eCommerce is one of the most exciting - and daunting - industries for today’s business owners and leaders.
Amazon’s growth is relentless and the overall business landscape is constantly changing. What worked well for somebody yesterday may not work for you today. "Being excellent" and actually being perceived as excellent by your customers is not as straightforward as it seems, especially at scale.
If you want to level-up and make this holiday season and the coming years one for the books, we’ve assembled an armada of heavy-hitting customer experience experts in our new CX Superstars To Follow list that you absolutely need to check out.
Shep Hyken – Speaker (CPAE NSA), NYT & WSJ Bestselling Author, Consultant
Shep needs no introduction and has spoken at more events and changed more lives than we can count. He’s worked with companies ranging from Disney to American Express (that’s a stark contrast), and is a New York Times Bestselling author. His books on Customer Service include Be Amazing or Go Home, Moments of Magic, and the Convenience Revolution which will be released soon.
Shep believes that you and you alone are responsible for managing the interaction you have with your customers. In other words, create your own reality for your company and your customers! Amazon is one of Shep’s favorite customer service examples when it comes to creating a new reality and he loves to share knowledge of how you can ‘Amazon’ your own company and reap the benefits.
Follow Shep here:
Joel Marsh – Author, Human Behavior Researcher, UX Designer, Consultant
Joel Marsh’s work for startups and global brands has affected more than half a billion people and we look forward to every post on his blog titled The Hipper Element. Joel doesn’t claim to be a customer experience expert but his insight into human behavior is novel, refreshing and very well-written and carries over to many disciplines. Below are a few favorites from Joel:
- Do you understand or just feel like you understand?
- Social Proof can be a Bad Thing
- Google Doesn’t Understand People
Follow Joel here:
Kate Nasser – Keynote Speaker, the People Skills Coach, Consultant
One of our all-time favorite quotes about customer services is a saying by Kate Nasser: “Customer service represents the heart of a brand in the hearts of its customers.”
Kate uses her skills to help train some of the biggest and brightest companies in the world but even if you aren’t in a position yet to hire Kate you can still learn a lot through her website and blog and get some “uh-huh, why didn’t I think of that” realizations or two for your customer experience challenges.
Kate is known as The People Skills Coach and below is some of her material that show the depth of her knowledge and experience when it comes to understanding the hearts of customers:
- 19 Outstanding People Skills of Best Customer Service Reps
- The 5 Best Emotionally Intelligent Customer Service Thoughts
- 15 Ways to Recruit Naturally Great Customer Service Staff
Follow Kate here:
Dr. Chip R. Bell – Keynote Speaker, Bestselling Author, Consultant
In his most recent blog post, Dr. Bell caught our attention with this statement that we feel all business owners should internalize and work towards:
“Advocates come in several flavors. Net Promoter fans boast about the number of customers who claim they would recommend the organization to family or friends. But, there are ardent advocates who go beyond merely giving a recommendation; they tell an emotional story. When customers are touched, moved, awed, or stirred by a service experience, their emotional story entices prospects to become fans. My brother-in-law recommended a restaurant chain he enjoyed. I have yet to try it and there is one down the street. He also teared up when he told me about a scene from a new movie he loved. I have already seen the movie twice…”
Dr. Bell is a world-renowned authority on customer loyalty and service innovation, and is ranked as the #1 keynote speaker in in North America and the #2 in the world by Global Gurus. Dr. Bell blogs frequently on his site and for the site Retail Customer Experience.
Follow Dr. Bell here:
Jay Baer – Keynote Speaker (CSP, CPAE), Entrepreneur , NYT Bestselling Author, Consultant
Jay Baer is a 7th generation entrepreneur, a New York Times Bestselling author and the founder of 5 multi-million dollar companies. Jay is also one of 187 living members of the Professional Speaking Hall of Fame.
