Aleksandar IlićAleksandar IlićJune 19, 2018
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6min1639

Giovanni Toschi is the Founder of AI firms Jatana and BotSupply. The Copenhagen-based entrepreneur took time out to talk to CXM about how we are firmly in the middle of the Golden Age of Customer Experience, and where the industry can go from here…

Your role must give you a great perspective on what businesses need and what customers expect from them. How do you see the overall  role of Customer Experience today?

Giovanni Toschi

Customer Experience is probably going through its Golden Age right now. The awareness of businesses all around the world has grown a lot and they really do care about CX and overall customer satisfaction. No business is unique, everyone has competitors; it’s the relationship with your customers that makes the difference between successful companies and the rest of the businesses that fall behind.

What do companies often do wrong when it comes to CX?

There is more than one thing. First of all, many are faking it. They try to seem like they really care for the customer while they actually care for the cash. Yes, everyone is in the business for the money, but that does not mean you should treat your customers as a number or data. They’re not, and they know when you do that.
Second, they do not devote themselves too much. Low effort to satisfy a customer in most cases end up with bad results for the company.

Customer support plays a big role in Customer Experience. How do you see it?

Interaction between the company and the customer is half of it, honestly. The ways you connect with your customers, including providing customer support, is a key differentiator today.

Automation is a hot topic. Do you think it improves the efficiency of a company and Customer Experience in general?

Absolutely yes, if used correctly. Customers today want everything almost instantly. Twenty-four hours to reply is no longer enough – you have to act fast. But they also want you to show effort and focus on them as an individual. That’s where automation kicks in. It provides instant replies to frequently asked questions, and agents can focus on the more complex topics and connect to the customer on a personal level.

When it comes to automation, it is often associated with the fear of AI replacing humans and taking over their jobs. Do you think this is true and how do you see the future with ‘robots’ as our coworkers?

The same fear was present with the industrial revolution, yet we did not lose jobs, we just created new ones. Machines can replace humans in many positions, but that only means new positions will open. Humans will always have their advantages over robots.

What exactly is Jatana?

We are on a mission to bring Artificial Intelligence to customer support teams of any size. Using Jatana, any company can set up AI automation in their contact centre in a matter of hours. Our solution allows support agents to focus on the issues that matter while leaving repetitive tasks to the AI.

What inspired you and your team to create this tool?

Since 2016, at BotSupply, we have been helping companies like Carlsberg and Mercedes leverage conversational AI to provide better Customer Experience. In the process, we kept on getting requests to develop a solution that could do the same for email support. We put together an initial MVP and after closing the first customer we decided to spin-off the product into a stand-alone company and that’s how Jatana was born.

Could you give us an example of a company that successfully included your tool (or any other automated service) into their business?

We have been operational for a few months only but our customer base includes companies from Scandinavia, as well as other parts of Europe and Asia. A good example is Stocard, a fast-growing German company that developed an app to keep all your loyalty cards in one place.

What is your message to the readers of Customer Experience Magazine?

If you’re reading this magazine that already means that you do care about Customer Experience. That’s great – stay on the right track, follow what’s trending, and don’t let competitors leave you behind. Try to be one step ahead, as that’s how you win the race.


Aleksandar IlićAleksandar IlićJuly 3, 2017
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12min1036

Just by googling customer experience, thousands of results appear that are a mouse-click away. From the basic definition explaining that customer experience (CX) is the product of an interaction between an organisation and a customer over the duration of their relationship, to thousands of articles, companies, and individuals talking about or dealing with this subject.

The problem, however, lies with the fact that too few companies have a serious, well-thought, and honest approach when it comes to CX.

Fortunately, there is always room for improvement, and experts are willing and able to teach. It’s time to stop putting customer experience on the back burner. World’s leading CX influencers have gathered and shared valuable insights about this always-hot subject.

Let’s Start with What’s Wrong

There are so many things companies are doing wrong when it comes to customer experience. We’ve asked Peter Lavers, an IBM Futurist, and expert in CRM and customer experience management, for his advice on the subject:

‘The world is going omni-channel, and understanding / managing your customers’ cross-channel journeys and usage of ever-proliferating media are at the heart of Customer Experience theory.

Mistake 1: “Processing” Customers

Many companies concentrate their journey mapping efforts on “getting the processes right”. This approach is likely to see quality and consistency improvements, but often at the cost of the customer feeling “processed”.

