Hi Valerii, tell us about yourself and your background
I was born in a small town named Bilibino, which is located in the Magadan region!). Try to google it! But I left my hometown to study in Tomsk, then I moved to Novosibirsk and then to Moscow.
Currently, I am the Project manager at VTB bank. It is one of the biggest banks in Russia. Our team improves the quality of customer experience for bank channels like chatbots, calls, office visits, mobile applications and others.
Before that, I worked in the energy industry. Prior to my current occupation, I was an analyst with 4-year background with broad knowledge of prime cost and pricing.
Apart from my major specialties, most of all I’m interested in sustainable energy, programming, game design, artificial neural networks and face recognition technologies.
You can read more about me on my personal website: http://valeriigribovskii.tilda.ws/eng
How did you first start working in the CX space?
My current occupation is my first work experience in the CX space. So, I don’t have a big background in this field yet, but I have great enthusiasm and motivation. After the energy industry, I decided to develop as a data analyst. I passed a lot of exams which prove me as an advanced specialist in SQL, Power BI and Excel. Also, I can use Python.
What are some of the common misunderstandings related to customer experience?
I guess I can single out two most common misunderstandings. The first – it is considered that customer experience is a process that does not affect anything. Our team does not see that way and our experience and results prove this wrong. I personally think customer experience is one of the main parts of success for any company. the second misunderstanding is that the major customer experience’s subject is customer service (the way how employees serve our clients). There ismuch more than that. For example, customer experience is also about a user-friendly interface in applications, how fast and simple our client can find the nearest ATM in our app or website, or how long our client waits in the queue in the office and a lot more.
Have you seen any interesting new trends in eCommerce this year?
Yeah, in my opinion, the most interesting eCommerce trend this year is how banks and supermarkets went completely online. Today, due to Covid-19, customers do not need to go to the offices to re-issue a credit card or to take a loan. You will make a few taps in your app and then the bank’s employees will come to you to do all the rest.
If a customer needs to refill their food supplies, they can do it with an online app, and a supermarket’s employee collects his order, check the expiry date, and will drop delivery by his door.
Today, customers can buy anything while staying at home.
I think it is fantastic when a business makes great efforts to be as close to its customers as it can.
eCommerce boomed in 2020, and consumers started leaving more product reviews online. How can we make the most out of this momentum?
I am absolutely sure the eCommerce boom is not finished yet. Only a part of businesses was able to adapt to it in all aspects.
I guess, “Going online” trend is very profitable for both – Customers and businesses as customers get an opportunity to buy anything staying at home. It helps to save a lot of time.
On another side, it is the greatest opportunity for businesses to develop online services, apps, and open API’s for integration with foreign apps. It is the best way to create an ecosystem that covers all the mutual needs of the client.
As for the reviews, I think it’s a huge scope of data for CX. There are few companies in Russia, which work with this data like Sidorin Lab. But they are more focused on reputation. Even fewer companies help businesses to make decisions based on reviews.
Our team also works with customer’ reviews, which are collected from polls via call center, app\web forms, etc. Based on this data we make dashboards, which include CX metrics. In each dashboard, you can view and compare metrics depending on the client’s interaction channel – office, ATM, IVR, chatbot, etc.
What are some CX companies/solutions you’re keeping your eyes on right now?
At the moment, our team uses solutions that are VTB’s own development. However, I am always looking through the CX market for different companies and the solutions they provide.
For example, I am keeping my eye on a couple of Russian companies like Sberbank and Yandex. Even though CX is not part of their business, they still have huge resources to develop CX in Russia and share their experience with other companies. They have unique CX ecosystems, that evolve day by day. These companies now integrating artificial intelligence technologies into customer experience streams. I think that in the future, AI will make business decisions itself.
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?
When Covid-19 will be dealt with we will be faced with the new reality. Shares of online purchases will grow, shares of traditional shops and supermarkets will decrease. It is a new reality now like a thermographic camera in public places.
Today when we are calling to the bank we talk to IVR – An interactive voice response, when we are texting support in the app – we are talking with chatbots first. People go to the back scene. I am thinking in nearest future live communications will be a privilege for VIP customers.
Do you believe focus groups are still relevant in the era of eCommerce? Why?
I do not think so. I think focus group is obsolete now, unfortunately for traditional market researchers. In my opinion, the future belongs to platforms for UX research, usability tests, and surveys. It is cheaper, faster, more helpful, and allows to make a different scenario for testing.
Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?
My favorite metric is CES – customer effort score. CES is an easy survey to deploy and track over time and is best for measuring customer loyalty. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always give the full picture and should be used in tandem with NPS.