Customer Experience

Customer Experience – Best Practices from Alko, Mehiläinen, CGI

By June 2, 2014 No Comments

Customer Experience Seminar in May 2014. Alko, Mehiläinen, CGI

TalentVectia hold a customer experience seminar in May 2014. Here are few practical tips from the quest speakers that I found particularly useful.

All the quest speakers emphasized the importance of engaging and getting commitment from own personnel in order to create better user experience for customers. In the seminar employee experience was raised as the most important topic and as the foundation block for further development.

Quick overview to quest speaker companies:

  • Alko was awarded as the best retail customer experience in Finland 2014. Alko is ranked as the category leader in Great Place to Work competition. Alko is alcoholic beverage company with 2,600 employees
  • Mehiläinen private healthcare provider (hospitals, medical centers etc)
  • CGI global IT service company with some 3000 employees in Finland 

Alko, Finland’s Leading Customer Experience in Retail Category

Alko had been giving systematic product training to their staff in the past decades, but realized over 10 years ago that this is not enough. Therefore, Alko combined product training and user experience training in order to improve total customer experience. Erika Stude, customer experience manager at Alko talked about journey how product experts have transformed to customer service experts.

Stude explained that they use WAU-ambassadors in coaching staff in stores.She wanted to use the term coaching as it describes better the nature of the session than talking about formal training. WAU-ambassadors have both good product and customer experience knowledge. They spend one day in each store advising personnel about how to create a good customer service.

I found particularly interesting the vision that Alko pushes forward.

Alko User Experience Vision

How about, if each Alko employee could think like customers

Alko Customer Experience Vision (translated from Finnish)

Mehiläinen Relies on Power of Customer Experience Ambassadors

Mehiläinen is having some 30 – 40 user experience ambassadors that are crucial link in getting strategy executed explained Kimmo Huhtimo, customer experience director.  Ambassadors are carefully selected and nominated among personnel. One of the important selection criteria is enthusiasm towards creating better customer experiences.  All of the ambassador are working hands-on with different tasks close to customers. They are not sitting in the HQ and making power point slides. Customer advocacy is just added as one of their tasks among the daily routines. 

Creating a better customer experience is build from bottom up. This way it is possible to improve continuously customer experience. 

Huhtimo explained that better customer experience doesn’t mean hiring more people, but understanding satisfaction drivers and allocate resources according to customer real needs.

CGI Emphasised Face-to-Face Customer Interviews

Managing Director of CGI Finland, Heikki Nikku stated that if you don’t invest in digital customer services, you are not able to invest in to f2f customer meetings. I believe this is really true as digital is the enabler for creating a better customer service.

Heikki described the CGI process of collecting customer feedback. This is very systematic process in which management and sales directors get involved in conducting face to face interviews with the customers. Results are reviewed by the account team, the country manager and also translated for further analysis for the CGI headquarters.

All of three different case examples showed that employee engagement is crucial part of the journey towards better customer service. Digitization is enabler for creating better online and offline user experience.

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