smith+co on
customer experience
Vanessa Hamilton
  • By Vanessa Hamilton
  • Apr 17 2014

Big Data can make a difference, but it’s people who make the REAL difference

There's no doubt that personalisation through BIG Data is one of the hottest topics around. For many brands now, the Holy Grail to customer loyalty is 'highly targeted content, presented at the right time, to the right customers, via the right platform'.

According to research from Celebrus and Teradata, 80% of brands that responded to their survey see personalisation as key to their marketing success over the next two years and 78% plan to use real-time data in their multi-channel customer experience in the future. Katharine Hulls, VP Marketing, Celebrus Technologies, sums it up:

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Tim Wade
  • By Tim Wade
  • Apr 07 2014

The problem with omni-channel…

Over the last few years the business world has gone mad for omni-channel, with its interconnected customers and the 'shop anywhere' mentality. All is well and good, and as much as I agree with many aspects, there are some fundamental challenges.

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Tim Wade
  • By Tim Wade
  • Mar 20 2014

What can quantum theory teach us about customer experience?

Do you remember studying physics at school? It was all pretty straightforward stuff; gravity makes things fall down; friction makes things slow down; entropy makes things break down. But now it’s all about the chaotic and unpredictable world of quantum theory....

So let’s get a little Professor Brian Cox* here. On first glance, electrons appear to behave in a predictable wave-like pattern, but quantum theory tells us that in fact the picture is much more complex. A bit like customer experience really.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Mar 10 2014

What’s the next big thing in customer experience?

Well, we've been sifting through the array of predictions that every blogger and his mother seems to have issued over the last few months and here's a very quick recap of what's in store for 2014 and beyond - in no particular order....

THE INTERNET OF THINGS enabling your fridge to talk to your kettle to talk to your spouse MOBILE EXPERIENCE which allows consumers to do everything on the move and may well help to solve the obesity crisis if only people can develop skinny fingers PREDICTIVE ANALYSIS means brands know what customers are going to do before they know it themselves (scary!) OMNICHANNEL horrible buzzword for delivering your experience seamlessly across multiple channels HYPER-TARGETTING SOON TO BE OVER-TAKEN BY NANO-TARGETTING no shopper will ever be safe from being bombarded by personalised pop-up ads wherever they happen to be BIG DATA no, this isn’t an Excel sheet viewed at 150% for the visually challenged, it is in fact integrating huge amounts of meta data to arrive at new insights REAL TIME DATA which logs our preferences as we consume TECHNOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF BRAND BEHAVIOURS technology suppliers trying to make their kit more aligned with how customers actually want to use it - there’s a radical thought, EPHEMERAL SOCIAL NETWORKS social media that self-destructs permitting ‘for your eyes only’ selfies, BESPOKE TARGETED NETWORKS a community for every geek thing out there WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY a chip embedded in your clothing (or your body!) that allows you to walk out of a shop with an item and have the payment automatically debited from your account- ouch! ... the list goes on…

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Feb 19 2014

How much are you loved?

Now that the hype of Valentine's Day has passed, we thought it a good idea to quietly reflect on the very nature of relationships.

Every brand wants a relationship with its customers. We want them to like us; even love us, and love only us - forever. Customers too want to be loved, but do they think about their interaction with a brand as a relationship? It seems they do. The annual Edelman survey found that increasingly customers are choosing brands on emotional and relationship-based criteria. Customers in the future will choose their brands like they do their partners.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Feb 06 2014

Laggard or leader.  Where do you stand on the mobile experience?

"Companies that do not consider Amazon to be a competitor need to wake up. Soon, Amazon will be EVERYBODY'S competitor".

This is the conclusion of Forsee in its latest Customer Experience Index, where Amazon hit top spot for best mobile retail experience - a testimony to the online giant’s brilliance in making it quicker, cheaper and simpler for the consumer to buy almost anything. And through its mobile app, it not only enables, but encourages its customers to compare prices of various products while walking in different stores - before, of course, buying from Amazon. The problem for many brands is just how to compete?

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Sep 26 2013

So what are the the top 10 most irritating things about your customer experience?

To help you answer this question, let's first take a quick look at hotels. They've been around ever since Joseph and Mary encountered their over-booking problem at the Inn, so we might reasonably expect that, by now, hoteliers might have figured out what guests really want.

