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Always start with the customer

This article was based on the interview with Abhii Parakh of Prudential by Greg Kihlström, Marketing Technology keynote speaker for The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström podcast. Listen to the original episode here:

In the interview with Abhii Parakh, the importance of starting with the customer is emphasized as a foundational principle for creating a successful customer experience (CX) strategy. The conversation highlights the role of CX professionals in ensuring that the needs of customers are met, even when they may not have direct control over data, technology, or budgets within the organization.

One key aspect of starting with the customer is building awareness and buy-in across the organization. This involves spreading the message of customer centricity, explaining why it is strategically important, and outlining how it will be achieved. By involving team members from various departments in the CX transformation process, organizations can gain valuable insights into different teams’ needs and customize the strategy accordingly.

Furthermore, the podcast suggests that data and technology should not drive CX strategy, but rather enable it. Starting with the customer allows organizations to empathize with their needs, understand their preferences, and anticipate future requirements. By aligning the goals of different teams and ensuring that incentives are in place, the organizational structure becomes less important, as budgets and prioritization will naturally follow suit.

The conversation also touches on the role of technology, particularly AI, in improving customer experiences. While AI holds promise in enhancing employee productivity and providing insights for better customer service, there are still risks and limitations that need to be addressed before integrating AI directly into customer-facing interactions, especially in sensitive industries like financial services.

The podcast interview underscores the importance of prioritizing the customer in all aspects of CX strategy. By focusing on the customer’s needs, preferences, and expectations, organizations can create personalized and meaningful experiences that drive loyalty, satisfaction, and ultimately, business growth. The key takeaway is that customer experience is ultimately driven by people, not just technology or data, and by starting with the customer, organizations can build a strong foundation for success in the competitive landscape of today’s business world.