How to Humanize Customer Experience & Drive Meaningful Customer Relationships

There’s a problem with how many businesses view customer experience (CX) data: human beings cannot (and should not) be distilled down to numbers. For many years, experience programs have hailed numbers as a sort of holy grail, but the reality is that numbers are no substitute for genuine human connection.

None of this is to say that metrics aren’t important, but companies should remember that they can only reveal so much about why customers may be experiencing an issue or even why they remain loyal to the brand. With that in mind, we’re going to dive into a few things to bear in mind while creating more human and more connective customer relationships!

Numbers Alone Can’t Tell a Story

Before we get into how to humanize and improve customer experiences, we first need to understand why structured data can’t give us all the answers. For instance, it’s common to send out Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT/OSAT), or Customer Effort Score (CES) surveys after a customer interacts with a brand, but what do these scores actually tell us? A higher ease-of-use score, for example, doesn’t necessarily mean you made the customer happier or that you improved that customer relationship. You can speculate about numbers, but they don’t reveal the exact, organic reason why customers feel one way or another.

So, how can companies compensate for this lack of context? The answer lies in unstructured data and the Experience Improvement (XI) solutions that can turn it into actionable intelligence. That actionable intelligence, in turn, gives brands the chance to create a more organic, more connective, and more human customer experience.

How to Humanize and Improve Customer Experiences

Only when a business listens to human feedback can it respond with a more human customer experience. This means tapping into the voice of the customer by allowing customers to express feedback in their own words. 

Consider platforms like Instagram, Yelp, and YouTube. People can use these platforms to freely (and frankly) express themselves in a way that numbers cannot allow. The result is a form of unstructured feedback that your brand can not only use to trace the root causes of experience breakages, but also to empathize with your customers.

After accumulating enough unstructured data, the next step is to analyze and act on what you’ve learned. However, that’s easier said than done, especially if your CX resources are limited. That’s why it’s important to desilo data and share customer intelligence with your entire company. Then, you can get multiple departments to collaborate and act on their role in humanizing the customer experience (this approach also creates a single, holistic view of the customer for your organization).

If your brand can offer experiences that are far more human, that’s far more valuable than achieving any high metric score. And it goes hand in hand with customer loyalty. When a customer feels empathized with and known as a person, that customer will return to your brand—even if there’s a lot of competition—because their relationship with you has transcended mere transactions. This is the heart of Experience Improvement—answering customers’ search for meaning while strengthening both your bottom line and your marketplace leadership!
To learn more about what makes doing business so dehumanizing and why brands need to challenge themselves to humanize and improve customer experiences, watch this video!

How to Improve Contact Center Experiences in 5 Easy Steps

A lot of customer experiences hinge on your contact center’s effectiveness, which is why it’s important to ensure it’s a resource your customers find helpful, professional, and expedient. We’ve learned a lot about how to create and maintain a highly effective contact center over the 17 years we’ve been in the customer experience (CX) biz, and we’ve distilled those learnings into five simple steps you can follow to make sure your own contact center experiences are up to scratch:

  1. Utilize Automation
  2. Explore Customer Issues to Create Self-Serve Content
  3. Engage and Enable Employees
  4. Data Is a Gold Mine
  5. Closing the Loop

Step #1: Utilize Automation

The term ‘automation’ gets a bad rep because a lot of folks associate it with navigating phone trees and having to repeat yourself to a robot listener, but the truth is that automation is incredibly useful when contact centers leverage it correctly. Using automation within online chats or survey feedback, for example, allows your brand to direct customers to solutions for smaller problems. This frees your call center agents up to deal with more complicated problems while also reducing call volumes, saving your brand both time and money.

Step #2: Explore Customer Issues to Create Self-Serve Content

Using feedback to direct customers to solutions is one thing; analyzing that feedback is another, especially if you can leverage a data platform that turns unstructured feedback into actionable intel. This method is extremely helpful for finding recurring problems that your customers might be having, forwarding those issues to a dev team, and creating appropriate self-serve resources that can empower customers to look after themselves. This approach is also helpful for future-proofing your experience before customers may even have an issue.

Step #3: Engage and Enable Employees

This is a big one. It’s not uncommon for brands to “merely” train their employees to handle customers, but organizations can accomplish much more by encouraging employees to share their perspectives on customer problems. In this way, brands can become aware of problems that customers may not have been reporting, while also empowering employees to take Experience Improvement (XI) into their own hands. This is also a great way to demonstrate to your contact center employees that you care about them and the customer experience, turning detractors into promoters.

