How three leading organisations are building better business through human-centric CX
Consumer behaviours and needs are once again changing as people adapt their spending habits in response to rising costs and shifting priorities. In fact, our own research shows that in Australia consumers are spending less on discretionary items and activities and moving to cheaper brands.
For organisations navigating this shift, knowing what matters most to customers is mission critical. Equipped with a thorough understanding of peoples’ needs, businesses and governments can deliver products, services, and support that meets the expectations of the people they serve and helps them avoid unwanted churn.
The importance of great CX is underlined by recent research from the Qualtrics XM Institute, which revealed poor CX is putting US $3.1 trillion of global consumer sales at risk. The same study showed at least a third of consumers reduce their spending after a bad experience.
To help organisations respond to the evolving needs of their customers in 2023, at Qualtrics XM on Tour we heard how three leading organisations doubled down on human-centric CX to deliver value back to their business.
Flight Centre Travel Group: Building a business case for CX in tough times
Few industries were impacted by the pandemic quite like Flight Centre Travel Group, one of the world’s largest travel retailers and corporate travel managers. However, rather than cease operations entirely during this time, Flight Centre took action to ensure it was ready to grab market share and capitalise on customer demand once business travel resumed.
“We wanted a competitive advantage and CX was critical to it”, said Chris Preston, Senior Vice President, Marketing Operations, Flight Centre Travel Group.
Recognising customer expectations were changing during the pandemic, understanding the voice of the customer became more important than ever at Flight Centre. The initial challenge for Preston and his team however was convincing senior leadership to invest in such a program at a time when budgets were tight.
“We spent six months in stakeholder engagement,” he says. “We undertook a lot of education of C-Suite executives about the value the company would get from this exercise, and because of this, the business decided to continue to invest in areas which would give us a competitive advantage.”
Vector Limited: Keeping up with customer expectations
One of the biggest CX challenges at Vector Limited - one of New Zealand’s leading energy providers - is that the company typically only hears from customers when something goes wrong. To overcome this, continually monitoring and responding to customer behaviours is key.
“Change is being led by the customer, so we need to watch how those behaviours evolve. To do this, we regularly monitor behaviours among different types of customers and move forward from an analysis of these,” said Duncan Head, General Manager of Insights, Vector Limited.
Equipped with a deep understanding of customer needs, Vector has been able to create a human experience based on empathy. The utility provider now offers a range of communication channels, and customer preferences often roll into the programs they’re involved in.
“Consumers are now holding us to the highest interactions they have elsewhere, and it’s important we meet them,” added Head.
Western Sydney University: Taking a more sophisticated approach to listening
For Western Sydney University, a higher education institution with over 50,000 students, the need to invest in CX is also being led by changes in customer expectations and behaviours.
Focused on improving learning outcomes across the organisation, the University implemented a comprehensive CX program enabling it to listen across multiple touch points, and then take fast, targeted action by analysing feedback against grades and student well-being.
“We had to become more sophisticated,” said Michael Burgess, Chief Student Experience Officer, Western Sydney University. “For example, grades are a prime marker of whether a student is going to continue. In response, the University put in place thresholds around grades, and if we see a student is failing we quickly take action to ensure they are supported, meaning they’re more likely to continue and finish their course.
Building human-centric CX
Ultimately, says Western Sydney University’s Burgess, when it comes to cultivating human-centric business the organisation needs to build a brain connecting all the moving parts. “In the case of our university, this allows us to engage in a high-touch way with students. The key is to use technology for that high touch experience,” he says.
Flight Centre’s Preston agrees. “It’s easy to think you’re just collecting insights, but what is more important is what you do with those insights. We needed to turn insights into actions, all the while maintaining our highly entrepreneurial culture.”
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