Hi José, tell us about yourself and your background.
I defined myself as a strong believer in the use of technology to help people. Passionate about enhancing the customer experience with a special focus on the digital transformation of their business, attending a Ph.D. in Telematics Engineering, with an MBA in Marketing and Sales and certificated in ITILv3, PMP, Sigma Lean, and FIWARE technology.
For more than 15 years, I have had the opportunity to work in both B2B for Multinationals and B2C for residential customers, which has helped me to get extensive knowledge in sales, marketing, and global business development. Nowadays, I am managing the department of Digital Transformation for the South of Spain in Telefonica, and, of course, the Customer Satisfaction Index is one of our main KPIs.
How did you start working in the customer experience space?
From the very beginning of my career, I have been working very close to the customers, but it was not until 2010 when I joined the Customer Service Department in Orange, Spain, as Senior Project Manager. I really enjoyed that job, so I moved to an international position in Telefonica Business Solutions, where I had the opportunity to work as a Global Service Manager for some of the most important Multinationals worldwide. That gave a very good and, above all, realistic overview of the main priorities for the customers, and that is why Customer Experience is one of the main business drivers for me.
What do you think the top priority should be for a company that wants to improve its customer experience?
For any company that aims to improve the satisfaction of their customers, it is necessary to put a lot of effort into building a trustworthy relationship, evolving from service providers to partners. Transparency, professionalism, humanity, empathy… are some of the qualities that a company must show to their customers if they really want to build a solid relationship.
How can companies better listen and understand their customer base?
The process to achieve this objective can be split into three main levels, being the first one what we call Effective Communication, which means listening to the customer on multiple levels. This is really understanding what is said and, even more important, what is unsaid. The more we know our customers, the better.
The second level can be summarized as: “A single image is worth a thousand words.” Understanding your customer´s most important Archetypal images helps you to take a leading role, speaking directly to their minds.
And last but not least, aligning your organization internally to achieve the expectations of your customers. Improving Customer Experience can only be achieved if everyone in an organization helps to do so.
Many companies are currently undergoing digital transformation processes – what are your tips on a successful digital transformation?
First of all, I would like to comment on what, from my point of view, Digital Transformation should be.
A real Digital Transformation of a company is a deep change in the processes of all areas of a business, embracing new technologies and enhancing operations to maximize the value the company is delivering to the customers. To achieve this goal, taking into account that the customer is at the end of the day which is paying the bills, it is critical that the business areas really understand and embrace Customer Experience, becoming a “customer-centric business.”
Keeping all the above in mind, we can say that there are three main pillars that Digital Transformation impacts the most, the two first one’s verticals and the last one horizontal:
Costs: Minimizing costs is the quick-win of the Digital Transformation outcomes. We mean efficiency improvements in logistic and operation processes, new ways of assuring assets security to prevent unwanted losses, or even modifying and optimizing customer’s processes in order to decrease resources consumption and minimize the environmental impact that, furthermore, helps us to be greener. Cloud Computing, the Internet of Things, or Artificial Intelligence are some of the digital technologies that can help us to achieve this goal in a relatively short period of time.
Revenues: Fraud prevention and revenue assurance are “classic” techniques to guarantee revenues, but they can be optimized using, for example, Big Data to enhance products and services or even improve customer engagement (find out pain points, needs, etc.…). Thanks to those new digital services, it is even possible to generate new revenue streams, creating new business models and sales channels, and even achieving business expansion by performing additional tasks in the value chain. It is very important to point out that cybersecurity is key here.
Customer Experience: Just to summarize what has been mentioned at the beginning of this point, “Customer experience should be above all else.”
What are some CX companies/solutions you’re keeping your eyes on right now
To be honest, it is very difficult to choose any CX companies since there are a lot of them that are doing great right now. In any case, I have always been delighted with the way TESLA manages business and CX as one, making their products and services unique.
In terms of CX solutions, I would like to talk about CX technologies instead, and, for me, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence are the big boys here. It can help us to collect and analyze customer information, helping us to know almost everything about our customers, even allowing us to create multiple digital scenarios with different outcomes depending on determined variables (Digital Twin). This service helps companies minimize business risks since the impact of the different results is known beforehand.
What are some of your tips for people who want to work in the CX sphere?
Be open-minded, methodical, critical, and, above all, put the customer in the center of everything.
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?
This is a tricky question since I think no one really knows what “normal” is going to mean, even in the long term… What I am certain about is that we will become even more digital, meaning digital technologies like IoT, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, etc.… will rule business and even life.
eCommerce boomed in 2020, and consumers started leaving more product reviews online. How can we make the most out of this momentum?
Online product reviews can not only influence consumer decisions but also completely modify a company’s credibility. Talking about my own experience, in some cases, I have not bought some products after reading some bad reviews, and vice-versa.
In order to increase and, even more important, improve customer reviews, we do need to motivate our customers (and potential customers) to provide honest feedback. In order to get that information, it is important to be social and accessible so that customers can reach out in an easy and quick way. Customers want answers online, so not providing them can be a deal-breaker. Follow-up is also critical, and I am not only talking about contacting those who leave negative reviews to find out what went wrong but also contacting the customers that left glowing reviews to understand what the company is doing great and be able to replicate it.
What is your favorite CX metric? Why?
From my point of view, the NPS (Net Promoter Score) is one of the favorite CX metrics globally since it is short and simple to answer, and even easier to track for companies. NPS gives you one customer experience-related number with only two simple questions, which makes it very powerful and easy to understand for both customers and companies. For companies, it is also a very important KPI to predict future revenue loss and gain and to measure marketing strategies.