Hi Alexis, tell us about yourself and your background.
I am a proud e-redisent of Estonia, the world’s first digital nation, entrepreneur, speaker and teacher. I wrote a book on why services fail; it’s in Spanish and you can download or buy it here. We are working on the English version.
I spend my time teaching and speaking about how we can understand Customer Experience as a Service in differents international conferences in Chile, Spain, Argentina, and Colombia. I work as a Service Designer at SURA Asset Management in Chile and also as consultant in Affective Computing & Intelligent Interaction (ACII) at UserEmotion.com.
I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Integral Design (2010) and degrees in Interaction Design (2013), Neuroeconomics (2019), and Innovation in Technology (2020). I got my first master’s in Neurosciences in 2016 and I’m currently working on my second one in Customer Experience.
As you may imagine, I am an enthusiast of research with focus on human’s behaviors in different environments; I specialized in Neurosciences to understand behavior patterns and integrate that knowledge into processes of User-Centered Design, Interaction Design, Customer Experience and Immersive Virtual Reality. My passion led me to be named Continent Manager of South America by the Interaction Design Foundation (DK), where I lead teams from eight countries in South America.
How did you start working in the customer experience space?
I think it was a natural move for me, because I speacialized in the understanding of human behavior and the questions of “why”, “how,” and “when” “we need to interact with something.” So, as a consultant in the field of experience, soon I found myself inmersed in the CX world, improving services, understanding the user’s emotions to make adaptative interfaces and applying all the things I love to learn to humanice systems, services and products to make an emotional connection, adding emotional value to the customers, users and people.
Can you tell us a little bit about your current role?
As Service Designer at SURA Asset Management in the Digital Transformation Lab from AFP Capital, I’m working on the after-selling process; we help our customers understand the financial services and how they can improve and increment their savings for retirement.
We try to bring the right information at the right time to reduce the uncertainty of every day. So we try to understand their behavior about how they make decision, how much the news and environment affect their economics perceptions and what part of feelings are conditioning their judgement to estimate their retirement. It’s not an easy task but I think if we maintain this approach we can develop a strong relationship with the customer, reaching a fidelization with long-time relationship with our customer.
How can companies better listen and understand their customer base?
I believe this can be done by mixing different kinds of efforts, like quantitative data from Data Science or Business Intelligence team with qualitative data from CX, Service Design or UX teams. Also, don’t forget to ask your Customer Services to go out in the streets and talk with the real clients.
The most important thing, independently of the structure and size of the company, is to start the research from the individual and gather information to trace behavioral patterns, but not start from a group, because people may take decision in group that they’ll never take for themself. In the age of robotizaton we can’t treat the customers as a group, we must bring a personalized service, one that communicate them that we really understand them, that we are listening and that they are valued for us.
What are some companies that you think are doing an excellent job at customer experience, and why?
I like the job that the team behind MercadoLibre are doing in South America. They are focusing on the customer of their clients, beign an strategic partner of the PYMES in the region, offering them a complete ecosystem to simplify the selling funnel, payment processing, shipping and after-selling of the client’s stuff.
The MercadoLibres’ Marketplace is a good example of continuous improvement based on the client’s behavior. As a buyer, people have a lot of doubt in buy online thanks to previous bad experiences or histories in the common culture of the country. MercadoLibre offer to them their support with a total money return in case they don’t like what they receive and advocate for the customer front the seller. So the buyer always feel supported by MercadoLibre and can trust in the platform. This is a good customer experience that another marketplaces should try to develop. It’s not perfect, but work sith something interesting: Reduce the uncertain.
Many companies are currently undergoing digital transformation processes. What are your tips on a successful digital transformation?
Digital Transformation is a culture-shifting process, not a task or a trend that enterprises use to make marketing with.
I think those enterprises that are embracing the Digital Transformation process will need to do more than what the book and DT’s gurus says arround the globe. This must start with the philosophy and the “Why” we are doing this. You must cover internal and external clients, develop new habits and bring spaces to fail, to support and to grow. Companies are living being and DT open a door to re-think on it and develop a new approach to improve the interaction with their customers. Add a purpouse to your company and share it with your internal and external clients.
What are some CX solutions or tools that you’re keeping your eyes on right now?
I have a special love for EmotioCX, a CX Suite to measure the basics CX’s KPI and it include the NEV, a very important metric to measure the customer’s affective relationship in short and long-time. This is a little Estonian start-up, but it offers a good service with a consultancy included. It’s like Medallia, but with the entrepenurial spirit that defines the Estonian companies.
Did you read any interesting books this past summer that you’d like to recommend?
I love to recommend books! I have three for you:
1) “Decisions, Uncertainty, and the Brain. The Science of Neuroeconomics” from Paul W. Glimcher.
2) “The Customer Experience Book: How to design, measure and improve customer experience in your business” from Alan Pennington
3) ¿Por qué fallan los servicios? Affective Interactions Model Framework. You can download it for free at www.bookofaim.com. In this book we work the whole relationship between human with brands, services and products. The framework offer a clear structure to make research, iterate the knowledge from customers and define a narrative to develop a long-term relationship based on trust, transparency and loyalty.
What is your favorite CX metric?
My favourite CX metric is the Net Emotional Value (NEV) that was introduced by Beyond Philosophy and Colin Shaw in their book “The DNA of Customer Experience: How Emotions Drive Value” in 2016. This metrics focus on the measurement of human relationship in short and long-term time. They explain the metric and add evidence to work with NPS, CSAT and NEV. As I told you before, EmotioCX cover it in a very simple and understandable way into your CX program. If you want to understand emotions and how they drive value to your customers, you must try to measure NEV as a complement of NPS, VOC and CSAT. This will help you to understand what are thinking and feeling your customers from the “Neutral” side on NPS and CSAT at time it’s add qualitative insights about “Detractors” and “Promoters”. A must-have CX metric on this times.