Design, measure and improve your customer experience

  • Be unique and intentional about winning the hearts and minds of your customers

The experience you deliver to your customers is unique. Truth is no two companies, however identical their products and services are, deliver comparable experiences. Several factors underlie this assertion, such as the culture of the organisation, the production process, internal operations dynamics, customer segments, and a host of innumerable factors. Consider this example between Apple and Samsung.

Why does Apple put more people than they need into their stores? While other stores are interested in employing salespersons, Apple employs trained experts. You could walk into the nearest Apple store worried about your iPad not working, and walk out all smiles because the sales personnel treated you with respect and gave the problem their full attention. These salespersons are usually experts that know all the ins and outs of Apple products. What Apple cares about is providing a user experience that’s company-focused even if that means turning off a certain kind of consumer.

Samsung, on the other hand, wants to get its phones in the hands of as many consumers as possible. It is about allowing the consumer to choose the experience that is right for them. Samsung’s business model focuses on vertically integrating supply chains and ramping up production volumes. The brand is present in multiple markets, including flat panels, sensors, LED lights, batteries, gaming systems, cameras, TVs, appliances, cellphone carriers, tablets, smartphones, and even medical electronics.

According to recent online reviews both Apple and Samsung lead the way in terms of hardware, and different ways. Often, Samsung is more prone to experiment while Apple tends to prioritise software as much as hardware, and develop both together. Each brand adopts a different approach with its ups and downs. And each approach has resulted in tremendous global success for both companies!

How do we, therefore, leverage customer service to deliver superior experiences leading to positive outcomes in business performance? Here are a few critical factors to consider when pursuing this course of action.

First, note the relationship between your Customer Experience and Business Performance. Second, be deliberate about your Customer Experience Planning process. Third, use your Employee Journey Map to Drive your connection to the Customer Journey. Fourth, run Experience Workshops to drive awareness, and fifth, measure your Customer Experience regularly.

Customer experience and business performance

According to research evidence, there is a correlation between customer experience and business performance. Studies by Forbes, the Global Media Company, have revealed that 82 percent of people have stopped doing business with a company due to a bad experience. And 95 percent have taken some actions as a result of a bad experience, including the nearly 80 percent of unhappy customers who tell others about their experience. Furthermore, where customer experience is rated high, the stock markets are similarly high and vice versa.

We live in an era where product offerings are largely closer to parity and more easily imitated globally. For example, the Lexus 2008 LS hybrid displays a sleek shape with elegant styling with an unmistakable resemblance to the Mercedes S-Class, raising a few eyebrows. That Lexus, a number-one luxury brand in the United States, has set its sights on competing with European luxury passenger car brands like Mercedes and BMW is no secret.

This comparison is mirrored in a plethora of products and markets. According to a study of the cumulative total stock returns for the top 10 and bottom 10 publicly traded companies in Forrester Research’s Customer Experience Index, stock prices for the portfolio of CX leaders (the top 10) outperformed the portfolio of CX laggards (the bottom 10) over the period 2007 to 2014. Therefore, by improving customer satisfaction and loyalty measurements, and tying compensation to customer loyalty and retention goals, you are creating a customer-obsessed corporate culture.

Customer experience planning process

Note these value propositions: your customers will pay more for a better experience, and delivering a poor experience will cost you more. Additionally, by improving the delivery of your experience, you will be impacting positively on both sides of the balance sheet. The way forward if you want to be intentional about your customer experience is to build a consensus at the leadership level. Ensure that your mission, vision and values connect to your customer experience. The popular axiom by John Maxwell is our guide here. “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” The success (or failure) of your customer experience falls squarely at the feet of leadership.

Professor Eddie Obeng of Pentacle, UK, coined the term Lead+a+ship to emphasise the pivotal role of leadership in any pursuit. Not leading effectively leads to mis-leading, according to him. Singapore’s immaculate infrastructure and obsession with efficient governance are attributable to the great leadership of Lee Kwan Yu.  He declared famously that governing Singapore was not a game of cards. His determination to move that country forward was unparalleled. Here in Ghana, we reminisce the leadership and vision of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and celebrate his pioneering efforts. Here are some key questions to ask when planning an experience agenda.

What is our current state of maturity in terms of our customer experience capability? Where do we believe we need to get to in terms of customer experience capability to deliver on our business plan? Are we clear on what customer experience we want to deliver? Leading the transformation to a customer-centric organisation requires a reasonable degree of patience. Alan Pennington, CX expert and writer, recommends the implementation of customer experience change in 100s and then 1000s of tiny changes.

