What do blood and groceries have in common? Turns out, quite a bit.
I recently had the opportunity to sit in on a media roundtable hosted by Oracle during their 2017 Modern Business Experience (MBX) Conference in Sydney. Among the minds at the table were Janine Wilson, Executive Director Donor Services at Red Cross Australia and Melissa Ross, Head of Digital Experience at Coles Group. Both women shared some incredible insights as well as challenges and experiences moving their organisations along the digital highway all in an effort to improve the customer experience (CX). These are two great organisational examples of not-for-profit and for-profit CX work. Yet even for these highly recognised Australian organisations, navigating a digital roadmap isn’t an easy thing considering the rate of change of today’s technology and the evolving nature of the available channels. But cloud is proving to be the one enabler business can’t live without.
According to Zach Nelson, Executive Vice President Cloud Strategy at Oracle, cloud is the last computing architecture. If you’re not in the cloud or moving toward it, you’re essentially dooming your business. This was one of the major take away messages from his keynote address at the start of the day. Coles and Red Cross are two organisations that have recognised the need to make this transition and both are moving rapidly to leverage cloud technologies that will enable better, simpler experiences and outcomes for customers. For Coles, in this regard, Melissa Ross acknowledged that "we're running our own race."
As we’ve learned at Fifth Quadrant, through our consulting work and a lot of supporting research, customers want ‘simple’. They want to get from A to Z with the greatest of ease and don’t care what internal issues you have to deal with from B to Y. Let’s face it, there’s nothing more infuriating than being given a long excuse over the phone by an agent about what broke internally to cause you so much frustration.
Coles and Red Cross are two great examples of modern organisations that have taken the time to journey map their customers to understand the pain points experienced across business units and locations. The process of journey mapping isn’t easy and isn’t a one-off task. With new channels being introduced and refinements occurring almost daily, mapping is the key. You are truly running your own race!
Beware the glare!
However, installing and flipping the switch on a bunch of shiny new tech platforms alone will not bring you omni-channel success. As Melissa explains, there are roughly 110,000 employees working nation-wide at Coles and the company philosophy is simply: "everyone owns the customer and everyone is responsible."
A top down approach of weaving CX into an organisation’s DNA is the only way to achieve bottom line success. Period.
There’s a ways to go.
If you’re just beginning you’re journey into digital or you’re well on your way to introducing and refining channels, you’re in a good position to begin leveraging the data you’re gathering. Even the nations biggest organisations are working through the muck. When asked about what she’s learned during Coles digital journey, Melissa said simply, “nobody has got it perfect.”
Janine also admitted that Red Cross is still on the journey. Red Cross Australia is using Oracle Service Cloud and Janine explained that the intent was to implement the use of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform which they've come to refer to as a DRM (Donor Relationship Management). Prior to cloud, Red Cross once relied on spreadsheets. Using Oracle Service Cloud they now have a 360 degree view of the customer. Nurses at clinics across the country can access data on a donor instantly to deliver a better overall experience from wishing someone a happy birthday to uncovering greater detail about past donations and preferences. Further to this, Red Cross is in a much better position to track national and local trends by leveraging timely and relevant data to better meet blood demands by hospitals.
A Marathon with No Finish Line
For Red Cross and Coles, both of these Australian organisations have set out on a digital marathon that will never be complete. Nor should the journey ever end. Refining the omni-channel is an ongoing venture. If anything has been proven by being customer centric, it’s that CX focused organisations are winning and will continue to out perform those who haven’t bothered to embark on the journey.