Ep 2: Inside CX by Lumoa – Democratisation of CX and the Importance of Diversity

Highlights

Is CX something that everyone in an organization should care about?

I think the sooner you can create a customer-centric culture, the better. I truly believe that every company should have a chief customer officer or at least the head of customer experience – somebody in the top management that is responsible for it.

It has to be a person willing to, without compromise, talk for customers’ case, wear the customer hat, and be the customer’s ally around the table when you discuss product development, strategy, cutting costs. You always have to see what consequences the decisions you make from the customer’s perspective.

What are the benefits of having a more diverse customer experience?

  • Empowers your employees
  • Attract more customers
  • Able to create an emotional relationship with your customers

How do you create a more diverse customer experience?
It starts from within. I think we need to be more aware of the diversity within our teams and our organization. Be more conscious about hiring people with different backgrounds, and dare to be different.

Our Guest

Merete Medle | Customer experience manager at ICE Norway

  • Experienced CX practitioner with strong leadership and strategy skills.
  • Long track record with gathering insights and operationalizing improvements based on Voice of the Customer, establishing customer insight programs, and working strategically and operative with CX and customer journey management.
  • Passionate about diversity and people in general, with a strong commercial, growth, and digital mindset.
  • Operative chairwoman of the board and podcast host at Tvillingforeldreforeningen, ensuring best possible rights and opportunities for twin parents (and in the prolonging, the twins themselves) across Norway.

Episode Transcript

Sofia: Hello and welcome, everyone.

I’m Sofia Ohlson. I’m the host of Inside CX by Lumoa. Thanks for watching. Today we’re going to talk about democratizing customer experience and diversity in customer experience. 

Joining me in this episode, I have Merete Medle experienced CX practitioner, founder of NCXN, operative share woman, writer, and podcast host, welcome, Merete

Merete: Thank you so much. Thank you.

Sofia: So well, you do like a lot of things. And besides all this, you’re also a customer experience manager at ICE. And just for you who don’t know what ICE, it’s a big telecommunications company in Norway.

Merete: Yes, the third biggest in Norway. So yeah, we’re practically the challenger on the Norwegian mobile market.

Sofia: So how did you end up working in cx? Where did your journey start? Your cx practitioner? I assume you’re passionate about cx. So where did it all come from?

Merete: I mean, I guess I suppose I’m just a people person. So being a part of creating good experiences for people, in general, is something that I suppose gives me a lot.

But it all started back in the actually the restaurant bar and hotel business, you know, where you are close to the customer. And you realise that if you, if you don’t have a customer centric mindset, you’re never going to be able to create good experiences and this line of business good experiences is what you live from. 

So imagine running a hotel and I’m not focusing on good experience, then nobody would visit your hotel. So, you know, in this in this branch, it becomes pretty clearly that you have to take care of the customer. So, I was 19-20 years, I moved to Spain, I started working in a hotel there. I was running up the poolside bar for the first six months. And then I joined reception eventually. And when I came back to Norway, after that, I was working quite a few years in TGI Fridays in Bergen.

And, you know, just the combination of loving to talk to people and getting to know people and understand how people work and what it is that make them happy, you know, combined with the, you know, being the provider of this experience that they come to you for, for instance, a restaurant visit or.

Yeah, so I suppose it started there. And then just along my career, it’s always been important to me to have the customer and focus and keep in mind that no matter where you work, no matter what it is you do, it’s the customer that pays your bill and pays your, your salary, and you have to have focus on that. Otherwise, you’re gonna lose. And on top of that, it’s fun. It’s a lot of fun working with customer-centricity because, you know, at the end of the day, you’re you’re creating something you’re adding value for people.

Sofia: Right, right, exactly. So okay, you have your background in the restaurant and service, or whatever it’s called. And yeah, it’s true, it comes like very naturally from there, like, I’ve been myself working in the restaurant before. And it’s very, like, customer-centric, or you notice that it’s, it’s a big part of it all. And then I’ve learned also myself quite a bit from that.

