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Customer experience tips, trends, and insights from The Arnott’s Group and the NRMA

Margi Lynn

June 16, 20226 min read

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Customer experience doesn’t begin and end with a call or an email to your contact center. When customers express themselves on any online channel, you must be there to listen — and act. 

Recently we participated in The Customer Show, Australia’s largest customer experience expo, where we hosted a conversation with Tina Morrell, General Manager for Customer Strategy & Experience Design for the NRMA (National Roads & Motorists Association), and Simon Lowden, Chief Transformation Officer for The Arnott’s Group. We jumped straight into a lively discussion about how businesses can show up for their customers in a unified and sustainable way. 

Here are some of the tips, trends, and insights that came up.

How do you think customer expectations have changed over time? What can brands do to show up for their customers?

Tina: It has got to start with the customer and knowing where they are. At NRMA, we still have customers that say they want to call and speak directly with us. But with COVID, many of our customers who generally preferred calling, shifted to digital — and they’re staying there. 

Within two weeks, we saw 10% of one particular call type go through live chat instead of calling, and now their issues can be resolved much more quickly. I encourage other brands to test and be confident about trying new channels. We’ve learned at NRMA that providing a good customer experience means creating moments for our customers in the right channels. 

Simon: I believe you need to start by opening up your platform. And if you start to listen to people, you have to listen to the bits you don’t like as well. What we’re trying to do is codify the customer behaviors that turn into shopping action differences. What we’re seeing is that when we show a little bit of love to our loyal consumers, the impact is tenfold. 

Our biscuit brand Tim Tams used to spend weeks, months, dollars trying to figure out whether people liked one flavor or another. Whereas now, with social listening, we’re letting our consumers get involved with this in real time and we’ve driven a level of intimacy with them. 

What’s more, the biggest challenge is getting marketers to work differently. AI systems and data — it’s quite scary and leads to a level of accountability that marketers can be uncomfortable with.

Sustainability is a topic that is really important to customers and to both of your brands. How do you think about sustainability in relation to your customer experience?

Tina: We decided a few years back to make a move into building our own electric vehicle (EV) charging network. We’re leveraging our social listening channels to better understand what’s important to our members, and we learned that they expect us to play in the sustainability space and to drive the agenda and advocate for them. The sentiment we’ve heard from them is, “you should be helping us, but more importantly you should be helping the community.”

Listening to our customers is really important. And from a customer experience perspective, we’re developing new propositions beyond charging networks. What do members and non-members want from us? We’re working with them to find out. We initially brought them in for discovery workshops. Now we’re developing a prototype for an EV package. We are also creating an EV Community (using Sprinklr) where our members can talk, not only to us, but to each other. 

Simon: CFOs often question the importance of sustainability, but it’s a mandate. My position is one of choice — let’s make sure we can offer people a choice. Then it’s a matter of asking, how can we embrace what we’re hearing from our customers and turn those insights into something tangible? Sprinklr provides a spotlight, and as the weeks go by it gets brighter and brighter. This makes it much easier to justify these investments internally because this technology provides visibility into operationalizing sustainability and lets us visualize the impact.

What does being a unifier mean for you and how has it helped your teams or customer experience?

Tina: It’s really important to get your teams together. It’s one thing to have an amazing unified technology solution, but if nothing is being done with that data you might as well not have it. At NRMA, one of the things we’ve done to break down silos and drive change has been to introduce agile squads. 

We looked at our voice of the customer (VoC) and net promoter score (NPS). Then we did a targeted deep dive to tackle specific issues. Our goal was to lift our NPS by two points. We focused on our detractors to identify four key areas and we formed four cross-functional squads. The first sprint was all about becoming customer-centered and also about unifying the team. We really challenged ourselves about whether we were actually solving the right problem. 

Even if you don't have a VoC solution, you can pick one complaint and ask yourself, how would you get a team together to solve that problem? How would you empower them? Even if they fail, that’s okay. You have to emphasize that. To ultimately succeed, you first have to figure out how you can solve a customer problem together. 

Simon: To build a center of excellence, you need to have the skill — and the will for change. You have to start with expertise, and you want people to be jealous of it. That's how you drive change. 

One of the challenges is that everyone has their own number. The CEO has a number, the CFO has a different number. Unless organizations can get people to work on the same number and democratize data, the way you structure your teams won’t make a difference. Don’t think you're going to change everything in one go. Choose a battle that you believe you can win, and put a spotlight on it. That’s the way you’ll generate movement.

To learn more about how The Arnott’s Group is using Sprinklr to strengthen brand trust and provide great customer experiences, check out our Arnott’s customer story

Tina Morrell is the General Manager for Customer Strategy & Experience Design for the NRMA. Tina is responsible for customer strategy, research and insights (voice of the customer), experience design, developing customer value propositions and pricing to drive growth across Consumer and Business segments, as well as Member Relations and Service Improvement teams. Tina is also responsible for CX Design and Innovation and has experience across banking and telecommunications having worked at Optus and CommBank in Product Management & Development, CX & Innovation, and transformational programs.

Simon Lowden is Chief Transformation Officer for The Arnott’s Group. He is responsible for accelerating Arnott’s growth through driving the M&A agenda, leading the development of their corporate strategy and building R&D and digital capabilities, and developing their corporate communications and social responsibility agenda. Prior to this role, Simon developed PepsiCo’s Sustainability agenda, working to help build a more sustainable global food system, one that can meet the needs for nutrition and enjoyment, and continue to drive economic growth and social development, while protecting and restoring the planet.

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