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The Client Experience: More Than Matching Expectations

Peter Aceto is a passionate leader. As the President and CEO of Tangerine, he stands for more than a leader of a bank: his goal is to change the conversation about leadership, and to inspire unconventional thinking and transparency that delivers unparalleled results for business and consumers. Below, Peter looks at “ideagoras” and what this concept can do for you:

I’m sure you can find a ton of great books about customer experience (CX) strategies in the business section of Indigo, but I’d like to share a thought about Indigo’s very own customer experience. Before you jump to any conclusions… I want to congratulate them!

Indigo has converted the Aceto home from loyal Amazon customers to now Indigo ambassadors – with their overall online experience, a surprising same day delivery service and a used book selection, they have under promised and over delivered. My wife Sylvia also shared how on a recent visit with our daughter to a physical store, she noticed how full it was of young girls with their American Girl doll experience.

It seems Indigo is doing something very right… So how do they do it? With the technological revolution that converted many from paper readers to e-readers and with powerhouses like Amazon and even Walmart coming onto the scene, how could Indigo compete, survive and succeed the way they have? It can’t be on price when you compete against Amazon. It turns out Indigo competes on experience!

Through some digging (and with the help of my colleague Aline) — because I was so curious — I learned that Indigo participates in “ideagoras,” places where millions of ideas and solutions change hands online for the purpose of innovation. Of course it was Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams who first introduced the term ideagora in their book, Wikinomics, in 2006.

It’s a strategy utilized by seasoned organizations like Starbucks, eBay and even Procter and Gamble with an abundant research and development team. You would think P&G would have the funds to hire and conduct in-depth research inside their walls, but they chose to look outside for direct feedback on ways to improve. They crowdsource ideas for how to better deliver on what people want and need.

What I have learned is that Indigo deliberately engages and listens to unhappy customers because they offer learning for Indigo and a path to innovation. Check out this page, and you’ll see a plethora of engagement from customers who share their suggestions, daily. A community of ideas, and I should add, free research!

But that’s not the only thing they do. What Indigo has done so well is very clearly decipher the real meaning of a great experience, which is beyond simply matching an expectation: I want this book so I go to find it, I do, it’s a good price, I buy it, done.

They have clearly grasped that being in silos (whether by product or channels, etc.) the client and their experience will suffer so they layer their great experience in throughout their various platforms, their retail stores, online store and of course their mobile store. They understand that when a customer has a seamless experience with your brand on a tablet, on their mobile phone, in store or on the website, that ultimately influences the customer’s overall perception of Indigo’s brand and in turn creates loyalty – very smart thinking!

It’s never just about price, and I’m certain you would agree otherwise places like Starbucks wouldn’t exist. And we all know how well they’re doing!

It is truly wonderful to see a Canadian brand do so well when they’re up against giants in their industry and particularly in a time when innovative transformations are a must.

You will find this presentation by Indigo’s VP of customer experience helpful when trying to understand Indigo’s strategic thinking. But to get a deeper insight into who Indigo is, and how they navigate through a transformative world, you’d have to watch this interview with Indigo’s Founder and CEO Heather Reisman — a truly inspiring and passionate leader who has much to teach and has given me plenty to think about for our business at Tangerine.

Peter Aceto/June, 2015