Written by Samantha Regan.
Our CEO, Alex Allwood made the cut in LJ Hooker’s InHouse Magazine ‘True Leaders 2017’.
Read more below.
Alex Allwood, CEO of Holla and author of the book ‘Customer Experience is the Brand’ recently assisted LJ Hooker with the development of our group BHAG with a view to being ‘Australia’s number 1 CX brand’. Alex tells us that in order to create a successful customer experience, one must look from the outside in.
“In the past, businesses have made the mistake of defining the customer’s needs by the business problem. Some businesses might have a customer loyalty problem, a market share issue, or disruption troubles – perhaps with new players coming into the market or new technologies. In many cases, they will define the customer problem by a very ‘inside-out’ approach to problem solving.”
Alex’s strategy for problem solving begins with taking the business challenge, formulating a hypothesis around it and conducting focus groups using qualitative, behavioural or observational data analysis to understand exactly what the customer problem is. Alex emphasises that solving your customer’s problems is obviously a huge business benefit, and aids in long-term sustainable growth.
“This is a very different approach to how businesses operated traditionally. In terms of market share or disruption issues, we see businesses innovating or recreating new products in the hope that it might fix the problem. However, it doesn’t. The customer problem remains”, Alex says.
“What creates success is realigning the organisation around a service-led purpose. Most organisations believe that customer service and marketing is the custodian of the customer. Great customer experience brands have their purpose, and have aligned their culture around customers and across all facets of their organisation. They understand that it’s not just two divisions that create great customer experience; it is all departments that are at play. When you create that alignment across the organisation, you create rewarding experiences for your customers as you reduce friction across their whole journey.”
“Promises are very easy to make to customers, but often delivery is lacking. So it is those positive experiences that are vitally important. For a long time, it has been recognised that positive experiences influence purchasing behaviour. Customers are four times as likely to purchase if they are given recommendations by a friend of family.”
Alex goes on to mention that the traditional customer demographic is changing. By 2525, 75% of the workforce will be millennials whose behaviour is fundamentally different to the generations before them. How customers interact brands in the future is a topic that Alex finds particularly interesting.
“The universal truth is that customers no longer just use sources such as advertising and brand information to inform their decision making. Customers have fundamentally changed the way that they purchase,” she says.
“The work undertaken with LJ Hooker revolved around its promise and desired positioning in the future. The work done has helped everyone understand, from an aspirational perspective, where the brand has to be positioned. It’s about making dreams happen for customers.”
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