Table of contentsKey takeawaysCollaboration platforms are essential to the new way of workingEmployees prefer engati over emailEmployees play a growing part in software purchasing decisionsThe future of work is collaborativeMethodology
Here is how to get a head-start on your journey towards customer centricity, with Founder and CEO of Buljan & Partners, Silvana Buljan.
Silvana Buljan, Founder and CEO of Buljan & Partners, internationally recognized as an expert in Customer Centricity Management, Customer Experience, Employee Experience, CRM, leadership, talent management, and customer-oriented organizational changes.
Since 1998, she has been a part of client strategy projects for leading automotive, air transportation, healthcare, industrial manufacturing, financial services, and software vendor brands.
A teacher, lecturer, mentor, coach, consultant, and trainer, she is the guiding beacon of the Buljan & Partners team!
Interview with Silvana Buljan
The following section contains a summary of our interview with Silvana. But if you'd like to listen to the full interview, check out the podcast below.
Often, we’d find customers asking “how do we begin?” Silvana created this methodology to make things more understandable and more tangible. And to help customers understand what we need to do when we want to begin a company’s journey to customer centricity that actually engages customers better and improves overall experiences.
This is how start, create, engage was co-created with customers.
Here’s a brief rundown of each phase in Silvana’s methodology.
First, Silvana always checks how the company is doing. Here are a couple of questions to ask ourselves when we’re starting our journey to customer centricity.
After asking ourselves these questions, you can see where you are in planning your customer journey. But we also have to have a journey map in place. We have to find a way to understand our customer’s reality. Silvana urges us to keep a roadmap, KPI, brand awareness, a defined mission, and vision in place. We have to find a way to keep data in place for feedback, and how to measure processes like complaint management.
Essentially, ask yourself what do you want to be for your customers?
This is all about envisioning what you want the future experience to be. It’s about identifying and making changes that we need to perform. But it’s also about understanding that our employees are the experience creators. So it’s important in this phase to create and to apply methods like design thinking, service design, service blueprints, etc. There are so many tools and methods out there to create the experience we want to deliver as the desired customer experience.
This is the most challenging part, it’s all about implementing. Usually, initiatives around customer-centricity are led by a department or a team, but this is not the way forward. Customer centricity must be branched out to everyone, every team, every department. It’s a mindset that organizations must develop. We have to move away from a process-fulfilling task mindset to a customer centric approach.
This is what we mean by engagement, it’s not between one department and a customer, but engagement within the whole organization. It’s engaging our employees to understand what this transformation is about and how it impacts their daily work. They need to understand the journey and its touchpoints, and how to measure feedback.
It’s about the correlation of improving customer experiences and the impact of business results. Because we want better results in terms of profitability and sustainable business models for the future.
On the other hand, Silvana’s seeing a trend of customer engagement for companies with excellent customer experiences. Being able to understand where the customer is one a one-to-one level.
It's about understanding what would be the next best activity to offer as a company based on their needs and preferences. And tracking this data in real-time with technology.
Silvana always recommends keeping it simple. Keeping it simple means looking at what is common and then assessing the differences. And we all know from looking at human psychology, regardless of where we are- everyone wants to be respected, everyone wants to feel important and valued for the company. This is something that will never differ.
Customer experience is really about the emotions.
Silvana actually recommends focusing on what’s common first and then to focus on what is different. When it comes to looking at touchpoint design and what each experience must fulfil, these might change regionally.
If we look at the differences first, then it becomes complicated. And the more complex it is, the more difficult it is to engage with the customers. And the more difficult it is to have employees on board to practice this new model, and to also have a clear view on what would be the next best thing for the customers.
This is what we observe as well with all the technologies to improve CX. If they’re not designed to add value to the customer, the technology either reduce cost or is corporate-centric. This is a big challenge when it comes to designing the right technology usage within the customer journey.