Graham Johnston, Head of Omnichannel, Three

Creating omnichannel experiences; Integrating in-store & customer support; Three Live; and omnichannel customer feedback
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What's in the episode?

This week, I had the pleasure of chatting to Graham Johnston, the Head of Omnichannel at Three (the British telecomms & internet service provider).

Since their launch in 2003 (03/03/2003...), Three has grown to 10 million customers and has led the way in a number of incredible omnichannel customer experiences.

Graham's an omnichannel expert and has been with Three for a significant part of their growth journey, so naturally we dug into omnichannel from all sides: definitions to use cases.

We discuss two of Grahams initiatives in particular, Three Store Now and Three Live. Both of which brought customers closer to the brand through a mixture of digital and physical worlds.

If you want to dig deeper yourself, Graham has his own podcast, 'Think Omnichannel' which is incredible in-depth and insightful on the omnichannel subject.

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In this interview, we answer these questions:

  • What is omnichannel?
  • What challenges are there for large companies when it comes to omnichannel?
  • How can you overcome legacy systems?
  • What is Three Store Now (an innovative omnichannel project delivered by Graham Johnston) and how has driven exceptional omnichannel experience?
  • What is Three Live? How has it helped keep customers on-site and increase the likelihood of purchase?
  • How did Three use digital experience to keep customers calm and confident during the pandemic?
  • How did Three pivot during the pandemic to reduce contact centre waiting times?
  • In what ways have Three had to change WHO they hire to meet the skillsets of their innovative technology?
  • Why is ease of integration is now so important for tech providers to get right?
  • How does Three collect customer feedback (from closed-loop reviews to support tick analyse)?

Phew, we covered a lot in 30 minutes. Safe to say this episode was thought-provoking and packed with insight.

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Ben Goodey: Hi, Graham. Welcome to the podcast.

I think a great place to start would be you and omnichannel, your experiences and just let the basics, how do you define omnichannel?

Graham Johnston: Excellent.  yeah, so first of all, the definition on the channel it's interesting. I ask everybody that comes on my podcast. Exactly. That one question I've had so many different, brilliant examples of it, but for me, it is providing a seamless experience for customers across all touchpoints, regardless of where those touchpoints are.

So whether that be social media,  physical retail store, online app, indirect third party delivery etc. An omnichannel experience really is about how a customer experiences the brand and providing a seamless handoff between those different channels or touchpoints. We don't have to be any particular channels, but obviously, it is a phrase that is not a customer-facing phrase because people don't talk like that.

They don't say I'm going to go out and have a great omnichannel experience. They don't see it. ‘Hey, I love shopping with Three because it's really omnichannel’. They don't do that. They just see the experience they get from that business. And that's the whole point of omnichannel is that behind the scenes it's super complex, but to the customer, it should seem very seamless and very straightforward.

So it's about making sure that the business is set up to provide the best customer experience to that customer that feels personalized. It feels relevant. It doesn't feel clunky. And, behind the scenes and the business is organized. Both in terms of the ways of working and in terms of where the people are in the organization to enable a seamless omnichannel experience.

So is essentially customer experience but through a multitude of different touchpoints.  I'll give an example of and it's a frustration that most people have where,  they go into a store and they say, look, I've seen this deal, or I've seen this particular offer and I saw it on your website and they go, yeah, you have to go online to do that.

Or, you want to update something on your account and they say, ‘Oh, I'm really sorry. You have to fill in the contact centre to that’. It's that they, these are the barriers that everyone becomes aware of that on, against an omnichannel experience. An omnichannel experience really truly means it, regardless of what channel you're in, you should be able to do whatever you want and you should be able to do whatever you want whenever you want, regardless of what channel that you're actually in.

So there's lots of technology that enables this. But omnichannel should not be mistaken for digital transformation and deploying certain systems and, products and features because that enables it for sure. But it's not the be-all and end-all.

An omnichannel experience or omnichannel transformation is all about the people and enabling the people and the culture of the business to operate in a way that supports customers wherever they are, whenever they are and allow them to do,  or have a great experience throughout that journey.

