Blogs about how to improve customer experiences

Thanks for your interest in this blog on how to improve customer experiences; how it’s done is every bit as important as what is done, often more so. I share my thoughts and observations with the aim that it’s interesting and enjoyable but also – most importantly – relevant and helpful in giving you some ideas and a different perspective on addressing your own customer experience challenges. Let me know what you think.

Many thanks,

Jerry


Jerry Angrave

The “real” role of a Customer Experience professional

Ten years ago, I left my inhouse, corporate CX roles and set up Empathyce. I’ve had the privilege since then to work with brilliant people at airports, airlines, utilities and […]

Customer Experience and Sustainability

A few thoughts on CX doing our bit… Customer Experience and Sustainability. Two very topical, heavyweight agendas for companies looking to prosper in future. Each is rooted in different issues […]

Securing buy-in for Customer Experience

For anyone in the early days of their CX career, securing buy-in for Customer Experience from sceptical stakeholders can be daunting. It needn’t be. Yes, there are always those who […]

The real purpose of customer journey mapping

This year has challenged the real purpose of many organisations. Some have stayed true to their meaning while others have shown their true colours. As the dust hopefully settles on […]

Customer Journey Mapping – as relevant and as possible as ever

The headline act of a Customer Journey Mapping programme was always the workshop. A very visible, tangible demonstration of how an organisation is edging towards its customer-led goals. A group […]

Treating customers unfairly – savvy or naive?

  Airlines around the world are communicating heavily in an effort to welcome us back. Understandably, they need the revenue and are enticing us with reconnected routes and reassurance about […]

Is now an appropriate time to Spring-clean our Customer Experience programme?

People in Customer Experience roles are an energetic, passionate bunch. They are also resilient and have bags of perseverance. Nonetheless, as lockdown restrictions persist I’ve heard from a couple of […]

Customer Journey Mapping – a fun day with sticky notes or a strategic and cultural catalyst?

Done effectively, mapping the customer journey of today’s experience generates an invaluable list of tactical improvements. Unfortunately, it’s also often the limit of what organisations think customer journey mapping can […]

Making the hidden disability experience visible

How good would it be if this sunflower icon, to help identify people with a hidden disability, was as recognisable everywhere for what it is as the white stick that […]

Where to start customer journey mapping

Ok, so we like the idea of it. We’re planning a programme of workshops and we’re thinking about how the outputs will plug into everything else the business is doing. […]

When the sales experience falls into, rather than bridges, the gap

Depending on your definition of a customer, their experience starts well before they actually buy anything. It might be what they’ve heard from others or what they’ve seen in the […]

Ten hidden benefits of customer journey mapping

The benefits of customer journey mapping are well documented; it’s an incredibly valuable exercise that gives the business a shared understanding of what it’s like to be a customer. And, […]

Using journey mapping to understand and measure employee engagement

This post first appeared as a guest blog of Rant & Rave on using customer journey mapping methods to create employer brands and a great employee experience Fewer than half […]

Why wouldn’t we make customer experiences easy?

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at an event about how to nurture a customer-centric culture. One of the key issues I referenced is that too often we […]

Lessons in how to embed Customer Experience

At the recent CXPA networking event in London hosted by Pen CX, the world of the CX professional was thrown into the spotlight. I wanted to share thoughts from two […]

Customer Experience says mind your own business

So we now know that United breaks customers as well as guitars. Knowing how your business treats its paying customers is one thing; understanding the impact it has on them […]

Does the PRM label restrict airports’ thinking?

Does the PRM acronym need an upgrade to ensure any disabled passenger has an empathetic experience?   (This post first appeared as a guest blog for International Airport Review in […]

The biggest risks to our Customer Experience efforts

Ambition, commitment and perseverance. All three are critical to success but a weakness in any one of them is a huge risk to our Customer Experience plans. It will almost […]

I’m frightened of Christmas

They’re not the words you want a 12-year old to howl in distress at this time of year. After all, ‘tis the season to be jolly and a magical time […]

Customer Journey Mapping, done. What next?

Here’s a familiar scenario in the customer journey mapping process.  Your workshops went well, everyone was engaged and the team is bursting with ideas. You added extra value by creating […]

Keep customer journey mapping sessions on track and effective

Facilitating a customer journey mapping session for the first time can be daunting.  However, assuming you’ve invited the right people from across the business, and those who said they’d come […]

Customer Journey Mapping? Why not?

Customer journey mapping.  It’s probably the easiest starting point for anyone looking to improve the right customer experiences. That said, I still encounter business leaders who see customer journey mapping as […]

Disabilities teach us how to improve everyone’s experiences

It can be hard enough doing business with a company sometimes, let alone if we have some kind of physical or mental disability.  However, people who interact with the world […]

Do the good customer experiences obscure the bad ones for management?

