5 Insights to Help Improve the Customer Experience

Posted by Joanne Morrison, Director of Marketing, HGS Canada

DCX From customer journey mapping, analytics, communities, and content marketing to mobile strategies, usability, and self-service, the Digital Customer Experience Strategies Summit in New York City September 24 and 25 was a valuable forum for education and networking. In speaking with conference attendees, it was clear just about everyone had developed their own shortlist of favourite insights and kernels of inspiration but the following five takeaways were those that resonated most for me.

  1. Focus on helping, not selling. Scott Linabarger, Cleveland Clinic’s Senior Director, Multi-Channel Content Marketing dazzled the audience with a content marketing strategy that’s making the Cleveland Clinic the go-to source for just about everyone’s health questions while dramatically raising brand awareness. To support content marketing efforts, Linabarger recommended Chartbeat to monitor the time and attention your digital content is garnering on the web. He also recommended Atomic Reach to optimize content and identify opportunities for improvements by scoring your content on a number of predictive success factors.
  2. Complexity is easy, simplicity is hard. If you’re meeting customer expectations it’s because you’re removing complexity. Great customer service is about making transactions quick and easy for consumers. According to Siegel+Gale’s 3rd annual Global Brand Simplicity Index, released in October 2012, 80% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand that offers a simpler experience.
  3. Art conveys the impression of a premium brand. Glen Drummond, Chief Innovation Officer at Quarry emphasized that digital customer experience strategy should not be exclusively utilitarian. Aesthetics in the design of digital platforms is also part of the experience and can support personalizing the impersonal, while humanizing the technical.
  4. Complaining customers equal free labour. As part of our “Compliments and Complaints” solutions at HGS, we often educate our clients about the inherent opportunities provided by negative consumer feedback. Renee Racine-Kinnear, Director, Digital Customer Experience at takes the idea a step further by advocating for treating customers as co-creators in the success of your brand.’s Ideagora allows customers to provide ideas that very frequently turn into real solutions resulting in a brand that evolves along with its customers. Re-framing the way brands view complaints, taking them from annoying interruptions to valuable, free-of-charge critique, is a progressive and positive way to view the relationship between brand and consumer.
  5. Consumers overwhelmingly prefer to self-serve. HGS’s own Chris Lord, Senior Vice President, Global Growth Strategy and Marketing, highlighted a thought-provoking statistic. 90% of consumers always check a company’s website before emailing or calling. This behaviour pattern has profound implications for the future balance of voice versus self-service. It also tells us that the trend toward self-service is as much about improving the customer experience and meeting customers in their channel of choice as it is about cost reduction.

What are your favourite customer experience insights? Please share them in the comments!