Friday 15 November, 2019

Customer Experience Company drives change through data and analytics

The women of the Customer Experience Company. From left, Chelsea Costelloe, Samantha Conyers and Sacha Thompson. Missing is Emily Laughlin.

The women of the Customer Experience Company. From left, Chelsea Costelloe, Samantha Conyers and Sacha Thompson. Missing is Emily Laughlin.

When we think of poor customer service, we often think about the front-facing staff who interact with us, the sour-faced sales girl or the guy who looks like he'd rather be somewhere else other than catering to your demands.

And while companies invest in customer service training, to get true improvement requires a change in company culture, starting from the top. 

That is the focus of the Customer Experience Company (Exco), a company co-founded by Samantha Conyers, a former Customer Experience Manager at Digicel.

After giving birth to her second child, Conyers wanted to do something different and take the idea of what she was doing at Digicel to more companies. She brainstormed the idea of an agency with former Digicel Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Sacha Thompson.

“She loved the idea of bringing this type of work in an agency approach,” said Conyers.

The company was established in May 2018.

While there are companies that do components of what the Customer Experience Company does, Conyers said what sets her company apart from the rest is their customer journey mapping and customer experience-based strategy and transformation.

“The journey mapping is really where we are differentiating right now,” she said, explaining that it is about walking in the steps of your customer from before they even find out about your business, and understanding what triggers them to come to you.

“The great thing about customer journey mapping is that it is a really detailed, thorough process and you take each stage of your customer, even before they come to you as a business and you deep dive into each stage, so what are their goals, their expectations, what are some of their challenges, what are the things you doing with them, what are the things they are doing in the outside world that has nothing to do with you but impacts their experience all the same?” she asked.

Once that mapping is done, the ideas and resolutions are pulled out, Conyers said, which results in businesses being able to drive quick change.

Data and analytics are at the core of what Conyers and her small team do.

“That is the backbone to our business. We really believe in and are big advocates of voice of the customer programmes and using feedback to drive insights and those insights to drive actions. We work with real robust tools, methodologies and global companies to help us implement voice of the customer programmes with our clients and we use that data to lay a journey map to understand where we are causing pain to our customer, what we could do better, what customers love because a lot of the times we are not recognising things we are doing really well and we are not applauding and rewarding people,” she said.

At the end of the day, changing customer service comes down to changing the culture of a company.

“It is hard to change culture but where we have been really lucky is that businesses we have worked with we always got a really engaged executive sponsor and once you have that buy-in from the top and that excitement from somebody senior who inspire confidence from their employees, people can’t help but follow eventually.

“Change is a scary thing no matter if it is for the better or worse and some companies have been through difficult changes recently so people are intimidated by consultants, by people throwing around the word change. So we have a really have a very down-to earth, roll up our sleeves and hold the hands of our clients to walk through this journey with them,” she said, noting that they are with their clients every day and are sometimes treated as staff, not consultants.

Apart from Conyers, the Customer Experience Company has two other working team members, Chelsea Costelloe, the Chief Excitement Officer and a co-founder, and Emily Laughlin. Thompson is a non-executive director and joins the team for major presentations and workshops.

Since inception, the team has been working non-stop, engaging with clients outside of T&T as well in Panama, Jamaica and Kenya where they held journey mapping workshops.

On October 24, Exco will host the Customer Experience Caribbean Summit aimed at helping the region to understand what they are doing and why.

“Really early on in the game, we realised there is a big gap in the education of what is customer experience. Is it teaching people to nod and smile and say please and thank you? No, that is not what we are about. I am a certified trainer, we can train your front line staff but that is a band-aid on the problem, we want to dig a little deeper into the business and the processes and the culture.” said Conyers.

“One of the missions for Exco is for us to be recognised as the pioneers of customer experience for the region, making it affordable, accessible and real and we thought the best way to do that is to bring people together, to have an event that showcases what customer experience is and how do you start, what does it look like, what does it feel like and how would it benefit me.”

The Summit will include presentations by Kenfield Griffith, Co-founder and CEO of Ajua, who will show participants how to focus on designing better products, and experiences utilising methodologies from high-quality data feedback, as well as author and thought leader Joseph Jaffe who will introduce and outline how customer experience can profoundly differentiate a brand from its competitors. 

There will also be a regional panel discussion with company reps giving real examples of their customer experience successes and a journey mapping session with the audience and one company will receive a free journey mapping workshop.

The Summit will cater to 50 to 75 decision makers and movers and shakers.

The Summit will cost $4,000 per company and will be held at the Trinidad Hilton.

For more information visit the website.

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