Multichannel Success Podcast series

Episode 4 - Customer Experience - Transcript

#### David Worby

Welcome to our podcast series on how to drive multi-channel success. I'm

David Worby, one of the founders of Prospero Commerce, a business that works

with many brands around the world on all things digital. In this series, we're

looking to explore a range of issues which you and your business are faced

with every day.

Three of us from Prospero and a multi-channel expert have

pooled our expertise and experience of working with many brands over the last

20 years to come up with a set of practical suggestions and ideas that will

help you deliver greater success in your e-commerce businesses. We really hope

you find the discussion useful and we look forward to your feedback.

In today's episode, we're going to explore the subject of customer experience,

otherwise known as CX. And I'm delighted to be joined by both Mark Pinkerton

from Prospero, welcome Mark. Hello. And David Kohn from the multi-channel

expert, welcome David. Hello. So maybe the best place to start is to just get

some definitions of what we believe CX is all about. Mark, I'm going to come

to you first. What's your view of customer experience in terms of its


#### Mark Pinkerton

There are lots of potential definitions of customer experience but one that I

feel most comfortable with I think is really that customer experience

encapsulates everything that a business does that puts customers first or manages their journeys or serves the needs of those customers. So it's the holistic end-to-end view of the customer's interactions with an organisation.

#### David Worby

And David, come to you now. I know we were talking before about how

potentially customer experience is a lens through which businesses can look at

how they are engaging with customers. What's your perception of the


#### David Kohn

I think a lens is a very good way of looking at customer experience. There are

a whole load of functions within any business. They all have their own

objectives, their objective maybe to run efficiently, maybe to save cost,

maybe to drive sales. But looking at it from the perspective of the customer

and the customer experience is a great way of saying, is what I'm doing

contributing to the experience that the customer has with my business? In some

cases, you may choose to trade off customer experience against a massive cost

saving, but in every case, every decision you make within a business should be

looked at with the lens of, will this impact on the customer experience?

#### David Worby

In a minute, we'll come to the kind of measures that we would recommend people

adopt when trying to track your performance of customer experience. We'll also

talk a little bit about the difference between UX and CX, which I know for

some people is a definition worth just recanting. But before we do that, Mark,

what are the key components that constitute the customer experience when

you're thinking about digital?

#### Mark Pinkerton

So, customer experience encompasses everything. So, saying what are the

components of customer experience is quite hard from my point of view because

I tend to think of it holistically.

It covers the end-to-end aspects of how a consumer engages, touches, thinks of

the brand or the organisation in terms of their dealings with the

organisation. So, typically, it's going to cover everything from the flow of

how a customer is dealt with across their entire experience. And that's why

you have to look at this holistically because it is entirely possible that the

customer is engaging with the organisation across multiple systems, across

multiple parts of the organisation, all of which need to work in

synchronisation with another to give the best possible customer experience.

#### David Worby

So if in our definition for the purpose of this podcast the customer

experience is that end-to-end everything kind of experience, I know that one

of the subjects that will be on people's minds is user experience or UX. So

let's just briefly explore what the difference is between UX and CX.

#### David Kohn

Well, put simply, UX is one component of the whole customer experience. It's a

very important component, but UX is really dealing with the during the

purchase process. It's typically focusing on the transaction itself, but it's

typically not looking at the things we believe strongly you've got to be

looking at, which are things like the delivery process and the communication

through that. Things like the post-sales process or the way in which you deal

with complaints. They're part of wider customer experience, user experience,

critical component, but it's just a component.

#### Mark Pinkerton

Yes, so I think I'd add to that that UX is the interaction that a consumer or

a customer has with a device or a system. So it's more to do with how easy is

that system to use, either for the customer or even for the employee because

they're providing the service to the customer.

#### David Worby

Okay, well, that makes sense. I think let's get back to customer experience,

which is the subject here. And as we've said, user experience is part of that.

But let's go right to the principle question once we've defined it. Why is

customer experience important? What are the things that you would expect to be

able to see change in your organization if you adopt a customer experience

perspective on how you go about doing what you're doing?

