Customer experience helps drive customer loyalty, and, therefore, sales. If a customer has a good experience with a company, he's much more to return, a critical factor in sustaining long-term sales. “Customer experience has become an even higher priority within companies because of the ability of competitors to quickly match your new product and services,” says Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group.
Temkin Group this week named AIG Aisia Pacific, Cisco, EMC, Intuit, and Oracle, as its 2013 Customer Experience Excellence (CxE) Award winners. Finalists include Adove, Cox Communications, Findel Educational Resources, Fiserve, Rackspace, and UMB Bank.
“What we're seeing now from our finalists, among others, is that some companies are figuring out what it takes to build long-term customer experience success,” Temkin says. “The Customer Experience Excellence winners treat customer experience transformation as a matter of cultural change. They don't improve just individual transactions; they focus on changing their organizations so that they will sustain great customer experience over time.”
For example, AIG Asia Pacific uses its “Feel Good” message to engage customers, employees, and leaders in the company's service culture transformation efforts, according to Temkin. The company's comprehensive voice-of-the-customer program includes a closed-loop improvement process to implement meaningful changes based on customer feedback and Net Promoter Score measurements. The goal is to ensure that all customers “feel good” by keeping the company focused on its customers. The better the customer feels, the more likely he will repeat business with AIG Asia Pacific.
Cisco has made customer experience a priority through its Ease of Doing Business Program (EoDB). As part of the program, Cisco seeks to simplify complex customer issues. Cisco analyzes customer feedback, identifies trends in customer experience pain points, and then delivers tailored reports and suggestions to the appropriate business teams, according to Temkin.
“Cisco also reinforces the importance of EoDB by equipping leaders with regular program updates, factoring the success of EoDB targets into the bonus calculations of every employee, and prominently displaying an EoDB dashboard that provides real-time data feed from customer surveys,” Temkin says.
Cisco also sees the program as an ongoing process, to drive improvement in the customer experience. Discussing the program on the company blog, Cisco says: “But even as we celebrate these successes, we're nowhere near declaring victory. We have numerous changes in the works, and you will continue to see evidence of these over the course of the next year.”
Temkin adds: “Good customer experience leads to increase in positive word of mouth, additional purchases, more customers trying new products, more openness to discussions with sales and marketing reps, more customers signing up to be reference accounts and the willingness of customers to forgive you when you make a mistake.”