The Teleperformance Leader Insights Forum (LIF) took place recently in Dublin, Ireland. The event featured a collection of industry leaders and practitioners all exploring how ‘Each Interaction Matters’ throughout the duration of the modern customer journey. I was particularly interested in the various speakers and how they would address the retail, banking and financial services, travel, and airline industries. Not every speaker was from these specific industries, but many of the lessons from the event can be applied to them.
The LIF focuses on creating insight from the experience Teleperformance has working with some incredible brands all over the world. Leaders travel to the LIF and share their knowledge with an audience that – in my experience – has an endless stream of questions. It was certainly true at this event – I could see the continuous live discussion on Twitter. It truly is a step above the typical customer experience (CX) conference because all the speakers are real practitioners sharing experience and insight.
The opening day started with Frank Keienburg, Head of Player Experience at Supercell focusing on innovation. What I would add is that Frank and his team really walk the walk when it comes to innovation. Many leaders talk about the need for their team to innovate, but they are afraid of the regular failure that must happen if you are going to try out many new ideas – most of them will certainly fail. Frank gives his team Champagne as a reward just for trying new ideas, knowing that quite often they will be drinking Champagne when they have watched another project idea fail.
Carolyn Blunt, Managing Director at Ember Real Results then talked about how employees, work, and the customer experience are all changing – and fast! The way we communicate and the way we work is evolving faster than ever before. Carolyn said: “The pace of change is increasing. Think about ecommerce as a good example, except we really don’t call it that any longer do we? It’s just online shopping. Actually, it’s just shopping. What used to be futuristic is now mundane and normal.” Carolyn described how consumer behavior is often not reflected in the workplace. Why do we use online devices as consumers yet a corporate training program requires classrooms and hours spent listening to lectures?
I think we often forget this when looking at industries such as retail. What we see as normal today – same-day delivery, click and collect, free returns, and so on, are all innovations that have taken place very recently. We talk today of omnichannel retail with an expectation that retailers offer the same great experience in-store, online, and on apps, but just a few years ago Amazon was talked about as ecommerce – not a retail leader with ambitions to change the entire industry.
Dr Nicola Millard, Head of Customer Insight & Futures at BT Global Services Innovation team then talked about the trends and changes in channel use, although her first point was that the phone is still really useful. She said: “Even millennials still use the phone. If you have a problem and you want it resolved immediately then you call. The phone still works really well for customers who want to get a problem fixed quickly and it doesn’t matter how old they are.”
I believe Nicola is right, for a couple of reasons. First, I do believe that channel drivers are more important than demographics. What I mean is, the reason that the customer calls will often dictate how they call. For something non-urgent they might fire off a tweet or leave another social message. When they need help RIGHT NOW then nothing beats a call, regardless of the age of the customer. In addition, I think that there are many regulated industries, such as banking, where it is very hard to give any detailed help on open social networks. You wouldn’t discuss your mortgage in comments on an Instagram post and a bank would not be allowed to respond to personal messages in a public space anyway.
On the second day, author and well-known customer experience (CX) expert Steven Van Belleghem talked about the need to make the customer experience fast, easy, and fun. He talked about Domino’s Pizza as a great example of a company that is constantly innovating what seems to be a very simple business model – cooking pizza. Domino’s can take a pizza order on their app with ZERO clicks, they have AI-powered cameras checking the pizza is cooked correctly, they are trialing self-driving delivery cars, and they can put a button in your home – one click and pizza is on the way.
Steven also talked about some of the messaging and payment innovations he has experienced recently in China. I have often seen my colleagues in China talking about applications such as WeChat and AliPay, but Steven’s talk brought home just how developed the Chinese market really is and this will be a game changer for industries such as retail, travel, and airlines when similar systems become normal in Europe.
For example, when Steven recently tried buying two ice creams in a branch of Häagen-Dazs in China he tried paying with a credit card. They brought out a dusty credit card reader and said it had not been used for a couple of years. It didn’t work. Steven tried paying with cash. When he did this, other people waiting in the line took photos of him – no doubt telling their friends, look how Europeans still use cash to buy ice cream. Steven found that the Nike store in Shanghai would only accept payment from phone apps – China has moved on from cards to apps so that social networks, brand contact, and payment are all combined in these apps today.
– Just think what this means for the airlines and hotels of Europe?
The CEO of Praxidia, Paolo Righetti, spoke about generating value from each interaction between a brand and the customer. He was speaking with Viviana Scampone from BNL-BNP Paribas, giving an analysis of a real-life case study at the bank. It was great to see a bank executive on stage really talking about the need to focus on CX as a key part of their strategy.
Viviana was focused on her use of customer experience metrics. She has modified the industry standard Net Promoter Score (NPS), but she emphasized that each business is different – you should not feel pressure to take any industry standard measure. Find what it important for your business and make this your key metric.
With the enforcement of GDPR being implemented earlier this year it was great to see Dale Sunderland, the Irish Deputy Data Protection Commissioner closing the event. Dale explained that when he was in New York the previous week there were American CEOs chasing him around asking for meetings. Five years ago, a European data protection commissioner would not have ever received such attention, but now data protection is extremely important for every customer in every location.
Dale gave an update on the enforcement of GDPR investigations. He said that several companies were already under investigation, but in most cases they were cooperating with the authorities. Dale reminded the audience that his focus is on improving data protection by working with industry, not just issuing record-breaking fines that make great media headlines.
I think for all the industries I was focused on there were some big trends discussed at the event related to innovation, payment, data protection and how to plan a great customer experience when most of these industries are in a constant state of change. I’m looking forward to the next LIF – hopefully we can arrange something in the Nordic region before too long. You can still find a lot of the online discussion online by searching for the hashtag #LIFEurope – let me know what you think by leaving a comment here.