Decoding the Customer http://julia-ahlfeldt.com Interviews and perspectives from global customer experience experts Fri, 21 Sep 2018 17:28:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Interviews with customer experience (CX) experts, covering global best practices, insights and tips for driving customer-centric change. The podcast also explores how customer experience management strategies can be tailored and customized for the unique challenges of developing markets. Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean episodic Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional Julia@julia-ahlfeldt.com Julia@julia-ahlfeldt.com (Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional) © 2017 Julia Ahlfeldt Podcasting Interviews and perspectives from global customer experience (CX) experts Decoding the Customer http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/Julia_Thumbnail.jpg http://julia-ahlfeldt.com TV-G A global community for CX professionals: interview with Diane Magers CXPA – E10 - Decoding the Customer http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/a-global-community-for-cx-professionals-interview-with-diane-magers-e10/ Wed, 25 Jul 2018 23:21:39 +0000 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=811 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/a-global-community-for-cx-professionals-interview-with-diane-magers-e10/#respond http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/a-global-community-for-cx-professionals-interview-with-diane-magers-e10/feed/ 0 Customer experience is a relatively new profession. Some larger businesses have established a CX team, but others have just one or two dedicated resources - and that’s in mature markets like the US and Europe. In developing markets, CX is still gaining traction. This means that the number of CX practitioners is continually growing, but that many in the field are still working in relative isolation, Diane Magers, CXPA president is on a mission to remedy this. You’re not crazy, and you’re not alone Thanks to the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), the growing global number of CX practitioners have an international network that they can tap into. Founded in 2011 by CX thought leaders Jeanne Bliss, Bruce Temkin and others, the CXPA strives to support CX professionals through knowledge sharing, networking, and career development. The CXPA also established a CX philosophy around 6 core competencies, which became the basis for the CCXP certification. These conceptual foundations and community network helped provide structure to the evolution of a burgeoning field of work. As the field of CX continues to gain steam in South Africa, I have personally been involved with efforts to grow the local CXPA network. Through this, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with the CXPA leadership team based in the US, including the CXPA’s CEO, Diane Magers. A leader and a calling Diane has over 25 years experience transforming customer experiences – everything from front line to infrastructure - working in and with brands such as Sysco, AT&T, Dale Carnegie, Invisalign, Ciena, Freeman, Sodexho, Sandy Spring Bank and MoneyGram. She is a passionate customer experience executive and change agent. In addition to being the CEO for the Customer Experience Professionals Association, Diane speaks and conducts workshops all over the world to help transform CX strategy into action. Diane has been actively involved with the CXPA since day one and is a driving force behind the association’s ongoing evolution, including strategies for supporting international CX communities as the profession grows and takes root in new regions. Diane will be visiting South Africa to speak at the 2018 CEM Summit, South Africa’s longest-standing CX conference. In the lead-up to her visit, we had the opportunity to have a conversation about the CXPA, her insights on the genesis of the Age of the customer, and her vision for the future of the association. Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience analysis methodologies, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here. Customer experience is a relatively new profession. Some larger businesses have established a CX team, but others have just one or two dedicated resources – and that’s in mature markets like the US and Europe. In developing markets, CX is still gaining traction. This means that the number of CX practitioners is continually growing, but that many in the field are still working in relative isolation, Diane Magers, CXPA president is on a mission to remedy this.

You’re not crazy, and you’re not alone

Thanks to the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), the growing global number of CX practitioners have an international network that they can tap into. Founded in 2011 by CX thought leaders Jeanne Bliss, Bruce Temkin and others, the CXPA strives to support CX professionals through knowledge sharing, networking, and career development. The CXPA also established a CX philosophy around 6 core competencies, which became the basis for the CCXP certification. These conceptual foundations and community network helped provide structure to the evolution of a burgeoning field of work.

As the field of CX continues to gain steam in South Africa, I have personally been involved with efforts to grow the local CXPA network. Through this, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with the CXPA leadership team based in the US, including the CXPA’s CEO, Diane Magers.

A leader and a calling

Diane has over 25 years experience transforming customer experiences – everything from front line to infrastructure – working in and with brands such as Sysco, AT&T, Dale Carnegie, Invisalign, Ciena, Freeman, Sodexho, Sandy Spring Bank and MoneyGram. She is a passionate customer experience executive and change agent. In addition to being the CEO for the Customer Experience Professionals Association, Diane speaks and conducts workshops all over the world to help transform CX strategy into action.

Diane has been actively involved with the CXPA since day one and is a driving force behind the association’s ongoing evolution, including strategies for supporting international CX communities as the profession grows and takes root in new regions. Diane will be visiting South Africa to speak at the 2018 CEM Summit, South Africa’s longest-standing CX conference. In the lead-up to her visit, we had the opportunity to have a conversation about the CXPA, her insights on the genesis of the Age of the customer, and her vision for the future of the association.

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience analysis methodologies, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

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Customer experience is a relatively new profession. Some larger businesses have established a CX team, but others have just one or two dedicated resources - and that’s in mature markets like the US and Europe. In developing markets, You’re not crazy, and you’re not alone
Thanks to the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), the growing global number of CX practitioners have an international network that they can tap into. Founded in 2011 by CX thought leaders Jeanne Bliss, Bruce Temkin and others, the CXPA strives to support CX professionals through knowledge sharing, networking, and career development. The CXPA also established a CX philosophy around 6 core competencies, which became the basis for the CCXP certification. These conceptual foundations and community network helped provide structure to the evolution of a burgeoning field of work.

As the field of CX continues to gain steam in South Africa, I have personally been involved with efforts to grow the local CXPA network. Through this, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with the CXPA leadership team based in the US, including the CXPA’s CEO, Diane Magers.
A leader and a calling


Diane has over 25 years experience transforming customer experiences – everything from front line to infrastructure - working in and with brands such as Sysco, AT&T, Dale Carnegie, Invisalign, Ciena, Freeman, Sodexho, Sandy Spring Bank and MoneyGram. She is a passionate customer experience executive and change agent. In addition to being the CEO for the Customer Experience Professionals Association, Diane speaks and conducts workshops all over the world to help transform CX strategy into action.

Diane has been actively involved with the CXPA since day one and is a driving force behind the association’s ongoing evolution, including strategies for supporting international CX communities as the profession grows and takes root in new regions. Diane will be visiting South Africa to speak at the 2018 CEM Summit, South Africa’s longest-standing CX conference. In the lead-up to her visit, we had the opportunity to have a conversation about the CXPA, her insights on the genesis of the Age of the customer, and her vision for the future of the association.