Merete: I think, you know, I’ve done so many things, like you say, and but it all ends-up, I can always track it back to the things that I learned back then. It’s, you know, it’s in your nerves eventually, because it’s, it becomes part of who you are. And you learn stuff the hard way as well. And, you know, if you if you trip and fall and you and you drop a Fanta over a kid, which I actually did, you know, you’re gonna learn from that. It’s not a customer, you know, on the other side of the phone or, or behind the screen, but it’s actually in your face, and you have to deal with it, which makes you very aware of what’s good customer experience and what’s not. Obviously, losing a cup of Fanta in a kid’s lap is not a good customer experience, at least not for the parents, but luckily, it all turned out well.

Sofia: That’s good. That’s good. Stuff like that happens. So as I briefly mentioned in the beginning, we’re going to talk about democratizing customer experience and diversity in customer experience. And many of you have probably heard about the term democratizing customer experience, which is a topic regarding like the responsibility of customer experience, should it be spread out within the organization? Should everybody care about customer experience? Or should it be more focused to a team or department or a specific person who is responsible for it and held accountable for it? 

What are your thoughts Merete on this? How should you look at CX management in an organisation? Is it something that everybody should care about? 

Merete: Yeah, I mean, it is a difficult question, because I think the answer varies regarding who you talk to, right. So obviously, a lot of people will probably recognize themselves as the person in the corner of the organization, maybe responsible for the NPS measurements, trying to have everyone else be customer-centric.

And this is where it starts. For a lot of companies, you know, when it’s a good start, you hire a person to be in charge of what you call customer experience, or customer loyalty or, or customer relations. But then at some point, you realise that you’re only getting thus far, by rigging yourself this way. So at some point, if you want to mature within customer experience, you need to widen your horizon. 

And I think in today’s companies and in 2021, with all the digitalization that’s going on and and technology is evolving, I think the sooner you can become customer-centric, from an overall perspective, the better and I truly believe that every company should actually have a customer operating and chief customer officer or at least the head of customer experience, or somebody in what either the top management group or one of the top management groups being responsible for it.

And it’s, it’s not only to, to put it on the paper so to say but you have to, you actually have to be the person willing to, without compromise, talk to customers case, wear the customer hat, to be the customers ally around the table when you discuss product development,strategy, cutting costs, you know. You always have to see what consequences the decisions you make from a customer’s perspective. 

So applying the outside in way of thinking, which I think is really, really central and the way of working with customer experience. Obviously, it takes time, but at somepoint, you should reach this level where you have this one person, you may not have to have customer experience in your title, you can might as well be the commercial director or the chief operating officer. But at somepoint, you need to make the decision that the customer is going to sit by the table where decisions are being made. 

So yeah, I think a combination, depending on your maturity, but definitely you should have somebody work with gathering insights.I think this is one of the crucial parts of customer-centricity. So you definitely need I would say, a team, where you divide, you know, the, the assignments of gaining the insight, understanding it, analysing it, and then somebody needs to operationalize it into improvements, right.

Because the insight is valueless if you don’t do anything about it. So. So that’s like the minimum, you should you should have this one, two or three people who actually, it’s their job to think about what’s the consequences of the stuff that we do with regards to customer and also collect insight and analyse and see how are we developing? How are the customers receiving us as a company? How are they? You know, what’s the perception of us as a company out there, you need to keep track on that. So you definitely need a team. But at some point, I think it’s really important as a part of the strategy as well, if you want to succeed, because if it’s not, the effect is going to be only this big. 

Sofia: Exactly.

Yeah, I really like the way you said, like having being an ally with your customers like, so you’re sort of there, right? Like if I had one that represents your customers in the board, or whatever, when you’re making strategies, or creating strategies and thinking about future that you have one that represent the customers and have their voice.

Merete: very often you will find this person and I see myself in this role quite a lot. And this happens on a daily basis, I suppose that you will find yourself being the devil’s advocacy, like, you know, the advocate. So when people are saying, Yeah, we should do this product, and then you’ll be like, but what about the customer, like, if we do this, then that’s going to affect and then you have to rethink it, right? 

And then Okay, so now this is the plan, and then you’ll be like, Well, excuse me, but you know, if we think about the customer, so you will, at some point, you will also be maybe the party pooper in the company. But at the same time, it’s a really important party pooper role, because this is this is the way to ensure customer-centricity. And I’m not saying that the customer should always get, you know, the best solution for them. 

