Turning customers into lifelong advocates requires companies to embrace customer experience throughout the organisation.

That is according to Jason Bradshaw, director of customer experience for Volkswagen Group Australia, who spoke to Which-50 about developing a culture around customer experience. He was speaking in advance of next month’s Ashton Media Customer 360 Symposium where he will MC the event.

Bradshaw said a shared customer experience culture is now embedded throughout Volkswagen Group Australia. It’s a far cry from three years ago, when he arrived, when customer experience problems were considered the domain of the customer service department.

  • LEARN MORE:  The Customer360 Symposium will be held in Hunter Valley on April 9-11.  For more information or to register to attend, visit the Customer360 Symposium website

“We’ve been working really diligently to create a culture that is: if I have a problem in front of me, my job is to get that problem fixed. And if I’ve got two problems, the first problem is the one that impacts our drivers and our owners,” Bradshaw said.

“Now when I talk about experience as Chief Customer Officer at Volkswagen Group Australia, I’m really talking about the total experience of anybody that interacted with that brand.”

The obvious benefit is customer problems are resolved more quickly. But there’s an additional benefit around innovation. Bradshaw says the wide buy-in for customer experience is creating more engagement and accountability. That produces more solutions, often from unexpected sources.

“I think that’s a real testament to how, as an organisation, we want to be obsessed about continuous improvement and everyone taking accountability for that experience,” Bradshaw said.

Bradshaw says he wants find out exactly what exceptional customer experience looks like for Volkswagen customers. And that is often a unique perspective.

“It’s not my job, it’s not Volkswagen’s job, to be all things to all people. It’s our job to deliver the best ownership experience to our owners and drivers,” Bradshaw said.

“We invest a lot of time in making sure that we don’t just say to someone, ‘Go do this better’. Because that doesn’t actually achieve substantively. We focus on enhancing people or increasing people’s knowledge or desire to continuously improve and what great actually looks like.”

Customer Experience as your brand

Bradshaw will be speaking at the upcoming Customer 360 Symposium in Sydney and said he’s expecting plenty of discussion around customer experience as your brand. According to Bradshaw, there’s growing consensus on the value of a customer experience focus, but demonstrating a business case is still difficult.

“That’s always the challenge, because the so-called soft stuff is harder to measure than did you sell a widget today,” Bradshaw said.

“So a lot of colleagues of mine, practitioners like me, are constantly talking about how can I demonstrate to the people that need the dollar demonstration that this is actually growing the business.”

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