As consumers we know that a company is only as good as the last experience we had with them.  But it does seem that some companies assume if they are […]

Who hangs around longer: complacent employees or valuable customers?

In the world we live in it seems to be very easy to over-complicate things; to make a cottage industry out of lots of stuff.  Inside a large corporate recently […]

The role and challenges of the Customer Experience Professional

The varied and vital role played by customer experience professionals was put under the spotlight last week at the CXPA’s European Insight Exchange in London. Attended by CX practitioners from […]

John Lewis, npower and Ford – in very different places with customer experience

  Depending on the way you look at it, complacency is either the arch-enemy of customer experience or the reason it exists.  I’ve seen many a sceptical director shrug and […]

Customer experience culture: Ford’s perspective

A customer-centric culture doesn’t happen simply because it’s on a presentation slide as a strategic pillar.  It’s a topic that risks being swamped by platitudes and theory so I was […]

Poor emails undo all the good brand work

We talk a lot about delivering the brand promise.  It’s one of the most critical balancing acts in the business strategy.  On the one hand, a very clear proposition so […]

The future of airline passenger experience

The last two years have seen big steps forward in the airline passenger experience.  Some airlines doing great things in the name of creating a sustainable business. Others appear to […]

Passenger experience: managing disruption without disrupting relationships

The delicate, reciprocal balance of any alliance between airline and passenger shifts dramatically when there’s a planned or unplanned change in schedule. One party very quickly becomes totally dependent on […]

Making technology relevant to the passenger experience

(This post was created as a guest blog for Total BlueSky in August 2015) The speed and breadth of technological change not just in the aviation world presents fantastic opportunities.  […]

Proof that better customer experiences mean better results

If you’re looking for more evidence to show a sceptical stakeholder that better customer experiences mean better results, the recent wave of financial reporting yields a helpful trend. Not so long […]

Interview: learning from MOO about the link between culture, customers and the certainty of growth

Whatever your definition of Customer Experience, it’s a means to a commercial end and not a platitudinous end-game in itself.  It’s a way of being better at business and that’s […]

How not to increase the customer experience scores

It’s “good news, bad news” time for measuring customer experience.   The good news is that some people have found really quick and easy ways to increase customer scores.  The bad news is that […]

Little things versus Wow customer experiences

Having real coat hangers in the wardrobe of a hotel-room might not make a Wow customer experience or a Moment of Magic.  But, it’s a great illustration of how small things […]

Customer experience reveals segmentation limits

By applying a little customer experience scrutiny to traditional segmentation models we see their limitations. Being more empathetic with real people rather than grouping customers with similar profiles helps turn […]

Three effective open questions to ask customers

Organisations have an insatiable appetite for customer feedback and with good reason. Asking effective open questions, however, is easier said than done.  Customers are being asked several times a day […]

Gaming the customer experience measurement system: why?

The credibility of customer experience is at risk from employees who game the measurement system.  They are motivated to play the system because their performance management reviews depend on it. […]

British Gas and United: learnings from their customers with special needs

Companies who treat Special Needs customers with genuine empathy, supported by internal engagement and education, not only do the right thing but see benefits for all their other customer segments too. […]

Voting for customer experience, one small step at a time

The build-up to this week’s election in the UK has been rooted in uncertainty. If the media reports are to be believed, no single party has been persuasive enough to […]

There’s no need to measure customer effort

Do we need to measure customer effort? The presence of any effort should be enough to set alarm bells ringing.  Knowing a score out of 10 or tracking a percentage […]

The power of unexpected customer experiences

The environment in which we go about about our daily lives tends to be a familiar one.  For better or worse, we generally know what to expect.  We have in-built […]

Customer Experience – what’s your problem?

What’s your problem with customer experience? Or, to put it another way, what is it that gets in the way of designing and implementing an effective customer experience strategy?   […]

Customer experience research; turning brands into favourite brands

This research post is about which companies have used customer experience to turn their brands into favourite brands, and how that happens.  I am delighted to have co-authored it with Ian […]

Passenger experiences and what they say to each other

Airports and the people who use them want different versions of the same thing from the passenger experience.  Whether we’re transiting through one or managing one, the common need is […]

The job of the customer experience manager

The need to improve customer experiences has been around since cavemen traded rocks for fish.  And as our understanding of complex customer experience issues has grown, so too have the opportunities […]

Customer experience without trust is costly

The new challengers in the energy market must be thanking the so-called “Big 6” for making their job easier.  A report just out by Which? shows the polar extremes of […]

Customer experience and lawyers

United Airlines threw a new perspective into the debate about where responsibility for customer experience sits when it handed accountability to its General Counsel.   In an unusual move, United […]

Did City Link’s customer reviews predict failure?