Because, you know, as a company, you also have to think about growth, and you need to be you know, you have to do things in a sustainable way. But you know, it’s a good start to at least consider the effect this will have on the customer. And if you still decide that you’re not going to go with the best customer most customer-centric solution, at least you’ve made a conscious choice about it, and you know what to expect. Maybe you should prepare for a little higher churn or, you know, so it gives you the ability to be, you know, you can predict a little bit more how consequences are going to be by from the decisions that you make.

Sofia: Exactly, yeah. So, like you also said like, that, at some point, customer experience should be a part of the strategy, be something not necessarily only handled, managed by a person or team, it should be something that the whole organization works or strives against. So to be able to do that, I guess, the top management or people working on a company needs to have some knowledge about CX, what it is and how important it actually is. 

How should organisation develop the knowledge about cx?

Merete: Actually, I think and I don’t intend to be blunt, but I don’t think you need so much competency about cx in general, because this is common sense. If you treat somebody nicely, they’re going to come back. It’s as easy as that. 

And my experience is that the more operational the resources are and the people in an organisation are, the more customer-centric they want to work. Now the problem kind of the problem arises when you need to start prioritising, right, are we going to do the stuff that creates the most value on a short term basis? Or are we going to make the decisions that’s going to create long-term value but it’s going to be You know, you’re not going to be able to see the results. So fast. 

So I think actually, management is the ones that has to be trained in the in the value of working in a customer-centric way. And they don’t even have to be trained. But they have to be reminded, I think, I think, and also we need to my opinion is that we’ve turned things around a little bit when we work, especially in growth company. So we want to start initiatives to increase revenue to reduce churn. But instead of focusing too much on the initiatives, and this is supposed to work, the customer-centric way of thinking comes in. So instead of focusing too much on the initiatives and the and the goals you want to reach, then we start thinking about what kind of experiences is it that we want to create.

Because if we design a great experience, and we strive to reach that, then all of these:reduce churn, increased revenue, those things are going to come almost automaticall. Obviously, you have to work better, and you need to twist and turn. But I think it’s really important to turn the focus around and focus on where you want to be and what kind of experiences that you want to provide, and not just focusing on the initiatives themselves. 

So that’s probably one of the main things that I’ve learned from working with this, across the years. And also, for management groups, it’s hard to prioritise because there are so many decision decisions to make. So I think it’s really important that the customer experience parts of the organisation is really good at proving return on investment, we need to become so much better at you know, showing to the results that we achieve when working customer-centric, we need to track, we need to measure, we need to evaluate.

Because so many times we fight so hard to get the fundings to do a customer centric initiative. So then we do it, and then afterwards, nothing happens. And we never prove the value of the investment that we made. So this is where cx ambassadors and practitioners needs to become, I think way better, we need to start focusing on also reporting on the stuff that we do, because otherwise we’re not going to be able to prove our track record, right. 

So myself I’ve been, yeah, this is something we work really hard within ICE now that we need to evaluate and track and prove that we’ve actually we have returned the investments of these initiatives that we’ve started. 

Sofia: Yeah, yeah, this is a challenge for I guess, many companies that are working with customer experiences. Many times, it’s really hard to, or it’s a challenge to track that or prove the return on investment on that and to get like concrete numbers out of it.

Merete: Yeah, I mean, a guy, he’s in the insurance business in Norway, and he works with customer experience. He once said, at the gathering that, you know, we report customer experience in rainbows and unicorns, you know. And it’s, it’s a little true, you know, we say that, we think that if we do this, then that many customers may not churn. So it’s hard, you know, to define the outcome. But this is why it’s so important that when you do an initiative to improve, then you track and you kind of measure the effect that it’s had afterward, because then you can use this case, kind of opened the door for the next one. 

Sofia: Exactly. Yeah.Yeah, that’s really, really good. Good point. So following up on that, how do you, as an organization (ICE) work to improve the customer experience? How are you managing this? Do you have any good examples? or? 

