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Exploring customer experience

  • On October 12, 2017
  • In blog

Exploring customer experience

I visited Technology for Marketing last month to try and understand more about how to create the ‘perfect customer experience’. Here are a few takeaways from my time at the event…


Emotions are important.

Nicholas Kontopoulus, VP of Fast Growth Markets Marketing for SAP Hybris explained that a customer experience is completely personal. It is related to their emotional state in that particular moment in time. Managing these brand experiences in a rational way every time will not guarantee a positive customer experience due to their personal situation.

There are all sorts of emotions that can be felt, and all of them are important when it comes to analysing and improving the customer experience. Let’s take happiness as an example…

Happiness is an important emotion, especially when it comes to customer satisfaction – it’s the emotion we want all of our customers to feel when buying our product or service. Unfortunately, we can’t always control our customers’ feelings – even if some of us would love to! But how many times is the focus on making things work rationally and doing what should be done by the book rather than working on how people feel about something? Taking into consideration individual emotions in each customer interaction can be tough, it’s extra work, I know, but it can certainly pay off. Many of us have ended a relationship with a brand because of the way we are feeling about it, haven’t we? I know I have.


You can’t create a good customer experience without having good employee experience.

Many of us forget about employees when considering customer experience – it’s an easy mistake to make. Mark Harrison, GM of Customer Excellence at Shell explained in one talk that hiring people with the right behaviour skills can sometimes prove to be more efficient than hiring someone with the right job skills.  After all, you can teach a job function, but you can’t always change someone’s behaviour or attitude.


All Questions are Good Questions!

Whilst sitting in on a talk from Kristof Fahy, Chief Customer Office from Ladbrokes Coral, I learnt about a transparent method to help you improve the customer experience.

Kristof explained that to improve your customer experience, you must start by asking your team what they think could be revised. Ask your customers too, providing you have spare budget (and time) available to conduct this kind of research. It may cost you more, but it will give you a much more accurate view of the overall customer experience.

Simply take the two sets of results, and create a list of the top 5 or 10 problems relating to the customer experience which are losing your business the most amount of money. Work on solving these key problems before moving on to any others, involving the team in the process.


Focus on the questions.

Finally, if you’ve asked the questions, it’s important you focus on them. David Zakkam, Regional Head of Client Services at Mu Sigma explained at the show that by fully understanding what a client needs to solve when they come to you can make a huge difference when solving the real problem of the customer. Many of us often reach out to customer support and all we get back are automated responses to common questions. Are these really helping us out? Personally, I don’t think so.

By focusing on the question in hand, and by truly taking in the customer’s feelings, can make a significant difference to the overall customer experience. How do I know this? I’m a customer. We all are.


We can help

Here at Paperplanes we help brands improve customer experiences by delivering personalised direct mail, programmatically triggered after a specific interaction with your brand. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch.


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