Author: Helen Murray,

Webhelp Chief Customer Solutions Officer

How do we find the right balance between people and technology? Here Webhelp Chief Customer Solutions Officer, Helen Murray, considers the impact of perception and reality in customer experience, as she prepares to be a panellist for the Gobeyond Partners, at The Future of Service 2019 conference in November.

I am always delighted to be asked to join discussion panels with my peers in the business, the more we embrace collaboration, discuss new ideas and share thought leadership as an industry, the better the future landscape will be – for ALL players, across the sector – particularly consumers!

However, my invitation to join the Future of Service Conference was particularly exciting, as the focus is firmly on how delivering a more ‘human’ experience can transform services, something that we are particularly passionate about at Webhelp.

The day, hosted by Gobeyond Partners, part of the Webhelp Group, in London on the 21st of November, will explore how humans interact with organisations, products and services, teams and technology. And, more importantly – how, by understanding customer needs and activity, this can be used to reinvent service delivery.

However, changes to service delivery have to be driven by accurate and concise evidence, but as Robin Harrison, Marketing Director at Gobeyond highlights – the importance of acting on data analysis may not be trickling down to grassroots level:

“From a recent study with senior leaders across 400 larger businesses, it was found that customer data isn’t available, or utilised, at all levels of the organisation. While 81% of leadership reported using customer data to guide strategic decisions, at more operational levels use of such data dropped to 26%.” Source: Treasure Data

The conference will be running a breakout session to try to demystify and improve the use of customer data analytics, something that should prove very useful.

Evidence, no matter how well researched, cannot create engaged and loyal customers on its own – instead, it must inspire digital transformation and top-down strategies. Which in turn must then be embraced at every part of the customer journey. I know from experience, this is not something which can happen overnight, it takes investment, passion and the right insight. Robin, is again right on the money when he says:

“Successful transformation takes time. While customers and market disruption are key drivers, IT, finance, marketing, operations and customer service ultimately need to deliver the vision. The change required to move from well-defined, long-established ways of working to more adaptive, agile approaches can be seismic.”

Attention must be given to who will be fundamentally driving this change, and the right buy-in can be game-changing when implementing a successful transformation strategy. It is vitally important that companies communicate the benefits, disruptions and process of digital transformation to their people at every level.

Robin recognises the value in this by saying:

“There is nothing more transformational than employees inspired by change that has been well planned, thought through and deliver clear benefit personally and professionally.”

Comprehensive communication is so important, not just to prevent misunderstanding at an employee level, but to prevent pitfalls for delivery. It is interesting to note that despite customer experience being so profoundly embedded in strategy in our industry, there appears to be a clear gap between business view of their own customer experience and actual customer perception.

I am looking forward to getting to grips with the reasons behind this dislocation as a topic with the Future of Service discussion panel.

On the subject of customer perception, we are busy adding the final touches to our own new Whitepaper looking into the importance of emotional intelligence for brands. The paper will explore how to create deep and lasting audience connections and establishing a more human process for customer experience. Watch this space!

For a unique opportunity to learn from with senior leadership, and discover service transformation through a human lens, why not join me at the Gobeyond Partners, Future of Service 2019 event? Read the booking details and conference outline here.