However, a recent feature by the Sunday Times found that despite all the investment in improving services, hotels all too often fail on the customer experience. So why is it that as brands get more sophisticated in their technology and more innovative in their attempts to dazzle us, they fail to deliver a great experience? It all comes down to basics - those fundamental things expected by guests but often forgotten by brands, in their eagerness to launch the next big thing. These basics may not have the WOW factor loved by creatives but, when ignored, they can just be the final straw needed to make customers switch brands. So for all you hoteliers out there, here’s my top ten list of basics that inspired this blog. And lest you think that the problem lies solely with hotels, it doesn’t; I challenge any brand not to have their own top ten things that irritate their customers. If you’re struggling to find out what they are, I offer a few tips at the end of this blog.

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Janine Dyer
  • By Janine Dyer
  • Aug 13 2013

Customer experience is now mainstream.  So why is it still so mediocre in most organisations?...

“From the store windows, the store touch‐points, the website, social media or a magazine ‐ it has to be one pure customer experience. Not just to gain market share, but to gain mind share.” Angela Ahrendts, CEO Burberry

Customer Experience has become one of the most important factors in business today but with the emergence of new channels it is not easy to implement successfully. However, some brands across a myriad of sectors are shaking up the landscapes of their industries by creating dramatically different customer experiences both online and offline. At the recent London Business Forum event, Shaun Smith talked about how ‘bold’ brands, from both b2c and b2b sectors, are doing just this. They thrive because they have the courage to pursue a purpose beyond profit, to challenge conventional thinking, to engage and entertain their audiences, and to create an almost cult-like following from customers and employees. They are not just different, but dramatically different and they see everything they do as part of the customer experience. Stand up, Stand out, Stand Firm was the key message. See a quick overview of what Shaun had to say

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Apr 23 2013

Does ‘showrooming’ mean the end of retail? Or can customer experience save the high street store…

“It’s not one channel or the other; it’s making sure that you get a richer experience in both” Christopher Bailey – Chief Creative Officer Burberry.

Like Phoenix arising from the ashes, retail brands Jessops and HMV have both returned to the high street albeit in a stripped down, leaner form. Both brands were much loved by their customers and had a reputation for being pretty good at what they did. But this was not enough to sustain sales in the face of the onslaught from online shopping. The fact is there were just not enough consumers willing to visit the stores and those that did were often ‘showrooming’, visiting the store to see the product, get advice and then leaving to purchase it online and get a better deal. So are the new owners of Jessops and HMV simply postponing the inevitable or is there still a role for the retail store?

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Feb 27 2013

BOLD brands stick to their purpose.  That’s how they stand out…

“Stop listening to other people’s advice. Go with my gut” Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh. Founder sugru.

Those of you who have read our book ‘Bold-how to be brave in business and win’, will know that we advocate a number of principles, but two of the most important are ‘Stand up for something’ and ‘Stick to your purpose’. Sugru, and its zealous founder, are an embodiment of these mantras.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Jan 02 2013

Naked Ambition - is it time to throw away the packaging

We like to innovate in everything we do: from cosmetics to recruitment to ethics and campaigns.” Mark Constantine Managing Director Lush.

This is the time of year when aged aunts buy gaily-wrapped gift packs of toiletries for nephews who will probably never use them. The reason is that the products are often of poor quality because two thirds of the cost is in the packaging. This fact holds true for most cosmetics manufacturers. But there is one brand that boldly challenges this traditional thinking.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Dec 15 2012

Customer Experience - On purpose

Customer experience, by definition, reflects the impression consumers form as they interact with brands. Trends become apparent by the innovations that organisations introduce in an attempt to differentiate, but also in the ways in which consumers respond.

The use of mobile apps like O2’s ‘Priority Moments’ to curate experiences for customers; the convergence between on and off-line experiences as demonstrated in the new Burberry flagship store in London where iPads and couches have replaced the sales till and counter; and the use of a distinctive ‘branded’ tone of voice as practised by the likes of MailChimp, Lush and innocent are all examples of how brands seek to push the boundaries of customer experience forward.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Sep 16 2012

The Power of Social Media

Sometime ago I wrote a blog in which I predicted that there would come a time when Ryanair’s performance would begin to falter because of increasing customer dissatisfaction with its business model. That time may have arrived because of the power of social media.