Merete: Yeah I mean, early on in ICE, this was before my time, but they did a huge strategy project where, first of all, they saw that in the market, there was a position for a company, you know, Telecom, as telecom operators are, we don’t have the best rumor, you know.

It’s no interest products, everyone has it, and it’s basically based on price a lot of the times you know, where can you get the cheapest subscription. And, and, obviously, to a certain level, coverage is important as well. 

So, but ICE did a strategy project and they realised that the customers and the market was actually ready for an operator who, who wanted to be the customers friend, you know, who wanted to not write things in the, in the contracts with the little letters, but you know, being open about this is what you get, this is who we are. 

So, so from this, from the early beginning, I think ICE had, the they saw that there would be a value in being this, this operator. And so this was back in 2016. And then obviously, the journey has taken us on various journeys to where we are today. But I think what’s most important today is that we, we work cross functionally with customer experience. We spend quite a lot of money on gaining insight both from the market but also from The customers themselves.

And it’s not just standard surveys, but we try to talk to them, we try to involve them. And we truly try to understand what it is that the customer need and want. So the customer experience line organisation consists of only two people, which is me and our cx analyst. So she is responsible for basically understanding how the customers are and you know, across the customer journey, Where does it hurt to be ICE customer, and where does it not. 

And then, together with a core team and the customer, we call it the customer experience stream. So we are a core team of six people. Where customer lifecycle management is represented, we have customer services, we have technology, we have digital sales and digital business development. So this is a core team of six, and we evaluate all insight and we define where the pain points are.

And then we have an extended part to this team that we call the extended customer experience stream, where we basically have a representative from every single corner of the organisation. So whenever a pain point indicates that now today, we need to talk to product,to fix this, or to see or analyse this problem and see how we can fix it, then we do have a person in product that’s kind of aware of their responsibility, and they will be invited to the to the customer experience core meeting, and we will discuss this exact pain point. 

So you know, depending on the size of the pain point, and depending on how complex it is, and what kind of resources you would need to solve it, we establish a task force, and that could consist of one person or 10, people depending on the size, and you know how big it is. And then these people work with this, together with their line, obviously, their line functionality. But since we’re cross functional, a lot of stuff happens just just by being able to sit down in the same room, the same team’s channel this time. 

So and also, this creates a pretty good and broad understanding of so everyone knows a little bit about how the customer journey is in ICE. So product knows what customer services are about, and customer services know what technology it’s about. So, you know, it’s also experience sharing and and this, you know, we get to know the organisation pretty well and understand the complexity of the issues that the customers experience. So crossfunctionality, I think, is the key together with insights.

Sofia: Yeah, to get the whole, like, full picture and overview of what the customer is actually going through as a whole. And, and it’s what, customer experience is about, like the summary of the whole experience as it is so so that makes a lot of sense.

Merete: No, I just I wanted to add that, I think, obviously, it’s important that you have an owner. So in ICE, I own the customer journey, it’s my main responsibility. Now, I can’t feel the customer journey with all its content, the line organizations have to do that, but I can define the framework of this is what it should be like for our ICE customer, information should be coherent, you know, across channels, we should same, say the same things, things like that. We should have the framework and somebody should own that. 

And also, somebody should own the customer. You know, if you don’t know who owns the customer, then you don’t know who owns the customer pain. So in ICE, it’s the customer experience department that kind of together with the customer lifecycle management, and the customer journey team, which is the team that we are all located in. We own the customer at ICE. So I think, you know, just as a, just having this define, I think is important.

Sofia: Yeah, exactly. To have somebody that is responsible and have the main responsibility of that stuff actually happens and then improve, and so on. 

Have you seen any like, so you started with, like, heavy focus on improving the customer experience back in 2016? If i understood it right. So it’s like, for four plus years? Have you seen any concrete results from this your initiatives that you’re done? Can you tell us something about that?

Merete: Yeah, I mean, obviously, we’re increasing every quarter we grow. So I think that’s maybe one of the biggest indications that we’re doing something right, because we become bigger each day. New customers choose us every day, even if we’re the third biggest, you know, among the three operators in Norway, we’re the third one building our own network. So, you know, it’s only three of us have our own network and we’re the newest with, you know, with the ”latest start” so to say.

