So, what does it take to become part of the CX movement? In terms of process, explains Mandisa, the journey starts with managing customer data effectively. “Arguably, data is the most valuable currency in the CX space, provided you understand how to use it properly — and strategically. These days, organisations in the private and public sector are paralysed by the volume of data they collect. The challenge lies in combining effective ways of capturing rich customer data across multiple channels with a clear vision of how you are going to use it to give your customers an unforgettable experience. In this sense, CX plus CRM adds up to the perfect marriage.”
Another rite of passage along the CX journey involves abandoning traditional organisational structures that are based around functions in favour of team-based structures that revolve around the emotions that customers invest your business. Experience demonstrates that traditional, function-based workplace structures simply throw up silos that alienate businesses from their customers.
As Mandisa emphasizes, however, processes and structures are only two steps along a much more complex journey. “Above all,” she says, “giving customers the right experience is a question of culture and mindset. It demands a total reinvention of the way that businesses relate to the people who are prepared to pay for their goods and services. It means embedding a customer-centric perspective into your organisation’s corporate DNA. It means getting out of your comfort zone and into the customer’s head space.”
The country’s CX community is relatively small, its profile is rising quickly — as the recent CX summit in Cape Town demonstrates. That said, the consensus is that South African businesses still have some way to go before they can match global CX heavyweights such as Amazon. But who is getting right?
“Table Mountain is certainly a great example of an organisation that understands how to connect with customers on an emotional, bucket list level. The fact that Allan Grey’s personalised marketing is so successful shows how mature, well established brands see the value in CX investment. And Capitec Bank is also a great case study in how to win customer loyalty by making an emotional connection.”