The Customer Experience Centre

We are seeing fundamental changes to how we work and how customers expect to be served. It is true across all market sectors. Many powerful and profound forces drive this change, each addressed with separate action plans and often mutually exclusive forces. They should not be.


The legendary Peter Drucker said:

‘The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence—it is to act with yesterday’s logic’.

So now is the time to join the forces in joint pursuit of a better customer experience, thereby providing meaningful work for people, maximising their contribution and driving profitable business growth.


If we focus on six diverse forces, they could be seen as very separate across the three distinct streams of people, market forces, and digital. However, a more visionary view emerges if they are woven into a single strategy with the customer experience centre as the ultimate goal:


  1. People have new expectations, reflected in a recent UK survey which showed that 36% are unhappy in their work. Therefore, a happy, motivated, and engaged workforce with a shared belief and understanding that they are all working toward a collective objective has to be a primary goal for any business.

  2. There is pent up demand and willingness from people to be a part of where their company is going. However, great ideas, innovation, and customer-facing front-line experience are wasted. Talent isn’t being valued and is moving on. Even for the people who appear not to care, not attempting to involve them has lost their accumulated customer experience understanding of the realities of company process and local markets. At the very least, it has meant their frustrations have festered unvented. Experience shows that even the most cynical can often surprise if leadership bothers to engage them correctly.

  3. Empowering teams to lead requires a new approach from management. Leadership teams recognise that people are the most valuable asset and primary source for future success and competitive advantage. They have the humility, inspiration, and empathy to listen and be prepared to change and demonstrate that they are ready and able to enact new ideas.

  4. As the economy recovers, it is seeing skills gaps across a wide range of sectors. In some industries, the war for talent is driving greater flexibility, four-day weeks, and unlimited holidays, which will not provide a sustained solution or meaningful work. They need to be an integral part of a wider strategy which will drive equally significant commercial returns for the business.

  5. It seems ‘work’ is increasingly task-based for traditional office-based jobs, where time and location are no longer an issue. Everyone must understand their own ‘why’ and have the freedom to work out their ‘how’. Equally ensuring that the newly empowered people understand their responsibilities and the business priorities. They will reciprocate with their everyday actions.

  6. The digital retailing acceleration with Amazon and Apple is setting the scene. E-commerce, digitally-led distribution, subscription services and the customer demand to remove pain points through end-to-end buying processes. Digital transformation sits at the heart of the solution and the transformed organisation. AI-powered technology in human partnership will act as a liberator, augmenting human capabilities, dynamically personalising the customer journey, product or service. Hence, the ultimate experience is specifically relevant to them.


Sector Example - Automotive


The sector is taking the lead in bringing the experience centre to life for customers, particularly amongst new car brands and dealer networks who are moving towards an agency-style franchise agreement, where dealers are product (and customer care) rather than sales experts. Honda is a good example, as are Tesla and the entire VW EV iD range.




For automotive, the six forces are reinforced by developments particular to this sector. For example, the availability of under-utilised data and software enables end-to-end e-commerce across the vehicle lifecycle, from sale and financing to aftermarket. Another is the changing future of mobility itself (autonomous, connected, electric, shared). Increasing value pools beyond the car like lifecycle software updates and MaaS. Block exemption regulations and crucially the fact that 10 years ago, customers visited the dealership seven times per purchase on average – now it’s nearly only 1.5! If you add in a poor reputation for haggling and customer service, it all reinforces the need for a new experience centre for the customer.

There is also the will to make this change amongst car brands and many dealer groups, incentivised by reduced stock costs and other financial benefits. 85% of dealers, according to an Accenture study, accept that their sales model needs to adapt quickly.


Automotive has been accused of lagging behind other retail sectors in the past. This is changing, but they will need to grasp the people part as well as they do market forces and digital if they are going to reap the full benefits of the customer experience centre. Rather than dropping the changes on them, unlock the potential of their people with their local market knowledge and operational experiences. They will bring more of their discretionary energy to their dealership, and this talent will stay to help drive further success and a great experience for customers.

The sector is taking the lead in bringing the experience centre to life for customers, particularly amongst new car brands and dealer networks who are moving towards an agency-style franchise agreement, where dealers are product (and customer care) rather than sales experts. Honda is a good example, as are Tesla and the entire VW EV iD range.


For automotive, the six forces are reinforced by developments particular to this sector. For example, the availability of under-utilised data and software enables end-to-end e-commerce across the vehicle lifecycle, from sale and financing to aftermarket. Another is the changing future of mobility itself (autonomous, connected, electric, shared). Increasing value pools beyond the car like lifecycle software updates and MaaS. Block exemption regulations and crucially the fact that 10 years ago, customers visited the dealership seven times per purchase on average – now it’s nearly only 1.5! If you add in a poor reputation for haggling and customer service, it all reinforces the need for a new experience centre for the customer.

There is also the will to make this change amongst car brands and many dealer groups, incentivised by reduced stock costs and other financial benefits. 85% of dealers, according to an Accenture study, accept that their sales model needs to adapt quickly.


Automotive has been accused of lagging behind other retail sectors in the past. This is changing, but they will need to grasp the people part as well as they do market forces and digital if they are going to reap the full benefits of the customer experience centre. Rather than dropping the changes on them, unlock the potential of their people with their local market knowledge and operational experiences. They will bring more of their discretionary energy to their dealership, and this talent will stay to help drive further success and a great experience for customers.

23 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All