Our network is a lot newer than the two other operators. So, you know, being in this position and but still gaining more customers constantly. That’s an indication that you know, the way we work is correct. And this, I mean, it’s not only the customer experience department who, obviously we work with churn and retention. And we believe we truly believe that if you create a good customer experience, this is a part of working with churn. So churn is not something you do at the end of when the customer is notifying you that they might leave. 

We think it’s too late, then obviously, we do have attention activities as well. But we focus on, you know, being upfront and being more proactive. So we don’t always do things, right. But I think just having this mentality and wanting to work this way, helps us do that as much as possible, at least.

And also, you know, we see our customer service, when prices, we develop disruptive products, we were the first operator in Norway with a free subscription for children, for instance. We were the first company in Norway who allowed data rollover, so what you didn’t spend one month, you actually got to roll over to the next. Nobody did that. 

So two days after I think it was, the others copied it, but still, we were first. So you know, we’ve shown that we’re willing to be the company that puts the customers first, in quite a few examples. And then obviously, we have made decisions as well, that may have not been too popular amongst our customers, but at least you know, we try to learn from every mistake we do. And I think there isn’t a single part and the organisation and is now that doesn’t talk about or think about the customer when making decisions.

And like I said, there are cases where we can’t put the customer first there and then, but at least I think we’re very aware of what what consequences that will have. If we don’t so yeah, this is obviously we measure NPS, and we have a positive trend, you know that for the last two years that we’ve done it, you know, properly because these things take time to establish an NPS programme, it’s going to take time to have a stable measurement, but you know, the trend is positive. And we get feedback, we measure it, we use it, and we we try, you know, as best we can to share it with the whole organisation. And also, you know, let the organisation know what the CX stream is about, what is it? We do? How are we working? You know, we try to talk a lot about it.

And

so, slowly, slowly working progress. Yeah.

Sofia: it seems really like you have been able to create a real customer-centric culture that you have the culture in place, and you have that foundation, and then from there, you can like build up and improve your customer experience. And as you said, it’s something it’s a progress or process, it takes time. But most importantly is that you have the culture and the customer in mind.

Merete: And I think this is we need to do like a send, send a big, huge thank you to our, we have, other companies call it HR, we call it DNA and I so we have a DNA department and they are really conscious about us being the customer company as well. 

So in every recruitment process, and in every interview that you do with ICE, you’re going to hear one of the first things you’re going to hear when you get to know us is you know we value the customer. And it’s to a point where sometimes it can actually become a little like a comic because we talk so much about the customer. 

But I think you know, you can’t repeat this enough times. And this is I suppose we are very conscious about the customer and ICE is also full of very good people like we are great people, there is so many good people with so many good values, I think so. I think it’s also about being a value driven company wanting to create a difference.

Sofia: Exactly.

So moving on, let’s go to the other topic, diversity in customer experience. It’s something that is sort of trending right now or really hot. And it would be great. If you could explain what does it mean with diversity, customer experience? What is that? 

Merete: Yeah, so, um, I, my wife works with diversity. And she is in HR. And one of her main responsibilities is diversity and inclusion. So we talked about this a lot at home. And obviously, I’m affected by the discussions and I really, I really care about diversity, you know, in a general perspective.

And then I started thinking, why are we not working more with diversity within customer experience, because you know, we are creating these customer journeys, we’re defining these experiences that we want our customers to have. But at some point we forget that our customer isn’t just this one persona, with this one skin colour or you know, sexuality, religion or his type of lifestyle.

This is the whole shebang, you know, out there, and we cannot fool ourselves and think for a second that by communicating this way, everyone is gonna like us, you know? And then you can ask the question, is it? Is it. Are we supposed to be liked by everyone? I don’t think we should. But I think you know, wanting to be the customer company, you should at least be aware of, you know, what is that you say? When do you say it? Is there a holiday that you need to, you know, take into consideration? 

We have Easter coming up, you know, should we only communicate Easter and Christmas and the traditional Nordic holidays? Should you be aware of St. Patrick’s Day, that was yesterday? You know, there’s so many things to take into consideration. And, and it seems nobody, well, I’m not gonna say nobody thought about it, because I think probably a lot of people did. But how can we start being more diverse in our customer experience way of working working? 

