Why do US brands outperform the UK on CX?


I was taught from a very young age that success is a planned event. It doesn’t just happen. You have to make it happen through meticulous planning and hard work.

All the statistics show that the USA leads the way in Customer Experience (CX). I am not talking about the ‘Have a nice day’ stuff. I am talking about the scientific application of language and behaviours which drive a considerable ROI for the organisations that get it right.

So, what do US brands do better than us?

The following are some elements which these successful organisations have in common:

  • They are structured around the customer
  • Focused on employee engagement
  • Get the basics right
  • Understand resolution management

Importantly, US brands are very focused on how employees interact with customers, the types of behaviours they use and the service levels they aspire to. Their target for a great experience is far higher than companies in the UK.

You may have read my recent article on Breaking down Silos within organisations. Successful CX US brands do just that – they are structured around the needs of the customer rather than departments or functions. This gives them considerable competitive advantage when going to market and managing the experience delivery.

Enhancing Employee Engagement

Employee engagement plays a critical role in this and is something, sadly, too many UK brands have not looked to optimise.

One particular hotel brand which is very successful and sits high on the CX rankings has worked hard to create a sense of pride within the organisation by looking at jobs titles. It doesn’t call people ‘staff’ or ‘employees’ – it calls them ‘talent’. It doesn’t refer to ‘maids’ or ‘house keepers’ but ‘stylists’. You may well say that this wouldn’t work in the UK and is all a bit ‘out there’ but please don’t lose sight of the principle here: these organisations care about their teams and will go to significant lengths to make them feel great about themselves, so they, in turn, will make the effort to make their customers feel great.

As Richard Branson said: ‘How you treat your people is how they will treat the customer’.  We have found four overarching principles which are driving great CX success in US organisations, and these are:

  • They aspire to excellence, driven by informed and CX motivated senior leadership teams
  • They have the right culture and understand how to engage employees to ensure they in turn deliver outstanding Customers Experiences
  • They are ruthless in the execution. They don’t have a ‘travel hopefully’ strategy – they are totally customer focused in all they do and every decision they make
  • They are very aware, driven by and focused on the financial outcomes of great CX and the value it adds to the brands

How does your organisation stack up on these? If you would like to discuss any of the points raised in this article get in touch we would love to hear from you.

Steve Dudley