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Digital Disruption Part 3: The Customer Experience

Digital Disruption Part 3:  The Customer Experience


– Good evening. Good evening, and welcome. Really, this is our third presentation in the speaker series,
Digital Disruptions, a collaboration between
Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech and Accenture Digital. And today’s topic is
going to be on creating customer experiences in the digital era. My name is Maryam Alavi, Dean of Scheller College of Business. And it’s wonderful to welcome
you and have you here tonight. So tonight we have a panel of experts that are going to explore
ways that digital innovation and strategy in customer
experience design, E-commerce, and analytics are going to
transform the customer journey. I would now very briefly highlight and introduce our panelists. And as I introduce each of the panelists, I’m going to ask them to come and join me on the stage and take their seats. And I’m going to ask you to
please hold your applause until I have introduced everyone. So in alphabetical order,
first we have Tony Drummond. Tony, please join us on this stage. Tony’s bio introduces him
as a customer-obsessed storyteller and inspirational leader. He is now serving as Vice President of Client Experience at Cox Automotive. And prior to joining Cox, he was an associate partner
in IBM Consulting Services, where he drove customer-centered
business transformations for a variety of different companies. Our next panelist is Jeannine Falcone. She’s Senior Marketing Leader
with Accenture Interactive, and she has led and greatly expanded Accenture Interactive’s
marketing offerings in North America over
the last three years. And in her role, she oversees about 1000 marketing professionals across marketing consulting,
digital marketing, personalization, and
experience optimization. Next is my colleague, Frank Rothaermel. Frank is McDonough Chair in Business and Professor of Strategy and Innovation at Scheller College. He is also an Alfred P. Sloan
Industries Studies Fellow. His teaching and research
focuses on intersection of strategy, innovation,
and entrepreneurship. And he has literally written the book on strategic management. His textbook is in its fourth edition, and it has been translated into
Greek, Korean, and Chinese. So let’s now give a
warm George Tech welcome to our panelists. (audience applauding) Thank you all for being here, taking the time from
your very busy schedules. And Jeannine actually flew here from– – Philadelphia.
– Philadelphia. So thank you for being here. And I’ll start by asking Tony, when I went to the company website in preparing for this
facilitation of this panel, I noticed that it says that Cox
Automotive, and I’m quoting, “is positioned to transform “the way the world buys,
owns, and sells cars.” So give us a little bit about what you do, how you do it, and a little context. – Sure, so there is an update, which is just recent in
the past several weeks, is that we in the business of transforming the way the world buys,
sells, owns, and uses cars. – Aha, okay. – That is a reflection, I think, of the essential need,
which is transportation, which has been fulfilled through traditionally car ownership. We’re seeing that with autonomous vehicles coming on the scene, you
can’t read a newspaper without running into
an article about that. But we believe that by about 2023 that technology will
be commercially viable. And from that point for the next decade, we will see a shift in miles
driven from owned to used, whether it’s ride sharing or
subscription-based services or what have you, whatever comes next. So we’re seeing that shift already, and we’re aligning ourselves
to be an end-to-end ecosystem to support the constituents
from manufacturers to dealers, as their world is changing,
all the way to the consumers, as they are looking to
use vehicles differently. – Exciting. Jeannine, in your role, you
work with many companies to transform and getting to the
digital era and digital age. Give us a sense of how
you work with your clients at Accenture Interactive. – Yes, so I’ve been with
Accenture Interactive for about four years, and my background in marketing
is what brought me there. And what we do, Accenture Interactive is part of Accenture Digital. And it’s the arm that looks
across the entire experience. If you’ve heard anything
about Accenture Interactive in the market today,
it’s a little different than what Accenture had
been known for in the past. And the reason I point that out is because we like to think of ourselves as an experience agency,
on behalf of customers. And what that means is we look at everything from helping our clients, which are in some cases
clients like Cox Automotive. We work in just about
every industry there is, across the telco space,
the automotive space, retail, industrial, consumer brands. You name it, we’re in those industries. But we start by looking at designing what that experience could look like, kind of across touchpoints
that any time a customer, whether it’s a business, a B
to B customer, or a consumer, interacts with a brand,
how does that happen? So we start by having
a way to map that out. And then underneath that,
think about all the things that need to happen to make that real. So we’re also very strong
in kind of consulting with organizations around how
to transform, potentially, their business to be able to
serve that customer experience. We’re also very well known for strong in the area of technology, in terms of what kind of
technology do you need, in the marketing space in particular that you have to make sure
you use in the right way. We also understand how to operate and kind of scale up those services. And then the piece that I had to build in the last three, four years,
which we now have as well, is the ability to actually look at how you do actual marketing
around those touchpoints. And what marketing means
has very much transformed in the last, I mean,
it’s always transforming, but now it is much more
than it used to be, in terms of it’s not just
putting your message out there. It’s the brand ultimately
sometimes is the experience. So pulling all of those things together requires a lot of different skill sets, both on our side to be
able to serve our clients, and it’s also how we advise our clients in all of these industries that I said on what they need to do
to be able to handle that. – No wonder you need about 1000 marketing professionals to work with you. (audience chuckling) Frank, your research at the
intersection of strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship, given all the changes as
a result of technology and digitization in various industries, how do you think we need to
change our approach to strategy? How is strategy changing
in this new environment? – Great question, Dean Alavi. Thank you for having me tonight, and thank you all for coming. So strategy is about gaining and sustaining competitive advantage, achieving superior performance relative to other
competitors in an industry. So right now you can ask yourself, how come Facebook and
Alphabet’s Google are capturing all the growth in online
advertising and marketing? Is that having a competitive advantage? Or the incredible growth of Netflix. Competitive advantage is achieved, basically, as managers, as
Tony and Jeannine mention, as leaders, you have two