#### David Kohn

Most strong brands, most strong retailers rely on a relationship with their

customers. You're not looking just to sell them one thing once and then never

again. You're looking to sell them things over time and you're looking to

create that level of engagement with them. That is what drives long term

success for most brands and retailers. And really the only way in which you

drive long term success is by delivering customer satisfaction. That is going

to be predominantly by thinking about the customer experience.

#### David Worby

So if we're trying to improve customer satisfaction as a route to improving

our CX score or our CX measures, presumably there are some things that can

improve customer satisfaction levels, but can also decrease traditional sales

and profit performance. So would we see those changes as being part of a CX

program, Mark?

#### Mark Pinkerton

Yes, I would see changes that are made to the customer experience

very much through a number of different lenses. But one of them could be that

changes are made to enhance revenue, to enhance profits, that has a negative

impact on customer experience. The rationale for that will very much depend on

the nature of the organisation. Is it a price-led organisation or is it a

customer experience-led organisation?

Inevitably, there are going to be trade-offs in that situation.

You may put a new customer service call centre in a different country, which

potentially could save quite a lot of money. But actually, it may upset your

customers to a point where you don't get as much long-term revenue or repeat

purchases from that customer. You're never going to be able to have a direct

correlation between those two things in terms of data. But it may well impact

your overall level of customer satisfaction that you might have with the

organisation. And then ultimately, that will affect the customer experience

and the reputation for the organisation.

And if you make too many of those sorts of changes at any one time that

negatively affect the customer experience, then that will actually damage your

overall brand and organisational reputation.

#### David Worby

So that's good, because on the basis that most organisations and brands are

trying to improve their reputation with their customers, and they're trying to

therefore increase the satisfaction levels their customers have, it would seem

as though a programme of CX-related changes is much more productive than a

series of enhancements and changes that are, if you like, unrelated to

customer experience and more related to saving money or growing sales. Would

that be right?

#### Mark Pinkerton

I think it will depend on the on the market situation that you're in I mean

arguably now with you know recession looming going down the cost-saving route

may be a necessity for the organization even if it negatively affects customer

experience however the overall level of satisfaction and reputation with the

organisation is still going to be driven by that customer experience, unless

it is a price-led organisation.

#### David Worby

I'd like to flip over a bit to a conversation we were

having off air a few moments ago about customer journeys, David, and come to

you. I'm sure there are lots of people listening to this podcast who have got

customer journeys in place, but equally maybe some who don't. What would our

advice be to those that don't have customer journeys in terms of the value

they might get from adopting them?

#### David Kohn

I'd say there's two principal areas of value, one of which is cultural and one

of which is, if you like, technical. The first thing which is cultural is to

always try and put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Very easy when you

work within an organisation to see things from your own perspective. If you're

working the furniture sector as I did, very easy if you'd think that

everybody's as interested in furniture as you are. But if you put yourself in

the eyes of the customer, you'll see that they're pretty confused, they're

looking for information, they're looking for recommendation, they're looking

for reassurance. So first thing is cultural, put yourself in the shoes of the

customer. The second thing is technical, which is to try and map out your

customer's journey from start to finish. And that from the moment they first

encounter your brand, whether that's on a Google ad or whether it's on social

media. From the moment they first encounter the brand to the whole process of

making a purchase, to the transaction, to the delivery, and to the customer

service they receive once they've received the product. If you can map that

customer journey out, you can start seeing the things that are going well, you

can start seeing the things that are going badly, and you can start seeing the

things you're not doing at all, but you really should be doing. Really

important to start building a real sense of how the customer actually engages

with and shops with your brand.

#### David Worby

Mark, I know you're a big fan also of that customer journey mapping and the

value that can be derived from that mapping. But I know you're also quite keen

on this customer segment and customer persona concept. You just want to

explain that a little bit.

#### Mark Pinkerton

Yeah, so typically organizations will have customer segments often done in

terms of their spend levels. That tends to be quite hard to map against a

customer journey. Whereas if you're looking at customers through their persona

in terms of the way they like to interact, do they search, do they follow a

navigation system? The key thing for me is that the customer persona have an

emotional element to it in the way that they want to interact with the organization and potentially they

will get frustrated if the organization does not support the way that they

want to interact. So forcing customers to go down one particular route to

achieve their tasks can be quite negative for your overall customer

experience. But typically you won't find one customer who will do the entire

customer journey end to end because naturally any business, organization,

retailer has to create that customer journey that accommodates all customers

across all segments and all personas. And that can take time to do and is at

its maximum quite a substantial piece of work. But it is very worthwhile

because it then gives you the opportunity to manage that customer experience.

