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Customer Experience In Today’s Era & Beyond

by Designhill Tweet - in Webinar

Customer Experience In Today's Era & Beyond

Last updated on November 6th, 2023

Small businesses, especially entrepreneurs, are going through a horrific time during the COVID pandemic. Most of them still have not adjusted well to the changing market scenarios. Major issue is that they feel directionless in dealing with customers who are in the virtual world rather than physical markets. During the pandemic, customer experience has become some sort of a riddle. Therefore, we present a panel discussion where industry experts are discussing the major issues related to customer experience and providing the best possible solution exclusively for the business owners.

The pandemic has challenged the working of businesses in many ways. But the changed customer behavior is perhaps the most challenging one for a majority of small businesses. The service industry, such as hospitality, is particularly looking for new ways to define customer experience in the present crisis.

Since customers have now shifted to the digital world to buy products or services, it has involved many digital-touch points. The shift in customer experience has compelled business owners to change their parameters of judging the customers’ satisfaction. But the issue requires experts’ opinions.

Considering the crisis, Designhill conducted a panel discussion on the topic: Customer experience in today’s era and beyond. The guest panelists were industry experts Shep Hyken, Colin Shaw, Annette Franz, Roy Atkinson, and Elise Quevedo and the event was held on 19th June 2020.

During the panel discussion, the experts shared their experience and gave useful tips to deal with customer experience during the pandemic. They delivered their views on Covid-19’s impact on consumer behavior and how customer’s expectations are shaping up. They also talked about market trends, tactics, digital transformation, and how to manage customers and stakeholders during the crisis.

Here Is The Video Of The Panel Discussion With The Experts


Here Are The Key Tips Experts Provided To Deal With The Issues Related To Customer Experience

Designhill: How do you think the CLV is an important calculation in determining the firm’s value, and how many companies do you think will be valuing themselves more on the CLV basis?

Shep Hyken: CLV stands for customer lifetime value. So, What’s that customer worth? Let’s start by saying that years ago a company would say that hey, we are not in the manufacturing of products business. Everybody said we are in the service business. Even General Motors, the car manufacturer, said we need to be thinking about ourselves as a service business.

Shifting to the subscription model

Today, companies are starting to say there is power in the subscription model. And even though you are not necessarily thinking about magazine and newspaper subscriptions, you are thinking about how I can get automatic recurring revenue from my customers, clients, or call them members. That is where it becomes valuable because you can start to get automated recurring revenue with people that will continue to renew the rate.

People continue to do business with you when your business is very high, low churn, and high retention. You start to create value for your company that is multiple times the actual sales per year. So, there is great value in finding a way to provide ongoing recurring revenue within your organization. The only way to get there is to give customers the value that makes them want to come back every time.

Annette Franz: The key to that is to make sure that the customer receives the value that they have. And the only way we can do that is by solving problems and providing products and services that meet their needs.

Make customer return to your business

Shep Hyken: I just wrote an article in my newsletter recently that said that every company is in a way in the renewal business when you call yourself a subscription model, a membership. Renewal is simply about getting a customer to come back and continue to do business with you again. I have got an article coming out next week that talks about the churn rate. It tells about how we determine the formula for churn and retention, which is easier than you think. But everybody is in the renewal business, whether they know it or not.

Focus is on customer retention

Annette Franz: It is exciting for companies to look at their retention numbers. I know a lot of businesses get in the weeds. They want to talk about churn, how many customers lost, which is an eye-opener. But I think they need to look at retention numbers and put a little bit of a positive spin. And, it is an eye-opener for a lot of customers.

It is also a painful number to track for many companies in terms of the percentage, the number of customers, and the dollar value. Going full circle on lifetime value, the dollar value associated with each of those customers that you retain versus those you’ve lost.

Designhill: Would you believe that CLV is the true index of firms’ value?

Colin Shaw: I have two observations to make here. One is, as we are going through this period in our history, how many organizations are going to start cutting back on customer experience, customer service, and support? And the answer is too many. The second part for me is when you are looking at lifetime value and retention again, I agree that we should be doing those things. But the key issue is what drives those things.

