Hi Dario, tell us about yourself and your background.
My name is Dario, I am Italian but I left Italy over 10 years ago. I started working in Italy, but then I moved to London, from there to Jamaica, and now I am in beautiful Ghana. I have a master’s degree in Telecommunication Engineering but I have never worked as an engineer in my whole career; having an academic technical background, though, has helped me a lot when I have to deal with technical teams and developers.
How did you start working in the customer experience space?
I have always worked in the Telco space — initially in marketing — but then I moved to the Digital and Experience space when I moved to London over 5 years ago. Building digital products and experiences is my passion and reading positive customers review on Google Play is one of the things that keep me always excited about working in Digital CEX.
Can you tell us a little bit about your current role?
I joined MTN Ghana (the largest operator in the country and in Africa) almost 3 years ago as Digital Transformation Lead. My role has been to build the first digital team in the company and start driving Digital Transformation. This included building new products and specific digital experience, but also working with the staff to train them and coach them on Agile, Scrum, Digital etc. Digital Transformation can’t happen without a committed and skilled staff community.
How can companies better listen and understand their customer base?
Just listen to them and talk to them. The source of insights from customers especially in the digital space are multiple (app store reviews, in-app surveys, end of chat NPS etc.) so just make sure you use these tools. What is also important is to talk to customers, spend time outside the office and engage with users.
What are some companies that you think are doing an excellent job at customer experience, and why?
This summer I used Airbnb a couple of times and I have been impressed by the overall experience. Being a platform business means that you do not always manage to control the E2E experience of your product, but thanks to the effort they make with their app, the details they provide about the property, the reviews, the transparency etc. they really managed to deliver an experience at the level of an hotel.
Many companies are currently undergoing digital transformation processes – what are your tips on a successful digital transformation?
Start with the people and the organization not with the tools. Too often companies think that by just acquiring new tools you can move to digital but you actually need to make sure your team is part of the transformation. You must have the right organization so that whoever is in charge of driving the Transformation can take the right decision at the right level, but at the same time also make sure that all divisions are involved. Re-skilling and up-skilling must be at the center of the plan so that everybody in the organization can speak the same language and work towards the same objective.
What are some CX solutions or tools that you’re keeping your eyes on right now?
For us a game changer has been the Zendesk Support platform. We used to manage customers who were contacting us on Whatsapp or email using different tools or in some cases just the web interface of the service. Thanks to Zendesk, agents now have access to one single platform and all interactions from digital channels become tickets that are easy to manage from one simple interface.
Did you read any interesting books this past summer that you’d like to recommend?
This summer I tried to switch off and read few novels, but a few weeks ago I started “The Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink Your Business for the Digital Age” by David Rogers. It is a great book that explains the key elements of Digital Transformation and also provide great tools and frameworks to drive the Transformation in your organization
What is your favorite CX metric?
I love NPS because it is simple and at the same time very tough. In general though, when looking at digital products and self-care app, I also always focus on usage KPIs. These days is very easy to get your top-line metrics up in digital, but they could hide some fundamental issue with your product: KPIs like daily users, DAU/MAU, transactions etc. should be part of your digital CEX dashboard.