Preaching to the choir, perhaps, but customer centricity matters today more than ever. Gone are the days when some customers merely accepted that customer service would be subpar, especially when dealing with entrenched services. Fortunately, customers woke up to their rights, and even the most powerful changed course. It was nothing short of a revelation — and completely overwhelming: the exponential growth of technology and data (along with the complex legal issues surrounding it), the need to deliver more with less and keep pace with regulators, competitors, and investors. And yet, the shift towards customer centricity is still the best thing that happened to those of us who serve customers on a daily basis.
Simply put, customer centricity is about prioritizing and delivering a positive experience to your customers. “Pretty low benchmark,” you might think, but compared to a decade or two ago, this is a big step forward.
More importantly, customer centricity sets a non-negotiable line in the sand, that a negative customer experience is no longer permitted.
In fact, research from NewVoiceMedia shows that after one negative experience, 51% of customers will never do business with that company again.
One of the most significant benefits of customer centricity is the shift from a reactive to a proactive approach to customer experience. This has also been one of the satisfying parts of my many years in customer experience. The ability to go from passive to active, from waiting for the customer to call and complain about problems to anticipating their needs and interpreting their data to know how best to help them. Trial and error is a key aspect of this mindset, as is accepting that, for every successful change you make, you’ll experience just as many failures.
Customer Centric Conference 2019
I’d love to say that there is a magic formula for driving the shift or reengaging businesses that have lost their way. Instead, it’s all about sharing, exchanging, and learning from others. So when our CEO, Vasco Pedro, suggested that we organize a Customer Centric Conference (CCC), I jumped at the idea. By bringing together like-minded individuals who are shaking up the field and sharing our learnings, we can lead the movement for empathetic, meaningful, customer-centric service.
I’m excited to announce that I’ll be your host for CCC, guiding you through lively conversations, storytelling, and knowledge sharing, with a range of expert speakers and panelists covering both industry trends and cutting-edge innovation.
We’ll be exploring how to leverage technology to support a growing and demanding global customer base, harnessing automation and AI to do what they do best: freeing up your agents from I-lost-my-password-type queries, so they can focus on complex issues that actually build loyalty.
We’ll learn the challenges of building and scaling global teams in disruptive industries, such as the cannabis marketplace. We’ll also hear disasters stories — and subsequent tales of recovery — from the customer-facing teams working around the clock to rebuild trust.
It’s high time to challenge some performance metrics that have been around since the 50s and 60s, such as first contact resolution, average handling time, and customer satisfaction scores, and to look at what actually matters to the customer. There’s no better way to do this than by combining quantitative and qualitative results, analyzing customer feedback and emotional responses side-by-side with tangible, hard-core customer data.
Like I said: no magic formula. Just an action-packed schedule.
Get to know our first speakers
We’ve invited David Rowan, the former editor-in-chief of WIRED UK, as featured speaker. David has spent the past year traveling the world — 130 flights to be precise —, looking into the most exciting companies and entrepreneurs challenging the tech industry. He collected all these stories in his latest book, “Non-Bullshit Innovation: Radical Ideas from the World’s Smartest Minds,” and he’ll be presenting his key findings with us during the event.
We’re also hosting some of the brightest and most experienced minds working in customer service, as is the case of Suri Ratnatunga, the Senior Director of Community and Support at Vimeo; Mick Frederick, VP of Customer Experience at Eaze; Lauri Haav, Head of International Expansion at Monese; Kristina Mercier, Senior Manager of User Happiness Team at Expedia; and Marissa Gordon, the head of Finance and Operations at Universe.
We’ll take you to new heights with a special presentation by an aerobatic pilot, who’ll speak about the importance of preparation, planning, and training when it comes to dealing with the unexpected.
Now, we don’t want to spoil the whole thing just yet. Over the next few weeks, we’ll share the full agenda, together with some recommendations for our usual spots and favorite corners, so you can make the most out of CCC before coming back home to turbocharge your customer experience.
Join us in Lisbon
The road towards customer centricity comes with its fair share of challenges. Messy data and unorganized systems, a myriad of tools and processes, budgets and skills — or lack thereof — get in the way of a good customer experience. But we can get there through collaboration — with colleagues, partners, and, ultimately, customers. And that’s the goal of CCC. To get all of us who care about customer centricity under the same roof, to re-energise our thinking, and maybe even enjoy some of Lisbon’s summer days, wine, and traditional festivities.
So if you feel like you could do with a few new ideas, want to discuss some meaty challenges, or simply want to hear about innovative new approaches, visit customercentric.unbabel.com and join us at the Customer Centric Conference in Lisbon, on June 6, 2019.
Stay tuned, and stay customer centric.