Power of Real-Time Insights
Digital Advertising 02.12.2023

Power of Real-Time Insights

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Shownotes

In this episode of Sunny Side Up, host Lisa Josephson talks to Waseem Kawaf, about how unlocking the power of real-time insights and customized flows can transform the customer experience. Waseem has an inspiring career path that started in investment banking and moved on to working with big-name brands such as Bowes, Dell, and Rite Aid on their digital innovation. He’ll explain how Stanley Security transformed their site experiences to become more focused and journey driven through the implementation of a chat feature that revealed hundreds of customers with real needs. He will also be sharing his story and how Stanley Security transformed its website to be more focused and the journey is driven by using chat. They will also discuss how to create a connected, frictionless customer experience by leveraging chat and marketing automation, gaining C-level buy-in, measuring conversion metrics, tracking customer intents, and building machine learning operations teams.

About the Guest

Waseem Kawaf is the Global Vice President of Digital Experience at Securitas Technology (previously STANLEY Security, a division of Stanley Black & Decker). His focus is on unique opportunities created for one-to-one connections in the digital space on the customer’s terms, available anytime and anywhere.

Connect with Waseem Kawaf

Key Takeaways

  • The voice of the customer is the real differentiator in the digital experience space
  • The belief that a website is an interactive brochure or doormat of the brand is still held by many.
  • Three primary principles for customer experience: scalable, connected, and frictionless. 
  • Customer experience is a constantly evolving area, requiring constant improvement and adaptation
  • Focus on an outside-in approach rather than an echo chamber of internal needs.
  • Design components are tested with user preference and enter the language based on user preference.
  • Improving customer experience also improves employee experience.
  • Integration with marketing automation allowed for a better understanding of when to use live agents versus automation
  • Chats allow businesses to better understand customer needs and further customize experiences
  • Chat also can identify different intent paths, bottlenecks, and how to better connect experiences
  • Understanding personalized flows can create better customer experiences.

Quote

“The voice of the customer is your real product and real differentiator”. – Waseem Kawaf

Highlights from the Episode

You’ve got a very interesting career path – from working in finance & public sector to now creating great digital experiences. Could you throw some light on your exciting journey for our listeners?

Waseem started their career in investment banking, working in London and New York City for Deutsche Bank. They loved the fast-paced nature of the industry, but marketing was their true passion, which they pursued by obtaining an MBA focused on emerging technologies and digital marketing. They gained a deep understanding of digital marketing through working at a startup and then at an agency. They fell in love with user experience, customer journey mapping, and analytics, and view their career as a continuous journey of improvement. In the digital experience space, they believe there is always something new to learn and that the voice of the customer should be the main focus to differentiate from the competition.

Could you tell our listeners how Stanley Security transformed its site experiences to be more focused and journey driven? What was the trigger event that led you to embark on this change? 

Stanley Security transformed its site experiences to be more focused and journey driven by incorporating chat into its website. The trigger event was a meet-up on CX where Waseem heard that chat was the future of customer experience. Despite initial skepticism, Stanley Security decided to try it out and soon discovered that chat was providing them with valuable insights into customer needs and behavior. This led to a rethink of their experiences, guided by three primary principles: scalability, simplicity, and frictionless experiences. The team learned about different intent paths and how to eliminate bottlenecks in the business through chat and marketing automation. The result was a more personalized and connected customer experience. The team recognizes that customer expectations are constantly changing, and it is necessary to monitor and pivot in real-time to provide a 24/7, anytime, anywhere experience.

Could you share some of the challenges that one could encounter on this journey?

Waseem warns that one of the key challenges faced on that journey was that the customer is not part of the organization. He highlights the tendency to have an inward-looking approach to design and product development, which may result in an echo chamber of internal wants and needs. To overcome this, he suggests adopting a customer-centric approach, where every design component is tested with the user preferences in mind. He encourages people to rethink their approach and consider whether they have taken a truly customer-centric approach, or if they have simply reached a compromise by “Frankensteining” and “Kumbayaing.” He cautions that if the design and experience are built on concessions, they will also likely fail by concession.

How did you bring about all the global stakeholders to bring about this transformation? How did you bring them all together?

To bring about the transformation, Waseem and his team started with over a hundred websites and standardized them down to one side and a gold set of platforms. They emphasized governance and culture and worked to prove the value of their efforts. They achieved quick wins by using Chad and building the voice of the customer, working with stakeholders and other teams within the organization. By improving the customer and employee experience, they were able to build support and make champions out of stakeholders. They put points on the board through various campaigns, websites, chat experiences, and marketing automation, showing the power and unlocking potential. All of the efforts were designed to be scalable from the start, even in the concept phase.

How did you measure outcomes and determine metrics for success when starting the project? Could you share more about that?

To measure outcomes and determine metrics for success when starting the project, the speaker first focused on measuring all the inbound points and conversion metrics. This included tracking call information and listening to phone calls to understand customer needs, as well as tracking activity on Google My Business to gain insight into customer intent. By sharing this information with the business, the speaker was able to show the impact of website activity on the bottom line, including the friction points that certain tiers of customers were consistently facing. Waseem also noted the need for automated flows outside of regular business hours, which was identified as a result of these metrics.

Is there anything else that you would like to share about that experience? Maybe the global scope of it?

Waseem mentions that they were fortunate to have support from the top management for their transformation project. The top-level executives need to understand the potential of the project to drive growth and improvement. Without their buy-in, the project may not make significant progress.

Is there a book, blog, newsletter, website, or video that you would recommend to our listeners?

A book:  

Shout-outs

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