Hi Tolú, tell us about yourself and your background.
I am currently working in the Customer Experience Management unit of ARM Investment Managers, a financial services company based in Lagos, Nigeria. My day-to-day tasks involve engaging the company’s existing (and prospective clients), to address enquiries, requests and complaints about mutual fund accounts.
I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, with a concentration on the business-related subfields of the discipline. Also, I’ve been studying and utilizing the Design Thinking problem-solving framework for about three years and I’m currently exploring User Experience Design.
How did you first start working in the CX space?
My current role is actually my first full-time CX position. I believe that to an extent, my educational background shaped my interest in consumer behavior. Before I began working in this role, I had spent a significant amount of time garnering knowledge on the application of psychological principles, theories and research methods in workplace settings and customer relations. Naturally, I had set my sights on working at a unit of an organization where I’d be able to interact with consumers and put some of what I had learned into practice, so when I identified an opportunity to work in CX late last year, it was kind of a no-brainer.
What are some of the common misunderstandings related to customer experience?
I feel there are currently a lot of CX-related misconceptions, but I’ll speak about the assumption that Customer Experience begins only after an individual has been converted from a prospect to a customer.
I believe that the assumption is incorrect because to a certain degree, potential customers interact with an organization before sales of products or services occur. As such, it’s important for companies to include the pre-sale phase in their CX strategies and ensure that prospects are appropriately engaged, in order to create positive initial experiences.
Have you seen any interesting new trends in eCommerce this year?
It’s not an entirely novel trend, but I think that the extent to which Artificial Intelligence is being deployed to optimize customers’ online shopping experiences is fascinating.
eCommerce boomed in 2020, and consumers started leaving more product reviews online. How can we make the most out of this momentum?
I feel that the best way for companies to capitalize on this development would be to make the consumers feel heard, by effectively responding to their feedback.
All of that would involve two major activities:
- Using the product reviews as a medium to establish or improve open-ended communication between CX units and Customers, and
- Analyzing the information provided in these product reviews, in a bid to identify insights that could be utilized in the modification or creation of products and services that are tailored to customers’ present need.
My point can be backed by the Operant Conditioning theory, which in this context, proposes that consumers would be more likely to repeatedly interact with the companies that provide them with desirable experiences (in terms of either product quality or customer support) and would avoid the ones with which they have unpleasant experiences.
What are some CX companies/solutions you’re keeping your eyes on right now?
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?
A trend that I believe will stay with us in the long term is Digital transformation in CX, as well as in other business processes.
Do you believe focus groups are still relevant in the era of eCommerce? Why?
For example, Focus Groups are an extremely useful qualitative research tool, as they aid the researcher in gaining a deeper understanding of users’ opinions, motivations, needs and pain points.
Tech has and continues to revolutionize the ways in which businesses operate and how products and services are sold, however, it’s important to keep in mind the fact consumers or users remain humans— social beings, who have multiple needs that vary from one point in time, one person or one situation to another, and that one of the fundamental activities in the continuous provision of optimal customer experience is empathizing with these users, by immersing oneself in their reality and collecting insights related to their experience, as well as the attitudes that they hold in relation to a product or service.
Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?
I’d say Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).