26 minutes | May 30, 2023
Inside the CX Toolbox
In the dynamic field of customer experience (CX), professionals need to develop and hone particular skills to navigate its challenges successfully. Cary Cusumano, an expert in CX management, has mastered this domain. Emphasizing the importance of traits like curiosity and persistence, Cusumano understands the need for continual growth and innovation in this industry. In this podcast, Cary explores these pivotal elements, setting the groundwork for achieving excellence in customer experience management.
30 minutes | May 16, 2023
Generative AI Meets CX
In this episode of CX Decoded, Brianna Langley Henderson, a seasoned CX practitioner, delves deep into the implications of introducing generative AI into business organizations. She acknowledges the transformative potential of AI and its capacity to fundamentally alter the landscape of various industries. At the same time, she highlights the resistance this technology faces from certain quarters. The discussion extends to exploring the ethical conundrums posed by AI, emphasizing its potential to disrupt traditional job roles and intensify the fear of human downsizing, a concern particularly felt for creative roles. Henderson underscores the urgent need for organizations to establish their own codes of ethics in this nascent and rapidly evolving field, where concrete legal and ethical guidelines are yet to be standardized. She advocates for a proactive approach in embracing this technological advancement, emphasizing that the strategic integration of AI can secure a business's place in the future of customer experience and other creative endeavors. We caught up with Brianna recently on the topic.
28 minutes | May 12, 2023
Creating Customer Loyalty Through Brand Consistency and Innovation
In this special edition of CX Decoded, recorded live at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas this week during the CMSWire CONNECT Conference, CX Decoded hosted Karna Crawford, a distinguished marketing and digital strategy leader with a proven track record of innovation and tangible results. Throughout this episode, Karna, former head of US marketing at the Ford Motor Company, shares her invaluable insights on customer experience and its evolving landscape. She brings a wealth of experience from working with iconic brands and leveraging data-driven insights to shape customer experiences. Karna's unique perspective as a trailblazer in the industry sheds light on the best strategies and practices for CX professionals, whether seasoned veterans or those just starting their journey. One of the key takeaways from our conversation with Karna is the importance of strategic alignment between brand innovation and customer loyalty. She emphasizes the need for organizations to prioritize their innovation efforts and ensure they align with the overall brand strategy.
24 minutes | May 2, 2023
The Essential Elements That Build Unshakable Customer Loyalty
Michelle Morris, customer experience leader for Verizon Connect, shares insights on customer satisfaction, loyalty, the necessity of cross-department collaboration and best ways to achieve data-driven success.
25 minutes | Apr 18, 2023
'The State of the CMO' Report: Key Findings
In this podcast episode, Sarah Kimmel, the vice president of research at Simpler Media Group, casts a discerning eye on "The State of the CMO" survey, offering a rare glimpse into the shifting landscape of chief marketing officers (CMOs) and the competencies they must cultivate. The study's revelations place creative thinking at the top of vital skills, trailed by strategic management, leadership prowess and executive aptitude. The CMO's role has been undergoing a remarkable metamorphosis, marked by heightened collaboration with sales divisions, mounting demands for enhanced customer experiences and active participation in digital transformation initiatives. Intriguingly, CMOs say only 59% of leadership expect measurable outcomes from them, indicating not all undertakings lend themselves to direct ties to the bottom line. Kimmel sheds light on the turbulent journey of CMOs as they navigate a perpetually shifting sea of expectations and responsibilities. We caught up with her recently to discuss the survey.
32 minutes | Apr 4, 2023
Customer Experience Metrics That Matter to This CX Leader
Melissa Henley, an experienced CX leader at Luxion, the company behind KeyShot 3D software, explores the vital aspects of both customer and employee experiences. In this latest podcast with CMSWire's CX Decoded, Melissa, a CMSWire Contributor, identifies two core metrics that CX leaders should prioritize: churn and net revenue retention (NRR). Melissa elaborates on the significance of these metrics in evaluating customer satisfaction and cultivating a loyal customer base, emphasizing the importance of a keen focus on these numbers for a company's success. Additionally, Melissa addresses the crucial role of data in CX leadership. She asserts that proficiency in working with data is essential for success in the CX field. And just as Archimedes needed to perfect his measurement techniques to resolve the king's quandary, in the world of customer experience, mastery of the right metrics can lead to those elusive, yet sought-after "Eureka!" moments.
