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CXcellence: 3 Companies Customers Love

In a competitive business climate that increasingly revolves around customer experience (CX), there is much to be learned from companies who have made a name for themselves based on quality of customer service. Below is an overview of some of the most prominent industry leaders and what makes them excel.

USAA: Maintaining trust through technology

In 2015, Forrester published its annual Customer Experience Index, a survey of nearly 46,000 consumers. USAA is one of the highest ranking companies in terms of customer experience, and has maintained this reputation for years. The Index indicates that over half of USAA customers are “highly engaged.” Just to compare: AAA, the next highest ranking insurance company, can only call 34.7% of its insurance customers “highly engaged.”

One of the things USAA excels at is maintaining trust. When asked if their insurance company was “always there when I need them,” 45% of USAA customers strongly agreed, compared to a 28% score for insurance companies in general. What gives USAA their cutting edge is the way they have implemented this trust factor into their technology. As USAA has no walk-in locations, the fact that their customers deem them “easy to do business with” is mostly due to the way they use technology. USAA makes it a point to only implement technology that has been demonstrated to improve member experience.

A good example is the Deposit@Mobile® technology, which lets customers take a picture of their check and immediately (and securely) deposit it into their USAA account. While this functionality is no longer unique to USAA, it still shows a commitment to a modern and responsive customer experience. As Greg Schwartz, former CIO, put it: “Whatever devices the members have, we’re going to be there for them.”

Ally Bank: Approachability is key

Ally Bank is another company that scores high on the Forrester CX Index. Compared to the traditional banking industry, this all-digital bank’s customers give it a higher than average score on all three aspects of customer experience quality: effectiveness, ease, and emotions. Nearly 75% of customers would recommend the company to a family member or friend.

What sets Ally Bank apart from many other banks is their direct approach to banking. They have no minimum deposits and no monthly maintenance fees, but do provide 24/7 live customer service. They not only offer a wide range of services, but also terms varying from three months to five years on most of their financial products. Prioritizing accessibility and service makes Ally Bank approachable to nearly everybody, from the most modest saver to the biggest spender.

Amazon: Customer obsessed
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: "Our focus is on customer obsession, not competitor obsession."

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: “Our focus is on customer obsession, not competitor obsession.”

It’s not surprising that a company that was recently inducted into the Customer Service Hall of Fame, and found to be one of the most relevant brands to U.S. consumers in the 2016 Forbes Brand Relevance Index, would spend a lot of its effort improving CX. For Amazon, it’s all about the customer. Or, as founder Jeff Bezos puts it: “Our focus is on customer obsession rather than competitor obsession.”

This obsession with the customer and his or her needs translates into Amazon’s uniquely tailored services. The Prime membership – providing free shipping to loyal customers, among many other extras – is already a household name. More recent innovations include the in-home wireless speaker Echo and its voice-activated service Alexa. As Alexa’s artificial intelligence learns more about customers’ preferences, she is able to provide a personal experience that makes them feel heard and understood – while simultaneously influencing their shopping behavior.

These three businesses have all found successful ways to put their customers first – and reap the benefits. Remember: while customer experience is evolving, there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel. Pay attention to what your peers and other industry leaders are doing, and invest in Voice of the Customer solutions, to fuel continuous improvement for your customers.


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