levers, value creation, customer experience, quality, and cost. And cost is based on the activities you undertake to provide this value. And that delta is then determined, whether you will be able to
achieve superior performance. The important point I want to make at the beginning of
this panel is that yes, digital disruption is important. The five most valuable companies
on the planet right now, Apple, Facebook, Amazon,
Microsoft, and Alphabet, all platform businesses
that disrupt industry. So digital transformation, we could go on. Netflix, Uber, Airbnb, WeChat,
and so forth and so forth. However, digital always has to be an end, it has to be a means towards an end. It cannot be an end by itself. So you have to still ask
yourself, what’s your strategy and how is digital gonna
help you achieve that, rather than what’s your
digital strategy per se. Strategy is about positioning
between value and cost. And the second point I want to make, and then I’d like to listen
more to the other panelists, which is we see a lot
of innovation happening, what we call in our field more
in the business model side, how firms make money, two-sided
platforms, for example. You still can have a
strategy as differentiator, providing a superior experience. If you think about Lyft and Uber, which markets did they disrupt? The markets that were most
terrible in customer service, taxi rides, for example,
New York City in particular. The taxi driver, they do you a favor, they don’t know where to go, they’re rude. And now this all has changed, right? And so they’re taking these
inefficiencies on the market, similar to Cox Automotive
on the back, B to B side, or the work Jeannine is doing. So long story short, strategy
is about value versus cost. Digital cannot be an end,
but has to be a means, and we also gotta think
more about business models and how we’re gonna use digital
to drive business models. – Great, so my second question, let me again start with Tony, I was looking at a recent study of various corporations,
cross-industry survey. And about 68% of participating companies were saying that one of
their biggest challenges in this space of customer experience is just the sheer number
of customer queries that they get and they have
to address and respond to. Do you agree with that? Is this the same kind of
issue at Cox Automotive, and what might be other challenges? – Yeah, I do, except that I
see those as opportunities. There’s a saying I read recently,
maybe just this morning, that even the best-laid
plans don’t go as planned. And so when you’re setting up a business, you’re setting up the business to create value for customers. The purpose is hyper-clear. But all too often in that
entrepreneurial launching moment, you don’t consider what’s downstream. And if you anticipate that
there will be customers where they will have
challenges, issues, questions, and you appropriately set up touchpoints for them to reach out to you and for your people to be prepared or your systems to be
prepared to resolve that, you build brand equity in doing so. So it’s an absolute opportunity. Now, the sheer volume of interactions that are coming in now,
that is a challenge, and I think that by leveraging
digital technologies, by making it easier for your people to be prepared to answer questions by presenting them with
the next best thing to say, or by deflecting that interaction in the process of the system by anticipating what the client’s need is and solving it before it
has to get to a person. So there’s a way to reduce the volume, but I think essentially,
you have to look at it, whether it’s system-resolved or whether it’s people
resolution, as opportunity, not a challenge.
– That’s great. One point that you brought up that kind of really resonated with me is this idea that when
you want to come up with a tech-based innovation or a startup, a lot of people, entrepreneurs, do not necessarily anticipate
some of the customer issues. And they kind of think that the customer is always gonna perceive and see and use that product or service exactly as they are conceiving
it and developing it. And so this idea of really
looking down the value chain and anticipating some of the
issues that the customers and users that are not
necessarily very tech-savvy might have regarding
that invention or startup is a key point that in my experience a lot of entrepreneurs miss on. They don’t think about that ahead of time. So Jeannine, let me
just pretty much ask you the same question, except that I want you to please sort of try to generalize, thinking back about the
variety of industries and companies that you have worked with, what seems to be some
challenges in this space, or as Tony refers to them, as
opportunities in this space? – Well, it all goes back to,
again, serving that customer as the market has changed
so much over the years. There’s a lot of things happening at once. So there’s sort of all the
advancements in technology, that both consumers can use
and businesses have access to, is causing chaos. Consumers are used to, I can do this now, I can do this quickly
because of this technology. And businesses, some of
them in financial services, for example, they have
massive infrastructure and data and things
that they’ve had forever that have evolved in silos. So the businesses couldn’t keep up, necessarily, with consumers and the way consumers wanted
to interact with demand. So they would expect, I’m
gonna get an immediate answer for this because I have
a question right now. And at the same time,
potentially they were trying to take cost out, maybe, and the way they were servicing customers and that there’s a conflict there. There’s an inherent conflict. So that’s part of it. So some of the challenges
are then organizationally, and this is not a bad thing. I don’t think people
should be scared by this. But organizationally, people grew up in the same organization and they knew one thing
and skills didn’t evolve. Sometimes businesses step
back and say, wait a minute, I gotta do things a little differently. I’m not sure if I have
the right skill sets. And so then they have to think about how to do that differently. Now, I point that out to that problem because then that means
they’re inefficient in some certain places, but they need more skills
to do things differently. So having a business
necessarily understand how to unpack all that at the same time as serving the customer well made it harder for
older companies to adapt if they didn’t have that
right kind of thinking. And then some of these
newer startup companies that we’ve all talked about come along and they can just build it the right way. But then the older companies,
that is, as we said, an opportunity for them to then say, well, wait a minute, I
can do things differently by spinning something off, potentially, and doing it like that. So when all these inquiries are coming in, I completely agree with
Tony, that’s an opportunity. That’s a customer that’s
reaching out to you. And if potentially they
don’t like the technology or they’re not getting the
answer they need quickly, they’re going to keep calling and then they’re going to go online and they’re going to go
on some of these places and put their comments out
that everybody can see. So it’s just, businesses need
to adapt to be able to handle all that at once, and that
takes a lot of leadership, takes the right workforce, takes the right operational processes, technology, and strategy. – In other words, it’s really complicated. – But it’s okay.
