13 Customer Experience Challenges

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Customer Experience
Everyone in business has that hot-button issue that can keep them up at night. Whether it's adjusting to how the economy is impacting business or gaining buy-in for an important initiative or keeping momentum going for a successful strategy, these challenges can be even more complex when they involve customers. During interviews with the 1to1 editorial team, several of the 2011 1to1 Customer Champions shared their current hot-button issue:

Everyone in business has that hot-button issue that can keep them up at night. Whether it's adjusting to how the economy is impacting business or gaining buy-in for an important initiative or keeping momentum going for a successful strategy, these challenges can be even more complex when they involve customers. During interviews with the 1to1 editorial team, several of the 2011 1to1 Customer Champions shared their current hot-button issue:"The economy. You spend time talking to [customers] and they are sacrificing time and money right now, and they're making some tough decisions...to still get out to the races That puts an enormous responsibility and an unbelievable burden to meet or exceed their expectations. We want them to pull out Sunday morning and say, 'I'm glad we made those sacrifices.' There is pressure on us to get this perfect."
--Roger Curtis, president, Michigan International Speedway

"The Millennial generation offers challenges in two ways: First, what do Millennials expect as customers? Social networking and viral information sharing are the norm for this generation. How do we build service models to accommodate that? Second, what do Millennials expect as employees? As we build our workforce, how do we make certain we are including elements that will attract the best of this generation to our company and then retain them?"
--David Payne, assistant vice president, contact center, The Standard

"I feel personally responsible to continuously deliver value to all of UPS's customers. Every person on this planet, whether a shipper or receiver, is a customer, and that is a big target audience and a huge responsibility. Adding in government regulation and competition can make anybody lose sleep."
--Susan DeLaney, Vice President Customer Experience, UPS

"My biggest fear is that I am not touching everyone in the manner that they would like to be communicated with."
--Dennis Fitzgerald, vice president, customer satisfaction, Yaskawa America Inc.

"One hot-button issue is order accuracy because it generates a lot of negative energy for the customer. Another is recovering customers at the restaurant level. We need to be extremely consistent in recovering customers because if you make a mistake and don't handle it well, you can lose a customer for life."
--Chuck Sliker, senior vice president of operations services, Arby's

"We're implementing RFID resort-wide. We're transitioning all of our passes to RFID. So it had better work."
--Mike Colbourn, vice president marketing, sales, and communications, Stowe Mountain Resort

"Everybody is very excited about the customer at Cigna and we're on the path to true customer centricity, but we've reached that tipping point where everyone wants to be part of it. You either all come together as one big snowball at the top of the mountain and you roll down the mountain to change the world. Or you can scatter into a million different snowballs. I'm trying to corral that excitement and get everyone together on this. That's my current hot-button issue."
--Ingrid Lindberg, customer experience officer, Cigna

"Seventy-five percent of our associates, I would say, are customer-facing employees. They are the ones interacting with the customer. Our current hot-button issue is around...achieving consistency in how we convey our message and how we respond to [customers'] needs and then deliver and execute on their needs."
--Tom Feeney, president and CEO, Safelite AutoGlass

"Two come to mind: First, how we provide our customers with the same level of service and experience online that they receive in our stores; and, second, how to reward our selling associates for exhibiting relationship-based selling best practices."
--Stephen Jackson, chief information officer, Harry Rosen Inc.

"Getting good customer service metrics in place and accessing them easily. For a large organization, that is a slow process and I want them now."
--Donna Lendzyk, manager, customer loyalty, SaskTel

"The issue that keeps me up at night is keeping the faith. We are a company on the move. We've had great success and momentum and it's born out of customer sales growth--and that's a function of many factors. But [maintaining] dedication to getting it right over time, that's what keeps me up at night. How do we...never get complacent?"
--Tim Teran, senior vice president, consumer insights and strategy, Macy's

"Continuing to improve the speed in which an item is ordered and subsequently sent out the door. That's something that we continually focus on. The consumer expectation is significantly higher than it was five or 10 years ago."
--Rich Brecht, director of customer experience, J&P Cycles

"The whole concept that reactive support is dead. It's about proactively establishing a relationship with customers. It's not always about buying. It's about having the courage to have a bit more patience to establish that relationship. It's about creating that one-to-one feeling of contact across a variety of touchpoints and systematizing all that. It crosses every department."
-- Jay Topper, senior vice president, customer success, Rosetta Stone

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