Longevity and Customer Experience – 100 years in business and counting

The only thing that is constant is change. Heraclitus quote

Longevity and Customer Experience – 100 years in business and counting

Slow like an LA rush hour or fast like a New York minute, change is inevitable. Companies that have passed the century mark realize that change is good, like new ice cream flavors. They are embracing the connection between longevity and customer experience, so they can be around for another hundred years.

Remember Me for Centuries

The Globe and Mail is a 175 year old newspaper in Canada that has evolved and diversified to maintain a foothold in the modern digitized information economy. From their Director, Customer Services, Andree Gosselin O’Meara:

“No longer solely a newspaper delivery customer service workforce, ours had to adapt to also provide support to the multi-platform digital reader, online tool-savvy stock investor, and investment advisors. In addition, our organization has diversified its activities in the events business from experiential and unique subscriber-only events, to policy discussion forums and most recently river cruising.”


Another company past the century mark that is killing it in customer service is Nordstrom:

“…the company invested the back-end development time required to turn the new store into a showcase of newly-developed processes and technology, including technology that allows for digital simulations of made-to-measure suits…high-tech, self-service return kiosks at the front of the store that allow customers to drop off returns, grab a bar coded receipt, and get back to work before their lunch hour evaporates, and multiple other innovations.”


Customers are no longer satisfied with only chocolate or vanilla ice cream, they want single origin dark chocolate with pomegranate swirl. Customers are seeking out the companies that match their expectations more and more.

The Winds of Change – Follow them or Be Blown Away

The Globe and Mail became aware that something needed to change in the area of customer experience in order to be competitive. They understood that customer expectations are higher than ever. Currently, they are going through a massive customer service overhaul. O’Meara has been sharing the experience on Linked In, including what catalyzed the revamp effort:

“No matter the amount of training we give our agents, we can no longer make material gains in improving the overall customer experience. The inability to use multi-channels within one interaction, the absence of a cohesive and comprehensive repository of customer information and the lack of real-time access to data analytics, simply cannot meet the high quality experience expected from our audience today. We desperately need the help of modern technology and data science to make us leap forward.”


Vanilla ice cream is good, but now there’s a custom nitrogen ice cream shop that delivers.

The Humanity in Business Success

Japan has the largest number of the world’s oldest businesses. There is even a Japanese term for legacy companies – ‘shinise.’

Gekkeikan is a sake company that began in 1637. It began small, grew and endures to this day partly because of technology and more:

“When the current 14th generation president Haruhiko Okura decided to define Gekkeikan’s age-old corporate principles in 1997, he did it in English — “quality,” ”creativity” and “humanity.”‘


As a leader in customer service, Nordstrom continues to raise the bar. Shea Jensen, Nordstrom’s SVP of customer experience refers to the customer targeted company approach:

“Jensen says another key to the Nordstrom formula is a constant focus on the customer. “The number one thing is customer centricity. All too often, folks in business today get focused on an outcome. I think, at Nordstrom, we really take all things back to the customer.”’


The humanity in customer experience is part of longevity. We don’t eat ice cream because we need it to survive. We eat it because it tastes amazing and that makes us feel good. As humans we are wired to seek out more:

“Whether we’re striving for a new job, more meaningful relationships, or personal enlightenment, we need to actively want something more in order to live well.”


Companies that get that move forward.

Plan, Plan, Plan

Any major organizational change is daunting. The best way to mitigate the overwhelm is to prepare. The Globe and Mail took this seriously and began months in advance. They used the Salesforce learning platform, Trailhead:

“To prepare for the considerable change coming soon, and months before we signed on the dotted line with Salesforce, all of us had created accounts in the company’s learning website Trailhead. By the time we were ready to execute, all managers and employees had accumulated many badges and points; all were familiar with the console, layouts, nomenclature and options. In short, it made the transition a cinch.”


Change is a Necessity for Longevity

Companies that last more than 100 years are impressive, especially considering that the lifespan of companies has decreased significantly:

“The average lifespan of a company listed in the S&P 500 index of leading US companies has decreased by more than 50 years in the last century, from 67 years in the 1920s to just 15 years today, according to Professor Richard Foster from Yale University.”


Maybe it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but for the long-standing companies that are open to it, change is their fountain of youth. CSAT.AI can help you transform.

…now where is my ice cream?