse to admit/don’t know about their customers
“Actually most executives do know what the biggest problems are. Every company has the one thing that customers just hate about dealing with them. They know. So let’s be real about what that is. And let’s start there. Start with the biggest glaring issues with the experience and move from there. I think living in a glasshouse or a bubble will no longer suffice.”
“Face the music” is the message Blake offers to companies worldwide. “It’s very uplifting to know the truth. You have to know the truth before you can begin to improve anything”, she emphasizes.
“We have to get into the warehouses, get into the factories, sit in the contact centers, really understand the truth of what are the biggest pain points for the people that we serve. By having a servant leadership mentality and not being afraid of something that might seem painful, this is actually the beauty of business today. We have so much data, you can find out anything you would ever want to know about anything.”
Customer experience is a term that so many companies take lightly. There are so many things they either refuse to admit about their customers or are simply not aware of. Now, more than ever, it’s time to dig in deep, get “your hands dirty” and figure out what is missing for your company to become truly customer-centric.
We hope you enjoyed our podcast interview with Blake Morgan!
For more valuable insights, make sure you come back to check out our previous Growth Interviews as well.
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