Teenagers taking a selfie

    Watch out Millennials … Gen Z is about to take over center stage

    I have three kids who aren’t related to me by blood, but I’m known as Aunty Ingrid to them. They were born in 2003, 2010 and 2012. The thing they all have in common? They have never known life without the internet — and they are all Gen Z.

    As a Gen X’er myself, with still-vivid memories of having to reserve time in the computer lab to type term papers in college, I find this generation to be one of the most fascinating yet. And I’ll tell you — the stats are showing that they are breaking stereotypes left behind by their elder generation.

    Let’s do a little level setting:

    • There are 2 billion of them worldwide, and they represent $800 billion in spending in the U.S. alone.  That makes them large enough that they’ll rival Millennials.
    • They are born between the years of 1997 – 2012.
    • They are entering the workforce right now.

    You’d think that since they are the true “digital natives” that they wouldn’t want to actually shop in a brick and mortar store. But you’d be wrong. They like the customer experience of shopping in stores. In fact, they are three times more likely to shop in a store than on line. They like to feel the fabric of clothes they’re buying.  

    But while they’re walking through your store, they may be simultaneously engaging with you online. These consumers are all about moving from channel to channel seamlessly. And that means that while they’re in your store, experiencing your brand, they will likely be looking at your web site to see what else you have to offer.

    Gen-Z ShoppingThis segment loves co-creation. They want to have their fingers in new product design and they want their voices to be heard. They want to help you design the experience they are after, from the beginning. They want to help you create new, unique products and experiences for your customers. They want to be able to put their mark on things. To show their individuality.

    They are also all about value. And the criteria for what defines “value” is evolving. Some members of this segment will be searching for the best deal, coupon, or points system that they can find. Others define value as being willing to pay more if you can prove your products are sustainable. 60 percent of this generation believe that they can make this world a better place. And they want to do business with brands who are also focused on helping to make this world a better place.

    Last, but not least, these Gen Z’ers are going to have the highest expectations we’ve seen yet for performance and ease. They will walk away if your page takes any time at all to load. They’ll leave your website if it isn’t easy to navigate. And they’ll do it faster than anyone else.

    To serve these Gen Z’ers, you need to ensure that your platforms are responsive. You need to ensure that your tools are super easy to use. We talked about the elegance of simplicity — solutions for both users and you — in an earlier blog post.

    More than anything, you’re going to have to make sure that you’re talking to them via social. Because that is where they are. Meet them there and co-create. You’ll only have better outcomes together.


    WholeFoods Prime Produce

    Mastering The Art Of Getting It Right

    Hold onto your horses (because there is no need to whip out a credit card) — Amazon Prime Day is almost here!

    In the Customer Experience world, companies are constantly striving to be “more like Amazon” or to “Amazonize” their product offers or customer focus. If you’ve ever heard me talk or read my blog, you know that I believe that you can’t “be” Amazon. They’re already taken and I don’t think Mr. Bezos is looking for a buyer …

    First, a few facts:

    The holiday that Amazon created, “Prime Day,” is just around the corner. Prime Day has only been in existence since 2015 — yet it has rocked the market.

    For instance, Black Friday (2017 Friday online-only sales of $7.9B, total sales of $682B) saw an increase in sales of 4 percent between 2016 and 2017. However, Prime Day saw a 60 — SIXTY!!! — percent increase between 2016 and 2017. No one else in this space can claim that.

    Let’s put that into perspective: If Amazon sees a 60 percent increases in Prime Day sales for 2018, and then again in 2019, that would put them at almost 10 percent of the sales across all retailers on Black Friday alone. And one percent of the total holiday spend. And this isn’t a Black Friday sale. This is a day that Amazon made up three years ago, claimed as their own, and is now so popular that it is being copied.

    Prime Day has had such an impact on retailers that many are jumping on the “Christmas in July” bandwagon “The number of retailers offering deals through RetailMeNot increased 340% last year, from 27 in 2016 to 119 in 2017.” And, we’re not just seeing offers increase — some retailers are making up their own versions of Prime Day.

    I personally love the riff from Sur La Table — their “Lime Day” happened on July 9.

    Sur La Table Lime Day

    And you all know how much I love pineapples …

    Sur La Table Pineapple

    With all of this excitement and fingers on the keyboard, ready to buy, there are a few things we can learn from what Amazon has done. They’re focusing on the three most important things to measure: helpfulness, ease, and enjoyability.

    1. They’re maximizing all of their channels to ensure helpfulness. As so many retailers shutter their storefronts, Amazon keeps opening their own. Whether Amazon Books or Whole Foods stores, Amazon is not only focused on digital. They understand the importance of having that face-to-face interaction option with their customers, when their customers want that channel. Not only are they meeting people where they want to be met, they are going to have an impact on grocers this year with what appears to be a whole new slew of deals at Whole Foods, and an extra 10 percent off sale items for Amazon Prime members.

