“People, People Who Need People….” (aka "We’re All CX”)

Part of what makes being a CX industry expert so interesting is that we’re all customers: every day and in many different ways. Whether comparing new TV prices on our phones from inside a brick and mortar competitor, shopping for colleges, or licensing seats for business systems, we experience first-hand the customer lifecycle journeys we also help our clients deliver. As such, we’re forced to navigate between pragmatic and demanding.

And while it’s always about the people, this issue seems to look at CX from some unique human angles. From those who serve the customer experience (or lead it), to being victimized, to being checked like an old coat, a human face is very much at the forefront of many of this month’s posts.

1.) Sometimes the best way to lead is to serve... http://onforb.es/1cJAAto
“Think about the qualities that define industry leaders. They are knowledgeable, well connected, credible, and amiable — among other things. And, because of these traits, they’re always in a position to help others in the industry. (Whether they actually do or not is another story.) It’s this potential to help that contributes to a leader’s authority and credibility...” (Tweet Score: 92)

2.) Yes, dear. I'd love to go to the mall with you! http://bit.ly/1bSeog5
“It's a cliché to say that men—or, if you want to be gender neutral, "non-shopping companions"—don't do well at malls. And in China, nifty facilities for shopping-averse men has popped up in some malls, reports Kotaku. These "husband storage" facilities—also referred to as "husband restrooms" and "husband play areas"—act as both rest stations and meeting points for men who prefer sitting around to digging through the racks. (Tweet Score: 83)

3.) Reading: "When Customers Make You Smarter" http://bit.ly/18qoGnj
“We talk a lot about Customer Development, but there’s nothing like seeing it in action to understand its power. Here’s what happened when an extraordinary Digital Health team gained several critical insights about their business model. The first was reducing what they thought was a five-sided market to a simpler two-sided one. But the big payoff came when their discussions with medical device customers revealed an entirely new way to think about pricing—potentially tripling their revenue...” (Tweet Score: 80)

4.) Your actions during a crisis are far more telling than your actions the other 99% of the time... http://bit.ly/1fjH0XM
“In 2007, I wrote a case study for Harvard Business Review, “Boss, I Think Someone Stole our Customer Data.” Now six years later, an actual event has occurred that is eerily similar to that fictional scenario: a trusted retailer’s point-of-sale system security was breached and a large amount of customer data may be compromised. In the current situation, the retailer is much larger as is the number of accounts affected...” (Tweet Score: 77)

5.) A simple statement explaining that what's happening today is so different from the past... http://bit.ly/1fyUO0H
For all that’s been said about customer experience management, customer loyalty, and engagement, there’s a simple statement that explains what’s happening today that’s so different from the past: The customer is becoming increasingly digitally defined. Both people and machines are creating data about themselves and their circumstances at a rapidly increasing rate. That information includes location, sentiment, preferences, and a host of other factors. (Tweet Score: 76)

6.) Five Signs You Know You're In a Bubble: The Monty Python Test http://onforb.es/1cBxMP2
How do you know you’re in a bubble? No one seems to have an exact formula, but as we steam into the sixth year of a bull market, it’s time to start asking some pointed questions. When I was speaking yesterday on Wall Street yesterday at the fabulous Museum of American Finance – which has a great exhibit on the 100-anniversary of the Federal Reserve — the concern about the economy and markets was everywhere. (Tweet Score: 71)

7.) How's this for knowing your customers? Amazon plans to ship your packages before you even buy them. http://bit.ly/1fStv1q
Drawing on its massive store of customer data, Amazon plans on shipping you items it thinks you'll like before you click the purchase button. The company today gained a new patent for "anticipatory shipping," a system that allows Amazon to send items to shipping hubs in areas where it believes said item will sell well. This new scheme will potentially cut delivery times down, and put the online vendor ahead of its real-world counterparts. (Tweet Score: 69)

8.) Is Legendary Customer Loyalty At Risk? http://bit.ly/1cBtvuW
Zappos has initiated its well-publicized transition to a controversial – some might even say radical – ‘self-governing’ organizational model: holacracy. In an earlier CustomerThink post, the open, and core, question was raised about what impact this might have on customers. As deftly reported in Forbes by Steve Denning, this is a legitimate, and even potentially troubling, point..." (Tweet Score: 66)

9.) Reading: "How to Empower Your Customer Service Reps, Richard Branson Style" http://bit.ly/1fCgZ66
"Carmine Gallo, communications coach and author of The Apple Experience: Secrets to Insanely Great Customer Loyalty, recently interviewed Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson for Forbes. In the piece, Branson shared one of the keys to Virgin’s legendary service: empowering employees to solve problems and make every customer experience memorable. So I decided to find out what tactics companies can use to empower their own customer service reps, Richard Branson style." (Tweet Score: 65)

10.) Minimum compliancy is not enough to elicit customers' trust. http://bit.ly/1cBv0cp
With the relentless pace of high street restructuring, modern retailing has truly become a game of ‘survival of the fittest’. Ambitious retailers are starting to look at how they make money from one of their most precious assets: customer data. The extent to which it can provide a full 360 degree customer view makes it even more valuable..." (Tweet Score: 64)

One month in to 2014

For our first order of business, we're working on a newsletter makeover for 2014, starting with a minor shift in copy. Why not lead into each article with the author's own words? We feature the same great customer experience content, here and in our twitter stream, but unfiltered through our perspective.

This is about feeding you interesting content that keeps you enmeshed in CX. Whether it’s keeping you abreast of new trends, cross checking your strategies, or giving you resources to educate others, you’re the one best suited to interpret what you read.

Either way, let us know what you think. And drop us a line with your thoughts on what challenges and goals you’ll be addressing in the coming year. As the economy shifts, the stock market corrects, and technology continues to put more power into the hands of the customer, the customer experience game is changing in real time: serve, point, set, match.

And—not to sound solipsistic—but I think it’s fair to say we’re in center court.