CX Insights Series: Perspectives from the Front Lines (Part One)

Customer Experience


May 12, 2016


Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) is the premier global non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and cultivation of the Customer Experience (CX) profession. This year, North Highland was proud to sponsor both the EU and US CXPA Insight Exchanges, the organization’s annual gathering of CX leaders.

At the EU Exchange in London, Alex Iles, Master CX Practitioner, presented on our proprietary Galileo journey mapping methodology and the commercial impact of truly understanding your customer’s journey. At the US Exchange in Atlanta, Rob Sherrell, Global Lead of North Highland’s Customer Experience Service Line, spoke on the Evolution of Experience, highlighting our perspective on Human Experience as the next great business imperative. Rob also participated on a panel with industry peers discussing the importance of measuring emotion in Voice of the Customer programs.

From London to Atlanta, we witnessed the emergence of several important themes, and we’re sharing them here on True North.

First up, Andrew Pennycuick from our London office shares his conference takeaways and perspective on surveying millennials.


How to Survey Millennials

I am a millennial. I don’t like to call myself that, but I am reminded of it on a daily basis by articles and at conferences. I graduated last year from The London School of Economics in International Relations and am now living in London working for North Highland. I recently had the opportunity to attend the Customer Experience Professional’s Association EU Insight Exchange and hear from customer experience practitioners from across Europe, and it was clear that their goal is to delight the customer. To do so they have to truly understand their customers, and most said they used surveys to achieve this. I found this really surprising, as millennials like me have neither the time nor the inclination to fill them in.

If millennials fill in a survey it’s normally to rant or rave, and it’s vital to capture this feedback. However, the danger is that you miss the silent majority. If I have an average experience I am unlikely to respond, and without this insight brands simply can’t turn average into excellent. I want a personalised experience from brands tailored to my needs and wants. When I receive a generic survey, I am immediately disengaged. After a recent flight I was sent a bland 20 question survey. My experience was terrible because my TV screen didn’t work, so the question asking what I thought of the selection of films available was particularly unwelcome.

So what can be done? Sometimes surveys are necessary, so ask customers about their personal experience with intelligent, tailored questions. If I feel that a brand truly cares about my experience, I will respond. If the airline had asked how the crew dealt with my broken screen, they could have avoided another bad experience by showing that they knew about the incident and cared. However, if CX practitioners want to truly understand millennials, they need to ditch surveys and talk to them on a more personal level. It seems daunting, but it doesn’t have to be a hugely complex ethnographic study. Talk to a handful of millennials and engage with them on a human level to solicit valuable nuggets of insight that you wouldn’t learn from generic survey responses.