Step #4: Data Is a Gold Mine

Your brand probably generates mountains of data every day. Having a lot of information is great, but in this day and age, having so much of it can make figuring out where to start difficult. We’ve found that contact center improvement hinges on three kinds of data: customer feedback, social media data, and web analytics. You can complete the puzzle of Experience Improvement by using this information as a backdrop for your organization’s view of your customer. Having all of this data in one place gives your brand a united, holistic perception of the customer, which is vital to knowing how you might make some fixes and refinements to your contact center.

Step #5: Closing the Loop

This step is crucial to making your customers feel cared about. It’s not actually enough to stop at solving the problem; following up with your customers afterward goes a long way toward making them feel cared about as people. In other words, a follow-up lets customers know you’re as interested in the relationship they have with your brand as the transaction. Follow up with employees, too! Gathering intel and opinions from all these folks will give you chances to improve both your contact center and your overall customer experience, strengthening human connections and your bottom line.

Click here to learn even more about these processes in our full-length contact center eBook. We take a deep dive into additional methods and best practices you can leverage to begin improving your contact center, customer experience, and employee experiences today!

Creating Customer-Centric Cultures for Medical Device Brands

The trick that comes with creating customer-centric cultures (and something many brands miss when planning these projects) is that it’s not a one-and-done process. It’s a cyclical, continuous effort that every company, including medical device and supply brands, need to pay constant attention to as they create improved experiences.

If you’re worried that your organization might need to brush up on a more customer-centric culture, don’t be! We’ve been in the business of Experience Improvement (XI) for a long time, and while there’s always more to learn, we’ve put together a few tips that we’ve seen create great customer-centric cultures time and again.

  1. Create Cross-Functional Teams
  2. Leverage Advocacy and Meetings
  3. Tweak Hiring and Messaging

Tip# 1: Create Cross-Functional Teams

One reason a lot of medical device, or other, brands struggle with creating customer-centric cultures is because they try to have teams do so from within siloes. The problem with this approach is that it makes every team work off of their own idea of the customer, which creates highly inconsistent experiences and, ultimately, customer churn.

Fortunately, this problem has a relatively simple fix: let your teams mingle! Creating a cross-functional team is a great way to bring isolated views of the customer together, resulting in a 360-degree view that is both something all teams can work off of and, at the end of the day, more accurate. An accurate and whole picture of the customer works wonders for Experience Improvement!

Tip #2: Leverage Advocacy and Meetings

The next step in this process is to take your synergy beyond customer experience (CX) meetings… and advocate for customers across the organization! Let even the employees who aren’t near the front lines know how their work helps build a better experience. A lot of companies think that employees might not care to know how customers feel if they’re “too” behind-the-scenes; the truth is that no team is unattached from Experience Improvement, and letting them know that boosts morale.

What’s funny about customer-centric culture is that some folks take the term to mean things only getting better for customers. From what we’ve seen, employees who have a chance to become more invested in customers’ experiences end up creating a better employee experience (EX) for themselves, which creates a continuous improvement feedback loop.

Tip #3: Tweak Hiring and Messaging

Once organizations create a unified view of that customer and then spread it to all of their employees, it’s time to extend that passion outward. Brands that infuse this new perspective into their hiring techniques will stand a far better chance of finding employees who are not only genuinely interested in Experience Improvement, but also a great fit for such a customer-centric organization.

Messaging also plays a key role here; you want to let new and prospective customers know that they too can benefit from a meaningfully improved experience that your brand re-dedicates itself too. More fundamentally, this approach lets both new and existing customers know that you value them as people, not just price points, which will keep them coming to you instead of the competition, strengthen mutual relationships, and create a stronger bottom line for your organization.

Interested in learning more about how your medical device brand can create customer-centric culture? Click here to read our full-length eBook on the subject and to gain more intel on meaningfully improving all of your experiences!

Four Goals for Your Program That Go Beyond Customer Experience Metrics

When it comes to customer experience (CX), a single moment can mean all the difference. And that can be easy to forget when your brand is interacting with countless customers over multiple channels every day. When it comes down to it, however, a moment can mean the difference between a positive or a negative experience—and a boost or a dent in your core customer experience metrics.

For many experience programs, those metrics are the end-all-be-all. Every move they make is with the express purpose of driving those numbers up. At InMoment, we believe that experience leaders should aim higher at goals that go above and beyond typical customer experience metrics. More specifically, we help our clients design programs that target four economic pillars to help them not only improve experiences for customers, boost metrics, and build loyalty, but also to benefit the business where it counts: the bottom line.

