Paul Lafata Interview
Paul Lafata, Lab1886 –The startup incubator for Daimler / Mercedes-Benz
Tell us a little about your background in CX. How did you get started in Customer Experience?
I launched my career in digital design after graduating from SCAD. I fell in love with the ability to influence customer behavior and help improve their lives through design. As a digital product designer, the customer experience is always something I have been a part of creating. It’s been at the forefront in the process of product designs I’ve worked on for mobile phones, IOT devices, cars, and scooter-sharing platforms.
How would you define Customer Experience?
Customer experience is how people interact and think of your product and company. It has a powerful ability to affect brand perception, ignite passion in brand advocates, and influence sales. Customer experience can make or break a company.
What would you say is the biggest challenge in providing excellent customer experiences?
Overcoming an existing negative brand perception can be a challenge to fix, once it’s been implanted in the minds of customers. But it is not impossible to re-invigorate or re-invent a brand through a great customer experience to change hearts and minds.
What advice would you give to professionals looking to get into the customer experience field? (e.g. Field of study, How do they get experience?)
I started my career in the design and user experience fields. I think it’s a good way to get into the heads of a customer and advocate for them.
What are some things that you feel will have the biggest impact on customer experiences in the next 5 years?
The following areas come to mind:
– The balance of making things “easier” for customers to interact with you.
– The role of how to effectively use AI, while not losing the human connection.
– Improving digital and speed to do business
Any final words of wisdom or advice related to CX
Make it count. Don’t underestimate the ability CX has to make people love your brand.
Do you have a blog?
Out of curiosity, what are your favorite hobbies?
I love building things with dangerous power tools, drinking good beer with good friends, chasing powder on a snowboard, cross-country road trips and making short films about interesting people.