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience analysis methodologies, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 33:22
Keeping customer experience simple: interview with Capitec Bank – E09 Part 2 - Decoding the Customer http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/keeping-customer-experience-simple-interview-with-capitec-bank-e09-part-2/ Tue, 10 Jul 2018 21:49:07 +0000 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=791 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/keeping-customer-experience-simple-interview-with-capitec-bank-e09-part-2/#respond http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/keeping-customer-experience-simple-interview-with-capitec-bank-e09-part-2/feed/ 0 In part one of my interview with Capitec Bank’s team, I spoke with Charl Nel and Shaun Ray about the bank’s customer-centric strategy and how they use social media to understand customers. Capitec has clearly been successful. Once the small challenger bank, Capitec continues to acquire customers and now has the second largest customer base among South African retail banks. My 2017 research collaboration with the opinion mining firm, Brandseye, also shed light on how Capitec is differentiating itself through customer experience. For this research, we mapped social media commentary about the 5 largest banks in South Africa to my “Elements of Customer Experience” model, and Capitec far outperformed the other major banking brands, particularly when it came to living up to their brand promise and providing a value proposition that resonated with customers. In part 2 of my interview, I sat down with Shaun Ray to discuss what the Capitec customer experience team is doing differently. A tale of simplicity Capitec rose to prominence by offering just one product: Global One. Customers can use it as a transactional bank, to save and invest as well as, more recently, get a credit card. This has handsomely paid off: Capitec now has 10-million customers, and continues to acquire 100 000 new customers a month! For comparison’s sake, the other Big 5 banks are Standard Bank (11,6-m), Nedbank (7,4-m), Absa (8,75) and FNB (7,7m). In part one of my interview, Charl and Shaun emphasise simplicity as their number one motivation. Despite the rapid uptick in technology and new innovations and channels in the finance sector, they concede that they need to evolve with the times to remain relevant.  Despite this, they will always keep it simple and engage the customer around their needs and in a language they understand – technology agnostic. No delusions of grandeur Despite widespread customer and non-customer support, Capitec isn’t resting on its laurels. They acknowledge that there is a lot of innovation happening in the banking industry and plenty of new communication channels are available for customers to engage with. This keeps the team on their toes as they know if they ever claim that “they’re arrived” it could be their death knell. They instead say, “we have never arrived”. This humble attitude feeds through from the frontline all the way to the CEO. Everyone understands what the role of the customer is and believes understanding them, and meeting their needs is the bank’s no.1 priority. The CEO, Gerrie Fourie, even went so far as to say publicly at their recent AGM, that the customer always comes first at Capitec. Shaun doesn’t shy away from the importance of customer centric culture. The CX team can’t be everywhere at once, and the last thing the CX team want is to become a bottleneck for customer experience innovation. Capitec has rather focused on empowering the entire organization to create and deliver great experiences. The team also leverages technology and data to create personalized communication and identify where there are hurdles in the customer journey. Shaun highlighted the potential of AI and big data analytics, but also warned that these insights are only as good as how they are put to work. For a Customer Experience Professional, this is music to my ears. But what I particularly like about Capitec is their willingness to accept that they don’t know it all, that their customers will teach them a thing or two and that they need to remain agile in an ever-evolving market. While they are considered the darling of the banking industry, it is an accolade that needs to be treated carefully, and respectfully. This can be done by listening to the customer and designing products and processes around their needs, not the banks. Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, In part one of my interview with Capitec Bank’s team, I spoke with Charl Nel and Shaun Ray about the bank’s customer-centric strategy and how they use social media to understand customers. Capitec has clearly been successful. Once the small challenger bank, Capitec continues to acquire customers and now has the second largest customer base among South African retail banks.

My 2017 research collaboration with the opinion mining firm, Brandseye, also shed light on how Capitec is differentiating itself through customer experience. For this research, we mapped social media commentary about the 5 largest banks in South Africa to my “Elements of Customer Experience” model, and Capitec far outperformed the other major banking brands, particularly when it came to living up to their brand promise and providing a value proposition that resonated with customers. In part 2 of my interview, I sat down with Shaun Ray to discuss what the Capitec customer experience team is doing differently.

A tale of simplicity

Capitec rose to prominence by offering just one product: Global One. Customers can use it as a transactional bank, to save and invest as well as, more recently, get a credit card.

This has handsomely paid off: Capitec now has 10-million customers, and continues to acquire 100 000 new customers a month! For comparison’s sake, the other Big 5 banks are Standard Bank (11,6-m), Nedbank (7,4-m), Absa (8,75) and FNB (7,7m).

In part one of my interview, Charl and Shaun emphasise simplicity as their number one motivation. Despite the rapid uptick in technology and new innovations and channels in the finance sector, they concede that they need to evolve with the times to remain relevant.  Despite this, they will always keep it simple and engage the customer around their needs and in a language they understand – technology agnostic.

No delusions of grandeur

Despite widespread customer and non-customer support, Capitec isn’t resting on its laurels. They acknowledge that there is a lot of innovation happening in the banking industry and plenty of new communication channels are available for customers to engage with. This keeps the team on their toes as they know if they ever claim that “they’re arrived” it could be their death knell. They instead say, “we have never arrived”.

This humble attitude feeds through from the frontline all the way to the CEO. Everyone understands what the role of the customer is and believes understanding them, and meeting their needs is the bank’s no.1 priority. The CEO, Gerrie Fourie, even went so far as to say publicly at their recent AGM, that the customer always comes first at Capitec.

Shaun doesn’t shy away from the importance of customer centric culture. The CX team can’t be everywhere at once, and the last thing the CX team want is to become a bottleneck for customer experience innovation. Capitec has rather focused on empowering the entire organization to create and deliver great experiences.

The team also leverages technology and data to create personalized communication and identify where there are hurdles in the customer journey. Shaun highlighted the potential of AI and big data analytics, but also warned that these insights are only as good as how they are put to work.

For a Customer Experience Professional, this is music to my ears. But what I particularly like about Capitec is their willingness to accept that they don’t know it all, that their customers will teach them a thing or two and that they need to remain agile in an ever-evolving market. While they are considered the darling of the banking industry, it is an accolade that needs to be treated carefully, and respectfully. This can be done by listening to the customer and designing products and processes around their needs, not the banks.

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. To see Julia’s banking industry research collaboration with Brandseye, click here. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience analysis methodologies, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

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In part one of my interview with Capitec Bank’s team, I spoke with Charl Nel and Shaun Ray about the bank’s customer-centric strategy and how they use social media to understand customers. Capitec has clearly been successful. Charl Nel and Shaun Ray about the bank’s customer-centric strategy and how they use social media to understand customers. Capitec has clearly been successful. Once the small challenger bank, Capitec continues to acquire customers and now has the second largest customer base among South African retail banks.

My 2017 research collaboration with the opinion mining firm, Brandseye, also shed light on how Capitec is differentiating itself through customer experience. For this research, we mapped social media commentary about the 5 largest banks in South Africa to my “Elements of Customer Experience” model, and Capitec far outperformed the other major banking brands, particularly when it came to living up to their brand promise and providing a value proposition that resonated with customers. In part 2 of my interview, I sat down with Shaun Ray to discuss what the Capitec customer experience team is doing differently.

A tale of simplicity

Capitec rose to prominence by offering just one product: Global One. Customers can use it as a transactional bank, to save and invest as well as, more recently, get a credit card.

This has handsomely paid off: Capitec now has 10-million customers, and continues to acquire 100 000 new customers a month! For comparison’s sake, the other Big 5 banks are Standard Bank (11,6-m), Nedbank (7,4-m), Absa (8,75) and FNB (7,7m).

In part one of my interview, Charl and Shaun emphasise simplicity as their number one motivation. Despite the rapid uptick in technology and new innovations and channels in the finance sector, they concede that they need to evolve with the times to remain relevant.  Despite this, they will always keep it simple and engage the customer around their needs and in a language they understand – technology agnostic.

