Every day, good marketers strive to serve their customers better.  We all know it — the act of engaging with consumers and making personalized communications, experiences, and offers is critical in our businesses. So, why do so many people #fail when it comes to customer experience?

I asked this question to a leading authority in Customer Relationship marketing, Ernan Roman,  and he shared his professional opinion, research, and tips for success with me over a double espresso !


Gina: How many years have you been working in this field? And what changes and developments have you seen over that time?

Ernan: Well, I have been working in marketing for nearly 37 years now. I think it is safe to say that I have seen it all. I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with a wide range of companies such as IBM, Microsoft, NBC Universal, and others. When it comes to marketing, everything can really change in an instance. When regarding the importance of customers, that is one thing that has stayed the same.

Gina: So Ernan, if customers need to be the center of everything we do — what do you believe are the challenges of building customer relationships?

Ernan: The challenge that I find is how to earn the right to engage with your customers, while building that underlying trust.  On the flip side, there is also a huge opportunity for marketers in earning the right to engage with customers. Customers will provide increasing amounts of personal or business information in exchange for trusting you to deliver significantly improved customer experiences. It is important to value your customers and hear what they are saying to further implement new ideas and strategies.  Although this may not be the simplest philosophy, building essential trust with your customers is ultimately the success that will drive business sales.


Gina: You discuss transforming a customer’s experience in great detail in your thought leadership and your book.  What would you suggest or provide businesses with to help them succeed in this process?

Ernan: I’d have to say that there are four critical steps, that I have gleaned from my most recent Voice of Customer research-based They include:

  1. Bridging the significant gap between what customers consider a great experience and what marketers are providing.
  2. Differentiating your company by providing personalized experiences, communications and offers.
  3. Delivering on the expectations of improved customer experiences across every point of contact with your organization.
  4. Providing high quality experiences throughout the customer lifecycle.



Although it may be simple to list these four steps, acting on them is what is so critical.  Many businesses fail to communicate and connect with their customers.  These steps are the answer to this prevalent problem.

Gina: Thanks so much for spending a few minutes with me today Ernan – we appreciate your willingness to share.

In a nutshell, as Ernan Roman says, “remember that your customers need to be at the center of your decisions to create a life-long relationship.”


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Want to hear more from Ernan on customer experience marketing? Join DMA for a webinar – Transforming Your Customer Experiences Now! 4 High Impact Actions on August 8th, from 2:00 to 3:00 EST.

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