What Customer-centered Industries Can Learn From One Another

By Paula Courtney, Chief Executive Officer.

It’s a never-ending battle for your customer’s business.

We need all the help we can get because in most cases, we’re playing catch up to meet our customers’ ever-changing expectations.

Don’t worry. You’re not alone. We can learn from others who have gone before us.

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to present and attend a Customer Experience conference focused on the Pharma Industry. While some of the specific nuances of the customer experience are unique to the pharma industry, there are many similarities when it comes to understanding and delivering a customer experience that will drive revenue growth. Based on our recent work with clients across industry verticals, we’ve compiled a list of 3 industries that have excelled in specific areas of the customer experience that will benefit us all as we continue to embark on this journey.


Trying to figure out value-based selling for customers? Learn how Pharma did it.


Described as the “generic competition paradox”, in certain circumstances the price of branded drugs can be increased when they come off patent, through a single-minded focus on key aspects of value delivery. Regardless of industry, we are all trying to adapt to our customer’ ever-rising expectations that surround the core product and service they are purchasing. Value will go far beyond the actual product features and benefits, to include all aspects of service, including delivery and consultancy advice. But in order to be able to sell on the value outside the core product or service offering, you must first have a deep understanding of the customer’s definition of value. What elements, like 2-day free shipping, are now considered standard in the minds of your customers? And which aspects are truly value-adding? Knowing the difference between these, and the order of prioritization is critical for your pricing strategy and thus your selling strategy because the sales representative will need to be able to sell this type of value in addition to the clinical evidence support that used to be enough.  The best place to start is by understanding what each customer sees as value and develop the right skill-sets within the sales team to drive a value-based selling strategy.


28,000 employees caring about the customer.


There’s been an ongoing debate across the Net Promoter community about whether to link NPS to management and front-line compensation. As with most good arguments, there is no clear right or wrong answer and we’re not here to persuade you one way or another. What we will tell you, is what we experienced when one of our clients decided to add customer loyalty metrics to their compensation structure. After years of working with our client on a VOC program, the leadership team felt it was time to take CX seriously – and not just at the leadership level, throughout all ranks of the organization. Almost immediately, the business units started to pay more attention to the VOC program. And not just pay attention – but ask questions. They really wanted to understand what was driving the results and how they could improve the outcomes. It was music to our ears. You hope for this enthusiasm to happen organically, and for some of the lucky ones, it does, but sometimes we need a little motivation to point us in the right direction. This client sent a strong message to the organization that will pay dividends in the years to come.


Retail banking leads the way in omnichannel excellence.


The benefits of optimizing omnichannel capabilities are ongoing and significant. One European bank that effectively combined digital and human channels to create a seamless omnichannel offering, at scale, saw consistent growth of as much as 20 percent over two to three years. Many other industries know the value that an omnichannel experience can provide but struggle to implement it due to a variety of reasons including old systems, lack of funding and data infrastructure to name a few. There are three capabilities that any company will need to develop in order to deliver an excellent omnichannel experience and realize the value to the business and to the customers being served:

Advanced analytics: banks have applied advanced analytics to the data generated by customer transactions and digital banking to increase the effectiveness of omnichannel sales. This has led to more precise targeting, resulting in an increase in sales productivity of as much as 40 percent.

Personalization across channels: One southern European bank built an omnichannel platform for credit card sales that can be interrupted and then completed through any channel. By allowing the customer to start an application online, continue it on their mobile device and complete it on the phone means it’s easy for the customer and results in higher rates of credit card applications for the bank.

Balancing human interaction with digital interaction: While almost 60 percent of active banking customers use digital channels, they only represent 25 percent of sales. This is a great reminder that you really must know your customers and how they want to interact at various points of the customer journey. They may want to browse, conduct research, check the status of their account online but when it comes to complex financial questions or decisions, they still want to speak with a person. Understanding and supporting this migration in the journey is critical to delivering a seamless experience.

These are just a few key insights we have witnessed over the past few months, meant to educate and inspire you. In the end, it all boils down to a common theme: you must know, listen and act on your customers best interests to build a sustainable business in today’s environment.