Aegis have long been keen to break the perception that they are solely an outsource provider. Chris Kirby Head of Analyst Services spoke to Chris Luxford President, Aegis Services Australia and New Zealand to understand Aegis’s Go-To-Market value proposition.
Q: How does Aegis currently position itself as an organisation?
CL: Long-term market game changing differentiation will only come from a radical transformation of customer experience. That is the challenge that is facing all organisations and the only way that it is going to be addressed is through changing business models. Therefore Aegis is really focused on helping organisations to change their business models, to focus their business models around the customer and to rethink how organisations interact with customers. A lot of the work we are doing is to re-strategise the journey a customer takes with the organisation and Aegis is positioned to help organisations through the transformational journey they have to embark on to create new business models.
Q: What are the key challenges organisations face regarding customer service delivery?
CL: As organisations and Go-To-Market models become more complex, customer service can’t just be about the point transactions or moments of truth with the individual organisation. The key challenge is that many of these moments of truth sit outside the direct influence of the organisation. Organisations need to understand the entire customer experience journey and make sure that all of the organisations that play a part in their value constellation are appropriately focused, have the right culture and the right processes to deliver exceptional outcomes on every single moment of truth that takes place along the customer experience journey. Some of these moments of truth sit outside the control of the organisation, but never the less you still have to try and deliver exceptional customer experience. This is the biggest opportunity and challenge industry faces as service today is still seen as a necessary evil and high cost. It is not seen as a value add differentiator.
Q: What traction and response is Aegis receiving from the marketplace to these challenges and opportunities?
CL: Many organisations claim they have already started on this journey towards being customer-centric. But we would challenge that most organisations on that journey remain focused only on the pieces that sit within their control i.e. internal call centres, internal retail stores, social media and marketing. Also organisations tend to look at these internal operational centres in isolation. Very few organisations are genuinely looking at their business models from a customer perspective or looking at every moment of truth. We are talking about a mammoth business model change. Changing a business model is hard and that is what we have to help organisations achieve.
Q: What appetite is there for this transformational change at the Board level of organisations? Are Boards still focused on the traditional areas such as Finance, Technology, Human Resources and Sales & Marketing?
CL: We recognise that Boards are starting to change and start to focus more on customers. Everyone tends to logically understand this opportunity and the importance of the need to change business models to become more customer focused. However, they struggle with how to go about this transformational change. Like all business decisions there is significant risk, as considerable investment will be required to drive change and it is very hard to put a business case around this proposition. There are many examples where organisations have a vastly different business model and genuinely put the customer at the centre such as Zappos in the United States. Zappos don’t have an Average Handing Time target as they recognise the opportunity to increase revenues through upselling and cross selling. They have tipped customer service on its head and have become one of the fastest growing businesses in the US. Despite numerous examples, the problem is many organisations are still struck with fear about the level of change that is required.
Q: As organisations move along this journey, what do you see as the role of technology?
CL: Technology is in every conversation we have. Every business requires technology to run their business. We don’t see technology as a separate conversation. It is simply one of the enablers. Organisations already have great people. Therefore the key question is how do you improve processes and use technology to create this new business model? If you already have great people, then you have to change your business processes and you will undoubtedly need technology to assist in the changing of those business processes. You have to provide technology that facilitates people making better decisions to deliver better customer service outcomes. The major shift is using technology to allow the business to move from a reactive customer service model to more proactive one.
The most important element of any technology investment, and this is something that we drive home religiously, is not the technology itself but the need to change business processes. You can buy any technology from any vendor but it will make no difference if you don’t change your business processes. We have found that for every $1 spent on technology organisations need to invest $1.40 on process change. What we find though is that on average organisations are spending less than 30c so there is a massive gap in being able to bring the right outcomes through process change to the technology investments. Organisations invest heavily in technology but very rarely invest in the process changes that are required.
Written by: Chris Kirby, Head of Research and Analysts Services for Fifth Quadrant.
To contact Chris, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Auckland Airport is hosting a week of workshops for airport staff to learn more about offering customer service to Chinese visitors.
