‘Authenticity Fosters Customer Loyalty’

Sandra Radlovački

A panel of experts discusses what makes a difference in delivering a truly human experience

Industry Events
‘Authenticity Fosters Customer Loyalty’

In the sea of AI and automation solutions, adding a human touch to experiences often gets overlooked by CX professionals.

While AI-powered solutions help with handling the backend of customer interactions, they definitely have their limits when it comes to providing a truly human experience.

In an upcoming expert panel discussion, Claire Muscutt, Founder of Women in CX, welcomes:

  • Adi Tobias, Head of Customer Experience Strategy & Operations, Uber
  • Ellie Sutton, Senior Customer Experience Manager, Waitrose & Partners,
  • Alexandra Acosta, Athlete Experience Quantitative Analyst, Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Authenticity is one of the most valuable qualities customers look for in a brand. Staying true to themselves during times of uncertainty or following the same mission from the beginning is what sets brands apart.

Commenting on this, Alexandra Acosta, Athlete Experience Quantitative Analyst, Dick’s Sporting Goods, says: “One of the biggest things for us is engaging our customers, especially in the store space. For example, greeting a customer make all the difference but it has to be followed by something.

“We try to coach our staff to talk to customers, engage with them and shop with them if they want it.”

Following Acosta’s point, Ellie Sutton, Senior Customer Experience Manager, Waitrose & Partners, thinks that inauthenticity can cost brands hundreds of customers, especially as they now have so much choice.

She said: “If brands try to do something with no credentials to back that up, consumers will very quickly find that out and make their views known.”

When it comes to maintaining human touch in a platform-only business, Adi Tobias, Head of Customer Experience Strategy & Operations, Uber, believes there is often unnecessary complexity involved. She continues:

“In reality, we are humans with the ability to design for humans. It’s really that simple.

“Maintaining a human touch begins with marketing which is helpful to understand your customer base, their expectations, and the critical points in the customer journey.

“You have to be intentional about understanding customer segments.”

Creating a Community

The panel touches upon the topic of giving customers and employees specialised names so they feel like a part of a community. This further translates to a more human experience for both employees and customers.

Acosta elaborates on Dick’s ‘athletes’ and ‘teammates’ and why they are called that way. She says:

“As a specialised sporting goods store, we thought about a humanised approach to how we refer to customers who we call ‘athletes’, and employees who we call ‘teammates’.

“This creates a sense of camaraderie which is in line with our common purpose and that is to encourage people to go forth and try new sports.

“It’s really about creating memories with our customers.”

Similarly, Sutton mentions that Waitrose employees are called ‘partners’ which creates a feeling of belonging to something bigger.

“Because customers have such high expectations, we have to ensure that employee experience is great so employees can bring that feeling to life in the shops.

“Over the next few years, I believe that companies will need a clear strategy to deliver both CX and EX.”


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