CX Excellence – Visa, Freestyle Libre, Boots, Zara and KFC

5 more examples of best in class CX

A smart approach to Time & Effort

smart ring

Visa have been given exclusivity for payment during the Olympics in Rio at official venues. They’re using this opportunity to introduce their newest payment method ‘The Payment Ring’ by giving one to each athlete to use during their stay. They simply need to wave their hand over a wireless card reader and it will make the transaction.

If this receives a positive reception, the Smart ring idea should definitely catch on.

The Visa payment ring could be the game changer as a new quick payment method, allowing customers to make purchases without even taking out their wallet.

Removing unnecessary obstacles to enable the customer to achieve their objectives quickly and easily has been proven to increase loyalty. Time & Effort must form a crucial part of any brands CX strategy, as focus on this key pillar has been proven to increase customer loyalty.

Find out more Here


Diabetes, without the blood
freestyle Libre

Empathy is about responding deeply to each customer’s immediate circumstances. Freestyle Libre have shown this by changing the way diabetics check their glucose levels. The current daily routine involves taking a blood reading at set times during the day. With this new piece of tech, diabetics can now get on demand glucose readings and view trends in their blood levels.

Freestyle Libre are saving parents a large struggle by making blood level reads simple for their kids.

All that is required is a single pin prick attached to a reader on the users arm once every 14 days, and they will have on demand access to their glucose levels.

This product is definitely made by diabetics, for diabetics as it takes a new empathetic approach to a daily routine in the life of someone with this disease.

When businesses speak about building ‘brand loyalty’ and ‘brand relationships’, it is empathy that remains a key factor to making these objectives achievable.

Find out more here

Boots personalised experience shows why they are on top


Boots introduced a new app called the ‘Sales Assist’ which is the first of its kind in the retail sector. Its sole purpose is to make their customers purchasing as easy as possible. The app gives customers access to its 2,500+ stores inventories, allowing them to make recommendations and check product availability. And if what they want isn’t currently available, they can order it and pick it up at their nearest boots retailer. One of the apps key features is its ability to learn about its user through their purchase and viewing history. With the data, the app can personalise all recommendations and offers to the user’s preferences.

Boots’ app makes it easier for customers to get hold of the products they need, so this is another example of ‘Time & Effort’ Excellence. It also offers very relevant product recommendations depending on customers’ interest so that’s another key pillar; ‘Personalisation’ addressed. Boots featured in the top 10 of Ireland’s 2015 CX table and are showing no signs of slowing down their sector topping CX.

Find out more here

Zara disrupting the retail sector with self service


Zara are looking to change the checkout process in the retail world. Will it be a success or a failure?

On the one hand, introducing a self-checkout system in their stores allows their staff to focus on more important things like customer facing jobs and stock taking. But on the other, it takes the friendly face out of making a purchase and could be a negative factor in shop choice for the non tech savvy, or for someone who would rather a human make their transaction for them.

It’s no secret that there is an issue with line times at Zara shops. This could be due to their laid back staff or their lack of tills. Zara are leading the curve to solve this issue and it shouldn’t be long before we see other retail brands follow suit.

It’s up for debate on how self-service in the retail space will be viewed, but there is no argument to the time and effort benefits for both Zara and its customers. Lines will move faster from lack of human error and customer focus on shop floors will rightly become priority.

Find out more here

KFC prevent the low battery panic

wattabox blog

A few weeks ago we talked about Chick fill A’s ‘Phone Coops. Well, KFC in India have taken a different approach to phones by giving their customers a portable charger. The ‘Watt A Box’ has the power to charge two phones to full and doesn’t cost any extra to the meal deals. If the idea catches on we can definitely see it spreading to chain’s across the world just like it did with the phone coops.

