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 


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.


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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.

Personalisation & Customer Experience

Personalised communication is one of the six key pillars when it comes to customer experience. The theory is that we use a < personalised field > to populate a letter, DM, email or any other means of communication and the consumer will suddenly feel a hitherto unknown warmth, affection and deep personal bond with the sender.

The fact that you are speaking directly to the person receiving your message is a powerful thing but we’re all a little too sophisticated these days to get excited about a marketing message just because it somehow manages to spell our name correctly.

To really connect with your customers, those personalised communications need to go beyond the cookie cutter of a personalised field in a print run of thousands.

We recently heard of a great example of how personalisation can be used effectively from a colleague of ours. He decided to throw together a personal website – somewhere to collect examples of all his creative work over the years.

Being clueless about coding, he chose Squarespace as means of designing the site. It’s a resource that offers a range of templates, which you can customise and adapt depending on what’s required.

Pootling around with the site one day, he accidentally erased hours of work and reformatted a large section by mistake. He emailed the customer care address at Squarespace and received a prompt reply. The email told him there was a video he could refer to which would answer his query.

When he opened the link (Presuming the link would direct him to a YouTube tutorial) He was surprised, and genuinely impressed, to discover it was actually a video of his own website being redesigned as he had outlined – in other words, He had received a bespoke, idiot-proof guide to resolving his self-inflicted design catastrophe.

This personalised guide impressed him beyond his expectations and has made him a customer for life. Imagine what this level of personalisation could do for your brand?