Speakers: Rob Wentling | , SBI
How to make the customer experience a competitive differentiator.

Rob Wentling Customer Experience


Our guest today is a Vice President of Global Product Strategy who knows a thing or two about creating a customer experience advantage. This is a must-hear podcast for not just product leaders. CEO’s, marketing and sales leaders will gain valuable insight into key drivers of purchase. It’s difficult to grow revenue faster than your industry’s growth rate and faster than your competitors. Leverage SBI’s How to Make Your Number in 2018 PDF Workbook to access a revenue growth methodology to hit your number quarter after quarter, and year after year. 


Our expert guest is Cigna’s Vice President of Global Product Strategy and Operations, Rob Wentling.  Cigna is one of the largest global health services companies in the world. Rob is accountable for creating and delivering an enterprise-wide product strategy including core product development and management processes critical in helping Cigna achieve its “Go Deep, Go Global, and Go Individual” strategy. During the interview, Rob will demonstrate how to make the customer experience a competitive differentiator by using Cigna as an example.


Why is this topic important? Customer’s expectations have risen, and failure to provide an exceptional experience for each customer can result in poor revenue growth. Some customers prioritize their experience over product performance, believe it or not, when making a purchase decision. This requires a deep understanding of the customer’s journey and each touch point along the way. Mapping this customer’s journey is a difficult yet mission critical task that when done correctly can result in exceptional revenue growth.


customer experienceRob defines the customer experience as creating an experience design that exceeds customer’s expectations. Basically, providing them greater value than they anticipate or they expect. Watch as Rob describes how to understand which customer touch points are most critical, those moments that matter the most. Understand which customer segments have the greatest needs at the different moments that matter and communicate it in messaging. Construct that experience and you have a true level of competitive differentiation.


In addition to product management professionals, who else benefits from this podcast?


  • Sales leaders receive insights into the importance of customer experience in the buying process, and act to work with product marketing to enable sales to communicate
  • Marketing leaders provide direction to product marketing to prioritize the customer experience, where applicable, over product features
  • HR leaders to update product management job requirements
  • CEO’s to evaluate the investment into customer experience and receive insights into how the experience can prevent competitive erosion


There are three primary ways to compete. Product differentiation, price, or customer experience. It seems like that we’re living in an era where product differentiation is harder and harder to obtain, product life cycles are much shorter. With global competitors, product features are sometimes easily copied quickly. It also is very difficult to sustain a price advantage. The customer experience is uniquely human and difficult to copy. If you can truly master that customer experience and how humans interact with other humans and differentiate in those moments that matter, that Rob mentioned earlier, it’s sustainable.


Listen as Rob and I discuss Customer Experience Design and answer the following questions: 


  • How do you embed customer experience design in your organization?
  • How do you develop customer experience journey maps to understand what exactly motivates people, and what bothers them when buying your product?
  • What impact does the customer experience have on brand loyalty? How do you measure this?
  • Do you use tools such as touch-point analysis?
  • Do your customers care about the customer experience only after they have purchased the product and are using it, or do they care about their experience as they are buying it? What implications does this create?
  • Who is the primary customer advocate inside an organization and why?


If you would like to spend some time with me on the customer experience of your company, come see me and my handpicked experts on the topic in Dallas. The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. Sessions at The Studio are experiential and are designed around the principles of interactive exercises, hands-on innovation, and peer-to-peer collaboration. The Studio is a safe haven for learning and after just a few days clients leave with confidence and clarity on what they need to do to grow revenue and how to do it.


The Studio


Photo Source: © Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons