​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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Craig Davis

​Leadership resilience, startups scaling up, marketing best practices, customer insights - these are just a few of the topics we manage to explore in the latest episode of Conversations over a Cuppa with CMO featuring Craig Davis.

More Videos

This article gave me a better understanding about content creation. I learned a lot like this website https://a2designlab.com/ also offer...

Ryota Miyagi

How Remedy is using digital marketing and commerce to drive conversion

Read more

JP 54, D2, and D6 EN590,JET A1 AVAILABLE ON FOB DIP AND TEST IN SELLER TANKWe Can supply Aviation Kerosene,Jet fuel (JP 54-A1,5), Diesel ...

Collins Johnson

Oath to fully acquire Yahoo7 from Seven West Media

Read more

JP54,D2, D6, JetA1 EN590Dear Buyer/ Buyer mandateWe currently have Available FOB Rotterdam/Houston for JP54,D2, D6, JetA1 with good and w...

Collins Johnson

3-pronged marketing approach for property disruptor Brickx

Read more

With a response rate of 80-90%, a well optimized chatbot is a must-have for every business. Check out this link to explore how you can en...

Drishti Khurana

How NRMA’s Arlo the Koala chatbot won over customers

Read more

Hey, With a response rate of 80-90%, a well optimized chatbot is a must-have for every business. Check out this link to explore how you c...

Drishti Khurana

7 innovative brand chatbots

Read more

Blog Posts

Life beyond the cookie: 5 steps to mapping the future of marketing measurement

​There’s no denying there’s been a whirlwind of response to the imminent demise of the third-party cookie from all parts of the industry. But as we’ve collectively come to better understand the implications, it’s clear this change is giving the digital advertising industry the opportunity to re-think digital marketing to support core industry use cases, while balancing consumer privacy.

Natalie Stanbury

Director of research, IAB Australia

Ensuring post-crisis success

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed brands’ CX shortcomings and a lack of customer understanding. Given ongoing disruption, customer needs, wants and expectations are continually changing, also causing customers to behave in different ways. Just look at hoarding toilet paper, staple and canned food, medicinal and cleaning products.

Riccardo Pasto

senior analyst, Forrester

A few behavioural economics lesson to get your brand on top of the travel list

Understanding the core principles of Behavioural Economics will give players in the travel industry a major competitive advantage when restrictions lift and travellers begin to book again. And there are a few insights in here for the rest of the marketing community, too.

Dan Monheit

Co-founder, Hardhat

Sign in