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Last week I presented and attended the 5th Customer Experience Management conference in beautiful downtown Sydney along with my colleague Sean Dunn. Sean is a specialist in the arena of customer experience (or customer satisfaction in the old days) and I was there to see if senior business leaders were serious about using customer metrics to drive change.

Click here to learn more about the event.

Overall I was really impressed, there were great stories and case studies from blue chip organizations operating in the telecommunication, airline, healthcare, energy and financial services sectors showing how to better compete and gain loyalty by collecting, listening and then acting on customer experience information. The scariest fact I heard is that a negative customer experience has the potential to create 400 negative conversations about the company (love to know how they worked that stat out!!), but in this day and age where word of mouth from family or peers is driving acquisition you can see why managing the flow is vital.

Following on from the mighty brands Telstra and Nokia, Sean and I spoke a bit about Vision Critical's new CEM product but mostly about why we think it's important to enable users of CEM data to "have your cake and eat it" as well. What I mean by this is as follows. In today's business environment we are being asked for good, fast and cheap solutions to challenges and many are still being told you can have two out of three (good and fast but not cheap, or fast and cheap but not good, I am sure you get the picture) but not all 3. This is especially the case with the number one issue facing Global CMO's; i.e. the explosion of data

Here are my main points:

1. Technology is evolving at pace and most of us are struggling to keep up.

2. Many people (including myself) are finding the multiple and seemingly endless sources of information are adding to the complexity of our lives whilst still being helpful.

3. Jack Welch's famous quote about having two sources of competitive advantage, the ability to learn about your customers faster and then the ability to turn that learning into action faster than your competition is more relevant than ever in this era of data overload.

4. There is an increasing need for organizations to measure customer experience and seemingly decreasing budgets to do so.

5. The well trotted out quality triangle is not an indisputable law of nature and it is possible to simultaneously improve speed, cost and quality and with the collection and organization of data and action, it is about the use of technology.

6. What technology can do is to automate the collection and combining of multiple data sources and auto populate re-defined reports (in real time and to the individual level) and leave time to focus on the analysis of what to do, identifying patterns and actually taking action.

7. Technology can also break the current paradigm and provide much needed visual surveys and engaging reports that can make a difference to data quality and stakeholder engagement.

8. Customer experience surveys need to be engaging and visual to receive good "repeat purchase" of completions which are necessary.

We need to break the current thinking and deliver good quality customer experience management information quickly and at lower cost.

So there you go, it is possible to have your cake and eat itÛ_

You can access my slides here.

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