And how far Should we take it? You know, should we should we make a statement in every single holiday there is just to make sure that we don’t offend anyone? Or, you know, I think we need to think about having a strategy around these things, and also have in mind, who are our customers? And can we personalise communication and customer journeys, based on who they are, and not just what they want, but what they actually need and prefer from us. 

We provide them with, you know, the most important gadget in our lives probably at the moment. So we should be aware of this. And I don’t know how yet, because I haven’t thought about it long enough. But you know, this is a process. And that’s, you know, been going on just maybe the last year, but I think there’s, again, you know, it’s a lot to gain for us, because we will be able to create a relationship to our customers and create value. So this is good for us. 

But also, we could help people, you know, in their everyday life by, you know, adjusting to their needs and their interests. So I don’t have all the answers. But I think it’s really interesting, because when you start thinking about it, we communicate so so it kind of non-diverse.

Sofia: Yeah, exactly. I think this is a really interesting topic. I said, I haven’t myself thought about this, too much, I until now, I did some research for this interview, reading some more about it, I think it’s in the in the current time we live in, it’s very, very important. As you said, we usually businesses or organizations, they have their buyer personas or personas that they have identified and after that they make their communications and whatever, but it’s not actually that easy. It’s not actually maybe how it looks like, as you said, your customer base is much wider and broader than that.

Merete: Yeah. So, you know, from, from a perspective, the perspective of communication as well. Should we, we have a lot, you know, we have a lot of immigrants in Norway. I mean, it’s we don’t have to go that far back when Norway was for Norwegians, you know, this is different, like we’re all New York by now. It’s, it’s so diverse out there. So should we start presenting our commercials in Polish and English and you know, all these different languages that we know are represented within our both local and national communities?

Why should it you know, should we need to think about these things? And language is one thing and then, you know, who are we using when we create commercials? Are we using like white, young, pale people with blonde hair the typical Nordic or are we actually presenting our diverse customer base in within our commercials as well? How do we talk? How do we, which references do we use all of these things? I think at some point, we need to start considering how do we want to approach this.

Now, in June month, everyone, it seems it’s become a pretty big hype, you know, to marksolidarity with the pride movement, right. So and this is also a really important question because you have the, you have the, the term pinkwashing which basically means company trying to profit on that pride movement. So by changing your logo to the rainbow colours, you know, a company with think probably that they’re providing support. 

But for the pride movement, it looks like you’re trying to, you know, capitalise on our case. But so should you, you know, if you want to be a diverse company, should you also not just think about your statements and what you do? But should you actually work for some of these things as well? Like, should you? Should you give, you know, support foundations that work for human rights? And some you know, so there are so many questions.

Sofia: there are. It’s big topic.

Merete: And I think it’s, yeah, it is.

And I think, you know, to start with, we just, we need to raise the questions, and then slowly, we can start figuring out, you know, how to approach it, and people are probably going to write books about how to do things, and people are going to start doing different initiatives and fail and learn and fail and learn again, and this is gonna evolve. 

But I think it’s really interesting. And since I am a, I consider myself a people’s person, and I really love people. And I really, I think it’s really interesting to see the differences in people, then I would really like to include this in my work and be able to, you know, create customer experiences for everyone, not just the typical customer that you target in your case. 

It’s complicated. Yeah.

Sofia: It’s really, it’s a big question that’s complicated. And not that black and white, so to say, what do you think be the benefits of having a more diverse customer experience?

Merete: Well, obviously, I think you would be able to attract way more customers. I think it would be much more fun for your employees to work in a company that focuses on diversity, both from the inside out and the outside in. There is, it is, proven that it’s, you know, you there, it’s the economics and the financials, and this is, is absolutely present, and there are so much value to gain from it. 

And, you know, from the, I suppose, also from the environment, environment, environmental perspective, you know, because diversity also includes, at least in my world, and includes, you know, taking care of our, the world we live in, and you know, making sure our children have a future and all those things. And I really think it’s going to become more and more important to stand for something and to do it, not just because you think it creates value, but to do it, because you actually mean it and live by it, you know.