Ben Goodey: So why is that, that companies will have that authority siloed in different places.

Graham Johnston: Yeah. Yeah. It was a great question. And it comes, I think mostly from legacy. Systems and legacy processes that have been in place. So a lot of businesses start on a channel. So you know, where you've been a pure-play online retailer, and then started to branch out into physical retail stores, and then you upload an app and then you maybe realize that you need a contact centre.

All of these things are sort of added on and added on. And then as those things are added on either the right source store, they are a different system is introduced into that business, or you've got businesses that have acquired or merged or whatever. So what then happens is you've got different parts of the business operating in a silo and trying to build some kind of fake it solution in behind the scenes to ultimately try and join it all up.

So that's where business processes then come in to say, okay, Hi, How do we ensure that we get the best experience? Okay. Well, the best experience is if they call the contact centre or the best experiences that they go to the local store, or if they go on the app or whatever, and it is not easy to change that because you have to, there, you have to either deploy new systems or you have to educate people, or you have to change the way that your business is set up.

So for that to happen, there's a huge amount of, of steps it needs to, which is why you probably feel that if you deal with a brand new business, something that, you know,  about the business has been stood up fairly recently that's got in our new, very agile core single view of the customer CRM system, a brand new app, a brand new website, and maybe a few stores or, the deal with third parties or whatever.

You tend to find that you have maybe a more seamless experience because it's new, it's innovative and they don't have that legacy of all processes that dictate where customers go. So that's probably why you find that in a lot of businesses.

Ben Goodey: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. That's actually a really difficult challenge for businesses.

So what about you and Three I mean how long three been around 20 years now, there must be some legacy systems so how have you dealt with this problem

Graham Johnston: Absolutely. Yeah, 100%. And so Three has been around since 2003. It was the third of the third, 2003, when three was launched, which was probably a good day to launch a brand called Three, so you've been around for a while and yes. It has got legacy systems and as you grew a business, Like through the is complicated where you've got multiple different facets to it.

You've got,  a system that's built to deal with the customers that you have at that moment in time, the growth that you've had through the 17 years that the business has been in existence for is phenomenal going from zero customers to over 10 million customers in that period is, it's big growth.

And obviously, there were periods where the business was doubling and.  as you want to deliver and deploy new features and new function, new functionality for customers, you have to introduce new systems or systems become integrated. So, we are in a big and in the middle of a big business transformation at the moment, there's a lot of great innovation going on.

We've already deployed some of that transformation and other elements of it have been through testing and learning different ways of joining together the channels. But,  it doesn't happen overnight. And it is really important to, for businesses to know that does not happen overnight.

Business transformation, customer-centric, transformation, technical transformation is long, and it takes a lot of time because you have to keep your business operating. During the day and make sure your customers are getting the best experience possible while building for the future. And it's almost like trying to change the engines on the plane while flying it.

It's difficult, it's not easy. And, you have to make sure your businesses are running at a good pace and your customers are getting great experience well, trying to innovate and move forward. So some of the things we've done in the last couple of years to bridge that gap between online and offline is deploy new initiatives that harness the best parts of all of our channels.

So I'll talk about Three Store Now, for example. So Three Store Now is where our retail advisors. And all of our stores now can be able to support our customers digitally. And what I mean by that is we all know in retail that the footfall and retail stores generally across the country has been declining for years. That's just a trend that has been there. And everyone's fully aware of that.

Online, conversely has been going up, but we also know that's in a store. You get a great human experience. And certainly, in our stores, you get a great human experience. We're famed for that on the high street, we've got great people that provide great service.

We've got fantastic people in our contact centres. So when people speak to somebody on the phone or over chat with our contact centres, they get a great experience from those people because they've been trained on how to interact with our customers.

To introduce a human into the process and I think when you do that, you get a much better result. If you want to speak to somebody, if you want to go to a retail store, normally you're quite happy to speak to somebody. If you're online, you don't expect to be able to speak to somebody. And therefore,  a lot of people will go on and browse and start the journey by just exploring and looking around.

