Customer experience

Customer experience examples: 15+ companies to learn from

AskNicely Team

As the landscape for service brands becomes increasingly competitive, companies that prioritize customer experience (CX) are the ones that stand out, and gain more repeat business and referrals than their competitors. Whether it's through personalized interactions, seamless service, or quick resolutions to feedback, it’s clear that the world’s best brands are mastering the art of quality customer service. But who are these companies, and what can we learn from them? Let’s take a look at 15 examples of brands known for delivering 5-star customer experiences, revealing lessons you can apply to your own business.

Ready to get inspired and enhance your customer experience strategy? Let’s dive in!

What is customer experience and why does it matter? 

Customer experience (CX) is the sum of all interactions a customer has with your business, from the initial point of contact through any post-purchase support. These experiences influence the perception customers have of your business as well as their levels of loyalty, satisfaction, and willingness to recommend the brand to others.

Key touchpoints that shape CX

Understanding and optimizing the various touchpoints in a customer's journey is essential for delivering a superior experience. The primary channels that contribute to CX before, during, and after a purchase include: 

  • Website: Your website is often the first point of contact for potential customers. An intuitive, user-friendly design with clear information can make a lasting first impression.

  • Mobile app:  A study by SEM Rush which analyzes the top 100 most visited websites in the U.S. found that mobile devices receive more website visits and unique website visitors than desktops. So a mobile site and app are increasingly more important for your brand.

  • Physical store: For businesses with a brick-and-mortar presence, the in-store experience can make or break the customer experience. Everything from store layout to customer service plays a role in shaping CX.

  • Frontline interactions: Whether online or offline, every interaction with your frontline team should be consistent, helpful, and aligned with your brand values.

  • Customer support: Efficient and empathetic customer support can turn a frustrating experience into a positive one, building trust and loyalty.

  • Marketing — including social media: Engaging and responsive social media presence, along with targeted marketing campaigns, helps keep customers informed and connected with your brand.

  • Loyalty programs: Rewarding repeat customers with exclusive offers and benefits can enhance their overall experience and encourage continued patronage.

  • Product updates and security patches: Keeping your products updated and secure ensures customers feel valued and protected.

  • Post-purchase support: Follow up with customers after you’ve delivered your service. Ask for feedback, and connect that feedback to your frontline teams so they can continue to learn about customer wants and needs. 

The impact of CX on business metrics

The importance of CX is underscored by its significant impact on key business metrics.  Companies that excel in customer experience see higher customer lifetime value, improved brand loyalty, and reduced churn rates. In fact, businesses with a strong focus on CX can achieve up to a 70% increase in revenue. 

Prioritizing CX leads to increased sales and profitability and fosters positive word-of-mouth marketing. Happy customers are more likely to share their experiences, bringing in new customers through organic growth. Plus, a strong CX management strategy provides a competitive advantage, differentiating your brand in a crowded market. 

15 examples of awesome customer experience brands 

We’ve chosen a variety of companies across different industries to highlight what awesome customer experience looks like in action. These examples illustrate how different businesses excel in CX, offering valuable lessons for any organization looking to enhance its customer experience. 

Ritz-Carlton Hotels

Ritz-Carlton is renowned for its luxury personalization, consistently remembering guest preferences and exceeding expectations. From personalized greetings to bespoke room amenities, their attention to detail creates a memorable and unique stay for every guest. In an exclusive presentation from the AskNicely Frontline Experience Summit, Co-Founder, Horst Schulze reveals his key to success: his frontline employees. “You the leaders don’t establish the reputation of your company. It’s every employee, every individual contact,” he says. You can read about Schulze’s top five employee engagement strategies here

Amazon

Amazon’s seamless online shopping experience sets the standard in e-commerce. Easy navigation, fast checkout, and a robust recommendation engine make shopping intuitive and convenient (two of the most important ingredients for awesome CX). The lesson here is to prioritize user-friendly design and leverage data to personalize the experience, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

JiffyLube 

Since day one, the Jiffy Lube approach has always been to focus on consistent customer experience, over a race to the bottom on prices or louder marketing. Forget “sell, sell, sell’, and think “experience, experience, experience”. JiffyLube uses AskNicely to capture real-time customer feedback, allowing them to continually improve their service. This commitment to listening and responding to customer needs has led to higher satisfaction and repeat business. 

Zappos

Zappos is famous for its exceptional customer service, with a focus on exceeding customer needs and fostering loyalty. Their commitment to a customer-first approach, including free returns and 24/7 customer support, showcases the impact of going above and beyond for customers. This example underscores the value of prioritizing instant customer communication to build lasting relationships.

