How are politics, consumer trends and technological innovation shaping the way leading organisations deliver a truly memorable customer experience (CX)?
In the heart of London, in front of over 250 business leaders and decision makers, Sitel Group CEO – EMEA Pedro Lozano opened 2019’s EmpowerCX Europe by examining the myriad challenges facing the industry and highlighted the successful approach Sitel is taking to continue creating emotional connections with customers no matter how the world changes.
Only an individual with no other frame of reference could deny that we’re living in uncertain times. So much so that even 10 years ago, it would have been impossible to predict the shape of the current political landscape.
“Whenever I meet clients, one of the first things they ask is what is the impact of Brexit going to be on our industry,” said Pedro Lozano CEO – EMEA for Sitel Group as began his opening address. “No honest person can give you an answer to that because we don’t know what we don’t know.”
And it’s not just in the U.K., political uncertainty spans the western world, from the heart of Europe to the Mexican border and beyond.
“There is uncertainty where there was once stability,” stated Lozano.
As politics appears to be going through devolution, technology is driving a revolution in the way we live and the way we work. But in our haste to embrace these technological changes there’s a real danger of losing sight of what’s genuinely important in how we run our businesses and how to really deliver for clients and their customers.
“We have to make sure these technologies don’t negatively impact how we make emotional connections,” warned Lozano. “We must never forget that we are humans not robots.”
This is why Sitel Group has been actively leveraging the latest innovations to move its contact centre associates away from repetitive, transactional and process-oriented tasks and towards delivering conversational, omnichannel interactions in line with customer expectations.
“Our people are crucial. What we do is powered by great people,” explained Lozano. “We are using technology to help them deliver a human customer experience and we have created a people-driven and familial culture at Sitel because emotions and experiences matter to our people as much as the people they serve. What we need to ensure is we never forget this.”
Just as important is remembering that to be a true global leader in the industry, an organisation must be local in its outlook and this too, comes back to having the right people with the right outlook, mindset and expertise.
“Too many companies think what works in the U.S. must work in Europe, too,” said Lozano. “But the truth is the needs of one client are different from those of a client in another country. That’s why we are aligned with your market.”
Sitel Group has structured its organisation around local experts who can speak to and absolutely understand the needs of individual businesses in individual verticals in individual countries.
“Spain is different from the U.K., Germany or France or any of the other 27 countries in which we have a presence. We have to have a local outlook,” stated Lozano. “And we have to be close to our contact centre associates. We have to spend time with them because they are the closest of all to our clients’ customers – the only way to understand the customer is to listen to our agents.”
The result of doing all of these things is that Sitel Group is a different company to what it was even three years ago and, like questions on Brexit, is the other most popular topic of discussion when Lozano attends a client meeting.
“It’s true that several years ago, our company might have appeared to be less stable,” said Lozano. “We had a lot of debt and we couldn’t invest as much as we would have liked. But all of that has changed because Sitel is a long-term project focused on delivering for your future not for short-term investors’ needs.”
And delivering for the future means delivering on and managing every aspect of the customer experience.
“This isn’t possible unless you have contact centres; digital capabilities; learning; software and technology; innovation; analytics and big data,” explained Lozano. “We need to be a community of experts capable of offering the right solution for your needs and your customers.”
This ability to offer a truly tailored and integrated solution is only going to strengthen over time because as Lozano makes clear the company has the financial capabilities to focus on continuous investment.
But a war chest on its own is not enough unless, as Lozano points out, it’s used to meet clients’ needs.
“We’re a company embracing innovation and new technologies and providing new expertise,” said Lozano. “But we’re also a company adapted to and aligned with market trends and using the latest innovations to remove barriers, not remove emotion.”
Watch Lozano’s full keynote here.