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The Journey to a Successful Customer Experience - Episode 2

The Journey to a Successful Customer Experience - Podcast Series

Keeping Up with Customer Expectations

About the episode
Sales is the  first  human contact representation of a company. As  they  say,  first  impression plays  a big role. On one hand, the  department is the direct link between the company and its customers. Its main objective  is  to  identify the customers’ needs and to make sure that they are met and satisfied. On the other hand, the department is responsible to expand the organizational affairs into new markets, and to reach and surpass the company’s growth goals. That been said, this department is essential to a company’s existence.


Rayhane Dhaouadi, Lead of Marketing and Communications (Host)
Martin Beauregard, Customer Client Success (Guest)

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Podcast music by TimTaj from Pixabay

Here are the highlights of our conversation

The culture of the sales department
Martin Beauregard: In fact, we focus on collaboration, partnership, and teamwork. Maybe like to point out two important words. If I go back to my marketing world that I worked in for many years, there's two important words that could easily resume the culture, like keywords. One of them is, together and the other one is open. Let me put this in context so that I can point the point I’m speaking of. We believe that we must work together, create together, grow together and rethink what's possible together. And the second one would be: Open. We believe that the key to opening opportunities and the way forward for modern business is open culture, open ecosystems, open technologies, and open innovation. So, the first word takes more the teamwork portion of the culture. And the second word, open, mostly goes to the technology portion of it. So, I really like those two keywords. That’s the way that I would explain that.

Things that come through when offering services to businesses
Martin Beauregard: The main question that comes up is: Are we understanding the needs? and how our offerings can help solve the challenges that the buyer or partner are experiencing through their journey? The main concern is to understand the customer and we also focus on the added value, the very important added values that our solutions are including. We keep in mind that we offer larger solutions, not simply software or hardware. IBM is mostly known for the hardware and software portion. We try to focus more on larger solutions. We propose solutions that are tailored according to the real needs and that address the real challenges. We want to address those real needs and challenges that the different customers may have. We go broader and larger than simply software and hardware.

Rayhane Dhaouadi: That’s actually very interesting. A lot of people would not think that IBM would offer payments. However, we do have a very vast and large offerings when it comes to payments and yes, we now are getting the words out there about payments.

IBM offerings considering market challenges
Martin Beauregard: Financial institutions and businesses, they're asking themselves how they can modernize their technology platform and reduce their costs. There are six global trends that are impacting the payment industry. So, let’s go over them quickly. First one is emerging technology. An example of that is the complexity of legacy processes. The second one, is the changing customer expectations, obviously the customers are demanding more from payment providers, better interface, ease of use, and a lot of more flexibility. Aging infrastructure is the other one. Mostly the payment infrastructure is often 30 to 40 years old. So, there is operational risk and limited agility within these infrastructures. Security threats, that's the one that we hear a lot. Fraud continues to increase, and banks are looking to counter these frauds. Revenue compression, alternative payments option with transparent pricing, and central authority and regulations changes. So, payment regulations are changing rules that are related to safety and oversight. So, the IBM Payments Center, includes fitted solutions, helping clients, according to those global trends that we just mentioned, that are impacting the industry. IPC offers a robust cognitive payment as a service platform, empowering financial institutions and businesses to take advantage of an open payment ecosystem. IPC provides this expanded ecosystem where traditional and new participants can easily, quickly collaborate and consume payment services from banks, other financial institutions, and FinTechs’.

The “relationship selling” and some important factors to create a great customer experience
Martin Beauregard: The foundation of the most important factor, selling activity resides on, I would say listening. So, it's the first thing that we have to focus on. Understanding the needs, building trust, and proposing before any financial or estimation or plan, proposing a solution, establishing the trust. To display the relationship selling technique we do it at IBM. We propose the buyer to participate in organized workshop that we call IBM Garage. So, what is IBM Garage? It is an end-to-end model for accelerating digital transformation. It helps to generate ideas, equip you with the practice technology, and expertise to rapidly turn those ideas into business value. I went through documentation, went through that, the documentation from that model and I got some facts that I liked, interesting facts from IBM Garage. These caught my attention. First one, ten times more innovative ideas. So, ten times more, that's a lot of ideas, because when you put the right people together and around the table, even if it's with sellers, IBM or FI’s, with the right teams the right people, you can get more ideas. 67% faster speed to outcome. Obviously, you'll get much faster there. 6 time as many projects into production. And a big 102% ROI, and ROI is very important for a customer to see where his investment is going and if we're producing ROI on that. So, these are four different facts that, caught my attention for the IBM Garage as a model.

About the Podcast
Our podcast series highlights the journey of customers at Expertus, an IBM Company. In each episode, we discuss the customer experience from different perspective, by sharing how we deliver a unique experience for our customers.

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