Hi Ricardo, tell us about yourself and your background.
I’m Ricardo, a 32-year-old consultant at Oracle Brazil. I live in São Paulo where I was born and raised, and now during the pandemic I moved with my wife, my pet dog and cat to a new apartment where I can work remotely more comfortably and enjoy a little bit of nature (It’s close to the Pedra do Frances, a rock-climbing site).
How did you start working in the customer experience space?
When I started my career, I was working in a project where my goal was to help the customer to implement an application from a third-party company. It was successful but since my team nor the customer had access to the application design, code, or inputs, because it was a boxed application that they sold without the option to customize it, I saw how the customer had to struggle to adapt to the app instead of the other way around. After this project I was given the option to choose between specializing in SAP or Siebel for that customer and since Siebel’s moto was “It is all about the customer”, I saw this as an opportunity to apply the insights my previous experiences have given me.
So, I chose Siebel and always focused on the customer experience and how the application could improve it, and never the contrary. After that, I worked with other applications like Unity that focus entirely on the customer.
Can you tell us a little bit about your current role?
My current role now is, as a principal consultant at Oracle, to identify the customer’s needs via discovery sessions and design an ideal architecture plan as to how to solve their issue or improve their customer experience challenges using our set of applications, or, if it’s the case, to help the customer with their own and current apps, how they can be improved and tailored to their strategies. I’m also an adoption ambassador for the applications I’m focusing on at the moment and making sure the customers have the best experience with them.
How can companies better listen and understand their customer base?
A lot of times, we as CX professionals see companies struggling with different strategies that don’t always succeed as they intended, because they are only listening and paying attention to “big picture” goals that only mean to increase sales, or adoption, or retention, or to cut costs, etc… but forget that those metrics are run by your end consumer – the customer. If you have a strategy, application, or operation that exists due to a customer need, you need to have a way to read and understand how that customer perceives your care and approach them, otherwise you are missing a critical point to your successful CX operation. It should be as important, and taken as seriously by the companies, as the assets or revenue at the end of the day.
So, a way to make sure you are actively listening to your customer is to give this task proper care. Elect a member of your team, or a whole team depending on the scale of your operation, as an adoption ambassador and keep that entity close to your customer. Give it freedom to express whatever concerns or suggestions your customer might have and don’t be afraid of “hard truths” because there’s always an opportunity in them.
What are some companies that you think are doing an excellent job at customer experience, and why?
I have to say Oracle, not just because I currently work here but it’s actually the reason as to why I chose to work here. I’m a CX ambassador for the customers I work with at Oracle and they make sure my role here is valued and the customers know that, they feel taken care of. Another example here is NTT (Everis). The management team that I know in the projects I worked alongside Everis have always taken care that the CX experience in their implementations were a drive instead of a problem they need to fix or live with.
Many companies are currently undergoing digital transformation processes – what are your tips on a successful digital transformation?
I think it’s a great opportunity for companies to understand CX and integrate it into their core. With digital transformation undergoing so rapidly due to our circumstances nowadays and especially because of the pandemic, companies that usually succeed in their digital transformation plan see their whole structure and body of employees as their own customers. Identifying and mapping how your own operation can be digitally transformed and improved for your company’s health and your employees’ productivity is translated to identifying the needs of your customer and applying the proper solution. If you do it well for yourself you should do it for your customers and vice versa.
What are some CX solutions or tools that you’re keeping your eyes on right now?
I’m watching closely the development of marketing solutions. Not only our shopping experience, but also how we interact with the companies, and companies with the customers, have become just a part of our daily life as anything else now. Solutions like a powerful CDP, DMP and Sales solutions that drive in the customer experience have so much room to evolve in our era that they are definitely worth paying attention to.
Did you read any interesting books this past summer that you’d like to recommend?
Yes, I’d like to recommend some non-technical and just pleasure readings. O encontro marcado by Fernando Sabino, O alquimista by Paulo Coelho, any Philip K. Dick or Neil Gaiman book and my favorite is The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.
What is your favorite CX metric?
I believe that none exists as a standalone, so you can’t only focus on one. For example, if you only focus on retention strategies of your leaving customers you might not figure out why they are thinking of leaving in the first place. You need a full CX map of your customer’s health to better attend to them. That being said, I’d say that one of my favorites is Employee Net Promoter score. Now in our scenarios of digital transformation I think it became super important to attend to your body of employees as if they were your internal customers. They’ll work better, have much better results and it will be translated to customer satisfaction down the line.