The Digital Customer Experience Blog

Your source of insights for a successful digital transformation.

Kill That Meeting!


Tomorrow is Monday, the day when the most important organization’s rituals take place: the meetings.

Right after a refreshing weekend, starting your week with a meeting is a great way to suck energy out of your brain, creative juices out of your soul and time right off the clock.

Don’t get me wrong, we all recognize that the fundamental purpose of meetings is to utilize the collective human capital of a group to get things done.

Nevertheless traditional meetings can be time consuming and unproductive, and digital conferencing, with those pretty Hangouts, Skype calls and Webex, don’t reduce the number of unproductive meetings; it just puts them on new platforms.

As the complexity of our work increases and response time to follow up with our clients decreases, you have to make your meetings efficient and productive. Or to avoid them.

The primary reason traditional meetings are unproductive is that the person officiating is usually the top manager. And while he or she directs the meeting and participates in discussions, however, it’s demonstrated that meetings actually are more efficient when junior members run them. A senior manager may have more experience and knowledge, but may not know how to run a constructive workflow session. Furthermore, having a top manager in charge may inhibit contributions from junior team members or impede collaboration due to politicking.

Among less useful meetings are those dedicated to ongoing planning. These meetings are the most obsolete.

To be relevant, the ongoing planning process needs to be timely and fluid… in a word: ongoing.

Planning requires innovation, as the capacity to respond quickly to new information and to react promptly to changes in the marketplace.

Three connected drivers support an effective ongoing planning process:

  1. Innovative collaboration practices – Put the action plans that workflow management sessions generate into a companywide planning database and assign a coordinator to monitor the database.
  2. A robust planning database – A comprehensive, continually updated planning database, supported with agile methodologies and tools, helps evaluate productivity, assess communication, analyze workflow, and identify challenges and opportunities.
  3. Personal workflow planners – Encourage the use of tools for handling and prioritizing individual responsibilities among your colleagues. Getting Things Done methodology with Evernote as a companion app can be a quick win. This allows them to be more effective and replaces the traditional, inefficient to-do list. Personal workflow planning (its old definition was “Time Management”, but unfortunately time was never managed by anyone 🙂 enables your colleagues to focus on their goals, strategy, impediments and information needs.

Be a facilitator, which is not easy as people are always willing to tell you why an idea won’t work, often without being asked; we’re all surrounded by experts on why things won’t work.

And make turn your meeting into something useful. Or kill it!

How's your relationship with your meetings?

The Best Talent is Finding Your Blue Ocean


Confucius said, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

When you spend your day “in your blue ocean,” I mean doing something completely in tune with your authentic self, you feel as if you have found yourself. Being in your blue ocean is about feeling as if you “were born to swim in it”; it means more than doing something well: doing something that you love passionately.

To locate your blue ocean as the nexus where your natural aptitude meets your personal passion, to unlock your true potential, and bring meaning and purpose to your activities and to your life, you can follow a three-step process:

  • First, use introspection to uncover your strengths and weaknesses, and to identify what you truly love and what makes you happy. Meditation and mindfulness apps can help.
  • Next, examine your attitudes – the assumptions you’ve acquired about yourself over the years. Some of your old axioms may be wrong and should be questioned to find your blue ocean. For instance, many people mistakenly assume that they don’t have any distinctive talents or passions, while all of us do, as one-of-a-kind genetic mixture resulting from chance meetings between generations of ancestors. If you last saw Simon Sinek more than a year ago, give it a refresh.
  • Third, you have to look outside yourself to find the opportunities the world offers to live in your element, and look for new people to meet, new places to visit and new things to do. So, if you are not happy with what you're doing, stop complaining and take matters in hand now.

Finding your blue ocean means being open to new experiences and to exploring new paths and possibilities in yourself and in the world around you.

Choose your next job among those leaders and organizations committed to creating environments in which you can naturally do remarkable things. Everything else is boring and not worth to be lived, no excuses.

Learn a Great Digital Customer Experience Lesson from Starbucks


Starbucks has a foundation of customers who are passionate about its brand. More than 60 million people visit a Starbucks coffee shop each week. Their Facebook page has more than 36 million fans and after the launch of their discussion-based website to solicit ideas and input, customers have submitted more than 200,000 ideas.

Starbucks became popular by establishing human connections with its customers and employees, hiring the most enthusiastic employees and maintaining their dedication with training, “corporate rituals” and recognition for excellent performance.

They understood before others that digital marketing requires different tools than marketing in traditional media:

  • They switched to a mobile-first approach, where their App amplifies word of mouth as their model for online public relations.
  • Leverage digital marketing for building their brand’s identity, generating buzz and finding sales leads.
  • Offer direct access and fast support across all channels.
  • Don’t make direct pitches on social media; instead, engage the community.
  • They have started tracking customer involvement and the precise return of their digital investment.
  • They rely upon digital engagement and gamification also internally: an engaged workforce means that employees can do what is right for customers without having to be told.
  • Their app is becoming an open platform, at the heart of Starbucks partners’ customer engagement initiatives.