Not start with the initiatives, but start with what is it that you want to be for people, and then the initiatives will come and create the results that you want. So I think there’s a whole lot to gain from this. But mostly, I think it’s going to empower your employees in a totally new way. And people are going to be more loyal to you as, as an employee and or as an employer. And also your customers are going to be way more emotional about the relationship to you, which is basically what loyalty is about, right? 

Sofia: Exactly. 

Merete: What your customer is not to like you only, but you want them to love you and this, this is a win-win for the customers.

Sofia: It really is.

So like, there are some very good like positive things, with having a diverse customer experience, loyal customers, employees, having a diverse set of employees, diverse teams, better employee experience, and so on. But how, how can you create a more diverse customer experience?

Merete: I think this starts from within. I think we need to be more aware of the diversity within our teams and our organization. And be willing to, you know, make some choices. Or at least be conscious about like, who do we hire and what, what is their background and where they come from and dare to be different. And also, I think, even in you know, in ICE, it’s really diverse, but I think diversity isn’t only like skin color or sexuality or religion or the typical things but you know, we’ve all lived lives even you and me are pretty similar in many ways. 

Right, but I’m pretty sure that if we start digging in my past in your past, we’re going to find some pretty opposite histories. So just by daring to share those and be a little bit more personal, being able to, you know, ”bjuda på”, as they say in Swedish. You know, I think starting there is it’s just going to be more meaningful, right? And this is what people are looking for in 2021. People want things to be meaningful.

Sofia: Yeah. Really good. Exactly.

Merete: And also remember that, you know, if you and me looking the, you know, so much the same as we do, we still are so different than, you know, you can only imagine what the customer base looks like. But take this in and understand that we need to be more diverse in the way we communicate, and we need to make some choices about how do we want to include as many as possible in our journey?

Sofia: Exactly. Yeah. yeah. It’s a really interesting topic. And it’s..

Merete: it’s exhausting actually.

Sofia: like where to start? 

So we’re at the final question, like final question, that I have for you. We’re now moving away from diversity, customer experience and go to a more like easy going question. 

What if, What is the most important, so we like feedback, we like the term feedback. So therefore, we say what is the most important feedback you would give to an organization who would like to become more customer-centric? Have you any tips and tricks?

Merete: Yes, you need, you need to spend money on insight. Market Insight, you know, have your analysis resources ready to understand what it is that your customers try to tell you invest in, you know, different tools that helps you understand what it is your customers need, and, and what they kind of want from you. Because you cannot improve if you don’t know which direction to go, and gut feeling is very often correct. But you need to confirm it, you know, you need to make sure that you, you’re not guessing.

So I suppose insight, this is something we learned only, you know, not long back, that the more money we invested in insight, the more we were actually able to say, you know, it’s not me saying this, this is our customers saying. Then you open doors, you know. So, so don’t, you know, if you have to save money, don’t save it on insight initiatives, because this is,this is your goal. This is where you get your kind of initiatives and where you get your drive from, and your direction.

And also make sure that the customer has a place around the table, somebody up there and management, top management needs to, you know, have this reflection that whenever you talk about initiative or some strategic direction, you need to stop and think how will this affect our customer? Will it be good or bad? And it both like how is it going away and try to analyse the situation.

So I suppose that number three, and then I, I’ve already said this before today, but you know, you need to evaluate and document the results of the stuff that you’ve done to prove that, you know, these things actually do create a better experience. And do you know, regression analysis and do you know, do your analysis, right and make sure that you understand the relationship between for instance, customer loyalty and churn. Find your drivers. Yeah. A little bit one or three things. But yeah, I suppose so.

Sofia: really, really good points. And thanks for that. Thank you for like, thank you for being here today. It was really fun to talk to you and there were some really interesting stuff you shared with us.

Merete: Thanks for having me. It’s you know, it’s really cool to be able to do this. And also I’m a huge fan of your work and yeah, it’s brilliant. I think this will probably in some ways create value as well for other people out there. I hope so.

Sofia: Yeah, I think we should have had like more time to do this. They could talk much longer I think. So we maybe have to like, meet again and have another interview or talk some more. Thank you for watching. Thank you, Merete! That was all for today.