Key takeaways:

  • exceptional customer experience goes beyond customer service to focus on unmet needs and emotions​

  • it is about understanding every touchpoint of the customer journey​

  • it works to build a perception of value beyond price. ​

The customer is far more disruptive than any technology we’ve seen.”

Tiffani Bova, Growth and Innovation Evangelist, Salesforce

Customer experience encompasses all the ways customers perceive their interactions with a company. Focusing on the customer can generate a 20 to 30% uplift in customer satisfaction, a 10 to 20% improvement in employee satisfaction and economic gains ranging from 20 to 50% of the cost base1.

The bar on customer experience is constantly rising. Globally, 73% of consumers and business customers say one extraordinary experience raises their expectations of other companies2.

Customer experience is more than simply providing good service. It starts with recognising the customer’s needs, concerns and broader aspirations. To do this, Harvard Business Review suggests it’s essential to understand the ‘job’ your customer is trying to get done3.

For example, a real estate agent might think they’re in the business of selling houses – but from their customers’ point of view, they are in the business of moving lives. By reframing the social and emotional circumstances behind that ‘job to be done’, businesses can improve the experience – either by adding more value or removing more stress at every stage of the customer’s journey.  

We only remember the price we paid when it’s painful – when we don’t feel we got enough value,”

Tiffani Bova, Growth and Innovation Evangelist, Salesforce

When PEXA first launched its online property settlement platform in Australia, the team assumed everyone would want to use it. However, after going with a ‘build it and they will come’ strategy, PEXA’s then CEO, Marcus Price, realised they also needed to give users a compelling reason to trust the system and make it easy to adopt the new process into their existing workflows4.

A 2018 study into innovation within law and consulting engineering found a mismatch between innovation activities and what clients want and value5. Although automation was the most cited example of innovation, this had the least influence on a client’s choice of firm – despite helping the firm reduce internal costs. 

By looking at a customer journey through a lens that combines customers, employees and technology, you can shape a stronger value proposition, improving loyalty and advocacy. There has never been a better time to do this. As Michael Maness notes, the organisations that are proving to be the most resilient throughout COVID-19 are the ones deeply engaging with their clients by listening and responding to their unmet needs.

Understanding the customer journey can also help businesses build value beyond the transaction.


Really, we’re in the business of change. And to do that, we need to be able to listen to our customers”

Toni Knowlson, Digital Innovation Lead, Amazon Web Services

“We only remember the price we paid when it’s painful – when we don’t feel we got enough value,” notes Salesforce’s Tiffani Bova. Time and effort can also negatively impact a customer’s perception of value. If a business demands customers complete an unnecessarily laborious paper form, it sends a message to the customer that their time isn’t valuable.

This disconnect is usually the result of misaligned performance metrics. If customer experience is not measured and rewarded, it will not be prioritised.

More in the series:

Additional information

The information on this page has been prepared by Macquarie Business Banking, a division of Macquarie Bank Limited AFSL & Australian Credit Licence 237502 for general information purposes only, without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this general information, you must consider its appropriateness having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. The information provided is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for any accounting, tax or other professional advice, consultation or service.


State of the connected consumer, 3rd edition Salesforce 2019


Know Your Customers’ “Jobs to Be Done”, Clayton M. Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, David S. Duncan Harvard Business Review, Sept 2016


Marcus Price, PEXA – Macquarie Perspective event 2020


Beaton compass study, March 2019