“We take the ordinary...and give it new life, believing that what we create has the potential to touch others’ lives because it touched ours.” - and thanks to a best-in-class customer experience, a 2 cent coffee blend turns into a 2 dollar cup 🙂

Be brave: if you’re unwilling to take your brand into new digital spaces, like making your customer-facing app strategy evolve into a digital engagement platform strategy, your customers will lose interest in it as others bring forward new products and new ideas.

Are you as clever as Starbucks?

Start with Your True Why


Society teaches you that you are what you accomplish.

And the level of your accomplishment is rated by external measurements like money and power, not how much good you did, how honorably you acted as an employee or an entrepreneur, or how faithfully you adhered to your values.

If your triumphs – no matter how great – are meant just to impress others or to gain wealth or status, you will feel only hollowness once you’ve attained them.

Pursuing ambitions defined by popular culture and not by your inner standards cannot
satisfy your fundamental human needs. To be fulfilled, you must define your life, work and goals to fit your purpose, starting from your own true why, that comes from your deepest values, at work, at home, in front of your mirror.

To gain meaning and fulfillment, adopt a values-driven approach to your life and work. The way you uphold your values in the face of stress or pressure reveals your true character. Your pursuit of outward success – career, earnings, influence and recognition – will strengthen your values in time. While these goals are relevant, you must carefully direct their purpose, aligning them to your intrinsic values. It might be difficult at first, but in the long run it pays more than everything else, as you as an individual and as a leader in your organization will outperform and outlast all others.

No matter how enormous your gains, if you lie or cheat to attain them – or even if you achieve them honestly but for the wrong reasons – you will fail.

But if you start looking for your true why, seek meaning from your work, if you try to build a sustainable culture, whatever size your organization is, then, my friend, you have already won.

Fashion and Luxury Brands Need to Breathe Fresh Air from the Appmosphere


Fashion and luxury industry’s digital customer experience activities lag behind other sectors and need to catch up.

Fashion goods marketers initially viewed the internet as a mass-market, discount communication vehicle, more direct-marketing and below-the-line.

While they were already wrong in the last decade and missed some opportunities, if they want to stay relevant today they cannot avoid to truly connect with their customers anymore and meet their expectations by delivering them heightened digital experiences anytime, anywhere, personal, and simple.

Now that their wealthy clientele has gone mobile, the fashion and luxury industry needs to engage customers in digital activities that feature “transparency, independence, passion, accessibility, informality” and “interactivity.”

Fashion brands need to start now - going mobile first - and properly target affluent clients:

  • Digital customer experience activities must incorporate and stay true to their brand image.
  • Create an “ambience” or “appmosphere” that arouses all five senses to convey their brand’s personality and message, being true to their core brand essence.
  • Educate younger generations about true luxury and fulfill their shifting expectations.

Fashion and luxury brands should act sooner rather than later: digital customers are already writing their own rules of the game and it will be a tough lesson for brands to learn.

How good is DCX at your company, as rated by your own customers?

I Was (Secretly) Made for Shopping You


After the release of Dash, that allows you add items to your shopping list from anywhere in your home, Amazon is expected to make a bold move in the digital customer experience space next June 18th.

Looking at the teaser video released this week, it looks like the Amazon phone is using sensors to follow the head movements of the customer delivering a 3D experience. Like the parallax effect built into Apple’s iOS 7, but more dramatic.

A phone that could be ideal for shopping, with a large screen, multiple 3D cameras and sensors, capable of tracking the user’s head movements to create a dynamic 3D shopping environment. The cameras on the back of the phone could be used to support showrooming (oh no, it hurts! :), or align the 3D view to allow users see real-world products as if they were physically there.

Following the path of the first 3D experiences powered by Neosperience for organizations such as Benetton (first enterprise Apple case study in Europe), Prada, Mattel, Graniti Fiandre,Eni, Tre, Zegna, Montblanc and BSi, 3D digital customer experience is aiming at new horizons.

Update: The Amazon Fire Phone was finally unveiled, and it looks like a really cool shopping machine

The Digital Customer Experience Blog

This site, published by Neosperience, overviews the advancements of digital customer experience in marketing, technology and society. Neosperience Cloud is the technology platform to create engaging experiences for your customers that drive ongoing loyalty to your brand, and faster paths to purchase. It is the choice of the best companies in the world, Winner of the most prestigious global awards across many industries: Automotive, Communications, Media and Services, Consumer Products, Retail and Distribution, Fashion, Luxury and Beauty, Financial Services, Healthcare, Utilities, Government and Infrastructure, Travel and Transportation.

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