My very first keynote speech in the 1980s was about the concept of customer service. Back then, terms like “customer experience” (CX) and “customer experience keynote speaker” were unheard of. Fast forward to today, and we’ve witnessed the transformation of customer service into a fancier concept: customer experience.
And that’s all it was, a fancy word to describe what we knew was important. And not long after that, someone even smarter said, “Customer experience is much more than customer service.” They were referring to the entire customer journey – every touch point.
When a client requests a customer experience speech, my initial question is, “How do you define customer experience?” Is it synonymous with CX, or does it serve as a fancier term for customer service? Perhaps it’s a blend of both. Once I grasp the client’s specific requirements and objectives, I recommend addressing hitting on several key topics that could include:
Demonstrating the far-reaching influence of individuals within an organization who may not directly interact with customers is a powerful concept in Customer Experience (CX). Even those who never have face-to-face or verbal interactions with customers can significantly impact their overall experience. To illustrate this, consider conducting comprehensive journey mapping exercises. These maps reveal the diverse customer journeys, from their initial interaction to subsequent engagements like inquiries or complaints. Creating a series of journey maps helps identify every touchpoint a customer has with your organization. Dive deeper to pinpoint the specific department or employee responsible for and influencing each touchpoint. When executed correctly, this exercise includes every department and, consequently, every employee in shaping CX.
Gauging success in CX can be approached through various metrics, including established methods like Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS), and Customer Effort Score (CES), among others. However, my preferred metric, which I consider the most crucial, is simple: Does the customer return? This metric holds the utmost significance because repeat business is the ultimate indicator of CX success. Understanding why customers return is key; it could be due to their affinity for your brand, competitive pricing, or the convenience you offer. Identifying these reasons guides strategies to ensure their continued loyalty.
When developing the journey maps mentioned earlier, it’s essential to thoroughly analyze each customer touchpoint with your organization. These touchpoints extend beyond mere employee interactions, encompassing every instance where customers engage with your brand. From their initial visit to your website to post-sale interactions, each touchpoint should be optimized to deliver the best possible experience. During this analysis, continually ask, “Can this be improved?” While this simplifies the concept, it serves as a foundational step in what I term “Managing the Moment.”
Cultivating a customer-centric culture is a topic of great significance, often featured in my customer experience keynote speeches and training programs. The journey towards such a culture must begin at the highest levels of leadership. Without leadership’s enthusiastic support, any CX or customer service initiative is bound to falter. Leaders play a pivotal role in defining and instilling the CX culture throughout the organization. Comprehensive training will confirm that every team member understands their individual role in shaping the overall customer experience—refer back to point 1 for a holistic view.
While these four concepts and topics are frequently requested in a standard keynote speech, it’s important to note that numerous other concepts and topics can be seamlessly integrated into the discussion. A customer experience initiative encompasses a multitude of moving parts, each deserving of exploration and understanding.
Using “customer experience” to characterize a “customer service experience” is perfectly acceptable, as most individuals understand the intended meaning. However, for those seeking a more precise and comprehensive definition, clarity is paramount. Ultimately, we want the same result: to create the experience that gets your customers to say, “I’ll be back,” again and again!
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