Today, we’ll walk you through each of those four pillars and tell the stories of brands who have leveraged their experience programs to achieve those goals. Let’s get to work!

The Four Economic Pillars of CX

  1. Customer Acquisition
  2. Customer Retention
  3. Cross Sell & Upsell
  4. Cost Reduction

Pillar #1: Customer Acquisition

A well-built CX program enables organizations to anticipate what new customers are looking for in a brand—and therefore they’ll be able to leverage that information in their efforts to boost acquisition numbers.

For example, a major athletic company sought to capitalize on acquisitions by optimizing its surveys to find new types of customers. By targeting respondents between the ages of 18 and 35 with specific questions, the company was able understand this demographic and expand to new cities and demographics. 

The practitioners who ran this initiative were able to prove its worth by tracking the new customer acquisition, increases in unique customers, and market share growth that it generated.

Pillar #2: Customer Retention

Organizations should never underestimate the power of service recovery—70 percent of customers who have a situation resolved in their favor will return to a brand, while a 10 percent increase in customer retention can grow a company’s value by 30 percent. Truly customer-centric companies leverage their CX programs to identify disgruntled customers, reach out to close the loop with them, and ultimately prevent customer churn.

For example, America’s largest cable and home internet provider leverages VoC technology in their regional customer care centers. They discovered that 3% of all respondents requested callbacks, totaling 1,000 customer recovery opportunities a month (or a whopping 12,000 per year). By combining this insight with customer lifetime value, the company was able to identify $23 million in recoverable revenue—directly resulting from customer retention!    

Pillar #3: Cross-Selling/ Upselling

Given that it costs 25 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, brands stand to gain a lot from finding new cross-selling and upselling opportunities.

Organizations can leverage CX listening tools to identify what about a brand spurs trust and loyalty from its customers and then take action to make those offerings even stronger. After all, nearly 50 percent of customers are willing to spend anywhere from 11 to 50 percent more with a brand they feel they can trust. Additionally, predictive analytics can be tuned to identify which customer segments are more open to new offerings. This allows marketing teams to target those customers with campaigns that will encourage them to spend more with the brand.

An example of a brand leveraging their experience program to grow share of wallet comes from a large cafe group that was able to capture feedback from its existing customer base, analyze their sentiments, and make fundamental menu changes accordingly. As a result, the cafe group saw a noticeable revenue bump that it was able to link directly to their program insights and subsequent menu changes.

Pillar #4: Cost Reduction/ Elimination

Finally, organizations can use CX feedback and employee feedback to both save money within operations and to simplify their provided experience. Are there ineffective processes that are costing more than they’re worth? Eliminating such costs can save companies time, resources, and revenue. (After all, training one employee can cost an average of almost $1,100!)

A top-tier mattress retailer used CX tools to install an exit survey for departing employees, giving them a greater understanding of employee sentiment. After implementing the necessary changes to reduce turnover and new hire training costs, the company was able to establish a clear link between its CX strategy and the ROI it helped to generate.

Don’t Stop at Customer Experience Metrics

In the simplest of terms, what we do as CX professionals is create interactions that inspire attitudes in our customers than, in turn, produce desired outcomes. One of your desired outcomes can be to simply improve your CX metrics, but don’t let your goals stop at the numbers! 

Instead, create a strategy for your experience program that aims to benefit the business as a whole by increasing customer acquisition and retention, growing wallet share, and decreasing unnecessary costs. You have the power to help your business thrive, so aim big, go beyond the metrics, and inspire meaningful outcomes!


Want to learn more about how your experience program can produce desired outcomes? Check out this eBook that explains how to use the power of social science and your experience ecosystem to leverage the power of a single moment and meet your goals.

Three Ways to Create a Successful Linkage Analysis Strategy

Linkage analysis is a key part of any customer experience (CX) program. It’s a process that allows companies to dig deep into the experiences they provide to ask the big CX questions: what could the business do better, what are customers seeing, what is impacting finances, and how to create and sustain true Experience Improvement (XI).

Today, we’re going to run through three elements we’ve seen companies use to create amazing linkage analysis strategies, enabling practitioners like you to meaningfully improve customers’ experiences, create a strong bottom line, and point back to all of this when going back for more funding!

