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.
What is CX?
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.
What are the biggest challenges for brands when it comes to CX?
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.
Why should any business invest in CX?
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.
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.