The airline recently became the focus of a Facebook campaign criticising the brand’s tendency to fleece customers for extra services. Suzy McLeod flew with her family and was charged €300 for printing five boarding passes. Her Facebook entry read “ When flying from Alicante to Bristol yesterday, I had previously checked in online but because I hadn’t printed out the boarding passes, Ryanair charged me €60 per person!!! Meaning I had to pay €300 for them to print out a piece of paper! Please “Like” if you think that’s unfair”. Over 500,000 people did. In addition there were more than 20,000 comments posted, most of them in support of her.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Mar 27 2012

Do you love your bank?

For most of us the answer will be a resounding 'No!' Yet there are a few banks that manage to gain the affection of their customers.

We know that trust and affection are key drivers of brand loyalty, so the million‐dollar question is how can that be achieved in a sector where trust and affection are rare? Let’s look at some topical examples and see what lessons we can learn from them. Last week, a London trader by the name of Greg Smith, publically resigned from his employer Goldman Sachs, by writing a letter to the New York Times. In it, he attacked the “toxic” culture of the firm which he claimed lacked any kind of client‐focus treating customers as “Muppets”. Rolling Stone magazine famously branded the bank a “vampire squid” for its single‐minded focus on extracting money from its clients.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Jan 02 2012

What’s the biggest obstacle to implementing customer experience successfully?

'Lack of strategy' according to Forrester’s annual State of Customer Experience report 2011.

We agree, but strategy in itself - even if it is bold, differentiated and customer-centric - won’t guarantee success. Where we see most companies fail is in the execution. In our work with brands around the world we see that there is a lack of coherent thinking about how brand positioning, marketing, customer experience and employee experience fit together, and, dovetail they must if you are to be successful. Many of you will be thinking about how to execute your customer experience strategy in 2012 so let’s see what we can learn from a topical example…

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Sep 26 2011

Innovate the experience, not just the product

July 2011 saw the very last launch and landing of the NASA Space Shuttle. So is this the end of an era for space travel or the beginning of private enterprise creating innovative customer experiences?

Richard Branson once said “History has shown that many of the innovations that we have come to take for granted were a result of entrepreneurs, pioneers and early adopters willing to invest their own money, and sometimes lives, in a big idea”. Let’s face it, most companies wouldn’t innovate if they didn’t have to. It’s not that people hate change – although some do, of course – it’s just that innovation is often so risky, so expensive and fraught with failure. There’s a well known phrase: ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, which probably sums up many people’s views about innovation.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Aug 03 2011

Creating dramatically different customer experiences

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • May 23 2011

Leaders need to lift their gaze from their numbers to their purpose…

As we emerge from the recession, business leaders will once more be thinking of revenue growth rather than cost cutting, market share rather than share price, and finding the right people rather than ’right sizing’. Well that’s fine then, we can put the recession behind us and resume business as usual. Well no, not really. The economic crisis and failure of banks like Lehman Brothers; the environmental crisis and criticism of major brands like BP; the explosion of social media and the emergence of brands like Twitter, Google and Facebook; all are creating seismic shifts in the world of business. A different breed of organisation is emerging in this world.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Apr 28 2011

It’s time for a radical and remarkable approach to marketing…

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Mar 07 2011

Beat the retail blues

This is the season when retailers publish their trading results for the Christmas and New Year season; it has made for gloomy reading. HMV, the UK music retailer, has announced the closure of 60 stores across the UK due to disappointing trading figures, and it is not the only retailer that has suffered from a combination of poor weather and the increasing trend for consumers to spend on-line.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Dec 21 2010

Focus on the dollars, not the dimes

There is a saying in the US: “Don’t nickel and dime me”, which means to accumulate money in small amounts. There are examples of this in many areas of customer service and it is one of the business practices that drives many consumers crazy.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Oct 29 2010

Creating an engaging employee experience

More and more organisations are coming to the realisation that in order to deliver a great customer experience you must first create an engaging employee experience. There is no doubt that creating a powerful customer experience requires the full and continual commitment of the people responsible for making it happen. This article describes how brands like Zappos, innocent and The Geek Squad create ‘wow’ experiences for their employees and customers and, in so doing, outstanding results for their shareholders.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Sep 27 2010

Live the brand or drive the sale?

