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5 ways to win with CX

UAE-based lifestyle group, Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) has the largest voice of the consumer (VOC) listening programme in the region. It’s committed to enhancing every experience across all customer interactions.

“I truly believe that the next big area of competitive-advantage building for companies is customer experience (CX),” says Gregoire Charpe-Civatte, Group Director CX & Innovation at Majid Al Futtaim (MAF). “And it's experience transformation. The reality though, is that internally, when you deploy customer experience transformation, it's more of a rocky road.”

The Gartner Hype Cycle

Putting your customer front and centre of your business sounds like straightforward common sense. “There’s a lot of hope at the beginning, a lot of expectations, a lot of excitement,” says Gregoire (or Greg, as he’s also known). “And then when people realise that actual transformation is required, this does go down and they stop supporting you. They tell you, ‘Okay, it's nice in theory…’”

It’s important to stick with it. “After a few years, after establishing your teams, your capabilities, after proving the value, you climb back to productivity, where there's actual adoption.” This, he explains, is the Gartner Hype Cycle. And it’s what happens when we introduce new technologies to the world.

“Think of AI, a huge peak of expectation,” he says. “Then people were wondering, ‘what is it going to do, actually. How does it work?’
“So ask yourself, where are you on that journey with CX?”

What really is CX?

Unfortunately many people struggle to define what CX is in the first place. “They confuse everything with CX – UX, UI design, service design, UX etc. And now, if we throw on top of that brand experience (BX) and employee experience (EX) it's even harder to align everyone.”

MAF focused on establishing the critical capabilities of CX around four years ago with its VOC program. “Our VOC program became the largest in the region,” says Greg Coupled with this was employee training. “It gives our employees clear guiding principles and experience standards that encourage continuous improvement.”

“You can’t lead a large transformation programme without the right people. Prioritise people”
Gregoire Charpe-Civatte, Group Director CX, Majid Al Futtaim

Now their VOC program has had time to find its feet, MAF is doubling down on:

+ Showing strong and demonstrated impact
+ Innovating
+ Building superiority

The last point is critical. “We have to win. We have to be superior,” says Greg. His advice for winning with CX is in 5 parts.

Zero in on what matters

“Evolve your focus very quickly. Customers need your product from you at the right time, at the right price in the convenient channel. If you don't do this as a company, you're simply dead. But then customers want more. They will want more advanced and personal experiences.”

Reduce complexity

When Greg joined MAF he says the feeling was like being thrown into a fighter-jet cockpit and told, ‘you're gonna lead CX. It's very easy, Don't worry. Just 50,000 employees’.

“You have your 53 CX standards, your CX principles, your 7 brand commandments, the 9 brand experience pillars, the company vision... It's really overwhelming, right?”

“You can’t lead a large transformation programme without the right people. Prioritise people”
Gregoire Charpe-Civatte, Group Director CX, Majid Al Futtaim

Greg says it is critical that we consider information overload for our teams. We must make it simpler for them. We have to reduce the noise and help them focus on what’s really important. Think about it this way, “if you compare a fighter-jet cockpit with a Tesla dashboard, it has the same amount of intelligence, probably the same amount of engineering but just displayed in a very different way.”

Why don't we apply to ourselves the principles and advice we give to others? The user experience of your CX teams matters.

Understand your competitors

To build superiority, you need to understand your competitors in depth. Immerse yourselves in them. “You need to experience them so as to understand where they are better, where are we better? And where do we want to fight?” says Greg. “I really urge you to encourage you to do this.”

Build a community

This is possibly the most important piece of advice. ”Build a winning community. Community brings this to life. Every month we gather our community together and share what worked, what didn't work, and ask ‘where do I need help?’

Building a community like this can break down barriers. “The power of killing those silos is just tremendous,” says Greg. “If you have to prioritise investment in the year ahead, prioritise people.”

Listen to your customers

Finally, the most important piece of advice is to listen to what your customers need from you. This means putting your customers at the heart of your organisation. “Focus your efforts on actual critical customer needs,” says Greg. “Not just trends, but trends plus customer needs. Then identify those needs that are either unmet or badly met by the competition.”

This flows from his third point, understanding your competitors. Once you know your competitors inside out you’ll know what they do well and what they don’t do well. Capitalise on that, says Greg, and you’re already halfway there.

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Qualtrics // Experience Management

Qualtrics, the leader and creator of the experience management category, is a cloud-native software platform that empowers organizations to deliver exceptional experiences and build deep relationships with their customers and employees.

With insights from Qualtrics, organizations can identify and resolve the greatest friction points in their business, retain and engage top talent, and bring the right products and services to market. Nearly 20,000 organizations around the world use Qualtrics’ advanced AI to listen, understand, and take action. Qualtrics uses its vast universe of experience data to form the largest database of human sentiment in the world. Qualtrics is co-headquartered in Provo, Utah and Seattle.

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