Archive for Jeannie Walters

3 Rules for Marketing Future Innovations to REAL Customers

Posted by Jeannie Walters on January 13th, 2015 at 6:30 am

The Consumer Electronics Show, the behemoth of tech conferences, took place in Las Vegas recently and generated a predictable onslaught of product announcements, amazing trade show booths and many discussions around what the customer really wants "next."
Is the future really now for YOUR customers?
Some of the trends emerging are not terribly surprising, but they create a unique challenge for marketers. How should marketers position products and behavior around them when consumers don't necessarily know they are ready for the future?
Case in point: wearable technology is a big part of any of the"what's next" conversations, but studies show many users tire of actually wearing these products quickly, often within a few months.
What can marketers do to speak to their next customers, who don't know what they don't know? Here are a few ideas.
1. Paint the "what you can do" not the "what it can do" picture.
Lowe's came out with more technology around the connected home, a big topic at CES this year. Technology and data are critical to the success of the idea of a connected home, but customers don't care about that, really. In an interview at CES about this, Lowe's Anne Seymour described it this way:
It's about education of... Read more

When Words Don't Work from the Customer Perspective

Posted by Jeannie Walters on December 2nd, 2014 at 5:30 am

I've been in lots of meetings, particularly regarding digital user interface designs, when the term "accessibility" is tossed around. We know, for the most part, how we *should* make things "accessible" for the greater population, but we don't always know how.
It's easy, when we look at the world through our very own lens, to think our way will work for all. But there are so many ways to make things better for those who otherwise may not be able to access the information and tools available.
Whose lens are you looking through?
Customer experience is, overall, an exercise in challenging the lens you have. Playing the role of the sales director or the ecommerce lead or even the head of human resources means we use that lens to view the world. Our role in business is to accomplish something - higher conversions, better engagement, increased revenue, lower turnover, etc.
Our customer approaches their experience with us in a totally different way. The customer wants to accomplish something, too, but often it has nothing to do with the goals the leaders of an organization have. Our customer needs guidance. Our customer seeks better understanding of how to use the tools we sold them. Our customer... Read more

Analytics Don't Yield a True Customer Experience Analysis

Posted by Jeannie Walters on November 18th, 2014 at 4:30 am

Many a business guru have sworn by analytics as the end-all of business goals. And yet, I meet business leaders every day who have great talent for managing the data streams but continue to lose customers.
The experience itself is not about data.
I am the first to tell people I'm right-brained...mostly. I can geek out with the best of them when it comes to awesome statistical analysis or metrics, but I like right-brained, creative and emotional activities more. I've also found this to be an invaluable trait when reviewing, analyzing and improving customer experiences.
A statistical analysis, properly conducted, is a delicate dissection of uncertainties, a surgery of suppositions.  ~M.J. Moroney

If analytics are so great, why do some of my notes from reviewing them tend to look like this:

People before process

No matter how many processes, systems or auto-responders you have in place, people like people. We not only like people, we forgive them. We don't always understand them, sure, but we forgive them faster than we forgive processes.
The numbers can only get you so far.
If you don't connect the dots within those numbers, it lacks a tremendous amount of meaning. It's vital to use real-world situations and analysis to determine what ACTIONS to... Read more

6 Ways Internal Communications are Costing You Customers

Posted by Jeannie Walters on November 4th, 2014 at 9:09 am

Internal communications are a huge part of your culture, which has a direct impact on the customer experience. Here are 6 ways internal communications are costing you customers.

Are You Delivering the Right Pricing Experience?

Posted by Jeannie Walters on July 16th, 2014 at 6:30 am

The arc of customer experience never ceases to amaze me. I get asked so many thought-provoking questions! This one I was asked recently seems so simple:
"Should I consider pricing part of the customer experience?"
In short, the answer is yes. But it’s really not as simple as it sounds. It’s simple enough to just experiment with your pricing based on the market, what competitors are charging, what sells, etc. But have you considered how your customers EXPERIENCE the pricing of your products or services?
Pricing IS part of the experience.
When I started 360Connext five years ago, I made a very deliberate decision not to have a set “rate.” My experience with what I do – consult, provide deliverables, speak, hold Touchpoint Discovery Workshops – has taught me that having an hourly rate doesn't make much sense to me or my customers. Charging an hourly rate seems to prioritize my time over the actual value of the work. It causes me to fret about how much time I spend on a specifically challenging deliverable (should I be charging more?) and it generally causes unnecessary tension in the experience.
This can get awkward, admittedly. Some clients think it’s important to know what 5 hours of my time... Read more