Chunking change into manageable chunks gives you better control. Leaders must influence this process through the establishment by taking ownership. Good customer experience management strengthens brand experience through differentiated experiences. The goal is to “under-promise and over-deliver”. Leadership must build this thinking into the planning and other related processes to keep everyone aligned with the customer journey.

The employee journey map

To be successful in any customer experience activity or initiative, you need top-down support and bottom-up action. We must keenly take ownership of projects or programmes, and influence thinking of shared responsibilities. Never consider a task as someone else’s issue. The journey map must be seen and related to by every member of the organisation. Years ago, on visiting Singapore, we arrived there on a Sunday and had no arrival party at the airport as the facilitating ministry, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was expecting us on a weekday.

We were stranded. We walked over to one of the service desks to see if we could get any help. They asked us if we knew which ministry was facilitating our programme, and we gave them the information. We were then asked to wander around while the desk officer checked with the ministry for us. A few minutes later they called us and linked us to a security officer who indicated to us that the office was closed; however, he knew who to call so he made us wait another 20 minutes or so. Eventually, we got the call from the lady in charge, and voilà, everything was sorted.

The lesson here was simple, the security officer was sufficiently informed and so could signpost us to the right person. Good employee experience ultimately influences the delivery of excellent customer experience. This comes from awareness of the customer experience through training and mentoring programmes. This way, you deliver standard experiences across all your journey touchpoints. Being intentional about your customer experience very significantly affects your customer satisfaction index.

Experience improvement workshops

Building capacity will enhance your experience agenda very significantly. When you are deliberate about the customer experience, you ensure that every encounter with the customer is a learning opportunity. Capture moments of truth to share with your teams, as well as data and feedback as these will form part of the curriculum for your internal training. Run workshops with the information gathered to keep everyone abreast with customers’ issues.

These workshops should be non-academic, make them fun by using videos, role plays and group work to keep the sessions lively and widely participatory. It bodes well for teams when employees have an awareness of what to do in a moment of truth situation. Last week, I had a personal encounter of an experience with an ECG Call Centre staff. When my mobile App failed to top up even though the transaction had gone through, and it was Saturday; I spoke to this pleasant lady who sensed my desperation and in a friendly tone talked me through an alternative process to top up the metre.

A scenario like this would serve a good purpose if shared with the rest of the team. So key issues such as journey mapping, persona definition and surveys can all be simplified and used to train to bring customer issues home to every Tom, Dick and Harry. Create narratives that tell the story of the experience in the customer’s own words to highlight how the customer feels during the journey across your touchpoints.


Our world today acknowledges customer empowerment as a consequence of the changing service landscape. In response to this, we must provide memorable shopping experiences to retain and attract new customers. When customers decide to shop with us, they expect to enjoy experiencing cognitive, affective, social, and physical responses evoked by our unique service quality.

There are several methods and tools that you can adopt based on your unique requirements. A few examples are calculating the Net Promoter Score (NPS). It is a metric used in customer experience programmes to measure the loyalty of customers to a company. Subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters yields the Net Promoter Score, which can range from a low of -100 (if every customer is a Detractor) to a high of 100 (if every customer is a Promoter).

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) is for determining satisfaction levels. It measures happiness with a product, service or support interaction through a customer satisfaction survey that asks: “How satisfied were you with our company?” Satisfaction levels are favourable when they measure from 25 percent upward, the average threshold across the industry is 15 percent. There are a few more that we can explore depending on our context. These include analysing customer journey analytics, determining customer churn rates, and the percentage of customers that stopped using your company’s product or service during a certain time frame.

Being intentional about your customer experience has very rewarding prospects for your business.

Customer Experience Professionals Ghana Presents the Annual Customer Experience Professionals Ghana Conference, a cross-industry meeting place bringing together over 300 global thought leaders, professionals and innovative solution providers in Ghana.

 The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Accelerating Growth through Customer Experience: The Case of Organisations and Industries.” 

 Date: Thursday, 6th October, 2022

Time: 09:00 a.m.

Venue: Labadi Beach Hotel, Accra, Ghana.

 Contact 0552760129, email: [email protected], online:

The Writer is a Management Consultant (Change and Customer Experience). He can be reached on 059 175 7205, [email protected],

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