Customer Experience as a competitive advantage
Blog Customer Experience Nordic Business Forum 2024

4 Steps to Turn Customer Experience into a Competitive Advantage

In my earlier “Key Benefits of an Excellent Customer Experience” blog, I listed the various upsides for any business to focus on delivering an extraordinary customer experience. From higher customer retention rate to improved financial performance, the benefits are obvious. Now, let’s dive deeper into how you can start levering the customer experience in your organization into business success.

There are many crucial steps to be taken to turn a company’s customer experience into a competitive advantage. Here are four important ones to start with:

1. Define your target customer

Sounds simple in theory, but has turned out to be hard in practice for many companies. Many companies haven’t identified who they are primarily serving, and whose customer experience they are trying to meet and exceed. It’s challenging to create an excellent customer experience for a very diverse set of customers with varying needs and expectations. Prioritize the customers who are your core target customers and make the effort of understanding what they truly and deeply value and expect from you.

For example, at NBF, we are primarily serving the needs of C-level leaders, decision-makers and entrepreneurs. Our offering and the experience around our products and services are primarily done with these core target audiences in mind.

2. Determine your company’s ideal customer experience

What does your company want to be known and – even more importantly – loved for? Define and design experiences that deliver exactly and continuously on those elements. Companies should be deeply interested in their customers and in understanding the reasons that make their best customers engage with (and buy from) the brand. Are you known and loved for cutting edge digital solutions and smooth self-service? Or perhaps for the personal service that your customers so appreciate? Or something totally different?

Every company needs to identify their unique combination of strategic competencies, and then use those strengths or “superpowers” for creating the experience that their customers love and your competitors wouldn’t be able to deliver.

Companies that outperform at customer experience stay close to their customers, gather and use customer insights, and continuously excel at the very key moments that build and deliver on the desired brand perception. They don’t try to copy the experience of their competitors, but stay true to their own brand and to what makes them special for their key target customer.

To give you an example, at NBF we are known and loved for bringing the world’s best and most topical speakers to our event and curating our event’s business and leadership content to inspire and empower our guests. We are also loved for the unparallelled networking experience: our yearly events are the annual “place to be” for business leaders who want to make an impact. Last but not least, we are loved for the caring, unforgettable hospitality experience that leaves a lasting impression on our customers.

3. Set a clear mission and ambition level to attract the right kind of employees

The mission and ambition level for customer experience need to be communicated in a clear, simple, and inspiring way to make it easy for all employees to embrace. What do you want them to sign up for?

At NBF, we make it very clear – already in the recruitment phase – that our company’s ambition is to surpass ordinary standards for our customers. Employees who love making customers feel special and providing an unforgettable service experience to them are the right people for us. What’s more, they stay engaged and happy, as their internal motivation is aligned with the company’s mission and values. Everybody wins.

4. Build a team of inspired, engaged, and empowered employees

Employee experience and customer experience are very closely interlinked. Companies that excel at customer experience make sure that their employees feel empowered and appreciated, and understand their own role as part of the bigger mission. Their employees typically feel a strong sense of purpose and ownership of their own role as part of the whole. If they don’t feel well taken care of, how could they possibly deliver an outstanding experience to customers? Then again, a well-working, inspired, and empowered team is far greater than the sum of its parts, and the good vibes and collaborative team spirit can be felt by the customers too.

How to learn more about Customer Experience?

I hope these points above provide a good foundation for turning customer experience into a competitive advantage for your company. If you are interested in learning more about the topic, I’ve got good news for you: customer experience is one of the themes of Nordic Business Forum 2024. We’ll have some of the most topical professionals and thought leaders on stage to share their insights, including Steven van Belleghem and Will Guidara.

Join us to learn from Will, Steven, and other keynote speakers and discuss customer experience with your peers at Nordic Business Forum 2024 next September!


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