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CX Live Interview

with James Dodkins, the 'Customer Experience Rockstar', and former host of Amazon Prime’s ‘This Week in CX’ and the UK’s #1 CX Influencer in 2020.

24 June 2021 I Virtual

Organisations are truly gearing up for the post pandemic world. With the vaccine rollouts a success in many countries, there is a glimmer of hope that things can return to normalcy.

Key Findings

  • CX is a collection of ‘little moments’. When we think of the experience we offer we need to think of the ‘moments’ we are offering to customer across the journey. Look at where can we make things better, where can we make it faster etc

  • Maintaining the human touch to balance Artificial Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence. Not all requests and experiences are the same so organizations should avoid going too far and digitizing everything because in many cases the human touch is still required.

  • CX is a boardroom issue and investments are being made in most organisations globally. CX professionals have not been really good linking what we are doing on a day-to-day basis to the bottom-line. We have not been good at showing the board that CX is actually adding value to the organization, not just in happy customers but also in the revenue

 The CX Rockstar Believes Hyper Personalisation will Transform Customer Experiences

 

James Dodkins, UK’s #1 CX Influencer of 2020 and the CX Rockstar explains how personalisation and the emotional connect is improving customer experiences and alleviating brand penetration and business growth

Taking insights from 55 CX leaders in the Middle East, CX Live 2021 Report has revealed that empathy is a key lever being leveraged by most businesses to maximise customer satisfaction and offer superior customer service.

The basic study of customer journey maps starts from empathy maps that allow the identification of different archetypes and personas. A lot of companies also invest heavily in understanding customers, trends, insights, as well as robust user research to uncover hidden needs and co-create value with customers.

In this week’s interview James Dodkins, UK’s #1 CX Influencer of 2020 and the CX Rockstar explains how businesses can best integrate hyper-personalization and empathy into their CX strategy to achieve growth and customer loyalty.

 

 

CX Live: How have you seen CX mature in the UK and Europe comparing to the Middle East?

 

James: It is really interesting because I have worked out the Middle East with many organisations and government entities. There is a great push in Dubai, especially where government entities are focusing on happiness and doing really well. All over the world, big organisations such as Amazon, Disney etc. have raised customer expectations. It doesn’t matter in which industry you are anymore but because of the higher expectations, all companies have to rise up and do better constantly. I see a lot of companies all over the world kicking their CX up but unfortunately, the majority are still behind the curve and having to play catch up. According to the statistics, the increased expectations is causing customers to not really be much happier despite the efforts from organisations to step up their CX at a great rate.

 

 

CX in the boardroom

Clearly, post-pandemic CX has transitioned to be a boardroom issue in organisations. Most organisations are starting to bring the CX departments into the boardroom discussions.  When we speak to the C-suite we can see investments being made in CX. Yet, CX is not a magic bullet, it matures overtime to deliver growth and bottom-line results.

 

 

CX Live: According to you, what are the best ways of getting the CX strategy discussed at the boardroom level and incorporated into the organisation’s fabric.

 

James: To me it is pretty simple, as CX professionals, we have not been really good at linking what we are doing on a day-to-day basis to the bottom line. We have not been good at showing the board that CX is actually adding value to the organization. This is starting to change and we are showing our value and not just in happy customers but also in the revenue. My advice is to show the value more by linking our day-to-day activities with these 4 things:

  1. Customer acquisition (from doing what we’ve done, did we get more customers?)

  2. Customer loyalty (from doing what we’ve done, have they stayed any longer?)

  3. Wallet Share (from doing what we’ve done, are they spending more of their money with us?)

  4. Cost savings (from doing what we’ve done, is it costing us less?)

 

If you can link your operations to these 4 points you will be in a much better position to show your value and ROI to ensure a seat at the table.

 

Tapping into the unknown

When the pandemic struck, a lot of organisations were not prepared for the digital experiences customers needed.  A lot of contact centres had to go completely remote and face the challenge of an increased number of calls. Many fast-tracked their digital transformation to achieve scale, manage customer service effectively, reduce churn and achieve customer loyalty.

 

Customers also began leveraging all forms of communication, web, email, chat, text, phone and social media. Organisations needed technology that could consolidate the agent-to-customer interactions as well as all forms of feedback, to gain a holistic view of the customer and ensure there are no silos. Automation, AI and Speech to Text Analytic solutions have seen great penetration in the last year.

 

 

CX Live: Where have you seen investments flowing in within the last year or year and a half?

 

James: Technology, customer data, collecting data to understand customers better and trying to predict their behaviours. This is where I have seen most activity but, technology investments also come with a warning. Many companies just want to automate everything they do with chatbots etc. In some cases, it works great like changing an address or any other low emotional impact and low complexity requests. Automation works, but where interaction with a customer has a high chance of affecting them emotionally one should be careful because customers would remember it for longer if they have been negatively impacted by the experience they had with your company. Not all requests and experiences are the same so organizations should avoid going too far and digitizing everything because in many cases the human touch is still required.

 

 

CX Live: How would you say companies can keep the balance right between automation and human touch?

 

James: Again, automate the aspects which have low emotional impact and low complexity to get the small tasks out of the way to clear resources up for where they are really needed. I like to think of ‘moments’, CX is a collection of ‘little moments’. When we think of the experience we offer we need to think of the ‘moments’ we are offering to customers across the journey. Look at where can we make things better, where can we make it faster etc. If we look at improving the experience we need to look at the ‘moments’ to strengthen the relationship between your organization and the customer by ensuring your store the best possible memories.  

 

The data conundrum

The pandemic has been a great turning point for CX in the Middle East. Vast amounts of data suddenly transcended into organisations. A lot of it is unstructured and hard to gauge insights. User-generated data is a premium commodity and therefore CX executives often leverage gamification strategies and partnerships to collect it.

 

Voice-Of-Experience programs are thus required whereby Voice-of-Customer moves from the ‘listening’ to ‘understanding’ the Voice of the Customer. AI, NLP, RPA, XM platforms are all required to capture and analyse the customers' voice and develop predictive, descriptive and analytical responses to deliver exceptional CX.

 

 

CX Live: Fandom is one of your specialities, how do you see innovation and CX interplaying with live events and concerts coming back?

 

James: Fandom is all about connecting with consumers, consumers of music, art, products, this applies to the connection with any consumers. Technology is helping this connection, helping us getting closer and connecting with consumers. Connection is all about the proximity to one another, as technology developed over the years connections also grew closer and recently technology has almost become the only way to build connections. Connecting with customers virtually has now entered close proximity even though they might be in another country or city. Organisations need to start using technology more to build these connections in the world where we cannot always get close to one another. 

 

James Dodkins will be speaking at the CX Live Show which is set to take place on 15 – 17 November in Dubai. To hear more from James and 70+ other industry experts register for the live event

Key Findings

  • CX is a collection of ‘little moments’. When we think of the experience we offer we need to think of the ‘moments’ we are offering to customer across the journey. Look at where can we make things better, where can we make it faster etc.

  • Maintaining the human touch to balance Artificial Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence. Not all requests and experiences are the same so organizations should avoid going too far and digitizing everything because in many cases the human touch is still required.

  • CX is a boardroom issue and investments are being made in most organisations globally. CX professionals have not been really good linking what we are doing on a day-to-day basis to the bottom-line. We have not been good at showing the board that CX is actually adding value to the organization, not just in happy customers but also in revenue.

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