The inaugural International Customer Experience Awards is taking place this November 20 in the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam.

The gala event will reward the world’s most customer-centric businesses and organisations, that will be judged by an expert panel of key global CX industry figures.

Among these judges are the 2018 International Customer Experience Awards Ambassadors, each representing his or her country at what will be the planet’s biggest ever celebration of CX. In this ongoing series, CXM World is publishing exclusive interviews with – and opinion articles from – the Ambassadors, as the event draws near.

For more information on entering the awards, click here.

Ambassador: Olivier Mourrieras

Country: France

Occupation: CEO of Customer Experience consultancy CX-Impact

Hi Olivier, tell us a little about your professional background, and what drew you towards the concept of Customer Experience

I started in sales for BT, then looked after a team of service managers. This role we helped standardise, and my career grew with it. I later headed the European Business Services team for Orange.

In 2005, we created a Head of Customer Insight and Advocacy at Orange, a pioneering role that I performed for six years.

Someone in the energy industry invited me to apply for a B2C role with E.ON. I built the CX capability at Orange Business Services from scratch then built that capability in E.ON. Both had quite significant turnarounds. We saw a minimum of 40 points NPS improvement in four to five years.

You’re a judge and Ambassador at the ICXAs – what themes do you hope to see in this year’s presentations?

I am keen to hear from companies about how the impact of CX was perceived or visible from a customer point of view. It’s always very useful to create great Voice of the Customer capabilities, great journey mapping, and redesign capabilities within your business, but if the customer doesn’t feel the difference, there is no point. Even if the customer feels the difference far down the line – it’s too late.

When have customers felt the difference? How is this measured? What is the impact on the business? This is what I want to know.

What aspects of Customer Experience are popular among businesses/organisations in France?

There’s realisation in France that CX is important, and that it is a driver of profitable growth.

However, there is confusion between Customer Experience and customer service in France, so there’s this emerging awareness that CX only works when it all works – across the whole customer journey.

If you think of the big luxury brands in France, such as L’oriel for example, there’s a paradox there. All non-hospitalities industries are really looking at CX as customer service. there’s still a mindset shift required to consider CX from end to end.

What areas of CX could be improved in your home country?

We don’t have a uniform, consistent experience from start to finish for Customer Experience. One of the root causes of this is that CX sponsorship isn’t senior enough. Those who do have sponsorship really don’t know what it’s about or what their role should be. I hope this will improve in the years to come.

What does the future hold in terms of CX? Can you offer any predictions, based on your experience, for the coming years?

Things like chatbots and AI are tools, and customers don’t care about tools. Expectations are going to rise further, and also shift. We expect companies to be responsive today. You ask something, you get it immediately – and they know about you.

I think we are going to move into more predictive, anticipative CX. For example, let’s say that my computer has broke down. I call Apple, and they tell me the computer has already reported the incident automatically and they were just about to call me.

Even better – they call me before I call them.

We will expect things to come to us rather than us going to search for stuff. This is more personalised – it comes to you, almost as soon as you realise you have a need. Because you’re connected, that need has already triggered a number of actions.

It will be about being ahead of the game.

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