Tag Archives: Annette Franz

The World of CX

As life gets back to normal, and our superheroes begin to control the pandemic, businesses are holding onto the CX strategies that they had adopted earlier. Many companies have come to realize that the only reason some brands managed to weather the storm of Covid was because of the support and undeterred loyalty of customers. And they were able to achieve this by offering memorable and effective customer experiences.

So, here I am again, sharing some of the most insightful and exciting new CX posts from months past. I have provided the link for each post so that you can explore it further if interested. Happy Reading!

The Age of Personalization for CX Leaders

Every customer wants to feel valued and noticed. They are always interested in learning about your business and all the drama that occurs behind the curtains. This is why all brands are on this unstoppable personalization spree.

Jill Goodwin perfectly encapsulates the significance of a personalized customer experience in her riveting post. Personalized marketing makes customers feel more connected to the company they are in business with. And this encourages them to invest more in the respective brand.

Jill begins the post by discussing the many benefits of personalized marketing. She mentions how modern marketers use this effective tool to engage with customers and launch profitable campaigns. Marketers acquire all relevant data via emails and surveys and identify what customers like. This data helps marketers build different customer bases and then offer personalized experiences that appeal to each demographic.

Personalized marketing goes beyond just recording the email and name of the customers. This type of marketing is an entire strategy designed towards communicating with customers effectively and interacting with them.

She also provides the following compelling reasons as to why brands should implement the personalized customer experience strategy:

  • This way brands can connect with and address the queries of specific demographics. This allows brands to cater to the target audience and widen their reach to them by particularly learning their interests.
  • This approach helps in creating more creative and compelling content. This offers a competitive advantage to brands as they can create memorable content that persuades the target audience.
  • Personalization adds value to brands and creates a healthy brand identity. Customers get emotionally involved and connected with the brands.
  • Personalized experiences translate into more sales and higher revenue. The financial aspect associated with this strategy is remarkable.

Three Keys to Unlocking Personalized Customer Experience

The entire customer experience, in today’s technologically advanced world, gravitates around customer engagement. As everybody is hyperconnected in these times, customer loyalty is mainly driven the customer experiences. Therefore, brands are investing generously towards devising an effective approach that offers a customizable and personalized experience to customers.

In his engrossing post, Brent Brown talks about how brands can maneuver technology to their advantage. He condenses his knowledge of offering meaningful customer experiences into three main pillars:

  • It’s imperative to understand the needs and wants of customers so that brands can influence them before they make a purchase decision. Businesses must be able to harness data they obtain from across the enterprise and not just one area. They should incorporate their understanding of market dynamics and collected data to identify what customers like and what they do not.
  • Brands should tailor their offers and promotional campaigns based on categories of customers. Brands do segregate the population based on the target audience, but even among them, customers can be classified based on who they are and what they have purchased. This allows retailers to streamline their approach and better cater to the needs and wants of every customer. Individualized customer analysis can greatly contribute to this strategy and help in building compelling customer experiences.
  • As online shopping becomes the new purchasing approach, it’s become vital for businesses to make in-store purchases just as smooth as online. Many businesses are failing to offer just as good of a customer experience in person. To avoid this, brands must install sensors to identify choke points and traffic patterns. This way brands could improve their customer experience, both online and in-store. 

Everything You Need to Know About Customer Success

Annette Franz is a well-versed writer who always shares new and exciting insights on improving customer experience and building value for customers. We’ve mentioned her in several posts already – Top 5 Customer Service Blog Posts of June 2021 where she talks about Customer Confidence & Top 5 Customer Experience Blog Posts of September 2020 – where she discusses how customers need to be the focal point of a business.

Her posts have always captivated me, and she did not fail to impress me in one of her recent points either. In this post, Annette discusses how brands can build value for their loyal customers faster.

Her post is a summarized version of a conversation between her and Rav Dhaliwal, an expert on customer success. They define customer success as a functional role that’s concentrated towards building value for customers faster than they can on their own. But the crucial point isn’t just building value faster, but also building value for the business. And this is focused on creating the right environment for customers through which value can be achieved.

