Welcome to the Tuesday 2¢ . It’s Tuesday, the weekend is a distant memory and it’s time to let off some steam and give our 2 cents on a hot industry topic. This week Ian Truscott reflects on the most important ingredient to any successfull customer experience - which still is the people.
Yesterday I was at an executive round table event, you know the sort of thing, a few drinks, canapes and facilitated conversation with industry peers. With the right crowd, however, these things are fun. This one was arranged by The Executive Network (TEN) who did a fabulous job and I was on the panel.
Everyone it seems is talking about Customer Experience (CX), Digital Experience (DX) and Personalization - it was certainly no different last night. Following a theme of ‘ Hell to Hello ’ we discussed all the elements of transforming a business from the hell of disjointed internal processes, systems and people to the "hello" of an engaged consumer.
The discussion included senior executives from a cross section of industries and, despite our best intentions, was broad ranging on various customer experience topics. I would love to directly quote some of the other members, as there were some lovely comments I would like to attribute to my colleagues on the panel especially, but unfortunately these things are anonymous.
What I can share with you, however, is a theme which really resonated throughout the entire event, that seemed to crop up more than once in the broader customer experience discussions: the importance of people within these organizations.
Priya Hunt , General Manager, Concept to Market at BT Consumer, kicked this theme off with a short keynote asking the audience to vote; was customer experience about people, processes or systems?
“People”, as you might expect, won the day, partially I think because Priya so passionately described customer experiences that worked despite an organization’s systems and processes, and it created a lively discussion on our round table.
It became clear that a certain trait was important in these engaged employees, their connection and empathy with the customer. One way of achieving this is by trying your customer experience for yourself, to walk a mile in the consumer’s shoes.
A good example of this; an executive from a civil engineering firm that insisted some of it's staff try traveling through Waterloo while their company disrupted services with engineering work! Wow.
Of course, this “walking a mile” technique can be applied to the digital experience too and it’s a lot more convenient than sitting on a delayed train. I would love for someone from Amazon to have their Facebook feed filled with ads for things which they had already bought (if there is ONE THING YOU KNOW about me Amazon…! But that’s a rant for another day).
And me? Well I voted for the “process”, as I believe that you need to create the right environment in which these engaged employees can do their job, but I admit I was in the minority.
And of course, despite representing a software vendor and almost 20 years of industry experience, I have to concede that systems are rarely the problem or solution on their own for the customer experience woes claimed by organizations.
So, there you have it. This week’s Tuesday 2 cents. Whatever it is, it’s about people. Something we actually believe in here at censhare and you can hear our CEO talk about that on our most recent Inside censhare .