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Episode 18: “Great Explorers in Communications” with Hailey Wilson

Matt Swain moderated the Xplor19 panel discussion, “Customer Experience: A Moving Target” in May with Hailey Wilson from Illumina and Antoine DuPont from Katapult Marketing. In this interactive discussion, the three customer experience and communication experts offer their insights – from a changing marketing landscape to quantifying CX.

The Changing Marketing Landscape: “We have to communicate where the customers are and how they want to be communicated to. There's a great example of the fiasco that the eruption of the volcano in Iceland basically grounded thousands of flights in Europe. One of the main providers that had the massive disruption was KLM. They had thousands of people that were stranded; it was a disaster for them because people wanted help, and they wanted help now. They responded to that by creating a customer support team of about 130 people that worked 24/7, speaking 40 different languages. What they figured out in the outcome of that disaster was that people, when they want help, they want it now, and they want it on the device that they're using. They actually disrupted customer service in Europe by basically being available 24/7 on Facebook. If you're in Europe, just go in KLM and ask for help, and on any language, and someone will answer you within one minute. That's extraordinary.”

Owning CX: “For every company in the world, it's all about delivering an effortless customer experience. I hear a lot of talk about, ‘Can we be like Amazon? Can we be like Apple? They're so cool.’ I think it's a good exercise to look at the Olympians in terms of CX, but you should not be worried about being high touch, approachable, or friendly until you have an effortless customer experience. I’ll tell you why; it's because we are so busy. Why do people want personalization? It's not because they're trying to have a relationship with their email. It’s about thinking in terms of how can I make this easier for my customer and, in order to do that, you have to deeply understand your customer. There's so much outside of our control that impacts the customer, so what can we do to make it easier? In order to do that, you have to have good data.” 

One-upping in B2B: “It all goes back to setting expectations with your customer. I think it's about setting your brand promise, really understanding the expectations you are setting with your customer, and then figuring out if you're actually meeting those expectations. There's only one way to do that: you're going to have to talk to your customers. They're the ones who are going to tell you whether or not you suck or you're doing great. Talking to customers is one part of it, but it's also   about getting the right people in the room internally and saying, ‘We're going to sit down and chart out this whole experience.’"

Focus on 30%: “Consumers are coming to you to buy your product; they've already made 70% of their decision because there's so much information available. It’s not like they're coming out of the blue, like they don't have any clue of what you guys are doing. They've educated themselves. We've all looked at reviews and made comparisons. Whether we go on vacation, buy a refrigerator, buy a car, or whether we buy printing, whatever we're selling, people educate themselves. So that 70% is staggering because, if you think about it, that's really coming from communication and marketing; yet, the second the business starts to struggle, the first thing to be cut is communication and marketing. If we want to grow a company and actually expand, the first thing we're going to do is hire more salespeople. We basically need to conduct ourselves in the year that we're in — where your customers are coming to the table with 70% of their decision made. Your job is just to convert that 30%.”

Parting Words of Wisdom: “Eighty-six percent of your buyers will pay more for better customer experience…. You cannot have good CX until you have good employee experience… Engaging experiences matter, simplify your communications, and maximize the value of the customer mindshare. Make sure that you're gathering insight and you're processing it, and then implementing the feedback that you received.”

To dive into these topics and more, check out our podcast, Reimagining Communications.