It’s 02015: Time to Start Thinking Long Term

When we moved back to San Francisco in 02009, my husband and I joined an organization called The Long Now Foundation. About once a month, we attend Long Now lectures to learn about topics like the world’s oldest living organisms; the coevolution of light, life, and color on earth; how to find dangerous asteroids; and the coming century of war against our computers.

As you might have guessed, the organization’s mission is to foster long-term thinking and responsibility. Just how long term are we talking? The Long Now Foundation uses five-digit dates in order to solve the Y10k bug that’s approaching in about 8,000 years. Yeah, we’re talking that long term.

Timescales of this magnitude are incredibly difficult for us to imagine. Our lifespans are puny in comparison. And the pace at which we live and work seems only to be accelerating. We plan for tomorrow based on what happened yesterday. We make decisions for next week based on last week’s results. We get paid—and, seemingly, live and die—based on the numbers we report at the end of the quarter.

The field of customer experience and, no doubt, your customer experience efforts have suffered because of the short-term thinking that is rampant in today’s corporations and financial systems. We’ve been trained to focus on the short-term benefits of cost cutting, strict product returns policies, and fast but kludgy technology fixes.

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The Always Up-To-Date Guide To CX Events

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I’m often asked about customer experience conferences: What’s out there? Where am I speaking? Which conferences would I recommend?

I’ve compiled the following list of conferences spanning a variety of topics — like CEM, service design, customer loyalty, customer success, and contact centers — that should be of interest to a wide range of customer experience professionals. I’ve organized the events based on the types of organizations hosting them: professional associations, event producers, service providersmedia companiesanalyst firms, and tech vendors. And, as the title of this post implies, I’ll be keeping this list up to date on a rolling basis.

Am I missing an upcoming event? Please let me know!

Professional Associations

CXPA’s 2015 UK Insight Exchange
February 10, 2015
London

Design Management Institute’s Design Management Conference Europe
April 28 – 30, 2015
Berlin

CXPA’s 2015 US Insight Exchange
May 5 – 6, 2016
San Diego, California

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Do You Think About the End of Your Customer Relationships?

Today’s marketers and customer experience professionals put a tremendous amount of focus on the beginning of the customer relationship. They focus on optimizing the steps that lead up to that all-important point of purchase, and then try to create smooth onboarding experiences. This is essential work. Companies need to make it easy for customers to find and buy their products and services. And I’ve written on this very blog about how onboarding shapes your customers’ first impressions of your company and has the potential to influence the long-term success of the relationship.

But all of this effort overshadows another critical point in the customer relationship: The end.

A quick glance at the visualizations of so many “customer lifecycle” frameworks indicates that marketers really don’t want to think about any possibility other than the customer being forever loyal, returning again and again to spend more money. This mindset makes sense. They’re paid to build and nurture customer loyalty. And let’s face it: Breakups are no fun, no matter what side you’re on. When times are good, it’s natural to want to pretend that breakups don’t even exist.

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eBook: The 2015 Customer Experience Outlook

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I’m thrilled to announce an exciting project with my partners at Doberman!

We’re always looking for new ideas to inspire our work. So we recently reached out to some of our favorite customer experience authors, designers, and industry leaders to find out what they were thinking about at the beginning of 2015.

The result is a FREE eBook: The 2015 Customer Experience Outlook

Contributors include: B. Joseph Pine II & James H. Gilmore, Brandon SchauerDave GrayLisa LindströmJeanne Bliss, Mike Dyer, Mike Wittenstein, Shep HykenErik Roscam Abbing, Dominic Berg, Tennyson Pinheiro, Fred Leichter, Brian Solis, and

Some of the articles offer practical advice, while others are more philosophical in nature. And some will surely challenge your current beliefs about what it means to design and manage the customer experience.

Download your free copy of The 2015 Customer Experience Outlook today!

Can We Please Put An End To One-Size-Fits-All Emails?

Have you heard of CrossFit? It’s a style of workouts “comprised of constantly varied functional movements (like pushing, pulling, squatting, lifting, running) executed at high intensity.” People that do CrossFit don’t just go to the gym. They become certifiable CrossFit fanatics.

I wanted to find out what all of the fuss was about, so last year I signed up for a two-week CrossFit basics course — a prerequisite for attending regular classes.

At the end of the two weeks, I received an email with the subject, “You’ve Finished Basics!” Inside it read, “I hope you enjoyed your Basics Class! If you have any suggestions or feedback about your experience, please let us know. Now that you have completed a Basics Class, you are welcome to join the gym as a member and begin taking all of our group classes.”

The only problem was that I hadn’t finished the Basics Class, and I wasn’t welcome to join and take group classes. The class’s never-ending barrage of squats with heavy weight proved too much for my knees, and I wound up starting six weeks of physical therapy halfway through.

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