Know what customers do in reality

We should look at what customers tell you and what they do. These may be different things. You have to look under this under the hood of these things. So, I do think that it is crucial. Too many organizations and sections are going to retrench in this period. But the forward-thinking organizations are going to start what drives these things? And how do we move it forward?

Designhill: How do you understand the value of their customers and the long-term benefits in determining the CLV and serving customers based on CLV?

Elise Quevedo: The most important factor for me is that companies need to humanize themselves, especially now. We need to let consumers know that we understand social circumstances. It is very important to have an action plan or a set of steps to help our customers.

For example, I totally like chips that or I am at peace about the value that we create people and companies just like also fully mentioned is that you No, we are talking about retention. And how can we do that if companies are cutting back on the number of the stuff they have to deal with customers?

It is important to understand that we should convey to the customers the changes that are happening right now and let them know about what you are doing. Tell them that you are coming down, or these are your open hours, and let people know the plan. I think that position for 2014 has customers coming back.

Designhill: How would you convince such entrepreneurs and business owners to get back and focus on things which are going to be valuable?

Roy Atkinson: Customer experience is the strategy. I was present in a discussion the other day. A young woman named Becky Roman, an intelligent thinker in the world of customer experience, said that what you have to do is realize that customer experience is the strategy. You put that out front of where your company is going if you are moving toward customer experience. Doing that, you realize that you must have data that feeds customer experience. You need to look at all the numbers that tell about the number of customers you lost or gained. This is going to happen to us financially.

Tell your customer experience story

How can we change our business model? How do we communicate the value of that customer experience based on data? But it also has to be storytelling. You can’t give numbers only. You must tell the story of how your customer experience efforts are feeding into the business value.

Talking about subscription models, we can look at it just from a purely business perspective. Then, the subscription model allows some interesting things to happen in a publicly-traded company. For example, you don’t have revenue spikes as much as you might. If you are, renewing every Microsoft license on the planet in September, Microsoft’s revenue will go up. If they have a subscription model, which they now do with Office 365, that revenue will come in a steady stream throughout the year.

So there is a direct recognition that the subscription model is good, but you have got to retain those customers. And you do that by serving and understanding them well. You should also get rapid and close real-time feedback.

Designhill: If companies focus on their CLV model, they can focus on customers with a higher CLV. But if they must cut down on their reach outs and budgets, can’t they build that group through the principle of vicinity?

Colin Shaw: Naturally, you will focus on the classic 80-20 rule. You are on 20% of the customers that give you 80% of the revenue. I think the issue for me is much wider. Not many organizations think through, and I’ve got data around customer lifetime value in my experience. So, first of all, you get them to understand it and accept it and build some numbers to be able to make those decisions.
When we go back to today’s topic, the important thing is that we will see too many organizations thrive on short-term decision-making, rather than looking at the lifetime value of a customer. And it is important that you look at the lifetime value of a customer, particularly today.

Find out a customer’s worth

Step Hyken: Here, I would like to say that 20% of your top customers make up 80% whatever that number is fine. But you should understand the customer lifetime value. You can then put a number on what the average customer, teaching employees on the frontline could be worth. With this, you start to make better decisions, whether it’s a small customer or a big customer. You can understand that value and say that you cannot afford to lose one customer, even if they are small, they contribute to that average in some way.

Whether the customer is smaller or bigger, the goal is to raise that average higher. If the CLV is higher, you are getting your lower-level people to continue buying more. Whether it is CLV, NPS, or any of the customer service stats, it simply does the customer come back, and they could be happy as can be. But if they don’t come back, what difference does it make? And once you start to establish whether they come back, it is then about how often they come back. How much do they spend, what do they spend differently, if they only come once? Are they spending more? There are all kinds of other numbers, but initially, customers should come back and index what matters.

Designhill: How is your rich customer experience, and how do you measure?

Pay attention to small customers as well

Annette Franz: Don’t ignore your small customers, right. I am working with a client where they have been using that 80-20 rule. But the interesting thing about the small customers is that they are just getting started. There is a clear path for the existing sort of medium-sized customers now that we are small customers. Just because they are spending $10,000 a year this year.

