Nine Lessons learned at CXN Live: EMEA

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When crafting a relevant and value-led customer experience game-plan it is important to consider the geographic context of customers.

CXN Live EMEA examined focus areas topical to today’s CX practitioners and their customers based in Europe, Middle-East and Africa.  The event starred pioneering CX thought leaders in EMEA, including the likes of:
- Robert Bridge, Former Chief Customer Officer, Telegraph Media Group,
- Enrique Gomez Alonso, Chief Customer Officer, Zurich Insurance Spain and
- Vinay Parmar, CX and Digital Director, National Express.

From the comfort of their desks CX professionals interacted and collaborated with a range of industry experts to strategize how they could provide more value to customers in today’s time poor economy.

Here we cover nine lessons learned at the digital event.

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  1. Don’t fear a non-linear career path

In the session on Supercharging Your CX Career, Robert Bridge stated a non-linear career path is the best way forward in customer experience. Although recruiters may discard this route as ‘job-hopping’, Rob maintains that this path is the best way to accumulate a wider breadth of knowledge from across business functions rather than a deep siloed understanding of only one business area. 

Watch Now: Panel Discussion: Supercharging Your CX Career
Robert Bridge, Former Chief Customer Officer, Telegraph Media Group

  1. Don’t rush into innovation

Instead of rushing into innovation, assess the best-in-class for CX and look for elements you could imitate and apply in your own context with a view to reduce customer effort and remove friction in user journeys. Please note that these brands may not be in your specific industry. Benchmark yourself against major companies like Amazon/Airbnb/Uber and really focus on what customers want and need rather than creating products and processes out of gut instinct hoping that customers will love them.

  1. Evangelise the business units around you

Vinay Parmar joined National Express (NX) as a CX consultant and eventually landed a full-time position because of the company’s enthusiasm for customer experience. Many CX professionals are not fortunate enough to land in a business that fully respects the power of CX and so they face the task of educating business leaders on its importance. For CX representatives that are not yet widely recognised by the executive board, Vinay notes that although facts and figures from other case studies help, valid proof of how driving customer experience forward will benefit your company in particular will be the most powerful piece of rhetoric. He adds: “Work out what is the lowest investment required to make a significant difference to the CX and implement that first!”

If you can manage it, bring the MD or CEO down to the frontlines so they can smell and feel the experiences their customers are having for themselves. This will help bring the customer to life for more senior reps and allow customer obsession to radiate through to the rest of the business.  

Watch Now: Making Coach Cool: Driving The Digital Agenda At National Express
Presented by
: Vinay Parmar, UK Customer and Digital Experience Director, National Express

  1. Augment human intelligence

Augment your staff with automated technologies, so it liberates them to use their time more effectively on high-value tasks that machines can’t perform, such as emotion activation and ideation.

  1. Don’t just use AI for the sake of it

Gustavo’s presentation revolved around the notion: “Don’t just use AI for the sake of it”. He believes that although AI promises some great benefits, you shouldn’t rush the process just because everyone else is using AI. Make sure you adopt what is right for your customers and only adopt AI if you’re willing to risk the challenges that come along with it. Also, don’t dismiss non AI approaches for measuring customer satisfaction. 

Watch Now: Power Lunch Session: CX Metrics And KPIs In The Age Of AI?
Speaker: Gustavo Imhof, Customer Experience Feedback and Insight Manager, Lowell

  1. Don’t neglect those who are digitally inept

Vinay gave a behind-the-scenes look at how NX cleaned-up coach travel’s ‘uncool’ image. NX made the mode of transport more attractive to customers by upgrading its physical and digital services and by removing key points of friction in the online booking process.

However, Vinay reminds that brands shouldn’t neglect those who are digitally inept and they should strive to personalise the experience of each individual. As the NX team are such digital advocates, they are prepared to go the extra mile to even teach the inexperienced how to enter the digital world. 

Watch Now: Making Coach Cool: Driving The Digital Agenda At National Express
Presented by:
Vinay Parmar, UK Customer and Digital Experience Director, National Express

  1. The critical human factor: Empathy

Customer empathy is a vital skill for CX teams. Connected data, intelligence and experiences heighten the quality of empathy agents can provide in a hyper-personalised way and at scale. These insights fuse to provide context that empowers the agent to understand the customer/prospect better in real-time.

Continuously capture the interactions your customers have with various channels and even other entities.  Third-party data will only build a more holistic view of your customer.

This appreciation and assessment of buying behaviours and customer mind-sets can even present new opportunities to pursue.

Watch Now: Maintaining CX Culture Momentum And Uplift
Speakers: Enrique Gomez Alonso, Chief Customer Officer, Zurich Insurance Spain 
Al Stewart, Director of Professional Services for EMEA, Medallia

  1. Empower whoever gets to the customer first, and never give up

CX is an evolving journey because customer behaviour is always changing and expectations are rising constantly.  In the Experience Economy, customer journeys are non-linear and unpredictable. They can start or end anywhere in the customer experience organization – marketing, commerce, sales, or service. But when CX execution is disjointed, customers can have mismatched expectations that destroy loyalty and damage the bottom line.

The key is to empower whoever gets to the customer first, with connected data and connected intelligence.

There are a range of opportunities for improvement and optimisation along the way. So don’t give up, it’s a long journey.

Watch Now: How to Win in the Experience Economy: Steps to Mastering Personalised Customer Experiences
Speaker: Emmanuel Obadia, VP Marketing, EMEA Applications, Oracle

  1. And, last but not least, let’s have fun

Don’t lose sight that this is an exciting time to lead CX transformations. Never has the alignment of business strategies, human behaviour and technology been better positioned to accelerate the customer experience in new and surprising ways that can make a real difference to better the lives of customers.

Read more: Research Report: The Impact of Emerging Technology on CX Excellence

Stay tuned for the full report on Customer Experience Trends in EMEA

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