Today’s interview is with retail expert Peter Cross who until recently was the Customer Experience Director at John Lewis and Waitrose and prior to that spent ten years as Mary Portas’ business partner. Peter joins me today to talk about retail customer experience, some of the lessons he has learned over the course of the last few years, experience leadership and what he sees as some of the challenges ahead for experience leaders.
This interview follows on from my recent interview – The top frustrations of customers and agents are the same – Interview with Jeff Nicholson of Pega — and is number 402 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.
NOTE: A big thank you goes out to the folks at babelforce for sponsoring my podcast this month.
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Pierce and Jonathan Baer of Vonage are running a webinar on the 28th October at 11:00am CET and they will be discussing exactly how businesses are getting maximum benefit from WhatsApp, one of the fastest-growing channels for customer service. Follow this link to sign up. You don’t want to miss out as you will get to see a demo of the babelforce platform in action!
Here’s the highlights of my chat with Peter:
Eight years in charge of the customer experience at John Lewis and Waitrose and ten more as Mary Portas’ business partner, mean there are few who can match Peter Cross’ unique blend of consulting and practical experience and step so confidently into the future of shopping to ensure brands and organisations remain irresistible to their target consumers.
Peter has worked in marketing communications for 30 years, in house at Burberry, L’Oreal and the Cartier group. For ten years he was Mary Portas’ business partner at her eponymous strategic retail agency Portas where the pair gave strategic advice to brands including Westfield, Clarks, Mercedes Benz and Louis Vuitton and launched a number of publishing and media ventures.
In his time at the John Lewis Partnership, customers slept in shops, staff were sent to theatre school, the organisation’s values and purpose were reset, a Christmas ad campaign became the global benchmark and latterly Waitrose supermarkets played a front line role in feeding the nation.
Peter sat on the Government’s high street task force, is an Ambassador for the industry charity the Retail Trust and is a Vice President at the Institute of Customer Service.
Find out more about Peter and connect with him on LinkedIn here.