    2. They understand how to make it easy for you. Prime Day means deep discounts on even more ways to interact with Amazon that can make your life easier. The newest Alexa devices feature video screens. With Amazon’s acquisition of Ring security, Prime members can not only seamlessly stream audio and video content from Amazon and see the recipes they ask Alexa for — they can check their security cameras, too. All from one location, with one device. And shoot, when you realize that you’re out of toilet paper, you can still ask Alexa to buy it for you.

    3. They know how to make shopping online enjoyable. They have mastered the art of exclusivity. We all love to feel like we’re getting secret access — or that we found something before the rest of our circle did. Well, Amazon nails this. They use Prime Day to launch exclusive new products from their partners, in limited quantities, to Prime Members. Need a faucet you can talk to? Or the new Fingerling Unicorn that lights up? Well, only you can get it. And only on Prime Day. And only if you’re a Prime Member. Feel special yet? They’ve mastered it.

    Work from home on Monday, because you may be spending more time on Amazon than you do working. Good luck and happy finds!

    Elegance of Simplicity

    Hello CX Peeps!


    I’ve just returned from a trip to Singapore where I was lucky enough to get to do some significant design work with a client.


    For those of you have been a part of my CX peeps world for a while, you know that even though I’ve led CX efforts for years, my heart truly still loves where I started — on the design side. Read More From The Chief Customer

    Haunted House of Customer Experience Horrors!

    Waaaay back in a galaxy far, far away, I was just learning how to really change cultures into customer centric ones. And I’m talking about doing more than writing a new mission statement. (Don’t get me wrong, that’s a very important step, but only one step in a Culture Roadmap.)

    We had a great customer experience strategy, we had a great mission and vision. We knew what our priorities were. We had executive support. We’d rolled out Guiding Principles and new language guidelines. I’d gone out on a roadshow and talked to every single employee about the fact that we had to make a change. Still – we had a problem. Read More From The Chief Customer

    Customer Experience Execs In HealthCare – It Is Time To Do Something Bold

    A few days ago, I was at AHIP Institute in Las Vegas. For those of you who aren’t familiar with AHIP, it is one of the largest gatherings of health insurers. AHIP is a place that I hold dear in my heart. It was the first platform in healthcare that I was given to talk about Customer Experience. As a matter of fact, I’ve been speaking at every AHIP since 2007 on this topic.  In 2015, I did a look back on the many changes I’ve seen in the dialogue. Read More From The Chief Customer

    An Open Letter to Health Plans

    Every time I turn around, there is another person who is complaining to me about the customer experience in the health care system. As soon as they hear that I’ve worked for and am working with health care plans, they are so willing to share their stories with me. I get it, and I appreciate their frustration, so I thought I’d write a letter to the health plans.

    These three issues are the three I hear time and time again.  Read More From The Chief Customer

    No Culture, No Customer

    How many times have you seen the quote “Culture eats strategy for lunch” (or breakfast, as the original Peter Drucker quote reads)?

    I’ve seen it everywhere for years. On more presentations that I care to remember, on more blog posts that I care to admit I’ve read. It seems to be the rally cry to get people to understand that culture is important. The genesis of the quote is much more interesting to me though.  Read More From The Chief Customer

    Do You Have Lost Luggage? Metrics that Matter.

    Almost every firm that I walk into has a balanced scorecard where they are measuring hundreds of micro metrics. Many of them also have a macro metric that sits above all that they do – think NPS, Customer Satisfaction. The problem with both of these scenarios is that most of the time, neither of them actually afford the organization a view into what really is happening with their customer base. Read More From The Chief Customer

    The Fifth Step to Building a Customer Experience Strategy – Get CEO Buy In

    In this series, I’ll be talking about the 5 steps to building a differentiating customer experience strategy. The Customer Experience Strategy is a part of the Competency pillar within the Three Cs Framework I introduced in 2010 – Competency, Credibility and Culture.

    The 5 steps to building a customer experience strategy.

    Step 1: Understand Corporate Strategy

    Step 2: Who are you as a company?

    Step 3: What do your customers want?

    Step 4: Redefine your mission statement

    Step 5: Get CEO Buy In

     After you’ve done this, start to id your holes. Read More From The Chief Customer

    The Fourth Step to Building a Customer Experience Strategy – Redefine Your Mission Statement

    In this series, I’ll be talking about the 5 steps to building a differentiating customer experience strategy. The Customer Experience Strategy is a part of the Competency pillar within the Three Cs Framework I introduced in 2010 – Competency, Credibility and Culture.

    The 5 steps to building a customer experience strategy.

    Step 1: Understand Corporate Strategy

    Step 2: Who are you as a company?

    Step 3: What do your customers want?

    Step 4: Redefine your mission statement

    Step 5: Get CEO Buy In

    After you’ve done this, start to id your holes.

     Mission. Vision. Value. Purpose. Many times these words are used interchangeably to describe the same thing. The big thing. The thing that is supposed to drive you in your decisions every day. The thing that is supposed to align the company. Read More From The Chief Customer

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