Making CX matter to non customer-facing employees

Customer experience is one of the main pillars of a company but it is not just the work of the marketing or CX teams only. All employees have a part to play in creating a pleasant experience for the consumer. More importantly, CEOs need to play a role in promoting the important of CX within the organisation. During a recent panel discussion moderated by Wendy McEwan, head of marketing, Knight Frank Singapore (pictured top left) at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's Digital Marketing Asia 2020 virtual conference, Fuji Xerox Singapore's chief digital and marketing officer, Susie Wong (pictured top right), said it is every employee's responsibility to "wow and win" at every interaction. "At our organisation, we believe you don't get a second chance to make a first impression," she said. '

According to her, Fuji Xerox views CX from two lenses - a function that is decentralised to all individuals within the organisation; and a lens that has the personal involvement of the CEO. With this, it has appointed a CX champion from every department who is fully empowered to make decisions for their respective teams. These 10 CX champions form the CX council at Fuji Xerox to oversee the departments' customer performance indicators (CPI).

For example, the council will look into the response and resolution time taken by the customer services team. "Every department has a set of CPIs that they look at from their function's perspective. That council meets once a month for 90 minutes and the meeting is chaired personally by the CEO and the meeting is by upward delegation. If the appointed representative is unable to make it, their bosses need to attend the meeting," Wong explained, adding:

Such a practice works for Fuji Xerox because it communicates and reinforces that responsibility for CX starts with every individual in each department based on their CPIs.

Aside from that, Fuji Xerox also has a voice of customer committee which evaluates customer feedback and what opportunities are available to create a delightful experience.

Like Fuji Xerox, Sun Life Hong Kong's chief marketing and digital officer Haymans Fung (pictured bottom right) said the C-suite is well aware of its CX strategy and coming from the insurance industry, CX is integral to its operations. CX is not only driven at the highest level in terms of mindset change, but also in the company's processes, she added.

"We need to have operations and distribution in the CX process and view CX from a [customer] journey perspective. For example, it needs to be present from the moment a client reads our materials to when he or she onboards. It involves the whole business model," Fung added.

Our CX is like the central component connecting the whole journey and the head of each function should also have KPIs and goals they have to achieve from a CX perspective.

This includes achieving client satisfaction and the effectiveness of processes, Fung explained. Sun Life also looks to its distribution teams to create a well thought out CX journey, because their advisers are closest to clients. "We have regular check-ins with our advisers, looking at whether the company is providing them with the right tools from a tech perspective. To us, it is a multi-layered and multi-departmental effort.

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Marketing's growing role in CX

Also weighing in on the conversation was Freshworks Inc's SVP, digital marketing, Ramesh Ravishankar (pictured bottom left), who said marketing's role a decade ago was to spread awareness and garner brand interest. Marketing today, however, has "a very strong responsibility" since everything is measurable. To marketers, customers are both the prospects and sales employees within the company as well.

"While the job of marketing is to spread awareness and create interest, the next level for marketing is to do plenty of research about the customer before handing off to the sales team. Customers could come in through multiple channels but we don't want to just market to them with a dozen different ads. We want to ensure that when we take over, we know that type of prospect they are," Ravishankar said.

He added, "Don't let customers wait to experience the product." 

He also explained that at Freshworks, the sales development representative does not sit with the sales team but the marketing team instead. "We don't want to make prospects feel like this is a heavy softwware by bringing in an army of consultants to help with the implementation process. That's not feasible anymore. The sales development representative needs to qualify the opportunity and have information about the prospects right from the start," he explained.

How to ensure your CX strategy resonates with employees

One of the aspects Fuji Xerox takes into consideration is how it can define CX and customer satisfaction so that it resonates with individual employees, from C-suites and heads of departments, to the field engineers on ground. "One of the areas we have embarked upon, and are still making headway in, is looking at it from a data perspective. How do we separate what we describe as operational data from experience data?" Wong said.

Operational data, according to her, is defined as a company's way of understanding issues at hand. It covers areas such as the type of products and solutions that customers have with Fuji Xerox, and what their service record history is. Whereas experience data is from a customer's point of view and can be measured using the net promoter score (NPS), for example. When the relevant operational and experience data is communicated to employees, Wong said it creates moments of epiphany. 

"We often find that at the departmental level, when we combine both types of data it will give us the view of the customer performance index, it makes it come alive. That's how we make our CX real [for employees] and cut through at every level of the organisation," Wong explained. 

Leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to introduce agility into the company

The pandemic has accelerated not only digital transformation but the need to relook at CX and the important role it plays in an organisation. According to McKinsey in an article, a customers interaction with an organisation during a time of crisis can impact her or his sense of trust and loyalty. It added that the main barometer of CX will be how the brands they frequent and depend upon serve experiences that meet their new needs with empathy, care and concern.

McKinsey also added that the four areas of CX for brands to take note of moving forward are concentrate on care and concern, meet your customers where they are, reimaging the post-COVID-19 world and build agile capabilities for fluid times.

mckinsey 4 cx

For Sun Life Hong Kong, it was important for them to meet their customers where they are. Fung said as a 150-year-old company in a storied industry such as life insurance, Sun Life has plenty of legacy systems. Hence, it was important for the company to make the customer experience relevant and have quick customer service.

"It's very difficult for life insurance. This year has pushed us to go a lot faster in terms of digital transformation, using data and ensuring client experiences are right where they need it to be," she said.

In February this year when Hong Kong and the rest of Asia were badly hit by COVID-19, Fung said Sun Life quickly relooked at its products. Knowing that not every product covers COVID-19, it immediately changed its coverage to ensure its clients are appropriately protected even though it was "a financial implication to [the] company". This was quickly communicated to clients through its advisers and Fung said Sun Life had to ensure the communication was also comprehensive enough for clients to understand.

Another area Sun Life re-evaluted was its claims process. Previously, clients would have to submit a form. However, the company sought to speed up the process and this was expedited by COVID-19. "For claims concerning a certain amount of money, for example, we sped up the process to 24 hours and this can be done through an app," Fung added.

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