Agenda was Customer eXperience Optimisation - what was the take home?

posted Jan 26, 2018, 5:16 AM by Niels Jensen   [ updated Apr 11, 2018, 12:57 AM ]
Børsalen in Chr.IV's Børsen.
Yesterday Safepark attended Computerwolds "Get succes with customer experience"  (Dansk: "Få success med customer experience!" - well a proper Danish title would be something like "Få succes med kundeoplevelse!"). The event toke place at Dansk Erhverv's facilities in King Christian IV's old trade mart build at the northern edge of Copenhagen in the 1620's by builder Hans van Steenwinkel, who also built the large church at Slangerup. It was build to be a trading place, and the large hall for this CXO event therefore had a ramp to easily bring supplies into trading stands in the building. Today the building is owned by the Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv) and used for conferences and meetings of all sizes. Until 1974 the building housed the Copenhagen Stock Exchange.

The event were arranged by Computerworld in collaboration with Dansk Erhverv og Reach Media, and the financing was provided by Adobe, BrainsBusiness, Microsoft, Miracle, Nodes and NPS Today. These companies also provided speakers for half of the talks on the agenda. 

Imran Afzal opened the conference the talk "The Science behind customer loyalty" ("Videnskaben bag kundeloyalitet"), Adobe Marketing Manager in the Nordics. He called the present time for the "Experience Business Wave" and stated it was necessary to "Make Experience Your Business" quoting from among other sources from Goldsmidth's report "Reinventing Loyalty: The New Loyalty Experience" published last year on behalf of Adobe. From this report it was clear that among 65+ years the Nordics have the highest digital involvement, and the Nordics also scored highest on the importance of convenience. The latter should not be a surprise given the availability of mobile broadband in the Nordics. However in creating a good user experience 4 things are important according to Afzal: Context, design, timing (milliseconds) and integration. Imran mentioned 3 examples of innovative marketing: Mercedes Benz connect me, SAS with experience outside the airplane trip itself, Adidas Glitch design and marketing by community. Mercedes want to be more that just a car seller, SAS want to be more than just an airplane operator, and Adidas drops the big marketing campaign for community involvement in design and marketing at much reduced cost. As far as AI, then Imran suggested, that it would automate many manual processes in the marketing departments and hence make the daily job easier. Personally I think AI will go much further and help transform marketing from aiming at groups to aiming at individuals.

The second speaker was Jimmy Uxunov from Airtame, which provide tools - software and hardware - to wirelessly stream a screen to an  HDMI port. So much like Chromecast, but with more security. The company was  founded in 2013, and their device sells for around 2000 DKK versus 300 DKK or 600 DKK for a Chromecast unit. They started being a crowdsourced company, but had to disappoint their initial sponsors, and switch to a B2B business model.  Today the company has 60+ employees, and wants more. Their key learning with respect to customers experience were:
  1. Don't be afraid to ask for feedback. And if you can't be the best guy on the block, then a least try to be the friendliest by providing fast and knowledgeable answers.
  2. Internal communication is as important as external.
  3. Communicate personally.
  5. Show appreciation.
Before you seriously jump up, and buy an Airtame, then you should consider if you really need the extra functionality the device provide beside the Chromecast or Chromecast Ultra. For example, do you really need to share the whole screen, or is your need satisfied by sharing a browser tabs? I know our answer to this question.    

After these two presentation the conference switched to two tracks. One on digital commerce, and one on mobile and apps. Safepark choose to follow the latter track. For this we moved to the library, where one of the walls featured the picture to the right. The first presentation on the mobile and apps track was by NPS.Today. This is company which specialize in providing a single question to a customer or employee for feedback. For example after a visit to a hospital or a store, then you could get an SMS with a link to a web-site on which you answer a question of the form "On a scale going from 1 to 10, with 10 being best. How well did we serve you today?" and as a follow question "What would it take to move us to a higher score?" Results are analyzed in real time and displayed on a screen as they come in. The biggest challenge for new users is the single question, which is quite a change from the pages you receive from hospital after a short visit to a clinic. However, the technology allows the company to quickly follow up on outliers, e.g. exceptionally good or bad ratings by a phone call. So NPS.Today challenge you to think about the need for many questions to get feedback, or if one is enough to start a conversation. NPS.Today had talking their client Moment - a company that connect engineers and others with jobs - along to provide customer experience feedback. Moment had started to use NPS Today for customer feedback, but now also use it internally.

Jonas Berntsen from MapsPeople followed by talking about their quite exciting last few years. One take home from Jonas presentation is the following question about a potential new employee: "Is this someone I would like to sit next to during the company Christmas lunch?" (Julefrokosttesten). If the answer it NO, then the candidate is properly not a good cultural fit. MapsPeople has their roots in the time for analog maps, and almost went bankrupt 3-4 years ago and reduced their staff to just 7 persons. Today they are a Google Maps partner specializing in inddoor maps using Google's technology and gearing up to deal with annual revenues above 1 billion. Later this year Jonas moves to Austin, where the leading Google Maps people are located. MapsPeople provide customable maps for sites with many visitors (If you have few visitors, then such maps are free) and indoor maps, e.g. for CPH and universities, also based on Google Maps, and they have the same philosophy as Google: aim high!

The final presentation before lunch was from Eva-Maria Færgemann Nielsen, who is UX consultant (I really hate titles with abbreviations) at Nodes. Nodes provides app development using the Sprint approach developed at Google Ventures, and naturally distributed copies of the book. Sprint is a five day approach to get from idea to answering the question: "Does it work?" with a first prototype. Eva-Maria had a bit of challenge giving a talk in Danish with slides in English. For example if you have slides in English and your talk is in Danish, then the more professional speaker would translate an English quote on a slide to Danish as she read it.

The afternoon started with Morten Aagreen from Telia talking about their culture change in moving from the old waterfall model to agile in IT development as they created "MIT TELIA". He stated it was not only the development of the new selfserve platform itlself, which was important reap the benefits, but the fact that customer service explained to each caller what they could accomplish themself on the new selfserve platform. However, when Safepark attempted to find "MIT TELIA" on Google the first Telia page we landed on had nothing about "MIT TELIA", but many phones for sale. So it appears the integration with the legacy system could be improved.The following two presentation were not our cup of tea. Natasha Friis Saxberg appeared more like a talkative author that a digital strategist in her talk "Become a winner - understand digital behavior". Many empty words delivered at a speed without time for afterthought. We had expected much more from the title of Julie Lind Mikkelsen's talk: "What do you offer unexpected customers? - Create intelligent customer experiences with advanced technology". At the very least what Microsoft offers unexpected customers, but maybe they don't encounter this type of customer? We have also come to expect, that someone with the title of "group lead ..." can deliver a half hour talk without using cue cards. Remember: YOU are the most knowledgeable person in the room about YOUR topic.

We honestly missed the purpose of having Imran Afzal from Adobe and Julie Lind Mikkelsen from Microsoft sit in front of fireplace picture and chatting about the collaboration between Adobe and Microsoft. They did this at a customer experience event, without talking about what customers could expect from the collaboration. We would call this a missed opportunity. At the end of the talk the person I sat next to noticed "needs are aroused, they are not created". His background was selling clothes and selling homes.

To summarize the take home: for feedback ask just one question at the right moment,  engage community as never before in design, development and marketing - and save money, and needs are aroused - not created. And then there were also Julefrokosttesten! - And not to forget the book about Sprint.
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