Introducing Customer Experience 3.0

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companies don't empower their representatives to solve problems and don't provide valid explanations for certain policies. If companies are transparent, customers can be very forgiving. The last part is having an effective voice-of-the-customer system in place. Most companies rely on surveys and complaints, but 70 percent of these have very little impact on the product. The key here is to not only capture but also listen to the voice of the customer.

CRM: Can you provide an example of a company that's getting it right?

Goodman: No company is perfect, but FedEx is consistently good. The company understands that customers want to track their packages, and it has been great about sending emails with constantly updated tracking information. Recently, FedEx took that experience a step further—it uses GPS transmitters in packages and shipping containers to automatically tell customers where their packages are, what temperature they're at, or if they have recently been bumped. Their ad campaign is "Be the First to Know." FedEx has also done a lot right in terms of being proactive about customer education. Its site has content on how packages get damaged and what customers can do to protect their packages. They're a great example of how to combine powerful technology with service basics. And the efforts pay off. When a company delivers a good experience, it doesn't need to spend a lot of money on marketing. That’s how powerful word of mouth can be.

CRM: How are emerging technologies reshaping customer experiences?

Goodman: Online video is having a huge impact. Increasingly, brands that rely on long documents and files to provide self-service support are transitioning that information onto videos because that's the way customers prefer to consume content now. The key is to keep them helpful and informative, but short. Tesla had a good video on its company Web site recently, but it was 28 minutes long. No one was watching it. They broke it up into 16 chunks and all of a sudden, views are up. The Internet of Things is going to be a game changer as well. You're going to have cars that can self-diagnose mechanical issues or refrigerators that will tell you when you're out of milk. That's going to require a different approach too.

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