How to Deliver the Best Customer Journey - Innovation Deep Dive Summary
Author: Alon Segal, Managing Director, Deutsche Telekom Israel
In today’s fast-paced world, there is an increasing focus on providing a customer-centric experience. Customers expect service providers to understand their wants and needs. 2020 hascompletely changed the way customers behave and shop. Convenience has taken precedence over other aspects. Customers expect Amazon-like experience from brands. Today’s customers expect a better omnichannel approach and an increasing level of personalization. Brands that meet customers in their preferred channel(s) and put the customer in control of their journey have a clear leg up over the competition.
With that in mind, as part of Innovation Deep Dive series presented to the Deutsche Telekom’s Board of Management, we set out to explore how to deliver the best customer journey evaluated through the lens of Convenience, Care & Control, critical to meet customer expectations.
Hosted from our Israel office – with a showcase assembled globally with the help of our global staff, led by Ronit Avzardel. The time was spent on some selected customer-centric journeys focused on delivering an excellent care experience with maximum convenience while keeping the customer fully in control.
These journeys demonstrated the use of advanced technologies to create a personalized, seamless customer experience across multiple touchpoints that converge both the physical and digital worlds (phigital).
We started off with Steven Von Bellegham – a published author and expert on the Future of Customer Experience, who wrote 5 international bestsellers on the theme and gave more than 1,000 keynotes about the topic. Steven talked about the latest evolution in customer experience and his theme was ‘How can you give your customers an offer they can’t refuse?’
Steven succinctly boiled this down to 3 questions that every customer-facing organization needs to ask itself (constantly) …
1) How do we react when the interests of our customers conflict with our own? the example being sleeping contracts: i.e, when participants do not use the services they have booked but – for whatever reason – continue to pay for them. Should we inform them? Should we refund them?
2) What is the internal error culture? Do we first look for "Who screwed up?" or do we focus on solving the problem for the customer as fast as possible?
3) Are our agents / customer-facing colleagues empowered to help customers and solve problems? The „Gold Standard“ example given was employees of the Ritz-Carlton hotel chain can solve guest problems directly within a generous budget.
One image from Steven’s presentation sticks to mind - his analogy of a customer service being an “Oxpecker” on top of a “Rhino” focused on how it can bring value, while being not intrusive.
And not a nuisance like a fly….
Next to present was Gadi Amit, Founder and Principal Designer of SF based strategic technology design studio NewDealDesign. Gadi leads a multidisciplinary team uniting people, culture and technology to build desirable experiences for the world’s top brands like Fitbit, Microsoft, Google, Intel, T-Mobile, Ford, Walmart and Comcast. Gadi and his team have won hundreds of design awards, including Fast Company’s Most Innovative Design Company.
Gadi presented a fascinating story on impact of design for delivering a desirable user journey.
We learned about desire being more of an emotional resonance and the new science of customer emotions.
In addition, we saw some great examples e.g. Comcast, Verizon, Postmates.
Gadi’s key messages were – in striving to deliver a desirable user journey
Use beauty to stand out
Show the future - being progressive is valued
Show sustainability – must be visible to the consumer
Use HW to enhance SW/service
Engage with your customer by having personality coming through at every touchpoint of the consumer journey (vs. rationality only as a driving force for decisions)
Next on the agenda was Ron Johnson, Ron needs no introduction as the retail veteran who set up Apple’s retail experience. Ron is CEO and Co-Founder of Enjoy, where he leads the team to bring Enjoy’s unique “Commerce at Home” experience to partners and customers across the U.S., U.K., and Canada.
Enjoy’s solution combines technology to deliver a very convenient & personalized care experience at home. Operating a mobile store including all the underlying technology to make appointments, route experts, and manage inventory, which brings sales experts directly into the home of the customer in order to deliver the devices, fix problems, install new devices, etc. Crossing the threshold vs. curbside to “to the door” delivery.
Our next stop on the journey was on the opposite side of the spectrum. Instead of a very “human” interaction à la Enjoy we looked at Visual AI provided by Techsee’s platform as the guide for the experience.
Founder and CEO Eitan Cohen is a seasoned high-tech entrepreneur and executive – he has built companies, teams, and products from the ground up – and a leader in the field of computer vision-based service.
The use case we addressed was – remote support / self-care automation. At the heart of this Technology is AI-based computer vision and AR.
This use case covers all three of our key measures providing on demand customer care, putting the customer in control and at-home convenience.
Techsee is trying to address the dilemma / dichotomy between automation adoption driven by cost / necessity WHILE still maintaining high NPS with customers - to achieve this, Techsee’s message is simple:
“Humans are visual beings, with brains that process images 60,000 times faster than text. Hence the best way to make knowledge accessible is simply by showing, rather than telling. Emerging visual technologies such as Augmented Reality and Computer Vision AI have the power to bring people and knowledge together. AI has reached the point at which machines can see more clearly than humans and enhance their abilities, enabling them to effortlessly interact with products like never before.”
Our last presentation for of the day started us on the journey towards the Metaverse – and merging of physical / virtual. Blinkeye’s technology allows the customer to interact using an eye-tracking technology and experience an immersive 3D reality without the use of googles / headwear or phone screens.
To set the stage for how this technology could be used – look no further than the TMUS acquisition of Octopus Interactive (Uber / Lyft in ride advertisement network) as a good example for 5G / Connected reach to a captive audience in Lyft / Uber rides Viewing digital content enroute – only now having 3D content “jump off the screen at them” without specialized eyewear.
Now Imagine this type of capability built into your laptop, iPad or phone screen
Oren Yogev, CEO & co-Founder of Blinkeye, presented Blink. Oren is also a founder of Replay Technologies, acquired by Intel in 2016 for its multi-dimensional video imaging technology, and a 2-time Emmy award winner for his technology’s contribution to sports broadcasting.
We also got a glimpse of a few other emerging players whose technology could redefine customer experience including - Trigo (presented by Yotam Aronovitz – Head of Partnerships), Pairzon (CEO Galit Arizon), D-ID (CEO Gil Perry), and TetaVi (CEO Gilad Talmon).
Ultimately, we tried to challenge and Inspire – based on the feedback, we delivered. An inspirational opening to the new year and some great takeaways at the Board of Management Level. Summarized nicely in the title and opening Tim Höttges, Deutsche Telekom CEO, gave on his blog:
"Surprise your customers again and again!
Our customers are particularly important to all of us. We want to focus on them and turn them into fans. Our colleagues in customer service, in the stores and in the field do an exemplary job. Nevertheless, we have to continually look beyond our own horizons and consider the question of what developments we will face in the future and how we can become even better.
That was the goal of our sixth virtual Innovation Deep Dive on Monday morning on the topic of how to create the best possible customer experience. Together with my colleagues on the Board of Management Adel Al-Saleh, Srini Gopalan, Dominique Leroy, Claudia Nemat and many other Telekom colleagues in the WebEx, we gained many impressions in an exchange with external experts and entrepreneurs."