Darcy Mekis

Senior Social Media Manager

The great thing about going to a valuable conferences is that you walk away feeling inspired and energized. When you return to work you’re ready to apply a new lens to your craft and put the insights into action. Experience Europe was no different, and there were so many great learnings we want to share. Here are our key takeaways from the event.
1. We don’t just compete with our competitors, but with every great experience out there
Brian Solis, Analyst and Futurist at Altimeter showered us with tons of great nuggets of information and inspiration during his keynote. How we look at and compare ourselves to our competitors is probably not something that is re-imagined all that often. With all the noise out there, all the amazing technology and customers more connected than ever, the days of only having to worry about your competitors are gone. The customer experience you provide is the key differentiator you can control to make a lasting impression.

2. Your CX strategy needs to be adjusted to account for Generation Z
I know that it may seem like we are still trying to figure out Millennials, but generation Z is another group of young people who are becoming a large part of today’s marketplace. By 2020, they will account for 36% of the adult population (Medallia Institute Research), which equates to $1.4 trillion dollars in spending power. To catch their attention, you will need to atomize experiences, create and show immediate value, be relevant in the moment and take advantage of their willingness to provide feedback.
3. Retail isn’t dead, but it needs to get more creative in order to meet customer needs
According to Rachel Lund, Head of Insights and Analytics at British Retail Consortium, having physical retail stores is still important for very specific shopping needs, including: last minute, planned and specific, holistic research, exploration and leisure and entertainment. But some stores are getting innovative when thinking about brick and mortar locations to serve their customers and cut down on costs. Some companies are offering locations that act strictly as show rooms or have no stock rooms, others are creating a community around their locations focused on the common hobby that their customers love.

4. There’s a disconnect between what companies are delivering and what customers want
Brian Solis also focused on the need for the customer journey to be re-imagined, for us to take a step back and think about what the customer actually needs and wants. Everyone hates call centers, yet it’s one of the main ways a lot of companies interact with their customers. Brian reminded us that “experiences become memories…good or bad,” which gives us more power than we think.
5. Keeping your CX program energized is key to success
But how do you keep your CX program energized? When a company is 186 years old, has 55 million customers across 60 countries, they have a gold mine of learnings from their CX program. Generali’s CMO, Isabelle Conner, told their story by inviting some of their CX leaders to the stage during her keynote. They talked about setting clear goals for the organization, incentive programs to keep employees engaged and taking the time to call back every detractor.

6. Machine learning + human learning is the future
Text Analytics was a hot topic over the course of the event. The sessions focused on this technology were packed and everyone wanted to hear about the latest and greatest features. At Experience we announced improvements that our customers can now harness from TA, learn more here.
7. Be sure to celebrate small wins
This is a theme that I heard from many CX leaders throughout the conference. Creating and maintaining a customer experience program is a long journey full of ups and downs. It’s important to map out milestones and celebrate your progress as you elevate your program.
Want even more key takeaways? Find more here. And stay tuned for details on next year’s Experience — May 15-16, 2018 in Long Beach California.