Three Elements of Successful Linkage Analysis Strategies

  1. Business Insights
  2. Customer-Specific Details
  3. What If” Scenarios

Key #1: Business Insights

Business insights are one of customer relationships’ biggest building blocks. Diving into this element of your CX program empowers your team to better understand the relationship between retention, loyalty, and profitability. Once you’ve got that intel handy, your program’s ties to overall business wins and drivers become clear as day! Such drivers might include how customer experience relates to loyalty, how business ops are affecting retention, and the financial impact that comes with Experience Improvement. That last one is especially important for proving ROI and making the case for the positive impact your program has on customer relationships!

Key #2: Customer-Specific Details

While on the subject of customers, let’s get into how linkage analysis can cover details unique to the people who keep your brand trucking. Specifically, you want to look at the mechanics of specific transactions and behaviors. How intuitive is your contact center menu? Can customers jump between channels en route to getting a single issue resolved? How effective does your customer service have to be for your organization to maintain its market position, and how far might you rise if that service was improved? Questions like these vary from brand to brand, but knowing the answers makes all the difference.

Key #3: “What If” Scenarios

Our third and final tip for making linkage analysis valuable to your company is integrating it into as many simulations as possible. Organizational success comes from future-proofing your experience, which means knowing about customer preferences and potential obstacles before they even fully form. This foresight is where linkage analysis can be very useful, because brands can use it to envision, say, the revenue that could be gained by shortening the claims process, or the retention boost from a more engaged workforce.

The Next Step

CX programs can get a big boost from applying linkage analysis toward these ends, but how else might linkage analysis boost Experience Improvement? Click here to read our full report on everything linkage analysis can do for your brand, your customer relationships, and your bottom line!

Digital Experience Strategy: What Drives Your Customers’ Behaviors?

As customer demands have grown more complex, so too has the idea of what to do about the customer experience (CX), especially when it comes to digital experience strategy. It was never enough to scoreboard-watch numbers and react to situations only as they occurred in real-time; if you want to forge meaningful connections with customers while strengthening your bottom line, you need to constantly be aware of what drives their digital behavior. This is one of the first steps toward Experience Improvement (XI), and it’s something brands need to implement if they want to not only retain customers, but make a difference with them.

The following are three quick methods brands can leverage to learn what drives customers’ online behavior, enabling them to begin or continue a cycle of continuous improvement:

  1. Challenge Your Assumptions
  2. Know Your Drivers
  3. Leverage All Your Data

Method #1: Challenge Your Assumptions

This is an important step to take no matter how well you know your customers. Like we said earlier, CX expectations are changing, which means that it never hurts to reevaluate your brand journey through your customers’ eyes. So, with that goal in mind, create some surveys, interview your customers, and map out your current journey. You might be surprised what you learn!

Once you’ve got your customers’ current expectations in mind, leverage those to get to know your clientele better as people. Being personable is its own reward, but customers will always prefer an organization where everybody knows their name. Besides, better knowing the people who sustain your brand causes employees to become more invested in the mission and vision.

Method #2: Know Your Drivers

It’s always a good idea to take a hard look at your customers’ behaviors; especially the ones that seem to correlate with growth, retention, and finding the moments that matter. When you find those behaviors, you’ve found the things that have the largest impact on both customers’ interactions with your brand and your business as a whole.

Knowing what these behaviors are can provide a ton of intel and context on how to brush up your customer touchpoints, map new segments of your customer journey, and how to reach those individuals for new products and services that you know they’ll love. This ties into the notion of future-proofing, i.e., knowing what your customers may want before they themselves even know, a foresight that will make your brand even more competitive.

Method #3: Leverage All Your Data

Knowing how your customers behave is great, but it’s only half the battle. The final step toward understanding what drives your customers’ digital activities is putting their behavior against a backdrop of other metrics. Financial data, operational information, and other contextual information belong in that backdrop. So too do sources like social, VoC, CRM data, and website/app data.

The Power of a Well-Executed Digital Experience Strategy

Pulling all of this information together can take time, especially if it’s siloed with multiple teams, but if you can pull it off, you’ll have a 360-degree view of your customer that goes beyond ‘just’ digital drivers. This holistic understanding allows your organization to not only build a hyper-accurate profile of your customer, but also unites your entire organization around it, enabling you to create meaningfully improved experiences that bring customers back, create a stronger bottom line, and boost your organization to the top of your vertical.

Looking to add to your digital experience strategy? Our latest eBook lays out four quick wins that will put some points on the board for you customer experience team in the best way possible! Check it out here.

Three Pitfalls to Avoid When Benchmarking Your Customer Experience Program

When it comes to customer experience (CX), it’s obvious that solicited customer feedback is vital. But what if we told you that, on its own, that feedback is not sufficient to give you a thorough understanding of how your brand is delivering on experience? In fact you need a lot more. You need to understand how your employees view the experience. You need unsolicited feedback from social media and other sources. Finally,, you need to understand the greater market’s perception by benchmarking your customer experience program against competitors.

