​What innovation really means in customer experience

Three brand CX leaders explore what it takes to leverage innovation for a better customer experience

A recent Forrester study found two-thirds of customer experience professionals believe innovation is a key method of achieving business growth.

During a panel session at the Forrester CX Marketing event in Sydney, several CX leaders explored how innovation is now playing an integral part in their daily roles and activities.

“Every second of my day is about innovation,” Kimberly-Clark Professional’s Asia-Pacific integrated commercial program manager, Lauraine Worthington, said. “Whether it’s focused internally, or externally for our customers, my job is to drive customer experience and product innovation. Every element of our business is relying on that to occur for us to be the market leader. So I’m 100 per cent committed to innovation in everything I do.”

In a B2B world, Worthington admits budgets are small, but innovation takes a large portion of that.

“Because that is how we differentiate ourselves in the marketplace, we make it a priority in our budget,” she added.

IAG’s general manager of customer experience and marketing, Jill Baptist, said the innovation team, digital labs, customer labs and people across the organisation are always coming up with ideas.

“The challenge is coping with demand and prioritising,” she said. “It’s all about supporting and embedding new ideas to ensure our investment in innovation pays off.

“We believe it’s important to support innovation everywhere, especially when a business is going through rapid changes. But at the same time, one of our challenges has been consensus in decision making, which comes as a result of managing risk. We’re focusing more on being agile as a culture and having quite tough conversations to make more focused decisions.”

SingPost Commerce’s VP of global strategy, Timothy Lee doesn’t look at what others are doing for inspiration, but what others are not doing.

“I tend to look for the opposite,” he said. “Take the Ubers of the world: They are looking to fill that missing piece. This industry will look vastly different 20 years from now and it’s my job to figure out how to adapt to change.”

At SingPost Commerce, Lee’s part of the organisation has adopted more of a startup mindset, complete with a separate building, equity as the main driver for compensation and goals to get additional funding from the company’s corporate parent.

“The other part of our organisation that does CX is our main business and that team works closely with Forrester and a few other trusted partners in terms of customer journey mapping, so it’s really balanced it out,” he explained. “Structurally, we felt this way we could give autonomy to the startup group in order to make decisions quickly.”

Innovation versus improvement

One of the questions raised during the session was whether innovation is disruptive. For Baptist, there’s a difference between innovation and improvement, but it’s all about coming up with great concepts to enhance the customer experience.

“For instance in insurance, we have vast amounts of information and data available, and recently we made some data available to customers looking at insurance within their areas, which they found very useful and we had some great feedback as a result,” she said.

Collaboration with customers is also key when coming up with innovative concepts, Baptist said.

“The whole concept behind our recent initiative wasn’t to hold onto all our information and have some sort of power, but to share that information with our customers in an altruistic and collaborative way,” she said. “We’re also big fans of design thinking and see it as a core capability.”

At Kimberley-Clark, product innovation is at the top of the agenda, Worthington said.

“We understand our customer needs and we absolutely design for them,” she said. “Where we’re going now with customer experience is commercial innovation, talking to them and really doing a value exchange. This enables customers to be more successful, which allows us to be more successful. That’s where we’re trying to invest our energy.”

But it’s also important to align your ideas with your business, otherwise you could get too distracted and lose focus, Worthington said.

“We also have a few to help us align with strategic business planning and customer journey mapping,” she said. “I think we have more tools in our business than we know what to do with and we don’t always have the right people to use them. So while we know where we want to go, we sometimes don’t get there fast enough.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Creating the ultimate customer-centric environment in 2018

All businesses today that are serious about being successful have adopted a customer-centric environment.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Embrace customer obsession to transform marketing into a catalyst for growth

In 2018, Forrester believes 20 per cent of CEOs globally will fail to act on digital transformation and put their firms at risk.

Michael Barnes

VP research director, Forrester

How challenger brands can win at biddable media

Challenger brands, especially in highly competitive markets, generally can’t match established players for media spend.

Chris Pittham

Managing director, Jaywing

While a lot has been said about AI and machine learning, I don't see it put to extensive use as yet. I will be happy to have it help the ...

Atul Dhakappa

Predictions: 8 digital marketing trends for 2018

Read more

Wowww! What A Awsome Blog! Thanks for this wonderful post I really got many valuable information through it. As a learner it's not so eas...

Mia Joseph

Predictions: 8 digital marketing trends for 2018

Read more

What you have said about AI, machine learning and voice activation is very true. Some of the other things we are already observing is the...

Atul Dhakappa

Predictions: 8 digital marketing trends for 2018

Read more

Yes, Digital Marketing now getting growth at the higher level. we can't predict today trends in the digital world. Nice stuff! Thanks for...

lorenso

Predictions: 8 digital marketing trends for 2018

Read more

I believe Digital Marketing is moving more toward social media and influential marketing. People are trying to grow their influence as in...

Rachel Kieran

Predictions: 8 digital marketing trends for 2018

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in