Friday Five: CX50 special!
The new CX50 is live! The prestigious list, curated by Zone in association with Cognizant Digital Experience and Marketing Week, celebrates the 50 people leading the customer experience agenda in the UK. Read on for a profile of five inductees, and download the full list at the bottom…
1. Delivering profits with social purpose
The Body Shop has been the poster brand for purpose that sells. Despite a challenging retail environment, its parent company, Natura & Co, saw net profits grow 200% in its last quarter of 2020. David Boynton guided The Body Shop’s slice of that success with a rapid shift to online and At Home services, growing them 130% and making up 40% of the brand’s total sales.
Boynton is passionate about continuing the social purpose set up by founder Anita Roddick — to ethically source natural, cruelty-free ingredients — and is vocal about The Body Shop’s efforts on three key fronts: activism, social justice and a commitment to sustainability. His recent involvements include urging the EU to uphold animal testing bans that had been undermined by EU chemicals legislation.
2. Going purple to increase green credentials
It might not seem intuitive to support your brand’s green credentials by ditching the colour itself, but Laura Harricks has done just that, turning Ocado’s brand identity purple. But it isn’t ditching its commitment to sustainability. In fact, since it partnered with Marks & Spencer, Ocado has been working on its own-range packaging, removing 27 tonnes of plastic and 9 million non-essential packaging components.
Harricks is keen to help customers navigate what can be an overcrowded grocery landscape online, either by their sustainable values or nutritional needs. Ocado is also launching a Food Profile feature, which will help customers with one or more of 15 allergies or intolerances filter out unsuitable products. Harricks hopes this feature will help affected customers explore new options in safety and save them time.
3. Adapting automotive to a digital landscape
Changing up business as usual has been the main focus for Michelle Roberts over the past year. With the ability to self-serve not a usual factor in automotive CX, the shift to digital-only during lockdown tapped into her strengths as a communication innovator. This led to an increased usage of existing tools, like the Genius product information resource, and the launch of new ones like the New Car Locator.
Roberts also oversaw innovations in flexible payment options for servicing to address the changing landscape of customer finances. Her priority now will be to take the learnings around digitisation gleaned during the pandemic and apply them to new multichannel needs. From maintaining digital momentum to mapping new customer experiences, Roberts has plans for BMW’s continued CX transformation.
4. ‘Being the change’ to drive transformation
David Germain has been gradually moving a centuries-old business into the modern age for the benefit of customers — until the pandemic struck. With Covid-19, everything ramped up several notches and Germain is keen to use any tool or technique to speed up the company’s digital transformation — and keep pace with the customer. His philosophy is to seek out expertise wherever it may come from.
He notes that, despite his role ostensibly being about digital transformation, it is the culture that he finds takes the most work and to succeed you have to bring the organisation along with you. It is this approach to ‘being the change’ that has also led Germain to speak out on the topic of inclusivity and to earning a place on Inclusive Boards’ top 100 most influential BAME leaders in the tech sector.
5. Communicating a globally rebranded offering
Formerly chief customer officer at Secret Escapes, Cian Weeresinghe joined Wise early in the transformation from its former incarnation as TransferWise this year, which saw the company undergo a global rebrand across 10 million customers. It will be his job to communicate the brand’s offerings, not just in international money transfers, but also products such as its debit card and multi-currency account.
It will be a significant change of scene and opportunity for Weeresinghe compared to the past year with Secret Escapes, which, like all travel companies, had to think very creatively about its business model during the pandemic. During summer 2020 it changed its product range to domestic or driveable stays that were cancellable, while investing in new technology to help the customer support staff stay fully operational.