Mistake 2: Outcome “Selfishness”

Something I have also seen all-too-often is where the journey/experience is designed only with the company’s objectives and desired outcomes in mind – i.e. a purely “inside out” approach. This can result in journeys that describe rather one-way “what we’ll do to you” communications (i.e., contact/DM plans) rather than engender genuine engagement and dialogue.’

Companies often Ignore Some Things

It’s not enough to only say you work on improving CX. Companies often want to improve it but blatantly ignore many factors that influence it. What do they ignore? The answer comes from Annette Franz. Annette is CEO of CX Journey Inc and an active CXPA member, as a CX Expert, CX Mentor, and a SoCal Local Networking Team Lead:

‘When it comes to customer experience, what businesses still tend to ignore is the employee experience. Quite simply, without employees, you have no customer experience. There is a clear linkage between the employee experience and the customer experience. It’s real, and your employees matter! We know this, and yet many companies still refuse to make the employee experience a priority, focusing instead on shareholder value, the bottom line, or customer experience without considering the implications of a poor employee experience to all of the above. If your employees aren’t engaged with your improvement efforts – or engaged overall with the organization – it will be very difficult for them to delight your customers and deliver the experience they expect.

It’s also important to remember that the employee experience begins long before the employee is hired. The candidate experience begins their true first exposure to what it’s like to be an employee of your company, unless they’ve got friends working for your company who have already shared the good, the bad, and the ugly. Those early days set the stage for a great (or not) future with your company.’

What Do Customers Expect, But Never Say?

The path to the perfect customer experience is not easy. Our partner, Certified Customer Experience Professional, and one of the leading CX influencers, Ian Golding, has shared what customers want and expect, but never actually say, based on his vast experience:

‘Every organisation on the planet has a customer journey – even if they are not consciously aware of it. Made up of a number of ‘touch points’ that define the interactions customers have with a company, how each touch point is perceived, will determine whether or not a company is able to meet AND sometimes exceed their expectation. Customers will subconsciously perceive every touch point in one of two ways – a touch point they ‘take as given’ (the basics) or one that ‘exceeds their expectation’. What customers expect – even if they never state it – is that every organisation they do business with is able to ‘get the basics right’ – every time. Failing to get the basics right will have the greatest effect on customer dissatisfaction than anything else!’

Putting Your Customer Journey Map to Work

Executive leader experienced in building corporate revenue through a loyal and referenceable customer base, Nancy Porte (VP, Global Customer Experience, Verint) has some inspiring insights as a Certified Customer Experience Professional:

‘I’ve seen many organizations put so much thought into creating a customer journey map, only for it to become nothing more than wall art. To avoid falling victim to this unfortunate fate, there are steps you can take to make sure your customer journey map remains a critical part of the overall service experience.

  • Map your CX future, prioritize improvements. Use your current customer journey map to determine how you want to evolve and what your service experience should look like. As a next step, include the right people to help prioritize the differences between the two maps. The result should provide a roadmap of all the things the CX team will need to coordinate and accomplish over a set period of time.
  • Leverage your map to motivate CX teams. I often bring our customer journey map to meetings, because it provides a visual on where processes, behaviours or attitudes can impact customer expectations. Seeing how customers “experience” your organization can translate into many “aha moments” with the customer-facing teams.
  • Use it to help employees know your customers better. Offer your employees an outside-in look at their organization by profiling your journey maps in an area where it can be viewed by all. Some companies have even created entire customer rooms to share this valuable information.

Creating high-quality and memorable customer experiences, especially in today’s market, requires an emphasis on storytelling as a strategic business tool. This makes the value of mapping the customer journey clear—it must illustrate the interaction between company and customer at every point in an understandable way. For the organization that puts them to work wisely, journey maps can be the go-to source of ideas for ongoing customer experience improvement.’

What’s the Catch?

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert and the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. As a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, he is perfect to conclude this article with a secret weapon for your business:

‘Your secret weapon in business is customer service. Wait! It’s not a secret anymore! Just about every company claims they deliver customer service. And, they do. But, most companies deliver average customer service. The goal is to be better than average. And, that’s the real secret. You don’t have to “WOW!” the customer all of the time to be amazing. Sure, when there are problems or complaints you’ll have the opportunity to go “above and beyond” and “WOW!” your customer. But day in and day out, just be better than average. And, that has to be all the time. By the way, it’s the “all the time” part that is hard. Consistency creates confidence. Confidence leads to loyalty. It is a consistent and predictable above-average experience that makes amazing companies… amazing.’

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