1. What is specific for East African consumer behavior?
East African consumer behavior is very fast evolving. We are today dealing with more discerning and demanding customers. The customer awareness advocacy groups are alive and customers are cognizant of their rights, so the behavior today is not just shaped by price and product but also by the all-round experience.
2. Can you give us a sneak peek into your presentation?
My presentation will really be on getting down to the basics: understanding the current environment and choosing the right model in servicing the customer. It seeks to demystify customer experience and bring candid conversations around the customer to the table.
3. Nowadays everyone talks about social media, digital and the importance of omni-channel communication. What do you see as the biggest trend?
The biggest thing I see is empowering the customer. Period. The rest are channels of delivery. I see the customer defining their own products, co-developing with organizations and self-serving on the same level. Brick and mortar models will diminish as customers self serve with the technology of the day.
4. Big data is a big deal. It helps to shape customer experience strategy and respond to the voice of the customer effectively. How can companies use it to their benefit?
Data is only as good as an organization’s appetite to use it and use it intelligently. You can get any data you want on your customer and there are intelligent solutions. The question is whether your business strategy is aligned towards the use and maximization of this data. Companies should dedicate time and resources to analyze the information at hand so as to make intelligent decisions around the customer.
5. You will be speaking at our Customer Experience Management conference. What other session or activity from your fellow speakers are you most looking forward to?
I am looking forward to all the great speakers lined up and great subject matter to be addressed. In particular, the panel discussions should be very insightful if not exciting. The subject of turning customers into brand ambassadors is also close to my heart as ultimately this is what every business wants to achieve.
6. One "personal" question - What have been the best and worst experiences you've had with a business as a customer?
The best experience was with a restaurant that made a bad situation really good through their recovery process and continued to delight other customers even a day after, based on the experience they had with me. What was inspiring was the fact that it was the junior employees who took the impetus to delight. No manager or supervisor was involved.
The worst was an airline which made me feel like a terror suspect due to their operational inefficiencies, lack of communication and total breakdown in their service model. The case is very recent and under review by their management (almost similar to the United Airlines case, without the dragging and kicking).
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