CX Europe 2018

Post-Forum Report

On November 13 and 14, CX leaders convened in London for Forrester’s CX Europe 2018 Forum. The Forum Host, Forrester Principal Analyst Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha, opened the event by discussing the importance of CX as an engine of growth, pointing out the value of using divergent and convergent thinking to better understand customer needs and design great customer experiences (video here). She finished by proposing to attendees that instead of asking how a customer fits into their company, they should ask how their company fits into a customer’s life.

Over the two days, 29 presentations highlighted how next-generation CX innovators are stepping up their game to become the primary driver of growth for their brands and companies. Here are just some of the dominant themes that emerged:

Democratize CX so it’s part of everyone’s job. 

It was clear over the two days that CX pros can’t act alone. They need the rest of the organization — be it leadership or front-line employees — to buy into their mission. Greg Hodgson, head of client experience at Credit Suisse, shared some of his tactics to engaging the rest of the organization — moving them slowly from unconscious incompetence to conscious competence — by picking certain initiatives as lighthouse projects, putting 200% effort into them so they stand out, and then shining a spotlight on them as an example of what can be done (video here). Christophe Dhaisne, customer champion at Kindred Group (video), and Zanna van der Aa, thoughtleader CX at KSM Factory (video), both spoke to how they help the rest of the organization understand what matters most to customers by uncovering the most important experience drivers.

Tap into customer habits to achieve long-term success.

Senior Analyst TJ Keitt’s presentation called out the power of creating habits to retain customers over the long term. He advised the audience to make value the focal point, determine where their company has permission to be, and then uncover those habits (video here). For WhatsApp, this means deliberately prioritizing simple solutions to customer problems that don’t bloat the app but focus on letting people communicate. Global head of CX at Hostelworld, Cathy Thompson, shared how it has been tapping into hostel goers' needs and designing emotional peaks into key journeys to create new habits (video here). For example, through its customer research, it identified a frustration among travelers who craved the social aspect of hostels but couldn’t speak each other’s language. It developed a real-time speech and text translation feature in its app called "Speak the World." It’s already starting to create new habits: Since its release, the app has two million additional downloads and usage is up 259%.

Use CX metrics to drive change, but be careful linking them to pay.

Numerous speakers shared how metrics help drive organizational change. Robert Bridge, chief customer officer of the Telegraph Media Group, shared that one of his key learnings from the Telegraph's journey so far is the importance of having simple goals that resonate across the organization (video here). It displays daily visualizations of useful customer metrics in the newsroom, showing where they are against goals and how articles are performing in real-time.

That said, Principal Analyst Maxie Schmidt urged caution around linking CX performance to variable pay (video here). She took to the stage to debunk five myths around using monetary incentives to reward good CX, explaining how they often lead to unintended consequences. Instead, she advised firms to unlock drivers of good employee experience. Crowe has a mechanism for front-line employees that receive kudos from a customer to pass on their thanks to someone in the back office — in accounting, for example — who helped deliver that experience.

Celebrate failure to breed future success. 

Creating a fail-fast culture is not easy. Manish Gajria, product director at MoneySupermarket, shared how he has managed to create a culture of experimentation, empowering the whole organization to run CX tests. Interestingly, one of the metrics it is tracking is the win percentage of tests — where the target is just a 30% success rate (video here). Gajria emphasized that anything above that means the organization is only tackling the low hanging fruit. And Laurent Christoph, experience strategist at Lloyds Banking Group, spoke about his team’s role in looking longer term (three to 10 years in the future) for opportunity spaces that the organization can delve into — e.g., privacy.

Attendees were encouraged to continue these conversations with Forrester analysts, Event sponsors, and each other, between this Forum and November 14 to 15, 2019, when the Forrester CX Europe Forum returns to London.