(audience chuckling) – But it’s doable.
– It’s always doable. – I guess that’s what you’re saying. So Frank, we are now, for this
panel we are really focused on digital innovations in
the way customers engage and interact with businesses. But if you kind of step
back from that a little bit, just based on what we have heard, and look at technological advances, it seems like many organizations have to be in this ongoing
state of innovation, because technology is moving so fast. How can an organization be prepared to sustain innovation the
way they have to do now? – Right, great question. So any advantage that
should last for a bit has to be based on innovation. Innovation does what? It creates a temporary monopoly. You think about new
product and new process. If you’re the only one in town, you have a temporary monopoly
until others have copied it. For example, digital disruptions,
if you look at Netflix. Their business model was
DVDs through the mail. And first it was no late fees, and then they early on caught
the wave of online streaming. So they saw the trade-off between convenience and the cost factor. But Netflix could only sustain this by continuously innovating
and moving faster than others, as you now see Disney, for example, completely integrating
and moving their content out of Netflix’s platform to
reach their customer themselves as the downstream pipe,
extracting so much value. So to gain advantage is difficult. To sustain it is even harder. Let me give you an example
we’re all familiar with. And many of us ask, how
long can this go on? Apple now a trillion-dollar company. They had a 10-year run. Basically, it started
with the iPod in 2001, and then in 2007, the
iPhone really helped, the combination with iTunes, the hardware and software ecosystem. But that advantage
lasted now for a decade. And no advantage will last forever. Five years from now in
Digital Disruption Panel 28, we’ll ask the question,
what happened to Apple? Where did the Apple go,
what happened to Apple? And so the notion is,
if you think about it, Microsoft, digital disruption. Microsoft was slow to catch the wave to mobile devices and cloud computing, as they were tied and married to the PC-based computing system, even though they had all
the technical capabilities. So what I’m trying to say is you have to continuously innovate to move forward. Netflix has as much pressure now, if not more, than they had 10 years ago, because all the incumbents
have clued in now and understand their business model and have a lot of things in
their corner to hold back, including high-quality
content, for example. – I would say from an
experience perspective, that’s absolutely true, because you can deliver a
differentiating experience until it’s not differentiating anymore. In other words, over time it
becomes a basic expectation. – That’s right. – When iPhones, iPads, all this came out and we were interacting
with the world in a new way, it’s a wondrous moment for those of us who grew up with black and white TVs and other things with
wire hangers for antennas. My two-year old daughter,
I recall years ago, walking up to the television, ’cause she was no longer interested in the program that was on, and touching the screen
and looking to swipe it. (all chuckling) Her basic expectation was she was in charge of the experience. – It’s a great point. If I may quickly add, five years ago we were happy to pay a premium for Zappos because we can order and send
things back as we pleased, no questions asked. Today we expect every online
retailer to work like Zappos. And if they don’t, then we feel there’s something wrong in the interface. – Well, if they don’t, we
don’t go to them anymore. (audience chuckling) That’s the challenge
for a lot of businesses. – You don’t go and you’re
happy to pay a premium. I mean, you know it’s Zappos, you’re not gonna get the lowest price. But for us, time is more valuable. – Exactly, so my third question. You know, we heard about how
we need to use technology. We can use technology and innovate to sort of allow the customers to engage and interact with businesses
in an easy, efficient way. It appears that most of the
technological innovation for customer interaction with businesses has been focused on efficiency gains and has been focused on reducing
cost, doing things faster. Is there a way, Tony, that we
can think of ways to step back and redesign that
interaction or engagement in a way that is, by using technology, that it’s really a preferred
kind of experience? Not doing the same thing, but
faster and more efficiently, but even better and faster and efficient. – Yeah, I think in the service
environment in particular, early days of introducing
digital channels, most businesses saw that
as a lower cost channel. Their strategy to address
the cost side of the equation was to, and they used these terms, to push customers into
the lower cost channel, to make it harder to find
the higher cost channels. – Hide the telephone,
customer telephone number. – Exactly right.
