Olympic Parallels – The Future of the Customer Experience

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Olympic Parallels – The Future of the Customer Experience

The 22nd Winter Olympics opened Friday, February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. This year’s games features 2,900 athletes from 87 countries. Forty thousand people had the opportunity to watch the Opening Ceremony live, while 31.7 million watched the time delayed coverage in the U.S.A. on NBC alone.Millions more around the world will tune in over the course of the next two weeks to cheer on the athletes representing their home countries. This is an exciting time! For any country involved, the Olympics evoke a deep sense of pride for those competing or watching. It truly is a display of the best of the best athletes in winter sports, either working together on a team, or finding a way by themselves, to achieve their ultimate goals.

This theme of working to be the best you can be to achieve your goals is one that also resonated from last week’s Customer Response Summit in San Diego. The event, hosted by Execs in the Know, ran February 3rd to 5th and had over 200 attendees and top keynote speakers from brands like Nintendo, Sony, and Porsche. The interactive, thought-provoking show focused on themes such as using VoC data, customer mapping, mobile, multichannel, and omnichannel, but above all – how to prepare for the customer of the future.

One of the main messages that we took away from CRS is to strive to be the best. Numerous speakers touched on the idea, including the opening keynote speaker, Tom Weiland, Vice President of Global Customer Service at Amazon. Of course it is important to develop a multichannel/omnichannel strategy and to use VoC data to make adjustments to service accordingly. However, data alone will not give a complete picture of your organization. Before you can act on your findings, it is important to have the right people in place. Just like our Olympic athletes, there are certain skill sets and cultural traits suited for each role on your team – search out the best of the best. Once you filter and train the right people, and put them in a position to succeed under the right leaders and with the best technology, you can then start to focus on using daily metrics, root cause analysis, and any extra insight to improve service and strengthen strategy.

What works for one brand, may not work for another, and instead of constantly comparing ourselves to competitors, we should be focusing on what we can do internally to strengthen our organizations. Empower and trust employees; let them own their roles. Enforce the right principles and foster a positive environment; encourage everyone in the company to be passionate and really live and breathe the brand. Finally, listen to your customers and innovate accordingly.

The Olympic motto is made up of three Latin words, Citius- Altius – Fortius, which means Faster- Higher-Stronger. In order to achieve our goals faster, reach higher, and have a stronger business we need to be able to trust in our teammates. It’s important to empower our contact center agents so they can perform at the highest level. Let them know what an important role they play! Just as we all have pride for our countries and the athletes representing our countries at the Olympic games, we need to be proud of our brands and everything they represent – services, products, employees- and strive to ensure our customers feel the same way.

Perhaps the future of customer experience is not the latest greatest technology, but to rely on the experiences and skills of our internal organizations. To anticipate customer needs, by being present and connected, through an authentic customer experience.

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