Annette also introduces the Customer Success Managers who are the real heroes. She explains how they combine their experience, knowledge, and expertise to carefully engineer the best customer experience.

The key metric used to measure customer success is net revenue retention. This loosely translates into business value and the growth of customers. Annette also listed the following roles of CSM:

  • Rav categorized sales into three types: inbound, outbound, and continuous. The latter is concerned with recognizing the value of customers’ investments.
  • After recognizing values, upsell and cross-sell opportunities are discussed with customers.
  • In continuous selling, the initial roles and skills are practiced that led to the first sale with the customer.
  • CSM needs to have detailed product knowledge, product and commercial skills, and consultative potential so that customers can easily engage with CSM.

The post further capitalizes on achieving customer success.

Learning the Attributes of the Best CX Leaders

This enthralling post by Stephen Van Belleghem is based on the best-selling book by Stephen R. Covey, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This book revolves around the traits of winning leaders who weren’t only inspiring but brought great change into the world.

This book applies to CX leaders too as the habits explicitly discussed in this book are the fundamental behaviors of a successful leader. These habits are:

  • Being Proactive

Successful CX leaders are proactive. Such leaders do not let uncontrollable variables obstruct their path. Rather they arise and make the path themselves.

  • Begin With the End

Covey believes that such leaders develop this map in their mind and then follow it. This map leads them to their goals in life. They figure out the destination and then figure out the route. Do First Things First

This point is concerned with prioritizing tasks and activities. If CX leaders are organized and have a regimented plan in place, there is nothing they cannot achieve.

  • Focus on Win-Win

A great CX leader will always look for a win-win situation rather than getting entangled in a toxic situation that results in a winner and a loser.

  • First Understand, Then Be Understood

It is important for effective leaders to first listen, without the intent of replying or offering a counter-argument.

  • Synergize

Successful CX leaders know that a seamless customer experience requires the efforts of a network, this is why it is important to involve everybody and acknowledge the opinions of all.

  • Sharpen the Saw

This metaphor refers to improving the tool, even if it means investing time. Good leaders always investigate ways via which something could be done faster.

Technology is the Light in the Dark

Every great customer experience is built on desirable customer interaction. Forrester’s research shows that not many companies do well at offering seamless customer experiences. And they can see the impact of this in declining financial rewards.

In his post, James McCormick lays great emphasis on incorporating technology in CX practices to maximize the gains. He mentions that many brands fail to obtain the right data that must be analyzed to understand customers and perfect their experiences. Such brands:

  • Lack of proper coordination between obtaining data and employing the right technology. Most CX teams rely greatly on advanced tools and instruments like Excel and Survey tools. But what they fail to understand is that they need to integrate their results with experience and speech analytics to better understand and manage customer experiences.
  • Fail to use all relevant data assets provided by the organization. Many CX leaders have access to all the modern technology, but they are unable to obtain data from other parts of the business. This results in inadequate analysis.
  • Prioritize customer opinion on data signals. Many CX leaders ignore the results of data analysis that offers close insights into the behavioral and engagement attitude of customers. Rather they trust the opinion of a handful of customers, which is not even an accurate representation of the entire demographic.

James also mentions some suggestions for CX leaders to follow:

  • Use a wide range of tech. Try to gather customer feedback and opinion and use tools to observe the behavior and response of customers.
  • Use experience analytics tools and include partners from other departments to diversify the tech portfolio. Make sure that all CX leaders agree on a single plan.


I hope you all enjoyed my favorite picks and to be perfectly candid, it was challenging for me to narrow my list down to just 5. CX leaders all around the globe have some educational and productive insights about improving customer experience.

Please share your views and opinions in the comments below. If you want to be featured on this interactive platform with our audience, please feel free to share the link to your content below. I’d love to check it out and continue advancing my knowledge and skills! Adios till next month!