No delusions of grandeur

Despite widespread customer and non-customer support, Capitec isn’t resting on its laurels. They acknowledge that there is a lot of innovation happening in the banking industry and plenty of new communication channels are available for customers to engage with. This keeps the team on their toes as they know if they ever claim that “they’re arrived” it could be their death knell. They instead say, “we have never arrived”.

This humble attitude feeds through from the frontline all the way to the CEO. Everyone understands what the role of the customer is and believes understanding them, and meeting their needs is the bank’s no.1 priority. The CEO, Gerrie Fourie, even went so far as to say publicly at their recent AGM, that the customer always comes first at Capitec.

Shaun doesn’t shy away from the importance of customer centric culture. The CX team can’t be everywhere at once, and the last thing the CX team want is to become a bottleneck for customer experience innovation. Capitec has rather focused on empowering the entire organization to create and deliver great experiences.

The team also leverages technology and data to create personalized communication and identify where there are hurdles in the customer journey. Shaun highlighted the potential of AI and big data analytics, but also warned that these insights are only as good as how they are put to work.

For a Customer Experience Professional, this is music to my ears. But what I particularly like about Capitec is their willingness to accept that they don’t know it all,]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 17:49
The art of customer listening: interview with Capitec Bank – E09 Part 1 - Decoding the Customer http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-art-of-customer-listening-interview-with-capitec-bank-e09-part-1/ Tue, 10 Jul 2018 21:46:17 +0000 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=789 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-art-of-customer-listening-interview-with-capitec-bank-e09-part-1/#respond http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-art-of-customer-listening-interview-with-capitec-bank-e09-part-1/feed/ 0 I recently interviewed Charl Nel and Shaun Ray from Capitec Bank, one of the Big 5 banks here in South Africa. Charl is the Head of Communications and Shaun manages its CX. Firstly, for those who are not familiar with Capitec, it is truly a major success story for a South African Bank. Now 18 years old, Capitec’s primary vision was, and still is, to simplify banking for customers at a time when the financial services industry was renowned for its complexity and lack of transparency. How did they do it? For Capitec, the customer really does come first. By using a range of digital tracking tools and formal research projects, they understand what the customer likes, and what their pain points are, many in real-time. These are addressed as soon as possible, and communicated to customers. They also deliver on their promises. Charl underpins how important it is to live up to what the bank says it will do, as customers can become underwhelmed quickly or disappointed when what they thought would happen – as promoted through advertising or on social media etc. – didn’t. Talking of social media, customer comments are rife. While it is increasingly being used as a customer service channel, among this are genuine conversations customers have with other customers or a competitor banks’ customers. For instance a competitor’s customer disses their bank and a Capitec customer will pipe up to say they need to switch to Capitec. That is excellent brand advocacy happening all on its own. It’s clear that Capitec has been doing something different, but this is easier said than done. Check out part 2 of my interview with Capitec, where I sat down with Shaun Ray to dive into how Capitec’s customer experience team is embedding customer-centricity across the business. Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. To see Julia's banking industry research collaboration with Brandseye, click here. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience analysis methodologies, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here. I recently interviewed Charl Nel and Shaun Ray from Capitec Bank, one of the Big 5 banks here in South Africa. Charl is the Head of Communications and Shaun manages its CX.

Firstly, for those who are not familiar with Capitec, it is truly a major success story for a South African Bank. Now 18 years old, Capitec’s primary vision was, and still is, to simplify banking for customers at a time when the financial services industry was renowned for its complexity and lack of transparency.

How did they do it?

For Capitec, the customer really does come first. By using a range of digital tracking tools and formal research projects, they understand what the customer likes, and what their pain points are, many in real-time. These are addressed as soon as possible, and communicated to customers.

They also deliver on their promises. Charl underpins how important it is to live up to what the bank says it will do, as customers can become underwhelmed quickly or disappointed when what they thought would happen – as promoted through advertising or on social media etc. – didn’t.

Talking of social media, customer comments are rife. While it is increasingly being used as a customer service channel, among this are genuine conversations customers have with other customers or a competitor banks’ customers. For instance a competitor’s customer disses their bank and a Capitec customer will pipe up to say they need to switch to Capitec. That is excellent brand advocacy happening all on its own.

It’s clear that Capitec has been doing something different, but this is easier said than done. Check out part 2 of my interview with Capitec, where I sat down with Shaun Ray to dive into how Capitec’s customer experience team is embedding customer-centricity across the business.

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. To see Julia’s banking industry research collaboration with Brandseye, click here. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience analysis methodologies, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

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I recently interviewed Charl Nel and Shaun Ray from Capitec Bank, one of the Big 5 banks here in South Africa. Charl is the Head of Communications and Shaun manages its CX. - Firstly, for those who are not familiar with Capitec, Charl Nel and Shaun Ray from Capitec Bank, one of the Big 5 banks here in South Africa. Charl is the Head of Communications and Shaun manages its CX.

Firstly, for those who are not familiar with Capitec, it is truly a major success story for a South African Bank. Now 18 years old, Capitec’s primary vision was, and still is, to simplify banking for customers at a time when the financial services industry was renowned for its complexity and lack of transparency.

How did they do it?

For Capitec, the customer really does come first. By using a range of digital tracking tools and formal research projects, they understand what the customer likes, and what their pain points are, many in real-time. These are addressed as soon as possible, and communicated to customers.

They also deliver on their promises. Charl underpins how important it is to live up to what the bank says it will do, as customers can become underwhelmed quickly or disappointed when what they thought would happen – as promoted through advertising or on social media etc. – didn’t.

Talking of social media, customer comments are rife. While it is increasingly being used as a customer service channel, among this are genuine conversations customers have with other customers or a competitor banks’ customers. For instance a competitor’s customer disses their bank and a Capitec customer will pipe up to say they need to switch to Capitec. That is excellent brand advocacy happening all on its own.

It’s clear that Capitec has been doing something different, but this is easier said than done. Check out part 2 of my interview with Capitec, where I sat down with Shaun Ray to dive into how Capitec’s customer experience team is embedding customer-centricity across the business.

