Monday, April 25, 2016

The theory surrounding Customer Experience (CX) is wide and deep and missing something

These are two excellent sets of insights about customer experience.

The first one from Forbes (A Customer Experience Is A Story, Not Just A Long, Boring List Of Touchpoints) makes the excellent point that it is too easy to just to see the interaction with customers as an aggregation of transactions. There is something, a glue, that holds it all together. Storytelling is a way of linking all the interactions together.

The second article, from McKinsey, includes a series of short video clips (note to McKinsey, please enable your videos to be embedded) about why and how companies embrace improving their CX and in many cases fail.

All very good and definitely worth the time to read.

Yet both articles miss an issue that totally dominates all of this theory.

Unless the individual touchpoints are age friendly then all the storytelling and strategic thinking count for nothing. If customers are not able to easily, efficiently and safely use your touchpoints you are toast.

Worse still, it only takes one of these touchpoints to fail, and it might be a different one for each customer, to make the delivery of the CX collapse into failure.

You have to get the foundation level working efficiently for all customers. Here is how to start. Visit the web site or go directly to iTunes and download the AF Brands app. Dick Stroud

The UK is ageing and getting older - lots more 80+

The ONS has recently published a paper about the age breakdown of the UK from 65 onwards.

As can be seen it is changing and getting older. Lots more people in their eighties, nineties and having reached the big 100.

This trend is going to continue for the forthcoming future.

I am sure that all the implication of this are not good but some are and it does indicate the fabric of the market is changing and that is something that marketers need to understand. Dick Stroud

Friday, April 22, 2016

Will the ageing of America (or the UK) be a triumph or a tragedy?

Ken Dychtwald, the well know US consultant on all things ageing, has five questions he would like the Presidential Candidates to answer.

Maybe the UK's politicians would like to have a crack at answering them as well since they are faced with exactly the same issues.

These are two of his points that you might want to ponder. I have very slightly changed the wording.

The medical profession is not ageing-ready. 
In the US there are 50,000 pediatricians, but fewer than 5,000 geriatricians. Only eight of the US's 145 academic medical centres have full geriatrics departments, and 97% of U.S. medical students don’t take a single course in geriatrics.
Yep, the UK is in a similar medical mess with the NHS. This is the time when the medical profession should be re-positioning itself to cater for an ageing population. That isn't happening.

Ageing with no money
In the US, roughly half (52%) of all households near retirement (headed by someone age 55+) have NO retirement savings and about half (51%) of our population have no pensions beyond Social Security.  Yep, the UK has a similar fragmentation of older people into those who can expect a half decent retirement and those that cannot.

These are mega issues that will have an impact on the landscape of the ageing business for the next couple of decades (at least).

Now marketers are not going to 'solve' these issues but they should be able to identify the implications that they will have on their business.

Just in case they want a bit of help then my forthcoming new book 'This I Know' will provide some guidance. Dick Stroud