Experience Led Growth

Hi Friends!

Week 4/4 in TLV–can’t believe it’s been a month. 

Two interesting threads from the last few days before I jump in this week:

The state of ecom, by Sean Wallet Frank
New CAC report, by Taylor Holiday

Both are fantastic reads about the current state of ecom.

And of course, my favorite photos of the week:

Ok, let’s get into it.

We’ve chatted about Retention a bunch over the last few weeks. This week, we’ll swing the pendulum back a bit and talk about something I have been thinking about a whole lot lately: Experience Lead Growth (XLG). 

Cheap money has come to an end, paid acquisition is prohibitively expensive, and people often won’t buy without word of mouth that the product is worthwhile. 

While I think we can all agree that product is most important, for brands that don’t invest most of their balance sheet in Meta ads, great experiences can really move the needle on the growth side. 

This week, let’s chat about how CX can be a real growth lever and look at some practical examples and insights on how to implement XLG in your own business.

This week’s newsie is brought to you by Chattermill.

For brands looking to get customer insights that are linked to business outcomes - profitability, churn, or retention - Chattermill is the customer feedback analytics platform you need to know.

Here's how Chattermill helps brands grow profitably and surface precise, accurate insights from unstructured customer feedback data: 

Discover what impacts sentiment and satisfaction by analyzing unstructured text feedback from NPS surveys, CSAT, product reviews, and support interactions

Identify emerging issues as soon as they happen by surfacing real-time insights into customer pain points, bugs, and feature requests

Minimize customer support interactions by getting insights into the specific reasons why customers contact support and improve chatbot success.

Here’s what Steve Crolic, Associate Director Voice of the Customer at HelloFresh, says about Chattermill’s role in supporting their focus on generating profitable growth from customer experience:

“Chattermill's platform has transformed our focus on customers' needs. We can measure the impact of customers complaining about packaging, quality of ingredients, or recipe instructions, on retention and revenue.”

Chattermill has driven profitable growth for top brands:

HelloFresh: Boosted average order value by 30% and average number of orders per customer by 4%.

Bloom and Wild: Improved recipient NPS by 97% and sender NPS by 3%.

musicMagpie: Saved 200 hours per month for the customer support team

Chattermill helps CX teams connect their work with strategic company goals and helps businesses achieve long-term profitable growth through exceptional customer experience.

To learn more about what makes Chattermill different from other tools, check them out here.

Class is in Session: Quick History 

1920s - 1960s: Brand Leads the Growth Way

Back in the day, advertising on TV and radio was the way brands grew. Brands that could shout the loudest (i.e. spend the most) and get into people’s homes through flashy ads won. 

1960s - 1990s: Customer Service Evolves

Businesses started realizing that it’s not just about making noise but about creating a solid end-to-end journey for customers. Customer service became the name of the game, focusing on improving products and service levels to keep up with competitors.

1990s - 2010s: Hypergrowth Becomes the Norm

Enter the era of hypergrowth with companies like Airbnb, PayPal, and Uber. Fueled by VC dollars and a ZIRP post-2008 financial crisis, it was all about growth at any cost. The bigger, the better, regardless of the price to acquire new customers.

2020: The Pandemic Changes Everything

The pandemic shook things up, especially for direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands. They believed in endless growth but soon had to pivot when the pandemic’s initial impact faded. This was the beginning of a potential shift towards experience-led growth.

2020s - Now: The Era of XLG Takes Off

With rising interest rates and a demand for sustainable growth, knowing your customers is key. It feels like the current era is more about leveraging customer insights to reduce churn and grow than it ever has been.

Experience-led growth isn’t new—it is built on the idea that the best path to profitability is to figure out what matters most to your customers.

With companies such as Peloton, Lyft, Farfetch, and many others that were once legit unstoppable now seeing their share prices collapse (I could have bought three Pelotons with the $ I lost on PTON stock,) a new generation of investors now see that profitability is not something to compromise on, even in boom times.

Experience-led growth enables you to treat your unique customer experience as your key competitor advantage. This means proactively investing in and consciously building a distinctive customer experience across the whole customer journey.

But is this at all reasonable as a growth lever? And how should brands do this?

Implementing XLG: Practical Examples and Insights


HelloFresh, the leading recipe box delivery service, is probably one of the best-in-class examples of XLG. By leveraging data to refine inventory and product offerings based on customer feedback, they saw a 30% increase in average order value and a 4% increase in the number of orders per customer. 


Wise, an international digital banking service, uses NPS analytics to boost new customer acquisition. They focused on the viral impact of word of mouth and monitored NPS for voice-of-customer analysis. This strategy led to 60% growth and over £2 billion transferred through their platform.


Uber’s strategy revolved around a deep customer focus, building local networks without heavy marketing spend. By targeting early adopters and enhancing engagement through word of mouth (including their mega-popular referral bonus that I may or may not have abused 🙃 ), Uber increased their 2023 revenue by 11%, generating $221 million in net income. 

Turning Insights into Action

To successfully implement XLG, here are some key StRaTeGiEs:

  1. Awareness:

    • Leverage word of mouth through exceptional customer experiences. The best examples of this are from Chewy (such as here, here, and here.)

    • From a less fluffy and over-the-top angle, you can simply encourage satisfied 5-star review customers to share their experiences on social media etc.

  2. Acquisition:

    • Invest in a smooth, seamless purchase process. This not only improves conversion rates but also maximizes the return on every dollar spent on customer acquisition.

    • Example: Simplify the checkout process, reduce friction points, and ensure that your site is mobile-friendly. (mostly brands have 60-70% traffic coming on mobile.)

  3. Expansion:

    • Use SMART cross-sell and upsell strategies to increase margins. Identify opportunities to offer complementary products or services to your existing customer base in a way that helps them fall in love with your brand more and have a better experience, not just spend more money.

  4. Service:

    • Lower operational costs by improving customer experiences. Fewer returns, cancellations, and support contacts can significantly reduce costs.

    • Example: Provide clear and helpful product information, offer easy return processes, and ensure customer support is readily available and effective. I recently heard from a tech device company that they were able to cut their returns massively by simply offering better product education pre and post-purchase.

XLG is a mindset that requires commitment across the organization. Here’s how to cultivate it:

  1. Create a Direct Connection Between Experience and Business Outcomes:

    • Make it clear how exceptional customer experiences drive key business metrics like revenue, retention, and customer lifetime value.

  2. Quantify and Track Customer Perceptions:

    • Use tools like NPS, customer satisfaction surveys, and feedback loops to continuously gauge customer sentiment and adjust strategies accordingly.

  3. Integrate CX into Organizational Structure:

    • Align your company’s structure and processes with your CX goals. Ensure every team understands their role in enhancing customer experience and has the tools to contribute effectively.

Although some of this is a bit fluffy, I do truly believe pushing experience-led growth is not just pressing a few buttons. You truly need to change the way you think about building a brand across every team in the company.

If you put experience first (or second, after a great product), all other goodness will follow.

That’s it for this week!

Any topics you'd like to see me cover in the future?

Just shoot me a DM or an email!


Eli 💛

P.S. Looking for inspo on your next email/sms campaign?

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