I think we want a bit more help, maybe something as complex as,  buying a phone with, multiple different options, different pricing options, different products and services, all that kind of stuff. You might want to go and speak to somebody just to get some advice, whether at BMA or a family member, or actually go into a physical store and get some advice, but not everyone can make it into a physical store even before the pandemic people's lives are busy and doing making that extra step to speak to somebody wasn't always an option.

So what we introduced was Three Store Now and where, if somebody isn't a shop and they're not with a physical customer, they take that for an hour. They go onto the app and they go I'm available. And that sends a message through to make sure that the system knows that.

That person is available or there is at least one person of Ella in the business, and it pops up an opportunity for our customers in the right place, on the website to click on it and say, they want to speak to one of our in-store experts. And that creates a normal chat that you would expect to see in any chat platform.

The difference being that, the hero platform, it's just that the company we've partnered with who predominantly focus on fashion and high-end fashion, almost like a VIP personal shopper type experience. It allows you to share photos, videos, and go on a live stream between you and the customer.

So you're bringing the in-store experience to life for that customer. And if someone's saying, Oh, I want to see the size of the new iPhone versus the old iPhone. Then, the store advisor can take a photo of the old one, the new one, say there, it goes on. I want to see it in your hand. Okay.

There you go. That's the size of it in the hand. I want a demo of it, right? Okay. Let me call you and I'm going to give you a demo of it. So you're bringing the, all those different elements of an in-store experience, but to the comfort of somebody's home. So that's what we've done with Three Store Now.

And it started small. We just you know, 30 odd stores and we increase that. Earlier on in this year to 75 stores. And then obviously when the pandemic was coming and we knew that lockdown was eminent, we got every store trained up, which meant that day one and in lockdown, customers were able to be supported by our retail teams, some of which were working from home and able to support them.

So that's been a real lifeline for our business. And. Now that we're in lockdown2.0 in England, especially all of the stores being closed. We have got our store managers are all working on Three Store Now from home providing continuous service to our customers when they're on the website.

So yeah, there's one example of how we've leveraged on the whole online, offline experience and trying to bring and harness the best parts of each of the different channels together and merge them and create that seamless experience that customers can have.

Ben Goodey: That's so interesting. I think it's a stupid inventive and cool project. What do you find is the advantage of having someone in the store pick up that phone rather than just someone in the contact centre say with like the video chat on.

Graham Johnston: That's a good point. not in a physical store, they normally have all the products and services set out.  You've got all your physical devices, so you can, take photos of them and the point of sales there, you can show them that.

Our contact centre is predominantly there to support customers who are already with us and live support, basically account queries etc. So I think that you know, the retail stores are more used to, they do spend about half of the time doing customer service.

The other half of the time they spent sitting down with customers and understanding their needs and understanding how they can help them and then physically demoing the product. So that's the element that. The contact centre teams wouldn't have necessarily because I guess training 4,000 people in a contact centre on that, just in case it's probably not a good investment of training resource when actually they're required to support our customers with greed is about customer experience, bills etc.

Whereas the retail teams, they do that day in day out. It's second nature to them to talk about products and services, to demo the devices, to explain how it all works. So actually at that point, they are there to enable that.

And there was a time when we did have a team in their contact centre, supporting customers with new queries via chat, but because our base grew and because we had more and more customers on the base, we have more customers looking to upgrade. So we moved that team to focus on upgrades and, and support for our customers that were already with us and moved our retail teams to help our customers that were new to the website who wanted to explore a little bit more about the brand so that they could focus on those product demos.

Ben Goodey: I think it's an incredible way repurposing the skilled employees. You know, rather than having to retrain a whole new group of people, it's just repurposing those in their spare time. Especially over the pandemic

Graham Johnston: It is. and, they, the feedback we have from the advisors in the stores is amazing because their role has changed from being a customer service or retail advisor in a store, dealing with physical customers, to being an advisor that deals with physical customers and customers online. So it mixes up their experience adds a different element to the role and from a manager store manager's perspective.

