What I didn’t give up for Lent

Hello again peeps, of course I could say I’d given up posting for Lent so as to come back re-charged and firing on all blogs but then I’d be lying and that’s just not good for anyone including the google truthometer. Well I’m back, and here are some of the things I didn’t give up for Lent:

1 – compiling my list of daily brand interactions (update to come next week) which show an unerring leaning towards email contact and based on the BIRDIE classification system they are 70% plus irritating as opposed to life affirming.

2 – Stripey socks

3 – Just being curious every day about the extent to which brands still don’t get things right when it comes to delivering sensible experiences via any channel in a consistent way (this is the life affirming bit). I am still being offered the chance to buy shirts and ties every day, offered jobs via a site I’m unsubscribed from as they’re without fail always inappropriate, and go on a cruise (I’ve never been on a cruise and made one enquiry last year which has spawned a great expense on marketing various cruises to me since even when the Costa Concordia was in trouble)

All the above kinda leave me with a sinking feeling – get my drift? Whatever happened to relevance, relationship and right time?

4 – Celebrating brands that get things right, wear their heart on their sleeve and have this vital organ properly wired to the blood in its veins so that all touchpoints are part of the same rich breathing body of experience. *Giff Gaff are out there growing their business and delivering service via its customers, bringing a whole new meaning to Care in the Community – more on Social Services next time.

5 – Putting myself out there. Thought I’d try my hand at running a small local event to raise funds for youth cricket and this weekend it kicks off with the first beer festival in my area. Is this a category (beer) for innocent style expansion? I’ll be canvassing the good folks of Cranleigh this weekend.

Rest assured you won’t need to wait another 40+ days for my next post as I’m pulling in the household cavalry to help get me organised and ensure my thoughts make it onto the wonderful world of wordpress.

*Occasionally I will break my golden rule of naming brands and only in the case of positive feedback where genuine excellence needs exposing.

Apples with Apples

Comparing brand experiences between consumers is difficult.apples-with-apples

Apples with Apples?

Research groups are good but expensive, time consuming and tend to focus on product not experience. Net Promoter Score (NPS) programmes are excellent for Staff Customers and Suits to ‘get’ and personally I am a fan having implemented many a successful programme.. However, how do you resolve the individual differences that may lead me to give an experience an 8 and another to give a 7. Is it possible to calibrate what an 8 is to minimise getting the wrong steer from a satisfaction programme’s results?

@SHRINIVASDHARMA has some interesting thoughts via the MOSTER system which says up front to a customer – tell me what your ‘scale’ is and this is then applied on a weighted basis to their answers. I’m no mathematician but this intuitively feels like it’s got legs. I’m interested in any other thoughts from the customer satisfaction (CSAT) community on this one.

Tabular Bells – you heard it here first

You may notice a few bells and whistles on the blog thanks to my friends at Coreware.co.uk (they really are clever technology people!). I have dedicated a whole page to my table of brand interaction data personal to me but relevant I will argue to the marketing world and how good or bad it is at exercising its reach into our daily ploddings. Tabular Bells? I hear you query and rightly so. Well alarm bells may well ring of the dangers of brandits (see previous post) or more positively church bells to celebrate the conjoining in happy matrimony of expectation, experience and satisfaction.

Not one for plodding myself, I will endeavour to update the table monthly and one admission is that the first edition only holds but 9 days of brand interaction data for January 2012. I am in the process of adding in the rest of Jan’s data prior to posting any initial conclusions however early indications are that the bulk of interactions are via email, sales related and irritating – comments please.

Between the Posts

Apologies to my small and beautifully formed bunch of followers for the recent outage caused by a server issue at my hosting company. All fixed as of yesterday pm – further developments due any time now at which point I will publish my next post entitled Tabular Bells; I kid you not(!)

Bring me the Heads of customer experience

[bra-n-dit] noun, a disconnection caused by the inoperability of different communication channels in a consumer context.   A hijacking of positive customer sentiment by the untimely jarring of expectation, experience and satisfaction.

As we collectively leave behind the morass of Blue Monday, I felt it was time for a) another post (slacker!) and b) a clarification of the word I have chosen to signify all that is improvable in the customer experience (CX) world – ‘brandit’.

Watching yet another re-run of a Clint Eastwood western yesterday evening, the usual panoply of frontierless hands working out for the first time where the law starts and finishes, reminded me of the somewhat virgin territories of 21st century customer experience where we grapple with customer journeys being self-generated (by customers) faster than we can brief a multi-media contact centre. Whilst the exec boards who continue to sweat the assets and second guess what customers actually want (notwithstanding commissioning reams of research in the process – to whom I doff my ‘cowboy’ hat).

So CX compadres I lay down this challenge. Bring me your brandits large and small, comely and grim, together we’ll marshall them; sink or swim.

HNY HPY SHPA’s

As a founding member of *NAF, it seems appropriate to kick off 2012 with an acronymic salute to those who know me and of course, as seems apposite for a blogger, to those that I don’t (yet). So **HNY HPY SHPA’s. Here’s hoping this will be a year when my brand experiences will be more positive than not, and a Happy Shopper I too will be.

One of the old truisms of our industry is the extent to which bad or negative experiences are shared and of course the interweb (un)happily promotes such stories. Sitting round the metaphorical campfire this Christmas, with no encouragement from me I should add, various relatives started to re-live tales of woe from their xmas shopping travails. One such experience entailed being requested by retail staff of a well known brand that a faulty item be returned to their sister store up the street so their ‘numbers’ wouldn’t be affected(!) Another similar experience involved being refused the right of return by another store and being asked to travel 30 miles to another store only to be told there was no reason why this request had been made.

A more granular experience of my own related to a freebie promotion from an electronics company for a 3rd party music provider. Having spent the best part of 2 hours trying to extract some value from said offer, it proved impossible to me (user error no doubt) and I gave up. I was then invited to take an online exit interview. Mmm proactive folks I thought, but a classic oversight was the URL for the survey “trial customer churn”. Needless to say it confirmed what I had already concluded.

On that far from positive musical note I will sign off until next week when I will also have worked out my first 7 days of tabulated info of brand interactions. Oh happy days indeed…

*National Acronym Federation

**Happy New Year Happy Shoppers