Natwest - part of the RBS Group which is now largely owned by the UK taxpayer - have committed to a Customer Charter and launched an advertising campaign built around the promise of ‘helpful banking’. HSBC too have been active with the recent launch of two new ads that focus on responsibility and integrity, the implication being that in dealing with HSBC we can be confident that we are working with a bank that upholds the highest standards of ethical behaviour. It seems that the banking sector has finally started focusing on the customer.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Aug 23 2010

Authenticity - you can’t force it, fake it or fudge it

When Tony Hayward gave his final press briefing shortly before departing as Chief Executive of BP he said that BP had shown itself to be “a model of corporate social responsibility” but it was “not a great PR success”.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Jul 20 2010

The ice cream and the airliner: which carries the most value?

At the Farnborough Air Show this weekend, Britain saw its first Boeing Dreamliner (above) – on which the company has bet its future. ‘Parked’ alongside it in the civil airliner area of the air show is Boeing’s European rival, the latest Airbus. But, amazing, high tech aircraft that they are, when it comes to creating a flying customer experience, these multi-million dollar aircraft will fast become mere commodities.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Mar 29 2010

When is a store not a store – the next stage of the retail customer experience

The Luxury Institute issued a press release last week saying that our client, Burberry, has been found by independent research to be offering the best customer experience of any luxury retailer by some margin. The survey found; “The top three factors that shoppers consider before recommending a brand are merchandise, service and store atmosphere. Two standouts across several criteria are British fashion house Burberry and French luxury outfit Louis Vuitton, with 77% of shoppers saying they would recommend Burberry to family and close friends, and 74% saying the same about Louis Vuitton.”

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Feb 22 2010

Toyota: Look who forgot the Golden Rule

Who’d have thought it could happen so quickly? From the carmaker with a reputation for manufacturing the most reliable products in the world, constantly topping JD Power customer satisfaction surveys, to the laughing stock of the industry.

From first to last

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Feb 08 2010

Why Steve Jobs doesn’t listen to customers

Watching the launch of Apple’s iPad, I was struck by the fact that Steve Jobs famously doesn’t pay too much attention to customer research. (“We do no market research. We don’t hire consultants,” he said recently). And yet – or should that be because of – this refusal to pay much attention to what customers say they want, Apple has become the ultimate game changer.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Jan 25 2010

BOLD Brands - now is the time to be brave in business and win

Shaun Smith previews a major talk he is giving on February 1st in London by outlining what it means to be bold, with a little help from Picasso and Apple. This will be the first preview of findings from Shaun's new book: 'BOLD - how to be brave in business and win'

Bold is an attitude of mind, but it’s measured by how you behave. As we emerge from the recession it is becoming evident that those brands that have stayed true to their purpose and focused on differentiation are those that are gaining and sustaining market share. A perfect example of this is Apple that has continued to gain market share throughout the recession and now earns about twice as much per customers as it rivals. But Apple is not driven by making money but making a difference. As Steve Jobs once said…

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Dec 21 2009

Ryanair - a branded customer experience?

We are currently researching leading brands for our forthcoming book 'BOLD - how to be brave in business and win'. There are some obvious examples that we shall include but one brand that is causing us to pause for thought is Ryanair, the low cost airline

Our research and experience of working with many leading brands suggests that those organisations that have a crystal clear view of their strategy and communicate their value proposition to target customers will outperform their sector. We also believe that the more focused organisations are in creating a customer experience that delivers their brand promise the more likely it is that they will win share of mind and ultimately, share of market.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Oct 25 2009

Two good reads: I Love You More Than My Dog and Don’t Mess With The Logo

Books can be like buses. The ones you want are conspicuous by their absence, and then two that you want come along at the same time.

Here are two recommended reads from us here at smith+co , both of which are just published.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Oct 11 2009

Royal Mail strikes hope for customer experience

I like my postman. He’s always polite, cheerful, smart and delivers my DVD rentals without nicking them. I also empathise with him. He has to get up at 5 o’clock every morning and deliver not only my mail, but also the Royal Mail brand values of “expert, proud, together, trustworthy and hungry”. Not so easy. (As an aside: hungry? Since brand values are ideally designed to be lived by staff every day, as they deliver those values through the customer experience, what exactly does that mean? That as well as getting up at 5am, my postie isn’t allowed breakfast before he delivers?)

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Sep 28 2009

Putting the customer before the technology: Make sure CEM learns from the mistakes of CRM

I think it's time to put down a marker and outline how we can avoid CEM (Customer Experience Management) technology investment repeating the same mistakes as the last decade or so of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) investment. Hence this post. Here goes...