The workshops are designed to help staff at Auckland Airport deliver better airport experiences for Chinese tourists - currently the fastest growing tourism market for New Zealand. Auckland Airport's Glenn Wedlock said the workshops are another initiative from the airport to foster and build enduring relationships with China.
"China is one of the world's leading economies and a huge growth opportunity for New Zealand. We have experienced impressive growth in Chinese arrivals during the Chinese New Year period with 30% year on year growth in the combined two month January and February period," said Wedlock. "These workshops will provide staff across the board at Auckland Airport with increased knowledge of how best to interact with our Chinese visitors, ensuring that we in turn provide the best possible travelling experience for them."
The regional Philippine city of Bacolod in Negros Occidental province has been formally identified as one of the country's newest BPO hubs.
The Philippine Department of Science and Technology formally identified Bacolod as a Center of Excellence for IT and BPO during a ceremony this week. Other Centers of Excellence in the Philippines include Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Clark. As a Center of Excellence, Bacolod was elevated from the ranks of the "Top 10 Next Wave Cities in the Philippines."
Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for information and Communications Technology founding president and executive director and councilor-elect Jocelle Sigue dedicated the distinction to "every call centre agent, technical support representative, global services worker, business process manager, IT-BPO professional" and to Bacolod and Negros residents "working to prove that Bacolod, Negros Occidental is truly a Center of Excellence in the Philippine IT-BPM industry today."
Leaders in Customer Experience Strategy consulting and the largest provider of Customer Experience Research and Analyst studies in Australia, Fifth Quadrant, this week announced the launch of its Co-creation and Customer Experience Design Practice.
Co-creation is a form of open innovation where ideas are shared. Customer Co-creation is the process of organisations creating products, services and experiences in collaboration with consumers, tapping into their intellectual capital and in exchange giving them a direct say in what actually gets produced, manufactured, developed or designed.
Co-creation is a key part of Fifth Quadrant's Customer Experience Design method and has been used across multiple industry sectors.
Research by Fifth Quadrant shows that despite 62% of organisations across Australia and New Zealand citing Customer Experience as one of their top strategies for 2013, very few involve customers or employees in the Customer Experience Design process. In many cases, it appears that organisations will invest significant time and resources in a customer experience design that doesn't create any significant benefit for the customer or the business.
In order to design differentiated experiences that actually meet customer needs, organisations may utilise Co-creation as a primary method of Customer Experience Design. "It is not possible for organisations to unlock personalised value for customers without having customers involved in the unlocking of that value" said Dr Catriona Wallace, CEO, Fifth Quadrant.
For more information on Fifth Quadrant's Co-creation methodology please contact Claire Chow on +61 2 9927 3399 and please see attachment.
Melbourne, Australia (3 May, 2013): Aegis Australia, one of the country's largest outsourcing and contact centre companies, has appointed a new CEO with 20-year customer contact executive Andrew Hume taking over the reins.
Aegis Australia turns over nearly $200 million annually and is a leading provider of a wide range of customer contact solutions. It has more than 2,500 contact centre seats in three locations in Australia providing the customer facing solutions for many major ASX listed companies. Aegis also has successful field marketing and registered training businesses which Hume wants to grow.
Hume, who spent more than 12 years at Aegis competitor Salmat as CEO of Customer Contact Solutions, has a clear vision where he sees the company heading. “I’m determined that Aegis will be a breath of fresh air in the Australian marketplace,” says Hume. “We’re in this for the long-haul and we’re committed to being an innovative partner to the many clients who trust us to deal with and manage their customers. Increasingly, businesses are looking for the benefits of shifting some service delivery to lower cost environments - and that's a solution that Aegis is uniquely qualified to provide."
Hume, one of the architects of the culture that won a contact centre Australia’s Best Employer Award three consecutive years, said one of his first tasks was to bolster his management team.
"I am focused on building an engaged and motivated team of highly talented, energised and creative people to fuel our next growth phase.
"Our team thrives on the challenge of working with clients and partners to craft intelligent solutions that make the complex simple."
Aegis Australia is part of the global Aegis group which boasts more than 55,000 employees in 56 locations across 13 countries with more than 300 clients.