Your Customer is the Strategy


We’ve been picking up a vibe of frustration as well as a tinge of fear about a backward slide in customer experience. Is this another “COVID-19”-infused reality? Who’s to say. The recently released Forrester 2022 CX Index found that 20% of brands are seeing a drop in CX quality, and at Forrester’s recent CX North America conference, the opening keynote conjured up the metaphor of “potholes” and how CX leaders are unfortunately consumed with the pesky operational basics that don’t allow them to get anywhere near “surprise and delight.” The free cookie that wasn’t available to a loyal customer who earned it. The leggings delivered in the wrong size. Favorite menu items disappearing. Brands not understanding the value of their friction points and a lack of resources to manage.

The horror stories abound, and it might be cathartic and possibly instructive to invite everyone to the CX Therapy Couch and unload your “face palm” moments. 8 out of 10 delivery people sneak food from your order en route…seriously?! While it is tempting to share the disappointing misses, we are optimists at heart, and can see a lot of meaningful advances. For example, Apple’s announcement stating the new message feature coming soon that will allow users to edit conversations after sending messages, or recall the messages entirely. Talk about a game-changing feature. No…scrap that…talk about a life-changing feature! CX is a beautiful thing! With features like this, there is no doubt countless relationships, marriages, and jobs will be saved as a direct result.

The havoc of the global supply chain and workforce issues are clearly testing CX delivery just as we were all making critical strides to engage normalcy again. However, the fact remains: Building meaningful bonds with your customers, is the single most important key to growth.

Three ways to provide the very best customer experience.

Three ways to provide the very best customer experience.

1. Embrace customer-centricity.

The labor shortages and workforce issues are bringing what Bond has always believed into sharp relief: The very best CX is built on a “both sides of the counter” strategy. The employee experience and your delivery channels are essential to bringing forth a competitively distinctive customer experience. At the Forrester CX conference, Bond’s Morana Bakula and Ford’s Global Director of CX, Jason Sprawka, discussed the huge strides in elevated experiences through enabling the Ford Global Retail Network. While elevating these experiences, Ford’s focus is to embrace customer-centricity and treat customers like family. The result of such a driven mindset is an “always-on” relationship strategy that drives growth.

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features highlights from The Loyalty Report 2022.

2. Create external values alignment with your customers.

Brand and purpose are also getting attention and being reinforced in the hard data. At the Forrester conference, Bond’s Maegan O’Neill shared insights from The Loyalty Report 2022 that we produce in partnership with Visa. Findings indicate that 79%–80% of consumers are willing to pay more to do business with brands/companies that support a social cause(s) and an environmental cause(s), respectively, and in addition, Maegan outlined how time is a “super enabler,” citing growth-generating efforts from Delta/Shangri-La and Nike membership program benefits.

TLR 2022 reveals that nearly half of Americans are willing to pay more to do business with brands that support social/environmental causes.

3. Tune into customer expectations.

Finally, in another positive trend, we’re seeing signs that marketers’ and members’ relationship expectations are more closely aligned than in years past. Consumers perceive brand loyalty by: 

  • Knowing me 
  • Customer Service Feeling
  • Part of a Community

Brands like Lululemon and Adidas are responding by upping the ante, through providing exclusive experiences, to emphasize that they know their customers, by integrating next-level personalization into the experience(s).

CX is consistently changing and improving.

For those with customers at the center of their strategy, who understand the critical role of employees in delivering that strategy and the power of purpose in aligning those two, growth is happening. Growth for their brands, their people, their consumers, and the communities they serve.

There may be a reckoning ahead for those who don’t have a true customer-centric strategy, and growth will belong to those who do. Let’s inspire more of them (and all of us!) to get there. Who is getting it right and what are you seeing in your industry?