– So they couldn’t call in. They have to be on the web. – Unfortunately, many of them, they had to learn the hard way that that caused customer
dissatisfaction and defection. And then they had to spend
more marketing dollars to go find new customers to replace them. The way that they’ve come around is to use the digital experiences, to design them in such a way that they’re in fact
a superior experience, and it becomes a pull
and it becomes a choice. And you’ve got to provide
customers with choice. Choice of access, choice of convenience, however they want to interact with you, and make it a superior experience. And they’ll go, and then you will benefit. That’s the value exchange. – Like mobile banking, for example. Mobile banking, the check deposit and all the mobile banking we do now. – Exactly right. The bank benefits every time that I take a picture of a check and deposit it, but I benefit as well because
not only do I get to do that, but my bank adds the
cha-ching sound at the end. That feels pretty darn good.
(all chuckling) It feels great.
– Very good. – Someone designed that into
the experience, by the way. – That’s right, that’s right. So Jeannine, again looking
across various industries, various clients that you have, could you give us examples of these? The example we heard about
the bank is a great one. But other examples, possibly, that they have sort of
innovated in design and creation of that experience that is superior to. – Sure, absolutely. And I want to answer that other point too, about the question on is
it about cost efficiency. Maybe it’s just ’cause I’m an optimist, I don’t think it is anymore
about cost efficiency. I agree completely. I was around in the olden
days of direct mail, when oh, we’re gonna take ’em out of
mail and we’re gonna email ’em, and then it didn’t work,
so you know, all that. But anyway, it’s not
about cost efficiency. And some of the technology today is not inexpensive, by any means. And so sometimes businesses
will be out there spending all this money on technology
and not know how to use it. But how it creates a better experience is another angle to look at this. It’s in the area of relevance and giving you the right
information at the right time to help you make an informed decision. Now again, I’m a marketer, so
I’m always trying to think, how does a business make
money, what are they selling, how am I going to get a customer at the right moment at the right time? So it’s about, so think when you go online and people just search for something. I’m gonna go to Phoenix, Arizona, okay. The very next time, what happens? You see an ad for something
for Phoenix, Arizona. People got used to that. That might’ve creeped me out
the first time I saw that, and then I’m like, all
right, I can deal with that. I know there’s cookies, I
know they’re tracking me. I’m good with that. Then they start sending emails. I’m like, no, no, no,
I’m not good with that. That means you’re linking
my data here to an email, so customers push back on that, and then they’ll start to opt out. And then now they hear the whole thing. Oh, are they listening to me and they can then send an ad to me? So my point in that is they’re
not doing that to save money. They’re doing that to
try to reach a customer with a relevant message so
that you will buy something. That’s an example of that. And the customers will tell
you if that’s okay or not. And they will start to put up
boundaries and say, all right, I’m okay with that because
I did search for that, and okay, that’s fine. But then so what really has to happen is in figuring out how to use technology to get somebody to communicate with them so that you reach the right
customer and you avoid waste, and just the olden days of
throwing ads on television and hoping somebody sees
them, putting up billboards. That still exists and is
still an important channel, but again, brand is more two-way now. Brand is an experience. So it’s right message,
right time, right response. And if I don’t get that right response, I may have to change it. So that’s more of a retail experience or travel/hospitality example, but I think it kind of paints a little bit of what the power of technology can do. – I would love to chime in to Tony’s and Jeannine’s comments about
the customer experience. You think a bit about Tony’s industry, Cox Automotive, B to B. And Jeannine mentioned that a lot of companies
have now a lot of data. Let’s call it big data, don’t
know what to do with it. The cutting edge research right now, what I’ve seen in strategy, for example, is machine learning
used to analyze big data and not just analyze customer reviews. And it turns out that the stars you give and the content you write are actually two different metrics
for evaluating a product. So the stars you give,
the four or five stars is a intuitive snap
reaction, a system one. The review you write about a book you read or an experience you had
is actually the system two, where you have to think about
and put it qualitatively out. And these kind of data, for example, are now fed back into R&D investments. What features are valued in the
head on a pricing for a car? Where should I put my money? And this is all these opportunities
that are there before. But if you think about, one of my favorite examples here is Tesla. Tesla is, yeah, it’s a
manufacturing company, but it also creates big
data on autonomous driving, an ecosystem of
sustainable transportation, because the more Teslas are on the road, the better the autonomous driving is, the more data points they have, the better the markings on the street. The network effects are driving
these digital disruptions that then others like
Mercedes or BMW have to say, what are we gonna do about this? We have to buy here
another mapping system. We have to come up with some
kind of competitive weapon. If we wait too long, they will
have a network effect built, like we see with Google Search that Dean Alavi mentioned
in the opening today. – Yep, so Frank, you
started to touch upon this, but how can changes in strategy
or innovations in strategy lead to a better customer experience? So you had started to
talk about business models and innovation in business models, which is an important
component of strategy. – I think the first
counterintuitive hypothesis I want to make is that strategy has become more important and not less important. So you have to know what
you are about as a business and what your position is
and how you’re gonna use additional innovations to drive this. And the envelope is gonna be pushed. What’s acceptable today is
not acceptable tomorrow. It’s constantly moving, so
it’s a very dynamic process. And it’s also very tricky. So we often talk about
