The annual CX Day is a global celebration of Customer Experience, and as the CX hub of the Gulf, Dubai joined in with an event featuring speakers and discussions on a wide range of related topics.

The CX community in the UAE has been steadily growing over the past few years, with organisations realising the importance of putting customers at the heart of everything they do.

This month’s event at the Dubai Economy HQ kicked off with an eye-opening panel discussion about Making your Mark on Customer Experience. The speakers represented backgrounds including financial services, healthcare, an innovation consultancy, and the Society for Human Resource Management.

Here is what I took away from the event that can hopefully inspire any Customer Experience professional:

The transformation into CX Culture

It is hard to change a culture. Therefore, starting the journey to becoming a customer-centric organisation can make a dramatic difference to your company’s fortunes. There should be a fundamental shift in this mindset for any organisation desiring real change.

Leaders are often absorbed by how to ensure vision and strategy are implemented, but lose focus on customer-centricity. It is important to start with the behaviour of employees to become less monitored and more empowered. Employees need to be enabled and empowered to deliver.

A customer-lead organisation breeds a culture of people and the organisation solving problems collectively. When thinking about the customer, everyone agrees there needs to be a purpose and the organisation is trying to solve a problem. As Jorge Castelotte states: “Fall in love with the problem, not the idea.”

This will help us focus on what customers need and the fact that we need to be solving problems that actually matter.

In order to transform the culture of an organisation to become more customer-centric, you will need to involve everyone –  from leaders to mid-level to the front-liners.

Design for desirability

Even though organisations may think they want to have the best design, they make mistakes when it is not aligned with the user experience. Organisations need to avoid making products and services nobody wants, in order to reduce waste.

An organisation should reduce a lot of unnecessary costs, as it would lead to focusing only on the things that matter to the customer. This can be done by looking at the definition of innovation in design thinking which includes Viability, Desirability, and Feasibility.

Do we need to go digital?

There is a huge rush towards technology that helps with Customer Experience. However, is this always necessary?

An organisation can have the latest and greatest technology, but if it is not implemented with the customer in mind then it’s a waste. Ask yourselves whether or not the technology is going to actually improve the Customer Experience.

Digital transformation is a buzzword and companies must be careful of how they use digital to serve customers. It’s important for an organisation to be “not digitally lead but enabling lead”, as highlighted by Damian Cotchett.

CX-driven organisations are more profitable

It pays off to move from brand-centric to customer-centric. As organisations realise that customers have more power when making a decision or buying, there is more competition and more options for customers to choose from.

If your organisation is not adapting a CX approach to doing business, they will lose customers. For example, we can see the healthcare industry moving towards patient experience, with the concept of holistic healing.

EX and CX are intimately related

We often miss our internal customers, the employees, when thinking about Customer Experience. Highlighting the innovative and new approaches in HR, Brad Boyson gives the example of having to “hire the people who are your best customers to fulfil the mission”.

Organisations need to empower their employees and hire the right people to see the benefits in Customer Experience as they are intimately related.

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