The Customer Experience Challenge

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Experts weigh-in on how to reach goals despite moving targets

“Customer Experience: A Moving Target” was a hot topic of conversation at Xplor 19 in May. Moderated by Matt Swain, the panel discussion included Hailey Wilson from Illumina and Antoine DuPont from Katapult Marketing. The three customer experience (CX) and communication experts offered their insights – from a changing Marketing landscape to quantifying CX.  Below are highlights from the session.

How Has the Marketing Landscape Evolved in Recent Years?

“We have to communicate where the customers are and how they want to be communicated to,” stated Antoine. “There’s a great example of the fiasco that the eruption of the volcano in Iceland basically grounded thousands of flights in Europe. One of the main providers that had the massive disruption was KLM. They had thousands of people that were stranded; it was a disaster for them because people wanted help, and they wanted help now.

They responded to that by creating a customer support team of about 130 people that worked 24/7, speaking 40 different languages.  What they figured out in the outcome of that disaster was that people, when they want help, they want it now, and they want it on the device that they’re using. They actually disrupted customer service in Europe by basically being available 24/7 on Facebook. If you’re in Europe, just go in KLM and ask for help, and on any language, and someone will answer you within one minute. That’s extraordinary.”

What Are You Seeing in Customer Experience Trends?

“For every company in the world, it’s all about delivering an effortless customer experience,” shared Hailey. “I hear a lot of talk about, ‘Can we be like Amazon? Can we be like Apple? They’re so cool.’ I think it’s a good exercise to look at the Olympians in terms of CX, but you should not be worried about being high touch, approachable, or friendly until you have an effortless customer experience. I’ll tell you why; it’s because we are so busy. Why do people want Personalization? It’s not because they’re trying to have a relationship with their email.  It’s about thinking in terms of how can I make this easier for my customer and, in order to do that, you have to deeply understand your customer.”

Businesses not only have their traditional competition, but they also have to compete with the consumer’s last best experience, like Uber and Amazon. That’s where the moving target comes into play because everyone’s one-upping. How do you react to one-upmanship in the B2B world?

“I think it’s about setting your brand promise, really understanding the expectations you are setting with your customer, and then figuring out if you’re actually meeting those expectations,” stated Hailey.  “There’s only one way to do that: you’re going to have to talk to your customers. They’re the ones who are going to tell you whether or not you suck or you’re doing great. Talking to customers is one part of it, but it’s also   about getting the right people in the room internally and saying, ‘We’re going to sit down and chart out this whole experience.’”

How Do You Demonstrate Value, Especially in Light of Budget Constraints?

Antoine shared: “Consumers are coming to you to buy your product; they’ve already made 70% of their decision because there’s so much information available. It’s not like they’re coming out of the blue; they’ve educated themselves. That 70% is staggering because it’s really coming from Communication and Marketing; yet, the second the business starts to struggle, the first thing to be cut is Communication and Marketing.  e need to conduct business, recognizing customers are coming to the table with 70% of their decision made. Your job is just to convert that 30%.”

What Do You Think Is the Key Takeaway for Our Audience?

“Eighty-six percent of your buyers will pay more for better customer experience,” stated Antoine. “You cannot have good CX until you have good employee experience… Engaging experiences matter, simplify your communications, and maximize the value of the customer mindshare. Make sure that you’re gathering insight and you’re processing it, and then implementing the feedback that you received.”

To learn more about how to reach your CX goals – despite a moving target – tune in to the Reimagining Communications podcast with Matt Swain, Hailey Wilson and Antoine DuPont.

Read more: Customer Experience is Field Service’s Biggest Challenge. Here’s What You Can Do About It

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