Don’t ignore the small customers because they vote with their feet and their wallets. They are going to walk if you don’t take care of them. If they have a bad experience, they are going to tell their friends and colleagues. I don’t necessarily ignore them just because they are not spending a lot of money with you today because they could be spending in the future.

Roy Atkinson: And, there was a comment from the audience that says a synergy develops when customers receive the same type of service. If they are low, we perceive them as a low lower-valued customer, or higher-value customer otherwise. The other thing that plays into that synergy, of course, is that all social media word of mouth is very big now. Even though they are a low-value customer, they may have a lot of audience with them if they have either good or bad things to say.

Colin Shaw: But we can’t be suggesting that we have a segmentation of one. In other words, everyone’s treated the same because we are not accounting for costs. And therefore, quite clearly, on the top-end of the marketplace, you will put more resources absolutely, etc.

Build leadership and effective communication

Elise Quevedo: I think it is about working towards customer-centricity culture within companies. And there are two points here to make. These are leadership and effective communication. This is because, in companies, leadership begins today. There are meetings behind closed doors, where the information is not passed down the line.

And we need to make sure that we include hero people in conversations. They understand what the frontline employees who deal with customers are placing the keys where communication comes into play. In this way, they can continue to inspire and motivate the employees to provide good customer experience and have that lifetime customer.

Use social media to communicate

We need to understand what they want, and like Roy just mentioned, we can do that through multiple social media channels. Nowadays, social media marketing for businesses is must as it forces a completely new conversation. But to do it from the company first, he can be done through meetings through email, social media, or just communicate to people what customers are all about.

We are talking about the 80-20 rule, 20% of customers will always create most of the value. So, what are we doing for them? Do we understand what keeping customers happy means? It usually is low-end employees as well, who provide the service. Are they being trained correctly? I believe that is part of the leadership and communication,

Designhill: What role does digital transformation play to meet customer expectation and how businesses should go about it?

Looking for humans for conversation

Shep Hyken: Digital transformation is a great opportunity in several levels, including customer and support levels. In the recent few months, during the COVID pandemic, there has been a significant increase in the desire to talk to a human being. As a result, support centers are seeing a huge influx. I believe it was 39% in the UK, and in the US, it was 38%. An influx of customers that would normally go digital routes, self-service routes, go into a website frequently asked questions, looking for video tutorials, they are now calling because they just want to talk to somebody.

But when we look at the overall picture, the digital experience has to be there because it gives customers control and quickly gets their answers. If all I want is to know if my package has been shipped and if I want to track my package, I shouldn’t have to make a phone call, go on hold, and answer all the necessary questions. There should be a link that allows me to do that.

Artificial Intelligence for customer support

So let’s talk about the employee for a moment. Digitally, artificial intelligence can support a customer service rep incredibly well. This is because when a customer calls in, the machine can recognize who that customer is and what are the buying patterns. And then, the artificial intelligence machine can say, this is what the customer wants, who the customer is like, and this is probably the next question they are going to ask. The machine can suggest the next product that you should be telling the customers about. So, there is so much benefit to the digital experience on the employee side as well.

Elise Quevedo: Artificial intelligence is in the second part of the digital transformation. And regarding the phone calls that we just talked about, I would say that once we used to have the one sentence like your number x in the cube or apologize for that. Now, that experience has improved, thanks to the real-time engagement provided by power devices. For example, we used to wait once, but now we are being asked questions that reroute, and they go through zillion bits of information. They can do that faster.

AI can predict customer behavior

Artificial Intelligence also helps with predictive personalization. The more we show up online, the more that AI can predict our behavior of how we show up and how we interact. So, it helps businesses create experiences that make consumers feel like every brand tailored something for them. They give the customers a personal feeling that the brand cares. This is why digital transformation is so important, but at the same time, it is incredibly new. So this is a huge opportunity for growth for pretty much any brand on the market.

Power shifted to customers

Roy Atkinson: Digital transformation is the shift of power, if you will, from an organization to the customer. Previously, organizations used to hold all the strings regarding what customers had access to, and what they would see on the outside. Since power has shifted to the customer through an app or the website, or through whatever mechanisms you set up. The customer now has tremendous power in comparing products, looking for alternatives, keeping your price down by shopping extensively through digital platforms, etc.