Again, it's expanding their reach because they're thinking a little bit differently about the fact that we all know we've all worked in retail. We've all watched on the shop floor and it's when there are no customers for a couple of hours, there's only so much you can clean. There's only so much you can learn. There are only so many online learning modules that you can do and you want to speak to people you want to, that's why you're in retail, you're in retail because you want to speak to people.

You want to help people. You want to. Create a great experience for people. And if there's nobody in the store and you can just flip to supporting customers who are not in the store, but online, it's great. It's a great experience for people who are working in the stores to do that.

And as I said, for managers,  they have to think slightly differently about that. They have to make sure that they balance the in-store and online allocation and the experience so that, they're not having people all online at the same time because if a customer walks in, you need to make sure that they're available to go and support them.

But conversely, you don't want two or three people without anything to do. You want to make sure that they are focused on support customers.

Ben Goodey: Super interesting. I can see really clear benefits to doing stuff like this. I think on our first episode, we talked to Sean McKee who the director of e-commerce at the Shoe. And he also injected like South Australian professionals into the buying journey, um, through video chat.

Um in a slightly different way but they sort of ridiculous like increase in the sales and conversion rates basket size and that kind of thing

Graham Johnston: Yeah, it's amazing. So, Sean and I know each other pretty well we've we used to, when life was normal, we used to meet in Edinburgh and have a coffee every couple of months and just chat through,  what we're doing in a non-competitive environment. Shoe in Three are not competitors in any way, shape or form.

So we were able to sit and share,  what we were working on, any great ideas that we had. And, we've discussed lots of different ideas and topics that we've both been looking at and it's been, it's always been good to hear what you do and, they have a great Omnichannel experience by the way.

And I think Sean's done, they've done an amazing job in Shoe over the years to,  to bring that to life and to innovate.  Especially the way that they manage stock and use their stores as,  distribution, hubs and stuff. Fantastic. And we also have, live video interactive video called Three Life.

And, we launched this maybe two years ago. I think it was when we first did it. And it very much came from that whole concept again of that flat content experience, online, a little bit of video, but not a lot, and not being able to properly get a demo of a product apart from, what we found was customers who wanted a demo of a product we'd leave our state, go onto YouTube, or,  GSM arena or whatever. Get a demo.

And at the same time, they may come back to our site and buy, but when you move on to another site, then, it's almost like walking into a store and walk into another store to see if you can see something, you're off the site. And what we felt was would be a great opportunity for us to be able to use the skills and experience that we have in our own business to bring those products and services to life.

So we partnered with, a company called Wisbey who do one to many broadcasting and we did the test and learn where we just had. It was Brendan who heads up our, devices team. He started the whole program because he was the first one to do a presentation,  on-air and we picked Brendan to do it because he also did all of our product demos on YouTube.

So he knew the product inside out. He was great on camera. So he was seconded to us for a couple of months to get it up and running. And, it was funny how we started just a  wall, a room with a blank wall behind and a few products. And we went live for 10-15 minutes at a time doing live product demos.

And what happens is the customers can watch this live broadcast and they can interact with it. So it's one to many. So there'll be, that can be up to a hundred, 200 people watching at any given time and they could be asking questions and it's just an iPad screen that the presenters got so they can see the questions popping up on the iPad screen.

Okay. And happens is that the presenter can see what's going on and then they can amend the broadcast, according to the questions that are coming up. So that's brilliant. And, we've just, we've grown that hugely over the years. And now we operate from a studio in Glasgow.  I say we do operate from a studio in Glasgow.

All of our presenters now have a studio set up in their own homes so they can go live from the comfort of their own home with the official three backdrops behind them. And studio lights and, the camera and everything like that, all set up in their own home, but they go live and do these interactive broadcasts for our customers on the site on the hour, every hour, most days.

