The 5th Annual Customer Experience Management Africa Summit took place at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town on 17th and 18th of August 2016. 45 top level speakers, 29 sponsors and partners and over 440 professionals attended, making it Africa’s largest gathering of CX professionals.
“Digitally empowered customers have given rise to a new era, the age of the customer. This is forcing companies to become customer centric,” explained Qaalfa Dibeehi, VP Customer Experience Author, Forrester, in his opening address. Eddie Moyce, Former Chief Customer Experience Officer MTN, added, “if organisations don’t start looking after customers in the long-term, the business suffers. You need to get all employees on board with the simple fact that without customers, your business doesn’t exist.”
“Customer Experience Management has matured rapidly in South Africa and has become an inescapable, must-have for any company hoping to get ahead of the pack,” says Shannon Mackrill, Joint Managing Director of Kinetic. Here are three game-changers on how to get it right.
Human Interaction is Key
Qaalfa Dibeehi explored the value of customer experience in emerging markets. Due to the fact that Africa is an emerging market, the advantage is that we can learn from the developed markets. “Whether your business is B2B or B2C, every business is in fact, person to person,” said Qaalfa Dibeehi. Care, empathy and authenticity have become the new currency. “The organisations that do really well do not care what their competitors do, they obsess about their customers,” added Chantel Botha, Head of Brand Design and Customer Experience Strategy, Brandlove.
The Rise of the Experience Economy
Craig Lee, Former Executive Customer Experience and Brand Manager, Emirates Group, explored how to deliver connected authentic, branded and purposefully designed customer experience. In his introduction, he highlighted two key insights: a) 55% of customers are prepared to pay more for a guaranteed good experience and b) 87% of consumers who switched brands did so because of poor service. This explains the rise of the experience economy and the fact that “brands who are delivering an experience as well as a product are the top brands today,”explained Craig Lee. “Customer experience leaders with purposefully designed customer experience out-perform other brands financially by 43%.”
The Need for Transformation
The only way to achieve this is through complete transformation, throughout an organisation. Goldermier Opiyo, Head of Contact Centre Operations, Safaricom Ltd, Kenya, addressed how to achieve customer experience execution with excellence. “It is imperative to set the foundation for sustainable customer experience, “ highlighted Goldermier Opiyo. “We need to bring the customer into the boardroom to ensure that the customer’s voice is heard on a daily basis.” The reality is that “a brand is only what consumers tell each other it is,” concluded Craig Lee. “This responsibility is therefore too important to be left to the customer experience department alone, it needs to be bought into by the whole company.”
The event kicked off in style at the state-of-the-art Century City Convention centre. With Nespresso on offer, delectable eats, a high-tech registration system, innovative master classes, an impressive speaker. A surprise performance by Singer Songwriter, Jimmy Nevis, the announcement of the CX Awards 2017 and a jovial cocktail party were exciting additions to the event.
“Kinetic relishes the opportunity to map the growth of Customer Experience Management on the continent, through a Summit that directly echoes the proliferation of the industry,” concludes Shannon Mackrill, Joint Managing Director of Kinetic.
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