40 minutes | Mar 22, 2023
Real-Life Customer Experience Fails — and Lessons Learned
While positive employee experiences can enhance customer experiences, negative employee experiences can have the opposite effect. A famous SNL sketch parodies the frustrating experience of trying to cancel cable service, with a customer being repeatedly put on hold, transferred to different departments and subjected to aggressive sales tactics from customer retention specialists. The sketch highlights the all-too-common problem of customer service employees who are not engaged or motivated to provide good service, resulting in a negative customer experience. To avoid this scenario, businesses need to prioritize employee engagement and create a positive workplace culture to ensure that employees are motivated to deliver exceptional customer service. CMSWire Contributors Nichole Devolites, principal consultant of LYSI Holding Company and Justin Racine, director and lead commerce strategist at Perficient, emphasize this point and provide real-life examples to illustrate the impact of positive workplace cultures on customer experiences in this CX Decoded podcast. They also discuss the use of chatbots and artificial intelligence, the power of invoking nostalgia in branding and creating a sense of community in the customer experience.
47 minutes | Mar 7, 2023
A Deep Dive into the Power of DXPs and the Road Ahead
In recent years, organizations have increasingly turned to digital experience platforms (DXPs) to improve their online presence and engagement with customers. In this episode of CX Decoded, we sat down with Sitecore’s Dave O’Flanagan, Optimizely’s Deane Barker and Contentstack’s Nick Barron to discuss DXPs and a shift to composable platforms and related concepts such as content management systems (CMS) and content marketing platforms (CMP). The participants Dave, Deane and Nick each gave examples of common use cases for DXPs and focused on the need for omnichannel capabilities that enable consistent messaging across various channels and touchpoints. They also emphasized the importance of being open and flexible with architecture to allow customers to plug and play different products depending on their business objectives.
31 minutes | Feb 21, 2023
Diana Brown on Customer Experience Meets Employee Experience
In a story that echoes the classic American dream, media mogul Oprah Winfrey started out working at a grocery store where she was forbidden to talk to customers, a move that left her feeling unfulfilled. However, she soon found a job at a radio station where her talents for communication and engagement were allowed to flourish, leading her down the path to becoming a cultural icon with her own talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show. This raises an important question about the role of employee-customer interactions in creating a successful business. In this episode of CX Decoded, Diana Brown, senior vice president of sales operations and customer experience at XPO, discusses the crucial link between employee experience and customer experience in the service industry. Drawing on both her experience at XPO and her previous experience as head of customer success for Amazon Business, Brown emphasizes that important changes often arise from employee feedback about the customer experience. She goes on to explain that XPO was able to improve its billing process after finance team members who worked in collections shared the difficulties customers were experiencing in paying their invoices. Brown underscores the importance of listening to both employees and customers in order to make meaningful changes in the service industry.
35 minutes | Feb 7, 2023
Tom DeWitt on Team-Based CX Learning
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, a Swiss educational reformer, is widely regarded as the father of modern education. Despite his relative obscurity today, Pestalozzi made major contributions to the field of education in the 19th century, pioneering new methods that were a stark departure from traditional European schools of the time. Pestalozzi emphasized real-world learning experiences and a student-centered approach to education, rejecting rote memorization in favor of group recitation and personalized instruction that highlighted each student's strengths. He believed that the role of the instructor was to facilitate and guide learning, rather than simply imparting information. One notable student who benefited from Pestalozzi's approach: Albert Einstein. At the age of 17, Einstein attended a school in Germany based on Pestalozzi's philosophy, where he was encouraged to use imaginative visualization in his studies. This approach proved to be a defining moment for Einstein, and would later play a significant role in his groundbreaking work as a physicist. The right kind of education can make all the difference. And we now know a lot more about our universe in part due to Pestalozzi's influence. Continuing this tradition of innovative education is Tom DeWitt, the director of the Customer Experience Management program at Michigan State University. DeWitt, our CX Decoded guest this week, leads a team-based real-world learning approach, fostering an environment of equality, inclusiveness and encouragement to explore. He acts as a guide to students from all walks of life, helping them to fully grasp the complexities of customer experience.
