CX Sydney Forum 2017: Guest Q&A With Australia Post’s Christine Corbett

Successful business leaders drive their organizations to create experiences that continually meet or exceed customer expectations. At our CX Forum in Sydney on May 9, Forrester thought leaders and a world-class roster of industry innovators will come together to explore the current and emerging best practices for the design and delivery of exceptional customer experiences in digital channels.

I recently caught up with one of our keynote speakers — Christine Corbett, chief customer officer at Australia Post — to discuss the importance of creating and nurturing a CX-driven culture. Here’s what she had to say:

How has the age of the customer affected the postal service? How have your customers’ needs evolved?

While the rise of the digital economy has created challenges for our traditional letters business, it has opened up exciting new opportunities for Australia Post in parcels. With the rapid growth in online shopping, our customers are looking for greater access, convenience, and choice in the way they transact with us. They are looking for omnichannel experiences: digital for simple transactions, with the option of face-to-face when they need more assistance. More than 50% of our customer interactions are now digital.

Our customers are also looking for more personalised experiences, particularly with parcel deliveries where they can elect to have their parcel left in a safe location of their choosing if they know they’re not going to be home.

What has Australia Post done to improve its customer experience?

We have four key customer focus areas that we have aligned our teams around: creating seamless experiences across channels; listening to customers and taking action; knowing our customers; and empowering our people.

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Forrester's CX Sydney Forum 2017: Deliver Exceptional Digital Customer Experiences . . . Or Else!

We’ve been busy finalizing the agenda and speakers for the forthcoming CX Forum in Sydney on May 9. That’s only eight weeks away!

Our focus this year is on exploring the current and emerging best practices for the design and delivery of exceptional customer experiences in digital channels. To put it more simply, we’re going way beyond the why and what to dig deeper into how.

CX and digital marketing professionals need to accelerate the pace of change, so for 2017 we’re deep-diving into four key themes:

  • The future of digital CX. How can you blend new technologies like bots, artificial intelligence, and digital assistants into your existing digital CX strategies? How do these new tools change customer behavior and expectations? And how will the practice of CX be altered as a result?
  • CX design and delivery. What are the best practices for creating innovative, distinctive customer journeys that cross functions like sales, marketing, and customer service? How can you truly embrace CX as a team sport?
  • Technology stack and strategy. How can CX and IT collaborate to tackle new thinking about CX technology strategy and management? How can these groups work together to drive the digital transformation of their entire organizations?
  • Creating and nurturing a CX-driven culture. How can you deliver sustainable, remarkable experiences? What does it really mean to instill a customer-obsessed culture and what are the hallmarks of a CX-driven organization?
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Forrester’s Next-Generation Financial Services Summit Sydney Is Almost Here

Business leaders in the financial services industry (FSI) know that digital isn’t the future — it’s the present. How do I know this? A recent Forrester survey found that global FSI firms generated 34% of their 2015 revenue through digital products and services or products sold online. By 2020, this digital quotient will surge to more than half of their business, driving a digital arms (and capabilities) race against a new breed of competitor.

Australia's banks have already proven to be some of the most innovative globally. But faced with increasing consumer demands and financial technology (fintech) challengers, they need to continue to raise the bar. JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon accurately sums up the new competitive dynamic that all major banks face when he notes that “There are hundreds of startups with a lot of brains and money working on various alternatives to traditional banking.”

Our inaugural invitation-only FSI summit in Sydney on Thursday, August 4 will bring together an intimate group of senior executives from banks, insurance companies, and fintech firms to share Forrester’s latest digital business research and facilitate a discussion with industry leaders in the financial services industry. Our team of esteemed analysts will lead the discussion; here is a snapshot of the topics that will be presented on the morning of the summit:

  • Michael Barnes (Vice President and Research Director serving CMOs – Sydney): Accelerating Digital Business In Financial Services
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Forrester’s Customer Experience Marketing Summit 2016 In Sydney Is Fast Approaching!

 

Six months after our highly successful Summit for Marketing Leaders in Australia, I’m excited to announce that Forrester’s CX Marketing Sydney 2016 event is less than 7 weeks away.

As all organizations operating in Australia understand, the line between brand, marketing, and customer experience (CX) disciplines has blurred as people gain access to companies, services and products on their own terms. How can you thrive in this dynamic environment? Start by effectively coordinating between brand, CX, and marketing teams.  

We’ve filled our agenda with senior CX and Marketing professionals from leading organizations across Australia, and beyond. Key topics they’ll cover include:

  • Driving business results, competitive advantage, and growth by delivering the right customer experience.
  • Identifying the key practices and behaviours that fuel CX innovation.
  • Building and maintaining a brand in a digital world.
  • Instilling an understanding of customer emotions into design experiences and branding strategy.
  • Systematically improving CX through effective measurement.
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Forrester’s Summit for Marketing Leaders Is Coming To Sydney September 15th!

I really cannot believe it’s been nearly twelve months since our last Sydney event. But it’s official, we’re now only four weeks away from Forrester’s Summit For Marketing Leaders in Sydney.

This year’s theme is “Connect, Engage, Deliver.” Why that theme? Well, we know from our research that firms in Australia and New Zealand are prioritizing customer experience, but struggling to deliver results. That’s why we’ve tailored this event around three key topics: how to connect with distracted, empowered customers; how to engage customers once those connections are made; and how to nurture customer obsession as a strategic imperative throughout the organization.