And, we've evolved from just doing basic product demos to actually doing unboxing events and live events with vendors and partners. And during the pandemic, we were able to pivot overnight when we had the situation where the, we lost our contact centres overnight because of the lockdown in India and also in the UK.

And we were facing the prospect of not having any voice support for our customers on day one of lockdown, which, that was before the chancellor announced the furlough scheme and all the other bits and pieces. So people were concerned about paying their bills and everything like that. So the inbound contact was huge.

So what we were able to do with Three Live was rather than have it focused on product demos, we were able to pivot and focus on customer experience and have it on our contact, us landing page, where we were informing customers of what measures we were taking in COVID to support them. And it was just like to click here to watch a live broadcast.

So we had. Thousands of people at a time watching those broadcasts and asking very similar questions about, I'm trying to get in touch with the contact centre. what happens with my bills? How can I make changes on my account? And it turned from being a commercial channel to being purely a support channel for multiple customers at the same time.

And what that did was two things. Number one, it gave our customers a lot of confidence and assurance that we're looking after them and we're finding a way of communication to them all at once and making sure that they were kept informed. And second of all, it meant that people weren't sitting in queues waiting to get through to the contact centre or waiting in a long queue for a chat or whatever, or.

You're struggling to find information out. So that worked just for us well. and as we were able to stand up more of the traditional contact centre operations with telephony, chat, because we had people working from home in India, we were able to start to think a little bit more about what else we could do with three life to support vulnerable customers.

And also, some of the commercial, gap that we were seeing emerging because of our retail stores being closed and we were able to start mixing up the different broadcasts that we were doing. And customers that watch a 3d live broadcast are twice as likely to come back and buy something from the site that just shows you the impact that it has commercially.

But, during the middle of the lockdown and the last stages of the locked down, we were able to work with our discovery team who are based primarily across the business to support our customers with digital learning. We did a broadcast every day for customers who have been sent a foreign and connectivity as part of, the support for charities, where we were distributing free phones and sims to vulnerable customers that didn't have any way of staying in contacts with their friends and relatives.

And we did a training morning training session for those customers that had got the brand new phone. So they could understand how to learn, how to use it, how to set up basic features, functions, all of that kind of stuff. Yeah, it's just been, it's been green, some great learning during the lockdown period to be able to test and learn, but that different product set.

Ben Goodey: It's interesting to see how everyone is adapting. I wonder there, how has the skill set of like who you hire it had to change, like have you had to hire more video producers now everyone's working from home producing videos like this?

Graham Johnston: So we have, we've been, so for Three Live specifically, we have been, growing our capability there and doing a lot more of the, more complicated, types of broadcasts, where we are using multiple cameras and multiple feeds,  we're interviewing people remotely.

So having two or three different people from different locations being invited on to do demonstrations of products. So for example, we did a Samsung launched recently,  their new device, and we had a Samsung expert who was, on to talk about the product and bring to life the different features and functions.

And we have our content producer, we've got them all the cat in his house and he can mix remotely. All of these different feeds, his whole life there's lighting streaming, but he's able to mix it like you would mixer a normal TV broadcast.  Yes, we've invested in more skills, but we invested in those skills before the lockdown happened.

It's just that some of the technology that we needed to make it, give it the experience that we needed to do that June lock data and get that sent to them. But we didn't need to hire multiple different, video producers and all that kind of stuff. Cause the technology we use is quite straightforward.

He'd probably shoot me for saying this, but it's pretty straightforward in terms of,  the work had been done upfront to make sure it was embedded into the site. The work that then is done afterwards is the in-stream and broadcast mixing which in itself is an absolute art and the guy's a genius.

Ben Goodey: That's one thing that you mentioned like earlier on in the podcast was about planning for the future. How do you do that when you're starting a new project? Whether it's Three Live or, Three Now?

How do you make sure, do you think ahead and think, okay, how are we going to make sure we don't create a legacy system out of this?

Graham Johnston: Absolutely. Yeah, no, that's important. It's a really big question as well because you don't want to have a technical debt of investing in something that's then going to be defunct. And they're like, Wow, so that is a really big consideration. And,  we are deploying, Salesforce or, our new CRM.