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. To see Julia's banking industry research collaboration with Brandseye, click here. For more information about Julia’s services including her customer experience analysis methodologies, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 18:28
An honest and practical guide to customer experience: interview with Ian Golding – E08 - Decoding the Customer http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/an-honest-and-practical-guide-to-customer-experience-interview-with-ian-golding-e08/ Wed, 27 Jun 2018 15:19:47 +0000 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=776 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/an-honest-and-practical-guide-to-customer-experience-interview-with-ian-golding-e08/#respond http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/an-honest-and-practical-guide-to-customer-experience-interview-with-ian-golding-e08/feed/ 0 While the term CX was first coined in 1998, it’s only really taken off in the past 15 years. This is in large part thanks to the massive technical boom that fundamentally changed everything in the early 2000s. Many businesses born before this time now battle to stay relevant, while newcomers nip at their heels, taking their slice of pie from right under their noses. While certainly a cliché, the world of informed and connected consumers really did change how and why we do business today. My conversation with Ian Golding, author of the book “Customer What?” takes a deep dive into CX, highlighting how effective it can be for businesses that get it right, and how ineffective it can be for those who don’t. His book loosely tackles CX in four parts, each equal in importance and practice: CX’s need to find a firm footing in the organisation to truly start any meaningful transformation Understanding a business’s culture and finding effective ways to connect its people to a CX strategy is essential Which are the right CX tools to use when inside the business and what can they yield How are CX programmes sustained within an organisation, long after the strategy is defined Realizing customer-centric change It’s not easy. Especially when a business has yet to buy into having a CX strategy in the first place. Ian’s advice, and on-the-job observations, is that CX needs an advocate within the business, even if a formalized customer experience role has yet to exist. Often these customer advocates will forge the way for the creation of the centralized customer experience function within their organization. For those who are interested in customer experience, but don’t see a clear career path, Ian advises looking for opportunities to get involved and elevate the topic of customer experience from your current role. So how do CX practitioners (or avid customer advocates) make a meaningful argument to the C-Suite that focus on why customer experience is needed, especially when there is a strong demand from shareholders to perform: through the numbers! There is a strong case of the long-term benefit of a focus on customer experience, but CX initiatives bet on the “long game” of profit contribution through improved customer loyalty and retention. This isn’t something that happens overnight, CX efforts may not yield ROI within the short-term horizon of quarterly earnings cycles. To overcome this Ian suggests developing an engagement plan that allows leadership to understand the importance of dialogue and also articulate the message to shareholders that ultimately will benefit them (from the business) in the medium to long term. Ian considers Amazon’s Jeff Bezos as an excellent example. For years, Amazon didn’t make a profit because Bezos was obsessed with reinvesting everything Amazon did to improve the customer experience. His shareholders didn’t like him much at the start, in fact they hated him! But now they are reaping the benefit and will continue to do so in the long term. A major win for CX and a major win for Amazon. The growing CX community Besides these key take-aways on helping executives engage with shareholders, Ian and I also spoke about the role of the Customer experience Professionals’ Association (CXPA) as a unifying force within the growing CX community. Ian and I are both active members of the CXPA, and Ian spoke about how this member-run non-profit industry body is helping pave the pathway for the future of our profession.  The CXPA both regulates performance and best practice but also provides a community of sharing and learning. Watch this space. CX resources During our conversation, Ian and I discussed several resources for anyone who is interested in learning more about customer experience. Here is our reading list: Books Customer What? The Honest and Practical Guide to Customer Experience Chief Customer Officer 2.0: How to Build Your Customer-Driven Growth Engine (The au... While the term CX was first coined in 1998, it’s only really taken off in the past 15 years. This is in large part thanks to the massive technical boom that fundamentally changed everything in the early 2000s. Many businesses born before this time now battle to stay relevant, while newcomers nip at their heels, taking their slice of pie from right under their noses. While certainly a cliché, the world of informed and connected consumers really did change how and why we do business today.

My conversation with Ian Golding, author of the book “Customer What?” takes a deep dive into CX, highlighting how effective it can be for businesses that get it right, and how ineffective it can be for those who don’t.

His book loosely tackles CX in four parts, each equal in importance and practice:

  1. CX’s need to find a firm footing in the organisation to truly start any meaningful transformation
  2. Understanding a business’s culture and finding effective ways to connect its people to a CX strategy is essential
  3. Which are the right CX tools to use when inside the business and what can they yield
  4. How are CX programmes sustained within an organisation, long after the strategy is defined

Realizing customer-centric change

It’s not easy. Especially when a business has yet to buy into having a CX strategy in the first place.

Ian’s advice, and on-the-job observations, is that CX needs an advocate within the business, even if a formalized customer experience role has yet to exist. Often these customer advocates will forge the way for the creation of the centralized customer experience function within their organization. For those who are interested in customer experience, but don’t see a clear career path, Ian advises looking for opportunities to get involved and elevate the topic of customer experience from your current role.

So how do CX practitioners (or avid customer advocates) make a meaningful argument to the C-Suite that focus on why customer experience is needed, especially when there is a strong demand from shareholders to perform: through the numbers! There is a strong case of the long-term benefit of a focus on customer experience, but CX initiatives bet on the “long game” of profit contribution through improved customer loyalty and retention. This isn’t something that happens overnight, CX efforts may not yield ROI within the short-term horizon of quarterly earnings cycles. To overcome this Ian suggests developing an engagement plan that allows leadership to understand the importance of dialogue and also articulate the message to shareholders that ultimately will benefit them (from the business) in the medium to long term.

Ian considers Amazon’s Jeff Bezos as an excellent example. For years, Amazon didn’t make a profit because Bezos was obsessed with reinvesting everything Amazon did to improve the customer experience. His shareholders didn’t like him much at the start, in fact they hated him! But now they are reaping the benefit and will continue to do so in the long term. A major win for CX and a major win for Amazon.

The growing CX community

Besides these key take-aways on helping executives engage with shareholders, Ian and I also spoke about the role of the Customer experience Professionals’ Association (CXPA) as a unifying force within the growing CX community. Ian and I are both active members of the CXPA, and Ian spoke about how this member-run non-profit industry body is helping pave the pathway for the future of our profession.  The CXPA both regulates performance and best practice but also provides a community of sharing and learning. Watch this space.

CX resources

During our conversation, Ian and I discussed several resources for anyone who is interested in learning more about customer experience. Here is our reading list:

Books
Blogs and online resources

Fellow CX practitioner Ricardo Saltz Gulko has also curated reading list an excellent reading list of his top 30 CX books.

To learn more about Ian’s work, check out his website, LinkedIn, or get in touch with him on Twitter.

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

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While the term CX was first coined in 1998, it’s only really taken off in the past 15 years. This is in large part thanks to the massive technical boom that fundamentally changed everything in the early 2000s.
My conversation with Ian Golding, author of the book “Customer What?” takes a deep dive into CX, highlighting how effective it can be for businesses that get it right, and how ineffective it can be for those who don’t.

His book loosely tackles CX in four parts, each equal in importance and practice:

* CX’s need to find a firm footing in the organisation to truly start any meaningful transformation
* Understanding a business’s culture and finding effective ways to connect its people to a CX strategy is essential
* Which are the right CX tools to use when inside the business and what can they yield
* How are CX programmes sustained within an organisation, long after the strategy is defined

Realizing customer-centric change
It’s not easy. Especially when a business has yet to buy into having a CX strategy in the first place.

Ian’s advice, and on-the-job observations, is that CX needs an advocate within the business, even if a formalized customer experience role has yet to exist. Often these customer advocates will forge the way for the creation of the centralized customer experience function within their organization. For those who are interested in customer experience, but don’t see a clear career path, Ian advises looking for opportunities to get involved and elevate the topic of customer experience from your current role.

So how do CX practitioners (or avid customer advocates) make a meaningful argument to the C-Suite that focus on why customer experience is needed, especially when there is a strong demand from shareholders to perform: through the numbers! There is a strong case of the long-term benefit of a focus on customer experience, but CX initiatives bet on the “long game” of profit contribution through improved customer loyalty and retention. This isn’t something that happens overnight, CX efforts may not yield ROI within the short-term horizon of quarterly earnings cycles. To overcome this Ian suggests developing an engagement plan that allows leadership to understand the importance of dialogue and also articulate the message to shareholders that ultimately will benefit them (from the business) in the medium to long term.

