Leader's Digest March 2024
Blog Leader's Digest

Leader’s Digest | March 2024

Welcome to the March 2024 edition of the Leader’s Digest, your monthly compass for navigating the world of business leadership. In this issue, we’ll dive into the important theme of Customer Experience.


  • How to Turn Customer Experience into a Competitive Advantage
  • What Could Unreasonable Hospitality Mean for Your Company?
  • The Idea of “For Customers vs To Customers”
  • Sneak Peek to the Behind the Scenes at NBF
  • Inspirational Quote by Steve Jobs

New Leadership Insights

How to Turn Customer Experience into a Competitive Advantage

There are 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. In fact, customer experience has become a crucial competitive advantage that future-focused leaders prioritize.

But how can you turn customer experience into a competitive advantage in your organization? Our Chief Customer Experience Officer, Salla Seppä, has 4 concrete tips to share with you to get you started:

📝 Define your target customer

“It’s very hard 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 value and expect from you.”

⭐️ Define your company’s ideal customer experience

“What does your company want to be known and 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.”

📈 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?”

🙌 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 also understand their own role as part of the bigger mission.”

To learn about Salla’s ideas, read the full blog on how to turn customer experience into a competitive advantage.

What Could Unreasonable Hospitality Mean for Your Company?

Hospitality is often considered as the business of providing food, drinks, and accommodation to customers of restaurants, bars, hotels etc. But have you ever thought of hospitality as table stakes for your business, regardless of the industry you are in?

That’s what Will Guidara, the former co-owner of Eleven Madison Park, believes. During his tenure at the #1 restaurant in the world, Will developed the concept of unreasonable hospitality. The concept guided him and his team to transform ordinary transactions into extraordinary experiences, driven by the belief that how we serve people is as valuable as what we serve. He proves that detailed attention to the customer experience can be implemented in any business.

“While it may be impossible to quantify in financial terms the impact of making someone feel good, don’t think for a second that it doesn’t matter. In fact, it matters more.”

To learn more, we highly recommend reading Will’s book Unreasonable Hospitality: The Remarkable Power of Giving People More Than They Expect. The book offers insights on service and leadership, celebrating a timeless principle: the human desire to be cared for.

Unreasonable hospitality by Will Guidara

For Customers vs To Customers

Take a moment to think: Are you there for your customers, to give them what they seek? Or are you trying to do something to your customers, to squeeze out extra income?

Seth Godin, the renowned author, urges us to put more effort and focus into finding ways our brands, products, and services can serve people—and in a way that they would miss if we were gone.

“It’s not surprising that many companies are putting software and dark patterns and AI to work on things that improve their profit. But I’m not seeing as many instances of them doing the same thing to improve the experience and delight that their customers experience.”

Boost your thought process further, and read more from Seth’s blog.

NBF Spotlight

We have received requests from our readers to share more about ourselves and our activities—so here we go. Here, we aim to shed light on what happens behind the scenes. From introducing our speakers to providing updates on event production, we invite you to join us on this journey!

NBF Speaker of the Month: Steven van Belleghem

🔸 Customer Experience Expert

🔸 Marketing Professor

🔸 Co-founder of Nexxworks

🔸 Co-founder of Snackbytes


Steven has dedicated his career to motivating organizations towards a more customer-centric approach. His unique perspective combines common sense, innovative technologies, an empathic human touch, and social responsibility with a commitment to long-term strategies. This approach has established him as a leader in winning customer loyalty repeatedly.

Beyond his speaking engagements, Steven is a successful entrepreneur, co-founding the inspiration agency Nexxworks and the social media agency Snackbytes. He also invests in companies with a focus on customer experience and shares his knowledge as a marketing professor at the Vlerick Business School, along with guest lecturing at the London Business School.

At Nordic Business Forum 2024, Steven will delve into the topic of “Customer-focused Leadership in a Digital World”. Join us to gain valuable insights from Steven’s expertise on customer experience!

A Look Behind the NBF 2024 Production Curtains

For a large event production like ours, the work is in full swing already months before the actual event days. To give a sneak peek of what we’ve been up to lately, our Executive Producer Andreas Kustås shares a few words about our progress towards Nordic Business Forum 2024:

“Last week we had our first catering tasting, diving into a top class Finnish culinary experience with both classic delights and innovative new dishes. I’m sure these will complement the insightful discussions and networking at the event! This year, we’re focusing on rethinking many key aspects of our event such as the entrance and the First Class Lounge, in addition to a brand new seminar hall setup. Our team is also working on tailoring the program, and with the latest speaker addition, Chris Voss, we add yet another aspect to our event theme: Courageous Leadership. Furthermore, we’re elevating the VIP Evening to the next level, with a new location and premium entertainment by Phly Boyz.”

With these advancements, NBF 2024 is shaping up to be a unique event, embodying the spirit of courageous leadership in all details. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to build an unforgettable conference!

Stop and Think

“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.”

Steve Jobs


What is new

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