And that's the key thing. And then you may find within that you will have,

pick a number, seven different customer personas who are trying to achieve the

tasks that you are creating around that.

You've got somebody who is looking to get a refund. You've got somebody who is

trying to find the latest, greatest piece of cake that you're selling or

service that you're selling. And by mapping the way that they want to interact

across the entire customer journey map, across these multiple personas or

segments, you end up having a pretty good holistic view.

#### David Worby

This reminds me of a client we worked with in Europe earlier this year

for whom the very creation of customer journeys was a revelation in itself.

And I'm sure there is just some value in reminding people what they've put

their customer through. And it becomes very obvious, it's very transparent,

that some of that doesn't necessarily need to be the way it is. But before we

come to that, I'm just going to ask David about how we would expect businesses

to prioritise those changes that come from an understanding of the journey and

where the blockages potentially in that journey are. David, how would you

recommend that programme of change is prioritised?

#### David Kohn

You look at your customer journey and you will find multiple things that you

think need to be improved. and the question of which you start with, which you

focus on, is a complex one. At one level, you're looking for things that are

relatively easy to do and quick to do. For me, it's really important to gather

momentum in something like this and to make change.

However, there may be some larger things where you can identify something

that's badly wrong or that's badly missing and where you know it would have a

significant impact, where you know you've got to focus on that as well.

There's no good fixing something that only affects two out of every thousand


You've got to try and identify whether the issue that you're focusing on,

whether it's a conversion issue, whether it's a transaction issue, whether

it's in the basket, whether it's on the product page, you've got to try and

identify in quantity terms how many people is this affecting.

#### David Worby

Presumably, there are some scenarios where businesses will already have a

change program in flight, and there may be someone in an organization

notionally responsible for, let's just use an example, the checkout. How

should a CX person engage with a, if you like, a performance optimization

person who's already active in changing elements of, in this example, the

checkout? Presumably, you're coming at it from slightly different angles.

#### David Kohn

I'd like to think that someone looking at the checkout is looking at

everything from a customer perspective as a start.

And I think that's where this lens that we talked about is really important.

And you have to become more influencer

you are necessarily the person that does things. In every business, and I

think we'll come on to talk about this, you need everybody to have some sort

of customer perspective, but you may need people to be specific champions of

it, whether they are CX professionals, whether it's a customer director, you

may need somebody that reminds everybody whatever they're doing, that what

they're doing may impact on the customer.

#### David Worby

Okay. I think we'll come on to the org design piece in a minute. I'm sure

we've all experienced businesses who will say to you, it's everybody's job to

manage the customer. And of course, often in those cases, that means no one is

looking at it. So let's come on to that in a minute.

But before we do, I'd just like to talk with you a little bit about understanding the impact, rather the CX impact of other initiatives going on in your organization. So we're in

the real world here with this. We're not in the theory. We're in a world where

lots of activity is pointed towards a number of changes, some of which may

have a negative impact on the customer experience. Mark.

#### Mark Pinkerton

Yeah, I think it's really important that all these major internal initiatives

that are going to have an impact on the customer are actually looked at

through a customer experience lens and typically that may not be happening.

But if you're doing that and you have an understanding of your customer

journey map, then you can actually start to try and manage the customer

experience. You can understand that, okay, I've changed system A and that

means my employees have to do things differently, which are 20 seconds longer,

which actually will disrupt how well they answer the phone. Because typically

the gaps and the difficulties we find within customer experience are either

from where things, parts of the journey, cross over internal silos, i.e. it's

handed from one team to another, or that there are actually just gaps between

different systems. The classic example that we've discussed off-air was the

idea of self-checkout supermarkets where clearly they are more efficient and

more cost effective, but actually there is a segment of customers who

absolutely hate them. Groups of customers who will typically not like certain

initiatives. And understanding how important that group is will drive how you

think about that initiative. But somebody has to think about every initiative

from a customer experience point of view.

