Transforming the Customer Experience
We all know the big names in customer experience (Apple, Amazon, Southwest, Ritz Carlton, etc.). And if you’re like us, you’re a bit tired of hearing, reading, and writing about them. Today’s post is to celebrate companies that may not have every part of their experience perfect (yet) and may be a bit less glamorous then the common names, but have implemented innovative changes to transform their existing customer experience.
What they do: a multi-disciplinary design firm that handles complex, strategic projects.
Notable Cx Initiative: Making it easy for employees to do work they love
In 1946 Arup was founded on the idea that hiring from a diverse range of disciplines would allow the company to produce highly complex and high-quality projects. As the firm grew and the pace of business increased, Arup found they were struggling to match the range of employee talent to the client needs. Their solution was to develop a knowledge management tool. Unlike a traditional database that captures static information, this database is a “knowledge map” of their 10,000+ employees. It shows their role, knowledge, interests, and expertise. This tool makes it easy for employees to find projects that interest them, and colleagues that can best support them.
“We must recognize that our firms are ‘living, breathing, changing organisms’, constantly changing and optimizing themselves in the face of a changing business environment.”
- Tony Sheehan, Group Knowledge Manager
What they do: online technology retailer
Notable Cx Practice: Ignoring the “Industry-standard” business practices
A common practice with online technology retailers is to feign depth and availability by offering products that they don’t currently have. The customer places an order, the retailer places an order. The retailer happily moves on to collect money from the next customer as the customer waits, and waits, and waits. Newegg doesn’t participate in this practice. It marks items as out-of-stock the moment they don’t have it in the warehouse. Newegg only accepts payments when they can ensure timely delivery, and this consistency has won them high marks from customers. In our Most Engaged Customer study Newegg scored 65%, only one percentage point below Amazon.
What they do: sell coffee
Notable Cx Initiative: Focusing on excellence
In 2008 new CEO Michael Tattersfield took the helm of a struggling Caribou Coffee. The company was facing the mediocrity that plagues many growing companies. “One of the first things we did as a team is we looked at the business from the outside looking in and started to address some of the major issues,” Tattersfield said in an April interview with QSR. This involved putting growth temporarily on hold while the existing customer experience was brought into alignment with the culture and values the brand was built on. This new commitment to slow growth with an obsessive attention to the details of the experience is paying off so far, last year the company saw stock prices rise 500 percent, the best in Caribou’s financial history.
What they do: online banking
Notable Cx Practice: Doing what is right for the customer
Ally was founded on extensive market research undertaken by GMAC Financial Services that revealed that customers were crying out for a trusted bank partner. And everything Ally does demonstrates its commitment to earning that trust: the website provides valuable advice and financial planning tools, it never charges ATM fees, and it offer 24/7 customer service. Ally works hard to build engaging relationships with its customers. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Marketing Officer at Ally says, “Given the recent financial market turmoil, people are looking for a safe, honest and efficient place to save and grow their money. Ally Bank offers that place.”
Transforming the customer experience takes time. It is a journey that requires alignment of internal systems, processes, technology and people against that desired vision. But these companies demonstrate the clear benefits of putting the needs of your customers first.