In Chicago, it will apparently be WWWN, and in New York City, WEMP. So now the guesswork begins. What do these call letters portend about possible format options for Merlin Media? Is there anything that we could read into these call letter combinations that would help us interpret what’s coming? Maybe we should hire a cryptanalyst to crack the code of exactly what these call letters mean.
Or maybe we should be focusing on a different set of call letters.
I’m here to suggest that the four most important letters in radio today are these:
No, this isn’t a hip-hop station in Red Deer, Alberta. It’s the acronym for Customer Experience/User Experience – a concept that is sadly foreign to many in radio.
We’re not alone. According to B.L. Ochman, president of whatsnextonline.com, only three of the Fortune 50 companies bother to provide a simple phone number so that consumers can speak to a human being when they have a complaint, an issue, or even a compliment. (That would be Dell, Home Depot, and Lowe’s.)
Sure, there are many many customers on Facebook and Twitter, but even providing a simple telephone contact isn’t too much to ask these global companies, is it? (As Ochman points out, even Verizon and AT&T – phone companies – don’t have phone numbers.)
The importance of CXUX should not be underestimated. A piece of this infographic below illustrates the value of providing a positive consumer interface.
The power of a good customer experience – or a bad one – is growing as businesses gain a better understanding of the value of recommendation. This is a big topic, and it’s only going to gain importance over time.
While radio has done a generally solid job over the years of serving its various audiences – advertisers, listeners, communities – the focus has rarely been on improving that all-important customer experience.
Brands that combine stellar content, local service, and the ways in which the audience can interact with them will have a leg up over the competition. As the graphic shows, customers will leave or switch.
Think about these seven ways in which your station interfaces with your public. Here are a few things to consider and some questions to ask yourself and your team:
- If a listener attempts to contact the program director, are there multiple ways to do so and are they clear to your audience? And how long will that listener have to wait for a response?
- What are the “touch points” on the station website? Like B.L. Ochman’s survey, is there a phone number, email addresses, and other easy conduits so that consumers can get their questions or concerns handled?
- Is there a firm policy in place for interaction with station personalities? Are they all up-to-speed with how to use common channels like the station Facebook page, Twitter, email, and text? Are there guidelines so that every personality understands the strategies and the rules? Are there response time standards, as well as requirements they engage in converssation with listeners, and not just promote ticket giveaways and upcoming bits?
- What is the policy for answering a studio or request line? Are these calls promptly and respectfully answered?
- Is the receptionist aware of how to refer to each station, current contests and promotions, and positioning? Is he courteous, helpful, and in-touch with station goals? When someone visits the station or stops by to claim a prize, does she present the best possible image for the brand(s)?
- What guidelines are in place at station events? Are airstaff members, as well as interns and the “street team,” showing the best side of the station?
- Do clients get prompt answers to their questions – copy issues, schedules, etc.? Does the station have people and policies in place to ensure that the station’s marketing efforts are responsive?
CXUX should be more than four letters – it should be the mantra that market managers, programmers, and DOS’ disseminate to every person at the station.
How’s that for a new set of calls?