Lessons from the GB cycling team for all in customer experience?


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Chris Hoy
Creative Commons License photo credit: Tompy

Maz Iqbal over at The Customer Blog has started to question the use of the label ‘customer experience’ in a recent post: Why do only a handful of companies excel at cultivating customer loyalty? I agree. It’s a badge that gets thrown around way too much.

Here’s some comments on the GB cycling teams efforts in the recent world championships that I saw recently that made me think about the ‘badging’ up of many customer experience efforts.

The comments via an interview on the BBC come from Dave Brailsford, who oversees Britain’s road racers alongside pro cycling’s Team Sky and GB’s successful track cycling programme. On the team’s performance over the championship he said:

“If you dare to set high expectations and work hard enough, most of the time you get there in my experience”

Arguably, the biggest success in the championship was Mark Cavendish winning the world championship in the senior mens race. A victory that has not been accomplished by a UK rider for 46 years. Tom Simpson was the UK’s last cycling world champion back in 1965.

I watched the race enthralled at how they operated as a team and executed their plan.

However, it was the back story to this victory that really interested me and was what Brailsford was alluding to.

Their victory was 3 years in the making. They had been planning for this event ever since the location and course were announced 3 years ago as they knew that it offered them and the team their best chance of success.

Their preparation was meticulous, their plans were very public, everyone knew what they were going to do and everyone tried to stop them doing it. But, the GB team controlled the race and executed their plan beautifully. And now the UK for the first time in 46 years has a cycling world champion in Mark Cavendish.

The lesson here for me in the customer experience arena is this:

  • Some firms just talk about customer experience and then fail to deliver;
  • Some firms don’t talk about it and just deliver;
  • But, it seems to me that the leaders in most things, especially in the area of delivering a great customer experience, don’t really talk about it they just seem to set high targets and expectations and then deliver

Think about some of the leaders: First Direct, John Lewis, Apple, ??, ??

Time for less talk?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adrian Swinscoe
Adrian Swinscoe brings over 25 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies.


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