If most New Year’s predictions go off the rails before the party even ends, the prognosticators at Forbes proved to be spot on at the beginning of this year when they declared that 2016 would be “the year of the customer.” While not every business has transformed itself yet into a fully customer-centric organisation, it’s nonetheless safe to say that nearly all of them have become more aware that their customers are raising the stakes when it comes to customer experience expectations–and that their competitors are rushing in to meet those expectations, as customer centricity becomes the new normal.
But positioning a company to deliver a first rate customer experience across channels isn’t like flipping a switch. It’s a process that never really ends, and there are always countless challenges along the way. That leaves businesses at every stage of the process continually searching for sound advice in all things CX.
The trick is, not all advice is equal, as everyone with an internet connection discovers sooner or later. How do you find reliable information about best practices in the complex and fluid field of managing customer experience? Stick to proven, authoritative blogs. Here are ten of the best.
1. Nanorep stands out not only for its consistently interesting and informative posts about cutting-edge solutions to CX issues and challenges, but also for its philosophical commitment to holistic, personalised customer service experience practices that break down siloing and segmentation. Not only is this blog a source of up-to-date information about important trends such as the ones tagged in the Forbes article, but it is reliably ahead of the game in identifying trends.
2. NICE draws on the work and insights of a wide range of industry experts to explore current topics and practices in the field. The diversity of the voices found there adds up to something like an ongoing conversation about CX best practices on an ever-evolving landscape, including informed responses to emerging issues.
3. Take Their Breath Away is managed by noted authors and consultants John R. Patterson and Chip Bell, whose book of the same name is regarded as a trailblazing text in the CX field. As in the book, they take on some of the toughest CX challenges with a fresh perspective, drawing on a wealth of experience the two have in working with Fortune 100 companies and others to solve CX issues.
4. Beyond Philosophy is one of the earliest blogs about customer experience, having been founded back in 2002 by Colin Shaw, a leading author in the field. In addition to informative posts about central topics such as marketing and persuasion, it also offers insights into current new stories by looking at them from a unique CX perspective.
5. Bill Quiseng offers practical tips and insights into CX topics that range widely and come from not only the site’s namesake, who brings decades of experience to each discussion, but also from many well-known authorities. Along with advice, this blog is a helpful source for keeping up with the books that inform the field, as well as a treasury of inspirational quotes.
6. Adrian Swinscoe highlights some of the best practices in customer experience – and some of the worst, as object lessons on what not to do. In addition to informative articles about significant trends, and insights from his own extensive background in the field, he also presents insightful interviews with leading experts.
7. Customer Experience IQ takes a distinctive approach to customer experience blogging by incorporating analyses of online reviews and surveys to reveal what does and does not work in specific cases. It often shines new light on issues through its unique lens.
8. Jackie Huba reflects the author’s uncommon insights into matters of customer loyalty and “citizen marketers,” among other trending topics. Like Huba’s books (which have such revealing titles as “Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics”), the blog features fresh insights delivered by a compelling voice.
9. CustomerThink is a comprehensive source for information and discussion about customer-centric practices, resources, and trends. It features the wisdom and advice of a large number of experts and thought leaders in customer experience design and management, and often highlights instructive cases and practices.
10. Chadwick Martin Bailey is a noted market research and consulting firm that explores topics such as branding, research techniques and practices, and marketing issues, as well as CX and loyalty on its blog, at times examining real data through the lens of a fictitious business to offer penetrating insights.
Taken together, these top blogs add up to a graduate school education on creating and managing a customer-centric culture within any business. Unlike those years in B-school, however, the best blogs never go out of date and always reflect the most current trends and information in a world where both technology and consumer behaviour are forever changing the rules.