Disney

Disney’s immersive and engaging brand experience is built on storytelling and creating lasting memories. From theme parks to customer service, every touchpoint is designed to be consistently magical. 

Former VP of the Magic Kingdom, Dan Cokererll says that Disney’s success is rooted in listening to his guests and his employees. Dan made a daily habit for himself called ‘Walk the Park”. No matter how busy his day looked, he would put aside one hour to walk through the Disney park. He would talk to employees and check in on how they’re doing, take pictures of frontline staff doing awesome work to share with their direct managers. He also used this walk to talk to guests and ask them how their day was and get their feedback. 

Through this, Dan gained invaluable insight into how his team was feeling, what customers loved the most, and least about their experience at Disney, and how he could improve the experience for all.

Apple

Apple's commitment to innovation extends beyond its products to its customer service. With a reputation for exceptional support and a seamless ecosystem, Apple ensures that every interaction with its brand is seamless. As one customer put it, "Apple's customer service is really amazing. THEY CARE ABOUT THEIR CUSTOMERS. They really try hard to find a solution to a problem and want the customer to leave the store with the issue resolved. Hopefully this great service spreads to other companies.” 

Warby Parker

Warby Parker offers a seamless online and offline integration, with virtual try-on tools, affordable pricing, and free home try-on. Their physical stores also focus on exceptional customer service, creating a cohesive and convenient shopping experience. This example highlights the importance of integrating digital and physical experiences to meet customer needs wherever they are.

Sephora

Sephora’s personalized beauty experience utilizes a loyalty program with personalized recommendations, beauty consultations, and in-store events. By creating a unique and engaging shopping experience, Sephora fosters strong customer loyalty. The customer-facing staff at Sephora stores are also known to be highly knowledgeable beauty gurus, building trust with their customers. The lesson to be learned from Sephora is to leverage personalization and interactive experiences to create a memorable and rewarding customer journey.

USAA

USAA provides exceptional customer service tailored for military families, with dedicated support representatives who understand their unique needs. This focus on personalized and empathetic service fosters trust and loyalty among their customer base. When we think about improving CX, we can often jump straight to numbers, metrics and formulas. The example of USAA reminds us of the importance of a human-centered approach to customer experience, and the importance of connecting frontline teams to their emotional why. 

LEGO

LEGO builds a lifelong connection with customers through a fun and interactive brand experience. Beyond the product, they engage customers with content, events, and a strong focus on community building. LEGO’s approach teaches the value of creating a comprehensive brand experience that goes beyond the product to build a lasting relationship with customers.

LegalZoom 

LegalZoom enhances the customer experience by using AskNicely to monitor and improve service interactions. By addressing issues promptly and understanding customer pain points, they ensure a smoother, more satisfying experience. This example underscores the value of continuous improvement and proactive (rather than reactive) customer service.

Starbucks

Starbucks creates a personalized and convenient customer experience through its mobile app, loyalty program, and efficient in-store interactions. Customers can order ahead, customize their drinks, and earn rewards, all of which streamline the process and enhance satisfaction. In an exclusive AskNicely interview, we asked Christine McHugh, VP of Customer Service, what her top tips for delivering awesome customer experiences are. She says: “One: Ask your customers! Both through large-scale data collection, as well as personal conversations, and two: Hang out on the frontline, your frontline teams know your customers better than anyone else. So, talk to them!”

Southwest Airlines 

Southwest Airlines has redefined the airline industry with its customer-centric approach and commitment to going the extra mile. In a story where an employee personally delivered a phone to a customer that had been left in the departure lounge, AskNicely co-founder notes; “I believe the manifestation of this airline's one-of-a-kind commitment to its customer on the tarmac was the result of what I'd describe as "unmuting the frontline," which is the seventh habit from our company's ebook. The habit is built around a central belief that so often, frontline employees are muted by policy or practices (i.e., "follow these rules"), with leadership neglecting to actively solicit their input to improve the customer experience.”

Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A's dedication to customer satisfaction is evident in its "second-mile service" philosophy, where employees strive to exceed expectations at every opportunity. Their friendly staff, efficient service, and delicious food have earned them a cult-like following. As one Chick-fil-A customer put it, "They have excellent service in every store I’ve been in!”

Colosseum Dental 

Colosseum Dental Group is known for providing exceptional patient experiences.  

Eddie Coyle, Chief Medical Officer at Colosseum Dental, uses the term ‘customers’ instead of ‘patients’ – recognizing their purchasing power, and understanding that with this purchasing power comes an increased need to focus on improving experience. Clinicians at each practice are equipped with live real-time feedback from their patients which helps them refine their service and meet patient needs every time. 

