In one of our latest blogs, we had talked that Africa started to adopt digitalization quite late compared to developed economies around the world.
We got reminded of this fact in the recently concluded Customer Experience Management East Africa summit in Kenya, where it was repeatedly stated that Kenya would invest on social media as a channel. Perhaps - much faster than some other markets in the west, because of its penetration!
This can substantiated by the actuality that around 85% of the entire internet traffic in Kenya was present on Facebook in March 2017, and in June – the internet traffic on Twitter in Kenya rose above 6%.
The Customer Experience Management East Africa summit this year spanned over 3 days and included over 15 presentations.
Social media has already achieved deep penetration in Kenya and Africa and large, and this trend is only going to intensify in the times to come. Since social media and other new channels of interaction is going to gain traction in this region, it is safe to say that customer experience or rather upping its ante is going to be of paramount importance for businesses. This increased focus on customer experience is pretty evident from the number of people who have a job title around this term, and a seat at the management table. A quick glance at LinkedIn profiles in Africa will ensure this belief!
But, are CEO’s and the Management Game?
Consumers have largely moved to new mediums of interaction in Kenya such as social media, chat, mobile, etc. However, businesses are lagging behind to address issues raised on these mediums. This was one of the clearest challenges that were observed in the summit, as stated by experienced Management Consultant – Lucy Kiruthu at the event.
She posed a serious question - How many believe that CX is the top agenda in CEOs mind?
If the present outlook of the management is anything to go by, Kenya and Africa needs to do a lot to meet customer expectations and thereafter, improve customer experience.
“Customers need to be at the epicentre of customer experience strategy of any firm,” Lucy added in her statement.
She also spoke widely on the importance of aligning key departments to work in synchronized manner for a uniform customer experience across all touch points, and achieving consistent customer experience across all channels.
However, in a world that is dictated by ROI and revenue from each and every project and initiative, the cynicism of CEOs and management of African businesses with CX is not entirely misplaced. Business leaders need hard facts to gain conviction in any idea, and ultimately invest in it.
Which bring us to...
How to Pitch a CX Project to C-suite?
This seemed to a burning topic at the Customer Experience Management East Africa summit, as many speakers stressed on its imminent importance.
Head of Customer Experience at KCB Group – Job Njiru emphasised on the enhanced use of data and supporting information that all points to CX and its direct relation to ROI. “Align the organization for support, and balance the cost of exceeding CX vs. impacted profit. Measure the cost of serving the customer across all channels, invest in areas that improve on the customer journey,” said Njiru.
He also stated that failed customer expectations and/or exceeding customer expectations, will impact a company’s bottom line. Therefore, it is pertinent to calculate ROI from the investments made towards customer experience.
Seema Dhanani DeSouza, Head of Customer Experience, Kenya, Commercial Bank of Africa, also comprehensibly reverberated this conviction and asked to align CRM to core business strategies, create customer value propositions, thereby building a holistic CRM philosophy.
She spoke that CX leaders should show CEOs what it means if businesses don’t have a CRM in present times, and how it could severely impact a brand.
CX Evangelist and Co-founder of Ameyo – Sachin Bhatia, was present at the summit as a keynote speaker where he spoke broadly on the impending importance of going beyond KPIs, and what it takes to deliver awe-inspiring customer experience.