Hi Codruta, tell us about yourself and your background.
I graduated from college with a degree in business informatics. I started working at SAP right after graduating, roughly 9 years ago. I did the ABAP academy and got my ABAP certification diploma. Shortly after, I started working in the CX space, doing custom developments for C4C (SAP Sales & Service Cloud). Throughout the years, I’ve had many roles in projects: from developer, to architect, product owner, quality manager, scrum master, and even project manager. Latest I also took care of the opportunities for innovation in the C4C space, having the role of Focus Area Manager in the organization I am part of.
How did you start working in the customer experience space?
In the beginning of 2013, I was part of the first development team for C4C at SAP. I started as developer, later as an architect. I would say I roughly did about 20 customer projects taking care of custom developments and innovation topics.
What do you think the top priority should be for a company that wants to improve its customer experience?
In the context of a global economy and even more, of a global pandemic, I consider that digitalization should be a top priority. It’s no longer a matter of having competitive advantage, but rather a way of keeping up with emerging customer demands and survive in the face of the future. Companies need to take benefit from the new AI technologies and anticipate trends in demand to create smart experiences and customer journeys which will facilitate or complement people’s lives.
How can companies better listen and understand their customer base?
To better listen and understand your customer base, you need to have the proper tools in hand. That’s why digitalization is key. By having the proper tools, companies can gather meaningful data and transform the data into meaningful information which is the basis for all further decisions in the company. It’s no longer enough to react at what has happened, but rather to predict what’s going to happen next and be the first one there.
Many companies are currently undergoing digital transformation processes. What are your tips on a successful digital transformation?
For a successful digital transformation it’s very important for a company to take the time to analyze and redesign their business model. This is a very important step that many companies hold back from, because they want to be fast, or because they think they don’t need it.
Another important aspect is to make sure you have an innovative mindset in the team. We live in an economic environment that needs to change constantly in response to technology evolutions. It’s crucial for companies to adapt and effectively embrace change. Having an innovative mindset it’s more than having capable people or technology, it’s a way of not limiting the beliefs about what’s possible to be achieved.
Last, but not least, is to choose the proper solutions and vendors for doing the process. You should look at companies that, have themselves an innovative mindset, because they are your partner in this journey.
Not pursuing digital transformation the proper way, jumping over important steps, can actually be more expensive and slower than taking the time to do the things right.
What are some of your tips for people who want to work in the CX sphere?
You need to be well informed, customer oriented and committed to bring value with every aspect of your work.
So many things changed in 2020. While some things are going to return to “normal,” what are new trends and habits you think will stay with us in the long term?
Many things have changed in 2020. One of them, which I think will still stay with us, it’s the “work from home” scenario. I don’t see it as a full one, rather as a mixed of work from office and from home. But for sure, at this point, to stay competitive on the market, companies need to offer this benefit for their employees (wherever possible).
Another important aspect is the necessity for companies to have an online presence, and not just for marketing, but for all parts of the customer experience process and especially an eCommerce solution.
eCommerce boomed in 2020, and consumers started leaving more product reviews online. How can we make the most out of this momentum?
This is a great way to listen and understand your customer. By having the right tools to interpret this data, companies can later invest in the proper projects to meet their customer’s expectations.
What is your favorite CX metric? Why?
I don’t have one in particular. In our team we are looking at the Customer Satisfaction. I consider that the key aspect is to make sure that you are bringing value to the customer. As long as you do this, any metric you follow should be great.