So, in the digital world, technology is an enabler of customer action. And I think a lot of businesses miss that as they put the technology first. Remember, it only enables actions on the part of your employees and customers.

Customer- the center of digital transformation

Annette Franz: I’ll build on that and say that one of the things we must remember is that the customer is at the center of digital, the digital experience, and the digital transformation. That means we have to remember also that the employee has to come first. That they must have the processes and the tools. But if we have now gone digital, that should not mean that the employees should lose their jobs.

An enterprise-wide effort

The other thing is that it is an enterprise-wide effort. The culture has to be such that the customer is at the center, and then this effort is enterprise-wide. I have an example of a friend who works for a company with a digital experience department. It was a bolt on to the organization; right a bolt-on, it wasn’t part of their customer experience team. It was a team of 40 people, working on digital, never to intermingle. All the other employees were upset that it made no sense to anybody.

But apparently, it made sense to at least one person. So when my friend came in who’s now the CEO, they, the person who had headed up the digital group had left, disbanded that group, and now got a group of 17 people, not 40. Some of those people from the digital team have now come in under his team. And he’s made it an enterprise-wide effort. It has to be its digital transformation about your business processes, your people, your culture, and all of that will support and facilitate the digital experience.

COVID accelerating digital transformation

Colin Shaw: COVID is effectively an accelerant that is now accelerating everything. What would typically be happening three years is happening in three months. Digital is a massive platform for that. Indeed, with all the clients realizing that their digital transformations haven’t gone that well and are not that robust.

And then, they should put a great deal more effort into enhancing that digital transformation.

So, I think it is virtual that, what we see, has been sort of digital transformation, one dot zero. Now we people recognize the need to move much further ahead with it while we are only at the foothills of that integration with AI and understanding customer behavior. So I think all of those things will play into where we go from here.

Shep Hyken: I don’t think it’s anything brand new and innovative in the last three months. It is just we have been pushed into three to five years into the future. So, everything that we are doing is a little different right now is where we would be in a few years. And that is the accelerant, and I love that. And yes, innovation will continue.

Artificial Intelligence will fast improve

There will be improvements in artificial intelligence in digital channels. Over the past month, I had an excellent opportunity to talk about 60 to 70 people who contact centers. It is incredible what they do, and their version of what digital is today in support of the customer is far different than it was just three or four months ago. One of these folks had 60,000 employees working in 62 call centers worldwide, and 12% of those people were already working at home. Within one week, 100% of them were working from home.

For the customers, it was like an incredible transformation. And they are going to shut down some of the actual physical call centers and are not going to lose any employees. They will streamline their operation and enter more in the digital era and remote workforce era.

Roy Atkinson: It’s just feeding off that we had some annual research that we do around staffing and plans for staffing and support centers. One of the questions we asked is about working from home. And our 2019 study said that 32% of support centers had no plans to introduce work from home for 2020, which is surprising. Now, close to 100% or at least most people were working from home

Shep Hyken: And, are they going to go back to working in the support centers? Are they going to stay or keep their people working from home is the big question today.

Roy Atkinson: That is a huge question, and I think it bears a little exploration, not directly relevant to this conversation maybe. But there is so much talk about employee experience. Not everybody’s experience in working from home is the same. For some folks, it’s complicated. It would seem to make sense that the more people you have working from home, the better, but it’s not always the case, and not everybody suited to it. So that is a big discussion.

Good customer service matters

Elise Quevedo: It will be very important here because if people, most of us, the ones that are here today, were used to working from home, a coffee shop, and home office. Many of the people that have been forced into the situation do not have this structure. They don’t know how to break their day.

So I think companies also need to understand to provide good customer service. If you are working from home, you need to provide better attention. What are the new expectations? So it goes that not just with customers important here, but how do we keep the employees motivated to work from home? After all, a lot of companies are going to shut down their offices and are working from home.

Colin: Some clients have been testing with their employees to continue working from home. And in all four cases, 70% of the employees have said they want to work from home.

