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#CEMAfrica2017: ‘Remember that I'm human' - your customer

There is an organisational shift taking place in the customer experience industry, where traditional siloed structures are breaking down to enable a culture of customer-centricity. This trend was unpacked by Joe Fuster, global head of CX Cloud at Oracle, at the 6th annual Customer Experience Management Summit in Cape Town last week.
Joe Fuster
The key to this is the “micro-moment” world we inhabit, where customer service is full of moving parts with a different customer experience every time, for a customer. Each one of those is a micro-moment.

This presents infinite possibilities or infinite paths to engage the customer, Fuster said. “Today’s customer expectation is immediate, seamless and personalised interaction with services, from brands to government.”

Being human


This required a new customer experience, including simplification, innovation and delivery.

“Humanised data is at the core. Big data as a topic dehumanises all of us. I am not a number. You are not a number. People are all of these things, all of the digital exhaust that everyone leaves all around us… this enormous data gets created and I wonder, how am I being dehumanised? I don’t mind giving you my digits, but remember that I’m human.”

This was the key point, he reiterated: your customer wants you to remember that they are human. “Augmented reality and virtual reality mean that new customer touch points are emerging. But regardless of all the big data, where I am face-to-face with your representative, it has to be about being human.”

The big challenge was, of course, for companies to be able to move from reactive to proactive customer service. “How are organisations changing in order to break down the silos and become customer-centric?

Disruption or transformation?


As far as Fuster is concerned, we are all being disruptive in this new digital world. “We’re always spinning. Some disrupt, some don’t and go away. Disrupters seem to be first in, but transformers seem to stick around and stay in business longer.”

He illustrated his point with the ‘disrupt, innovate, reinvention cycle’ that Walmart and Amazon seem to be in, with Amazon first disrupting the retail industry via ecommerce in  1999/2000. When Walmart added a website to their stores the first time, it was a colossal failure, and they only got it right the third time when they went to the best ecommerce people and opened up Walmart.com as a separate business model and a different brand.

Amazon didn’t sit still, and introduced Amazon Prime with free delivery. So Walmart bought Jet.com, creating a third business model. Most recently, Amazon has entered the bricks and mortar fray, buying Whole Foods, and Walmart responded by purchasing clothing retailer, Bonobos.

“The innovators and the disruptors keep chasing each other,” Fuster recounted.

Before ending off his presentation, Fuster reported that Coca-Cola has just got rid of their Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) role and replaced it with a ‘Chief Growth Officer’.

“It has to be all about growth,” says Fuster.

About Louise Marsland

Louise Marsland is currently Africa Editor: Bizcommunity.com; a Content Strategist and Trainer; and Trend Curator for Bizcommunity.com and her own TRENDAFRiCA.co.za. She has been writing about the media, marketing and advertising communications industry in South Africa for over 20 years, notably, as the previous Editor of Bizcommunity.com Media & Marketing; Editor-in-Chief AdVantage magazine; Editor Marketing Mix magazine; Editor Progressive Retailing magazine; Editor Business Brief magazine and Editor FMCG Files ezine.
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