February 25th and March 3rd, 2016

This Thursday we replicated our Listen to your customers: Success stories event in Melbourne. We featured a new panellist, Kirk Edwards CEO of Village Cinemas Australia who joined Sean O’Malley, Director of Operations Transformation & Contact Centres at AMP, and Raelene Smith, Head of Marketing Insights & Business Transformation at Goodyear, in sharing their insights on listening to their customers’.

Why understanding customers is difficult, but important

Adam Smith, of The Customer Experience Company, opened up with the concept, “stack” – which usually refers to the combination of hardware, that is located at the bottom of the ‘stack’, and software, located at the top of the ‘stack’ which are part of the end delivery to customers.

Think about your business – Do you think you’re more likely to find success if you expand up the stack (that is, closer to the customer), or down the stack? What about your threats? Almost unanimously, the audience raised their hands to indicate up the stack in answer to both questions. Much to their surprise, Adam revealed that businesses are more likely to find success moving down the stack. The success builds from an intimate understanding of customer needs throughout the process.

Customer-centricity breaks down internal barriers – Sean O’Malley, AMP

AMP evaluated their company strategy following a merger in 2011, they realised their company was too product focused, leaving the customer second. To address the concern, they developed a three-part strategy to build a customer-centric culture.

  • Establish a single measure of the customer view.
  • Incorporate human-centered design into all aspects of their thinking.
  • Adapt conversations with customers according to what is known about the customer.

They chose advocacy as their top priority to measure and having a single measure has created a powerful cultural impact, building a unified goal across teams. The goal is fuelled through big screens with feeds of actual customers’ verbatims which helps bring customers into the room, which is a powerful reminder for non-customer-facing staff.

Powerful customer insights can translate into financial results – Kirk Edwards, Village Cinemas Australia

Each year over 90 million people visit the cinema, which drives over $70 million worth of adverts and previews being shown to the audience of Village Cinemas. “We look to monetise everything we do to get results for our shareholders”, explained Kirk. “We had a customer feedback system, but it was very manual and took too long to get answers to our decision-making questions.”

With high stakes for every decision, they needed to get answers to specific questions that arise around what customers want, in near real-time. This is where inQuba came in. By tracking the popularity of films, Village Cinemas is able to better decide when to stop showing them, not only helping them save on staffing costs but by passing on this information to distributors to help them save on marketing costs.

“InQuba has provided us with powerful insights”, said Kirk, “which helps with planning people and processes to meet customer needs, which in turn results in financial gains for shareholders”.

Giving the customer a voice helps ensure a good experience – Raelene Smith, Goodyear Dunlop Tyres

“We were number one, but our competitors were catching up with us”, began Raelene, “we needed to differentiate ourselves to stay top of mind with our customers.”

When Goodyear researched their customers’ path to purchase, they discovered that 50% of repeat customers returned due to a good in-store experience. They took action on these insights by redesigning the instore experience to ensure they were making the most of the real “wow” moments.

Goodyear utilised the VoC program, InQuba, to track and measure the progress of the new service design. They enabled a feature that sends each customer an SMS invitation to provide feedback and immediately email the feedback to the front-line staff. This allows the store manager to immediately rectify any negative experiences and identify key areas for staff training. “Real-time voice of the customer is like your compass”, said Raelene in closing, “you know where you’re doing well and where you need to invest effort, and we’ve been able to correlate our customer experience efforts with tangible growth in sales”.

In summary

We would like to thank all who attended, and especially our panelists Sean, Kirk and Raelene who kindly donated their gift to Epilepsy Australia, Bayside Developmental School & the Australian Red Cross. Stay tuned for our next Breakfast Event, The Future of CX – What’s next? on April 6th in Melbourne and April 7th in Sydney.