Hi Gregorio, tell us about yourself and your background.
I am a specialist in Business Transformation, Innovation and Customer Experience.
My cross-industry engagement for the development of the customer experience science (e.g., with my podcast “The CX Goalkeeper”, as a Judge at several international events, as a co-author of the global best-seller “Customer Experience 3”) and my in-depth know-how allowed me to be recognized in the Customer Experience Community. I am a CCXP and the world’s first certified ACXSPlus.
I started my career at Accenture, the best possible decision at that point in time, and I am now the Head of Business Transformation at the Cantonal Hospital of Winterthur in Switzerland.
The CX Goalkeeper is my passion and my hobby.
How did you start working in the customer experience space?
The first day you start to work, automatically, you are active in the customer experience field. Even if you don’t know it, you are always directly or indirectly impacting customers. Without customers there is no business!
As a consultant, the focus on the customers was always extremely important. You take care of your customers, and you try to create long lasting relationships with them. Additionally, trust is the key ingredient.
I worked for 10 years at a leading credit card issuer in Switzerland, and I have successfully led several transformation programs achieving great results, creating a positive customer impact while relentlessly nurturing a positive innovation culture.
Can you tell us a little bit about your current role?
As of December 1st, 2021, I started working for the cantonal hospital of Winterthur as Head of Business Transformation. In my view, there is a commitment to start a customer centric transformation (patient and clinical staff). I don’t need to explain how big the pressure was on such organizations during the last months. Not to mention the well-known trends in the healthcare industry such as the aging of the population and the related impact…
How can companies better listen and understand their customer base?
There are a lot of opportunities to listen to customers, if companies really want to listen to them. Directly (e.g., by asking them) or indirectly (e.g., complaints). Customer feedback is the thermometer of company success. I often use similarities to football: Fans share their positive and negative feedback with the team.
It is a fact that listening is only one step in the process. The key is to act on the feedback and continuously improve the experiences customers are facing with a company. As my friend, James Dodkins, says: one bad experience can be the first bad impression of a lot of prospects (e.g., a negative comment on social media).
What are some companies that you think are doing an excellent job at customer experience, and why?
It is difficult to mention a list of companies, without being repetitive. All the “good” examples are well-known: Ritz Carlton, Apple, Amazon, Disney…
Before I can answer questions about the quality of customer experience, I need to know which “customer need” should be fulfilled and then I can share my personal suggestions for a “best in class” company.
Personally, I was impressed by Revolut (a payment solution). They proactively reimbursed me 20 pounds because they faced a service disruption during Black Friday. Without asking, they excused themselves and gave me 20 pounds… not bad!
Many companies are currently undergoing digital transformation processes – what are your tips on a successful digital transformation?
In this case, I would like to mention 3 key success factors:
- A transformation always involves people and has an impact on them, therefore focus on the human being! Everybody should understand what the vision and target of such a transformation are. Just like in a football team, every player is focused on winning the game. The target of the transformation should be always clear to everybody – everyone should feel involved in it.
- Regular communication is a key element. Don’t forget to communicate to every relevant group (decision making, project team, involved people, people impacted by the transformation, and so on). Communication creates transparency. Ask for feedback from the involved parties. Again, it should be like in football: feedback is shared real-time unfiltered by fans and by teammates during the whole match!
- A transformation requires hard work and consistency: never give up! It is normal that it takes more time than planned and it is much more complicated than expected. Therefore, also find ways to celebrate success. Every step forward is like scoring a goal during a match – celebrate accordingly.
What are some CX solutions or tools that you’re keeping your eyes on right now?
I focus on customers’ pains and gains. It is important to start from the customers’ needs and not from a solution.
Don’t get me wrong, I see technology as the means to solve a lot of customer pain points. Based on a prioritized list of CX improvements, initiatives get kick-off and – if needed – a CX solution should be selected accordingly.
It is clear that there are some basic needs from a CX governance point of view which need to be fulfilled. For example: the need to get customers insights, to listen to the customers, act on their feedback, map journeys, etc.…
However, it always starts with a customer need and not with a solution.
Did you read any interesting books this past summer that you’d like to recommend?
Sure, I love to read and to listen to several CX podcasts. Twice a year, I publish some suggestions for CX friends, professionals or people who would like to better understand CX. This year it’s CX Summer Calendar 2021 and CX Goalkeeper Advent Calendar 2021, where you will find a lot of great insights!
What is your favorite CX metric?
Quite simple: Return on Investment. This is the only metric that really counts. Customer experience is about improving acquisition, reducing churn, optimizing costs to serve, and possibly reducing risks.