Apples and Oranges: Why Your CX Program Needs to Be Different


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Customer loyalty isn’t the same in every industry. The biggest overall differentiators are the length of the customer life cycle, the number and frequency of interactions and the emotional engagement in every buying event.

For example, in the automotive industry, on average, a new car is bought every four years and for some customers, a purchase of a new car comes emotionally close to the birth of a child (I have seen people crying when they got their new car delivered!). In the high-street retail business on the contrary, someone might buy from a supermarket every day and might just spend a few minutes in the shop – hardly remembering it the next day (I haven’t seen someone crying when they bought spaghetti). This presents varying risks and opportunities to keep customers loyal. Automotive brands need to be far more proactive in their relationship management in order to stay connected with their customers. They need to actively create touchpoints along their customer’s lifecycle. They need to check their temperature, keep a dialogue going and identify risks and opportunities before it is too late.

Retailers such as supermarkets need to ensure that experiences that they provide are rock solid at every single transaction, every day – particularly because barriers to change are extremely low with an Aldi, Sainsbury’s or Walmart around every corner and the actual products being literally the same in the shop next door and likely cheaper online.

Creating a Great Customer Experience

Providing a great customer experience therefore differs from industry to industry – and needs to be tackled accordingly.

All industries have in common that one of the biggest drivers of loyalty is and will always be a great customer experience. There is no doubt that happy customers are more likely to buy again, they buy more, more often and are less price sensitive – and they spread the word, i.e. help grow the customer base for every company.

When you set-up an effective CX program, make sure to learn from other industries. But don’t simply copy an approach. Your industry is different and your company is hopefully somehow differentiated within your industry. And so should your organization’s brand experience positively differentiate from that of your direct competitors. Understand all touchpoints you have with your customers along their journey with you. Create your marketing and CX strategies specific to each touchpoint on the journey map. And make each interaction individually relevant to each customer.

To do so, synthesize all customer data available throughout your company:

  • Use customer feedback to understand how your customers tick
  • Extrapolate from the analysis and conclusions drawn from those customers who gave feedback to the silent crowd
  • Predict and influence future behaviour of your entire customer base
  • Use best practice CX technology to make that happen

No doubt: When you properly understand how your brand is perceived, you can manage customer expectations. Turn each customer interaction into a great experience. Create memorable moments. If you do it right, you will make your CX program a key ingredient of a prosperous future growth path.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stephan Thun
As a strategic leader as CEO of MaritzCX Europe, Stephan Thun has brought disparate country organizations together to build an effective international machine. Using his innate entrepreneurial style, Stephan has delivered phenomenal results that result in unparalleled growth from the start. Stephan is a regular speaker on global industry events and has published dozens of articles related to the future of international business in research, marketing, and customer experience management.


  1. I’d submit that “different” is a table-stakes starting point, and so is addressing just the functional and tangible components of the experience. Too many companies stop here, and they often deliver experiences and programs that are bland, passive, and tactical. At a subconscious level, the experience needs to be positive and memorable, leading to desired downstream behavior such as advocacy and brand bonding.

  2. I’d like to add one more point: Difference for difference sake is not going to help. The experience needs to also match what the brand stands for – which is hopefully the same as the brand perception. To stay in your example: There is no point for Dacia to play a premium game as e.g. Audi does – or in the NZ food retail market: Fresh Choice (Progressive Enterprises) differs from Pak’n’Save (Foodstufs) in their value proposition.


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