In the latest episode of InMoment’s “XI Expert Take” series, InMoment VP of Customer Experience Consulting and Insights Jeremy Griffiths takes a deep dive into benchmarking and why it’s so important for customer experience initiatives. We’ll be providing a few of the best takeaways in our article today.

Thinking About Benchmarking Your Customer Experience Program?

Before we get into pitfalls and best practices, let’s talk about why you should be benchmarking your CX program in the first place. Primarily, those of us who lead and leverage experience programs have two overarching questions to answer: 

  • How am I doing?
  • What do I need to improve to drive successful business outcomes?

So, we search for the answers in our customer and employee data. But to answer these questions fully, we can’t just look at our own strengths and weaknesses. We need to be able to see the wider context of the market to get a sense of how we compare. Only when we have that big-picture view can we be certain that we have all the necessary information to make effective, strategic decisions.

However, you don’t want to set out on a benchmarking journey just to get it done. To do it well and get the intelligence you need, there are a few pitfalls you need to avoid along the way. Here are the three benchmarking pitfalls Jeremy has seen most often in his career:

Pitfall #1: Using Benchmarks as a “Big Stick”

When Jeremy works with brands to start up or refresh their benchmarking initiatives, he often has to help leaders shift their perspective about their benchmarking scores. He says one of the most common challenges he’s seen is leaders who use their results as “a big stick to tell their team to ‘do better.’” 

The imagery here is especially effective and accurate. It’s easy to imagine that if a brand’s scores are low in comparison to competitors, a leader might use those benchmarks as a weapon to spur their employees into action. However, this can be incredibly harmful to morale in the moment and to long-term success. 

How? Let’s take a look from the employee perspective. Let’s say that your leader has just given you a talking to, assuming that you and your team are doing something  to negatively impact the experience. But what if you feel as though you’re doing the best you can? What if the real issue is something beyond your control, yet you’re still being made to feel responsible? You’d feel incredibly frustrated, devalued, and helpless. 

This is just one example of how the wrong perspective on benchmarks can negatively affect your business. As we all know, disengaged employees can lead to an increase in employee churn, and therefore, additional costs in the millions!

Pitfall #2:  Using Experience Benchmarks as an Excuse

The next pitfall Jeremy describes is directly related to the first. In fact, it’s the other extreme in terms of leadership perspective: leaders who use their benchmarks as an excuse to do nothing.

In contrast to our previous example, let’s consider a brand whose benchmarking scores are good relative to its competitors. If the leadership sees the numbers and thinks, “well, we’re obviously doing well. Why would we need to do anything differently?” there’s potential for harm to the greater business.

The reason why is quite simple: you shouldn’t let success make you complacent. In our fast-paced world, you can be ahead of the pack one second, and fall behind the next. If there’s one thing we can promise you, it’s that your competitors are competing on experience. If you’re not actively working to provide your customers with the next greatest, more convenient, more memorable experience, then the competition will surpass you—and your customers will flock to the brand with the best experience.

Pitfall #3: Being Too Focused on the Number

The third pitfall is really a cause (and effect) of the first two. Leaders either use benchmarks as a big stick or a comfort blanket because they are too focused on the number. And at the same time, they are causing their employees to focus on the number. 

The issue with this number-based focus is that it only allows you to measure or manage your experience. It does not open the door to actually improving your experiences and boosting your bottom line. To inspire these major benefits, you have to look beyond metric scores and instead focus on the “why.” Why are you performing this way? Why are competitors performing well? Why do customers choose your brand over others?

When you shift your focus from the numbers to the context, you create a proactive, inspired, and positive Experience Improvement (XI) culture that is always pushing forward. This culture inspires your employees to be problem solvers, to strive for better experiences, and to keep your customers coming back. And isn’t that why you’re benchmarking in the first place?

Moving Forward

Now that we’ve chatted about what to avoid when benchmarking, are you curious about how you should execute your initiative? Click here to watch the full episode, “How to Win with Experience Improvement in Your Marketplace,” to learn how you should design your benchmarks (from the samples to take to the questions you should ask), popular use cases, and more directly from the experts!

How Operational Excellence Now Leads to Experience Improvement Later

Operations have everything to do with both your business’s bottom line and its relationships with customers. This makes ops’ importance to Experience Improvement (XI) pretty self-explanatory.

