Why Good Isn’t Good Enough – 6 Takeaways from Forrester’s Forum for CX Professionals East

By: Clarabridge Team

June 27, 2014

6 takeaways from the Forrester Form for CX Professionals East

By: Melissa Pippine

Around 1,600 members of the greater CX community gathered last week in beautiful NYC to talk about the latest trends in CEM at Forrester’s Forum For Customer Experience Professionals East. It was a very informative event, and I’ve summarized my key takeaways from this great show:

1. Universal Drivers for Loyalty:  The theme Forrester chose for this summer’s show was, “Why good is not good enough.”  So many organizations today are making noble strides to be “good”; they want to satisfy customers with their products and services. However, Forrester’s Megan Burns, who presented her new research on the keys to providing a great customer experience, challenged this goal. She used Borders as an example. Six months before filing for Chapter 11, Forrester gave Borders a good CX Index score. Unfortunately, something was clearly missing from their efforts. They failed to deliver the one thing that keeps customers coming back for more- a great customer experience.

Through their research, Forrester determined that there are three universal drivers that a CX program must do to drive loyalty:

–  Make the customer feel valued throughout their experience with you
–  Resolve customer issues and problems quickly
–  Talk to the customer in clear and easy to understand language

It’s not rocket science; it’s just a clear, concise recipe for success – and companies clearly need to do more of it.  And what I love about these goals is that everyone can start working toward them today. Even the smallest steps can make a difference.

2.  Employees, Not Process or Products Deliver Great CX:  This critical role of front line employees delighting customers was the focus of both Stephen Cannon, President & CEO of Mercedes Benz, USA and Nancy Clark, Senior Vice President, Head of Operational Excellence Organization of Verizon. Both organizations have spent millions on teaching employees their role in delivering superior customer experience. They have done everything from immersion centers and training, to deploying employee-designed apps for employees in the field. What I loved about both presentations is that they highlighted true commitment to training and innovation to engage employees in the corporate CX commitment. Products and services are only as good as the employees that your customers are interacting with; training them on why this matters is the critical step.

3.  Satisfaction is so 2012:  Two key ideas were very apparent throughout the event. 1)  Satisfaction as a goal is out – delight is the new goal. And 2) Creating emotional relationships with your customers is what drives loyalty; it’s not your product or service.  Customer satisfaction is an important first step for those who are just starting out on their journey in CX; however, at some point those organizations will plateau. They then risk being surpassed by competitors who are committed to delighting customers no matter the product or service price-point.

4.  Entering into Emotional Relationships with Your Customers:  Several companies also presented that the key to loyalty is creating emotional relationships with their customers. It could be as easy as making them feel welcomed when they interact with you, but all organizations could improve their customer experience if they focus their efforts on activities that reinforce these relationships. To be clear, this can’t be faked; an organization is either in or out on this. It comes from the top and must permeate an organization – and spend, training, and goals must reflect the importance of creating these relationships.

5.  Mobile Design is Driving CX:  We’ve known for years that mobility is a major driver of the growth of customer feedback. But what has recently become abundantly clear is how the use of mobile as a primary browsing and purchasing tool is driving website and product design.  NUMEROUS sessions were dedicated to the design of websites. People expect to do business with you quickly and clearly, and your mobile design had better support this. If it doesn’t, you need to look into technology that can audit your customers’ web activity, choke points, and failures so you can define a clear path from research to purchase and avoid the ugly enemy: churn.

6.  Congrats to our CX Heroes:  Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t take an opportunity to highlight the many CX Heroes recognized during the event for their commitment to CX. While their organizations may not have it all figured out yet, these individuals come to work each and every day working to drive customer experience through real changes in their organization. Hats off to the CX teams within Mercedes, Verizon, TD Ameritrade, US Bank, and ADP– we salute your efforts. And to those on that list who are Clarabridge partners- we’re so honored to be on this road with you.