listening to the customers, but Blackberry listened to the customers. Their customers were
businesses and governments, and they said, yeah, we love your device, we love the encrypted software. But the consumers took
their own iPhones to work, and in 2007, none of us
cared, really, about security. Yeah, we heard about it, but we didn’t know what the threat was. And now you can’t look
at a news channel anymore without hearing about security,
whether it’s elections, your personal data or
your finances, whatever. And so they listened to the customer and they continued with what was valued, and lo and behold, they didn’t have this. So you see theses emergent strategies that come from the marketplace that you have to kind of be aware of. You have to have a system
in place to capture those and the reaction after this. Quickly, so a good strategy is a diagnosis of the competitive challenge. So you think where
Microsoft failed to diagnose the threat of mobile computing. A mission statement is not a strategy. It’s maybe wishful thinking. And once you have to
diagnose, cold-blooded, the competitive threat. What’s the threat of Netflix to Disney? Once you have that threat identified, you have to have a guiding
policy implemented. And having a mission statement, we are the best customer service
company, is not a strategy. It may be wishful thinking. So that’s the way I like
to think about this. – That’s really important,
and I think the challenge, just reflecting on what you
have mentioned, all of you, is this idea that competition is so fierce and is coming from nontraditional sources. Like in the past, if you
were an auto manufacturer, well, you knew who your competitors were, you know, if you were Ford or GM. But now a software company comes in and becomes your competitor. So I think this issue around defining who your competitor is and
your competitive channel is just really, really significant, hard to anticipate. So Tony, we’ve talked about
different ways that innovation in customer services and
engagement is important. You started talking a
little bit about this. What do we do with
upskiling, and Jeannine, your point, for customer-facing employees? How do we keep them updated
and change their skill to be able to quickly adapt and
adopt these new technologies and new ways of
interacting with customers? How do you go about doing that
at Cox Automotive right now? – So at Cox Auto we believe that companies who are good at delivering
customer experiences focus on customers and customer needs. Companies who are great at
delivering customer experiences focus also on their people,
and they focus on understanding what’s in the way of their people delivering incredible experiences, and they remove those barriers, technology-enabled and otherwise. And that can mean that you
are deflecting interactions and having service
happen within the systems or it can mean that you are serving up the appropriate content ’cause you know. The system tells you who’s calling, why they’re most likely calling, and here’s probably what
they’re asking about, and here’s what to say. You have a shorter interaction. You have quicker time to resolution. You make your person answering your phone, for example, look like a rock star. You win, the customer
wins, and your people win. And when you do that, it impacts morale, it impacts engagement, it impacts culture. And there’s a lot of
additional sort of halo effect, in terms of value
creation when you do that. And that’s how we approach
it, is we focus on our people and we focus on what it’s gonna take to equip them to be,
as we say, unstoppable. – Jeannine, is there anything
else you want to add to that, in terms of what you have seen, in terms of some other companies that are really good at
dealing with their people, customer-facing people in particular, to enable them, give them the tools and training needed to
do their job better? – Yeah, I mean, Tony
said it very, very well. It’s hugely important. And in some cases we’ll
work with some older, call them quick-serve
restaurants, for example, or places like that where
they have a franchise model. It’s a little more
challenging there sometimes ’cause they’re not exactly employees, but yet these franchises need information. So when we helped this particular company, we had to go out and help them
with all of the technology to be able to communicate with them. As we rebuilt, say, a loyalty program or things like that for
their end customers, we couldn’t roll out any
of that until we were sure that the training was there. Because certainly, employees, franchises, they can certainly be
upskilled in certain things. But it does start with the company at hand being able to help train them with what they need to
know at the right time. That’s like a basic thing. And then there’s other things. When the world changes
and when jobs change, it happens quickly, but it also happens slower than you think. Because you start to realize, today I was in the airport, that everything in
Philadelphia airport is now, it used to be this old, dumpy airport, and they’re really trying to change it and make it real modern and hip. And I think they took it a little too far, ’cause you’re like, it’s like
there’s kiosks everywhere, and everything is
self-checkout, everything. And you’ve gotta find the place
to swipe your credit card, and people are a little
freaked out by this. And I looked around, and
there’s all these people walking around, helping
people use the machines. And I was like, so the
people that used to stand behind the counter and grumble at you and take forever to check your water when you gotta run for your flight are now walking around,
they got little badges on, how can I help you, how can I help you swipe your card through. And I started, as I was
coming here, to think, wow. That is how they’re trying
to turn this airport around. And they potentially help these people go from a model where
they sat behind the desk to now they have to walk around and understand how to use this technology. And it looked like there were
just as many people there, if not more employees,
than there used to be. So I think that’s a way
that technology does help, and whoever runs the Philadelphia airport is figuring out how to
use the employees to do. – I–
– With all that, sorry. Free-range customer service. – Okay, is that what that is?
(audience laughing) I was impressed. – And perhaps an objective– – I hope they don’t
get rid of all of them, ’cause they do a really good job. – And perhaps a motivation
would be that after awhile the customer learns to really
do it himself or herself, so we don’t have to have–
– We’re pretty slow. – That many.
