Des Cahill, VP and Head CX Evangelist at Oracle, sits down with CX influencer Mark Fidelman to answer the question: Why is customer experience so important?
Des shares the impact of meeting customer expectations on brands’ bottom lines, the trend of CEOs investing in customer experience technology, and the emerging role of Chief Customer Experience Officer.
Mark Fidelman: So, I’m really interested in your take on the customer experience and why it’s so important to companies today.
Des Cahill: Well, Mark, that’s a great question. We’re in the era of the empowered customer. Customers today are empowered by technology, social, mobile, and cloud technologies, and we all have expectations that are created by our everyday interactions with brands. Customers who aren’t getting the experiences they want from brand A are going to move to brand B or brand C.
Research shows that companies that are serving their customers better by delivering seamless, connected, and personalized interactions are actually performing better in the S&P 500 and the stock market, and are also delivering better results to the bottom line.
Mark Fidelman: So, what’s the conversation like at the board room?
Des Cahill: CEOs are very cognizant of not wanting to have a “Kodak moment”, so to speak, or be “Uberized”. There was Gartner research that came out — they interviewed CEOs around the globe and they asked them, “What are your top technology investment areas?” The results were customer experience management, digital marketing.
In fact, we’ve seen that 4,500 organizations around the globe have appointed a Chief Customer Experience Officer that is reporting directly to the CEO or one level down.
Mark Fidelman: What are some of the barriers that organizations are coming across in order to make this transformation from maybe an average customer experience company to best-in-class?
Des Cahill: Many organizations have a very complex set of legacy, on premise, or point solution cloud offerings that they’ve cobbled together and this is creating silos of CRM data. So, they know you, Mark, but service knows you one way, and in the same company sales knows you another way, and marketing knows you another way. The business doesn’t have a complete view of you as a customer.
A lot of these organizations are looking to re-platform, if you will, and go to a platform that can enable them to move to the cloud where the pace of innovation is faster, and these systems are already connected so they can provide these connected experiences.
Mark Fidelman: Are there any shortcuts to getting there quicker?
Des Cahill: I think it’s moving to a platform that is a cloud platform. At Oracle, we’ve got 6,000 customers around the globe that are using our Oracle CX Cloud Suite to deliver connected experiences. Our software spans the gamut from marketing, sales, service, commerce, social, CPQ — and all of these systems are connected together. So, whether an organization’s deploying one part of our suite or two parts of our suite, or they’re making a transformation deploying it all, they can take a phased way of uniting their data together.
Of course, Oracle’s also a data company so we’re excellent at connecting data together, augmenting, analyzing, segmenting, and keeping that data secure.
Mark Fidelman: Can you speak to any examples out there in the CX journey?
Des Cahill: Absolutely. One of my favorite customer examples is Denon and Marantz. They’re a high-end audio brand that’s been around for a hundred years. The business of music delivery has obviously changed tremendously in the last 20 years, in the last 10 years, in the last five years. Denon has had to transform their business model and their products along with that.
So, they’re using our Oracle CX Cloud Suite to help them with that transformation. One of the things they’re doing is that they’re embedding our internet of things (IoT) technology into every device they sell. They’re using that technology to get a better understanding of their customer. They know that the average Denon customer has 2.2 devices. They know where those customers live. They know who their most loyal customers are — they have more devices. They are able to proactively understand when a device may fail and they are actually shipping out replacement devices before they fail.
They’re getting greater intelligence on how their customers are using their devices, and they’re delighting their customers with proactive customer service.
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This transcript may be edited for readability.