The ‘Watt A Box’ is a great amplifier for KFC and because it can be taken out of the box and recharged for personal use and means that customers will be using it even after they leave the building. KFC have stepped into their customers shoes with this, understanding that mobile phones are an important part of their customer’s lives. The ‘Watt A Box’ isn’t just a nice addition to a value meal but something that can allow customers to take their time and enjoy their meal without panicking about a low battery.


Find out more here


If you would like to explore how your company can activate CX excellence e-mail Michael Killeen to discuss further.

Or call Michael directly at +353 1 6622277 

CX Excellence – Contours, Apple, Zappos and the cast of StarWars

5 more examples of best in class CX

Stroll a mile in your babies buggy

contours adult buggy


Empathy is the art of letting the customer know that you genuinely understand what it is like to be in their shoes. Contours really demonstrated their understanding of this when they designed an adult sized buggy for one of their most popular selling models.

This allowed parent’s to actually experience what it’s like to be pushed around in a buggy from their child’s perspective. This isn’t just a fun idea for a viral video, but is actually an empathetic solution to a purchasing decision. Normally the factors involved in buying a buggy would revolve around ease of use for the parent, i.e. maneuverability, storage and folding. Now they can put their child’s comfort first.

Find out more Here

Apple take their in-store experience to the next level


Over the past few years Apple noticed their sales falling. This is due to strong competition and because people are holding onto their gadgets longer than before. With this in mind, Apple are designing their new stores to keep customers coming back. Each room is designed to be a different environment, aimed to feel like a town square. It is a place for customers to enjoy their Apple products and hopefully convince them to stick with Apple when the time eventually does come to upgrade. As these stores aren’t exclusive to Apple users, they should convince people who are on the fence about switching over to make the decision. This is a great example of how to keep customers loyal by delighting them with an experience they’re not expecting. Apple as always, are disrupting the market. Expect others to follow.

Find out more Here

An ‘inside the box’ approach to creativity


Exceeding expectations is key to your customer satisfaction. Zappos are masters in setting expectations and then exceeding them.

Zappos wanted their customers to get creative with their shoe boxes. Using fun instructions and illustrations it allows customers to utilise every square inch of these boxes. They can be used to make a smartphone holder, a funky 3-D llama or a Geo Ball planter to name a few. The idea is to eventually inspire customers to literally ‘think outside the box’ and go beyond this funky box and into aspirational territory.

Zappos scored number 1 in the US for Expectations in the 2016 US CXi Report. When purchasing a pair of shoes the box is usually thrown in the bin or stored away under a bed. With this, the experience goes beyond the purchase and challenges the customer to do something creative and engaging.

Find out more Here

An experience even James bond would be proud of

Aston martin

Building a relationship with customers can be a very difficult challenge in the luxury space. Especially when your product can cost a customer over €250,000! That is why first impressions mean a lot to Aston Martin. Most customers will only ever buy one vehicle so they make sure to give them the “full service experience”. Aston buyers are given access to the CEO’s personal number and given the opportunity to see the full process of their cars assembly, meeting everyone in charge along the way. Buyers are also invited to one of Aston’s many event’s where fans and owners are taken to unique spot’s around the world to drive. One experience involves driving new DB models on a frozen lake in New Zealand with a professional driver in the passenger seat! Simon Sproule, Aston’s CMO said about the ice event “that’s the whole point of luxury, It’s about those special experiences – giving you those memories, giving you those experiences.”

Find out more Here



An out of this world fan experience



The Force was certainly with the children of Scoil an Fheirtéaraigh in west Kerry when a special visitor from a galaxy far, far away called for a visit. After two of the pupils found out that the movie was being shot close by, they designed a book and a Star Wars pottery sign and sent it on to the crew. This obviously caught their attention because Chewbacca himself made an appearance at the school a few days later. The kids greeted him with a tin whistle rendition of the Star War’s theme and even attempted to teach him a few words in Irish. Resource teacher Míchéal Ó Cinnéide said “Disney Lucasfilm wanted to do something nice for the community because everyone had been so helpful and cooperative and they wanted to give something back”. This was done outside of their movie PR and done solely to amaze the 65 pupils of Scoil an Fheirtéaraigh. Disney Parks who scored second in the 2016 US CXi Report are known for their magical experiences and this shows that they are willing to continue to give those experiences outside of their walls.

