Customer Experience, once thought to be the “Buzzword of 2018”, is now a key driver to business success. Businesses are realising that they are nothing without their customers, and as customer expectation and scrutiny continues to rise, the ability to meet the needs and demands of your customers is growing more and more necessary every day.
But how do you create internal support and momentum in your organisation when customer experience isn’t always on the forefront of everyone’s minds? And just what can you expect when undertaking a CX transformation journey?
That’s what a room full of 270+ marketers were eager to find out at the CX Conference yesterday. It may have been a rainy Auckland start to the day, but inside, the classic Kiwi road trip was getting underway, with our speakers taking us on a CX journey, showcasing insights and outcomes that help navigate digital transformation in this crucial area.
We kicked the day off with a poll question “What is your organisation’s biggest CX challenge?”
45% of attendees stated that lack of real-time customer insights was the biggest challenge, with ‘convincing areas of the business the importance of CX’ coming in second at 31%. Setting the tone for where our attendees’ company and mindsets were currently placed.
Our first speaker of the day, Cath Brands, Global Industry Marketing Director of Microsoft US, reminded us that the consumer psyche is changing rapidly and that the likes of Uber, Amazon, Netflix and Airbnb all changed the game in industries that weren’t really innovating – resetting the playing field and raising consumer expectations.
Her biggest word of advice? Start with the customer and work backwards. Sounds simple right? You’d be surprised how many have it the other way around!
The key takeaways;
And on a personal level:
Sharing their journey to reach CX maturity by 2021, Susanne Stevenson, CX Strategy Manager for Australia and New Zealand’s largest general insurance company, IAG, reiterated Cath Brands’ point about market disruptors.
She stressed that CX is vital because today’s hyper-informed customers aren’t comparing your product or service to your direct competitors - you’re being compared to the experience leaders: The Netflix’, Amazons’ and Airbnbs of the world who are raising customer expectations about what experience should be.
IAG’s challenge? How often do customers actually interact with their insurance company? At renewal and at claims. So how can an insurance company drive loyalty and advocacy?
Susanne followed with a quote from Darren Kernahan, Co-founder and CEO of Proto Partners: “Brand is the promise we make. CX is the promise we keep.” By building meaningful experiences that back up that brand promise.
Here’s how IAG are doing it:
While the scale of a company like IAG might make one rule out any application to smaller businesses, Susan gave us three takeaways that all organisations can take on board:
Russell Douglas, D&Co, co-presented with David Brem, Foodstuffs, to show us how enhancing the life of real people through human-centred design and experiences has paid off for New World.
They achieved this with 5 key themes;
At the early stages of New World’s CX journey, they knew that before they could deliver a customer-centric experience, they first had to acknowledge that they’re customers aren’t them.
For any organisation or CX professional, this is an important lesson - because most people aren’t CX professionals. It’s safe to assume that nearly every person who attended the conference also attended university - but only 26% of all New Zealanders have a Bachelors degree or higher qualification. CX professionals are experts, specialists, and typically hold leadership roles. The average annual income for a New Zealander is about $50k.
So, with this in mind, New World put their customer's shoes on and walked in them. They immersed themselves into the experience of a New World customer, sending ‘New Worlders’ on shopping missions and documenting every thought, feeling, and moment.
They undertook one-on-one customer interviews, observed shoppers and employed their impressive Clubcard data set to really understand their customers, and they mapped the customer journey with all the ‘Moments that Matter’.
Then they made it physical. Erecting the Moments that Matter boards in their collab space, they created meaningful interactions and became a key tool for induction.
New Worlds, win-win-win mindset (wins for customers, wins for owner-operators and wins for foodstuffs) and their 3-tiered approach to excellent CX (starting with brilliant basics, then performance enhancers, and topping off with the real key to CX: experience differentiation) allowed them to map uniquely ‘New World’ customer journeys and deliver excellent CX.
We then had the absolute pleasure to be joined by Grace Stratton, Co-founder, All is for All, who at just 19 years old has launched a company that focuses on accessibility and designing for diversity.
