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Valuing time for well-being

Is there a right and wrong way to be customer-centric?

Valuing time for well-beingI really like how Lynn Hunsaker of ClearAction explains this with her concept of “well -being”.

Some managers view customer-centricity as bending to every customer’s’ whim. Customers are not so irrational. They want you to succeed so you can continue to help them. The transactional customers that don’t, likely shouldn’t be your customers.

Customer-centricity means that your actions are centered on customers’ well-being as it promotes your well-being.

“Well-being” is a balance of generosity and discipline. The well-being of a child requires a balance of recreation, learning, and structure. When customers’ well-being is great they make fewer demands on your company and they are eager to engage in mutual value creation.

Recently at Whole Foods they ran out of nutritional yeast in their bulk products section. I was delighted that they gave me a complimentary packaged nutritional yeast instead. It sounds expensive, but I didn’t need to visit another store. They considered my well-being, valued my time and understood that I was a relational long-term customer.

Customer well-being requires a balance between the benefits they receive from your company and the collective costs they incur: money, time, effort and stress.

If you are looking for more examples of being customer-centric, make sure to get your preview copy of our new book Be Like Amazon: Even a Lemonade Stand Can Do It.

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Six Questions To Help You Hire a Conversion Rate Optimization (#CRO) Agency

Looking for an agency can be a dangerous and painful job. Sometimes you find a great partner. Sometimes there’s a large gap between what you’re looking and what the agency can provide.

Everybody should hire some form of agency.  The primary reason is that we work on our business every single day. We see the world through our own eyes. That is the curse of knowledge. Having someone from the outside your business is essential. They can either give you recommendations or help you with implementation.

We opened the first CRO agency in 1998. We no longer offer CRO services to clients. We still have a lot of friends in the industry. It’s likely some of them will disagree with the way we approach it. That’s OK! The goal of this post it help you hire a CRO agency that is a great fit.

These are six important questions to ask:

Read the rest of this post on Bryan Eisenberg’s LinkedIn blog 

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Radio Interview “Brand Like Amazon: Even A Lemonade Stand Can Do It”

Ray Seggern, of One Man Brand Radio, interviewed us about our soon to be published book.

You can sign up for previews of the chapters as they are released at BrandLikeAmazon.com

 

 

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Why Retail CEOs Still Don’t Care About Digital

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Customers are more connected than ever. Software continues to reduce customer friction everywhere, from customer service to fulfillment. Logistics and payment systems continue to expand what’s possible for customers. Customers expect more and better.

Retail customers aren’t delighted with retailers. They feel differently about Amazon and in both cases it’s the CEO’s fault.

All the above is true. It’s why CEOs green light new and growing investments in technology and marketing. So how can I say that retail CEOs don’t care about digital?

Digital is not just a series of new shiny objects, cost cutting tools or new media ads. Digital should be the glue that connects every part of the organization with customers. Digital should allow every part of the organization to analyze data, learn from it, and act on it. The competitive advantage is putting that customer at the center of their universe.

… You can read the rest of this post as it appears on IBM’s THINK Marketing blog – Why retail CEOs still don’t care enough about digital 

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Legendary Links: worthwhile reading 9/18/16

Important List On Blackboard

 

What’s up with Legendary Links? From time-to-time, we’ll post some of the interesting articles that we found interesting and that you may have missed. Please let us know if you find them interesting or if you’d like to share other links that we may have missed.

Which Type of Voice Actor Should You Use for Your Explainer Video? [Original Research]

In this ConversionXL Institute study, we tested four different voices, which differed by gender and whether they were professional voice actors or not. Question is, did it make a different in how people perceived our video content? Yes, and the results were somewhat surprising.

21 ways Amazon changed the face of retail

“Amazon is a case study in ceaseless innovation and interminable disruption,” says Artemis Berry, vice president of digital retail for Shop.org and the National Retail Federation. To toast Amazon’s 21st birthday, STORES uncovered 21 times it changed the dynamics of selling, came up with fundamental new ways of doing business and altered how customer satisfaction is measured.

What will the iPhone 8 be made of? [Quora]

Apple will create an iPhone primarily from ZrO2 – Zirconian Ceramics. The journey Apple has taken to adopt Zirconia Ceramic as their fundamental design material translates like an epic movie plot. We will begin at the end.

How Optimizely Shrunk Google’s Market Share by 92%

Then in 2010, Optimizely launched. By thinking deeply about who needed to do this job rather than just what needed to be done, then designing a tool specifically for that market, Optimizely revolutionized A/B testing on the web. And all they had to do was take out steps.