Avoid falling into the commodity trap

Shep Hyken: So, interestingly, it starts with the employee experience, meaning that what’s happening on the inside, it’s felt on the outside. One of the things we never want to fall into is the commodity trap. We constantly want to differentiate ourselves, and we may not be able to do it through the product, but it would do it through service and experience.

Well, what’s going to happen when our people are working from home? There is a well, in some cases, minimal interaction with leadership and colleagues. I mean, before you are working in a support center, your managers coming over, tapping you on the shoulder telling you are doing a great job. You have a question, you go to your colleague next to you, but it becomes a little bit more difficult when you go seek someone out.

I fear that if companies don’t do this right, they will commoditize the employee experience. And then the employees are going to go to work for the best money, not necessarily the company they are working for. So, just as companies want to create a better experience for customers to get out of the commodity trap, we need to do that for employees.

Designhill: Once, Sir Richard Branson said he takes care of his employees and takes care of his customers. Do you think that the employee center should come first, then the customer-centricity? Then, will employee centricity itself take care of the customer-centricity?

Coline Shaw: You need to define the experience that drives value for your customers. Once you have defined the experience that drives your customers’ value, you then create a workforce that enables you to do that. For example, if you want your customers to feel that they trust you, then employ people who are good at trust. If you want people that you want your customers to feel cared for, hire people that are good at making people feel cared for.

Designhill: So, how do you ensure customer centricity through employee centricity?

Think of customer centricity

Annette Franz: I agree with Colin because businesses are outcome-based. And so you have to think about the outcome. I call it customer-centricity, but we could call it people centricity. But customer-centricity is outcome-based. If we focus on the customer and what’s best for the customer, you have to put the employee first. You will create a great employee experience because you have to, and we should be clear on what customer centricity is to write.

Bring customer’s voice in your work culture

I like to define it because many people think customer-centricity is just saying yes and the customer’s always right and those kinds of things. But that is not what customer centricity is. You build this culture and deliberately design culture, where you bring the customer’s voice into everything you do.

I always say no discussions, no decisions, no design, without bringing the customer’s voice into it. You cannot take your decisions, etc., without asking how will it impact the customer, and how will it make the customer feel? What problems does it solve for the customer? What value will it add? That is what customer centricity is.

When we answer those questions, we bring the customer’s voice into it. Then, we have something that we can latch on to tell the employees. Retrain your employees, hire the right employees, and deliver the right experience for employees to deliver on those outcomes for the customer.

Roy Atkinson: John Carlson said if you are not serving the customer, you should be serving someone who is part of that culture. This helps realize that the area everybody in the organization affects those outcomes, every single person in the organization. And you might want to think through your value streams if that is not the case. But so that culture gets built around that customer outcome, everything else tends to fall into place.

Shep Hyken: Some of the employees don’t understand where they fit into the outcome. Take the airline example of the baggage handlers. If you check your bag and you see it go down that conveyor belt, and then three hours later, you land at your destination. It’s at the baggage carousel. It doesn’t happen by magic there, although it’d be cool if it did. Some employees touch your bag, move it to a cart, take it out of the plane, and take two or three people to get it on the plane.

Probably, by the time it gets to the carousel, eight, nine employees have touched the bag. Here is the interesting thing, none of them see the passenger smiling face. Yet, if they fail, they are going to create a serious moment of misery. They create trouble for the passenger and the poor soul that works at the airline at the baggage counter who deals with the irate passenger who says you lost my luggage. So, they have the internal customer and an external customer to think about at the same time.

Combine digital with human interaction

Roy Atkinson: One airline that I often fly with has put a mobile app that helps you scan your little bag as a receipt, and then it would tell you where your bag was. Now they’ve done away with the scanning part. It associates your baggage with your ticket and tells you that it’s on the plane or transferred to the other plane. You always know where your bag is; all you have to do is open the app up and look that generates such peace of mind.

I don’t have to worry about when I get to the other end of my clothes because I have to go to an event where I know exactly where that thing is at all times. So that is the coming together of the human interaction, the baggage handlers who get it there, and the digital information that is presented to the customer. This combination eases their mind and generates a better experience for them.

Skep Hyken: Inter information creates confidence with the customer. And if you give it to them before they ask for it, they don’t have to ask for it and spend the valuable resourceful time of others.

