Key game changers to up customer experience

Cape Town - Customer Experience Management (CEM) has matured rapidly in South Africa and has become an inescapable, must-have for any company hoping to get ahead of the pack, according to Shannon Mackrill, joint managing director of Kinetic, a key strategic information provider to the IT and Telecoms sector.

Kinetic presented the 5th annual CEM Africa Summit at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town last week. It was attended by over 440 customer experience (CX) professionals.

Goldermier Opiyo, head of contact centre operations at Safaricom in Kenya and one of 45 speakers at the summit, said a front line centre is a company's heart beat where management can find out what its customers are thinking on every given day.

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"In a developing nation you have to show your customers you are willing to go out of your way to assist them. Meeting them at their point of need and providing the right intervention," she explained.

"Define the right experience strategy and then look at excellence. Leadership must also walk the talk right form the top. You must define the experience and set the right foundation. Set the right attitude towards your customer. Create a climate where people can express themselves. Find innovative new ways to engage with the customer."

Customers must feel they can make decisions and be in control of the money they spend with a company. The loyalty of existing customers should be rewarded, while future customers are interested as well.

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"CX is not just 'a department'. Set the foundation for a sustainable customer experience. Bring the voice of the customer into the boardroom. We play customers' actual phone calls in the boardroom, for instance," she said.

"Hear the customer's voice on a daily basis. Do not compete with the rest, rather fix the basics. Deliver above and beyond and work towards leadership."

During the summit three game-changers on how to get CEM right became clear. These are that human interaction is very important, that there is a rise of the experience economy and a need for complete CEM transformation throughout an organisation.

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