As some of you may know if you've perused my site (or just clicked on the SoCal CXPA tab above), I am a team lead for the CXPA SoCal Local Networking Events. This means that my two cohorts (Jen Maldonado and Kim Proctor) and I organize local events every quarter to bring together SoCal customer experience professionals. The format for these events is networking, speaker, roundtable discussions, and wrap-up.

Why do I mention this here? Read on...

Last week, we held our OC networking event, hosted by the great folks at The Irvine Company at one of their buildings in Costa Mesa. The speaker was Sean Van Tyne, who is the User Experience Director at FICO; he co-authored a book with Jeofrey Bean titled The Customer Experience Revolution. If you haven't read it yet, be sure to pick up a copy.

Sean's a UX guy, so he started off his presentation explaining the difference between Customer Experience and User Experience. Here's how he delineated the two:

Customer Experience (CX): All interactions people have with or about a company’s messages, people, processes, products or services. This encompasses the spectrum from potential customers to customers to advocates.

User Experience (UX): A person’s experience directly interacting with a company’s products or services.

He then went on to explain the 3Ds of the Customer Experience Revolution.

Determine what the experience should be.
Develop the experience by engaging people, anticipating their needs.
Deliver on all their promises.


And finally, he explained the 12 Customer Experience Essentials, which nicely summarize the whole of the book. These 12 Essentials are based on conversations with Apple, Amazon, Starbucks, and others and are the things that companies who deliver exceptional customer experiences do.

1. Commitment from Executive Leadership: the executives, not just the CEO, set the direction for the company, and this is key to successfully developing a customer-centric business. In a customer-centric business, the first metric reported in executive meetings is the customer metric, not the financial metric.

2. Innovation and new ideas drive great customer experience: Following a customer-centric process helps organizations discover new ideas and innovations.

3. Know your “Do-Fors: A company must understand what customers want the product or service to do for them. Don't communicate what you do but what you do for customers - in a language they understand. What problem are they trying to solve? What need are they filling?

4. Know the market: Look at all segments of the market – potential customers, current customers, and advocates. Benchmark those experiences for the major competitors in the market. 

5. Purposely design the customer experience: Be specific. Know exactly how your experiences are better, different, and more-valuable for your customers. Be realistic about what they can promise and deliver.

6. Incorporate new communications platforms: Customer’s preferences change and your company must decide what is relevant to them, create new business opportunities, or expand your reach.

7. Measure your customer experience: What's measured gets done. Metrics of success should be aligned with delivering extraordinary customer experiences, along with other business goals. 

8. Great experience create an emotional connection: Emotional connections create trust and brand loyalty. Make the choice to market with fear or market with love. You decide.

9. Ask, watch, and listen: Involve customers when creating your customer experience. Early and often – when it will be less expensive and easier to make changes, for the biggest return and impact.

10. Small teams work best to develop new ideas: Teams of eight people or less are easier to manage and make communication simpler. Things happen faster when you're working in smaller teams.

11. Stay connected to customers (not processes): Revisit or remove methods, processes, and technologies that might separate the company from customers and future opportunities.

12. Continuously improve: The best customer experience companies compete with themselves so that they continue to improve.

The momentum of the customer experience revolution is building. Industries will be transformed by companies that embrace the concept of great customer experience. -The Customer Experience Revolution

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