• Katherine Merry

Keys to a Successful Customer Experience


In part one, we discussed the value of providing a great CX ⁠— as well as the cost of a bad CX. In part two, we will explore what a successful CX has looked like for companies big and small, and how it could look at your firm.


What does CX look like?

Let’s look at a few examples illustrating a good CX. There used to be a Blockbuster in nearly every shopping center. Then Netflix came along and offered the same DVDs by mail, then cut out the wait time by offering a streaming service, and now they produce award-winning original content. Today, one Blockbuster is remaining in the United States.


Need a ride? In the past, calling a cab (or maybe a good friend) would have been your only option. Taxis have a reputation for being expensive, uncomfortable, and often not particularly clean. Uber offers rideshare services known for a better CX, and they now compete with cabs.


Netflix and Uber disrupted their industries when they provided innovative CX that the “giants” in their field refused, thinking they cornered the market. Clients may have been unhappy with the policies of Blockbuster or the price of the cab, but so what? Where else could they go, right? … Right?


When thinking about the CX your company provides, ask yourself what do you personally expect in your own experiences as a customer?


Great customer experiences begin with employees

We’ve touched on the fact that employees are largely responsible for delivering a great CX, as they are the face of the company. So how do you get everyone on the same page regarding expectations?

● Set clear CX goals that are shared internally

● Create subcommittees that are dedicated to achieving those goals

● Develop and release a “CX promise” statement that showcases employees’ expectations. Bonus: this lets customers know what to expect from your company as well.

● Emphasize service as a core value of your business


Developing a great CX

When designing a CX, you can utilize Dan Gingiss’ WISER approach as a guide. A great customer experience should be…

Witty: Meaning clever, fresh, showing personality

Immersive: A consistent, connective experience

Shareable: Creates the desire to tell someone about the experience. People don’t share “meh” experiences!

Extraordinary: An experience that “wows” doesn’t need to be expensive

Responsive: Respond to client requests in their preferred channel in a mirrored tone


A few examples of the WISER approach in action…

● When a 7-year-old lost his LEGO Ninjago Minifigure, he wrote a letter to LEGO to ask if they would replace it. They sent him an immersive letter in the voice of a Ninjago character, as well as a one-of-a-kind Minifigure. Their playful response gained social media chatter.



● Streaming company iFlix had fun with their User License Agreement by throwing a few jokes into the legal jargon. This made an otherwise mundane document engaging.



● A less-than-satisfied passenger of Virgin Airlines shared unflattering pictures of his in-flight meal and tagged founder Richard Branson in his post. Branson responded publicly and asked the customer to join the board at Virgin Airlines and help redesign the menu.



As you can see, these experiences didn’t start positively: losing a piece, having to read through a long document, being served an unappetizing meal. However, because the people of these companies were trained in providing exceptional customer experiences, they were able to take negative experiences and turn them into positive ones. (And gain some great PR in the process!)


Here are a few keys to developing a CX program that we can take away from these examples:

  1. Have a company culture that supports change.

  2. Get leadership on board with goals, and talk about goals regularly.

  3. Listen to your clients before, during, and after you provide their service. Continually seek feedback by finding new ways to interact.

  4. Look to the future. Where is your firm going, and how can CX align with that?

  5. Create space for a CX-dedicated role. Successful CX requires someone who has time and energy to keep your plan moving.

  6. Be patient. Change takes time. Stay the course.

  7. Be flexible!


The AOE team has vast experience and proven results in assisting clients achieve excellent CX through the areas of PR and marketing, meetings/events/training development, social media marketing and more. Reach out today to discuss your CX goals.


This post is based on the webinar presentation “Developing a CX Program” given by Barry Sutherland, director of client relationships with Henderson Engineers.