28 minutes | Jan 24, 2023
Jim Tincher on Doing B2B CX Better
In this CX Decoded podcast, Jim Tincher, founder, CEO and journey mapper-in-chief at Heart of the Customer and author of the book "Do B2B Better," discusses the importance of talking to customers after a transaction has taken place. He uses his experience as a product manager for health savings accounts to illustrate how a disconnect between the company's understanding of its customers and the actual customer experience can lead to high churn rates. He also addresses how to measure customer experience and the role of inventory in business. In his book “Do B2B Better,” Jim highlights four actions that separate successful customer experience programs from those that don't work. These include showing how customer experience is improving financial outcomes for the organization and proactively creating a better outcome for the company. Jim also brings attention to the issue of silos within organizations and how they can lead to a disconnect between different departments and their understanding of customer experience. Podcast key takeaways: Talking to customers after a transaction has taken place is important for understanding their experience and identifying areas for improvement. A disconnect between a company's understanding of their customers and the actual customer experience can lead to high churn rates. Successful customer experience programs show how customer experience is improving financial outcomes for the organization and proactively creating a better outcome for the company. Many organizations struggle with silos, which can lead to a disconnect between different departments and their understanding of customer experience. We caught up with Jim to discuss these topics.
30 minutes | Jan 10, 2023
Digital Innovation Through the Lens of Beauty
Leonardo Da Vinci revolutionized the way people were painted during the Renaissance, and his "Mona Lisa" is the most famous painting in the world and is a cultural icon for beauty, in part due to what is usually described as her alluring and mysterious smile. What has made the "Mona Lisa" so popular for more than 500 years? It can be boiled down to one word: innovation. Da Vinci was an innovator his entire life. He saw possibilities everywhere. The painting is a culmination of his curiosity and studies he undertook during his lifetime. Leonardo was interested in just about everything. One thing he was interested in was human anatomy, and he made many anatomical studies of the human body, including the facial muscles used for smiling. He discovered the complex system of muscle movement needed to produce a smile, and the data he collected during dissections he performed helped him produce the world's most revered painting. This week’s CX Decoded podcast guest knows about innovation, data collection and omnichannel approaches when it comes to beauty as well. Michelle Pacynski, vice president of digital innovation at Ulta Beauty, has led Ulta through much of its digital transformation in the past 10 years, a time in which the company revolutionized how beauty products were assembled and marketed to enthusiasts. We caught up with her to find out what brands can learn from the beauty industry about a host of topics, including the high level of engagement of beauty enthusiasts.
31 minutes | Dec 13, 2022
Inside the CMSWire State of Digital Customer Experience Report
Thinking about getting the latest CX and marketing tools for your customer service agents or possibly investing in some artificial intelligence? Are you wondering whether the pandemic ended up hurting or helping digital customer experience? And just how is the recession impacting what CX decision-makers are focusing on? Or perhaps you're wondering whether interest is growing — or diminishing or even stalling — for certain CX tools or strategies. Or maybe you just want to know if others really don't know what headless CMS is or does. Meet Sarah Kimmel, vice president of research for Simpler Media Group, which runs CMSWire.com. She tells us what the numbers are saying by diving into the findings of the 2023 State of Digital Customer Experience Report. Sarah's got the gift for wrangling meaningful findings that indicate where we're headed. She's based in Chicago, aka the Windy City. If you really want to chew the fat with her, try getting on her good side by bringing up volcanoes or tornadoes.
