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Colin Shaw, one of the world’s top ‘Customer Service Gurus’ joined us on Engati CX to talk about making CX more customer-centric.
Colin is recognized by Linkedin as one of the ‘World's Top 150 Business Influencers’. He is the Founder & CEO of Beyond Philosophy and helps organizations unlock growth by discovering customers' hidden, unmet needs that drive value.
Colin has written 7 bestselling books on Customer-driven growth and is the co-host of the highly successful Intuitive Customer podcast.
He has also been voted twice as Brand Quarterly readers on one of the 'top 50 Marketing Thought Leaders Over 50' and has been established as one of the top ‘Customer Service Gurus’ in the world by a Global Guru poll.
Interview with Colin Shaw
This section will contain a summary of our interview with Colin. But, if you'd rather hear him speak, we have the Spotify podcast embedded below.
Back in 2001, hardly anyone was focusing on Customer Experience. Before founding Beyond Philosophy, Colin Shaw was working for British Telecom. His boss asked him to figure out a way to improve their CX, but at the least possible cost.
So, he spent a couple of years focusing on customer experience and eventually created a program to improve their CX at a low cost.
Then Colin figured that CX was going to be a big thing soon. So he left the comfort and stability of his job at British Telecom and went on to found Beyond Philosophy.
The world is moving towards a customer-centric approach, but organizations will only do this to gain business value.
Organizations are not going to improve the customer experience and go into whatever costs are involved in doing that if it doesn’t provide a return.
Customer experience needs to be broken down. It involves:
Rational experience (what the customer does), Emotional experience (how the customer feels), Subconscious experience (one the customer is not aware of) and Psychological experience (behavioral economics area).
It ties into the of future conversations with chatbots because AI-powered chatbots will be able to understand the patterns of customer behaviour better and respond to them in a better manner.
Customer behaviour is hard to understand. What customers say can be different from what they actually want.
When Disney spoke to their customers about the Disneyland meal options, they heard that they wanted an option for a salad. But the reality of the situation is that when salads were included, the theme park patrons didn't really go for it.
What people say is important and what they actually consider to be important can be two different things.
Most organizations have not yet employed technology to identify the hidden need. But chatbots and conversational intelligence can help do that.
The psychological effect of the pandemic is quite large.
We human beings develop habits as a means of saving time.
Customers have habits. And if their habits result in them buying your product, that's great. But, if their habits result in them not buying your product, then you need to find a way to break those habits.
Habits break in unusual situations (and at unusual times).
For example, when you go on a vacation, you try new things.
This pandemic is an unusual situation and a lot of habits are breaking because of it.
So this is essentially an opportunity to understand the new habits that they develop and how to get these habits to work for you.
Find ways to serve their customers while keeping their new habits in mind.
For example, there's a shift towards online shopping and opting for delivery now. And if you're a grocery store, you need to find a way to go online, or at least to have a delivery option.
Companies have always treated Customer Service like a second class department.
Sales and Marketing are always considered to be more glamorous because they're visibly pulling in revenue.
But, progressive companies like Apple consider their customer service department equal to their other departments.
There are 4 stages of customer-centricity:
Organizations need to know what stage they are in. When you figure out which stage you are in, then figure out what you need to do to progress to the next stage.
Figure out whether you designed your systems in a customer-centric manner or you designed them simply to save costs.
The key to Customer-Centric CX is the organizational mindset.
Organizations that look at a customer as a transaction, will essentially get less value out of them.
Treat your customer as a human, make them feel cared for and you will get more value from them.
Customers are people. Human decision making is complicated. Therefore, consider their emotions and the subconscious messages that you send.
The agents of one of the UK's largest insurance companies would tell their customers that their papers 'should' reach them within 5 working days. But the word 'should' caused doubt. It meant that they may not reach them, so customers kept calling back. Changing 1 word, from 'should' to 'will' improved the subconscious message and within 3 weeks the volume fell from 76% calls back to 6% calls back.
Embracing these behavioural economics gets you the real insights.
Customers are human beings. They are irrational.
Customers don't make rational buying decisions. They don't buy with logic.
Customers buy emotionally and they justify the purchase with logic.