However, as foundational as operational excellence is to a company and its experiences, there’s more that brands can do to build a bridge between operations and Experience Improvement. Today’s conversation focuses on that bridge’s two main elements: optimization and innovation.

Element to Connect Operations with Experience Improvement

  1. Optimization
  2. Innovation

XI Element #1: Optimization

Creating operational excellence isn’t a one-and-done. It’s a process that requires constant attention and tweaking. Your experience initiatives can help here by shining a light on systemic issues that might need a closer look. That spotlight can also be used to help come up with fixes for those problems. Of course, a tried-and-true process for identifying and then responding to problems like these is a must here.

Fortunately for brands and organizations everywhere, a lot of the optimizing work has already been completed by the time you hit a stride with your operational excellence! Being good at ops means skillfully gathering the deep analyses and intel your brand uses to be better. This means you’ll already have some idea of what your north star should be as you begin the optimization phase. Desiloing data and sharing it with every team in the organization is also key here.

XI Element #2: Innovation

Innovation is what optimizing your operations builds toward. It’s what allows brands to actually implement their proposed solutions, study how they go, and realize their benefits. Having operational excellence in place makes it easier for brands to forecast market trends and, ultimately, predict exactly what their customers will want. In other words, ops-fueled innovation keeps your company robust and ahead of the curve.

Staying ahead of the curve is a major part of Experience Improvement, and it can only be enabled by:

  1. Operational excellence
  2. Optimization
  3. Innovation

Anticipating what your customers want before they may even know goes a long way toward building the relationships that cause them to ignore the competition (and that let them know you care about them as people). Unstructured feedback, especially from Voice of Customer (VoC) programs, is one of the best sources of additional intel on how to stay ahead of the curve and keep pleasantly surprising your customers.

Click here to learn more about how operational excellence leads to Experience Improvement. Expert Jennifer Passini, Ph.D., goes over additional means of using ops to better your experience and how it all feeds into the grander goal of meaningful transformation for your bottom line and your customer relationships.

How Operational Excellence Can Drive Experience Improvement

Operations is a central part of brands’ day-to-day activities, as well as their aspirations to become industry leaders. “Operations” means something different to everyone, but in the end, ops seek to impact two things: your business’s bottom line and your relationships with your customers. 

Operational excellence can also allow organizations to tap into something more fundamental: Experience Improvement (XI), i.e., creating fundamental connections with customers that go deeper than just transactions. Today’s post covers how brands can steer operations toward Experience Improvement, as well as why it’s well worth their time to do so.

Table Stakes

Customers don’t usually expect the worst when picking a brand or product, but that doesn’t mean organizations shouldn’t track performance objectives related to being operationally effective. Aside from helping to prevent a bad experience, which is obviously important, operational excellence helps ensure consistency. No matter whether it’s employee teams or brand locations, organizations need to make sure that they’re being consistent with interactions and experiences. This approach further cements those fundamental connections with customers.

Another variable that brands need to be mindful of when it comes to operational excellence is customer expectations. As we’ve all seen in this digital age of ours, customer expectations are not just changing; they’re growing more complex. Meeting these ever-more complex expectations means closely measuring performance, which is another reason consistency is so important.

How This Relates to Improving Experiences

As we said earlier, brands that go about operational excellence in a certain way will end up achieving Experience Improvement, or at least laying a lot of the groundwork that makes XI happen. For example, consider a retailer that, as a matter of operational excellence, builds up its omnichannel strategy and tries to reduce customer friction wherever it can. Both of those elements help ensure the consistency we talked about earlier, but they also create opportunities for deeper relationships with customers.

What’s handy about looking at Experience Improvement this way is that the methodology is pretty much the same for any brand regardless of industry. Reducing friction, being more multi-channel, and desiloing data are all helpful for improving customer relationships (and your organization’s own view of your customers) no matter how or what you serve them. This is why it’s important to begin your Experience Improvement efforts with operational excellence—consistency creates connections.

Click here to read more about how operations fits into Experience Improvement (XI) in our latest article by experience expert Jennifer Passini, Ph.D. Jennifer reveals additional ways to leverage operations toward Experience Improvement, as well as other handy tips for creating stronger connections with your customers!

How Cost Reduction Factors into Experience Improvement Strategy

I recently put together a Point of View article about the importance of cost reduction, and how going about it a certain way enables brands to reduce costs, lower friction, and build better relationships by improving customer experiences. These are goals that brands can accomplish with a single motion, and the organizations that say otherwise are not, unfortunately, utilizing their experience platforms and data as much as they could be.