– Out there in Philly. I don’t know.
(all laughing) It might take awhile. – Yeah, so it always takes
longer than what you anticipate. – It does, yes.
– Isn’t that interesting? So Frank, we heard about
the need for upskilling and training the customer-facing
employees in this new way. What other competencies and resources do you think organizations need to be able to make the
change and the adjustment? – Right, it’s a great point, Dean Alavi. And a quick comment on your earlier point on the industry now, as you mentioned. So what we see is this major
convergence taking place. So if I were to ask you tonight,
what industry is Amazon in, I mean, it started from an online retailer for books and DVDS. I was fortunate. I was at University of Washington
when it started in ’95, and turned out that books
were just a pilot project for online retailing as a commodity. And then from there we go. And now AWS is the most
profitable division. So what business is Amazon now, for they’ve integrated into Whole Foods, Amazon Go, and the complete experience? What industry is Alphabet or Google in? That’s another good question. And so what I see happening
in the disruption, if you think about it,
it’s the first industries, the industries that are least
efficient get disrupted first. Uber, Lyft, or Grab in Asia, the ride hailing experience, Airbnb. Yesterday I bought a used car at CarMax. I was there in ’94 when Austin Ligon, founder of CarMax, presented that concept. CarMax came out of Circuit City. Circuit City is now defunct and bankrupt, but they had a core competency, which is what’s critical
in Tony’s industry, which is meeting supply and
demand and space and time. And Circuit City sat down and said, what’s our core competency? And they said, our core
competency’s big box retailing, geographically across
the entire United States. What can we do with this? They did a customer survey and said, what’s the worst experience you’ve had? Number one was root canal.
(audience laughing) Number two, it’s not a
joke, it’s not a joke. This is a true story. Number two is buying a used car. So in the ’90s, you bought a used car, you had to deal with
people you usually don’t. It’s a very unpleasant experience. Price gouging, reservation price. They asked you what you
do, just to assess how much you can spend for a used car and so forth. So CarMax now combines the digital side, which is I priced the
car out, I saw the car, I specced it out, I had it
transported from Kansas. I spend all that time online. The transaction took 60 minutes from start to finish, or even less. So this is the way to think about this is core competency came
out of Circuit City. Circuit City’s bankrupt,
lost out against Best Buy. Best Buy is now challenged by Amazon. So that means in the retail space, you have to provide an experience. What’s great about the CarMax example is it combines brick
and mortar and digital to provide an experience
that you cannot just provide online or brick and mortar only. I live in Cummings, the suburbs. The hottest innovation there is this drive-through Wal
Mart shopping experience, where you order online, you
go in the drive through, they put your groceries in,
you’re on your way home. You don’t even leave your car, and you don’t have to spend time shopping, and you can order everything you need, milk, eggs, whatever, cereal, and at a very competitive price point. So long story short, strategy
is about creating value. You gotta think how you’re
gonna provide an experience that you can’t be substituted
for online easily. – Very good. I have lots of other questions, but I would like to leave
some time for the audience to ask questions from our panelists. But let me just very quickly,
is there any question that you wished I had
asked you but I didn’t? Any one of you?
(audience laughing) Something that you really feel passionate about talking about. – Yeah, what time does
the reception start? (all laughing) – Okay. – I do think there’s–
– So with that, I’m sorry, go ahead, Tony.
– There’s two things that kind of came up along the
way that to me are essential. One is there isn’t a
single business out there that didn’t start by first thinking that there are people who need something that they’re not getting or they’re not getting it in
the way that they really want. The reason we’re all in business is to deliver customer value, and we get value back out of that if we manage it the right way. That’s essential, no
matter what we’re doing. And the second is as we’re all, our business is shifting the volume to more and more digital volume, some people fall into the trap of thinking as digital
as something separate. And a saying, I can’t
remember where I saw it, but really struck with
me and I want to share is that there is no digital strategy. There’s only strategy in a digital world, and the same goes for experience. – Right, and I think–
– Those two things are essential to what we need to remember. As we’re going out and changing the world, deliver value for customers and don’t pretend that
digital is some magical other. It’s just–
– A means and an end. – The environment is changing. Let’s continue to figure out
how to use the environment to deliver that essential
value to customers. – Perfect, a great way of summarizing it. Let me now open it to the audience, if there are any questions. Can you turn the lights back on? I don’t know, so we can see people. – [Audience Member] There’s a question. – Where’s the question? – I got a question here.
