Hottest information about 8th Annual Customer Experience Management Summit

23 August 2017


ABN Amro

3 Questions for Alex Terpstra

How to deliver consistent customer experience across all channels?

The best way to ensure a consistent customer experience is to clearly define what the company wants customers to experience in the most important servicing. To enable this, it is important to have a clear defined customer experience compass based on why the company exists, who its people are, what the company does, and how the company does it. This experience compass itself is a clear direction on how the intended customer experience is meant to be and a description on how the different building blocks to deliver its experience (interaction with clients in channels, how the company works together, and how the leadership acts) is defined. This way the whole company knows the strategic context of the company, the intended customer experience, and what the important building blocks are to deliver it.

How to gather and analyse data effectively in order to deliver personalized experience?

Not only the data gathering on the right customer behaviour is important through combining the data, but the analytical capacity to translate it into insights is even more important. This analytical capacity should be based on the intended customer experience and it should also follow the customer throughout his or her (lifecycle) journey. This way, the company is aware of the journey that clients make based on data and predict what the next client´s step is and make a proactive (service) offer based on their personal data and preference.  Effectivity of the data gathering should be enabled also by focusing on the key data points only, gathered in a cost effective way like research communities.

What is the effect of bots on solving customer issues?

Chatbots have a lot of potential and have been a hot topic in customer servicing for the past 5 years. On the plus side, chatbots are always available, have the potential to give a very consistent customer experience every time, and, of course, cost less in human resources needed versus live agents. So the upside is that the simpler questions and servicing can be perfectly handled through chatbots with AI and machine learning. However, the challenge begins with the more complex questions where depth of not only answers but also interaction is needed. A lot of companies invested in coding to ensure chatbots answer the more complex questions, but that is not enough. Also the depth of the interaction on how chatbots can learn more about a real human interaction and incorporate that into their operating systems is crucial and the use of chatbots needs to be improved in order to handle the customer issues effectively.

Alex Terpstra is a Director of Customer Experience at ABN AMRO’s Retail bank and is responsible for improving the worldwide Net Promotor Score (NPS). He is particularly focused on getting this done by leading and motivating what he considers being the most important asset of the company: its people. Alex has extensive experience in listening to and understanding the ‘voice of the customer’ from his previous position as a head of Customer Complaints Management. He enjoys skiing, playing tennis, and spending time with his family.

9 August 2017



3 Questions for Mariana Machado

How to deliver consistent customer experience across all channels?

First of all, customer centricity should be a new way of work.  You cannot deliver a successful customer experience, if you don’t have the customer in the centre of your business decision, and that is the biggest move a company can make.  Once this paradigm is broken, you start to build your strategy throughout your customer’s eyes and expectations.  Understanding your customer journey and behaviour indicates which channels you should base your customer strategy on.

How to gather and analyse data effectively in order to deliver personalized experience?

You need to understand what is important to your customers. Mapping the customer journey helps you identify expectations in each step in relation with your company (not only the purchase, but the entire journey).  Once you know what your customers expect, the second step is to build your action plan to fulfil these needs which will tell you what data you need.

Data only matter if they are used as a purpose, so there is no point of collecting them if you are not going to use them.  On the other hand, a true personalization is about delivering something the customer wants, and that makes a difference in buying product A or product B.  Sometimes it could be a simple detail as “happy birthday”, or something more elaborate as a predictive score.  You need to understand your customer to find out these answers.

What is the effect of bots on solving customer issues?

I wouldn’t place bots into the “solving customer issues” but as a technological solution to improve punctual engagement.  Bots are different way / strategy to present a different content that, until now, is more static or incomplete (FAQ, Product information, etc.) but exists. Putting the content in a more interactive way or at least, different way, you can bring your customer closer to you and more attached to your brand or product. But I still believe that once the customer has a true issue, nothing will replace the human contact. The key of a customer experience success is to lay on the people’s engagement with each other. On feeling recognized, valued. When you know that you have a self-learning machine on the other side of the conversation, I find that hard to imagine.

Mariana Machado,customer Marketing Specialist, with more than 12 years of expertise in marketing strategy and CRM. Brazilian, Mariana has accepted the challenge of moving to France, in order to implement a Customer Behavior & Marketing Department in the international hotel chain: Accorhotels. Managing a 62M contacts database in more than 92 countries, her main challenge is to implement the customer centric strategy within the help of customer data, bringing the customer information to the centre of strategic decisions inside the company. She is also Co-founder of “Our Customer Manifesto”, a think tank that stimulates the debate about Customers and shares experiences throughout the professional world!