As important as cost reduction is, however, it’s one piece of a larger picture that brands should draw inspiration from as they try building better experiences. That picture is what I call the four economic pillars, and we’ll briefly run through them now.

Four Economic Pillars for Your Experience Improvement Strategy

  1. Customer Acquisition
  2. Customer Retention
  3. Cross-Sell/Upsell
  4. Cost Reduction

Pillar #1: Customer Acquisition

Brands should always try to acquire new customers as a matter of course, but a lot of organizations don’t tune their experience platforms & programs to that objective as much as they can and should. A versatile Experience Improvement (XI) program can help brands identify where prospective customers live in the feedback universe, then digest their sentiments to create an experience and product offering that those individuals will find attractive. One reason why more brands don’t succeed here is because they don’t decide where it might be best to look for new audiences before turning their programs on. Be sure to discuss and agree on your program design  before proceeding!

Pillar #2: Customer Retention

We can all agree that it is more efficient for brands to retain current customers than to rely too much on new ones for revenue. That’s why you should use your experience programs and feedback tools to not only seek out new customers, but also ensure you’re keeping tabs on conversations within your existing customer base. The best way to do this is to bring all relevant teams to the table, construct a profile of your existing customer against a backdrop of operational and financial data, then use that info to continuously refine your products and services, as well as reduce friction in the experience you deliver. Customers appreciate a brand that does more than react to problems as they arise.

Pillar #3: Cross-Sell/Upsell

Creating a profile of your existing customers is useful for more than ‘just’ building a better experience for them; it also reveals new opportunities to cross-sell and upsell that group of clientele. Seeking out new sources of revenue is all well and good, but most brands would probably be surprised at what opportunities are just waiting in their own backyards. For that reason, organizations should build a customer profile with both better experiences and cross-selling opportunities in mind. Try to resist the urge to consider this pure sales; rather look at it as helping your customers get the most value from all that you have to offer. 

Pillar #4: Cost Reduction

Cost reduction is very important on its own, but it takes on added meaning when viewed through the lens of these other three pillars. What makes cost reduction exciting  is that brands can achieve cost reduction goals via a lot of the same processes that underlie these other pillars; reducing friction, streamlining processes like customer claims, and the like. Again, brands should not view cost reduction as something that’s mutually exclusive with a better experience. Rather, with the right experience platform, organizations can achieve both goals with one approach.

Click here to read my full Point of View on cost reduction, in which I take a much deeper dive on this subject, and stay tuned for additional material we’ve got coming down the pike on the importance of this and other economic pillars!

Moments That Matter in Customer Experience: Which to Focus on & Why

In our recent blog, we discussed how you can improve your customer experience (CX) strategy in five simple steps. Customer experience often relates to the long-term relationship between customers and the companies they do business with. It reflects the summary of experiences at different points along the customer journey—such as considering doing business with a brand, making a purchase and becoming a customer, receiving additional services, having issues resolved, etc— and includes multiple channels: phone, in-person, email, and so on. These various interactions along the customer journey—and, more specifically, those that have the most impact on the business—are what we like to call “Moments That Matter”  (MTM) in customer experience.

But are there some moments that matter more than others in the overall customer experience? And if so, how do we assess their importance?

Five Questions to Address

  1. What Are “Moments That Matter?”
  2. How Are “Moments That Matter” Determined?
  3. How Are “Moments That Matter” Measured?
  4. How Is the Importance of Each “Moment That Matters” assessed?
  5. Why Does the Technology You Use to Understand These Moments Matter?

Question #1: What Are “Moments That Matter?”

In the past couple of decades, it has become more clear that consumers are after more than just the “product” they purchase. Their choice to support a brand is more than just rational decision-making; it’s about emotions, too.   Today’s organizations realize this; so, they try to continuously improve the way in which they deliver those experiences. 

For example, many organizations measure call center experiences as a part of their CX program, which is a smart move. Service and support is a key element that defines customer experience, and it frequently generates memorable moments. But is the call center interaction all that matters for the customer?

Moments That Matter” are the specific interactions—like a particularly superior or terrible call center experience—that trigger customers’ feelings and leave lasting impressions. These are the specific experiences that stand out more than others and impact the customers’ long-term opinions about the organization overall. Additionally, they can likely lead to a make-or-break decision about their future relationship with the organization. 

Question #2: How Are “Moments That Matter” Determined?

A key step to identifying the “Moments That Matter” is understanding the customers’ journey throughout their relationship with the organization, from consideration and researching the product or service they need all the way through using said product or service. 

