Mary Anne Ghobrial is the director of Australia’s largest customer experience event—The Customer Show. Because she speaks to thousands of client-side professionals and many vendors, she gets an insider view of how the entire industry is structured, giving her a unique perspective on the CX market. .
InMoment’s Simon Benns sat down with her on the recent XI Cafe Podcast to chat with Mary Anne about what you can expect to see at The Customer Show this year, as well as getting Mary Anne’s insider knowledge as to what are the key trends and concerns for CX professionals in APAC. Here’s an overview of their Q&A:
What Is the Customer Show?
The Customer Show launched in 2022, and the premise behind the event is to bring together everyone playing an active—or even a passive—role in the customer journey. The team used to run smaller events for different business units, but they soon realized it would be more valuable to bring together all the silos of the organization—marketing teams, senior leadership teams, data teams, employee experience teams, product teams, and, of course, the customer experience team under one roof.
From a bird’s eye view, there are 2,500 expected attendees for this year, 50 exhibitors, 100 speakers—and Mary Anne organized all of it!
What Is the Purpose Behind the Customer Show?
All brands know that customer experience is important—delighting customers is the name of the game. There are many ways to do that, but the result is to give good experiences to customers. The event is designed for attendees to actually learn how to work collaboratively across the organisation.
Different teams have different goals and incentives. For instance, the marketing team might focus on driving loyalty and retention. CX teams will have more impact if they work with the marketing function’s unique goals and align their priorities to reach the end goal: delivering great customer experiences.
Think of it like building a house. You’ve got individual people building the foundation but you need project managers to take on different parts of the process. As with building plans, your CX program also requires a strategy and multiple people working together collaboratively to execute it. The overarching idea is to ensure all different business parts are working toward the same goal.
What Are Your Views on Customer Experience as a Centralized Versus Decentralized Function?
When customer experience is centralized to one department, it won’t have a strong impact. Ultimately, customer experience should be decentralized so that the strategy can spread to every department.
A company that has decentralized customer experience really well is Medibank. The healthcare business had one of the biggest corporate turnarounds in Australian history, largely due to its commitment to customer centricity. Medicare appointed cross-functional squads that took customer insights (using data to back it up) and then tested which insights would have the biggest impact before deciding which CX initiatives to invest in. The team also implemented a re-measuring step to confirm which initiatives would have the biggest impact, then re-measuring to see if it worked.
What Are Some Tips for Delivering AND Demonstrating Impact?
Forrester predicted that 1 in 5 CX programs would disappear soon—mostly due to a lack of ability to demonstrate impact and prove ROI of their CX projects. That being said, it’s extremely important for CX professionals to learn how to deliver and demonstrate the impact of their programs.
It’s one thing to get the actual insight from your customer data, and it’s another to demonstrate the impact that insight will have.
When it comes to delivering and demonstrating insights, Mary Anne’s tips are:
- Align every department to customer experience by aligning your CX priorities to the priorities of each individual business unit
- Make sure you use your feedback to understand what customers actually value
- Create strategies—or even micro strategies—that can deliver what customers want
- Identify one of the four pillars of ROI to start pointing your CX program to: customer acquisition, customer retention, reduction in cost, cross- and up-selling
- Understand your business’ “why” before implementing a CX program
- Use true driver analysis to see if what you think is important to the customer is actually important
What Is the Best Way to Know Which CX Initiative Will Have the Biggest Impact?
It’s art and science to determine which lever is the easiest to pull. Figure out what will actually be the most important to the customer. For example, when it comes to insurance, fees might be the most important thing to a customer, but that’s not necessarily something you can change from a CX perspective. Instead, maybe look at the call center and see if you can identify another customer issue that could deliver a similar impact.
And when it comes to making changes across the business, you don’t want to take on too much at once. If you do a complete rehaul of multiple aspects, it might shift the brand promise, and cause customer confusion. You want to make incremental changes to actually shift the culture and sustain the program, not lose steam by taking on too much at the front end. At InMoment, we recommend a continuous improvement framework to help you keep incrementally evolving your CX program.
How Is InMoment Involved in the Upcoming Customer Show?
As the 2023 Customer Show Foundation Partner, InMoment will have a representation at the panel “CX is an Outcome, Not a Strategy: Moving Towards an Era of Improvement Management Through Top Level Buy-In” on the NextGen CX Panel at 3PM on Wednesday 3rd. InMoment’s Head of Customer Success, John Harb will join the panel to discuss:
- How to ensure your customer experience strategy is flexible enough to shift based on changing behaviours
- How to understand your customer behaviours and journeys by tracking their trends regularly
- The steps involved in integrating experience improvement methodologies across the organisation
The Customer Show is also giving away a $10k holiday prize—go to InMoment’s stand and get a stamp for your Customer Show passport, and at 2pm on Day 2, a winner will be chosen.
When and Where Is the 2023 Customer Show?
Date: Wednesday, 3 May 2023 & Thursday, 4 May 2023
Location: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
1 Convention Centre Pl, South Wharf VIC 3000
Where to Listen to the Full Conversation
You can listen to the full conversation with Mary Anne and Simon on Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Podcasts. But, if you are eager to jump right in then you can click the play button below to start listening now!
More of a visual person? No worries. You can also find the video recording on our YouTube channel!