#### David Worby

So going back to something David said earlier about the role of CX also being

an influencer across the organisation, that I think is pretty important

because with internal silos between functions, all of whom have their own

individual programmes of work, very few people are actually looking at the

end-to-end thing, David. Does that make sense?

#### David Kohn

Yes, absolutely. I'd say there are three typical failings, one of which we've

touched on already, which is that people running other functions are not

really thinking of the customer. That's where you've got to influence them.

You've got to remind them that the customer experience may be impacted by what

they're doing. The second thing is where they misunderstand. think is

desirable but actually isn't. I'll give you a little example as my old

business heals, we looked at trying to shorten the checkout and introduce more

prominent buy now pay later, a quicker buy now pay later system. We actually

found that customers were more comfortable going through a slightly lengthier

loan application process because they felt we were taking them more seriously.

So that was an example of where somebody had misunderstood what the customer

wanted and then the final thing is where things are just implemented badly.

The CX professional has a role in all three really to try and influence

whoever's doing it to try and get things right.

#### Mark Pinkerton

Yeah, and the other classic example of that last one would be where you're

changing delivery partner and the delivery partner does not have as good a

reputation or as good a service as your previous delivery partner. You know,

people look at this purely as a cost exercise, but actually how your goods

arrive, the fact that they're not left in a bin, the fact that they're

delivered to your door, all of those things matter and they certainly matter

from a customer experience point of view. And if you ignore that, you're

ignoring potential risk to your business.

#### David Worby

Yeah, I remember an example years ago where I managed to unsuccessfully

translate a whole English website into Swedish for a Swedish audience, who

then stopped shopping because they loved the credibility of it being a non-

Swedish business. I learned that lesson a long time ago.

Okay, so I think in a

minute we'll just come on to some of the tools and the measurements

and a little bit about that org design piece we talked about. But before we

do, let's just talk about who's doing it well, maybe some examples, less maybe

specific about individual brands, although I'm sure you've got some that we

can quote. More about sectors, because I think it's more helpful to understand

that some sectors are very good at this and others are maybe slightly behind

the curve. Mark, what's your perception of customer experience across the


#### Mark Pinkerton

I think there are two examples that I wanted to bring to this, the first one

which is very broad reach from a big global brand point of view which is Lego

which I think does things particularly well because it has to cater for

everything from a theme park all the way through to you buying a kit or a

product on a shelf in John Lewis and it covers all of those things in a

relatively seamless way and it is completely consistent in terms of the values

but it engages with customers not just through the theme park but it has Lego

masters tv programs now people building stuff out of Lego but you've got

movies that they've created and really the idea of fun and building and going

beyond just pure children has I think massively increased the scope of the

brand so they're done very well as a result of that you can as a as an

individual you can create a suggestion for a kit that Lego should build and

that process is very well understood and it works so I think they have a

strong sense of customer.

The other one I want to from a more from a

transactional point of view is Camper the New York shoe company from Spain and

in terms of dealing with them they have a completely seamless omni-channel

experience it is the most seamless one that that I have come across personally

whereby they have a very good understanding of stock in store so that you can

buy direct and have it delivered or you can buy from a store you can go in a

store and buy it online and obviously you can go in store and buy it in a

store but the information is completely transparent and seamless across all of

the different channels and it just works.

#### David Worby

David, I think we were talking before about some sectors who maybe

don't yet have that focus sufficiently beamed in on customer experience. Would

that be right?

#### David Kohn

Well, look, it's not going to come as any news to anybody listening to this,

but mobile providers, broadband providers, banks, few of them give the

impression that they really care about their customer experience from end to

end. They all seem to be relying on bot based chat apps that send you in

relentless loops. They all tend to rely on the fact that there's a very high

friction associated with moving from one to the other. There's a real gap in

the market for those who will say we actually do provide service. Same with

the airlines.

I think what you're seeing now is you saw that mass reduction in service level

almost making it difficult for you. And now I think you're beginning to see

them. develop their service operation better. So I take EasyJet as an example.

I remember being herded onto an EasyJet, racing for the seat, not being able to sit next to my wife.

Now if you travel by EasyJet, it's actually comparable to traveling with British Airways. It's

getting close to a premium experience.

