If you’ve been listening to The Customer Experience Podcast, you may have noticed a handful of common themes and trends surfacing.
Themes, of course, that have to do with providing great customer experience. But also themes that transcend the business world.
Among the ideas and concepts that have emerged naturally in my conversations with two dozen great guests on The Customer Experience Podcast include:
- The synonymity of customer experience and brand experience
- The relationship between customer experience and employee experience
- The dynamics between personal, human touches and automated, tech touches
- The shift in control away from companies and toward customers
Check out this short episode to learn more.
4 Emerging CX Themes and Trends
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Theme 1: Customer Experience and Brand Experience
Our journey into interviewing sales, marketing, customer successs, and customer experience experts has made it safe to say that customer experience and brand experience are synonymous. They can be used interchangeably.
Things true of both customer experience and brand experience:
- They’re the responsibility of every single team member.
- They’re happening whether you know it or not.
- They require cross-departmental coordination and alignment.
- Their foundations must be authentically lived inside-out for you to have any control over them.
- They’re comprised of the thoughts and feelings that interactions with our people, product, and other touchpoints leave people with.
- They’re revealed through customer stories, online reviews, word-of-mouth, and referrals.
This theme – while not always explicitly expressed – has certainly been common throughout our episodes.
Theme 2: Customer Experience and Employee Experience
It’s a big investment to recruit, hire, onboard, train, equip, and develop employees. But you’re not just investing in that individual. That investment is also an investment in your customers.
When you decide to hire a new employee or help a team member receive continuing education, your investment reaches further than that individual. By providing the tools and training that your employees need to excel, you’re ultimately investing in retention and revenue growth.
And that’s a great feeling.
Investing more resources into your team will result in exceptional customer experience. Plus, your employees will feel valued and more satisfied in their positions; employee experience is critical to landing and keeping the best people.
It’s a win-win-win.
This theme bubbles up in Episode 14 with Samantha Stone (Balancing Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Human Relationships) and is actively explored in Episode 17 with Jonathan Bolton (The Best Customer Experience Delivers an Appropriate Experience).
You’ll sense it in other conversations, as well. If you’re interested in this theme, you’ll like my episode of The B2B Growth Show called The Service Profit Chain.
Theme 3: Tech Touch versus Human Touch
Should that email be automated in a workflow or personalized from a human?
This is a common question in the sales and marketing world. It’s also a theme in customer success. Is it worth the time and energy to personalize this message? Is it scalable? Does scalability matter in this case?
Are we becoming too accustomed to artificial interactions? Should we make automated touches feel like they’re not automated?
How do you choose between a human touch and a tech touch? These questions can be translated into popular culture, not just business culture.
And they’re persistent here on The Customer Experience Podcast.
For example, Swimlane’s VP of Customer Success, Jordan Olivero, talks about scaling the unscalable, especially at moments of real customer impact, on Episode 18 (Create Delight to Keep Customers for Life). A few episodes earlier, Sales Loft’s SVP of Sales Strategy, Jeremy Donovan, makes clear the proper blend of templated and personalized in a sales cadence on Episode 13 (Sales Strategy Mistakes and How to Fix Them).
You’ll likely hear some variation of the “humans and machines” or “humans versus machines” conversations on most episodes. You’ll also see it in a book I recently co-authored with Steve Pacinelli called Rehumanize Your Business.
Theme 4: Shift in Control Away from Businesses and Toward Customers
The customer is always right. Right?
Of course, it’s not. But there’s been a big shift in the markets in which we operate. And many companies are still operating under the old paradigm.
Businesses once had the power and control to set expectations, dictate available communication channels, and manage optional choices.
Today, however, that’s far less true. Customers are in control.
The dynamics involved are many, but to hear out these ideas, give a listen to Drift founder and CEO, David Cancel on Episode 19 (Why Customer Experience Is The Only Differentiator Left). He explains how infinite competition and widely-available information are driving the paradigm shift.
Brian Gilman, VP of Product Marketing at Vonage, is another guest who explains the shift in Episode 25 (Why Friction Is A Customer Experience Killer). But the roots of the conversation here on the podcast go back to Episode 4 (Is Your Company Built to Last or Built to Suck?) with Joseph Jaffe, author of Built to Suck: The Inevitable Demise of the Corporation … and How to Save It?.
More: Join the CX Conversation
What do you think about these themes and trends?
Do you want to hear more about any of them in particular?
Anything we’re not talking about that you think we should be?
This show is for you. So, send any thoughts, questions, or feedback to me by email: Ethan (at) BombBomb (dot) com
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