Top 5 Customer Service Blog Posts of June 2021

Businesses have begun to resume their operations normally and in many countries, lockdown restrictions are gradually being lifted. The month of June has proven to be blissful as it feels like the pandemic has been controlled to a commendable extent. The improvement and progress of CX during the month also caught my eye.

Analysts and experienced professionals shared their insights regarding the future of CX and how it could be improved further. So, for me, the reads for June were very interesting. I was hooked to my laptop as I could not decide which top 5 CX blog posts of June 2021 I should choose.

These are my top favorite 5 picks; I am attaching the link for each so you can explore all these further. Happy Reading!

The Only Terrible Business; Poor Customer Service

Many companies squander money on product management and brand identity but what they fail to realize is that running a successful business is a multi-faceted job and perfecting the product is just one part of it.

Eivind Jonassen pens down an insightful post explaining how many companies ignore the significance of customer service and therefore fail in delivering a seamless customer experience. A recent study has revealed that in the United States alone, businesses lose around $700 billion in revenue due to substandard customer service.

The paradox is that 80% of companies believe that they offer superior customer service, but only 8% of customers believe the same. While a chatbot can help, it has not proven to be a revolutionary weapon in solving the customer service crisis. This significant discrepancy in customer satisfaction and customer perspective has been a major reason for collapsing figures of customer retention.

The consequences imposed by not delivering the expected customer service can be immensely expensive. Attracting new customers can cost 6 to 7 times more than retaining an existing loyal customer. Only a 5% increase in customer loyalty can make existing customers 95% more profitable. These figures reveal how crucial it is for businesses to turn their dissatisfied customers into happy ones by investing wisely in delivering superior customer experiences.

80% of a company’s future sales come from 20% of the existing customers. Today customers covet a more personalized experience; they do not want to communicate with a robot or have a scripted dialogue with a CX representative. Establishing a contact center can significantly improve customer’s dialogue and channel seamless communication.

The Futuristic Approach to Ideal Customer Service- Conversation

Now, this may seem awfully ordinary to say that future of customer service is conversational, but Paul Adams explains in this post, a summarized edition of Blake Morgan’s podcast, business communication will now follow this path. Earlier, experts identified the significance of transforming customer service into conversational but they failed to execute it.

Paul Adams explains his theory well in this post and explicitly discusses the path on which customer service is steering. Adams mentioned how platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, and WeChat have become the preferred channel for people to communicate at. This fundamental change has revolutionized the business world.

Many companies are still stuck on conventional modes of communication like phones and emails. But applications like messenger are more accessible, cost-effective, and they offer customers the convenience of self-service. This makes them more independent and in control of how they communicate with your brand.

Adams proposed his model of future customer support that consists of the following three layers:

  • Human Support – This support is offered when issues are more complicated and a personalized service needs to be offered.
  • Proactive Support – This gravitates around checking up on customers and addressing any concerns or issues before they even arise. This outbound messaging falls under the category of being cautious or one step ahead.
  • Automated Self-Service Support – This option allows customers to reach out to businesses at their convenience. They do not have to wait long hours before they could get in touch with brands and they can communicate easily.

Customer Confidence- A Holy Grail for Customer Service

Annette Franz frequently talks about customer confidence and customer trust. She believes that restoring a customer’s confidence can help companies win at customer service. In her compelling post, she constantly talks about earning customers’ trust, because that is the key to unlocking customer success. If customers trust a brand, they will remain forever loyal to it.

Annette defines confidence as a belief in being able to rely and depend on someone. Loosely translated, confidence stems from trust. She then defines trust as

a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something”.

Therefore, it is safe to assume that these two sentiments are insanely similar.

She forms a link that a brand’s promise sets customer’s expectations, and these expectations are aligned with trust. So, trust and confidence are restored when brands make a genuine commitment to customers and deliver that promise.

