An opportunity for businesses to reassess why, what and how they’ve been doing things up until now.
We conducted this interview with our Head of CX, Jeanne Ogilvie, before the COVID-19 crisis and we hesitated about whether to share it at this uncertain time. An eternal optimist, Jeanne asks, “What if businesses used this period to take a step back? What if people used this period of reflection as an opportunity to reassess why, what and how they’ve been doing things up until now? What if they used this time to imagine the best version of their business and put things in place to come out prepared and stronger? In time of crisis people need something to stay engaged and positive.” So here we are, posting this interview.
84% of customers claimed that a company’s experience is as important as its products. This trend is projected to reach a 100 percent parity between experience and product quality by 2023.
CX is a very overused term! So much so that there’s lots of confusion around what it actually means. Everyone has their own definition, but for me it’s simple: Customer Experience encompasses all the interactions and perceptions between a customer and a brand or organisation. When we work with clients to redesign their Customer Experience, we help them take a holistic approach, which means that we consider all touchpoints, be it on or offline. Every component of the experience is considered from a human perspective.
The first challenge is confusion around the terminology. A lot of people say they are doing CX but they’re thinking of User Experience (which is just one part of CX), market research (where turning insights into opportunities is the real challenge) or customer service, which is literally dealing with problems and again, is just one part of a whole CX strategy.
The second challenge is that CX doesn’t have a clear home within an organisation. For businesses without a dedicated team, the biggest barrier is “Who’s in charge of this?”, “Who’s budget should this come out of? Is it Marketing? Operations? Product?” The answer is, it’s everyone’s! This in itself is a big ask because in most established organisations, the business operates in separate non-collaborative departments. Since the industrial revolution businesses have been purposefully designed and optimised for efficiency – “the marketing department works on this, the operations team works on that, the product team is in charge of this etc. …”. This way of working has become a huge barrier for people tackling cross-organisation challenges such as CX. And for businesses not set up to do it, the customer has fallen through the cracks.
The third is that, in the short term, it can be difficult to measure the impact of a CX strategy. This is why we spend a lot of time in the first few meetings defining what success looks like and establishing clear KPIs for our clients.
I can’t think of a single company that should not consider CX as key priority for their business moving forward. The problem is they don’t know where to start.
There is a lot of data out there to show that customer-centric organisations are more successful and profitable than those that aren’t. But a great product isn’t good enough
anymore – customers are increasingly demanding experiences. According to a 2019 Salesforce customer research piece, 84 percent of customers claimed that a company’s experience is as important as its products. This trend is projected to reach a 100 percent parity between experience and product quality by 2023.
But most of all, what we see with our clients and other best practice in CX is that they acquire new customers, increase dwelling time/conversion rates/average spend, and develop loyalty and brand advocacy. It’s common sense really: if you’ve invested human and financial resources to develop a deep understanding of your target audiences, identified the different friction points (or opportunities!) throughout the whole customer experience, ideated collectively around the best way to solve these challenges and implement key strategic initiatives, it is inevitable that you’ll see the effects on the bottom line.
CX is the perfect blend of psychology and creativity – understanding people and designing clever, effective and tangible solutions.
Well, this might sound cheesy, but I think it’s because I’m fascinated by human behaviour. I love spending time trying to understand people: what makes them tick, what drives them mad, what they aspire to, what they actively avoid, what they do outside work, how they organise their lives and how they see and think about things. It is truly fascinating how different yet similar we all are, and I can’t think of anything more exciting than stepping into someone’s shoes and living their lives for a day…or more!
The other reason is that I’ve always been attracted to and worked in creative environments, where smart, interesting people work together to challenge thinking, flipping things on their heads and ultimately designing solutions that enhance experiences. CX is the perfect blend of both disciplines – understanding people and designing clever, creative, effective and tangible solutions.
Well, I should start by saying that I’m totally biased! For those who don’t know Frost*collective, we’re a collective of strategists and designers dedicated to designing human-centred experiences that enrich lives, challenge thinking and drive positive change.Our point of difference in the Australian market is that we have the in-house expertise to deliver a customer-centric, holistic and tangible experience strategy, combined with world class creative execution across all customer touchpoints.
We believe in the power of differing perspectives and expertise. From the very beginning of a project, we put together a collective project team. This means that not only are our ideas richer, they are also aligned and complementary to deliver on each aspect of the customer experience in a very tangible way across Brand, Product, Service, Digital and Environments. Our final deliverable is a set of tangible and doable recommendations (which in itself is rare!) that are directly designed and delivered by the teams that sit in the Collective.
It’s no secret that this global pandemic will impact people and businesses across the world in a significant way and possibly for a very long time. This is an opportunity for businesses to step up and actively engage and listen to their customers to understand how this has changed their lives, their frame of mind and their habits – what worked in the past may not work in the future.
It’s also an opportunity for businesses to reassess why, what and how they’ve been doing things up until now. To realign with their customers’ new goals, needs and expectations. To imagine the best version of their business and to put the right things in place now to come out prepared and relevant in the future.
About Frost*collective — we are a collective of strategists, built-environment specialists, digital innovators and highly creative designers who are dedicated to designing a better world with every project. We offer the benefits of collaboration across Frost*collective which is at the intersection of digital, physical and visual experiences. We work with businesses to create products and solutions, tailored to our client needs, that transcend technologies, channels and media with a focus on the overall experience.