Customer experience reviews are a rich source of information for companies wanting to improve.  They also contain vital signals for companies needing to survive. On Christmas Eve, the UK parcel courier […]

Assessing the shape of customer experiences

To assess customer experiences is to embark on a complex but profitable journey.  The desire to make improvements is compelling and yet the starting point and finish line are not […]

Customer experience in the boardroom

Corporate change leads investors to rethink the potential for future income streams.  But, by putting customer experience in the boardroom, can it improve that decision-making process?   This week has seen […]

The best and the worst of customer experiences

In Europe this week, the travel industry provided me with two quick stories that illustrate the best and worst of customer experiences. The first was a perfect example of ease […]

Improving customer experiences: when WOW! stands for Waste Of Work

In seeking a point of differentiation, the creation of a Wow! moment in the customer experience is an admirable strategy.  But whatever makes us say “Wow!”, what is more likely […]

Are we talking the right language of customer experience?

Many customer experiences simply happen because when it comes to the attitude and processes, we hear people say “We’ve always done it this way”.  And if it works today, why […]

Will thinking like a retailer improve customer experiences?

“We need to think like a retailer”.   Really? In listening to those who are looking to improve customer experiences, I’ve heard two very different opinions from the aviation industry […]

Stress-testing customer experiences reveals flaws elsewhere

Customer experience at the board table – a voice a vote or a veto

The most recent survey by Which? of the best and worst brands for customer service in the UK highlights two critical issues for those involved in improving customer experiences.  One, […]

Customer Experience: blink and it’s there.

First impressions.  The subtle, vital but often over-looked human gateway to achieving corporate objectives such as long-term customer relationships and profitable lifetime value. For many, the starting point for mapping […]

The regional airline challenge

Commercial pressure on margins despite a heavy reliance on price to retain passengers. My response: Understand how relatively important price is for returning customers;  analyse what passengers are saying and […]

The retail bank challenges

Cost-saving activities leave no room for differentiation;  functional divisions have disparate objectives. My response: Embed consistent customer-based outcomes in all scorecards. Win-over sceptical stakeholders with proof of concept.  Establish cross-functional, […]

Differentiated customer experiences require differentiated thinking

Organisations waste time, money and effort if their approach to creating differentiated experiences is based on the very undifferentiated “Let’s walk a mile in our customers’ shoes”.   Inspiration for […]

Creating the right customer experience is all about leading by example

To have any credibility when talking with others about how “customer experience” can improve a business, it’s an obvious understatement to say that leading by example – understanding their issues […]

For improving customer experiences I’d rather have Right Data than Big Data

On my first day of my first proper job in the UK they called me “New York”.  Not because I was energetic, intriguing or that I never slept but because, when […]

Would changing the name from Customer Experience to Customer Memories make us better prepared?

We have Customer Service;  it’s what companies do to or for their customers.  We have Customer Experience;  you could say it’s what it’s really like to be on the receiving […]

Mapping the journey of Mapping the customer journey

(This was first posted as a guest blog for Custerian) If an organisation has customers, by definition it also has a customer experience whether it realises that or not.  May […]

Whose role is it anyway? The organisational side of Customer Experience

The philosophy behind customer experience has been around since cavemen first traded a club for a spear.  It was simple then, as it is now.  If you didn’t like who […]

B2B or B2C, it’s all P2P to me

In an age of big data and a seemingly endless capacity to produce and absorb information, one could be forgiven for believing that the end of the TLA, the three-letter […]

Customer experiences highlight the danger of businesses taking relationships for granted

The sage advice “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” needs no introduction but it clearly infers that one party is more needy than the other. It’s a sentiment that’s always […]

Luxury or productivity? The question of value for Business Aviation’s customer experience.

FBOs and charter airlines are in a strong position to capitalise on the belt-tightening consequences of recent economic conditions.  That’s providing they are able to articulate their value in a […]

Customer Experience at the Board table: a voice, a vote or a veto?

Everyone seems agreed that, like the complaints department, in theory the real aim of an in-house customer experience team should be to do itself out of a role. I say […]

Do aviation investors need better sight of the passenger experience?

This article, written by Jerry Angrave, first appeared in the BlueSky blog for Terrapinn ahead of the World Low Cost Airline Congress held in September 2013 There’s no doubt that […]

The Omni-Channel Experience, shaken or stirred: right concept, wrong name?

Any time, any place anywhere – it’s the right one.  Who knew that the now decades-old yet iconic Martini ad campaign was forming the basis of what is now tagged […]

The Customer Experience message; a victim of its own success?

