5 quick-fire CX questions with Virgin Galactic




The GM Astronaut Experience and Hospitality for Virgin Galactic answers some controversial questions, such as what he believes is the most overused buzzword in CX.

Following on from our in-depth interview with Martijn Brouwer, GM Astronaut Experience and Hospitality for Virgin Galactic – in which he discussed the unique challenge of working for the world’s first commercial space line and how he aims to deliver a great customer experience not just in space but on the ground as well – we sat down with Brouwer for some quick-fire CX questions!

CX

What is the most overused buzzword in customer experience?

Omni-channel. I think people try to do too much of a good thing over too many different channels. You need to focus on what you’re good at and don’t try too hard to get good at everything.

And what is most underrated in CX tool?

Probably personal interaction; face-to-face chat. We forget about that and it’s obviously often the most impactful way to do business.

"People have stayed in touch with us because of us creating a personal relationship."


What’s the best customer experience you have ever received?

Oh, that’s a good question. I think the four- or five-star American hotels have been able to listen very carefully and try to surprise you with little things such as a monogrammed pillowcase or some kind of special shampoo in the shower just for you. Those little kinds of personal touches that they’re able to implement quickly have always impressed me quite a bit.

Is there an initiative or CX strategy you’ve seen the most success from in your past CX roles, and why? 

It comes back to the personal interaction. I worked in India on a wellness retreat and one of our strategies was for people before they came onto their wellness retreat to have a Skype chat with our wellness director, just to make sure that what people are thinking is what they’re requesting via our website or via the booking agents.

"Artificial intelligence is going to be an even greater force to deal with in the year to come."


People have stayed in touch with us because of us creating a personal relationship. And this has been really successful in getting people to come back to the retreat over and over again. It’s that personal interaction, speaking to people and listening to what they have to say rather than doing it through an app or a phone call or a form or whatever it might be.

Finally, what do you feel is going to be the key trend, disruptor or new change in the market in 2018 that people should be looking at now to prepare them for the year ahead?

SEE ALSO: Customer experience predictions for 2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) is going to be an even greater force to deal with in the year to come than it has been already.

The expectation of the (younger) costumer over all channels is a personalised and fast response to queries and problems. Technology can only help with this, but we should not forget the power of a one-on-one conversation and completely rely on technology.

From my point of view, costumer experience depends on a personal interaction, only using technology to help make this interaction as meaningful as possible. When a guest understands you are serious in your intentions and show real interest, there will be no technology that can beat you.