Ian considers Amazon’s Jeff Bezos as an excellent example. For years, Amazon didn’t make a profit because Bezos was obsessed with reinvesting everything Amazon did to improve the customer experience. His shareholders didn’t like him much at the start, in fact they hated him! But now they are reaping the benefit and will continue to do so in the long term. A major win for CX and a major win for Amazon.
The growing CX community
Besides these key take-aways on helping executives engage with shareholders, Ian and I also spoke about the role of the Customer experience Professionals’ Association (CXPA) as a unifying force within the growing CX community. Ian and I are both active members of the CXPA, and Ian spoke about how this member-run non-profit industry body is helping pave the pathway for the future of our profession.  The CXPA both regulates performance and best practice but also provides a community of sharing and learning. Watch this space.



CX resources
During our conversation, Ian and I discussed several resources for anyone who is interested in learning more about customer ...]]>
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When a voice is the face of customer experience: interview with Marianthi Dickie – E07 - Decoding the Customer http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/when-a-voice-is-the-face-of-customer-experience-interview-with-marianthi-dickie-e07/ Tue, 20 Mar 2018 10:26:52 +0000 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=666 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/when-a-voice-is-the-face-of-customer-experience-interview-with-marianthi-dickie-e07/#respond http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/when-a-voice-is-the-face-of-customer-experience-interview-with-marianthi-dickie-e07/feed/ 0 In today’s world, so many of our consumer interactions happen remotely. As banking, retail and other experiences have moved into the digital realm, their support functions have gradually transitioned out of the physical store or branch, and into the contact center. These changes mean that verbal interactions are playing a more important role in shaping consumer’s relationships with brands, and so we need to understand how verbal interactions influence the customer experience. When you interact with someone face-to-face, 80% of the communication is non-verbal, but what happens when you take away the in-person aspect? In this case, an employee’s voice becomes the “face” of the brand. Organizations need to craft each customer touchpoint for maximum impact, and if you only have a handful of human interactions along the journey – as is increasingly the case – they had better count. Within this context, verbal interactions are so much more than just a means to gather or relay information. They are a medium for connecting with consumers, setting the tone of the relationship, and differentiating the brand. In late 2017, I had the opportunity to interview Marianthi Dickie, the founder of Voiceworks. Marianthi has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Drama and Psychology from Rhodes University and an LTCL Speech & Drama Teacher’s Diploma from Trinity College London. She is passionate about changing the way we sound, by teaching people to use their most valuable communication tool… their voice. She believes in finding new ways to communicate through her dealings with a wide range of people and her extensive travel. While Marianthi is not a traditional customer experience specialist, her work contributes to an organization’s ability to deliver on brand promise, and as business leaders heighten their focus on customer experience, she has helped many brands enable their teams to improve the verbal communication aspect of the customer journey. Her areas of expertise encompass the teaching of voice techniques, presentation and communication skills to ensure exceptional outcomes in a professional and corporate environment.   Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here. In today’s world, so many of our consumer interactions happen remotely. As banking, retail and other experiences have moved into the digital realm, their support functions have gradually transitioned out of the physical store or branch, and into the contact center. These changes mean that verbal interactions are playing a more important role in shaping consumer’s relationships with brands, and so we need to understand how verbal interactions influence the customer experience.

When you interact with someone face-to-face, 80% of the communication is non-verbal, but what happens when you take away the in-person aspect? In this case, an employee’s voice becomes the “face” of the brand. Organizations need to craft each customer touchpoint for maximum impact, and if you only have a handful of human interactions along the journey – as is increasingly the case – they had better count.

Within this context, verbal interactions are so much more than just a means to gather or relay information. They are a medium for connecting with consumers, setting the tone of the relationship, and differentiating the brand.

In late 2017, I had the opportunity to interview Marianthi Dickie, the founder of Voiceworks. Marianthi has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Drama and Psychology from Rhodes University and an LTCL Speech & Drama Teacher’s Diploma from Trinity College London. She is passionate about changing the way we sound, by teaching people to use their most valuable communication tool… their voice.

She believes in finding new ways to communicate through her dealings with a wide range of people and her extensive travel. While Marianthi is not a traditional customer experience specialist, her work contributes to an organization’s ability to deliver on brand promise, and as business leaders heighten their focus on customer experience, she has helped many brands enable their teams to improve the verbal communication aspect of the customer journey. Her areas of expertise encompass the teaching of voice techniques, presentation and communication skills to ensure exceptional outcomes in a professional and corporate environment.

 

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

]]>
In today’s world, so many of our consumer interactions happen remotely. As banking, retail and other experiences have moved into the digital realm, their support functions have gradually transitioned out of the physical store or branch,
When you interact with someone face-to-face, 80% of the communication is non-verbal, but what happens when you take away the in-person aspect? In this case, an employee’s voice becomes the “face” of the brand. Organizations need to craft each customer touchpoint for maximum impact, and if you only have a handful of human interactions along the journey – as is increasingly the case – they had better count.

Within this context, verbal interactions are so much more than just a means to gather or relay information. They are a medium for connecting with consumers, setting the tone of the relationship, and differentiating the brand.

In late 2017, I had the opportunity to interview Marianthi Dickie, the founder of Voiceworks. Marianthi has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Drama and Psychology from Rhodes University and an LTCL Speech & Drama Teacher’s Diploma from Trinity College London. She is passionate about changing the way we sound, by teaching people to use their most valuable communication tool… their voice.

She believes in finding new ways to communicate through her dealings with a wide range of people and her extensive travel. While Marianthi is not a traditional customer experience specialist, her work contributes to an organization’s ability to deliver on brand promise, and as business leaders heighten their focus on customer experience, she has helped many brands enable their teams to improve the verbal communication aspect of the customer journey. Her areas of expertise encompass the teaching of voice techniques, presentation and communication skills to ensure exceptional outcomes in a professional and corporate environment.



 

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 24:04
Solving 99 customer problems: interview with Multichoice SA – E06 - Decoding the Customer http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/solving-99-customer-problems-interview-with-multichoice-sa-e06/ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 13:18:38 +0000 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=645 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/solving-99-customer-problems-interview-with-multichoice-sa-e06/#respond http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/solving-99-customer-problems-interview-with-multichoice-sa-e06/feed/ 0 This episode of Decoding the Customer explores how Multichoice, Africa’s largest satellite TV provider, ignited CX transformation through customer-centric culture change. It started when their CX team brought in several angry customers to give the executives a reality check, and then culminated with a campaign to rally the entire organization around 99 customer journey problems that just needed to be fixed. In our interview, Clint Payne and Landile Chauke, from the Multichoice CX team share insights from their efforts to engage employees, elevate the voice of the customer, and drive customer-centric change across the business. Multichoice’s innovative approach led to them win recognition in several categories at the inaugural CX Africa Awards, in 2017. There is no denying that the field of customer experience management has deeper roots and a larger presence in developed economies such as the US and Europe, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t inspiring work happening in other regions. As a judge for the 2017 the CX Africa Awards, and I was personally impressed by the caliber of work underway at companies in Africa. Hopefully this episode provides an opportunity to highlight and share some of the excellent CX work underway in developing markets.                 Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.       This episode of Decoding the Customer explores how Multichoice, Africa’s largest satellite TV provider, ignited CX transformation through customer-centric culture change. It started when their CX team brought in several angry customers to give the executives a reality check, and then culminated with a campaign to rally the entire organization around 99 customer journey problems that just needed to be fixed.