The Five Disciplines of Customer Experience Leaders

Bain & Company analysis shows that companies that excel in the customer experience grow revenues 4%–8% above their market. That’s because a superior experience helps to earn stronger loyalty among customers, turning them into promoters who tend to buy more, stay longer and make recommendations to their friends. As a result, promoters have a lifetime value that can reach 6 to 14 times that of detractors, depending on the industry.

When your boss is an algorithm

In the gig economy, companies such as Uber and Deliveroo manage workers via their phones. But is this liberating or exploitative?

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Legendary Links: worthwhile reading

 

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eConsultancy writes that Content is king, but for brands, there’s too much of it. “As content volumes increase and third-party distribution platforms become the primary means through which digital content reaches consumers, brands will have to get to grips with the fact that embracing content creation will not be a panacea.” Also, don’t miss out on eConsultancy’s excellent Periodic Table of Content Marketing

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Take note of these 9 principles for your next eCommerce site redesign:

  1. More iterative redesign approach.
  2. Stronger UX research to validate assumptions and solutions
  3. Increasingly specific definitions of “success”.
  4. Clearly defined baselines, targets and time bases for goal & KPI improvement
  5. More analytics & research resources to identify problems & validate solutions throughout the redesign process.
  6. Clear definitions of key segments the site needs to serve (and clear hypotheses for serving those specific segments).
  7. Greater understanding of “mobility” and “omni-channel” behavior and recognition of key use cases for adaptive experiences.
  8. Increased pressure for measurable improvements immediately at re-launch (as opposed to generous “bake in” periods).
  9. A desire to reduce the “cost to serve” websites, wherein many manual, time-consuming site sections & activities will be called into question.

This comes from the Ecommerce Site Redesign Survey of over 200 eCommerce leaders by Sam Decker.

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Learn What Advertising Can’t Do from the estimable Jeff Sexton

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John Hagel offers us this nugget about Return on Attention (“ROA”) in his post The Demise of Advertising Business Models:

“Here’s the thing. As vendors become more adept at increasing return on attention for their customers, their need to advertise is likely to diminish. If they are more and more helpful to their customers, word of mouth will spread among customers and they will flock to the vendors who can improve their return on attention. And, it won’t be just word of mouth among customers. On the product side, curators are likely to emerge to help customers sort through the ever-expanding variety of products and services given deep expertise in certain categories of product and services. On the customer side, I have written about the emergence of trusted advisors who will invest in deeply understanding us as individual customers and become more and more helpful to us in recommending products or services we may not even have asked about.”

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If you’re quietly changing the world or you are just trying to you’ll find this post, When You Change the World and No One Notices, encouraging.

“Three points arise from this.

  1. It takes a brilliance to change the world. It takes something else entirely to wait patiently for people to notice. “Zen-like patience” isn’t a typical trait associated with entrepreneurs. But it’s often required, especially for the most transformative products.
  2. When innovation is measured generationally, results shouldn’t be measured quarterly. History is the true story of how long, messy, and chaotic change can be. The stock market is the hilarious story of millions of people expecting current companies to perform quickly, orderly, and cleanly. The gap between reality and expectations explains untold frustration.
  3. Invention is only the first step of innovation.”
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Wal-Mart’s Problem Isn’t Just E-commerce

tunnel-vision-1500x1000Sam Walton said “You can make a lot of mistakes and still recover if you run an efficient operation. Or you can be brilliant and still go out of business if you’re too inefficient.” Price, selection, and convenience were good enough to destroy their competitors. Wal-Mart focused on logistics and SKUs, not individual customers.

Sam Walton changed the retail landscape of his time. He expressed a clear narrative about operational excellence and efficiency. Wal-Mart would always offer customers a larger in-stock selection at the best prices. It was the right solution to the challenges he faced. It isn’t now.

Wal-Mart jumps on the e-commerce Jet

According to recent data from eMarketer, Walmart is the second largest U.S. online retailer.  While that is about $13 billion in sales last year,  it is well below Amazon’s $82.8 billion. Walmart’s digital growth lags behind the economy-wide rate of 15.1% in the first quarter.  E-commerce accounts for about 3% of Walmart sales.  Compare that to approximately 8% of all retail sales.

Wal-Mart‘s uber-expensive acquihire of Jet.com should improve their e-commerce team. Especially since Marc Lore (Jet.com’s founder) will now be president and chief executive of e-commerce at Walmart.

