2012: A year of great Customer Experience

December 21, 2012

It’s that time of year again. Time to reflect back on what has been an exciting year in many aspects of life, and an exciting year in the world of Customer Experience. As the cloud of the recession begins to lift ever so slowly, and consumer optimism begins to show a glimmer of optimism, the experiences we all expect and deserve while spending our hard earned dollars on shopping and dining experiences come more into focus.

Over the past 12 months, I’ve tried my best to keep you all up to date with my thoughts on the upcoming trends and innovations in the customer experience area. For any of you who may have missed the discussion, or for those of you who simply want to get caught up, here are five of my favorite blog posts from the year.

Great experiences start from the “inside-out”
In the early days of customer experience management local managers were amazed by simply having access to any feedback data regarding their customers and how they felt about them. As with many of us, those same location managers today are more harried that back then and also have access to more customer data than ever. The problem is that those two circumstances do not necessarily mix well for a few key reasons.
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The medium is the message and the impact of Active Advocacy
Reputations have always preceded reality. In no instance is this more evident than in the online reputation of brands. Rating and reviews used to be focused around the controlled channels of traditional media. Brand marketers could easily track what was being said about them on television and print media.
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Bringing the 3 stakeholders of a Brand Promise together
There have always been three major stakeholders in creating and delivering the brands that we love – consumers, the brands themselves, and the locations that keep the brand humming. Unfortunately, over time those three groups have been pulled apart.
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Restaurant stakeouts for customer experience
There is one new show that has piqued my interest lately it’s called Restaurant Stakeout. The premise of the show is that an industry expert comes to visit a struggling restaurant armed with hidden cameras and other surveillance equipment. He becomes a fly on the wall and helps the struggling restaurant owners identify areas where they could improve.
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How to drive Local Action with Social Media
The internet has changed the face of customer feedback. The web was first introduced to customer feedback as a better way to do surveys over a decade ago. These more flexible and easier to use surveys opened up a valuable new channel to collect both better and a higher volume of customer feedback data than ever before.
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Here’s to a great 2012 and best wishes for an exciting 2013! My own prediction is that, while 2012 was in many ways the year of Customer Experience, next year will become the year of the Customer.