Gartner, the information technology research and advisory firm, has reported that the global customer relationship management (CRM) market grew 12.5% in 2008 to $9.15 Billion from $8.13 Billion in 2007. Yet one study found that 55 percent of CRM installations drove customers away and diluted earnings.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Aug 10 2009

Brands, Trust, Choice - from one-way to two-way street

Brands have always been about trust and choice. Brand versus non-brand or rival brand propositions have always come down to “You (consumer) know me (product). You want to know what you are buying. You know you like me. So you buy certainty,” versus “You (consumer) don’t know me (unbranded or different branded product). You don’t like uncertainty, so you don’t buy me- unless I make it so affordable it is worth your risk.”

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Jul 13 2009

Empathy or apathy in the Contact Centre?

I was talking to Jamie Lywood, of Harding & Yorke recently. Jamie’s company works on empathy – ‘empathy architects’ they call themselves. Customer empathy is the sense of rapport (that you are on their side and understand them) and, as a result, loyalty, that customers feel when they contact your organisation. Their research shows that a one point increase in customer empathy leads to a 16.4 point increase in financial returns.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Jun 08 2009

The solution to measuring the ROI of customer experience

The art of improving customer experience has covered many column inches, but the science less so.

Let’s recap on the art. We believe that organisations with more satisfied customers grow faster and generate long term better returns. We know that there is a correlation between satisfaction and recommendation and that only the most satisfied customers are advocates. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) has its limitations, but the evidence is that organisations with a higher NPS grow faster. In all this we remember that the experience which creates satisfaction has many facets including people engagement, brand affinity and, increasingly, on line capability. We also know that value is a real arbiter; it is the value a customer pays for the experience which generally drives the buy decision.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • May 13 2009

The peak end rule of customer experience

Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel prize-winning behavioural scientist, identified the ‘peak-end rule’ which says our overall memory of an experience is primarily driven by three things - the intensity of the highs and lows; how much control we feel we have over it; and how the experience ends.

Reflect on almost any memorable service experience you’ve had (good or bad) - whether it’s shopping, dining out, staying in a hotel, or dealing with a call centre - and you’ll find at least one aspect of this rule will apply. As such, it’s an important guideline to keep in mind when you design your customer experience.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Apr 13 2009

What is the future for contact centre offshoring?

I was presenting a CEM workshop last week in Amsterdam with TOTE-M our consulting partner there. We had a great group of delegates covering a broad spectrum of industries all keen to learn how CEM could help their business.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Mar 24 2009

Croatian Creativity

We presented a one-day CEM event in Zagreb last week for ICPE. It was attended by 180 delegates from a wide variety of companies. It is great that, even in the midst of the recession, far-sighted companies are still investing in the customer experience and encouraging their people to expand their knowledge.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Mar 23 2009

The Fifth P : Brands and Branding Revisited

brandsandbranding

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Mar 15 2009

Time to dip your beak in the water?

What do Barack Obama, Stephen Fry and Sir Richard Branson have in common? They are all avid ‘Tweeters’. Twitter.com is now the 3rd largest social networking site after MySpace and Facebook with 6 million users according to latest estimates. It is also the fastest growing community on the planet.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Mar 09 2009

Why your sales are failing: and what you need to do about it

Our smith+co subject expert John Aves continues our occasional series on how to reinvent selling to make it an essential element of a differentiated customer experience…

Business Failure

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Mar 02 2009

How to avoid your luxury brand becoming ‘an expensive commodity’

istockluxuryphilbought

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Feb 27 2009

How to be a Genius: Stand on The Shoulders of Giants

sogwebsite

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Feb 02 2009

How’s your emotional bonding?

functionemotion1

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Jan 18 2009

What are you doing differently this year?

2009 will be vastly different as a place to trade in than was 2008. So, perhaps the first question you should ask as we slide into 2009 is: What are we still doing the same as last year that is now inappropriate?

