Hi Raihan, tell us about yourself and your background.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Operations Management that benefited me in understanding the end-to-end processes and process efficiency. In my major, I also learned a lot about operations research that is somewhat different from marketing research — which provided me with the skills I need to excel in the customer experience field.
After obtaining my degree, I have been exposed to various different fields, from becoming a researcher, to teaching assistant at a prominent university in Indonesia. Then, I moved to work as a Management Trainee and learn more about project management, in which I honed my project management skills as well as stakeholder management.
How did you start working in the customer experience space?
I started to work in a customer experience role at Tokopedia (previously I had not been exposed to this field). Tokopedia opened my way to understanding more beyond product and price and gave me this opportunity because of my passion for data. At the time, Tokopedia had just started the CX Team as the thinker for the Operations team (now called Customer Excellence Team). Tokopedia constructs the CX Team into three pillars: Thinker, Runner, and Enabler. Each pillar has their own role, and The Thinker (or the brain of the team) is responsible for capturing the customer’s voice and designing the end-to-end, seamless journey for the customers. So, as the brain of customer service and experience, I have had a pivotal role in the team since that time to ensure the best and most memorable experiences for the users.
Can you tell us a little bit about your current role?
Currently, I am the Customer Experience Insights & Analytics Senior Lead, leading four teams and responsible for gathering feedback of voices from the users (internally & externally). In addition, my team is also responsible for the overall benchmarking processes which aim to assess where we stand in comparison to other companies, inside and outside our industry. The benchmarking process is not only done through surveys, but also through social listening to understand the social universe. We also monitor performance, provide real-time insights, and handle crises on the floor (when needed). Lastly, we ensure the quality of service delivered by Tokopedia Care by using SERVQUAL parameters.
Hence, my role is not only about the voice of customer management but also managing the helicopter view of how operations work by monitoring the performance and ensuring the service quality.
How can companies better listen and understand their customer base?
The first thing is to make the channel for listening available on the customer journey. Listening to your customer should be an integral part and it is advisable to keep it simple to avoid long customer journeys.
The next step is to listen without needing to be analyzed by sophisticated tools. More sophisticated tools are needed when you have larger data and more data points to analyze. However, to start with, the voice of the customer program is just reading it, understanding it, and acting on it.
Implementing the voice of customers is the ultimate goal of listening to your customers, because if you do nothing, customers will later neglect to give their voice towards your company.
When the basics have been completed, understand the customer through the first-party data you already have. By understanding this data, we can deliver innovative solutions that move the needle and increase users’ satisfaction level with the company.
The most important part of customer management is the element of surprise; for example, we can give them a gift card as an appreciation for their feedback or even directly contact them that their feedback has been heard and implemented and invite them to try our newly launched products or features.
What are some companies that you think are doing an excellent job at customer experience, and why?
Tokopedia is a technology company that sets a good example in implementing the voice of customer capitalization culture. We implement a closed-loop process of the customer’s process. Even though this is the basis of the customer program, Tokopedia has implemented unique initiatives in each stage as follows:
- Gathering the voices from designated channels. Tokopedia constructs channels not only for the external customers but also for the internal customers (employees). And not only reactive channels, as we also provide routine channels to gather feedback. Here is the mapping of the designated channels of Tokopedia:
The unique initiatives on this stage are:
- WhatsApp #NakaMakeItBatter: This channel helps gather feedback from employees and their families. They can directly chat to our WhatsApp account and share insights or concerns to improve their experience when using Tokopedia.
- Wall of Feedback: This channel gathers suggestions from the customer service representatives. They can convey the suggestions from the users that they interact with or deliver their own voice to improve their working experience.
- CEx Guardian: This channel is used to evaluate the service value implementation by the customer service representatives. So, the company understands which value needs to be re-socialized or re-strengthened in order to keep the spirit of the value.
- Motivation Survey: This channel is used to understand the factor that keeps the employee motivated by using the two-factor theory of Herzberg.
- Conveying Customer Insights. The various feedback that comes from the designated channels above have to be delivered to respective teams frequently (daily, weekly, and monthly). The unique initiative from Tokopedia during this stage is the Make-It-Better Forum. In this forum, the CX Team invites users to directly share their voice (or insights) to our business, product, and tech team. By directly listening to the customers, the Tokopedia team can have an interactive discussion and improve on their service, feature, or product.
- Improving Customer Journey. After it has been delivered to the respective team, the voice has to be turned into actionable items and implemented in order to solve customer’s pain points, such as journey simplification, better user interface, faster processing or latency time, adding new product (variants), better product communication, and excellent services. The unique initiative implemented by Tokopedia is Dari Toppers Untuk Toppers (English: From Toppers To Toppers; ‘Toppers’ is the name given for Tokopedia’s users) available on Tokopedia Care’s social media (Twitter & Instagram). The first stage is where we receive feedback from Tokopedia users through various channels. We want these users to know that we really appreciate their inputs and how they were able to deliver it in a polite manner.
○ Keeping an Eye on Improvements. After it has been implemented, it should be monitored to ensure that the action we take is able to achieve the goal: to improve customer experience. Each team has their own dashboard to understand the performance, yet Tokopedia also has a Customer Engagement Hub where all the customer-related metrics and social universe voice can be monitored directly on a big screen.
Many companies are currently undergoing digital transformation processes – what are your tips on a successful digital transformation?
First tip: Start to develop your digital channel NOW. Digital transformation should be integrated with your offline channel. After this, make sure the process between online and offline touchpoints are seamless to provide better customer experience.
Furthermore, the digital channels must be present to solve users’ pain points (not adding to their pain points). Thus, the digital channels play a crucial role to help users on their journey and make it convenient when they interact with your company. The customer may not say what they need, but when you understand their behavior, it will be beneficial to know which journey can be digitized.
What are some CX solutions or tools that you’re keeping your eyes on right now?
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are the solutions that must be implemented as soon as possible, even if it only takes a small part of your internal business process or customer journey. AI & machine learning would assist us in knowing our customers and using the knowledge to delight them throughout their journey with the company.
In addition, machine learning-based personalization is also the CX solution that can improve the experience with a more scalable and accurate technique to create unique experiences for every consumer. It enables us to deliver one-to-one experiences by leveraging algorithms. Segmenting consumers using rule-based personalization will become obsolete in the future.
Did you read any interesting books this past summer that you’d like to recommend?
I’m not one for frequently reading books but Start With Why by Simon Sinek is inspiring. Even though it does not specifically talk about customer experience, always start everything by asking “Why is it important?”, especially when it may take your resources and time.
Apart from that, I have a website recommendation that widens my knowledge about CX, namely: ExperienceInvestigators.com. The author of the website is Jeannie Walters, CCXP. She always gives a short but meaningful article about customer experience.
What is your favorite CX metric?
Net Promoter Score because this metric does not only measure the satisfaction level but also the level of loyalty of the customers and their willingness to recommend the company to others.
Each of the other metrics is also important to measure the customer experience with their own purposes, such as customer satisfaction, customer effort score, and complaint ratio.