Wal-Mart misdiagnoses the challenge

Brick and mortar stores everywhere are closing. Many blame it on Amazon and other e-commerce players. The sad truth is that the small percentage of digital sales aren’t the problem. What ails retailers is the lackluster efforts to enhance the customer experience . The connected buyer journey is evolving. Customers expect to buy things where they want it. They expect to buy things how they want it and when they want it. They expect to engage with the brand irrespective of the channel and/ or device. And most of all they expect to have a great experience all along the way. And you can’t do that without stitching it all together with digital.

Wal-Mart, retailers in general, need a cultural change. 

Digital is not just a series of new shiny objects, cost cutting tools or new media ads. Digital should be the glue that connects every part of the organization with customers. Digital should allow every part of the organization to analyze data, learn from it, and act on it. They must put the customer, NOT the SKU, at the center of their universe.

Wal-Mart needs to focus the whole organization on the entire customer experience. They need to improve the interactions customers have at every touchpoint. Then they need to convey that change in narrative to everyone from the boardroom to the stockroom.

Improving e-commerce is relatively easy. Cultural change is hard. Marc Lore may do wonders for Wal-Mart’s ecommerce channel. What he won’t do is transform Wal-Mart’s retail culture. Wal-Mart still doesn’t think it has anything but an e-commerce problem.

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Amazon Prime Day: Magician’s Trick #CX #UX #CRO

 

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“When a magician waves his hand and says, “This is where the magic is happening.” The real trick is happening somewhere else. Misdirection.” – Thaddeus Bradley in Now You See Me

What was everyone’s focus on Amazon’s Prime Day? This is from their press release:

The second annual Prime Day was the biggest day ever for Amazon. Amazon today announced customer orders surpassed Prime Day 2015 by more than 60% worldwide and more than 50% in the U.S. It was also the biggest day ever for Amazon devices globally and record Prime Day for each Amazon device category including Fire TV, Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers and Alexa-enabled devices. Prime Day was a great savings day too – members globally saved more than double on deals over Prime Day 2015.

Prime Day was a success. It also revealed where the future of commerce (not just eCommerce) is headed.

Voice is the big reveal

Amazon, as always, is focused on improving customer experience. Prime Day is valuable to Amazon but focusing there is simply misdirection. Pay careful attention to Amazon’s magic, they’re focusing on voice as the primary UI (user interface) and IoT (Internet of Things).

 

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How Amazon creates sales momentum 

Voice and IoT improve the customer experience. This is from Amazon’s press release – Prime Day 2016 highlights from the U.S.:

  • Amazon devices were up over 3x compared to Prime Day last year.
  • Biggest day ever for Amazon Echo – up over 2.5x compared to previous record day.
  • The most popular Amazon Dash Button brands purchased on Prime Day were Cascade, Charmin, and Tide.

Amazon’s flywheel, they call it a virtuous cycle, always puts the customer front and center. This is the way they draw it:

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Conversion rate (an output) is a result of the many inputs that make up the customer experience. Amazon understands that the experience they provide has the chance to annoy, satisfy or delight their customers. They continuously optimize their inputs. Their superior experience is rewarded with higher conversion rates. It’s this laser focus on the input of customer experience that is responsible for Amazon’s 74% conversion rate from Prime Members.


More than half of all Amazon customers in the US are now also Amazon Prime subscribers. 

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Where have eCommerce executives been focused? 

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There is a slight shift of focus in 2016. “The big rise of explicit mentions of the word “customer” was very noticeable in the results of this year’s survey,” said Mark Raskino, Vice President and Gartner Fellow. “CEOs seem to be concerned about improving customer service, relationship, and satisfaction levels.”

Amazon has changed the game. While those CEO’s get around to improving customer service, relationship,and satisfaction levels Amazon is eating their lunch.

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Amazon is consistently trying to stay ahead of their customers’ behavior instead of their competitors.

Focus On Your Customers!

Please remember that for you to achieve your goals, visitors must first achieve theirs.

 

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Speak at Your Event

We can speak at your event. Our fees are $20,000 in North America, and that includes travel. International fees are $20,000 plus business class travel, from Austin, and lodging. Contact us to discuss your event  

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We kick-off the workshop with a two-day onsite visit. We help you create the Four Pillar foundation for your organization. The entire process takes between 4-8 weeks and the typical investment is $30,000 – $100,000.

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After our workshops, we work with only a few select clients. Your business must be committed to the Four Pillars (as described in Be Like Amazon) on a long-term basis .