#### Mark Pinkerton

So you're implying that they have made the changes that matter to customers in

Terms of being able to sit together and not have an unseemly rush and all of those

things whilst actually not changing the fundamentals that much? Yeah, I


#### David Kohn

Yeah I think and again I don't want to disparage the other providers but there

are other providers in this sector whose services remained extremely basic.

#### David Worby

I think we would also throw into the 101 room our dear friends at Waitrose

who've made a complete mess of merging their in-store scanning with mobile

app scanning. That seems to be a bit of a nightmare. And one of our clients in

the US, a big US supermarket chain, has a horrendous fragmentation problem as

a result of a part-successful project that now requires customers to flip from

one site to another site and the customer journey is horrendous.

#### Mark Pinkerton

Yeah, when, um, I've previously worked with Riess and they were using a

premium delivery provider, uh, where you could get same day delivery in


You could get named time for Saturday's deliveries and so on. That was just a

full gamut of a luxury brand delivery process, including flying stuff next day

over to the U S but now as part of the, the merger

in with Nex, they have a reduced set of delivery options and the partner

, has changed the next standard partner.

#### David Worby

Right, we're coming to the end of our podcast now for this episode, but just

before we wrap up, let's just talk a little bit about tools for measurement.

Now, we've talked about this being about reputation at the top end. It's about

the end-to-end experience that customers have. So for the people listening to

our podcast, what advice would we give them on thinking about tools, thinking

about measuring? What kind of things should they be trying to measure? David?

#### David Kohn

At the simplest level, you must try and find ways of getting your customers to

tell you what they think.

We have hundreds of KPIs that relate to web performance, page speed, whether

it be conversion, whether it be time on site. But actually, many

organizations, there are very few measures that say what does the customer

actually think. They are not difficult to implement, whether they be measures

that are held after you've completed a transaction, whether they are measures that you take after they've received their delivery, whether it's particularly quantitative or whether

it's largely qualitative. But the one thing you must do is you must ask

You need to understand what points of the customer journey

are actually important to the customer. Some things matter, some things don't.

I'm very much an advocate of tracking customer effort score, A, because it has

a good correlation with long-term loyalty, but also it allows an organisation

to focus on changing the stuff so the flow of the overall journey is better.

So just to remind people, customer effort score is literally where you're

asking a customer, you know, how easy was it for you to complete the tasks

that you're trying to complete? And it doesn't matter whether it's searching

for something or buying something or

filling out a finance form, but by tracking that and actually getting the

customer to identify problems allows you to improve the overall customer

journey. And very much those things,

that's how you'll pick up problems that go cross-platform or cross-teams or


#### David Worby

And I guess we often hear the question, how do I know whether a score of 78 is

good or bad? And I think our advice is often, that it's not actually what your

score is that matters, it's whether over time, you can see a positive trend.

So if you start measuring four different things, by asking your customers what

they think, and their score is X, it's irrelevant that X is in the lower

quartile or the upper quartile of a measure it's actually about whether it's

improving over time.

#### David Kohn

And that's very true when you change something. If you change something

significant, always try and measure what impact it's had on the customer's


#### David Worby

Okay, right, we're running out of time,

so we're gonna have to wrap up, but before we do, I'm just gonna ask each of

our guests here just to give us the one thing, if they haven't mentioned it,

that they think they'd like to leave as a lingering thought about the

importance of CX. And I'm gonna come to David first.

#### David Kohn

So my thing would be try and find something or things in your customer

journey, which cut through the, I'm not saying boredom, but they cut through

the standard and they create a real impact with your customers and create a

real emotional impact. Whether that's a conversation with an associate,

whether it's a free gift with the purchase, whether it's the way in which you

approach your after-sales service, but try and find something that creates an

emotional connection because that's what they will remember.

#### David Worby

Sounds good. Mark, what's your lasting thought on this subject?

#### Mark Pinkerton

I think my lasting thought on this is make sure that one person is responsible

for customer experience and make sure that they have enough authority to get

involved in multiple initiatives

and be sufficiently senior that they can engage with the board and make sure

that the board is fully aware on how to maximise customer experience.

#### David Worby

That's fabulous, but we've run out of time, so we're going to leave it there.

Thank you to both Mark and David for their insights today, and thank you, too,

for listening. We hope you'll join us again on the next one.