The digital age has transformed the way we shop and share our experiences. Today, customers are driving the buying process using websites, blogs, and social media platforms. We have endless options and low prices are not enough to persuade us. According to Deloitte, 62% of companies view customer experience delivered by the contact centers as a competitive differentiator.
The WIL had the chance to discuss this issue with Beatriz San Pedro Jimenez, a Customer Experience and Process Transformation Leader at Orange Spain, and a participant in our Women Talent Pool programme. In this interview, Beatriz shares her thoughts and expertise in the field and reveals to us some of the key ingredients of a great customer experience recipe!
Can you tell us more about yourself and how did you come to focus your career on the customer experience?
I have been working for Orange since 2005 and for the last 6 years, I have been holding several positions focused on customer experience. My first years at Orange were oriented to technical areas and after an MBA, I decided to move to marketing where I discovered my interest for knowing more about the customer, his motivations, and his experiences when getting in contact with Orange. Since then, it has become my passion and during these past years, I have acquired quite a good understanding of how our products, services, and technologies are perceived by the customer.
“Company´s secret ingredient for success is to place the customer experience at the center of its strategy.
What would be the three main components of a great customer experience and could you reveal us the company’s secret ingredient for success?
The first thing would be to place the customer at the center of the product design. A key element during this stage is to take into account customer feedback as it helps to prioritize functionalities and to create a product/ service adapted to his needs. This means more satisfaction for the customer and thus more engagement and recommendation.
Second is to be proactive towards the customer, anticipating the needs he may have at a given moment and proposing personalized products/services and effective solutions.
Thirdly - Simplicity in terms of products and usage. On one hand, customers demand to buy simple offers easy to understand and to get installed and ready to use as soon as possible. On the other hand, customers expect to carry out any kind of interactions from their mobile such as purchase, renewal of mobile phone, change plan, bill consumption… through a fast, easy and useful experience.
As for the company´s secret ingredient for success, I would say it is to place customer experience at the center of the strategy of the company. This shows the priority is clear so the whole organization is engaged and moves towards the same objective. It is the case at Orange where customer experience is the main priority with an ambitious Customer Experience Program at a Group level.
“Negative experiences are unique opportunities for companies to change them into memorable moments, increasing customer satisfaction and recommendation.”
What is your most memorable experience as a customer?
I have lived both positive and negative moments as a customer. To give an example, I had recently lived a negative experience purchasing at an online store for natural products. The package arrived with some products damaged due to the impact during delivery. I went to the sellers’ website to report the issue sending some pictures as requested. In less than 48h, I received the confirmation that the products were going to be sent again. My issue was dealt 100% online and fast. Simple, efficient and trustable.
Customer appreciates agility, especially when a negative experience occurs. These moments are unique opportunities for companies to change negative experiences into memorable moments, increasing customer satisfaction and recommendation.
As the leader of Customer Experience and Process Transformation, you are right on trend when it comes to digital transformation, which is a big topic today. How will the “Big Data” and “Customer Analytics” impact customer sales processes and what is their added value in the management of customer relations?
Indeed, Big Data is a big topic today and it is playing an increasing role for companies that want to keep on the successful path in the coming years. To collect, analyze and understand customer data is extremely important but the great challenge is to make the most of this data in order create added value for the customer. This means that learning how to use customer data will have a big impact on customer sales processes as it will improve segmentation and the possibility to offer personalized products and services based on their usages and preferences.
“Advanced analytics will reveal what is working and what needs to be fixed in terms of the customer journey and user experience, which will have a positive impact on our customer relationship.”
Besides, understanding customer insights through advanced analytics will reveal what is working and what needs to be fixed in terms of the customer journey and user experience.
This will have a positive impact on our customer relationship and we will be able to anticipate issues before they start or to respond to them more rapidly.
You have moved from Madrid to Paris, where you worked for Orange for five years, and then back to Madrid. I guess you might have needed to get a mobile phone for yourself – how did you perceive the differences in customer experiences, if any? And what about between the two working environments? How valuable was this international experience for your professional career?
I have always enjoyed working in international environments and it has been extremely valuable for my professional career. In Paris, I worked at Orange Group in Customer Experience Department, so I had the opportunity to build an international network and to work hand in hand with other European countries sharing best practices. As for customer experience, I have experienced similar customer issues in both countries when dealing with mobile or broadband services. However, I perceived some differences in customers’ behaviors and interests, so the offers are adapted accordingly.
I find myself conformable in both working environments. Respect and flexibility are key elements to adapt yourself, as the main divergences are more related to cultural aspects.
You were a very active participant of WIL’s 3rd edition of Woman Talent Pool programme. What are your impressions from this 18-month experience, what did you learn?
WIL WTP programme has given me the opportunity to meet international senior women leaders from public and private sectors and to learn from their experiences. To be part of this community has been a big source of motivation and inspiration for me.
“There is no single path to success and each of us has to define their own and be comfortable with it.”
I have appreciated the conferences and debates with great speakers and the seminars have helped me to improve my leadership, to think out of the box and to grow in confidence, in order to face new professional challenges. I have understood that there is no single path to success and each of us has to define their own and be comfortable with it.
In one of the women talent meetings, we received a copy of Dr. Carol Dweck bestseller, “Mindset: changing the way you think to fulfill your potential” greatly introduced by Elena Bonfiglioli, Senior Director Health and Life Sciences , EMEA, Microsoft. This book has been a big discovery and extremely inspiring for me as it draws your attention to the power of the mindset on how to succeed. I have understood the need to adopt a growth mindset approach free of fixed patterns and negative beliefs as a way to reach both personal and professional goals.