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Brands that Excel in CX Don’t Focus on Image

Published January 28, 2017

Loyalty 360 Interviews Michael Hinshaw

Customer Experience is widely viewed as the great differentiator among loyalty marketers. Those brands seeking to raise their public image might not drive the most value from CX.

Loyalty360 caught up Michael Hinshaw, president and CEO of McorpCX, to find out more about his views on Customer experience.

“We all know that a great customer experience positively impacts image and reputation,” Hinshaw explained. “All we have to do is reference USAA or Amazon and everyone gets it. But the brands that really drive value from CX are those that don’t really focus on image at all. They work to embed core CX capabilities, systematically listen to what customers do and don’t want and need, and take action on what they learn. They align their processes, technology, people, and data to optimize the journeys and experiences their customers demand. Most importantly, however, they treat CX as a business discipline and measure the value of it across their organizations. The result? By actually putting customers first, their image is raised as a by-product. But they’re usually more excited with the fatter margins, greater income, and more loyal customers they enjoy.”

More than 90% of businesses want to be considered customer experience leaders in their respective industries, Hinshaw noted.

“Yet less than 40% of brands are even getting started with formal CX initiatives, and only 20% consider their initiatives to be advanced,” he explained. “This stands in radical contrast to the value of getting CX right. Customer experience leaders enjoy results up to two times greater customer and employee loyalty, lower cost to serve customers, and typical top-line growth over double that of their competitors. They also strive to keep the customer at the center of decision-making, and have a clear understanding of what’s most important to do next and why.”

Conversely, Hinshaw said, challenges often stem from a lack of true customer understanding, and a lack of discipline around customer experience efforts.

“There’s usually no formal approach to improving CX,” he said. “In other words, it’s really hard to drive this kind of change without a clear understanding of where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there. Without a road map and a defined framework with key milestones spelled out on the way, CX efforts are, by nature, ad hoc vs. embedded in the DNA of an organization. Our job at McorpCX? Make CX a DNA-level competency.”

At a high level, there are several areas where brands track metrics related to customer experience.

“This includes brand perception and net-positive word-of mouth,” Hinshaw explained. “Metrics like NPS, CSAT, or loyalty-related behaviors such as retention, renewal, or wallet share are pretty common as well. Another is ease of doing business, and should include metrics like ease of overall and most recent experiences, as well as performance against customer expectations around individual journeys, journey stages, and touch points. All this said, a critical area for any brand to track is the emotional impact of customer experience. In other words, how ‘enjoyable’ is it to do business with your brand? Every company or industry will have a slightly different set of attributes that drives brand loyalty as the result of experience. But because customer experience is something customers perceive (by definition, if they think it’s bad – it is bad), an understanding of what attributes drive your economic engine is a critical long-term set of measures to improve.”

This article on was originally published on Loyalty360.com.

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