Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia, Jason Bradshaw, speaks about how the company’s employee engagement strategy has improved customer experiences. Jason asks show host Julia about her views on some of the CX profession’s most burning questions. Together, they unpack a truly horrible car buying experience to determine what went wrong.
Next generation employee engagement strategy
This episode was a bit different. A few months ago, the Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia reached out to me about appearing as a guest on Volkswagen’s in house podcast for employees. Since their program isn’t published publicly, I asked if we could use the interview for my customer experience podcast.
I was impressed with the robustness of VW’s employee engagement strategy. Anyone else who’s created a podcast knows that it’s a labor of love. One that can be quite time consuming and patience-testing. So, and in-house podcast about customer experience definitely isn’t the norm.
The fact that Jason and his team go through the effort to curate CX insights, related these to the VW business and then package this for consumption via a podcast, speaks to how the team prioritizes fostering a cohesive customer-centric culture within VW. Though this makes sense given the fact that – beyond the consumer’s experience with the vehicle itself – the rest of the automobile ownership experience is highly influenced by those who assist during the purchase and maintenance of the vehicle. That’s not to say that digital touch points in this journey aren’t important, but the key moments of truth are still largely experienced in-person.
Adding complexity to this is the fact that most car brands operate on a franchise dealership model, meaning that the team delivering those moments of truth may not even be direct employees of the car brand. Dealerships are essentially 3rd party “partners”, and so its easy to understand why a solid employee engagement plan would be so critical.
Jason’s words of wisdom
During our conversation Jason shared many insights from his years of experience rallying teams around the customer. There were several that really stuck out in my mind:
- Don’t get distracted – it can be easy to become fixated on detailed journey mapping or designing comprehensive CX roadmap, and these things are important, but not if they detract from the mission of improving customer experience.
- Look for similarities in what customers do and don’t like – often times what customers love about experiences (when they go right), is also what the loath about experiences (when things don’t go right). By looking at things this way, CX professionals can leverage journey improvements to also drive customer delight. Who doesn’t love a 2-for-1 special?
- The key to communication is in the detail – nuances in communication can make or break the experience. Take the time to understand your customers and help team members understand how small things, like gestures and tone of voice, can make a world of difference.
A book about customer and employee engagement (aka CEX)
If you’d like to learn more about Jason’s insights on customer experience and employee engagement, you’re in luck! He’s recently published a book, It’s all about CEX. I haven’t read it yet personally, but given Jason’s vast experience, I’m sure it’s chock full of great tips for those looking to drive customer-centric change in their organization. With a title like that, who knows what’s in store. The book is available on Amazon, starting October 23rd, 2018.
Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business engage employees and realize customer-centric growth, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services or get in touch via email. To hear other episodes of Decoding the Customer, click here.