Find out more Here 

If you would like to explore how your company can activate CX excellence e-mail Michael Killeen to discuss further.

Or call Michael directly at +353 1 6622277 


Dublin’s Finest Outdoor Experience, Rain, Hail Or Snow!


The 1916 celebrations have received more stick then credit over the past number of weeks. I personally had a number of great experiences from a Saturday stroll through Stephens Green among many fine actors who brought to life, events of the rising as they unfolded, in utter confusion. The RTE centenary extravaganza in the Board Gas theater was a perfect example of under promising and over delivering, something we don’t do too well in Ireland. That said, I also had my first ever ‘Remarkable’ Dublin experience during the week and I want to share it with you in an unbiased way.


For those of you who missed school on the week they covered the 1916 raising, the rising walking tour is unbeatable. Check out Don’t just check it out, book it! It is absolutely unique, remarkable and will sell out for the summer. It is also undeniable proof that world class story telling can make walking outside on a pissing wet day enjoyable!


Lorcan Collins and his partner, Conor Kostick taught me more in our two hour jaunt then I learned in 16 years of school.  He is the total package. Think meets National Geographic meets Daragh OBriain. We met in the International bar, thankfully too early for a scoop. During his intro, Lorcan very cleverly takes the time to get to know his audience in a way that lifts the tour. His empathy is world class and he uses what he learns in that first 10 minutes throughout the tour with welcome wit and light hearted jabs.  He brilliantly engages both young and old, local and tourist, republican and loyalist, socialist and capitalist.


The tour consists of approx. 20 members for up to two hours. Its fast paced but Lorcan finds a way to chat with each member of his group as we walked from one great story to another.


I talk about CX quite a bit and one question I always ask is who in Ireland has given you an amazing Customer Experience. This questions always leads to discussion on lousy experience rather than great. However, in the last number of weeks, four different people mentioned the 1916 rising walk. And I agree and am very happy to recommend it to anyone seeking a great day out in Dublin town, to give it a shot. The worst that could happen?  You might make some new friends for life.


If you would like to explore how your company can deliver CX excellence e-mail Michael Killeen to discuss further. 

Or call Michael directly at +353 1 6622277

CX Excellence – Hailo, Ralph Lauren, Etihad Airways, Jet Blue,

Your weekly dose of CX excellence 


The extra mile is never crowded
Hailo Exceeding expectations


Brands now have the ability to remind us of their existence through phone notifications. When a recent mother of two twins received one of these from Hailo she sent them a unique letter explaining her absence. Hailo loved this so much that they topped up her account and offered a €100 voucher to her favourite Dublin restaurant, with a free taxi service of course! Going the extra mile for your customers is key to retention and your actions will differentiate you from your competitors.

Find out more here

Mirror, smart mirror on the wall



One of the biggest challenges in retail has been making the shopping experience faster and easier for the customer. Some companies, like Ikea are introducing a virtual shopping experience to their website while others are looking to upgrade their in-store experience. Ralph Lauren are testing ‘connected fitting rooms’ that merge digital technology with in-store retail by using ‘Smart Mirrors’. These mirrors can show clothing stock with sizes and colours and can even communicate with staff, letting them know if a customer needs assistance. Using these mirrors allows the fitting process to run very smoothly for customers which shows that Ralph Lauren have their customers Time and Effort in mind.

Find out more here

Etihad Airways make an unexpected U-turn

Etihad airways


It’s not every day you hear about a plane making a U-turn back to the terminal from the runway. Etihad Airways did just that for two of their customers after they found out that their grandson was in intensive care. The couple had their luggage retrieved from the hold, and the quick-thinking Etihad staff even had their car waiting to expedite their journey to the hospital. This amazing act of kindness shows that Etihad Airways view their customers as more than just passengers, and are willing to go above and beyond to show that. What an amazing showing of Empathy!