– Okay. – [Audience Member] Right in the back. So thank you for your insight. I really appreciate this. I do have one that I hope
hasn’t been addressed. But if it has, please let me know. Who owns the customer experience? Is it a chief customer experience officer? Is it everybody, and then nobody owns it? You know, I pose that to everyone because I think that’s
a very important role. – I’ll take a run at that–
– You’re gonna go first? – Because it’s a great question. And I’ve seen the customer experience management capability
sit in the CMO’s office. I’ve seen it with an SVP of sales. I’ve seen it in operations. I’ve also even seen it led by a CIO, as a means of getting the
rest of those constituents to prioritize on behalf of customer value, which was, I think,
genius on the CIO’s part. But what I say is in my role, I have responsibility
for helping the company understand what customers value, where we have gaps in
delivering against that, and guiding prioritization
of operationalizing that. I can do none of that by myself, and so what I say is I don’t
own the customer experience, but I own the customer conversation. And that’s really important, because it takes everybody
getting back to understanding that we are all here to
deliver customer value. That’s why here, and we all need to understand our particular role, based on where we sit
in contributing to that. – Yeah, the only thing I would add to that is collaboration is key. It is such an exciting
time to be in business. It really, really is. And I agree with
everything Tony just said. And it can sit in any one of those places, or it could be a chief experience officer. But what is key, as people
go through their careers and whatever business you’re in, is it has to be collaborative
or it will fail. The days of silos, this is my job, and the CIO doesn’t like the CMO, businesses will fail if that continues. Which means that ultimately
it’s with the CEO to make sure that that happens. And each of the heads have to
be out there looking at that. It can’t be just, I gotta sell my products and I gotta make my numbers. And if they’re being measured on selling that product
and making their numbers and that negatively impacts
the customer experience, then that is not what’s
right for the business. So you have to look at metrics,
how people are measured. All that stuff has to change to be able to truly deliver on that. – I do believe there
has to be a focal point of accountability and
collaboration at its best, in the form of orchestration
amongst all those constituents. ‘Cause the opposite is,
I’ve heard folks say this, that oh, we all own the
customer experience. We’re a very customer-focused company. And if everybody owns it,
nobody really owns it. It’s, what do they call it,
the tragedy of the commons. – Right, right. Okay. – [Audience Member] Dr.
Tony Kimani, class of 2014. This has to do with a patient experience. We just heard from the survey
that a healthcare experience was the worst possible
experience you could have. Maybe this is for Jeannine. Can you address, perhaps, the role of digital customer experience when it comes to healthcare and patients? – Yeah, I mean, so again, I think, and I’m not a healthcare
expert by any means, but I think that might be
because who ultimately owns it. So go back to businesses. Someone’s trying to make money somewhere. It’s terrible, it’s people’s
healthcare, I get it. But if you look at the hospitals
or the doctors or whatever, they will probably tell you
they do as much as they can, even with that technology. But ultimately somebody’s
getting paid somehow to do things in an old way. So until that entire model is looked at, in terms of third-party providers, you know, anybody that
touches health care. So I can tell you though, in working with a lot of life sciences companies
and healthcare providers, they all have the intentions of wanting to do the right thing, but
there is so much infrastructure and they have to work together to do this that it’s gonna be challenging. So for example, you can try
with physicians to break down the amount of time they have
to spend looking things up, and you bring them in their iPads and they’re able to look things up and find patient histories. So I think that part’s getting better. Patients have better access
to their data as well. It’s just the whole experience, linking that to paying their
provider and all those things. It kind of breaks down there. And so that’s gonna be a bigger thing. Everyone wants to improve
the healthcare experience, just who’s gonna be the one
to ultimately put it together? – In addition, but I
think you would agree, the industry is probably also ripe for somewhat of a disruption. If you think about the power of information held by consumers, we now have a lot of information
to buy cars as commodities. But with companies like
23andMe, for example, the DNA testing, every consumer can get a complete read of 200-plus
disease indicators. And now you can really get yourself smart about your individual health profile, and you will know much more
about your personal health than your physician will know, as she has to see 48 patients a day. So that will be a lot of
push for value creation from the consumer side also. – Yeah, I think if the
healthcare system was old-school, a town doctor, and it was singular, that person caring for the community, you’d see change happen rapidly. But there are too many players in there who are beholden to the
way they’re organized, which dictates how they go about it. And until they address
how they’re organized and get back to the
essential delivery of value, it’ll be really hard for that to change. – Unless Amazon decides to
seriously get into that space. – There you go, there you go.
(all laughing) – It does now with
health insurance, right? – Right, they may be eyeing it, who knows? – That’s right. – [Audience Member] One
thing that comes to mind is when you look at the value exchange, you’re really looking at a situation where the total perceived
value that you give up is less than the total perceived
value of what you’re getting. And it doesn’t make any
difference where you are, in healthcare, on the
total perceived value of what you’re getting is
widened, which is prices. So the number goes way up, and
therefore people are willing to pay more for healthcare
than they probably should. But it’s also true that
formula works both sides, because the seller has to feel like the total value of what they’re giving up is less than what they’re getting as well. And it’s really that value exchange. It’s the perceived value, not the real value, because it overlays. It’s always the perceived
value that replaces it. And then total perceived value includes that experience that you go through, the entire sales process
from the customer experience and also from the sales experience. And putting those two things together, really you start to see a lot of things and why things happen
and why people do things and why people with access
to some of the things they’re not including in
that total perceived cost. – Good comment.
