It’s Day 2 of Forrester’s Customer Experience Forum 2010, and I'm incredibly excited to see this morning’s opening speech by our own James McQuivey. He's going to demo Microsoft’s new interface that uses gestures and natural language commands with help from the company that built it, PrimeSense. You may have heard of this as Project Natal or Kinect — but hearing about it does not do the trick. You have to see it and then hear James’ take on what it means for e-tailers, financial planners, media companies . . . wow. Forgive me if I seem a little blown away, but I’ve been watching the rehearsals, and all I can say is that I have to have one of these! Check back throughout the day for more about this speech and others.
Today's Live Stream
Day 2 Opening Remarks
Harley Manning, Vice President, Research Director, Forrester
We just announced the winners of the Voice of the Customer Awards 2010 at Forrester’s Customer Experience Forum this afternoon. We received nearly 40 nominations, and the strength of the competition was seriously impressive. A number of trends emerged from across the nominations that show just how much voice of the customer programs have advanced since last year — as described in a previous blog post.
Needless to say, the judging was tough. We graded the nominations based on five criteria: clarity of approach, business results, customer experience impact, degree of innovation, and lessons provided for other firms.
And here are the results . . .
The 10 finalists (in alphabetical order) are:
American Family Insurance
The three winners (also in alphabetical order) are:
American Express. The global services firm stood out for its significant focus on employee engagement. American Express trains customer service representatives in active listening, gives them a formal career path, and ties their performance assessments directly to customer feedback scores. These efforts drove a double-digit lift in “recommend to a friend” scores among customers who interacted with American Express through its active listening program, as well as a 10% improvement in service margins.
Welcome to all of you at Forrester’s second annual Customer Experience Forum in New York City! And to all of you who can’t be here — we’ll miss you. Sales for the event were so far beyond our goals and expectations that we are flat out amazed. There are about 900 people here from many industries, especially financial services. Attendees come from many professional roles: We’re seeing a good mix of people who work in marketing, eBusiness, customer intelligence, and customer experience (of course), including a strong contingent of senior managers and executives. So please keep checking in here for the latest updates and discussions around our theme of customer experience breakthroughs!
Today's Live Stream
Welcome And Setting The Stage
Harley Manning, Vice President, Research Director, Forrester
The research uncovered a significant shift in focus for established customer experience execs.
In their early days, most customer experience executives focus on building their teams, gaining visibility and momentum, and fixing broken experiences. Now, many execs have survived their early days, and they're starting to think longer-term. This shift is clearly reflected in the two most common areas of focus for this year: defining clear strategies and developing repeatable management processes. Other common efforts include infusing customer experience into standard business processes, aligning employees by tying compensation to customer experience metrics, and taking more action in response to available customer data.
We here at Forrester see this shift as a sign that customer experience is rapidly maturing, largely driven by the emergence of the chief customer officer (CCO) as a key leadership role within many organizations. As existing CCOs gain influence and other firms see the financial and competitive advantages of strong customer experience leadership, we expect this trend to become even stronger.
What do you think: Will CCOs become as common as CMOs?
We recently embarked on a Forrester-wide research project to benchmark the use of social technologies across enterprise organizations led by my colleague Sean Corcoran. Why is this important? Well, as you may know, Forrester covers social technologies from a wide range of perspectives — from roles in marketing to IT to technology professionals. We find that each of these roles differs in its general “social maturity” and that most companies are experiencing pockets of success, but few, if any, are successfully implementing it across the board. Full maturity in this space could take years, but there are clear differences in how some ahead-of-the-curve companies are using social technologies for business results. The one question we know that our clients — across roles — are interested in is: “Where is my organization compared to others in the use of social media?”
To help answer that question for our various roles, we're conducting a survey and doing interviews to understand:
How do you define “social maturity,” and why is it important to get there?
Which companies are ahead of the curve in implementing social technologies for both external use (i.e., for customers/consumers) and/or internal use (i.e., for employees/partners)?
What have been the biggest drivers of success?
