Last week I had the pleasure of Chairing and speaking at the very first New Zealand Customer Experience Management Conference. This two day event not only attracted representatives from many forward thinking organisations but also an impressive line up of high quality speakers.
Delegates not only got to learn what high profile organisations like Air NZ, 2 Degrees, Vodafone and Loyalty NZ were doing to develop their customer experience but also to hear from speakers on a range of topics related to the development implementation and management of a customer experience strategy.
One thing that pleasantly surprise me was the number of speakers that were completely up to date with a business strategy that has not been around for that long even in the US & UK.
The availability of this knowledge and expertise makes it easy for organisations to commit to the development of a strategy that is already clearly differentiating the leaders from the rest.
It was clear from comments at the conference that there were a number of things that were holding many organisations back from embarking on the customer experience development journey.
One was the lack of knowledge and skill within their organisations, but the one that concerned me was the inability to gain a total commitment from leadership. We are talking about leadership that viewed this kind of strategy as “a nice fluffy” rather than a strategy that will deliver growth and profitability.
A number of conference speakers did a great job at not only making it clear that aligning the customer experience strategy measurements with the numbers was vitally important but highlighted the processes to achieve this.
So, let’s be clear delighting your customers with a consistent quality experience has many benefits, but the two main benefits are the growth of employee & customer loyalty and the increase in customer advocacy. Both benefits can and should be related directly back to financial performance in cost reductions and an increase in sales and margins by ensuring the capture of relative data.
Conference delegates left the conference in no doubt that future business success will be very much aligned with the consistency and quality of an organisations customer experience.
Chris Bell is managing director of Customer Experiences, a company that specialises in helping businesses improve the way in which they interact with customers and clients. – firstname.lastname@example.org; www.customerexperiences.co.nz