In our interview, Clint Payne and Landile Chauke, from the Multichoice CX team share insights from their efforts to engage employees, elevate the voice of the customer, and drive customer-centric change across the business. Multichoice’s innovative approach led to them win recognition in several categories at the inaugural CX Africa Awards, in 2017.

There is no denying that the field of customer experience management has deeper roots and a larger presence in developed economies such as the US and Europe, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t inspiring work happening in other regions. As a judge for the 2017 the CX Africa Awards, and I was personally impressed by the caliber of work underway at companies in Africa. Hopefully this episode provides an opportunity to highlight and share some of the excellent CX work underway in developing markets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

 

 

 

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This episode of Decoding the Customer explores how Multichoice, Africa’s largest satellite TV provider, ignited CX transformation through customer-centric culture change. It started when their CX team brought in several angry customers to give the exec... Multichoice, Africa’s largest satellite TV provider, ignited CX transformation through customer-centric culture change. It started when their CX team brought in several angry customers to give the executives a reality check, and then culminated with a campaign to rally the entire organization around 99 customer journey problems that just needed to be fixed.



In our interview, Clint Payne and Landile Chauke, from the Multichoice CX team share insights from their efforts to engage employees, elevate the voice of the customer, and drive customer-centric change across the business. Multichoice’s innovative approach led to them win recognition in several categories at the inaugural CX Africa Awards, in 2017.

There is no denying that the field of customer experience management has deeper roots and a larger presence in developed economies such as the US and Europe, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t inspiring work happening in other regions. As a judge for the 2017 the CX Africa Awards, and I was personally impressed by the caliber of work underway at companies in Africa. Hopefully this episode provides an opportunity to highlight and share some of the excellent CX work underway in developing markets.





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

 

 

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Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 42:45
The role of compassion in customer experience: interview with Laura Jack – E05 - Decoding the Customer http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-role-of-compassion-in-customer-experience-interview-with-laura-jack/ Tue, 28 Nov 2017 16:11:14 +0000 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=604 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-role-of-compassion-in-customer-experience-interview-with-laura-jack/#respond http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/the-role-of-compassion-in-customer-experience-interview-with-laura-jack/feed/ 0  Understanding the perspectives of others and making decisions within this context is the foundation good customer experience. Customer compassion is key to developing engaging customer experiences, and rallying teams around a common customer-centric goal. Laura Jack is an expert on the topic of compassion, so I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak with her about how embracing and enabling compassion can improve CX. Laura Jack is a counselor, coach and author of the bestselling book, The Compassion Code. Laura is also a close friend, and during a recent visit to the US, we were catching up about life and our jobs. Laura was telling me about her work helping people understand and relate kindly to others, when we realized that our careers had an interesting and unexpected common vein.  A few weeks later we recorded an interview via Skype for the podcast. Laura kicks off our podcast conversation by sharing how compassion has become an area of heightened interest, the definitions of sympathy/empathy/compassion, why they are different, and the role of compassion in customer experiences. Later in the episode, discuss the importance of compassion in the workplace, how managers of frontline teams can mitigate “empathy fatigue”, and finally, how to teach back office employees to relate to a customer they may never meet in person. To find out more about Laura’s work, please visit her website. You’ll find information about her services, as well as her contact information. The Compassion Code is an excellent read. It’s available in print in the US, or globally as an e-book.                   Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about how Julia can help your business thrive in The Age of the Customer, click here. To hear other episodes of her podcast, click here.  Understanding the perspectives of others and making decisions within this context is the foundation good customer experience. Customer compassion is key to developing engaging customer experiences, and rallying teams around a common customer-centric goal. Laura Jack is an expert on the topic of compassion, so I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak with her about how embracing and enabling compassion can improve CX.

Laura Jack is a counselor, coach and author of the bestselling book, The Compassion Code. Laura is also a close friend, and during a recent visit to the US, we were catching up about life and our jobs. Laura was telling me about her work helping people understand and relate kindly to others, when we realized that our careers had an interesting and unexpected common vein.  A few weeks later we recorded an interview via Skype for the podcast.

Laura kicks off our podcast conversation by sharing how compassion has become an area of heightened interest, the definitions of sympathy/empathy/compassion, why they are different, and the role of compassion in customer experiences. Later in the episode, discuss the importance of compassion in the workplace, how managers of frontline teams can mitigate “empathy fatigue”, and finally, how to teach back office employees to relate to a customer they may never meet in person.

To find out more about Laura’s work, please visit her website. You’ll find information about her services, as well as her contact information. The Compassion Code is an excellent read. It’s available in print in the US, or globally as an e-book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about how Julia can help your business thrive in The Age of the Customer, click here. To hear other episodes of her podcast, click here.

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 Understanding the perspectives of others and making decisions within this context is the foundation good customer experience. Customer compassion is key to developing engaging customer experiences, and rallying teams around a common customer-centric g...
Laura Jack is a counselor, coach and author of the bestselling book, The Compassion Code. Laura is also a close friend, and during a recent visit to the US, we were catching up about life and our jobs. Laura was telling me about her work helping people understand and relate kindly to others, when we realized that our careers had an interesting and unexpected common vein.  A few weeks later we recorded an interview via Skype for the podcast.



Laura kicks off our podcast conversation by sharing how compassion has become an area of heightened interest, the definitions of sympathy/empathy/compassion, why they are different, and the role of compassion in customer experiences. Later in the episode, discuss the importance of compassion in the workplace, how managers of frontline teams can mitigate “empathy fatigue”, and finally, how to teach back office employees to relate to a customer they may never meet in person.

To find out more about Laura’s work, please visit her website. You’ll find information about her services, as well as her contact information. The Compassion Code is an excellent read. It’s available in print in the US, or globally as an e-book.