We all learnt a lot from having Grace present, including some truth bombs and hard-hitting stats; 24% of New Zealanders are living with a disability, that’s 1 million who have access needs and thinks differently as a customer.
Her advice for being all-inclusive?
Grace left us to ponder this question, “Do you want to be setting the standard, or playing catch up?”
Boys aged 16-24 who are in the early days of their Restricted Licence period are over-represented in crash statistics. This was the issue discussed by NZTA’s Andrea Amies. To engage at-risk young drivers and generally make everyone safer and better drivers, NZTA built drive.govt.nz, theDrive Go app and the Drive toolkit.
They began by conducting thorough research to understand their customer. Andrea presented two customer personas: Matt and Dan, 16 and 19 respectively. 16-year-old Matt thinks he’s a great driver and got his restricted licence as soon as he could to give him more freedom behind the wheel. Dan isn’t prepared to make the effort to get his licence and he’s at risk of running into trouble for driving without a licence.
They sought to understand the barriers to learning to drive and what matters to their customers. Their customers were saying ‘make it about me’. The Drive tools were co-designed with customers and experts to create an experience that’s totally customer-centric. The tools are visual, designed for low-literacy, they’re interactive and fun, they reward progress and were designed with consideration for neuro-diverse people and people with learning disabilities.
To create something truly customer-centric, here are Andrea’s tips:
Redefining the customer journey is not always an easy thing to do, but that’s just what Toyota NZ has done in the automotive industry. Morgan Dilks and Shaun Crooks from Toyota NZ shared with us how combining an understanding of what customers want, with what’s possible, can come up with a viable solution.
With dealer visits decreasing and online research increasing, Toyota NZ had to change its focus to the customer experience to regain trust and make the car buying experience easier and more enjoyable for the customer – all whilst ensuring a sustainable business model.
What did they do to achieve this?
Customer Experience is just as important as the product and the results of a 23% uptake in test drive bookings via online and a 2.3% increase in new vehicle customers since the launch of the campaign is a testament to that.
Our second-to-last session saw Rob Limb, CEO of TRACK Australia and New Zealand, moderate a panel of CX decision-makers. Among the panellists was Air New Zealand’s General Manager Customer Experience, Nikki Goodman, Z Energy’s Head of Customer, Kieran Turner, Loyalty New Zealand’s Head of Digital Experience, Fiona Hicks and Managing Director of Goodale & Co, Ben Goodale.
The panel began with an interesting question: Why has CX become a discipline in its own right? Surely marketers should know that retention is more cost-effective than acquisition? Our panellists theorised that the need for CX was driven by the visibility of feedback: the rise of social media, the publicity of experiences and the resulting potential impact on brand. Like Susanne Stevenson quoted in the day: “Brand is the promise we make. CX is the promise we keep.” CX might be a discipline of its own, but as marketers, it’s our role to keep our brand promise across all touchpoints. Ben Goodale raised a point about the role of creativity in CX, that part of selling anything is entertaining people. Surprise and delight moments, clever copywriting, a meaningful brand story - all those things marketers love so much - are part of the experience.
Rob prompted insightful discussion from the panellists around CX, how to get everyone on board and ready to invest in CX, what CX means for marketers, how to measure results, and how small businesses can improve their CX. Here are some key takeaways:
Getting everybody on board:
Tips for smaller businesses:
When Chelsey Gordon of Les Mills International and Catchi’s Cornelius Boertjens took the stage to wrap up CX 2019, they had the audience on their feet, warming up in true Les Mills style. With everyone’s blood pumping and breath puffing, the presentation commenced. Chelsey and Cornelius discussed how Les Mills International have been using customer behaviour insights to deliver personalised experiences through their On Demand programme.
Les Mills International’s purpose is simple: Create a fitter planet. They’re a global company in growth mode, so they’re chasing hefty targets and customer expectations are at an all-time high. The scale of their business creates a challenge: How can they stay close to their customers to make sure they’re delivering exceptional experience across the world?
Les Mills’ success with customer-centric experimentation stems from an obsession with their customers, design and innovation co-created with customers, prioritising internal experience just as they prioritise customer experience, and an organisation-wide commitment to CX - just like the success stories of our other speakers.
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