Business is becoming less about the products and services sold, and more about the experience that is delivered to customers. In Salesforce's State of the Connected Customer Report, 86% of UK customers surveyed said that the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services. 

At the recent UK Service Summit event, Salesforce interviewed Customer Service Leaders from some of the UK’s top companies on how their businesses deliver exceptional customer experiences. Here are their top tips:


1. Understand the value of exceptional customer service

In todays market your customers have access to more information and more choice than ever, which has resulted in the power dynamic between a brand and a customer flipping. Today the customer owns the relationship. Which means it is the responsibility of the brand to meet and exceed expectations in order to build customer loyalty.

Rosie Bailey, Director of Customer Engagement at CitySprint notes, “If we get [customer experience] wrong there are plenty of business out there that are happy to take our customer away from us.“

Today, customers expect a consistently great service every time they interact with your business. Claire Carroll, Head of Sales and Service at Co-Op advises that businesses need to understand the commercial benefit of fully resolving an issue and exceeding expectations. Delivering great customer experience means taking a potentially negative experience and transforming it into a positive one. Co-Op has seen over 12m spent from customers who have complained in the past. 


2. Align your business across department and across function

Customers see your company as a single brand, they don’t see different departments, which means customer service is the responsibility of the entire company. Salesforce’s State of Service report found that 90% of UK service professionals say partnering with other departments is critical to providing great customer experiences.

Jasper Martens, Chief Marketing Officer at PensionBee shares that they see a correlation between happy customers and smooth operations. After acquiring a customer there is a handoff to a personalised ‘BeeKeeper’ (customer service agent).  In order to align successfully it’s important that every department buys into the customer experience vision.

Rosie at CitySprint advises that you need to put forward a transformational plan and demonstrate how it benefits each departments’ key performance metrics.


3. Use data to drive customer transformation throughout your business

Getting alignment across teams can be a challenge. However, if there is one defining element of today’s digital transformation, it is data. Every interaction from opening an email, making a transaction or messaging with a service agent allows you to piece together a picture of the customer. Connecting this data together provides you with the tools to make the best decisions that help you to deliver the right customer experience.

Claire Carroll, at Co-Op identifies that it can be a challenge when different departments have conflicting priorities. This is where data and insights are key. Data helps you to deliver the right experience for the customer.

Lynne Wood, Partner & Senior Manager Service at John Lewis & Partners shares that it’s about using data to tell the customers’ story. When discussing customer experience with her board she makes her insights visual, surfacing customer pain points right up front.


4. Choose the right technology to deliver your vision

As technology continues to advance and business models shift, an experience that’s great one day may not meet expectations the next. This is why it is crucial to select the right technology to deliver your vision.

Lynne at John Lewis & Partners recommends approaching technology as a business issue and not just as an IT issue. To do this, John Lewis shared their roadmap with Salesforce. Together John Lewis and Salesforce took the time to identify John Lewis business requirements prior to discussing any products. Lynne advises not to be set on a solution, as it may not be what you think it is when you start. 

Rosie at CitySprint had a similar experience. Salesforce helped CitySprint to understand if they had a technology, people or process issue first, before mentioning product, and then helped them to deliver to tight timescales.

Technology is crucial to delivering your vision, and it's important to keep clear business goals in mind throughout the evaluation process.


At Salesforce, we’re here to help you every step of the way as you embark on transforming your customer experience. To find out more check out our Customer Service Solution