During the second half of 2008 you are likely to have introduced a new focus on managing costs without hopefully affecting service and the customer experience. As the recession bites it will be increasingly important, but difficult, to manage costs without under-mining your strategy. Now is the time to ‘dial up your difference’ not under-mine it.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Jan 09 2009

Invitation: CINCOM/IBM London Event January 27th

Cincom and IBM are pleased to invite you to join Customer Experience Management (CEM) pioneer Shaun Smith for this exclusive half-day event.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Jan 04 2009

Customer Experience in The Health Service: Patient by name but not by nature

Whilst on holiday over Christmas I managed to rupture my Achilles tendon playing tennis with my wife. As a result I am sitting here in a leg cast having had surgery to repair the tendon. It has been many years since I was last hospitalised and so I was an interesting opportunity for me to apply my customer experience skills to the health sector at first-hand.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Dec 14 2008

Where value comes from (Part 2)

whatcustomersvalue
One concept that top managers commonly struggle with is the new meaning of ‘customer value’. For years, customer value - as with the acronym CVM or Customer Value Management - meant the value of the customer to the organization.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Nov 19 2008

Be Bold. Be Brave. Be Different. Contact centres are growing up

Here’s a shock

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Oct 13 2008

Branson’s ‘to do’ list

Richard Branson has a new book out – "Business Stripped Bare, Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur"

A while ago. Branson was asked about strategy and said that he didn’t run his businesses by strategies. Instead, he keeps a ‘to do’ list, that he writes at the beginning of each day. Working his way through his ‘to do’ lists, cumulatively, pushes Virgin as a group in the direction he instinctively feels it should be taking.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Sep 22 2008

Where does value come from? (Part 1)

IBM’s annual survey of CEOs* identifies five traits for what IBM calls ‘the enterprise of the future’. One of them, intriguingly, is “innovative beyond customer imagination”.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Sep 06 2008

Customer Experience and the primacy of the senses

When Andy Cosslett, CEO of InterContinental Hotels Group, joined that company, one of the first things he asked is “What does a Holiday Inn smell like?” Nobody in IHG had even thought of that as a question before. We need to be reminded that to design a customer experience you have to design for all the senses.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Aug 14 2008

Uncommon Practice, not Best Practice. September 9th London Business Forum Event

In a downturn it’s not best practice that will keep your customers coming back, it’s Uncommon Practice. The London Business Forum have asked me to give a Masterclass on this subject on the afternoon of Tuesday September 9th. Details are over in the link on the right, under the News heading. And my article on the subject of achieving high performance through Uncommon Practice is also on the right, in case you find that useful. The ‘Uncommon Practice’ self-assessment tool in the article will help you see how strong you are in this area, and therefore how vulnerable or resilient your organization is, which is vital to know in unforgiving trading conditions.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Aug 06 2008

Some summer reading

If you are off for a week or two this summer and looking for some summer reading, here are my recommendations to pack in your suitcase. Or, if you are stuck in the office while everyone else is away, it’s still a good time to catch up on your reading on the customer experience:

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Jul 21 2008

Customer Experience Management (CEM): The new frontier for the Contact Centre

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Jul 14 2008

Brands I love to hate: Ryanair, Capital One and Ikea

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Jul 08 2008

Ten ways to beat the recession

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Jun 25 2008

Customer Experience Management in the Call Centre. First Direct shows the way

I was on business in Cambodia recently when I received a text message from First Direct, my bank in the UK, asking me to call them at my convenience. I called during the morning, which was the middle of the night in the UK. As always with First Direct, I immediately got through to a helpful agent who sounded cheerful, alert and eager to help me despite it being 3.am in the UK.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Jun 06 2008

How to survive and thrive during a downturn

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • May 23 2008

The ONE thing I learnt last week

Last week I chaired day two of the European Conference on Customer Management in London. There are always hundreds of memorable learning points flying around at an event that features the likes of Stephen Covey, Richard Branson, Ken Blanchard, Dan Pink and Fred Reichheld. But, one Uber learning point stood out for me. I was chatting with Lou Carbone of Experience Engineering and we agreed that there was a common thread that ran through many of the key-note presentations.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • May 11 2008

The Sales pitch is dead. Time to re-invent selling

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Apr 28 2008

Ten Years On From The Service Profit Chain

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Apr 14 2008

Why customer focus is good for the CEO’s career

Andy Milligan writes…

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Apr 04 2008

Be Bold: It’s the next customer frontier

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Mar 20 2008

How Bold is Your Business?

There’s increasing evidence that going for the extremes - being bold - gains more attention and loyalty from customers. In over-crowded markets, bold stands out. If you want ‘fans’ instead of customers, then to gain that kind of extreme reaction you need to provoke strong emotion. And for that, you need to be bold, not bland.

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Feb 15 2008

Great Quote from The Geek Squad. Marketing is…

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Feb 15 2008

What does your customer experience smell like?

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Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Feb 15 2008

Virgin’s Upper Class Customer Experience

Virgin has refined its Upper Class customer experience still further.

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