What CX Executives Talk About Behind Closed Doors

Kirsten Torchalski

Our recent Customer Experience Roundtable in New York City brought together CX executives and thought leaders from across industries. They discussed current challenges and opportunities in the realm of CX and shared advice to help one another surmount these challenges and seize new opportunities. Below are the key takeaways from their discussion.

Use CX to test your own assumptions about your brand positioning.

Abdullah Khan, Director of Customer Care at fuboTV, shared how studying CX impacted his business. FuboTV is an online live TV streaming platform, directly competing with cable television. Customer experience in cable is notoriously poor, with the industry earning a Temkin Trust Rating score of just 36% in 2017. While the instinct for many was to assume customers viewed streaming services in the way they viewed cable services, Khan’s market research revealed that the best-rated cable company was still ranked lower in consumer experience than the lowest-rated online streaming company. This insight inspired Khan to make customer experience the driving force behind all decisions made at his startup. Our learning? Orgs that don’t pay attention to CX may be missing out on critical consumer insights that impact their business model.

CX works best when the ownership is shared.

Every function has its own set of goals and generally does what it thinks is right for the customer. However well intentioned, this can create hugely disconnected experiences for customers. “It no longer makes sense to have one CX team,” said Don Pietranczyk, Sr. Manager of Experiences & Activations at UBM Fashion. “There are so many people whose hands are in the experience pie, it’s not fair to make one person responsible for experience. You need representation across disciplines.” One way to achieve this is through cross-functional journey mapping, which brings people together and helps them understand CX from a unified standpoint while checking their own assumptions. Having a cross-functional team of CX Champions is a characteristic of highly effective CX-oriented companies.

Creating personas keeps consumer preferences top-of-mind.

Consumer loyalty is increasingly determined by experience, and consumers’ expectations of experience continue to evolve. That being the case, organizations need a system to keep up with these ever-changing preferences. The example of Toys R Us was brought up – as the big box store goes out of business, it leaves an opening for new entrants such as artisanal toy stores to fulfill growing consumer preference for goods that are local and curated. Once you realize that nobody needs you as a company, you understand that agility is critical to long-term survival. One of our participants recommended customer personas as a way to keep your customers in the room when decisions are being made. “Before you figure out what your customer wants, you have to figure out who your customer is,” she said. She provided the example of her company investing in a highly tailored online educational experience to attract students, only to realize their parents were the target buyers. Through consumer research and analytics, the company distilled its customer base into a few key personas and assigned them names, which have become colloquial among employees. “Now whenever we build new functionality, we ask ourselves, what would [Haley] think of this?”

Every company is an experience company.

The biggest theme of the day was that experience is a differentiator for consumers regardless of industry. Roundtable participants discussed the importance of getting the “basics” right, and you can identify these opportunities by mapping out your customer experience. An often overlooked part of the journey is the post-experience – what impression is left with someone after they experience your brand – and what future actions do they take as a result? John Bozin, Chief Financial Officer for NYC Health & Hospitals, is pioneering the idea of pride of craftsmanship on his team – every interaction matters, and every employee should take pride in their interactions with patients and internal customers. This was a sentiment everyone at the roundtable agreed with.

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