Starry Blue Brilliance

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How to Move Brands Faster and Longer in the Social Media Era

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Photo by paul bica

With new social media networks and platforms emerging almost every day, organizations must efficiently engage customers while delivering a cohesive experience that drives customer loyalty. During the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit earlier this month, Nestor Portillo, Director, Social Communities and Customer Experience at Microsoft, shared why customer experience is key to make the content viral and engaging.

Customers in the social media era are in control and are setting companies’ agendas. They:

  • Trust in advice made by online acquaintances and strangers
  • Read and create product reviews, product rankings and blog posts
  • Want to provide feedback about the product, brand and the service
  • Seek support to connect with like-minded peers


To move brands faster and longer in the social media era, Nestor contends that organizations must provide a consistent experience across all social media platforms. It should be successful, effortless and quick.

Most importantly, organizations must have a game plan that supports the customer journey by:

  • Considering the different ways people learn
  • Pivoting on experience and products
  • Delivering an emotional hook


This game plan must also include a community that:

  • Is healthy and is not intimidating
  • Provides a framework for user-generated content and word-of-mouth triggers
  • Adds authenticity to help establish brand trust


Following this model will lead your customers to buy more, use more, consume more and tell and share more.


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Customer-Centric Culture: Why it Matters and How to Measure it

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“A great customer experience can only be delivered by someone who wants to give it.” – Ian Luxford, Learning Services Director, Grass Roots

During last week’s Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, Bill Barnes, Senior Vice President, Client Services and Jaci Jarrett Masztal, Ph.D, Vice President, Practice Leader from Burke Inc., presented “Customer-Centric Culture: Why it Matters and How to Measure it.” Bill and Jaci contend that the employee engagement process and the customer experience process, which are usually separate management processes in many organizations, be brought together to improve organizational performance.

The premise of this approach is that a high level of employee engagement is critical to creating and enhancing positive customer experiences leading to customer engagement. To improve employee engagement, organizations should focus on ways to:

  • Improve job performance
  • Provide more job growth opportunities
  • Enhance Talent Management
  • Better serve various internal stakeholder needs
  • Improve commitment and retention
  • Enhance customer service

A customer-centric culture that actively focuses on what is best for the customer is a critical factor in improving organizational performance. Customer centricity is a part of all organizational aspects including leadership, strategy, decision-making, operations and in ongoing job functions. It’s also important to remember that culture is:

  • Broader – it’s more than an initiative
  • Cross-functional, enterprise-wide
  • Long-term strategy
  • Motivation, focus, behavior
  • Multi-dimensional

A challenge for most organizations is determining how measure a customer-centric culture. Measurement allows a true gap analysis and a baseline to track change and assess impact. At Burke, Bill and Jaci help their clients to measure their culture with The Customer Centricity Index, which measures across these six important dimensions:

  • Leadership & Strategy
  • Messaging & Modeling
  • Employee Understanding & Commitment
  • Product & Service
  • Excellence Support & Tools
  • Recognition & Appreciation

Leadership drives the strategy and culture which sets the foundation for Who, What, and How, all of which drive and support customer engagement and business success. Employees believe the products and services are worthy and are equipped to deliver. Employees are recognized and rewarded for the customer-centric behaviors reinforced and repeated. Full customer centricity is achieved when the organization has a collective mindset of doing what needs to be done to the benefit of the customer.

Does your organization have a customer-centric culture? How do you measure it?


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Creating an Effective Customer Story Starts with Empathy

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Photo by paul bica

I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit (TCEL) last week! I met some great people and learned more about creating an effective customer story.

Here are some key nuggets of information to help your organization transform the value they create for customers, employees and other key stakeholders by understanding your audiences’ key emotional drivers:

Stay tuned for additional TCEL highlights this month. Thank you for continuing to follow these updates and sharing your experiences and ideas!

What are some good conferences you’ve attended recently?


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Create Authentic Brand Identities Through Storytelling

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Photo by paul bica

I believe in the power of storytelling and you should too. Why?

There are many examples of how great storytelling evokes emotion, which causes your customers to take action. Here are just a few that I’ve written about recently:

Ready to learn more? Here are some key resources to help you get started:

If creating authentic brand identities through storytelling sounds intriguing to you, be sure to join Daryl Travis, CEO for Brandtrust, at the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit this week in Miami, Florida as he presents “Using Emotional Energy to Make Your Customer Experience Programs Easier, Faster and Smarter.”

There’s still time to register! Go to www.iirusa.com/totalcustomer for details.

Stay connected with TCEL:

  • twitter.com/TotalCustomer #TCEL14
  • linkedin.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders
  • facebook.com/TotalCustomer

How does your organization create an authentic brand identity?


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Build Customer Relationships That Matter Through Social Media

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Photo by paul bica

Today on Customers 1st, I posted “Build Customer Relationships that Matter through Social Media” as a follow-up to last Friday’s post, “What Your Customers Say When You Don’t – or Won’t – Listen.”

I’m enjoying guest blogging for the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, April 9-11, in Miami, Florida. This year’s Summit focuses on “Return on Relationships: Factoring Empathy into the Stakeholder Equation.” To learn more about the event and register, go to http://www.iirusa.com/totalcustomer. Stay connected with TCEL:
  • twitter.com/TotalCustomer #TCEL14
  • linkedin.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders
  • facebook.com/TotalCustomer

How do you build customer relationships on Twitter?


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The Critical Element Missing from Your Customer Experience Programs

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Photo by paul bica

As a guest blogger for the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, April 9-11 in Miami, Florida, I posted my second pre-event article today called “The Critical Element Missing from Your Customer Experience Programs.”

This year’s Summit focuses on the “Return on Relationships: Factoring Empathy into the Stakeholder Equation.” I encourage you to learn more about this event and to “discover the emotional drivers that are critical in creating an effective customer story.” Please also share this information with those who might be interested in attending.

Here are other ways to stay connected with this event:

  • twitter.com/TotalCustomer #TCEL14
  • linkedin.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders
  • facebook.com/TotalCustomer

In the meantime, please continue to watch for my pre-event posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Customers 1st blog, and my blog, and please share with your networks. Let’s keep the conversations going!

How are you developing more empathy for your customers?


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Join Me for the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit

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Join me April 9-11 in Miami, Fla. for the Total Customer Experience Leaders (TCEL) Summit sponsored by the Institute for International Research USA (IIR USA). I will be a guest blogger promoting this event and blogging before, during and after the event to share the highlights.

I’m excited that this year’s Summit focuses on the “Return on Relationships: Factoring Empathy into the Stakeholder Equation,” especially since showing empathy through strategic storytelling is the theme of my January, February and last week’s posts.

I encourage you to learn more about this event and to “discover the emotional drivers that are critical in creating an effective customer story.” Please share this information with those who might be interested in attending this event.

I will be posting daily during this timeframe to IIR’s Customers 1st blog and to Starry Blue Brilliance. Here are other ways to stay connected with this event:

  • twitter.com/TotalCustomer #TCEL14
  • linkedin.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders
  • facebook.com/TotalCustomer

Be sure to check it out!

In the meantime, watch for my pre-event posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Customers 1st blog, and my blog, and please share with your networks. Let’s keep the conversations going!

Thank you very much for your continued support. I’m very excited about this opportunity!