Open for business –
A story of entrepreneurship
Our story begins in Shanghai, China, in 2005. While shopping in a high-end mall, Christophe Caïs saw a gap between what the luxury brands were aiming to deliver and what was actually happening in the stores. He saw an opportunity to help luxury brands deliver a better customer experience through a deeper understanding of their customers. Albatross was born a few months later (in February 2006), specializing inCX measurement.
Convincing long-established luxury brands that a new start-up could help grow their business was tough at first, but the team was motivated and focused. Early 2006, Albatross won its first client – Benetton Sisley.
Expansion in Asia
With our first satisfied client, referrals and word of mouth grew. Albatross started winning contracts across China and we rapidly opened offices in Beijing and Guangzhou. More projects followed from other cities within APAC, and new offices were opened in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei and Singapore. As we entered more mature markets,
we identified new opportunities to support our clients by adapting our solutions to provide more in-depth CX measurement.
Supporting CX implementation
The business continued to grow and transform
as our clients’ needs rapidly evolved. Our CX measurement solutions provided many practical, actionable insights to our clients. We noticed they sometimes had trouble implementing them.
In 2010, therefore, we partnered with Fabrice Tavel Besson to launch Face2Face, a specialist CX training business. Face2Face develops training and coaching programs to help luxury brands enhance the CX competence of their retail managers and staff. These programs, along with our measurement solutions, help brands embed a CX mindset within their teams, by improving CX awareness, changing sales focus, enhancing skills and changing cultures.
By the 2010s, customer experience (CX) was becoming a strong focus for brands. In the luxury market, most CX transformations were managed centrally at the corporate HQ, rather than by local offices. So we expanded into Europe to be closer to our clients’ key decision makers and their brands internationally.
We opened new group offices in Paris, followed by London, Moscow and New York. A large on-going project in the UAE brought us to Dubai, where we discovered a vibrant, business-friendly city, ideally located between the North American, European and APAC markets. We decided to make Dubai our headquarters, where support functions and the executive team are based.
Customers beyond the transactional interactions
they had with their brands. One brand, for example, used to ask for customer’s personal information during the sales process. This worked fine in Europe, but it went down badly in China, where a high level of discretion and privacy was preferred. We created Wisely Insights, a boutique consumer research agency, to help our clients avoid these pitfalls. Wisely Insights enables clients to fully understand the expectations of luxury and premium brand customers across all touchpoints, highlighting potential gaps and providing practical guidance on how best to address them.
Customer Experience Group is born
As our client relationships developed, we started signing more contracts that needed multiple solutions from more than one of our agencies. We realized we needed to unify our solutions into a stronger, more united proposition.
We wanted to be seen as a strategic partner, not merely a respected service provider. A company our clients could trust; one that could guide them on their journey and help them find new solutions to the problems they were facing.
The Customer Experience Group was the first step into unifying our brands, but we needed to go further.
CXG – One name, one company, one brand
Our clients, like most businesses, particularly in retail, were hit hard by Covid-19. We, too, had to respond to the changing situation and take tough decisions around our people and resources. But it also drove us to be more resilient as a team and as a company. We took the opportunity to strategically review our clients’ evolving needs, as well as our business and the way we operated, positioning ourselves for the opportunities of tomorrow, as well as the challenges of today.
CXG was born from the merger of our three agencies under one name, one brand and one vision: to become the preferred customer experience transformation partner for premium and luxury brands. Our journey continues.