She even adds pointers from her previous posts that streamline to the same concept:

  • Be transparent with all your customers; not just with your shareholders. Customers drive your business not the company owners.
  • Trust is earned only through transparency and integrity
  • Be authentic. Be True. Be real
  • Act with integrity and not only in financial matters but in all dealings pertaining to customers and employees.
  • Always have the best interest of employees and customers at heart, ahead of shareholders
  • Do not compromise your integrity; be fair, be just, and make sure all your practices are reliable and ethically correct.
  • Do not take advantage of customer vulnerabilities or act opportunistically.
  • Make sure that deviations in customer experiences are low, at a minimum. Be predictable and consistent in delivering good and honest customer service.

Create a Better Customer Experience Via Reducing Complexity

Initially, if you begin reading this post, it may seem a little generic. Although, when you start reading about the 10 practical suggestions, how to realize how insightful and wise Ricardo Saltz Gulko is. This detailed, yet accurate post is the perfect guide for any customer service representative. It offers companies the top 10 tips to follow to fashion a seamless customer experience.

And the ideal experience stems from reduced complexity. So, to eradicate complexity, all companies have to do is:

  1. Employ the WSJF Prioritization Model – the Weighted Shortest Job First model from Agile helps in assessing the associated risks, customer and business value, and cost of delay expended on each designed feature.
  2. Integrate KPIs when experimenting with different functionalities – It is always better to play safe with proven empirical results. Attaching a KPI metric with a feature to monitor its progress, adoption, and usage is always smarter and better.
  3. Review Budget – It is important to keep costs and budgets under constant review to ensure no financial imbalance occurs. A regularly revised budget allocation helps in dismissing features that have high costs and low returns.
  4. No Overloading – Overwhelming customers when they are already under stress, like during pandemics, is always a major red flag in customer service. The department exists to make things easier for customers and reducing the infuriating complexity.
  5. Connect Emotionally with Customers – Companies should often collaborate with teams and customers and keep them engaged in the decisions of the company. This makes them feel valued and included.
  6. Prioritize VoC and VoE – Voice of employee and customer are both integral in keeping the brand functional. Incorporating their feedback in designing prototypes can help improve customer service.

These are the top points discussed in the posts; explore the post further to read the rest.

Collaboration is the Secret Weapon to Accelerating CX Transformation

Posts by Forrester are always loaded with information and shrewd vision from highly educated and experienced analysts from around the globe. Their perspectives on improving CX are truly inspiring and highly effective.

This riveting post by Su Doyle also offers compelling insights on how CX transformation can be expedited via collaboration. Su studied several high-functioning companies and teams to see what is that they do differently that earn them a lot of recognition and admiration from customers.

She deduced that such companies implement certain collaboration strategies like:

  • Creating an insights engine – Collaborate with marketing teams and acquire relevant data to monitor even minor changes in customer behaviors. This way you could transform your insights into a competitive advantage by acting accordingly on changing customer behavior.
  • Incorporate CX vision into daily activities – Try to embed CX into everyday behaviors on the frontline service as well as the back office. This way it will become a vital part of the company’s culture and will etch to the brand identity.
  • End Silos – Partner with cross-functional shareholders and keep everyone in the loop. This will result in win-win opportunities for both, customers and the company. This emerges from the foundation of believing in creating a better life for the customers.
  • Customer-Centric Improvement – Team up with operations and Lean Six Sigma teams to optimize the processes and stimulate a continuous improvement loop.
  • Attract New Customers – Let innovation fuel the company’s growth; do not be afraid to incorporate your creativity. Partner with all internal departments and perfect the purchase and customer experience journeys. Let the sales be your Holy grail.


I hope you all enjoyed my favorite picks for the top 5 CX blog posts for June 2021. I would love to know which one was your favorite so feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. If you want to get featured, share the link to your posts and I will share it with our audience.

I cannot wait to witness the future of CX because the rate at which it is growing is truly awesome. Let us see what CX has in the store for us next. I will bring some more riveting, juicy CX posts for you next month too. Till then, enjoy reading these.