Find out more here

Using humour to humanise remarkable CX

Jetblue Airways


Humour in Customer Service can be a very risky strategy, but customers appreciate the effort when used well.

Jet Blue and Amazon have found a great balance between professional service and simple ‘human response’ when communicating to customers about issues. A bit of empathy can go a long way in customer service and can make the whole experience a lot more enjoyable.

Find out more here


Amplifiers are a worthy investment



Dialogue have created thousands of amplifiers for our clients over the years and nothing beats a good old fashioned umbrella.

When a New Yorker, stuck in the middle of a rainstorm with a 15 minute walk ahead of him was given a $130 umbrella for nothing, what did he do? He only went and told his thousands of followers on social media about it!
Invest in customer amplifiers so it’s easier for them to sell on your behalf.

Find our more here

If you would like to explore how your company can deliver CX excellence e-mail Michael Killeen to discuss further.

Or call Michael directly at +353 1 6622277

Download a copy of the 2015 CEXi Ireland CX report here

CEXi report cover over Top 100 league table


Six Short Examples Of CX Excellence


The Six CX Pillars are a must for any business who wish to take Customer Experience Seriously.

In this video, Michael Killeen speaks about the importance of all six CX pillars, along with a short example for each one.

For more info visit:
or email Michael on:


Insurance Companies in Ireland Need to Focus on CX or Prepare to Face the Guillotine.

Ireland’s insurance sector’s poor Customer Experience (CX) results are due to a number of factors. Continuous steep rises in insurance premiums have angered the Irish consumer, particularly around renewal quotes. The sectors continued focus on acquisition at the peril of retention gives it one of the highest churn rates. Marketing’s focus remains on price with little time spent on delivering high quality CX and there is no excuse for not offering it! The highest CX scorer on the planet is USAA (See below). This insurance and banking giant for the US army is breaking CX scoring records because of their integrity and high empathy scores.

CEXi’s Irish Customer Experience report revealed that the Irish Insurance sector scored 10% lower on average when compared to all other business sectors. It scored the worst in NPS – 18% lower than the top performing sector.

Out of the fourteen insurance companies represented in the survey only two, Laya Healthcare and Aviva made it into the top 100.


Top 5 Insurance Companies In Ireland As Stated In The CEXi Report

  1. Laya
  2. Aviva
  3. AA
  4. Vhi
  5. Irish Life


Dialogue Recommendations

  • The CEO and ‘C-suite’ team must be engaged in the CX process to ensure you do not get into silo arguments which have no respect for the customers interests needs.
  • The Insurance industry should consider customising their experiences by age segments, just as the UK are successfully doing. Specialist insurance companies have been able to drive significant profit by cherry picking the market. For example, Saga is focusing on the 50+ age group and has been able to create a highly personalised experience for them.
  • Insurance products are very similar and in recent years Ireland has seen the majority of insurance companies promote themselves on value alone. Using CX as a key message can create brand differentiation.
  • The insurance sector as a whole need to manage their expectations better. There is a huge problem with over promising and under delivering to customers and this has created trust issues.
  • If the insurance sector wants to get back on the customers side then their communications need to be clear and honest. If they take an over the fence, neighbourly and conversational approach to their comms then we should see a large climb in integrity next year.

World leaders In Insurance


RAC Tops The Insurance Sector In The UK For CX   Rac_logo.svg

The RAC have personalised their customer experience with help from NewVoiceMedia.

RAC provides customer services, such as product and test-drive information, to consumers with new car warranties on behalf of car manufacturers and have been able to offer their customer base a great personalised experience.

