Introducing Co-op’s Customer Experience Strategy team

Co-op recently created a new Customer Experience (CX) Strategy team. This post explains why our team exists, our purpose and how we work. 

What we mean when we say ‘customer experience’

Customer experience (CX) is how a customer thinks and feels about all interactions they have with a brand. Customers no longer base their loyalty on price or product. Instead, they stay loyal to brands that offer the best experiences. This means brands can gain a competitive advantage by providing customers with a consistent, personal and rewarding experience.

We need to consider CX across the whole customer journey 

At Co-op, we offer a varied range of products and services. Customers can come to us to buy both pet food and pet insurance. They can pick up today’s dinner from a Food store or prepare for their future through Life Services. They can place an online food order or plan their funeral. And along the way, they have many different interactions with us. 

Speaking to a Co-op colleague in a Food store is just one of the many interactions that customers can have with us

By meeting or exceeding customer expectations every time they connect with us – whether in physical or digital spaces – we create better experiences for them. This means customers will be more likely to continue to use our services and to recommend Co-op. In the long term, this helps us gain a competitive advantage through: 

  • better retention 
  • more effective cross-selling 
  • bigger customer networks 

Lots of our colleagues are already working to create better customer experiences. But an approach that works across the whole business and considers the entire end-to-end experience for customers is a new and exciting opportunity for us. This is where the new CX Strategy team comes in.

Our CX Strategy team is responsible for the holistic customer experience across Co-op 

The CX Strategy team works in partnership with colleagues across the business to create seamless journeys that solve customer problems and improve their experience. 

We: 

  • collaborate with business areas, working alongside them to develop actionable CX strategy 
  • shape strategies based on customer insights 
  • join the dots across different teams, systems and processes 
  • define opportunities for improving the end-to-end experience for customers 
By considering the whole end-to-end journey customers have with us, including the ways we connect then with their community, we can improve their experiences

The CX Strategy team is partnering with teams across the business 

As well as CX strategists, the CX Strategy team is made up of experts in content strategy, research and service design. When we partner with a business area team on a project, it’s important that we begin by understanding the current landscape. We ask the team to share their expertise on their business area and customers with us. We then work with them to map customer journeys and identify points of friction. As we move through the process of exploring and setting the strategy, we’re able to distil our focus and make recommendations. This helps us create a realistic implementation plan that the business area team can put into action. 

A diagram outlining the working approach that the CX Strategy team use

So far, we’ve: 

  • worked with Life Services to create a customer experience strategy grounded in insight, making changes across a customer journey that crossed two business areas to generate new revenue streams 
  • worked with Nisa to understand the current wholesale customer experience and identified opportunities that have the potential to increase sales by millions  
  • mapped how we’re measuring CX at Co-op 

Next, we’ll be working with Membership, our customer service centre, Co-op Power and Food. We’ll be focusing on creating customer experience that works for our customers, members and communities and that also benefits our business. 

The CX Strategy team 


Co-op colleagues can join our ‘Customer Experience Spotlight’ talks 

We’re marking CX Day 2021 with a series of CX best practice talks on Tuesday 5, Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 October.   

If you’re a Co-op colleague, you can sign up to join our lunchtime Customer Experience Spotlight talks to find out how Insurance, Life Services and Food are championing CX.