We’re big fans of Jay’s customer service venture named Convince and Convert, which not only has one of the best UIs we’ve seen of any blog, but is chock-full of actionable strategies as well as insightful tips and tricks for marketers and business owners. A few example blog posts to check out:
- You’ve Got 24 Hours to Respond to Customers on Social Media
- Why You Must Answer Every Negative Review
- 11 Ways to Improve Net Promoter Score Surveys
Follow Jay here:
Jenny Dempsey and Jeremy Watkin – Consultants
Jenny and Jeremy’s collection of Bad Customer Service stories is insightful and funny and resonates with us both as customers and as merchants. Their blog is a great resource that’s easy to read yet packed full of real-life examples of what to do and what not to do. If you’re in eCommerce, be sure to check out their blog as you’ll find many stories and examples that you can relate to and learn from.
Follow Jenny and Jeremy here:@commbetterblog
Jeanne Bliss – Keynote Speaker, Bestselling Author, Certified CCXP, Founder and President, Consultant
“How would your company act if every customer were your mom?” That’s the million dollar question Jeanne asks in her latest book on customer service, Would you do that to your mother? Jeanne expresses big ideas in simple and relatable ways and even when she’s not using the “Mom Lens” she’ll have you looking at your customers in a whole new light.
Take a look at her 16 probing questions on this Five competencies reality check audit for example (you don’t need to submit it) and see if you’re satisfied with your organization’s progress in these areas.
Jeanne has over 20 years of experience and has pioneered the role of the Chief Customer Officer, holding the first ever CCO role at Lands’ End, Microsoft, Coldwell Banker and Allstate Corporations. Jeanne is regularly sought after for her keynoting high-profile conferences and corporate events.
Follow Jeanne here:
Annette Franz – CX Consultant, Keynote Speaker, Author, Certified CCXP, CXPA Board Member
Are you following the 10 Commandments of Customer Experiences? Or is it time for a confession?
Annette’s 10 Commandments of Customer Experience is a great read for those in eCommerce (and quite frankly all areas of commerce) and we’re sure you can learn something actionable within a few minutes from Annette whether you’re a one-man or woman show or you’re running a multinational team.
Annette helms CX Journey, a boutique customer experience strategy consulting firm and was named one of “The 100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter” by Business Insider. Annette is regularly recognized by startups as well as large corporations around the world as a top influencer in Customer Experience.
Follow Annette here:
Blake Morgan – Keynote Speaker, Author and Customer Experience Futurist, Consultant
“Create with the Customer in Mind, Provide a Useful Product, and Insights into your Product Usage are Critical”
Great tips that all our favorite tech companies follow, however startups also need to respond immediately to issues with their product. Blake Morgan, Customer Experience Futurist, outlines how today's digital startups can maximize the benefits of not having any red tape in her latest case study: http://www.blakemichellemorgan.com/customer-experience/3-ways-slack-is-a-customer-centric-company/
Blake Morgan's latest book, More is More, is among the "top 11 books every CMO should read," according to Forbes. Follow her for more insight into the rapidly-changing world of eCommerce and the digital experiences that accompany it.
Follow Blake here:
Charlene Li – Keynote Speaker, Best Selling Author, Principal Analyst, Consultant
Charlene was named one of the Top 50 Leadership Innovators by Inc and she is an expert on business strategy and disruptive technology. In her recent article "How Millennials Drive Brand Relevance," Charlene shows us that the top 10 most relevant brands voted on by millennials and non-millennials are not far from each other. Netflix and Amazon, for example, are well-loved by every demographic, and Charlene offers insight into the significance of this and how to implement in your own business (e.g., what’s good for millennials is good for the brand).
Be sure follow Charlene on Twitter where she is the most active, or visit her blog for more detailed analysis and insight.
