Adrian Swinscoe is a CX blogger and Forbes contributor, who has been consulting and coaching entrepreneurs & executives on business strategy, customer experience strategy, customer insight, marketing and business development for the last 20 years.
Hi Adrian, can you tell us how you got into CX and why you find the space so interesting?
I’ve always been interested in developing new products and services that solve customer problems or enhance their experience. However, my journey, into the world of service and experience specifically started back in 2009 when I started writing a blog as a way of exploring some new ideas and sharing some thinking.
The thing that I find interesting about the CX space is that there is so much going on, that things are developing all of the time and there are so many ways that an organisation can approach how they can improve their overall CX. However, that can present a challenge for many organisations as they can get paralysed by the amount of choice and options they are presented with. And, that’s where I tend to end up helping…..helping my audience and clients sift through the noise as much as possible.
Recently we’ve seen a massive increase in the importance of CX – why do you think that is?
Competition. It’s no longer enough to say that you’ll be able to compete by making/delivering something that is bigger, faster, cheaper or better. Increased competition is increasingly blurring the lines between many products and services. As a result, more and more firms are competing based on the service/experience they offer. Great service and great experience stands out, gets remembered and is talked about. Great service and great experience is a differentiator.
What do you think will be the main CX trends this year?
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of trends and predictions. However, what I’d like to see more of this year is organisations to focus on the basics before the frills. Service, loyalty, engagement and advocacy will not happen in the future if we don’t focus on the present. That means making things easier, smoother, more joined up and more proactive here and now.
What’s the best piece of advice you can give a business trying to improve their customer experience?
Identify and solve the little complaints/problems/annoyances that your customers have but they don’t tell you about. However, whilst they may not be telling you about them they will be telling all of their friends and family about them (not necessarily on social channels but in private) and it will drive what they think about you and how they will interact with you in future.
How important is customer feedback as a component of customer experience?
Essential. How else can companies learn about what is going well and what is not.
Which CX metrics do you think are the most important?
In my opinion, that will largely depend on your situation, what you want to measure and what you want to accomplish.
Who do you think needs to own CX in a company?
Everyone. Experience encompasses everything that a company does from the way that they answer the phone, to how they sell their products/services, to their payment procedures, to their marketing campaigns, to their deliveries, to their customer support and so on and so forth and all the way through to how they recruit, manage and develop their employees.
Therefore, it concerns me a little when I see some organisations building or setting up CX departments. Therefore, given the above, there’s a possibility that they may not be looking at CX broadly enough and, as a result, their efforts may not have as big of an impact as they might like.
Which companies today do you think have great CX? Why?
There are the usual suspects that are easy to name…Amazon, Zappos, John Lewis, Virgin Airlines etc. What makes them stand out is that they are continually and incrementally innovating but pay just as much attention to their existing customers as they do to attracting new customers. However, whilst these examples are interesting they are not always useful as innovation and improvement is relative and contextual. Therefore, what I find more useful and inspiring are stories of other, lesser known companies that are innovating in their own small and unique way and, in doing so, are creating more meaning and engagement with their customers and leading their own part of their market in their own way.
Adrian Swinscoe has a new book out entitled How To Wow: 68 Effortless Ways To Make Every Customer Experience Amazing. Rather than a one size fits all approach, the book is full of practical tips, inspiring insights and interviews with a wide range of leaders and entrepreneurs. Covering both the customer and business side of the equation, How To Wow will help you learn how to attract new customers, design a leading customer experience and quickly resolve a wide range of problems, plus much more.
You can order your copy here.