Olga Budieri is Global Head of Customer Experience at Dubai-based international express, mail delivery and logistics services company Aramex.

As a globally certified professional with more than 10 years in the logistics and transportation industry, Olga has recently started her own CX consultancy in Amman.

After delivering a keynote speech at the Gulf Customer Experience Awards 2020 in Dubai, Olga has partnered once again with Awards International to spread CX knowledge through her training, specifically designed for the MENA region.

A series of one hour live interactive webinars in Arabic will be exploring the world of Customer Experience, so make sure to book your place here.

Olga took time out of her busy schedule to offer CXM World an insight into her background, and what she believes makes for a true Customer Experience.

Tell us a little about your personal background, and what brought you to a position where you wished to help other businesses grow successfully.

After a brief stint in consulting, I moved to a career in transportation and logistics, looking after Customer Experience and fully understanding the ecosystem, context and potential of uplifting the experience in a large company.

I have reported to a number of different leaders within the organisation, thus obtaining a holistic view of the different aspect impacting Customer Experience and growth. Due to this, I felt uniquely positioned to provide insights about Customer Experience, cultural transformation and different programs businesses lead in this space. Having a background in Industrial Engineering and Business Administration, coupled with the CCXP knowledge has definitely shaped the way I approach experience related topics, whether this is related to Voice of Customer or Experience Strategy and Design.

One of the things that has always intrigued me, was the lack of resources localised for the MENA region, fully understanding the context of the companies operating here. A key element to accelerate growth and ensure business continuity.

You were a keynote speaker at the Gulf CX Awards 2020. How was your overall experience and how important are such events for the CX industry?

The GCXA experience was very interesting, especially as I had the pleasure to talk about the factors impacting experience in the region as well as the potential. Not only did I meet or reunite with esteemed colleagues in the CX industry, I also formed some long time friends.

Such events are very important for social knowledge sharing, understanding how Customer Experience is designed across different organisations, and grow a community of CX thought leaders in this part of the world. It presents an otherwise unheard of opportunity of connecting professionals from different countries with the ability to retrospect on what has worked or hasn’t worked for different industries.  

  • What are the common mistakes you’ve seen companies make when it comes to CX?

I will start off with a common mistake I personally fell into. A few years back, my team was officially recognised as THE Customer Experience team. For me, this was a moment of actualisation, of recognition, of pride. At the same time, I automatically assumed that this will make an impact. Oh boy, was I wrong! The true impact can only be achieved through meaningful partnerships and collaboration across different stakeholders in the organisation. Understanding the power dynamics and ecosystem will ensure you have the right partners for success.

Some of the other common mistakes that companies might make, as pertains to CX, is assume that technology will fix a broken experience.

There are many solutions out there on the market today that promise the earth and the moon to companies on the receiving end of branded adverts and solution promises. There is a lot of value to be derived in future-proofing your technology and ensuring the organisation is using the right tools to achieve its business goals.

However, CX needs to be approached with the right level of planning, understanding the customers’ needs, empathising with customers, visualising their journeys, and using the tech piece to complement the business process, and not vice versa.

Another common pitfall is when companies assume that CX is only about capturing customer satisfaction, which creates a tunnel vision focused on moving the needle for a metric or two, without the self scrutinising work that needs to come with it.

Voice of Customer is like looking through a mirror, as agonising as the truth may be, there is a big part related to change acceptance and management that needs to come with it. Don’t look in the mirror if you are not ready to reimagine culture, strategy, governance and experiences. The Voice of Customer efforts need to inform the company in different disciplines, and should never be used for the sake of conducting the exercise alone.

Never assume you know what customers need and want. Many companies have taken this slippery path, companies that we need not bother name as they’ve become extinct long before this new generation of tech-savvy individuals take their first steps in the world.

What are the benefits of investing in the company’s CX?

CX has become a term that is used in almost every business meeting or presentation, it represents a certain level of organisational awareness, and sometimes ends up a buzz word people use.

Investing in CX would mean having the same expectations of CX as you would operations, tech, HR. It also means the company will be able to design and create consistent and seamless experiences at scale. The coordination of CX efforts will mean a properly articulated CX ambition is shared between major stakeholders, and all moving parts are moving in the right direction. A lot of the times, it means creating an inspiring beacon for the organisation and spread customer centricity.

Apart from the organisational and cultural benefits, it also can be associated with financial ROI, which is critical to the success of CX initiatives.

What advances in CX would you like to see in the Gulf region and across the globe in the coming years?

B2B companies have matured massively in this space over the past few years, presenting very relatable offerings for business leaders to excel at customer centricity and delivery great experiences. It is refreshing to see a shift towards solutioning and integrative tech-consultative approaches for solving Customer Experience problems.

I look forward to the coming years where customer experience will finally be informed by data-driven processes as companies mature in their implementation of data science and cloud migration projects. Additionally, I look forward to more resources addressing the region in particular with the right context.