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about how Julia can help your business thrive in The Age of the Customer, click here. To hear other episodes of her podcast, click here.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 33:57
Executive champion for the customer mandate: interview with Michelle Beetar, Chief Customer Officer at Cell C - Decoding the Customer http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/executive-champion-for-the-customer-mandate-interview-with-michelle-beetar-chief-customer-officer-at-cell-c/ Thu, 26 Oct 2017 13:17:37 +0000 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=559 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/executive-champion-for-the-customer-mandate-interview-with-michelle-beetar-chief-customer-officer-at-cell-c/#comments http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/executive-champion-for-the-customer-mandate-interview-with-michelle-beetar-chief-customer-officer-at-cell-c/feed/ 4 In 2016, the South African telecommunication firm, Cell C, hired Michelle Beetar as their first Chief Customer Officer. A year into her new role, I had an opportunity to speak with Michelle about her experience, progress to-date, what she's learned, and her tips for others stepping into senior CX leadership roles. Michelle has been striking the balance between driving incremental improvements to the journey, and rallying the entire organization around a unified CX strategic vision. She refers to the continual journey improvements as "moving the boat forward". Michelle meets with her team on a weekly basis to celebrate the wins, discuss challenges, and make plans for next steps. This approach enables her to keep her team focused and motivated as they drive ongoing experience improvement efforts. During her first year, Michelle also made it her mission to establish a "common language" for Cell C's customer experience. She started by mapping the customer journey life-cycle, and has used this as a focal point for fostering awareness across the organization, driving departmental accountability, and measuring performance. As Michelle says, "customer experience is everything", and a unified understanding of the customer journey has improved cross-functional collaboration towards common goals. While Michelle will be the first one to tell you that there is still much work to be done, Cell C is already seeing results. NPS scores have improved steadily since the appointment of the organization's first CCO. Michelle shared many more insights that I hope will serve as inspiration for those who are championing the customer mandate within their organization. Michelle Beetar, Chief Customer Officer at Cell C Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To explore other episodes of the podcast, click here. In 2016, the South African telecommunication firm, Cell C, hired Michelle Beetar as their first Chief Customer Officer. A year into her new role, I had an opportunity to speak with Michelle about her experience, progress to-date, what she’s learned, and her tips for others stepping into senior CX leadership roles.

Michelle has been striking the balance between driving incremental improvements to the journey, and rallying the entire organization around a unified CX strategic vision.

She refers to the continual journey improvements as “moving the boat forward”. Michelle meets with her team on a weekly basis to celebrate the wins, discuss challenges, and make plans for next steps. This approach enables her to keep her team focused and motivated as they drive ongoing experience improvement efforts.

During her first year, Michelle also made it her mission to establish a “common language” for Cell C’s customer experience. She started by mapping the customer journey life-cycle, and has used this as a focal point for fostering awareness across the organization, driving departmental accountability, and measuring performance. As Michelle says, “customer experience is everything”, and a unified understanding of the customer journey has improved cross-functional collaboration towards common goals.

While Michelle will be the first one to tell you that there is still much work to be done, Cell C is already seeing results. NPS scores have improved steadily since the appointment of the organization’s first CCO.

Michelle shared many more insights that I hope will serve as inspiration for those who are championing the customer mandate within their organization.

Michelle Beetar, Chief Customer Officer at Cell C

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia’s services, click here. To explore other episodes of the podcast, click here.

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In 2016, the South African telecommunication firm, Cell C, hired Michelle Beetar as their first Chief Customer Officer. A year into her new role, I had an opportunity to speak with Michelle about her experience, progress to-date, what she's learned, Cell C, hired Michelle Beetar as their first Chief Customer Officer. A year into her new role, I had an opportunity to speak with Michelle about her experience, progress to-date, what she's learned, and her tips for others stepping into senior CX leadership roles.

Michelle has been striking the balance between driving incremental improvements to the journey, and rallying the entire organization around a unified CX strategic vision.

She refers to the continual journey improvements as "moving the boat forward". Michelle meets with her team on a weekly basis to celebrate the wins, discuss challenges, and make plans for next steps. This approach enables her to keep her team focused and motivated as they drive ongoing experience improvement efforts.

During her first year, Michelle also made it her mission to establish a "common language" for Cell C's customer experience. She started by mapping the customer journey life-cycle, and has used this as a focal point for fostering awareness across the organization, driving departmental accountability, and measuring performance. As Michelle says, "customer experience is everything", and a unified understanding of the customer journey has improved cross-functional collaboration towards common goals.

While Michelle will be the first one to tell you that there is still much work to be done, Cell C is already seeing results. NPS scores have improved steadily since the appointment of the organization's first CCO.

Michelle shared many more insights that I hope will serve as inspiration for those who are championing the customer mandate within their organization.



Michelle Beetar, Chief Customer Officer at Cell C

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in Customer Experience Management. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To explore other episodes of the podcast, click here.]]>
Julia Ahlfeldt, Certified Customer Experience Professional clean 22:07
CX excellence in action: Interview with Airbnb’s Desirree Madison-Biggs – E03 - Decoding the Customer http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/cx-excellence-in-action-interview-with-airbnbs-desirree-madison-biggs-e03/ Mon, 02 Oct 2017 13:51:51 +0000 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=485 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/cx-excellence-in-action-interview-with-airbnbs-desirree-madison-biggs-e03/#respond http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/cx-excellence-in-action-interview-with-airbnbs-desirree-madison-biggs-e03/feed/ 0 Airbnb customer experience is truly something different. The brand is one of my favorite examples of customer-centric disruption. They've gotten it right, and the proof is in the pudding. Airbnb has doubled in size every year since 2014, and taken the travel industry by storm - all without owning a single property. What is their secret to success? In August 2017, I had the opportunity to speak with Desirree Madison-Biggs, their head of CX Design and Improvement Programs. In addition to recording an interview, Desirree also gave me a tour of their headquarters in San Francisco, California. Airbnb has embedded their core values into everything that they do, and have created a culture that is deeply customer/host/employee-centric. The mantra of "belong anywhere" was omnipresent at Airbnb HQ, and for a new visitor, one of the most tangible examples was the physical space. At HQ, employees literally belong anywhere. Teams don’t sit in permanently assigned areas, but rather move freely around the offices and work where it suits them. Whether that means a quiet space to concentrate or a communal work area for collaboration, the Airbnb office is an environment where employees don't lay claim to a specific space, but belong to something much bigger.                         This immersion in the world of customers / hosts keeps the end user top-of-mind. Access to customer feedback data enables employees to see the impact of their contributions.                 The employee experience within the physical work space was just the tip of the iceberg. Desirree also discussed how the company's values are embedded in their talent acquisition process, community engagement, and ongoing experience innovation. Airbnb customer experience is truly the gold standard, and this didn't happen by accident. Airbnb has built community-centricity (a step beyond basic customer-centricity), into everything that they do. Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. As an expert in customer experience management, she has helped global brands understand the needs of their customers and drive value through customer-centricity. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To explore more episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here. Airbnb customer experience is truly something different. The brand is one of my favorite examples of customer-centric disruption. They’ve gotten it right, and the proof is in the pudding. Airbnb has doubled in size every year since 2014, and taken the travel industry by storm – all without owning a single property.

What is their secret to success? In August 2017, I had the opportunity to speak with Desirree Madison-Biggs, their head of CX Design and Improvement Programs. In addition to recording an interview, Desirree also gave me a tour of their headquarters in San Francisco, California.

Airbnb has embedded their core values into everything that they do, and have created a culture that is deeply customer/host/employee-centric. The mantra of “belong anywhere” was omnipresent at Airbnb HQ, and for a new visitor, one of the most tangible examples was the physical space.

At HQ, employees literally belong anywhere. Teams don’t sit in permanently assigned areas, but rather move freely around the offices and work where it suits them. Whether that means a quiet space to concentrate or a communal work area for collaboration, the Airbnb office is an environment where employees don’t lay claim to a specific space, but belong to something much bigger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This immersion in the world of customers / hosts keeps the end user top-of-mind. Access to customer feedback data enables employees to see the impact of their contributions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The employee experience within the physical work space was just the tip of the iceberg. Desirree also discussed how the company’s values are embedded in their talent acquisition process, community engagement, and ongoing experience innovation. Airbnb customer experience is truly the gold standard, and this didn’t happen by accident. Airbnb has built community-centricity (a step beyond basic customer-centricity), into everything that they do.