The company now benefits from access to a customer’s entire history of interactions from one screen and real-time reporting and analytics, offering visibility of contact volumes, advisor performance and customer experience – enabling RAC to improve business processes and the performance of individual advisors. Its regular mystery shopper programme reveals that customer satisfaction has reached 93% .RAC ensures all calls are answered within 20 seconds. They have also boosted First Call Resolution to 80% and reduced call abandonment rates – from 7% in 2013 to less than 3% in 2014.



USAA Top All Sectors In The US For CX Excellence

With 8 million military members and their families as their customer base, USAA demonstrate empathy by understanding how their customers feel. A large proportion of USAA employees are ex-military, and if they’ve not served in the military, training is steeped in military experience, from dining on “meals ready to eat,” to receiving a bona fide deployment letter to make them really think about the financial decisions their customers face and what it is like to be in their customers’ shoes.

USAA also achieve record scores for acting with integrity, considering the customer’s needs before the company’s profits: USAA shared that “we practice down selling; ensuring the customer only gets exactly what they need”.

As the number 1 brand in 2015 for CX excellence, USAA are heralded as customer experience champions. Across each of the 6 pillars, USAA do something extraordinary.  Their commitment to their customers is second to none and it clearly shows. This is recognised in the scores they achieved in four pillars: Expectations, Integrity, resolution, and empathy.

USAA are world leaders in CX excellence and living proof that a financial company can use CX to be successful. Looking at what they have done over the years means there is no excuse for the Irish insurance sector to treat their customer base the way they have.


What Dialogue Can Do For You?

Dialogue are Europe’s first customer experience design agency and are founders of, which launched Ireland’s first CX league table in Sept 2015. Dialogue recognises that most clients are buried under customer insight and we can take that insight and turn it into a great Customer Experience.

Dialogue will design and deliver remarkable CX that will differentiate your brand and get your customers to sell on your behalf. See for more info.

 Dialogue Cust Ex ORANGE dot_Big Strapline-01


The 5 essential CX online commandments

After speaking with CEXi consultant and online expert Julian Douglas, we give you the 5 essentials on how to give your customer a great online experience.


  1. Under  promise and over deliver. Keep it simple but do the simple things well.

In general, brands that have a simple focus and clear vision tend to deliver what their customers expect. With an excellence in Integrity and Time & Effort, RaboDirect have adopted a simple customer-centric approach to savings which has ranked them highest in the financial sector in CX.

RaboDirect have created a humanised, online service without a high street presence and killed the complex financial lingo.


  1. Make sure your website loads fast! – the ‘back’ button is your biggest enemy123

How fast or slow your website loads is determined by a combination of factors that span design, development and the end-user’s connection speed. Many of these, especially the last, will be out of your control. But one of the biggest and most easily preventable causes of a slow-loading website is uncompressed images. These images have to be downloaded every time a user visits your site, taking valuable time. According to surveys done by Akamai and, nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds.



  1. Only acquire a customers personalized data once you have earned the customer’s respect. Then segment it carefully to personalize future interactions.

Don’t hassle your potential customers to share info with you as soon as they land on your site. Asking for personal information or asking them to take a survey should only come after you have built a relationship with them. If somebody clicks onto a site and is immediately prompted to sign up for a newsletter or weekly blog they will feel hassled and may abandon. Wait until someone interacts with a call to action and shows interest in your product before asking personal questions.

You wouldn’t be able to ask someone for their number without them getting to know you first!


  1. Great mobile and tablet experiences are now as important as desktop.1234

Some people feel they are more important and they may be right!  With so many of us in possession of a smartphone and a tablet, a great mobile experience is expected by your customers with nothing less accepted.

Something as simple as an SMS or text notifications can be a very useful tool to contact your customers and can be used for time sensitive information. UPC – now Virgin Media, use Dynamic Parcel Distribution who send out a text message to their customers with a reminder that their order will be delivered on the day. This allows the customer to schedule their day around the time their package will arrive


Hailo (the highest ranking app-only company in the CEXi top 100) are known for their great mobile experience with on demand and up to date information about the available taxis in a user’s area. The whole idea of ‘hailing’ a taxi without having to see one or make a call saves customers a huge amount of time and effort.


