Rising Expectations

If there’s one thing high-growth companies like Amazon, Airbnb and Uber have in common, it’s top-notch customer experience. These disruptors were built from the ground up to solve a customer problem and, by default, have lifted the standard of service customers expect on a day-to-day basis.

And it’s not just the industries these players operate in that are feeling the pressure to improve their CX. The frictionless experiences enjoyed by the on-demand economy have set expectations for every industry. Today, customer expectations aren’t confined to industry boundaries. In other words, if it’s harder than ordering an Uber, your product has room for improvement.

In this issue of Which-50’s interactive magazine, we take a deep dive into customer experience — why it really matters and how to deliver it.

Of course, you would be hard-pressed to find a company that admits it doesn’t care about its customers. When it comes to putting in the hard yards to re-architect the entire organisation to put the customer at the centre of their operations, though, actions speak louder than words.

In the words of Jake Sorofman, Research Vice President at Gartner, “As a strategy, customer experience runs the risk of devolving into the sort of absurdist platitudes that you might expect to find on a cat poster. Put the customer first. Learn to listen. Empathise.

And according to McKinsey & Company, how an organisation delivers for customers is beginning to be as important as what it delivers. As products and services become commoditised by digital access, customer experience becomes the differentiator — a strategic imperative, as opposed to something that’s “nice to have.”

Removing detractors and optimising customer journeys are just the start — albeit a good start. The real opportunity presented by adopting CX-centred thinking is taking aim at a disruptive play. As Sorofman writes, “The real opportunity for making customer experience your winning strategy is to look beyond optimisation … The real opportunity for customer experience leadership is to discover the universe of possibilities that your customer and competitors never even contemplated.”