26 minutes | Nov 29, 2022
Customer Experience and a Looming Recession
A recession can be like preparing to go backpacking. You have to decide what you need, what’s unnecessary and what might potentially weigh you down. CX leaders have to make similar decisions to successfully trek the current economic landscape. They too have to pick and choose needs, cull waste and protect the integrity of their teams — all while serving their customers flawlessly. Tina Dobie is the chief customer officer at Calendly. In this episode, she discusses how to think about doing more with less while still driving marketing leads, keeping customers close and your customer support agents inspired. We caught up with Tina in our latest CX Decoded podcast.
35 minutes | Nov 15, 2022
Exploring the Customer Unhappiness Factor
Avoiding unhappy customers is what everyone wants to do, right? But listening to our most vociferous critics is not always easy because they're not going to pussyfoot around with you. According to this episode’s guest, it’s our angry, enraged customers who are our Golden Tickets to success. Shaking down happy customers about why they like you won’t help you understand areas you need to improve, says Tomas Haffenden, head of service design at Torrens University. You want to cozy up to the grumps, the crazy mad and the fire-breathing fit-throwers instead — cause boy-howdy — will they ever tell you what the !!*@%&*! is wrong.
33 minutes | Nov 1, 2022
Address Silos and Transform Customer Experience
The concept of transformation has been center stage for businesses around the world for some time now, but taking a moment to reflect on what transformation actually means could radically change organizations seeking new life in turbulent times. The specter of a looming recession makes the notion of transformation even more enticing — and terrifying — to many business leaders now — especially customer experience leaders. But how do they go about analyzing where silos are blocking transformation, harming customer experience and leaving organizations in a perpetually “frozen” state? Hank Brigman, senior vice president practice lead for Service Journey Strategies, helps shine some light on the most challenging aspects of customer experience transformation and discusses the inevitable and painful consequences of non-action.
26 minutes | Oct 18, 2022
Creating Fan Experience on the PGA Tour
Travis Trembath, vice president of fan engagement for the PGA Tour, is passionate about golf, customer experience and customer engagement. Having to the best golfers in the world compete under his company's brand? That's the easy part. Fan engagement, and digital customer experience, however, remains a moving target. In this episode, Trembath shares some of the ways the Tour is engaging fans through data, such as data lakes and data warehouses. He also discusses using omnichannel approaches to get in touch with the PGA fan base, how he sees the future of the metaverse and other customer experience topics, including how a PGA behind-the-scenes documentary can build the organization’s fan base. Plus, you get an inside look into life behind the scenes at the PGA Tour, a prestigious global professional sports brand. We caught up with Trembath for our latest CX Decoded podcast.
27 minutes | Oct 4, 2022
5G and Its Impact on Customer Experience
According to a recent Statista report, the economic impact of 5G on the U.S. gross domestic product will hit $484 billion by the year 2030. 5G is faster, more reliable, has more capacity and less latency than the previous 4G wireless technology — and has the capability of completely changing how brands and consumers will think about the internet in the future. But what exactly is 5G, how does it work and what type of impact will it have on gaming, shopping, business and customer experience? Frank Boulben, the chief revenue officer of Verizon Consumer Group, has watched as each new wireless generation has come into being, and he caught up with CX Decoded to help us drill down how 5G might be used in consumer and B2B cases.
41 minutes | Sep 20, 2022
Jeb Dasteel and Brian O'Neill on Successful CX Leadership
When it comes to CX leadership, or leadership in general, its always good to lead by example, but equally good to incentivize the behavior you want from your team.
34 minutes | Jul 26, 2022
Can We Save the Call Center?
Want some sobering statistics for your call center? Customer service representatives between ages 20 and 34 stay on the job for an average of just over one year, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Further, the average call center turnover rate is as high as 45% — and that's at least twice the average turnover in other departments, according to the numbers. Call centers are going through a revolution, however. Tools like AI and predictive analytics are driving automation and cost reduction. Are these innovations enough to save the call center and improve retention? Jonathan Brill, HP's former global futurist and author of "Rogue Wave," helped us try to crack the retention conundrum while also discussing call center innovations now and what the future looks like. We caught up with Brill for our latest CX Decoded Podcast.