  1. Make it easy and obvious for your customers to contact you and always include a street address.

If you want your customers to trust your business, especially if you have an eCommerce website, you need a legitimate address and business space. A business that can be physically found will always be chosen over a website with no address. With so many fake businesses and scams circulating the web it is increasingly unusual to trust a business with nothing but a webpage to their name.


You can find 5 more CX online commandments in the CEXi report – here.


Image source:

Will rolling the red carpet transform UPC?

Last week UPC/Virgin Media opened up its Facebook page to get feedback from Irish consumers.

The response was quite damming.



















The Virgin brand has been a leader in the delivery of amazing Customer Experiences. They were one of the first customer champions on the planet. ‘Making Red Magic’ is a requirement of every staff member.

Virgin go to great efforts to make sure customers are clear on exactly what to expect and consistently deliver it. They under promise and over deliver. In the first report, a key insight was that Irish companies have been caught out over promising and under delivering across all sectors. Given time, we expect that Virgin Media will help transform UPC’s expectations pillar. While it won’t happen overnight, we expect to see a significant rise up the Customer Experience table for next year’s report.

The New Six Pillar Approach To Marketing

Dialogue’s CX planning unit,, launched Ireland’s first Customer Experience (CX) league table to tremendous applause this week.

Ireland has had its say by ranking national brands across six emotional pillars that matter most to Irish Consumers; Personalisation, Integrity, Empathy, Time and Effort, Expectations and Resolution.

Dialogue reengineered its creative offering to help accelerate Client growth across these six pillars. Dialogue staff undertook a series of pillar training workshops to help raise Customer Experience excellence with strategic and tactical communication solutions.

Getting customers to sell on your companies behalf is the ultimate marketing goal. Unfortunately today’s consumers don’t trust marketing messages as they once used to. Dialogue helps clients rebalance their acquisition budgets in favour of retention efforts.  Not only do client’s customers stay longer but the retention work is fast becoming the most effective form of acquisition. By giving them amazing customer experiences across the six pillars they become an invisible sales force for your brand. Dialogue develops unique amplifiers to encourage delighted customers to share these experiences with friends and colleagues.

Download Irelands Customer Experience league table report here

Customer Experience. What’s it all about?

There’s been a major shift in marketing. Consumers are in control and they don’t trust brands as they used to.

A study by Forrester revealed that just 8% of customers reported feeling GREAT about their experience despite the fact that 80% of businesses state they offer a GREAT customer experience (CX). And in the recent 2015 CX report, the greatest fault between Irish marketers and our colleagues in the USA and UK was the expectation gap. It seems Irish marketing and operations are not on the same wave length. Marketing has come out of recession thinking whilst operations seem to be stuck in cost saving mode.

Brands that excel in this area research their customers’ expectations so that they can systematically reset and exceed them. Consumers find out for themselves just how good you really are. They ask their peers and depending on the experiences they’ve had, the decision is quickly made.  You can talk the talk, but you have to walk the talk too.

You can spend money on traditional comms such as TV and digital, communicating your brand promise, but this is completely wasted unless you deliver on it. Customer Experience has become the new acquisition tool.  By giving all customers an amazing experience, they will sell on your behalf.  You will not only retain these customers, but they will do the selling for you and generate new ones. Imagine the power of having 1000’s of volunteer sales reps out there promoting your excellence?

And, for an even greater impact, amplification opportunities should be stitched in to customer experiences. This gives them an actual tool to go and sell on your behalf with.

Dialogue Marketing is the only Customer Experience Agency in Europe.  Contact us today to see how we can help you to deliver remarkable customer experiences that will increase your bottom line.


 Image source -With thanks to David Knapp-Fisher