May 17th and 25th, 2016

Over 90 attendees joined us bright and early in Sydney and Melbourne to hear Peter Lemon, Manager of Customer Insights at Qantas (Sydney), Kate Mann, Manager of Brand and Market Research (Melbourne) and Mark Capps, Regional Manager of Community Operations at UBER (Sydney and Melbourne) discuss what they’ve learned about the importance of attention to customer experience.

With representation from one of Australia’s most established, trusted transportation companies, as well as from the disruptive new kid on the block, it was a great opportunity to gain some insight into how both companies have come to realise the importance of focusing more on the needs of their customers.

Despite their companies being at different points on the maturity curve, both speakers found they’d faced very similar challenges in providing outstanding customer experiences. Regardless of industry, scaling operations made it difficult for organisations to keep their ear to the ground and stay in touch with what their customers truly want. These same growing pains can also prevent companies from easily implementing a solution.

The importance of a customer-centric approach was clear to Uber from the get go but was initially a harder sell for an established institution such as Qantas. Their paradigm shift came as the airline industry focus moved from immediate sales figures and began making long-term investments in customer satisfaction.

For Mark Capps, one particular anecdote stood out from early on in his career at Uber. A concerned customer contacted the company explaining they’d left a designer umbrella in one of their cars, but hadn’t realised until after an international flight. Imagine the experience if they were in a taxi – odds are they’d waste an hour on hold only to be told the problem is ‘too hard’, good luck ever seeing the umbrella again! Uber saw it as an opportunity to show how they are engaged with the Voice of their Customers; they tracked down the driver and had the umbrella shipped to the customer right away.

Upon paying closer attention to his customers at Qantas, Peter Lemon realised their complaints and concerns weren’t due to in-flight service, they were almost exclusively stemming from pre and post flight processes. This new insight led him to shift his focus to increased investment in customer service beyond the in-flight experience, generating an overall boost in customer satisfaction and brand sentiment. Kate Mann brought her segmentation insights to the audience. Her knowledge of the Qantas VoC tools and how they are innovating your customer experiences.

CEC would like to thank everyone who joined us in Sydney and Melbourne for this part of our Breakfast Series, as well as a big thank you to our speakers who donated their contributions:

  • Peter Lemon – Great Barrier Reef Marine Conservation Appeal
  • Mark Capps – Wayside Chapel Sydney
  • Kate Mann – Aspect Autism