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.

We know that customers are busier than ever so we have made significant investments in providing customers with greater choice and convenience: investing in free 24/7 parcel lockers that are now in place in more than 260 locations across the country, providing 24/7 customer support via social media, to offering more personalized experiences. For example, if we have a customer’s contact details, we can provide them with a day-before notification that their parcel is on the way and give them the option to have it: redirected free of charge to another address or parcel locker, or left in a safe location of their choosing to avoid missing their delivery.

Investing in the skills and capabilities of our front-line teams has also been critical, along with putting in place customer feedback management systems across all our channels so that our frontline staff receive regular and localized feedback from customers on where we can improve.

Building a culture is hard work. What did Australia Post have to do differently to engage your employees to deliver better CX?

Our front-line teams are passionate about the customer, so it’s about ensuring that they are equipped with the skills, tools, and accountability to advocate for the customer. It’s also about making sure they have access to customer feedback so they have a clear understanding of where we’re getting it right and where we can improve.

A tangible example of how we have empowered our entire workforce to advocate for the customer is via a simple app called Snap It. For instance, if any of our employees are at a BBQ and a friend or relative raises an issue, they can simply log the issue via the app and it is prioritized for follow-up by our customer contact center.

Culture is something that you need to continue to work on, and it starts with leaders modeling the right behaviors and rewarding and celebrating those that go above and beyond for our customers.

 

Don’t miss Christine’s presentation, “From Customer Satisfaction To Delighting Your Customers — The Next Critical Evolution,” which will take place in the morning of Forrester’s CX Sydney 2017 Forum. She will talk about building and embedding a customer-centric culture and why it is fundamental to creating the experiences that customers love and will advocate for.

Come join us at at Doltone House, Darling Island Wharf on May 9 by registering here. See you there!

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