Forum highlights link between customer experience and business growth

Anton Legoo, courtesy, Ziba Design

Say you’re a company that has sold a product successfully for the past 100 years. The product is solid, and so is your market share. 

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Then along comes Amazon and close behind are a slew of startups invading your space. The new players have a laser focus on the customer, and their business plans focus on giving the customer exactly what they want — and when they want it.

What do you do?

Reverse the trends that define your industry, according to Jeanne Bliss.

ZibaCXSummit JeanBliss 02Photo: Anton Legoo, Ziba Design

Bliss was one of four experts who participated in a customer experience (CX) forum last week co-hosted by Ziba Design and Oregon Business.

The event, which included several presentations and a panel discussion, highlighted customer experience strategies for legacy companies facing competition from emerging business models.

A riff on customer service models, CX strategy unites everyone in the company, regardless of job description, around the customer.  No more silos: Everyone from janitor to CEO is encouraged to act on consumer wants and needs. 

Drawing on her book, “Would You Do That to Your Mother?” Bliss said companies need to connect emotionally with their customers, then “operationalize” that emotion. Empathy, humanity, love are all touchstones in the customer experience playbook. You have to be “high-touch and high-tech,” she said.


ZibaCXSummit Langdon

Photo: Anton Legoo, Ziba Design

Kristi Langdon, head of Customer Experience for Daimler Trucks North America, talked about guiding an early stage customer experience. She described what it was like getting employees who don’t usually think about empathy — e.g., engineers —  involved in CX initiatives. Leadership buy-in is crucial. Daimler’s CEO halted company operations for a day to tout the experience design turnaround.

ZibaCXSummit Caldwell

Anton Legoo, Ziba Design

In a presentation titled, “Don’t be Afraid to Fail,” Celika Caldwell, VP of experience design for AARP, said it was important for large organizations to think small and learn from incremental customer experience initiatives.

ZibaCXSummit Orner  Anton Legoo, Ziba Design

Wendy Orner, an associate design director for Procter & Gamble, discussed the importance of design in creating a successful customer experience.

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