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Customer experience: The Good, The Bad and the Downright Ugly

Written by on April 26th

Digital CX

Customer experience is fast becoming the critical metric for business. It can make or break relationships. Getting it wrong can set a business back months.

Millions of customers no longer base their loyalty on price or product; instead, they base it on their experience. A great customer experience strategy gives disruptors a considerable edge over the competition.
Here, we take a closer look at the battleground of customer experience, showing where organizations win and lose in the battle for brand loyalty and sales growth.

The Good

User experience starts with good customer journey design…duh.

Remember what it was like booking a cab? Calling some dodgy office? Waiting around? Schlepping off to an ATM? Losing your wallet and never being able to retrace the driver? 

Uber’s app removed the pain involved in getting a cab. Their approach in integrating the whole experience and providing valuable data directly to the user via their app was an absolute gamechanger.

Remember when the only choice in retail was bricks and mortar? Size not in the store? Store not open when you want it? Losing half your day to get a widget?

Amazon’s customer experience nailed in on removing shopping pain points. Consistently high in the Brand Relevance Index, customers frequently say that Amazon makes their lives easier, delivers a consistent experience, and is available whenever they need it.

Rent the Runway’s app was a gamechanger. Love something but don’t want to spend $1000 on that killer outfit you’ll wear twice? Love it, rent it, wear it, give it back. Repeat.

Why, when good is so obvious, is it so hard for every start-up to achieve? Here at Enshored, our data indicate that after app design, the number one feature that impacts brand satisfaction is the design and delivery of the CX journey.

The Bad

It should be straightforward, but it’s remarkable how many companies just can’t crack customer experience.

In their Future of CX report, PwC surveyed 15,000 consumers and found that 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience. At the same time, 92% would completely abandon a company after two or three negative interactions.

The Ugly

Once upon a time – if a customer had a bad experience, they had limited options in taking it wider than the offending company. Maybe a letter to the paper, senator, or talk show. Not any more.

Take, for example, the case of United Airlines, where one bad customer experience is said to have caused the company’s share price to fall by 10 percent and lose shareholders $180million.

When little-known Canadian country and western singer Dave Carroll boarded a United Airlines plane in 2008, he didn’t expect the airline’s baggage handlers to damage his $3,500 Taylor guitar badly. He subsequently spent nine months battling with the airline only to be met with complete indifference and be told that he was ineligible for compensation because he had failed to claim within its stipulated “standard 24-hour timeframe”. 

Out of sheer frustration, Carroll posted his now-infamous music video called ‘United Breaks Guitars. On day one, it hit 150,000 views, became the number one music video globally for a month, and has over 20 million hits on YouTube. 

Most importantly, it marked a turning point in customer experience. As Carroll explains, “There was a time in customer service where if you had a positive experience, you would tell three friends. If you had a negative experience, you would tell 14. Bad news always travels faster, but now things are off the rails.”

Carroll’s story should act as a warning not to overlook the small efforts needed to keep your business heading in the right direction.

How do you crack Customer Experience

App/platform UX is the foundation of your CX

Lousy UX drives increased CX costs. It’s not viable. You need to go back to the UX interface and design out complexity.

 It starts with people.

  • Hire people who care about customers and who want the power to fix problems
  • Hire people with the right values who respect customers’ concerns. It’s a privilege to get an insight into a customer’s experience with your service. Treating their issues with respect is not a differentiator – it’s table stakes.
  • Encourage empathy. Customers value brands that can operate from a place of compassion. Empathy plus empowerment is a gamechanger.

It’s scaled by the intelligent policy.

  • The best in class know what works – from advertising and hiring right through to complex ticket management. The scalers translate this into their Operating System and then optimize.

It’s underpinned by Social Values.

  • It’s fascinating that the companies who mistreat customers treat their teams similarly. Companies who know how to support and empower their people reflect the benefits in their customer experience.
  • The latest Edelman global trust survey shows that people want businesses to take the lead on Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance. Companies that demonstrate they care stand to gain a significant competitive advantage. 
  • The moral of the story – be committed, be relevant. It’s all connected.


Enshored builds and supports customized customer experience for digital CX.

Enshored is at the vanguard of professional customer management for disruptive start-ups.

We provide the people, the culture, the operating system for seamless omnichannel support. 


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