Archive for Jeannie Walters

3 Spectacular Ways to Create Customer Service Disasters

Posted by Jeannie Walters on June 9th, 2015 at 8:08 am

Life can be full of disappointment.
As humans, we disappoint each other all the time! We let people down when we skip someone's big event, or when we do show up at an intimate dinner party without an invitation. We disappoint each other by offering unwanted advice or by keeping our helpful insights to ourselves. It's tricky, this human experience of ours!
It comes down to one thing: expectations.
What expectations are you setting for customers? If you don't deliver on them, you will most certainly disappointing customers. And with social media, they will share their disappointment in places you never imagined.
If you'd like a guide, here are three ways to make sure you disappoint your customers.
1. Set unrealistic expectations in your marketing campaigns.
We call this the Sea Monkey Syndrome.
Remember your expectations set by the cartoons of blissful humanoids frolicking in a tiny kingdom? The expressive creatures wore crowns and even sported jewelry! And then...you received the dehydrated packet of brine shrimp. They didn't have faces or seem to interact socially. They were ugly and boring. There was no way to construct a crown small enough for their tiny heads. Bummer.
Businesses of all types inflict customers with Sea Monkey Syndrome. We are promised... Read more

How Customer Education is Vital to Your Marketing Strategy

Posted by Jeannie Walters on February 24th, 2015 at 7:33 am

Marketers have enjoyed a long love affair with lingo and inside speak.
It's easy to throw around terms like PPC in meetings and assume, typically correctly, most in the meeting will understand.
But customers are now seeking guidance on everything from data privacy to the Internet of Things (IoT) and it may be up to marketers to help them understand.
It's easy to fall into the trap of speaking as we speak to one another, instead of really articulating what the customer or prospect needs to understand in order to not only consider a brand's offer, but to eventually gain long-term loyalty.
What does this mean for marketers?
Marketing starts way before it used to, and prospects often discover brands in ways we can't track, such as word-of-mouth referrals or the scary-sounding "dark web." People are seeking information on how to solve issues, understand what's happening next or just what their friend is posting about on social media.
Education about products should be in the greater scheme of a customer's life. This means marketers must understand not only who their customers are but how they travel through the customer journey. Mapping the customer journey is a start, but marketers have to work across functions and... Read more

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