Companies may share a lot in common with superheroes, but they have yet to make use of the powers that could truly transform customer experiences, the CX manager for Dixons South East Europe told an international conference of her peers on Thursday.
Speaking at the CX Summit hosted by Boussias Communications in Greece, Μaria Kallergi suggested there is a big gap between how many organizations are talking about experience design and what they are actually doing about it.
Most firms, she said, are still not comfortable with the changes necessary to become customer-centric, especially if they affect practical day-to-day operations. This includes senior leaders who publicly espouse the need to put customers first, according to Kallergi.
“They deal with it like a trend,” she said in her session, which was entitled The CX Paradox – Behind the scenes. “It’s at the top of the business agenda, but is it just the talk of the town?”
It’s not that brands have bad intentions. Just like superheroes, most of them have core values, a sense of mission and aim high with aa vision for a better world, she said. It’s the follow-through that’s lacking.
“The company often fails to sell its purpose,” she said.
Part of the problem might be the way the workforce is engaged in the CX strategy.
After years of segmenting customers, Kallergi suggested companies need to do something similar with employees, taking into account differences in their backgrounds and experiences in order to understand how they can be motivated to enhance CX. This has to happen the moment a staff person begins their career journey with an organization, she said.
“It should be clear that excellence in delivering CX is a personal goal, regardless of whether they are on the frontlines or not,” she said.
Dennis Geelen, a CX and author of The Zero-In Formula, made a similar point in his own session at the CX Summit. The biggest CX barrier facing most firms, he said, is indifference.
This not only includes customers who aren’t sure why they should remain loyal to a particular brand, but employees who aren’t sure why they should be excited about showing up for work.
“The sooner we can learn this and put tactics and strategies in place to fight indifference, the better off we’re going to be,” he said, adding that it will require a deeper commitment to innovation before anything changes.
“You need to be intentional about investing in strategies, tools and practices where people are looking for new and better ways of doing things,” said Geelen. “Creative ideas don’t happen by accident.”
In the meantime, Kallergi said companies need to ensure self-interest doesn’t get in the way of what appears on the surface to be a CX strategy. She warned against the “veneer of personalization,” for example, where customer details were primarily collected for the purposes of selling.
“Personalization is not about campaigning: it’s about knowing customers,” she said.
Shane Schick tells stories that help people innovate, and to manage the change innovation brings. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and Yahoo Canada and is the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.