The future of customer experience revealed

The future of profitable business for big brands is in real-time, direct engagement with consumers. That was one of the key take-outs from The Future of Customer Experience, an event hosted by Rapide, the Moments of Truth Company.


More than 50 brands and customer insight professionals gathered at the IOD to discuss the issue that really matters in today’s economic climate. In the era of the customer – where never before has customer perception mattered so much in helping brands to differentiate themselves from their competitors – how can you turn feedback into actionable ways to improve your business?


The event was attended by some of the most well-known brands in the UK – such as McDonalds, Virgin Active, Waterstones and Barclays – and proved to be a very useful basis for helping companies to improve their customer engagement strategies and business profitability.


Angie Main, Head of Customer Campaigns and Tools at Barclays, commented: “One of the key challenges for financial institutions is to make banking really relevant to existing and emerging needs. Customers want ease and convenience, but above all efficiency – the issue of security and trust is key. Every piece of insight you’ll see says that customers want to be treated as individuals, that’s quite a challenge in itself. I found the event really useful. It was a great reminder that feedback is great but acting on it is more important.”


Shirley Wilson-Brown, Head of Member Insight & Member Relations for Virgin Active, added: “No matter how amazing your customer experience programmes are, there is always something you think of which could be tweaked or fine tuned to take it to the next level.  The Future of Customer Experience reminded me of the importance of remembering all your customers, not just one particular segment. Perhaps the most useful learning was to ensure you have every option covered to give customers an opportunity to feedback.”


The Future of Customer Experience focused around maximising the opportunity that real-time conversations hold for retaining and developing customer relationships and creating true advocacy. Insights were shared from some of the big names in business, including Forrester Research Inc, the Mobile Marketing Association and Atos, the international IT services company.


Nigel Shanahan, MD of Rapide also shared his views on the future of engaging with customers. He said: “70% of customer defection is down to customer experience, not product or price. That’s why it is so important to understand what consumers want and to identify when their Moments of Truth are – those points in the customer journey when people are really engaged with a brand and are more likely to feedback. This provides a real opportunity for improving customer relationships and actually creating brand advocates. The future of customer experience really is in real-time communication.”


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