Dan Murphy's CDO reveals why the spotlight is on the customer journey

The Australian liquor retailer is seeing more innovations on the horizon to enhance the customer experience

Dan Murphy's CDO, Faye Ilhan reveals why her role now focuses on enhancing the customer experience
Dan Murphy's CDO, Faye Ilhan reveals why her role now focuses on enhancing the customer experience

During her time as Dan Murphy's CDO, Faye Ilhan has helped drive a number of innovations, including being the first retailer to launch click-and-collect across all outlets, and introducing Dan Murphy’s ShipSmart, which enables customers to receive unlimited deliveries.

“We knew the number one grudge with delivery is the delivery charges,” she told CMO. “So we came up with a model where if you pay $50 a year for metro and $80 for regional you get unlimited wine delivered to your door per annum, and up to 10 cases of beer.”

Ilhan took the chief digital officer role at Dan Murphy’s in February this year, having held numerous customer-oriented positions in the retailer since joining in 2010.

“I see the CDO role as being a transient role,” she said. “It is a role that helps organisations merge physical and digital for customers for a single seamless experience. But that’s easier said than done, and so many organisations struggle with it.”

Another program, Dan Murphy’s Connections, enables customers to have any wine, beer or spirits delivered to their home, regardless of whether it is stocked by Dan Murphy’s or not.

“If someone liked a wine when they were overseas or at a winery, they can now get it directly from Dan Murphy’s, in a seamless experience that we control customer experience end-to-end,” Ilhan said. “We do that through drop ship, where the stock never touches our stores or our warehouse.”

That many of Ilhan’s initiatives have been customer-focused is not surprising, given her own start in the digital realm was in the customer experience function at a UK telco 15 years ago. She says that for a company to have its digital team sitting within the customer experience function at that time was a strange decision, but it is one she stands by today.

“We felt to get digital right we really had to get the customer experience right, and not focus on the technology,” she explained. “The technology is an enabler to the ultimate touchpoint that you are trying to produce. So what that has done for me over the last 15 years is always grounded me in thinking of the customer first, and then thinking of the rest afterwards.”

Within her current role, Ilhan is responsible for Dan Murphy’s teams in ecommerce, digital marketing, social media, and is in charge of its overall technology roadmap, as well as its sales and service teams and loyalty program. She also has ownership of Dan Murphy’s omni-channel strategy, which will lead to the ultimate merging of the digital and physical aspects of the business.

“Our customers don’t really care what channel they get served in or engage in, their view is they deal with Dan Murphy’s,” she added. “Our job is to make sure we are channel agnostic and we provide them with seamless experiences that they are happy with.”

To date, Dan Murphy’s has taken the step of measuring the success of its digital initiatives, not just purely through ecommerce. Guiding Dan Murphy’s through that integration task remains Ilhan’s primary focus, until such time as the role itself becomes redundant.

“We’ll look at what we do in the digital space and how that then drives traffic to our stores, and then what attribution we have as a result,” Ilhan said. “Digital will become at the heart of an organisation, and the role that it will play will be developing and facilitation customer experience. So I would hope that in years to come, my role will not exist and nor will digital in titles. In a way, I am actually working at making myself redundant."

Moving forward, Ilhan sees the CDO’s role as merging into the customer experience officer, whereit's not all about the digital channel.

"It’s about making sure that every customer touchpoint we have is seamless, stays true to our brand, and ultimately, delivers the customer experience that the customer wants,” she concluded.

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