Key components of a great customer experience

While the specifics of a best-in-class customer experience can vary based on the company, audience, and channel, certain fundamental components are essential to elevating all customer experiences. Let's explore these key elements:

Personalization

Personalization involves tailoring the customer experience to meet the unique preferences and needs of each individual. By leveraging data to provide customized recommendations, offers, and interactions, businesses can make customers feel valued and understood, fostering loyalty and satisfaction.

Efficiency & convenience

Efficiency and convenience are crucial in today's fast-paced world. Customers expect seamless and quick interactions, whether it's navigating a website, completing a purchase, or accessing support. Streamlining processes and reducing friction points can significantly enhance the overall customer experience.

Proactive communication

Proactive communication means anticipating customer needs and addressing them before they become issues. By keeping customers informed and engaged through timely updates, notifications, and follow-ups, businesses can build trust and prevent potential frustrations.

Human connection

Despite advancements in technology, the human touch remains a vital component of a great customer experience. Empathy, active listening, and genuine interactions can create strong emotional connections, making customers feel appreciated and respected.

Exceed expectations

Exceeding expectations involves going above and beyond to surprise and delight customers. Whether it's through unexpected perks, exceptional service, or thoughtful gestures, surpassing customer expectations can leave a lasting positive impression and differentiate a brand from its competitors.

Best practice tips for improving customer experience

Improving customer experience (CX) can be challenging, with teams often grappling with understanding the customer journey, eliminating data silos, and training employees effectively. However, with the right tools and processes, any company can enhance their CX and drive better business outcomes. Here are some best practice tips:

Outline key stages of the customer journey

Understanding the customer journey is crucial for identifying touchpoints that need improvement. Mapping out key stages—from initial awareness to post-purchase support—helps businesses pinpoint where customers might encounter friction and develop strategies to enhance these interactions.

Gather feedback

Collecting feedback from customers is essential for understanding their needs and pain points. Regularly soliciting feedback through surveys, reviews, and direct interactions allows businesses to make informed decisions and continuously improve their CX.

Empower employees

Empowering employees to deliver exceptional service is a cornerstone of great CX. Providing them with the right training, resources, and autonomy to address customer issues can significantly enhance the overall experience. For more insights, check out the frontline coaching playbook. 

Omnichannel experience

An omnichannel approach ensures a seamless and consistent experience across all customer touchpoints, whether online or offline. By integrating various channels, businesses can provide a unified and convenient customer journey, enhancing satisfaction and loyalty.

Utilize technology

Leveraging technology like CRMs, chatbots, and customer experience software can streamline interactions and provide valuable insights. These tools help automate processes, personalize experiences, and gather data to improve CX. Learn more about customer experience software here. 

Measure & analyze

Regularly measuring and analyzing customer experience metrics, such as CSAT scores and net promoter score (NPS), is vital for tracking performance and identifying areas for improvement. These metrics provide a clear picture of customer satisfaction and loyalty. For a detailed guide on CX metrics, check out: Your guide to customer experience metrics.

By implementing these best practices, businesses can overcome common CX challenges and create a more satisfying and loyal customer base.

How can AskNicely help? 

AskNicely is an easy-to-use platform trusted by world-class organizations across various industries. It empowers businesses to elevate their customer experience with powerful tools designed to gather feedback, analyze data, respond to customers, and engage employees. Discover how AskNicely can transform your CX strategy by visiting our customers page.

Collect

With AskNicely, you can send customizable email, web, or SMS surveys to measure NPS, 5-Star, CSAT, or Customer Effort scores. This feature aligns with the tip of gathering feedback, enabling you to understand customer needs and pain points effectively. 

Assess

AskNicely offers a mission control center to measure and improve satisfaction and loyalty, making it easy to compare locations and branches to spot trends. The new AI theme analysis feature helps you act faster on customer feedback by identifying common themes and areas for improvement. 

Respond

AskNicely’s built-in response, escalation, and workflow management tools streamline how you address customer feedback. These tools support the proactive communication tip, ensuring that you can promptly and effectively respond to customer issues and needs.

Transform

AskNicely makes it easy to gamify customer service and support for frontline teams by providing them with a real-time view of their NPS/CSAT scores and offering tactical areas for improvement. This feature empowers employees, enhancing their ability to deliver exceptional service. 

Ready to elevate your customer experience? Book a demo with AskNicely today and discover how our platform can help your business thrive.

AskNicely Team
About the author

AskNicely Team

AskNicely Team
About the author

AskNicely Team

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