Welcome to the July edition of our HX Roundup where we’ll be delivering you the cream of the past month or so in experience-related articles and reports from across the globe. From big brands to small independents you’ll find a curated list right here (or sign up to have it delivered directly to your inbox).

Sources this month include Harvard Business Review, Management Today, Customer Think, MyCustomer, Forbes and CMO.com.

How to Orchestrate Personalization in the Experience Economy

Neeta Verma an analyst from Adobe outlines four ways B2C companies can provide a more personalised experience for customers. She states “Consumers no longer just buy based on product or price point. They are in the market to buy experiences.” She outlines the importance of having a personalisation strategy in place with the aim of delivering a better customer experience rather than as another selling tool.

Neeta’s research with Adobe found that only 1 in 10 organisations see themselves as “very advanced” when it comes to customer experience in 2019 – which is a mere 2% rise since 2015. She calls out the need for businesses to decide whether they want to stay relevant in the eyes of consumers and lead the personalisation run.

Source: CMO.com, Neeta Verma, 25th July, 2019

The Power of Making a Human Connection

Forbes contributor David K. Williams shared his experience meeting in his opinion “one the most remarkable people” he has met Lonnie Mayne, a keynote speaker, author and former president of customer experience company, InMoment. He notes Lonnie’s focus is “the importance of human connections in business as well as in life.” 

He speaks of the importance of seeing every person as a “human being first” whether a customer, employee or investor. In Lonnie’s new book “Red Shoes Living” he has formalised his approach into a framework of five pillars: 1) Awareness, 2) Gratitude, 3) Everyone has a story, 4) Respect and kindness and 5) Put yourself out there. The article outlines how Lonnie watched his company grow at lightening speed by applying this framework to his customer experience practices.

Source: Forbes.com, David K. Williams, 28th July 2019.

Superior CX is Built with Technology, Insights and Emotion

Our next stand out article came from CMO.com from contributing writer Mercedes Cardona. She took inspiration from global research firm Forrester’s Customer Experience Forum 2019 which took place in New York City last month. She claimed the outlying theme from the event was how humans are leading the way in CX transformation. “Customer Experience has become dependent on technology but now marketers need to put the humans back in.” Speakers during the event have focused on the need for more insights and emotion.

According to Forresters CEO George Colony “Consumers are raising the CX bar faster than brands can catch up. Keeping pace with consumers will require more insight and new approaches.” 

Through this article Cardona has managed to give us a glimpse into the nuggets of CX wisdom shared by speakers during the Forrester event. Making it a quick but impactful read for your lunch break or commute.

Source: CMO.com, Mercedes Cardona, 16th July, 2019.

3 Reasons to Measure Emotion over Sentiment for CX

This may be a shameless plug of an article written by our own CEO but an important one none the less. In this article published by CustomerThink, Chris Johnston outlines three reasons brands should be measuring customer emotion instead of sentiment. The article outlines the science behind both approaches and delves deeper into research studies that plead the case for emotion analysis’ role in customer experience transformation.

Source: CustomerThink, Chris Johnston, 22nd July, 2019.

These Small Changes can Transform your Customer Experience

Our next piece comes from Chris Barnes, who is the customer experience officer at digital agency AmazeRealise. He takes to Management Today to outline five small ways to transform customer experience. He drops some shocking statistics that only “36% of CMOs admit their brand hasn’t invested in CX at all, even though 88% expect a focused CX programme to yield long-term customer loyalty and increasing sales over time.”

I’m not going to give away his steps to success here, but you can read them for yourself in this article.

Source: Management Today, Chris Barnes, 12th July 2019.

Human-Enabled CX in the Automated Retail Future

The folks at Engine Group recently researched how consumers feel about, what they call, “the New Retail environment” which integrates online and offline customer experience but with a lack of human interaction.

They ran an extensive survey to a sample of 1,003 US consumers asking if they would pay a premium for human assistance over automated, cashier-less shopping. Their research unveiled some interesting findings especially that 74% of younger shoppers (age 18-34) were willing to pay more, which they say indicates “that this is a trend with some momentum.”

Engine break down the results further into different ages and industries to produce a “People Premium Index.” A piece of research that is definitely worth a read. 

For those who prefer to listen, Seth Hardy the Vice President of Engine discusses the research on KGO.810 here.

Source: Engine Group, July 2019.

How to Keep Employees Connected to Customers

So this one technically wasn’t published in July but it is too good to leave out. In this HBR article, Alessandro Di Fiore outlines the importance of connecting employees and customers.  She states “companies today need all their employees to have a deep understanding of their business and customers. And your employees can – and increasingly must – act as market researchers.”

He sets out a “road-tested” framework to support business decision-makers to enhance the connection between customers and employee experience.  You can also follow Alessandro on Twitter @alexdifiore for more insights.

Source: Harvard Business Review, Alessandro Di Fiore, 21 June 2019.

The next edition will be the August roundup, the first week in September. If you feel you have a suitable piece and would like to be featured, please get in touch.