Mapping this journey starts with the organization’s knowledge of its key customer touchpoints. Next, customers provide feedback and further input to pinpoints those touchpoints most important to them. They also provide context about their best and worst experiences, wins, and pain points. This mapping helps brands focus on the key “Moments That Matter,” because, in reality, not every touchpoint and every experience is as impactful as others in creating healthy and long-lasting relationships.

Question #3: How Are “Moments That Matter” Measured?

After understanding what “Moments That Matter” are, the next step is to measure the brand’s performance at each of those moments. This is typically done using a survey format that first asks customers to evaluate their overall experience with the company. Then, it should ask which MTMs they have experienced and evaluate those they are familiar with.  It may also be effective to rate some MTMs on a battery of actional deep-dive attributes.

Question #4: How Is the Importance of Each “Moment That Matters” Assessed?

There are two general ways to assess the importance of each MTM: 

  • Ask how important each MTM is (so-called “stated importance”), or 
  • Mathematically derive importance from each MTM’s ratings and the overall experience with the company (“derived importance”). 

Derived importance has an advantage in that it does not require additional questions and simply uses respondents’ evaluation of each MTM they experienced. In general, the rating for each MTM is aligned with the overall experience rating, and the MTM that best follows the overall experience rating is therefore the most important. This type of analysis is called “driver analysis.” At InMoment, we use a technique called True Driver Analysis, which surpasses other approaches in quality of results. 

Question #5: Why Does the Approach You Use to Understand These Moments Matter?

Different statistical approaches can be used to conduct a driver analysis and assess the importance of each MTM: correlation analysis, regression analysis, structural equation modeling, and partial least squares, to name a few. The results of these approaches, however, may be biased in the presence of a strong relationship among the MTMs themselves (called “multicollinearity”). 

For this reason, InMoment uses True Driver Analysis, which is a technique designed specifically to avoid this type of bias and to assess the “true” relative impact of each MTM on an overall outcome metric. As an output of True Driver Analysis, organizations can identify the key Moments That Matter, focus their efforts, and be able to improve customer experience, loyalty, and ultimately, their bottom line.

With continuous experience improvement being a key enabler of happier customers and long-lasting customer relationships, it is most critical to identify and focus on the Moments That Matter in every experience delivered. 

To read more about a proven strategy for continuously improving experiences across your brand in five steps—as well as the brands who have found success with it—check out this article for free today!

2 Ways Reducing Friction Benefits Customers & Brands

Reducing customer friction is extremely important to any brand. However, going about friction reduction in the right way can do more than lower costs for an organization; it can also build a fundamentally improved experience for your customers. Today’s conversation briefly covers how brands can strike this balance with a single approach.

Creating Friction-Free Journeys

Ostensibly, reducing cost is supposed to do just that. However, what a lot of organizations don’t realize is that reducing costs can also reduce friction along the customer journey—that excess effort that customers have to put in just to interact with your brand. Things like repeat phone calls, having to go back to the store, and the like all fall under that category.

Friction creates higher customer dissatisfaction, steeper costs, and, in a worst-case scenario, customer churn.  Fortunately for organizations, this dynamic also works in reverse, which is why it’s all the more important for organizations to leverage their experience programs as much as possible to address customer friction points. Continue gathering feedback, but make sure to analyze its sentiments, share that information with the wider organization, and work with all the relevant teams to come up with solutions and program enhancements. Even fixes like taking a few seconds off of contact center calls, for example, can save brands a lot of money while also increasing customer satisfaction.

The Ties That Bind

There’s a bigger picture to reducing costs than making individual transactions easier for customers: their overall relationship with your brand. Remember that, while evaluating singular interactions is certainly important, most customers don’t think about your company in those terms. Generally, customers think about their entire relationship with your brand from beginning until now, which is why going about cost reduction with friction elimination in mind is so fundamentally important.

When customers feel like all their interactions with your brand are frictionless, you create a more human connection and a more loyal customer relationship. Cost reduction isn’t just about saving money; it’s about refining your customer experience into something that keeps customers coming back for more because they know you care about them as people.

So, how else might brands use cost reduction to create a more human experience while also strengthening their bottom line? Click here to read my full-length point of view on this subject and to learn more about how cost reduction can create Experience Improvement (XI) when it’s done meaningfully.

Change Region

Selecting a different region will change the language and content of inmoment.com

North America
United States/Canada (English)
Europe
DACH (Deutsch) United Kingdom (English) France (français)
Asia Pacific
Australia (English) New Zealand (English) Singapore (English)