What are the biggest challenges?
What steps do most organizations need to take and why?
The point of all of this is that we'd like your help. If you're interested, here's how:
We just finished judging the entries for Forrester's Voice of the Customer Awards 2010. Announcing the winners will have to wait until we’re onstage at the Customer Experience Forum in New York on June 29. But there is something I want to announce right now: I am really impressed by the entries! :-)
Because I was also a judge last year, I couldn’t help but notice some big changes from last year. Here they are in no particular order:
I’m moderating the “Trends in Customer Experience” panel at the upcoming “Customer Experience Forum” in New York on June 29th and 30th… and couldn’t be more excited. In preparation for the event, I’ve been talking with my panelists, who include: Kathleen Cattrall, Vice President of Branded Customer Experience for Time Warner Cable; Neff Hudson, Assistant Vice President of Member Experience at USAA; and Janice Brown, Manager of Channel Strategy and Orchestration at FedEx. Among others, here are three reasons to come see this session:
Building an organization-wide customer experience movement. Kathleen is a powerhouse who describes her work in terms of a grassroots revolution. She credits, in part, Time Warner Cable’s 14-point CxPi jump this past year to her success at making customer experience the key agenda item for a 3-day set of sessions with 400 senior leaders company-wide.
Orchestrating cross-channel strategy. Janice devotes her waking hours to orchestrating customer experience across channels, which makes her a treasure trove of ideas about getting buy-in from a diverse group of leaders company-wide.
Integrating marketing, sales, and service. Customer experience veteran Neff Hudson focuses on this integration, ensuring quality across all customer touchpoints, including social media, call center, IVR, Web, mobile, and face-to-face. He has great perspective on bringing the customer voice into new product design, which includes USAA’s launch of Deposit@Mobile, a mobile app that lets members deposit checks using the camera in their smartphone.
With the first round of health reform under our belts, it's time to shift attention from access to the real issue plaguing the American health system: cost. The cost issue is complex, spanning payment models, medical malpractice and defensive medicine, and the specialty versus primary care debate. But I want to focus on consumers, and the broader context in which they make their healthcare decisions.
A quick look at the list of the nation's most expensive health woes — which includes heart conditions, cancer, diabetes, and osteoarthritis — and it's hard to argue that consumers aren't at least partial architects of our own fates. Improvements in nutrition, exercise, weight control, stress management, smoking cessation, and sleep can put downward pressure on both severity and costs of all of those conditions.
Health plans, employers, and even policy makers aren't blind to the need to nudge consumers towards healthier behavior. But changing consumers' health behavior is hard. Program proponents bump up against consumers' self-awareness (most people think they behave better than they actually do), their perceptions (are they willing to trade off the short-term benefits of familiar habits for the long-term rewards of healthy behavior?), and even their psychology (consumers are risk averse, experiencing the pain of failure with more intensity than the joy of success).
All of this makes behavior change extremely difficult. But it's not even the whole story.
I’m delighted to return to Forrester and its Customer Experience team after eight years of running my own business and technology strategy consulting practice.
I’m returning to the same group in which I worked before with Harley Manning and his team. It was in that group that I helped develop and implement Forrester’s Web Site Usability methodology, wrote reports like “Must Search Stink?” and “Smart Personalization,” promoted the use of customer data intelligence and CRM systems to drive proactive interactions that I called “Tier Zero Customer Service,” and reported on the uses of early community-based tools for customer service (today it's "social CRM").
A frequent question that I've been asked in the scores of phone calls over the past several weeks since my return has been: What are you going to cover? The short term answer is primarily four topic areas:
We experienced a brief technical glitch in our online nomination form. It was a one-day thing, and we’ve solved the problem. Now we’re taking the opportunity to provide the kind of good customer experience we advocate.
We’re making up for our one-day technical issue with a two-day deadline extension. We’ll accept award nominations up until 5pm Eastern on Tuesday, June 8th.
If you think you’ve encountered any technical issues, please feel free to email your nomination directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.