September 29, 2017
As Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer at Ceridian, Ted is responsible for the health and happiness of Ceridian's growing customer base through its XOXO Customer Success Program. He is additionally responsible for the Account Management and Strategic Alliances teams and focuses on building both Ceridian customer and partner relationships.
In today’s increasingly digital world, customer experience has been redefined. Previously, the relationship between customers and businesses was largely transactional and one-sided – the business provided a product or service to a customer, the customer acquired or used it, end of story.
While today’s subscription economy is driven by innovation to bring a frenzy of features to market, a much deeper and meaningful customer experience requires an on-going relationship with the customer to drive business outcomes for them. Delivering real business results as efficiently and effortlessly as possible is the end game, period. This is true whether you are a B2C company or a B2B company like us. From our perspective, customer experience stems from our one of our core company values, Customer Focus, which means that we want our customers to have a positive interaction at every touchpoint of our company whether it is human or digital.
We reframe all of our experiences through the lens of the customer. When we reorganize internally, we ask things like, “Does this streamline things for our customers and make it easier for them to do business with us?” For every Tweet, every LinkedIn post, every e-mail, every customer satisfaction survey, “Does it reflect our core value of Customer Focus?” At Ceridian, all of these areas of feedback matter to us and are read and acted upon daily by every member of the leadership team and we expect no less from the people we lead. It’s hard work, but it’s the most valuable work we can do to create customer loyalty – by walking the talk. Responding with a sense of urgency is tablestakes for us.
We recently celebrated our third annual CX Day at Ceridian offices around the world by inviting our customers to share their success stories. That’s 11 offices and 11 customer visits, providing a valuable opportunity for our employees to meet our customers (important for those who don’t interact with them directly) and hear firsthand about how they use our products and services, and what they value in a B2B customer experience.
For all the buzzworthy discussion around customer experience, however, many organizations have work to do before being truly customer-centric. According to a Forrester study recently cited by the AMA, more than 90% of senior executives note that improving CX is a “top strategic priority” for their companies, yet many will not be prepared to achieve their CX leadership goals.
We believe that the future health and growth of our company depends not just on innovative products, but on how loyal our customers are. In our industry of HCM cloud software, we’re in a constant feature war. But looking five years into the future , all these feature sets will tend to neutralize each other, and the only thing that will be the differentiator will be the customer experience.
Here are our top tips for delivering a winning customer experience.
Customer feedback is a fundamental driver of our organization. We encourage our customers to share their feedback with us in a number of ways (such as comments, surveys, and forums), and encourage employees to get out of the office to interact with our customers directly as much as possible. Not only does it help us to improve our solutions, but this feedback drives our R&D initiatives for product innovation.
People buy products, but they stay for service. Enable your customers to maximize the benefits of their investment – time and money – with you by elevating service with training, education and access to a community. The Ceridian Customer Success program, affectionately branded “XOXO,” is key to our customers’ Human Capital Management success. Members receive ongoing educational information to keep them ahead of the HCM curve, opportunities to connect with other HCM professionals, and opportunities to be recognized for HCM successes and thought leadership. Customers who participate in XOXO are more engaged, and more likely to recommend Dayforce (higher NPS), leading to measurable business value. Personal engagement combined with professional development are keys to our award-winning program.
Gartner predicts that by 2018, B2B companies with e-commerce personalization will outsell companies that are not providing a personalized experience by 30%. A personalized user experience creates a great first impression. Different customer segments have different needs, and you must be strategic in showing an understanding of those needs. Focus early on engaging the right person with the right content, and in the right context. This has allowed us to engage with our user base more deeply and meaningfully.
We know that self-sufficient customers are happier and drive more ROI from our solutions. This means that we design our customer experience with educational touchpoints beginning immediately after contracts are signed and continuing throughout the lifecycle based on predefined learning tracks. The experience includes rewards and incentives along the way to provide motivation and celebrate their success along the way.
Support systems – both proactive and reactive – help to guide our customers on the path to self-sufficiency. Ceridian’s Customer Success team provides opportunities to attend educational webinars, informs of upcoming product releases and features, and just-in-time links to resources and checklists, delivered through email, and our XOXO Portal.
Delivering meaningful customer experience is more than checking boxes off of a list. The experience – and what it means – must be embedded in your culture, with employees who truly live it, and leadership teams who continue to advocate for it. This starts with recruiting and hiring the right people to drive that experience.
To keep culture on point, establish programs and committees (for example, we have a CX Council) to actively explore and develop new ways to deliver CX, recognize customer focused actions and behaviors, and celebrate CX Day. Delivering a seamless customer experience requires that our employees develop an understanding of the big picture/entire customer journey beyond the immediate functional area. To achieve this, we continuously interact and team-build with our partners to discuss challenges, strategy, successes and share ideas – and to purposefully design effective transition and hand-off processes with clear KPIs.
Everything speaks! Your customer experience is both an extension and expression of your brand and its values, and as such, should align with those values across every touchpoint.
While innovation is rewarded, execution on Customer Experience is worshipped. We believe that customer satisfaction is just the bare minimum bar to achieve, because customer loyalty is really the end game of Customer Experience. With a loyal and raving fan base of customers on your side, there is no limit to what your company can achieve in the market.