3 quick-fire CX questions with Zappos’ Head of Customer Research
In this interview, Alex Genov reveals the most overrated industry buzzword, the best experience he has received and the biggest learning on his journey so far.
Alex Genov is the Head of Customer Research at US online shoe and clothes retailer Zappos, which is known for its exceptional customer experience.
Genov is an experienced customer research professional who applies his experimental social psychology background and his passion for research, design and innovation to solving important customer and business problems.
His professional goal is to help teams create remarkable products and services, which make people's lives easier and more enjoyable.
SEE ALSO: The Global State of Customer Experience 2018 Survey
Currently, Genov is leading customer research for the Zappos Family of Companies. In previous positions, he was responsible for research and usability of the products and services for companies like TurboTax (Intuit), State Farm Insurance and the Active Network.
Previously, we published an interview with Genov in which he explained how the company’s “obsession” with their customers’ happiness has led them to become one of the most respected brands when it comes to the customer experience they’re providing.
Today, we sit down for a brief catch-up in which he answers the three burning CX questions we ask our interviewees: the most overrated industry buzzword, the best experience he has received and the biggest learning on his journey so far.
"If you don’t understand what your customers expect, then you’re in for a surprise."
Welcome back, Alex! Please tell me, what is the most overrated buzzword in customer experience, and why?
Personalisation, especially in retail because it’s not really well understood from the perspective of the customer.
Everyone assumes it’s great and while it is great, we researched it with our customers and found out that personalisation means different things for different people.
So if you don’t understand what your customers expect, then you’re in for a surprise.
What is the best customer experience you have ever received?
I often use hospitality as metaphor for CX. Restaurateur Danny Meyer wrote that hospitality is “when something happens for you not to you”, which is a very profound statement.
A great restaurant experience does not only involve the food but also the service by an observant and really empathetic waiter who anticipates your needs. That’s the best experience that comes to my mind.
And, finally, what has been your biggest customer experience learning along the way?
It’s about understanding customers as people and knowing what is meaningful for them in their lives.
Only then you can solve important problems for them – and as a company you will make a lot of money in the process.