Daniel Ord is the Founder/Director of Singapore-based consultancy OmniTouch International. He is an Ambassador and judge at the 2018 International Customer Experience Awards, which are taking place on November 20 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Recently, I was having a relaxed lunch at McDonalds, sitting at an outdoor patio here in sunny Singapore. As I looked around, many empty tables were covered with dirty trays, even though there was a convenient return station located in the corner of the patio.

First I thought of my Mom. She would never have allowed us to leave trash behind us for others to clean up (thanks Mom).

Then I shifted my thinking over to Customer Experience. Would a Customer Experience professional leave their dirty tray behind at a McDonalds?

It’s not what you say, it’s what you do

One of my dear friends says: “If you want to know the health of the tree, examine the fruit.”

Still sitting at McDonalds sipping my Coke, I took out some paper and jotted down the behaviours I think Customer Experience professionals display in their daily lives.

In today’s parlance, I’m referring to their ‘authentic selves’ – behaviours that happen even when no-one is watching.

Did you clear your tray at the food court or fast food restaurant, even if someone else is paid to do that?

If you did that’s cool. It shows you have humility.

It’s hard to imagine that folks who have too much pride to clear their own trays are able to put someone else front and centre in their thinking. It also shows you have empathy. When you see a lot of dirty trays lying around, you probably think: “My goodness, what about the poor staff who have to come out and clean this all up? Let me do my part to help.”

Humility and empathy. Check!

In the last week did  you read an article, open a book, watch a video, or attend a class?

If you did that’s cool. Customer Experience is fascinating in part because of the depth and breadth of the subject matter. No-one can know everything about CX – there is always something new to learn.

Your once-a-year seminar? Well that’s nice.

Do you brush your teeth once a year?  Wash your car once a year? Obviously not!

I think the best Customer Experience professionals regularly read, watch, interact, and listen to content that beefs up their know-how and perspectives.

In the last month did you send a compliment letter or post a positive review on social media?

Great Customer Experience people look for the ‘good’ in what they experience:

The lady at the salad counter at the grocery store, the bus driver, the call centre agent that helped you untangle a sticky problem. Organisations and people love to hear from you when they do good.

Complaints are easy.  Anyone can complain.

But identifying the good in what you see – and taking the time and effort to salute that – is important. That’s how you celebrate what’s going well in your own organisation too.

In the last month did you visit an art gallery, read a non-work related book, or attend a concert?

If so – great! Delivering a great Customer experience takes imagination, and the arts, in any form, serve as food for the imagination.

If you’re all work, work, work, your perspective shrinks; your ability to connect the dots diminishes and your experience of the world becomes a bit more grey.

Did you do what you said you would do?

So you RSVP’d for the party – but you didn’t go.

You said you would help your neighbour out with clearing the rubbish, but you got busy at work. You told your friend you would meet them for coffee, but something came up.

It’s hard to deliver a consistent and positive experience for customers if you don’t do what you said you would do. And doing what you said you would do begins in your own personal life.

Excuses have no place in a Customer Experience professional’s toolbox of behaviours.

Did you write an article, give a speech, speak on a podcast, share a story?

The best Customer Experience professionals give back. I recently read an article that stated that less than one percent of LinkedIn Members publish their own content.

That made me sad. But I bet if you boiled that analysis down to Customer Experience professionals only, you would see a much higher percentage contribution.

That’s because the best Customer Experience professionals share. And there are so many ways to share:

  • write an article
  • write a social media post
  • share a story
  • give a talk
  • participate on a panel

Many of the Customer Experience people I know or follow do all of these and more.

For more information on entering the 2018 International Customer Experience Awards, click here.

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