We’ve spent the past two weeks feeling sad about the state of customer experience management (CEM), so it’s time to lighten up a little and talk about why marketers should care.
Last week we saw the clear relationship between good CEM and good corporate performance. We can chalk up at least a bit of this to the value of the brand itself. In fact, if we take a look at Interbrand’s annual ranking, we’ll see Apple, Amazon, Google, Disney, McDonald’s, Mercedes and Toyota all hanging about in the top 15. I don’t think it’s an accident that most of these companies have an obsessive focus on customer experience. (As an aside, it’s interesting that four of the top 20 are exclusively B2B and eight have significant portions of their revenue from B2B customers.)
Here is another interesting thing: I could find very few studies of the relationship between brand ranking and CEM focus, and nothing more recent than 2012. It’s worth noting that I didn’t look very hard, so if you have something, I’d love to see it.
Back to my point: Good CEM is good for the brand and, gentle friends, that is what we are supposed to be in charge of. Beyond the warm feeling that we get from having a valuable, respected brand, we also get to spend a lot fewer of our marketing calories on defensive plays to mollify porcupines and prop up the reputation.
We are also able to have the right conversations with our customers when our CEM is working. Like good party hosts, we’re able to move through our customer base, talking about our products and services instead of apologizing for them and filling up the save queue. When we aren’t on the defensive, we can ask for ideas about making our products better and we can test messages and features and pricing.
As good hosts at a happy party we can also spend our time making sure our guests are having great conversations with one another when we have to leave to warm up the meatballs. This would be your community management team, whose time is much better spent moderating helpful discussions instead of hiding the pitchforks from the villagers.
More valuable still, is the tone of the conversation that will go on away from the party. It’s far better to have people chatting happily about you on LinkedIn and Facebook than building online monuments to your terrible customer service. Too many marketing departments waste their time engaging Detractors and Haters (a Hater is a Detractor who no longer receives your NPS survey; I just made that up).
This is why I think marketing ought to own CEM. If you had asked me a few years ago I would have suggested it belonged to an operations team, but now that we no longer control the conversations, it’s time it came over to the team with the skillset to actually make some headway, and a whole ton of incentive to get it right.
I’m not suggesting marketers should own the Customer Abuse role; that belongs elsewhere, but since one of our reasons for getting CEM wrong in the first place is a lack of Overlord ownership, I say the VP of Customer Happiness should report to the CMO. Namaste, my friends.
Next week we’ll wrap up with a few ideas on how to solve the messy experience thing.
Interesting Things I Found This Week
If you wake up in the middle of the night with a general sense of unease, here are a few ideas from Bright Funnel about The 6 Strategic Themes B2B CMOs Must Address. From better planning to understanding campaign effectiveness, this blog post will give your nocturnal anxiety a lot more focus.
I think Caterpillar is one of the finest B2B brands on the planet and they’ve been doing an outstanding job with their Built For It positioning campaign launched a couple of years ago. If you liked the forklift kicking ass at Jenga video , you’ll love the latest one, Lantern Festival. Who says B2B is boring and clinical?
BizMarketer is Elizabeth Williams
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