CX has developed a lot of interest in recent years, more functions and opportunities as well as new technology. What are the future trends and what does this mean for today's marketers and CX workers? We asked these questions and some more, to the head teachers of our CX Masterclass Ian Golding & Veronika Luxemburg.
Tell us a bit more about yourself and your career within CX
Ian Golding: I have been involved in the field of CX for almost 25 years!! Initially specialising in process improvement (I am a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt), I spent 17 years working in a variety of corporate organisations – from banking, to outsourcing and food service. In my last employed role, I spent 7 years as Group Head of CX for the UK’s second largest online retailer. The 7th February 2020 will mark the start of my 9th year as an independent CX specialist. Over the last eight years, I have worked with organisations in almost every industry in 43 countries around the world. In 2018, I published my first book – ‘Customer What’ – a huge milestone for me personally and one I am very proud of. I live in a city called Chester – in the North West of England – I just do not see it very often!!
Veronika Luxemburg: I have worked with CX and Quality for more than 15 years with companies like ABB Robotics, RAK Bank, CIM - Chartered Institute of Marketing, Bombardier, Panasonic, BP, VR Track, Balfour Beatty and more. My background ranges from working as a business manager, consultant and advisor in multiple industries, Infrastructure Construction, Technology industries, Banks, Services, Manufacturing, Education and so on. My core is ‘human centricity’ when facilitating practical global transformations and culture change programs for Customer Experience strategy and Quality improvements. In my last employed role I was Global Customer Excellence Manager at ABB Robotics, where I lead the vision and strategic deployment for CX and Q in the ABB Robotics CX transformation for 5,5 years and responsible for +5000 employees in +50 countries. And in 2019 I was a finalist for the Global CX Impact Award by CXPA, based on that work.
Why is Customer Experience becoming more and more important to focus on?
Historically, most organisations were created to differentiate themselves on their products or services. As industries evolved, it was very possible that through a unique product offering, the product or service itself would be sufficient to attract customers and drive revenue. However, in the last twenty years, as the global economic machine has grown bigger and faster, facilitated by the increasing charge of digitisation, differentiating on products and services has become, for many, impossible. It is very unlikely in the world today that a company is doing anything that is completely unique to it. This is why it has become increasingly important for organisations to focus not just on the FUNCTIONAL component of what they do (the product and/or service), `but also the ACCESSIBLE component (how easy it is to access products and services) and the EMOTIONAL component – how the experience makes the customer feel. Those organisations who are able to differentiate themselves on ALL THREE of these components are the ones likely to deliver growth sustainably in the future.
From your experience, what is the biggest challenge for companies in CX transformation?
I could write a very long article on this subject!! The top three challenges are as follows:
- Most organisations believe that the reason they exist is to make money – that is not true! Organisations exist to fulfil a purpose – the better able they are at fulfilling that purpose – the more money they will make! This is critical – if an organisation thinks it is all about making money, all it will focus on are the things important to it in making money – what the customer wants and needs will NOT be the priority
- Lack of commitment – CX is a long term business strategy – an organisation will not transform the way it thinks and acts in 6 months. It requires a leadership team to be committed to the transformation in the long term – this is sadly not something that is actually becoming a reality around the world
- Collaboration – CX transformation requires cross functional collaboration – everyone working together to improve the experience together. The failure to break down organisational silos is a huge contributor to failed CX transformations.
Are there any "touchpoints" during the customer journey that you wish more companies would spend more time and commitment on?
An interesting question. ALL touchpoints are important. However, if I were to explain what is important to an organisation that has not started yet, I would so be getting them to think about the principle of ‘FIND, WIN, KEEP’. Most companies spend all their time focusing on how to FIND and WIN customers. They do not spend enough time on the work they do to KEEP them for as long as possible. Touchpoints related to KEEP are often the ones that less investment of time is made.
What are the trends and the future of the Customer Experience?
Again, this is a question that is deserving of a very long response. As we start a new decade, it is hugely encouraging to see and hear more and more organisations talking about CX. However, few have been able to sustain their focus on it. Whilst the future of CX will be hugely influenced by increasing evolution of digital technology, it is CRITICAL that organisations understand how to embed a structured approach to MANAGING the customer experience to enable the whole experience to differentiate them. Digital technology is NOT more important than the experience itself – the organisations that understand this are the ones who are likely to be better able to meet the ever changing needs and expectations of customers in the future.
How does the layout look like for the 2 day masterclass and who do you think should attend?
The masterclass has been designed to explain HOW to put a structured approach to managing the customer experience in place. The two days are full of theory, practical exercises and storytelling, centred around the application of a CX Framework. The framework has inspired thousands of practitioners around the world to turn CX into something that is tangible and demonstrable. The framework focuses on three areas of CX adoption – Strategy, Measurement (this is where the customer journey comes in) and People. The masterclass appeals to those on CX roles, those with an interest in CX and business leaders!!
Don't miss our 2 day masterclass with Ian & Veronika as head teachers. The class takes place in Stockholm 13-14th of February.