Archive for Jeannie Walters

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

5 Ways to Improve Customer Experience in 5 Minutes A Day

Posted by Jeannie Walters on July 1st, 2014 at 9:30 am

We're officially halfway through 2014, and now is actually a great time to review what you have done to improve the experience you create for your customers, and what you would like to set in motion for 2015. But while you're thinking about bigger things you should PLAN on doing, let’s talk about what you can do right now to start improving your customer experience.
Here's how you can make great strides in just minutes a day:
1. Dedicate some time to focusing only on customers.
Whenever you get a chance, ignore the noise coming from your boss, the shareholders or the press. Take a few moments to think about what your customers actually need. If your boss wants you to develop a mobile app because your competitors already have them, stop and ask yourself if this will solve any real problems your customers have. When the survey responses are telling you the billing process is disjointed or impersonal, will a mobile app really make them any happier? In the second half of the year, most of us have limited or no resources for starting a new initiative. Make some quick notes about what the real challenges are and prioritize in favor of your... Read more

5 Ways to Retain Loyal Customers During Growth

Posted by Jeannie Walters on June 17th, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Are you alienating customers as you scale?
Business growth is often considered relative to customer acquisition. More new customers = more growth. Growing businesses implement more metrics to track this growth. But what about specific B2B customer retention strategies? During growth, it becomes even more important to track what not only attracts new customers, but what helps you retain the customers you have.

Our infographic shows how easy it is to lose sight of real customers and their needs as you scale your business.
Don't just grow, grow with your customers.

When scaling any business, there are likely to be changes some customers simply will not care for, and you're bound to lose a few of them along the way. But there are ways to make sure you'll have a better chance at keeping those customers while gaining some valuable insight as you move forward.
Here are 5 B2B customer retention strategies to implement during growth:

1. Pay attention to how customers behave.
Customers, especially when interacting with other people, are apt to behave in ways that are contrary to what they have told you. Watch how your customers are behaving. Are they renewing contracts? Are they upgrading their services? Use these objective measurements as guideposts... Read more

How to Turn Unhappy Customers into Loyal Ones

Posted by Jeannie Walters on June 3rd, 2014 at 10:34 am

We tend to buy from people we like, even when they’re offering the same products or services for the same prices (or even higher) than people we don’t like. Are we being foolish, or just being human?

More than 95% of human thinking is driven by non-conscious influences. This means we often don’t even know why we react the way we do. Our emotions, typically, are driven by interactions we've had with other people.
Remember your last bad day at the office? Customers were unhappy, employees were crabby, and then your internet connection disappeared. At the end of a day that seemed too long to bear but too short to straighten everything out, what if a client called to express their gratitude for an excellent experience? You were able to go home with a smile on your face. When you talk about that day six months later, you’ll likely refer to the lows (feeling bad about all the things that went awry) and the highs (feeling proud of making a client so happy they called to tell you about it.)
Create Memorable Experiences with the Peak-End Rule
Peaks in all experiences are what create the memories. The highs and the lows are what customers... Read more

Dispelling the Myth about Customer Touchpoints

Posted by Jeannie Walters on May 20th, 2014 at 7:41 am

Creating an inventory of all of the touchpoints within the customer journey helps define a lot of moments, both good and not-so-good. When done thoroughly, a touchpoint inventory can be a great launch pad into your customer experience improvement initiative.

But what exactly IS a customer touchpoint?
According to Wikipedia:
Touchpoint (also touch point, contact point, point of contact) is business jargon for any encounter where customers and business engage to exchange information, provide service, or handle transactions.
Wikipedia is spot on, if you happen to be viewing your customer's journey from within the vacuum of your own organization. And too often, that happens to be the case. Customer touchpoints generally are not well understood or appreciated from the customer’s perspective. And they are definitely not just "business jargon." But they can be meaningless unless the company understands them as a complete inventory and as individual opportunities to improve the customer experience.
Awareness and understanding of  your customers’ current situations, and what drives them toward loyalty or defection, is the essential to delivering a superior customer experience. Understanding the actual touchpoints your customers have with your organization is a basic part of that understanding.
Most companies, when defining their customer touchpoints, list things like:

Direct Mail
Web Sites
In-Store Sales Associates
Welcome Letters/Customer Communications
Customer Service Call... Read more