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CX with Shell and Ladbrokes Coral

Fire round discussion with CX leaders of Shell and Ladbrokes Coral

Posted by emma.critchley | 29 September

This week we visited Technology for Marketing in London’s Olympia. A conference hall filled with the latest, greatest, and some not so great technology all designed to help make our lives as marketers that bit easier. 

In between the stands were insightful, and again some not so insightful, Keynote speakers. One we found particularly interesting was a panel discussion with CX leaders, Mark Harrison, Customer Excellence Manager for Shell and Kristof Fahy, Chief Customer Officer for Ladbrokes Coral. The panel was chaired by David Hicks, CEO of TribeCX.

How have you used marketing technologies to deliver a winning customer experience?

Kristof Fahy: In total we have 3,500 shops, 20,000 staff and 20,000 actives on digital every day. Tying that all together is a really hard job. The first thing we needed to do was map out the customer journey. We found we had 71 different customer touch points, managed by 20 different teams. Which is rubbish and just leads to customer frustration. 

The first step for us was to get everyone in the room to create the map. So you have a room of about 30-40 staff from across the business and they will tell you where you’re going wrong. Then if you have a bit of money to spend, you’d ask your customers, until you have narrowed it down to about 10-15 touchpoints. Now you can’t change them all at once. This is where you start looking at the commercials and working out the five touchpoints that are losing you the most money and work on getting those right. Then focus on the next five and so on. This is the beginning. Then comes the tech.

Mark Harrison: So part of my job is to lead experience at Shell. We have 25 million customers coming onto our forecourts every day across 70 countries which includes 50,000 B2B channel partners. Our service is delivered by one million people who don't directly work for Shell. So we started by walking in the shoes of our customers. We bought a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system then bought several other systems, but ultimately you have to bring all customer operations under one business. You can’t have silos. All our activities are now accountable to one executive so we have one view of everything.

KF: To add to that, you can’t just rebrand a part of your business to ‘customer experience’. I’ve seen businesses literally just change a name of their department and say, that’s it, job done, box ticked. That’s not customer experience. 

To make use of technology and drive its value you need the capability within the business. So when you do put a new piece of technology in a business, how can you make sure that connects with intended experience? 

KF: Smart tech and tech professionals can build great things but they need to know that the customer journey is first. There is no point in having an amazing piece of tech that no one can use. This can happen when businesses or departments don’t talk to one another. When they don’t put the customer first. For example facial recognition and how you match it up with other data you hold on that customer could potentially be problematic. Map the customer journey. Write the rules, try it out. If it doesn’t work, revise and try again, but if on the third go it’s still not right, then something is fundamentally wrong

MH: You should be deploying technology to underpin a consistence experience. We needed to design our business to satisfy our customers and supplier needs and that’s why we use a single CRM system across the globe.

KF: You have to put the customer in the middle and work out what it is they want. Never has one of your customers woken up, picked up their phones and thought, I’m going to have a mobile experience for the next hour, then sat at their desk and thought I’m now having a desktop experience before popping into the shop and stopped to think, I’ve just had an Omni-channel experience. Don’t silo your customers into experience types, just think, “What would they want?”

MH: It also depends on how intent you are within your culture. Shell has a customer first culture and we find out the people who aren’t in that environment and coach them. There has to be a collaboration between technology to try and break down silos, but ultimately you also need the muscle to be able to get the value from the tech.

How will updates in GDPR effect customer experience?

MH: You need to understand the value exchange with the consumer. Actually people are willing to share their data if they know how you’re going to use it. The day you mis-use that, you lose their trust. Customer data needs to be treated as an asset in your organisation. It needs to be respected and until you combine customer data with operations data and finance data and so on, you’ll continue to have different internal conversations. 

KF: The main focus is on customer first and getting that right. Respecting data should be part of a good customer experience. 

What is the role of people in the delivery of technology? 

KF: You need to equip your employees to deliver the experience. We know we don’t give our shops enough data. Our digital users can’t go into one of our shops if they’ve forgotten their password and reset it. There are just too many systems in too many places. One enquiry could look at five different systems to resolve it. 

MH: Technology can help take the shackles off of people. People come to work to do the right thing. I don’t think anyone thinks they’re going to work to do the wrong thing. Technology can create an environment that enables workers to do the right thing for the customer and at times remove out of date processes that hinder the experience. To enable your employees to do this there needs to be an education programme in place and you need to recognise those who are using it well.

Shell want their customers to feel like guests when they walk onto our forecourts, just like they feel when they walk into their favourite restaurant. We have to invest in people to allow them to understand what that means. Once a year an employee gets nominated to receive a once in a life time, all expenses paid holiday and this includes the one million employees who don’t actually work directly for Shell, some of which have never left their own country.

Do you have any last thoughts to share with us? 

KF: Work out what you’re trying to achieve and then go and find a solution.

MH: Technology is most useful when you decide how you’re going to use it. Have an honest conversation about what it does and doesn’t do before investing. 

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