Follow Charlene here:
R “Ray” Wang – Speaker, Author, Principal Analyst, Founder & Chairman, Consultant
Ray is principal analyst, founder and Chairman of Constellation Research, and an author of the popular business strategy and technology blog, A Software Insider’s Point of View, with viewership in the 10's of millions. Ray provides insight into how disruptive technologies and new business models impact brands, enterprises, and organizations. Ray has a knack for simplifying the big picture of the digital economy, and his expertise is in high-demand at the C-level as well as for high-growth tech businesses.
From “The Digital Transformation of Back-End Customer Experience: What Leaders of The New C-Suite Are Thinking” to “The Internet of Things Improves Customer Experience in Retail Supply Chain” R “Ray” Wang and his team pull no punches and offer in-depth, comprehensive and expert level analysis and thought leadership on the most sought-after topics today.
Follow Ray here:
Brian Solis – Author, Keynote Speaker, Principal Analyst, Consultant
Digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist, Brian Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business and society. His research and books help executives, and also everyday people, better understand the relationship between the evolution of technology and its impact on people and also the role we each play in evolution.
Brian approaches customer experience from a holistic point of view and offers valuable and potentially groundbreaking insights on his blog and via his consulting services. Some thought-provoking articles recently published by Brian:
- Customer Experience, Where It is Now, and Where It Will Go Next
- For Decades, Technology Scaled Businesses Away from People; It’s Time To Bring Customers Closer
- Customer journeys start with smartphones, but brands still don’t get mobile
Follow Brian here:
Flavio Martins – Consultant, Author, Vice President
Flavio Martin came up through the ranks of customer service and knows first-hand the challenges that contact center leaders and agents face each day. If you manage a customer service team or have an outside vendor helping your company, we’d highly recommend you follow his aptly titled blog “The Customer Service Blog.”
One of Flavio’s favorite mottos is “Customer Service is not a strategy. It's the new reality” and serves as the foundation for his holistic approach to CS and CX.
Follow Flavio here:
Lincoln Murphy – Keynote Speaker, Consultant, Professional Wrestler
Lincoln Murphy is an outspoken advocate of customer success driven growth with the philosophy of “No Customer Success=No Your Success.” Lincoln has a way of easily describing complex topics, and we love the “Library of Awesomeness” section of his blog. Below are some examples to illustrate Lincoln’s approach to CX:
- Customer Success is a Simple Concept (Don’t Overthink It)
- Those aren’t Problems. Those are Customers!
- Sales is Part of Customer Success
Follow Lincoln here:
Joellyn Sargent – Author, Business Advisor/Consultant, Speaker
Joellyn has helped hundreds of business owners, solo pros and entrepreneurs grow their business, and is a successful entrepreneur in her own right. Below is an excerpt from her blog post post “Do Customers Want Green Eggs and Ham” which demonstrates her experience with customer psychology and business processes by urging entrepreneurs to think ahead and anticipate what their customers will need:
- Look at what your customers like, and think about how it helps them. What’s missing? Are there ways that product or feature could be improved to work better, faster or be less expensive?
- Think about problems or complaints you’ve had lately. Is there something you could have done that would have prevented these problems? How can these solutions be turned into new or enhanced products?
- How do you envision your customers interacting with you in the future? What can you do today to make that a reality?
- What technologies or services have you seen in other industries that could be adapted for your business?
- Think about how current trends will impact your customers. Macro changes in the way we connect, work or live may inspire you to get ahead of the curve with innovative approaches for you customers.
Follow Joellyn here:
Simplr provides e-commerce companies with top-notch, U.S.-based sales and support specialists that are scalable and affordable. In a 24/7 connected world, Simplr lets e-commerce startups design an outsourced and on-demand customer service solution that meets the needs of their business. Simplr delivers maximum flexibility with no contracts and the ability to ramp up or down depending on volume. Simplr was incubated and funded by Asurion, a global leader in customer service with over 300 million customers and shares Asurion’s legacy of excellence in customer experiences. Where enterprise-level solutions are costly and restrictive, Simplr can provide world-class customer support tailored specifically to the needs (and budgets) of high growth startups.