Welcome back to ten and ten!
The official podcast of CX loop. The show where we take leaders in customer experience and we put them against ten questions in 10 minutes.
Today’s guest has an extremely impressive CV working across marketing and CX in Australia, the UK and Middle East. It’s Monique Bate! Head of Customer Experience, Engagement and Digital and Legal Super.
In today’s chat, she shares her thoughts on why marketing and customer experience are the perfect match.
What it’s like as a female professional working in the Middle East and why happy employees can mean happy customers.
Take it away. Monique Bate.
Welcome to the show Monique Bate! can you tell us about your role at the moment?
Yeah, sure. So currently I head up the customer experience, digital brands and marketing teams here at Legal Super.
And you’ve got a strong background in marketing across Australia and the UK. Can you tell us a bit about how that led you into your role in customer experience?
So I started working at a large super fund and they’d started to double in size. And so I was brought in to, you know, to look at how to really work on a digital transformation piece. But prior to that, we wanted to really understand what was going on with the experience for our members.
I led a cross-functional team to really start to map out the current state service blueprint, understand our members better, and build personas for a bit of concept ideation.
And so I had this amazing opportunity to work with some incredible people from a digital CX agency who really mentored me right through the process to understand all the key components of human centred design. And then that work really fed into the digital transformation program, which was where we built some new digital assets for the fund. And then at the same time, I started to build out the team and later the digital team.
So working together as well with the marketing team, bringing all of that together so that what we did was customer led or member led in out in our industry and and that really started to help drive what we wanted to do and how we built out our strategy and what and what we delivered on. So that’s kind of how I entered into the realm.
So on this show, we’ve had people coming on from from all kinds of different backgrounds, finding their way into CX. Do you think marketing and CX share any similarities that made the move a logical step for you?
It certainly does because in marketing, you really need to be focused on your customer and really understand, who you’re talking to and what’s important to them.
What are their needs? What are their wants? And, you know, that’s really what customer experience is about.
It’s about really deeply understanding your customers and designing great experiences that can help them, you know, deliver on what they need and what they want from a service organisation and or whatever organisation you’re working for.
So it is very closely aligned and it really does need to work together because marketing people really need to understand the member or the customer.
They need to, deeply understand what is the experience and where communications fit into that whole experience. So, you know, there’s layers of the experience and marketing is definitely a key component of that.
Yeah, absolutely. A lot of synergy between the two. I was having a little bit of a look through your LinkedIn earlier. I hope you don’t mind. And I was interested to see you’re part of a mentorship program in the Middle East, where you were one of only seven women among 100 participants. I was wondering what sort of insights you gained from that experience?
So I moved with my family to Dubai for a couple of years, and I was wanting to find work and get back into things. Once we got set up and there was an opportunity, I was working with a recruiter at the time to look for things. And, you know, a key challenge over there is, you know, women and working basically, especially expats.
They had developed a program in conjunction with MasterCard to really help women learn more about the market over there. The UAE is really different, obviously, to many other countries in the world. And so I was teamed up with with a lovely lady from MasterCard who just worked with me on, you know, really building out what is it that I can offer teaching me a lot about the the market over there and trying to get that that great understanding.
It was really good, you know, and then we ended up leaving the UAE anyway, so I didn’t end up in a final position, although it got really close. But yeah, great experience and great learning about how a MasterCard of the world also operates in the UAE. I did do a bit of work with her on a project which was kind of fun.
But yeah, that was a really different experience for me.
Yeah, it must have been an absolutely fascinating place to live in. Back to the customer experience talk now. Yeah. So how would you define good CX design?
I would define it as one that is really led by data and insights. So really understanding what is going on in the current state and understanding what your customers needs are and their pains, how we can help them. And also one that is really designed collaboratively.
It’s not only about looking at the customer’s perspective, but it’s also about stakeholders within the business, looking at their perspective and the way they see things happening.
Because, you know, people working, you know, with men but with customers also have pain points that they are experiencing. So that’s really comes down to that employee experience. So integrating the two to give a full, rounded perspective and should be considered as part of good CX design.
What would be the best lesson in customer experience, which you’ve learned?
Look, there are so many. I think a key thing for customer experience professionals is to be highly collaborative and to share, keep sharing with people along the journey. You know, it’s so important to bring people on the journey so that they can really understand why you’ve arrived. You know, wherever you land at the end point and there is really no end point, it’s a continuous improving process.
It’s about bringing the business on that journey at the right time. And also, as I said, you know, being really led by data understanding, you know, looking at data that’s meaningful. So there’s one thing to have a number that might say, you know, your customer satisfaction score is X per cent, but what does that mean? What do I need to work on?
What am I doing well?
And it’s really getting down to that level to be able to make a change and make improvements and, you know, that clear, balanced view is really important.
Absolutely. They say that happy employees equal happy customers? How would you view the relationship between employee satisfaction and customer experience?
Look, I think they work hand in hand because there’s always the front and the back end of any good design. So it’s really, you know, if things are easy for the employee to be able to deliver a great customer experience, then just works hand in hand. So if we make it easy for our teams then it’s easy for the customer.
For sure. I recently came across an article which you posted this year where you were discussing the difference between customer service and customer experience. Why do you think businesses still confuse these two terms?
Yeah, it’s an interesting one and they are very different. The way I see customer experience is really the holistic experience. It’s not just about the service at one interaction, you know what I mean? If I’m a customer contact at an organisation to fix something or ask a question or whatever it might be. That’s customer service.Being able to answer that question or solve their problem.
Customer experience is broader than that. It’s that whole start to end of the whole customer experience from, you know, and it could cut across various channels. It could be digital as well as face to face as well as over the phone. It’s got to be more focused on the whole organisation in delivering that experience to a customer.
So that’s the difference. The service is one thing. The experience is more holistic.
And what are you looking forward to in the world of CX this year?
Oh, well, one of the things that I think’s really moving at pace is AI, everyone’s talking about it, especially now with chatGPT and all sorts of things and it’s moving at pace. So I think how organisations can capitalise and work out how that’s going to work for them is going to be something that really starts to come to the fore this year.
For sure it’s been a huge disruptor this year. It’s been the year of AI indeed.
Could you finish this sentence for me? The future of CX is….?
Creating exceptional experiences that fit a hybrid model.
So this is where people want to experience both online and offline. And how are they different but interchangeable? I think that’s really the future, especially after COVID and, you know, the experiences that we had right across the world, all varying, obviously. But I think how do we deliver those experiences that are fit for purpose?
You know, if you want to go face to face, what is that experience and what does that deliver that digital doesn’t? And what does digital deliver that face to face doesn’t? And being really clear and creating a model that’s hybrid that people can choose both for, you know, to get what they need on.
You can hear Monique Bate speak at the upcoming customer experience show in Melbourne on the 4th and 5th of May. Register for your free ticket here!
Catch up on previous episodes here!