Elise Quevedo: I feel that brands sometimes forget customers. But I am all about storytelling, putting the customer in the middle of the story, creating magical experiences, and making people feel unique. Whether or not you have seen a copy-paste text from a script, please personalize it, make that person feel like they are a valued customer. Because you think, though, it takes two seconds to send.

I am going to give you an example. After you start in Spain for the last three months, I live in between the United Kingdom and Spain. About two weeks ago, looking to start, going back to normal retail shops is opening up. Of course, everybody wants to go to the restaurants and see it outside in the sun. But let me tell you something, a couple of restaurants have lost my guts now as a customer base and their service more than ever right now.

Have compassion for customers

We are heading to a time of power and more compassion for customers. This is because customers who fought, even as we are customers ourselves, everyone has to face a little faster urgency. Then, you have people serving you who don’t care. I mean, if you don’t care about what we are doing, why would I come back to your support. Why would I come back to your restaurant? I am told it comes down back to if your employees are not happy for earth time. Expect your customers to be first. It’s a little bit like that to them yet.

What comes first, the customer or the employee? I feel that the employee is a peacekeeper. This is because if you have many customers, but nobody to serve them, they will walk away. Sometimes we need to tell it like it is, please treat your employees first, and then the customers will come back again and again. Make them part of your brand story.

Designhill: Do you think social media has been an enabler to give a rich customer experience, or sometimes do you think that it is an angry tool where just that people just vent out?

Colin Shaw: Social media is a potent tool. The issue is that human beings are social, and, therefore, social media is a potent tool. It is underused in businesses today, particularly in the support environment. I think the issue for me around social media is that it has not sort of been fully integrated into our channels. This is where you start having a whole conversation about having an omnichannel, etc. It’s still pushed to one side.

But the great thing about social media is that you can start to understand more directly and quickly how the customer is feeling. From a customer’s perspective, they can apply pressure on the organization to highlight the wrong things, which again, I think, is good because that provides real-time feedback to the organizations to make those changes. As we know, some organizations respond a lot better than others.

Shep Hyken: Let us talk about what social media is. It’s simply a tool. And we, as a brand, need to be present on social media and listening. But here’s a hard fact you are going to be surprised that we just did a study less than two weeks ago with over 1000 consumers in North America. We found out an amazing stat.

When we asked how many of you have ever left a comment or review on social media, less than 8% responded yes. The respondents were of all ages, ethnicity, geography. We also asked how many were positive reviews? How many were negative? Or, did you leave both? And obviously, those numbers get even smaller.

Customers look for reviews

But I’m surprised that the numbers are not more because people made such a big deal out of social media. However, what customers do appreciate when they go to an online site or when they are doing the research about a product, is to see reviews. This is because it helps them make decisions, not just a scale of one to five with a number, but driving that number. Why did the customer love you? Why did they not like you? And what did the company do about it? Jay Baer says social media makes customer service a spectator sport, which allows the rest of the world to see how a company will handle somebody that isn’t happy.

Elise Quevedo: I remember back in the day when that was Capitoline and then MasterCard in March the first two brands that came on to the social verse. And it starts with you seeing that the platform’s customer service, they started on Twitter. And now, people are more likely to complain over a tweet than they are over email.

So, that is a spectator sport, as you say, but also to get that feedback, how do we reply to a brand surgeon who is saying, okay, we never live between 9 am and 5 pm. For example, PBC is important to pay attention, either don’t have social at all or if you are going to have social media as part of your brand strategy, please have people who are checking those accounts daily.

Annette Franz: I’m a little bit going to disagree because I think we tend to make the simplest things so darn complex. We don’t ask how we make sure our customers have a great experience on the phone? Who asks that anymore? So, why don’t we make something simple?

Designhill: How can an airline cabin crew coach ensure a good customer experience onboard?

Colin Shaw: So, there was an interesting word in the question, which is a good customer experience. So the first thing for me would be to define what that means. The second thing again, I think this comes back to where we are today. COVID is pretty interesting. If you got people in one sort of segment who are scared of it, you got people in another segment who think it’s all media hype.