Our agenda is packed with marketing executives from leading organizations focused on customer obsession. Key topics they’ll cover include:

  • Driving brand leadership in the age of the customer.
  • Creating seamless brand experiences across the digital and physical divide.
  • Understanding the emotions which drive CX for your brand and how to create them.
  • Reinventing digital user experiences to define and deliver superior CX.
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When Sourcing Enterprise Marketing Capabilities, Start by Understanding Customer Expectations

 

To successfully grow in Asia Pacific (AP), you must excel at understanding customers’ needs, wants, and behaviors and have the capabilities necessary to transform this insight into improved customer engagement. But that’s true everywhere. What sets the AP region apart are the continued vast differences between markets. Appreciating these market differences, and the impact they have on customers’ expectations, is critical when sourcing enterprise marketing capabilities.    

In my recent report, entitled “Consider Regional Factors When Evaluating Enterprise Marketing Software Suites”, I highlight key regional trends affecting marketing priorities and the likely impact on organizations’ marketing technology requirements, including:

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Need Better Customer Insights To Fuel Your Digital Strategy? Start By Working On Your Communication Skills

 

Retaining and delighting empowered customers requires continuous, technology-enabled innovation and improved customer insight (CI). The logic is simple in theory, but that doesn’t make it any easier to implement in practice.

In my recent report, entitled “Applying Customer Insight To Your Digital Strategy”, I highlight the top lessons learned from organizations in Asia Pacific (AP) that are successfully leveraging CI to fuel digital initiatives. It all starts by ensuring that data-driven decision-making is central to the digital strategy. With that in mind, I want to use this blog post to focus on two key lessons from the report:

 

Lesson One: Establish A Clear Mandate To Invest In Customer Analytics

Successful companies serve empowered customers in the way they want to be served, not the way the company wants to serve them. When building a mandate you should:

■  Expect natural tensions between various business stakeholders to arise. To secure buy-in from senior business decision-makers, start by illustrating the clear link between digital capabilities and data as a source of improved customer understanding. Identify measurable objectives and then link them to three to four scenarios that highlight where the biggest opportunities and risks exist. Continue to justify data-related investments by restating these scenarios at regular intervals.

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Digital Initiatives Expose Gaps In Customer Analytics Capabilities

In my last blog post I outlined Forrester’s key customer insights (CI) predictions for 2015. Now I’d like to drill down into some of the key barriers to CI effectiveness we’re seeing among Asia Pacific-based organizations. This content was pulled from my recently published report, which Forrester clients can access here.

Core competencies of effective CI pros have typically centered on customer segmentation and campaign performance measurement. When extending these capabilities to digital marketing strategies, the goal is typically to enable more effective customer acquisition and onboarding by extending reach. In other words, digital innovation often simply means “better campaigns.”

But what happens once that process is complete? It’s not enough to have a world-class digital capability for acquiring new customers. Empowered customers expect the same type of seamless experience, improved efficiency, and heightened responsiveness in all subsequent interactions with your brand.

So why so many firms struggling to realize the full potential of customer analytics to effectively serve and retain their customers? I’ll give you four reasons:

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Customer Insights And Big Data Analytics Will Sprawl in 2015

Forrester recently published its 2015 Predictions for Asia Pacific. I wanted to highlight some specific trends around customer insights (CI) and big data, two very hot topics for many AP-based organizations.

We strongly believe that success for many organizations hinges on your ability to close the gap between available data and actionable insight. Marketing is taking the lead here, as CI pros seek to use data to fuel customer engagement improvements. Hence 2015 will be a year of increased fragmentation as reliance on analytics spreads across organizations.

What will this mean for you? More cloud-based and mobile analytics, more demand for interactive and responsive analytics, and more use of specialist and niche BI and analytics service providers. Given this backdrop, Forrester believes that:

  • Analytics spending will increase by at least 10% across the region. Yes analytics spending will increase, but less of it will be visible in the CIO's budget. Marketing and other business departments will drive analytics investments to address specific challenges and opportunities. The technology management (TM) organization will have little control over the implementation and deployment of niche and specialist BI and analytics services.
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MSFT Expands Azure To Australia, Calls Out (Some) Competitors

On Monday Microsoft officially announced the launch of two Azure Data Centers in Australia. This is big news for the many Australia-based organizations concerned about data sovereignty, as well as those who simply equate on-shore data residency with increased security and control.

Announced as part of TechEd 2014 in Sydney, Microsoft specifically called out Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google as it’s key competition. In fact, Microsoft has gone to great lengths over the past year plus to consistently position these two companies as the only other viable longterm cloud providers. This is based on three cloud provider capabilities identified by Microsoft as critical: hyper-scale, enterprise-grade, and hybrid.

Overall it’s a good angle for Microsoft. All three players operate at hyper-scale as public cloud providers. All three also offer enterprise-grade services, (although this definition varies based on workload). Most importantly for Microsoft, neither AWS nor Google have a primary focus on enabling hybrid cloud services.

In contrast, all traditional large infrastructure vendors (Fujitsu, HP, IBM, VMware, etc.), system integrators (Dimension Data, NTT, etc.), and telco’s (Telstra) focus squarely on enterprise-grade services and hybrid cloud enablement. Rackspace, IBM and HP also have Australia-based data centers. But all these providers lack hyper-scale.

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