Over 23 million variations on a theme.  At least, that’s how many links you’ve access to if you put “Definition of customer experience” into Google.   There are only 3 million […]

The Circular Economy and the Customer Experience

The world is full of great ideas the size of a planet but unfortunately, that’s how most of them stay – just ideas. For some time now though the Circular […]

Customer Experience surveys, metrics and a question of confidence

Far too often we see that organisations have a heavy, sometimes over-reliance on metric-based surveys.  In a way it’s understandable;  partly it’s about feeding the target-driven performance culture and partly it’s […]

Do we, and banks themselves, have the appetite to change current accounts?

The Post Office announced today that it is to launch a current account into the UK market, supplied by Bank of Ireland.  It will therefore go some way to allaying the Office of […]

Remove unintended barriers to the intended email Customer Experience.

It’s an inconvenient truth that in promoting the use of email as a contact method, it is surprisingly easy to leave the wrong message. I’m not talking about the content here, […]

The feedback on Customer Experience feedback

The process of gathering the right, usable customer feedback needs to be treated every bit as much as any other key touchpoint in the Customer Experience journey. At a time […]

Customers et al. It’s their experience too…

More often than not the Customer Experience spotlight lands directly on the person who is buying, the patient who is being treated or the customer who is complaining. It means […]

The (not-so subtle) differences between Customer Experience and Customer Service

You can see it in job titles, department names and in strategic planning sessions;  the terms Customer Experience and Customer Service are used liberally and are freely interchangeable.  Not surprising then, why I’m […]

We’re only human; the Social Care experience should acknowledge that.

The Children and Families Bill:  will it be enough of the right help, or just ‘help’ ? If you were the CEO of an organisation whose latest customer research showed […]

What happened to our Brand? It dropped through the gap between Customer Service and Customer Experience…

Which has the bigger impact on the bottom-line:  ticking the boxes for slick customer service or having customers feel and behave as you intended? There’s nothing new in saying Customer Service isn’t […]

The emotive price of “Wow!!” vs “What??”

Low headline prices.  It’s a familiar scenario in many industries, forced on companies trying to prise open the gap between revenue and costs by generating greater volume and more loyalty than their competitive […]

Q: The difference between Customer Service and Customer Experience? A: Emotion-driven behaviour.

We’ve all seen “Customer Service” and “Customer Experience” labels freely interchangeable in role descriptions, job titles and team functions.  They are seen as one and the same thing. Does it matter? After […]

Four (and a half) rules to measure Customer and Client Experiences

The good news is, there’s not much we can’t measure these days, whether it’s the mood of the nation or how fast the Universe is expanding.  And so when it comes to […]

How sport shows us to be better at customer journey mapping

Ok, where do we start?  There’s no doubt that done properly, customer journey mapping provides rich insights into what it’s really like to have a customer or client experience and what […]

Customer Experience needs to ask: “What’s the real impact of this change on our customers, now and long-term?”

The headline says “United Drops Early Boarding For Families”. I’m happy to be corrected but, as Vivian, Julia Roberts’ character in Pretty Woman said: “Big mistake.  BIG.  HUGE!  I have […]

Customer Experience says: If I leave, don’t slam the door. Leave it open so I can come back.

Funny things, relationships. For most organisations, that “relationship” has the same attributes, strengths and challenges as our own personal liaisons.   There is of course a mutual benefit, but put a customer’s hat on […]

Customer Experience: in-house teams must lead by example

The first rule of Customer Experience?  Understand what it’s really like to be a customer. Really understand. Not just “What is your score for customer satisfaction?” but more along the lines […]

Oh No! What have we done? The unintentional barriers to building great Customer Experiences

Another episode this week from the soap-opera that could go by the title of “Customer Service – Yes;  Customer Experience – umm….”. Think of the time and effort that companies […]

Customer Experience: listen to the silence of the customer

If ever there was a statistic to make us sit up and take notice, for me this is that stat:  “96% of customers who are unhappy don’t complain“.  96%! Frightening.  […]

Customer Experience: differentiate, yes, but don’t ignore the undifferentiated basics either

Epic voyages start with a small step, so they say.  Not, as some believe, a giant leap for glory.  They also say that the best things in life are free and […]

Customer Experience: plan for failure

Some people are in the wrong job. If you get into conversation with an airline pilot, you might ask such searching questions as:  “What’s it like to be entrusted with hundreds […]

Customer Experience: expectation vs examination

There’s a sign on the door of my local pharmacist that catches my eye every time I go past.  It reads: “In here, customers come first”. And why wouldn’t it?  The […]