The point I’m trying to make here is that you will have a lot of different people on the plane. So it’s about trying to be empathetic and understand how that person is feeling. If they are the opposite end, then they won’t, and therefore, you may want to change how you behave to those different groups of people if you can identify them.

Designhill: The hospitality industry is under hard times. What suggestions would you give for having a great comeback with clients and guests, once hotels reopened for all?

Elise Quevedo: This is about letting customers know the new safety measures and make them feel welcome. For hospitality industry during COVID-19, it is a new normal. We are heading to a time of moral compassion. So, please have patience with the new people coming back. Use positive language, understand what your customer has gone through and ask them what their expectations are, what would their customer experience be? We need to learn to be flexible right now.

Designhill: What are some of the best technology platforms that you would recommend to help small businesses?

Shep Hyken: I remain brand agnostic and not mention specific companies. But I think the first tool that they should consider is Designhill. But as far as CRM goes, anytime that you can track your customers, keep a list segment that lists into different buckets of what the customers enjoy. In Nikes, a large brand, they’ve done with their membership program or their loyalty program, whatever you call it.

CRMs are crucial distribution tools

It’s not about getting points. Instead, it is about getting information to the customers. They get the right information to the customers because they have segmented them properly. So, a good CRM is a very important distribution tool. Some CRMs can distribute information via content like newsletters, blogs, whatever, sent to people. I think that it is important to have.

If you are going to have a website, make it so easy for the customer to use. I just read a great article. But it said, does your website pass the mom test? And it’s not all moms; it’s his mom because his mom has difficulty navigating around websites. And if you can get her to use your website, you’ve won.

So what are you doing with the tools to make it easy? Those are the types of technologies you need to be thinking about intuitively for the customer. Get the tools that are easy to use for what gets the best information to the customer.

Designhill: How to reduce the churn rate?

Roy Atkinson: Keep the customer experience great. Make it easy. I mean, customer effort is a huge motivator. If it’s easy for me to do things, interact with you to buy your product and get your product, get service, ask questions then, I am going to be much more likely to stick with you over time.

Annete Franz: You must have that customer-centric culture in place. You have to listen to your customers and understand your customers who they are, their pain points and problems, and try to solve them. So, you can design an experience for them. You must have the right employee experience in place and train employees on what a great experience means and how we will keep our customers and make them happy. There is a whole host of things that have to be done to reduce churn.

Designhill: How do small businesses know that the customer is not coming back to the purchase?

Colin Shaw: At the moment, they do it badly. They don’t know much about how to do it. All they ever see is the numbers going down, and then they suddenly say that didn’t we have a lot more customers last week? That is why we talked about CRM, which is to gather information about your customer base and understand who they are to stop churn.

Know the customer behaviour

Customer behavior is the key thing. There is a big difference between what customers tell you and what they do. Usually, customers say that everything is okay and fine, but they never come back. People have to tell you what the reasons are. It would help if you got under the skin of what they are doing and that behavior to define what the churn is and the real reason for changes. We will be getting a lot of people over the next year saying that they can’t afford this and that. And that will undoubtedly be the case in some circumstances. You have to try to find that out to make sure that you can fix it to help you get the job.

Elise Queduo: You should always remember that we are all customers first. Whenever you are doing your service, would you come back to yourself? Answer that question, which is the best way to know if you are providing a good service.

Shep Hyken: Everybody is focusing on lifetime value. But it is not about a lifetime. It’s about the next time, the common point we want people to come back the next time. That is the behavior and the measurement you want. Does the customer come back? They tell you they were happy. And maybe they weren’t.

But if they don’t come back, what difference does it make if they are happy. I want to end by saying that when you ask them how everything is and say it’s fine. But fine does not necessarily mean fine. The customer may have put a fake smile on the face to say fine.

So, these are the crucial tips from the experts. Think of these suggestions when revisiting your strategies to provide better and new ways to define customer experience in the present crisis.

Wrapping Up

In the changed business environment due to the pandemic, experts are redefining customer experience. Now that customers are buying products or services digitally, they need to be contacted at different digital touch points. Now, the need for customer-centricity and effective CRMS is being felt even more. The experts have emphasised on strategies that combine digital with human interaction.

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