#InnovatorsMeetup In Review – Customer Experience Disrupting Marketing

A beautiful night, outdoor setting at the newly renovated Cafe Helios was the venue for our Customer Experience disruption topic for the Carolinas Innoimg_2967vators & Design Thinkers Meetup.

img_2957Thanks to Shervin Tahssili and the entire Cafe Helios staff for a warm and inviting space. Shervin shared that he was NOT a restaurateur, but responded to the Helios following after it closed earlier. He renovated the cafe with a modern artwork, but kept the community feel so many fans loved.

We explored a hot topic — one that even Harvard Business Review and other leading publications are touting as the new frontier in business — Customer Experience (CX). It is even beating out Big Data as a buzzword-worthy trend. 😛



600_453418767Marketing and digital innovators and founders of customer experience firm, CXPilotsSarah Wechsberg and Steven Keith shared insights on this topic with a group of very interested and engaged attendees.

Here are some insights from the discussion and why 92% of CMOs are investing in CX:

1 – Customer Service and Customer Experience are not the same things.Customer service is but one channel in creating an engaging and effective customer experience. Steven describes customer experience as a systemic engagement across all customer touch points for a brand.  These experience channels cross all departments and and functions including product/service development, marketing, sales, support and beyond. It includes interaction online, offline and cross-line.

img_29682- Customer Experience is not just user experience. User experience is again just another touch point and involves usually the product or service itself. Don’t confuse the two.

3- The goal of effective customer experience strategy is “Manufacturing Empathy at Scale.”  It is the ability to engage everyone and everything within an organization into a customer-centric mindset that transforms transactional processes into transformational and differentiated experiences to create growth, loyalty and sustainable value over a customer lifetime.

4- Embracing a holistic customer experience mindset allows for more data capture and opportunity for tangible improvement beyond the usual post-sale survey.  Relying on the post-sale feedback loop or survey is a rear view mirror view into the customer experience and usually doesn’t capture the nuance or anything leading up to or after the sale. It’s skewed view has become the de facto measure of success or failure in customer experience, but it misses so many interactions and limits the opportunities for a brand to engage and differentiate.

5- Employees are the forgotten heros in the customer experience opportunity for businesses.  Employees are on the frontline, but so often companies are ignoring their key role in the overall customer experience.

6-Executive leadership is essential to enabling holistic customer experience success. If the C-suite is not leading the charge, no real chance or success can happen.img_2964

The next Carolinas Innovators and Design Thinkers Meetup is scheduled for October 11, featuring Dr. Colbey Reid, director of NC State University Consumer Innovation Consortium. Join the group for details. We will continue the online engagement as well, so look out for hashtag #innovatorsmeetup to get involved regardless of your geography.

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K. Melissa Kennedy

Chief Innovation Officer, Founder, Intrapreneur. Entrepreneur. Enthusiastic leader and speaker. Teller of truths at 48 Innovate
I spent many years working for and building successful companies. I parlayed that experience into a unique process for harnessing hidden assets inside organizations and turning them into big-idea-generating, $1-billion-revenue-producing resources. (Spoiler alert: it’s the people.) I'm an internationally acclaimed expert, happy to share the not-so-secrets that have led to impressive outcomes for Fortune 100 corporations, major educational institutions, start-up companies and entrepreneurs. Working with companies like Cisco, Lancope, Arby's, Capitol Broadcasting Company New Media - WRAL, PRSONAS, Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog, REVO Communications, Erno Group, Focus Carolina, Madan Global, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, INZONE Brands, Albright Digital, Spring Metrics and NC State Kenan Fellows.

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