Social media and digital have had a profound impact on the way in which humans interact with one another, so it’s only natural that these mediums have also had significant implications for customer service and the strategies used by today’s companies to engage with their consumers. With the rapid development in technology, organisations are continually grappling with how they harness the intersection between technology, emotion and brand experience. The advent of the “savvy customer” and platform provided by social media has meant consumers are hyper-aware of the commercial landscape as it pertains to good (and bad) customer experience as well as the power they possess in influencing brand perception. Organisations that want to continue to deliver on customer experience will now find that they are not only competing with their competitors but also themselves.
We had the privilege of interviewing Justin Reilly, Head of Customer Experience Innovation at Verizon Fios on his thoughts regarding the evolution of customer experience as a business asset. Given that the basis of Verizon’s products and services lie within perhaps one of the most fiercely competitive industries as it pertains to customer experience, Justin provides some interesting thoughts on the importance of reinventing yourself in order to remain at the cusp of customer experience excellence and innovation.
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Corinium: How would you describe the evolution/progression of the Customer Experience over the last 12 to 18 months? What’s driving this?
If you look at the evolution of CX as a practice over the last 18 months, it’s really about making experiences hyper relevant and real time for customers. They are naturally drawn to great brand experiences and have never been more aware of poor CX interactions. This sets the bar higher and the expectation for brands now is to develop experiences that fit into their lives in meaningful and contextual ways or they’ll move on to ones that will. Customers, now more than ever, are taste makers. They fundamentally expect more from us. Every moment we wake up, we have a new set of competitors. This is a trend driven primarily by mobile technology innovation, knowledge management automation, and scaled service design. We aren’t just competing against the companies in our industry anymore, we are competing with our customer’s last best experience.
Corinium: What are some of the challenges you still face and what can be done to overcome these challenges?
The single biggest challenge we face is balancing our stakeholders expectations, the immediacy of incremental improvements in service of short term KPIs, and the need to completely disrupt ourselves. We say in our credo: Our best was good for today, and tomorrow we’ll do better. Culture truly drives the ability to optimise your core business, while building the next one. It’s a mindset. So while this is our biggest challenge, we actually believe it’s our biggest strength. The critical mix of both existing and new talent, if managed through the right lens, can be your competitive advantage in an ever-evolving landscape.
“Customers, now more than ever, are taste makers. They fundamentally expect more from us. Every moment we wake up, we have a new set of competitors. This is a trend driven primarily by mobile technology innovation, knowledge management automation, and scaled service design.”
Corinium: What should customer experience executives prioritise in order to be successful? What are your main priorities for the next 2 years?
CX executives should prioritise changing every 3 months rather than 3 years. It’s crucial to ensure that we know the end-to-end experience and not just individual touch points in order to get the type of return that stakeholders expect and customers demand. Additionally, making sure consumer trends and behaviour are aligned and embedded into every touch points and interactions they have with the brand. From an employee and culture perspective, it’s being hyper aware of your talent pool in order to lean into the unique challenge of exceeding our customers’ expectations every single day.
Corinium: How do you believe Big Data and Analytics impact customer experience?
Every morning, Data becomes exponentially more relevant than it was the day before. Companies have traditionally only seen the value in data when they think about precision marketing or support. Now, brands are using data to inform product design, empower every customer touch point, and truly drive their strategic roadmap. It’s important, now more than ever, that we understand how our customers view the utility of sharing their data. We owe it to our customers to both protect their personal information and use it to provide a better brand experience. The future lies in our ability to consume a tremendous amount of information and immediately serve up the most delightful, contextual experience possible at every turn.
Corinium: Why do you think executives should care about customer experience? What do you believe to be the most critical factor in measuring its importance/return on investment?
We should care because it is the single most important factor that customers judge businesses on today. It’s how they decide whether or not to trust a brand. It drives loyalty, time spent, and share of wallet. For Gen Z consumers, they place very little equity in a “name” brand anymore; it’s truly experience driven. No longer is customer satisfaction or NPS a true measure of customer loyalty or happiness. People pay you in time, attention and the money they spend with you and when experience is king, customer lifetime value is the biggest indicator of ROI. We succeed if they stick with us for the long run, they invest more time with us, recommend us and grow the depth of their relationship with our products and services.
If you would like to hear more from Justin Reilly as well as leading Chief Customer Officers and Customer Experience Executives from Mastercard, Travelers, New York Times, McKesson, CenterPoint Energy and more, join the inaugural Chief Customer Officer USA taking place from the 30th January to 1st February in Miami Florida. For more information visit our website: www.chiefcustomerofficerusa.com
Republished with author’s permission from original post.