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. As an expert in customer experience management, she has helped global brands understand the needs of their customers and drive value through customer-centricity. For more information about Julia’s services, click here. To explore more episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

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Airbnb customer experience is truly something different. The brand is one of my favorite examples of customer-centric disruption. They've gotten it right, and the proof is in the pudding. Airbnb has doubled in size every year since 2014,


What is their secret to success? In August 2017, I had the opportunity to speak with Desirree Madison-Biggs, their head of CX Design and Improvement Programs. In addition to recording an interview, Desirree also gave me a tour of their headquarters in San Francisco, California.

Airbnb has embedded their core values into everything that they do, and have created a culture that is deeply customer/host/employee-centric. The mantra of "belong anywhere" was omnipresent at Airbnb HQ, and for a new visitor, one of the most tangible examples was the physical space.

At HQ, employees literally belong anywhere. Teams don’t sit in permanently assigned areas, but rather move freely around the offices and work where it suits them. Whether that means a quiet space to concentrate or a communal work area for collaboration, the Airbnb office is an environment where employees don't lay claim to a specific space, but belong to something much bigger.

 













 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
This immersion in the world of customers / hosts keeps the end user top-of-mind. Access to customer feedback data enables employees to see the impact of their contributions.






 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The employee experience within the physical work space was just the tip of the iceberg. Desirree also discussed how the company's values are embedded in their talent acquisition process, community engagement, and ongoing experience innovation. Airbnb customer experience is truly the gold standard, and this didn't happen by accident. Airbnb has built community-centricity (a step beyond basic customer-centricity), into everything that they do.

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. As an expert in customer experience management, she has helped global brands understand the needs of their customers and drive value through customer-centricity. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To explore more episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.]]>
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Innovation, disruption and staying relevant in the Age of the Customer: interview with Roger Norton – E02 - Decoding the Customer http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/innovation-disruption-and-staying-relevant-in-the-age-of-the-customer-interview-with-roger-norton-e02/ Tue, 19 Sep 2017 15:44:55 +0000 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=446 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/innovation-disruption-and-staying-relevant-in-the-age-of-the-customer-interview-with-roger-norton-e02/#respond http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/innovation-disruption-and-staying-relevant-in-the-age-of-the-customer-interview-with-roger-norton-e02/feed/ 0 In August 2017, I had the opportunity to speak with Roger Norton about fintech disruption and the future of the financial services sector. Roger is the CEO of Playlogix, co-founder of the Lead Iterator, and author of the book: Start Here: A quick guide to building tech startups. He's passionate about technology, and its potential to change Africa. He focuses on startups as a vehicle for innovation and has built over 40 tech products in 4 years at Playlogix. Roger has also collaborated with some of South Africa's most prominent banking brands as they evaluated and launched strategies to improve their participation in innovation. Given his involvement with both startups and huge corporations, Roger brings a unique perspective to the topic of driving CX change through innovation. While not a CX specialist per se, there were many parallels between Roger's work, and the responsibilities of a CX professional. We discussed the definition of disruption, why big organizations struggle to innovate, and the business case for change. In the Age of the Customer, companies need to constantly innovate the customer experience, and is his insights are valuable for anyone looking to help brand retain relevance amid a world of change. Roger Norton, CEO Playlogix Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. Originally from the USA, she is now one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in customer experience management. For more information about how Julia helps brands navigate fintech disruption and the challenges of the Age of the Customer, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here. In August 2017, I had the opportunity to speak with Roger Norton about fintech disruption and the future of the financial services sector. Roger is the CEO of Playlogix, co-founder of the Lead Iterator, and author of the book: Start Here: A quick guide to building tech startups. He’s passionate about technology, and its potential to change Africa. He focuses on startups as a vehicle for innovation and has built over 40 tech products in 4 years at Playlogix.

Roger has also collaborated with some of South Africa’s most prominent banking brands as they evaluated and launched strategies to improve their participation in innovation. Given his involvement with both startups and huge corporations, Roger brings a unique perspective to the topic of driving CX change through innovation.

While not a CX specialist per se, there were many parallels between Roger’s work, and the responsibilities of a CX professional. We discussed the definition of disruption, why big organizations struggle to innovate, and the business case for change. In the Age of the Customer, companies need to constantly innovate the customer experience, and is his insights are valuable for anyone looking to help brand retain relevance amid a world of change.

Roger Norton, CEO Playlogix

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. Originally from the USA, she is now one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in customer experience management. For more information about how Julia helps brands navigate fintech disruption and the challenges of the Age of the Customer, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

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In August 2017, I had the opportunity to speak with Roger Norton about fintech disruption and the future of the financial services sector. Roger is the CEO of Playlogix, co-founder of the Lead Iterator, and author of the book: Start Here: A quick guide... Playlogix, co-founder of the Lead Iterator, and author of the book: Start Here: A quick guide to building tech startups. He's passionate about technology, and its potential to change Africa. He focuses on startups as a vehicle for innovation and has built over 40 tech products in 4 years at Playlogix.

Roger has also collaborated with some of South Africa's most prominent banking brands as they evaluated and launched strategies to improve their participation in innovation. Given his involvement with both startups and huge corporations, Roger brings a unique perspective to the topic of driving CX change through innovation.

While not a CX specialist per se, there were many parallels between Roger's work, and the responsibilities of a CX professional. We discussed the definition of disruption, why big organizations struggle to innovate, and the business case for change. In the Age of the Customer, companies need to constantly innovate the customer experience, and is his insights are valuable for anyone looking to help brand retain relevance amid a world of change.



Roger Norton, CEO Playlogix

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. Originally from the USA, she is now one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in customer experience management. For more information about how Julia helps brands navigate fintech disruption and the challenges of the Age of the Customer, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.]]>
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Driving patient-centric change: insights from Mediclinic SA – E01 - Decoding the Customer http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/driving-patient-centric-change-insights-from-mediclinic-sa-e01/ Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:42:47 +0000 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/?p=356 http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/driving-patient-centric-change-insights-from-mediclinic-sa-e01/#respond http://julia-ahlfeldt.com/driving-patient-centric-change-insights-from-mediclinic-sa-e01/feed/ 0 Kevin Seaman, Patient Experience Manager at Mediclinic South Africa, shares the catalysts for their patient-centric change journey, what it takes to engage ~17,000 employees, and his tips for success. Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. Originally from the USA, she is now one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in customer experience management. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here. Kevin Seaman, Patient Experience Manager at Mediclinic South Africa, shares the catalysts for their patient-centric change journey, what it takes to engage ~17,000 employees, and his tips for success.

Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. Originally from the USA, she is now one of Southern Africa’s foremost experts in customer experience management. For more information about Julia’s services, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.

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Kevin Seaman, Patient Experience Manager at Mediclinic South Africa, shares the catalysts for their patient-centric change journey, what it takes to engage ~17,000 employees, and his tips for success. - Decoding the Customer is a customer experience p...
Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. Originally from the USA, she is now one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in customer experience management. For more information about Julia's services, click here. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.]]>
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