After attendees at LiNC Local Sydney enjoyed a hearty lunch, it was time to round out the afternoon with a few breakout sessions designed to provide a deeper dive into what it means to deliver great digital customer experiences. Track A was unique in that it was less about Lithium doing the talking and more about putting a spotlight on our super star customers in Australia and underscoring something we already know to be true: that companies leading the charge on digital customer experience regularly outperform the general market.
In Part One, entitled “Digital CX is the New Playing Field,” Lithium’sDenise Jack led a spirited panel discussion with AGL’s Liam Woods,ATO’s (Australian Taxation Office) Liz Bott, and Optus’ Nadia Hudson about how they are leveraging Lithium’s products along with data and insights to help create better digital experiences for their customers – especially in this day and age when 89 percent of companies say they expect to compete on the basis of customer experience (versus 36 percent merely four years ago!).
For AGL, the biggest hurdle was securing stakeholder support internally, as many internal teams – including Marketing – didn’t understand the value of building an online community or creating a more robust social customer service program. However, once Woods was able to share call deflection metrics, people started to catch on. The truth, said Woods, is that “selling energy to 3 million retail customers in Australia is no easy task. Customer tolerance for BS – aka, a subpar experience – is really low.” They knew that customers wanted an easier way to manage their energy, so AGL created a customer-, data-, and experience-led strategy that made it possible for “customers to do what they want to do in the channels they’re already in,” further signifying how digital is quickly becoming a way for AGL to win and compete in the digital marketplace.
The situation was a bit different for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The team there, as Bott put it, is on a “reinvention journey,” identifying user needs, pain points, and making digital customer experience a primary focus. “Understanding how the entire customer experience ecosystem plays together is still a bit of a challenge,” said Bott, “but what we know is that we need to make that experience as easy as possible for customers.” What makes ATO’s case unique is that no one really wants to deal with the taxation office. So, a big part of the digital strategy here was to use social as a form of education in the hopes that it could “create behavioral change.” The ATO’s recently launched community (in beta) will help do just that – and create, by default, a “feedback loop where customers can come in and help us learn how to make the experience better.”
For Optus, a brand that’s quickly shifting its positioning from simply being a telco to a multimedia-led telecommunications company, the focus has been on “personalizing the digital customer experience and making it seamless from start to finish.” To do that, according to Hudson, “it’s important to connect the experience to insights...everyone’s going on social, so how do brands have to evolve to meet that demand?” (And don’t try to argue with Optus on this point as a whopping 85 percent of their social customer service traffic now comes from Facebook Messenger!) Content, informed by data and insights, has also played a big part in the success of Optus’ digital customer experience efforts. “The blog has really helped human the brand’s content and messaging,” which has, in turn, created a more useful and relevant experience for customers.
Then, shifting gears slightly, in Part Two, entitled “The Future of Social Media Management,” Lithium’s VP of Product Marketing, Leslie Jordan was joined by Lithium’s Meg Hahn and Woolworth’s Stephan Arnold to discuss the growing importance of social customer service. In an era when 92 percent of customers say they’ll stick with a brand that resolves their issues in the first attempt, it’s becoming increasingly important for brands to figure out how to do that effectively. In fact, 89 percent of marketers want to understand the ROI of social service while 91 percent are keen to understand what social tactics are the most effective for engaging with their audiences.
The reality is that “flipping a customer [into a loyal or buying customer] doesn’t happen overnight,” said Arnold. “Social can slightly nudge customers, but there are a lot of steps that happen in between to drive a sale; it’s about changing perceptions over time to reach a desired result.” To accomplish this, it’s important to break down the siloes and open up the lines of communication between internal teams. According to Arnold, “social engagement tools are helping to facilitate those conversations.”
That’s precisely why Lithium recently made enhancements to itsSocial Media Management platform. “It’s important to know what people are talking about or saying about your brand before developing a marketing strategy,” said Jordan. “Bringing listening into the Lithium platform will help brands do this effectively.” Just one way Lithium is helping brands get un-stuck from “broadcast mode” and shift their attention towards engaging customers in a more meaningful and relevant way.
A lot more was discussed, but, unfortunately, too much to cover here. Learn more about our super star customers in Australia and get more information on how you can take your transform the digital customer experience with the Lithium Engagement Platform today.
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