In the last couple of years, customer experience has really taken off in developing and emerging markets. We have won major projects in Russia, the Middle East and in several countries in Africa. We have been approached by companies based in Brazil and Chile. Just this year I have been invited to keynote at conferences in Poland, Russia and Romania. There is growing realisation in these sorts of markets that customer experience is an area that is generally lacking there and they want to leap frog some steps.
In our own Global Customer Experience Management Survey, we found companies in developing markets had low maturity on customer experience and those in emerging markets had medium maturity. This presents a somewhat confusing situation: emerging markets have higher customer experience maturity but may be more likely to make a fundamental strategic error than companies in developing markets. This is easily explained however. While customer experience management is less prevalent in developing markets, it also tends to be less concerned with technology as a primary driving force. Some of the most innovative and sustainable customer centric practices are being better implemented in the developing world as opposed to the emerging world because companies in the developing world are often less likely to be see technology solutions as panacea or answer of first resort. This seems to be especially true in settings across Africa.
So my advice to companies beginning to implement customer centricity like many companies in E. Europe is to put the horse before the cart. Understand what you want your experience to be and design it and the capabilities required from there. Take the time to learn from those companies in the 1990s that bought fully functional CRM systems only to find out that people did not use them correctly or to their full effect because 1) employees did not understand the need to do so from a “this is my day job” point of view, 2) the company determined how to refit the experience employees delivered based the functionality of the systems.
|Qaalfa Dibeehi is Chief Operating and Consulting Officer at of Beyond Philosophy one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Qaalfa is an international co-author of Customer Experience: Future Trends and Insights. Beyond Philosophy provide consulting, specialised research & training from offices in Atlanta, Georgia and London, England.
Follow Qaalfa Dibeehi on Twitter @Qaalfa_BeyondP