– I agree. – Right here. – [Audience Member] Thank you. George Swanem, EMVA class of 2019. You brought this up, which is right now we have a big wealth
of data with big data. 23andMe, you have your
SARS, your reactive, your reactive insights and
you have your comments, which is your tier two. How do you, from an analytics standpoint, figure out what to go after and
to invest your resources in, from a metrics standpoint? – What to go after from what perspective? I’m sorry. – [George] What do, from
an analytics standpoint, how do you determine what to measure? ‘Cause you can’t measure everything. But how do you figure out
what your core metrics are? – Yeah, we get a wealth of information, a dearth of attention, and
how to make sense of it. So that’s a big challenge, how to make sense of all the
data we know it’s generating. – Yeah, to me that really shows the importance of your strategy and what it is that
you’re really going after, and how do you create value
and how do you measure that value that you’re creating. Because otherwise you’re absolutely right, we are just inundated in oceans of data. And that’s why strategy’s even more important in this time and age, because I get this all the
time, oh, analytics, analytics. And I’m thinking, great,
but what is the question for which analytics
provides you the answer? So asking the right question, measuring the right parameters is even more important than ever because if you measure the wrong things, you’ll come up with the wrong answer. – And I like to say there’s
value in small data. In other words, the data set is massive. Big data doesn’t get you value until you’ve aligned it
to a particular use case, a set of hypotheses, a
set of crisp questions. You make big data small data and you incrementally drive value. You learn from those experiences, and then you create a
backlog of those use cases, and pretty soon you get to medium data and you’re actually delivering value. – And to figure that out, there’s usually four different people sitting around trying to figure that out. There’s someone with a big creative idea, there’s someone that understands
strategy at a lower level, like little strategy, like this
is what I’m trying to sell, this is what I’m trying to achieve, there’s someone that understands the data, and there’s someone that
knows how to use the tool. And those are four
different people sometimes. Sometimes if you just have
a bunch of analysts digging, they don’t know what to look for, because they know how to
use that and that’s great, but somebody else over
here with this big idea doesn’t even know that data exists. So that gets back to the
it takes a lot of people in a room sometimes to
figure that question out. – It’s a great question. We have projects right now
going on where banking, investment banking come to us and say, we have all this data, what
are we gonna do with it? How do we think about this? And so this a great question, I think, which is the tip of the iceberg right now, to really help us. So the fact is that we
now have much better data than we had before with
just the survey data and perceptions that the other
colleague earlier mentioned, which can be misleading to some extent. – Yeah. – [Audience Member] Yeah, I’m DJ Wu, of Scheller faculty. So Scheller’s mission is
to produce principals, business leaders in the intersect in business and technology. I have a question for the panel. What skills will not be
disrupted in the next 20 years? – Leadership, leadership. That’s just my easy answer. – That’s a good answer,
but if you just drive that into specifics, my answer
would be of course leadership, but a lot of what we think about as higher-order thinking capabilities. Complex problem-solving,
formulating hypotheses, being creative, and of course
some of the soft skills, in terms of conflict management,
complex negotiations. The smarter the machines get
and the more data we have, the smarter human beings we
need to be able to harness all this and be able to really
address the complex problems. That’s why this teaming
people and machines to address more complex problems
is gonna be the real key. Companies who figure out how to do this is gonna be the ones that
are gonna pull ahead. – If I may add 30 seconds
to this insightful comment, the way I say AI will play out the next five, 10, 15, 20 years, if you think about any routine job, AI is gonna be substitute. You think about any cognitive job, AI is gonna be a complement, meaning you as a cognitive worker with AI gonna be stronger
than cognitive or AI alone. If your work is routine only, I would be worried
about 20 years from now, whether your job is there or whether that particular job is there. So think about the
cognitive value creation as a complement to AI, as a skill that cannot
be substituted away. – Okay, one last question. We are already past seven,
so one last question, please. Yeah, go ahead. – [Audience Member] Good,
I was standing up earlier and then I froze.
(audience chuckling) Actually, to follow Dr.
Rothaermel’s question on is maybe for Jeannine,
the specific skill sets that you look for in your practice, something that is both currently relevant but also forecasted to grow in necessity for success in this area. – I’m a little slanted in my view of that, because of, again, what
I run in marketing. But what has not changed,
a lot of it has to do with the demand of skills we didn’t have. So Accenture had a lot of
technology skills for a long time, but that’s not changing. So technology skills around
data, marketing-related data, customer data, skills
on how to use platforms, the media space, understanding
kinda the platform data that we’ve all talked about, related to Google and things like that. I have a 22-year old
and 23-year old child. I’m like, go to school for that. Understand that kind of
marketing analytics and data. That is not changing,
that is not going away. Those kinds of skills. Anything related to strategy is huge. We can’t hire people fast enough that understand marketing
and business strategy. I put those things together
because a true marketer will start by asking,
how do you make money? What am I trying to sell,
what am I trying to do? And then what is the
customer going to react to? Those things are not
changing, nor is creativity. And I know this is business
and technology together, but technology’s not going anywhere and I’m not a technologist
so I can’t answer the specific kinds of technology. But those things are still out there. We see less need for people that are just a little more operational. I’m not saying project
management’s not important. It totally is. But project management with
strategy, more valuable. Do you have, I don’t, that was, I know we’re running over, but I don’t know if anybody
else wanted to add to that. – I think that was well put. So let’s thank our great panelists. (audience applauding) This concludes our program for tonight. And now I invite you to please join us for a light reception in the atrium. And thank you for being here. (audience murmuring)

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