Once a successful company, always a successful company? Hardly!

89% of the companies on the Fortune 500 in 1955 were not listed in 2014.

Should companies invest more in customer service departments and call centers? Nope!

By 2020, the customer will manage 85% of its relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human.

There are exceptional enterprises that have realized what these statistics really mean: the wise invest in online customer experience, and we have explored why in this previous blog post. The following enterprises have done just that, and based on their understanding of and adapting to the trends, they will be leading their industries for many years to come.

Virgin America

Hailed by Wired as “super slick . . . mobile first, and strikingly pain free,” Richard Branson’s Virgin America did not accept the status quo of airline booking site. Not surprising, since pretty much everything about the venture has challenged the status quo – from their safety video to their AC power and free satellite TV at every seat.

Virgin America has challenged the standard airline booking site. It uses no photos (stock or otherwise), no ads, and is a single screen designed to fit the mental map of the user. The flow resembles that of an app more than a typical website.

“The result is a site that gets flyers booked nearly twice as fast, on any kind of device, while building Virgin’s reputation as a passenger focused airline.”

Usertesting.com put the new site to the test, and “the users reported that the process felt streamlined and enjoyable.”

Branson does it again!


VW-userexperienceWhile Branson hasn’t inserted himself into the automotive industry (yet), VW has made a Branson-esque move and transformed the norm. Much less like other auto sites, and much more like dating sites, VW.com’s user experience case study explains that it “uses matchmaking functionality to help shoppers find their dream car based on whatever they’re looking for—a particular model, features, color, or even price. Then it pairs them with new or used Volkswagen cars in their area. Each car even has its own profile page with images, features, specs, and payment estimator.”

The design is user-centric, informative, and memorable.

Who says you can’t fall in love with a car?



Another company that has disrupted an industry (are we sensing a trend here?) is Zappos. Their real-world customer service is exceptional with their industry’s first (and best) guarantee: fast, free shipping and free returns (including prepaid shipping) for a full year.

But, in the world of online user experience, what sets Zappos apart is their incredible personalization. Another ClickTale expert wrote about her personal experience in this article, but the bottom line is that Zappos knows what I want, they deliver relevant content, and it works!


Zappos is revolutionizing their industry with ideas like removing product descriptions. Perhaps other companies rely on them for SEO value, but Zappos puts users first and Google bots second (and frankly, that is the way Google likes it!). They researched real users’ interactions with their site and discovered that customers want images first, then videos and reviews. So, they designed their product pages to serve their users, without what the industry previously viewed as the “required” textual product descriptions.


Walt Disney has been called a genius, a visionary, and “The World’s First UX Designer.” One of the best features of Disney’s customer experience is its omni-channel consistency.

Of course, all sites are responsive for all devices, but that is just a building block. By designing all of their properties with user-centricity, Disney.com, the MyDisneyExperience smartphone app, and the Magic Band program (with integration to FastPass and PhotoPass), Disney has removed friction, and in its place, inserted that famous Disney magic.

As noted by Openroad.ca, “subtle digital enhancement [adds] something magical about skipping to the front of the line to have your child’s picture taken with a beloved Disney character and then conveniently ordering the photos online later. This is both an example of an existing omni-channel experience, as well as the current high water mark for experiences that move between the physical and digital.”

Many enterprises are doing it right

Virgin America, Zappos, VW, and Disney are not alone. We are pleased to find many enterprises exceling at customer experience. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel and L.L.Bean are a couple of other great examples. What they have in common is unmistakable: understanding their users’ motivations and behavior, and creating personalized digital customer experience designs to thrill and please them.

This post was originally posted on the Clicktale Blog on October 12, 2015