Customer Experience 2023: A Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange, held in Nashville, Tennessee, this summer, provided a forum for customer contact leaders to share the latest customer experience (CX) strategies and best practices, and to help participants find solutions to current industry challenges.

Read on for highlights of key strategies and data Jermaine Edwards shared in his presentation at the event. We’re sure you’ll find his insights beneficial:

Everyone has a view of what the customer experience is, its degree of importance and the level of investment needed. It’s your role as a customer advocate to not only present investment options, but to demonstrate the power of the CX story as an internal and external driver of results.

Align the customer experience to the business

We all make decisions based on the experiences we have, and customer experience is the sum of all interactions a customer has with a brand. Greater customer experience returns are directly correlated to your ability to help your customers get more of what they want.

Key Takeaways

  • 89% of customers get frustrated when they need to repeat their issues to multiple customer service representatives
  • 70% of a customer’s response to their journey is based on how they perceive they are being treated
  • It’s important to consider what your customer expects from your business:

Customer service expectations at McDonald’s and Ferrari are vastly different. McDonald’s customers expect an efficient process where they are out in 15 minutes, and Ferrari customers want to linger and take their time.

Stating that “customer experience is about the stories in the minds of your customers,” Edwards shared these three stories:

Story #1: The customer’s relationship with the product and service

  • 94% of customers who have a low-effort experience with a company will buy from that company again

Story #2: The customer’s relationship with your company

  • Companies with excellent customer service outperform their competitors by 80%

Example: Apple’s retail store is not necessarily where people buy a product, it’s more of a gallery and museum. When someone comes through the door, Apple is trying to be a “memory.” With Apple, it’s all about making the next decision to work with them easier; it’s about dedication and service.

Story #3: The customer’s relationship with your shared values

  • 73% of customers are more likely to remain loyal to a brand if they have a positive emotional connection
  • Relationships and feelings matter to customers. They don’t just want transactions with a company, they want to know that you care

Example: Tom’s shoes uses shared values to connect with its customers. Toms has a variety of social responsibility initiatives, including donating a pair of shoes when one pair is bought

  • It’s important to understand the values of your customers, and what company values you can make more prominent

Action Items

  • Ask: “What is the single greatest CX innovation you could make where your returns would be phenomenal?” Who are you trying to become?
  • Investing in alignment is a significant investment, but that is what you should be doing. Note that it will look different for different businesses
  • With the appropriate effort, you can begin to unlock something new
  • In the wake of the digital explosion, people still matter. You want people to be aligned and know their role

Final Thought
By investing in effort, alignment, and connection with your customer, you can provide a better customer experience.

Jermaine Edwards is a multi-business owner, author, international speaker and advisor. With two decades of experience in sales and customer leadership managing departments as large as 400, Jermaine specializes in designing customer growth and loyalty strategies and systems that help businesses accelerate and sustain revenue and retention in any market. Having coached thousands of customer calls and delivered growth projects in 22 countries and 29 industries. He is invited by companies like Dell, GE and London Business School to help leaders build customer programmes that work at scale.
As a dad of 6 and former foster parent, he’s also passionate about creating education and economic opportunities for vulnerable children. Through his Customer Advantage Solutions, he is on a mission to help rescue, educate and provide long term care to 15 million children.