And that is a lot of systems now, API focus where you can plug in different technology. So anything that we invest in now on our,  on our existing systems, it's important that transfer seamlessly over to any new systems will be introduced.

And, most SAS companies now are easy I say, easy to implement. So making sure that technology can be translated and moved over and seamlessly operate where the rest is very important. And that does drive our decisions around what we invest in and the different types of products that we test and learn with.

Ben Goodey: I think in most software companies are building around integrations like that seems to be a requirement of so many of their customers, that integrations are basic to getting the sale

Graham Johnston: Yeah. Yeah. It's

It's and it's vitally important as well. And ease of deployment is key because as we know things move quickly, and if you invest in something that is going out of date pretty quickly, if you, if it takes a while to install, then you know, you're already behind the curve.

You need to make sure that it's a, it's able to be installed and integrated pretty easily. Be aides, a seamless experience and see can be upgraded. So like most things that we've all got and most technology, firmware, upgrades etc, you want to be with a piece of technology that continuously evolves and with a partner that continually test and learns and innovate.

Ben Goodey: One thing I wanted to ask you was about in the omnichannel space. How do you collect customer feedback? how do you scale collecting feedback in different ways fro multiple channels?

Graham Johnston: Yeah, really good question.  it's important to get feedback from as many different places as possible and while it would be ideal to have all feedback at one place, I think if you can get a good bunch of feedback into one place.

And then,  to have different strings of feedback coming in, as long as you've got one place that can pull the analysis together, then you should be sorted. So the way that we use feedback at three years, we value them the reviews that we get for customers from our system that we do first-party reviews.

So through Medallia, and that gives us a good. The feedback from customers that come from any of our channels that have either purchased or worked with any of our channels for any point and service or support. But what we also pulled together into one place is reviews that we get from Google, Facebook a multitude of other social media platforms that are unsolicited. So we haven't gone out and asked for these bits of feedback. They've just left them and some can be fantastic and others can be not fantastic. And it's really important to make sure that we see all of them and we're able to use all of them in real-time.

So we, a few years ago, partnered with a company called Yext and initially the reason I went out looking for a new provider to support us with local listings of where our stores were and all the information to make sure that they were kept in one place and continuously updated onto the different, search platforms, but also to have a single view for Google reviews, Facebook reviews, et cetera.

And their platform is fantastic. It's really easy to use and let pills then Trustpilot it pulls in all the different platforms where customers will get reviews. And enables us to cut the data in so many different ways where you can look at, store by store, you can look at the region by region 80 by 80 cohort stores by cohort. It's very flexible to set it up. And we also, have a team of people that responds to all reviews as well. Okay, they're saying thank you for a nice review and making sure that the relevant teams get the feedback for that nice review or whether it's to, pick up on some negative feedback and turning that into one-to-one contact with the customer to try and explore a little bit more about the situation and how we can resolve it.

So it's fighting to the important, and then using Adobe analytics to pull all that information into one place. And be able to take out some of the trends and some of the key learnings from it again is vitally important so that you're not just dealing with it. Then, in the moment feedback, you're also looking at the more kind of macro trends of the feedback and experience that's happening across all of the different platforms, the different areas of the business and the different locations.

So that things can be fed back for recognition, but also fed back to support learning and development and improvement. Yeah. Experience.

However, the future for this, which is where, I think this is, this is the big piece that I'm looking at the moment is omnichannel attribution and omnichannel orchestration.

And again, that is about trying to pull all the different feeds in terms of what customer journeys are happening across all of the different touchpoints, where they're going wrong. So where customers are. Pausing dropping out, finding a failure. And then, maybe if it's a digital journey, they're trying to get some support from, and they're looking for self-service and then they can't do that.

And they pick up the phone to the contact centre. That's not going to be a nice call because that customer is going to be like, ‘I've just, and I've tried to sort this out in your website and I could do it stuff I have to call you’. That's the type of inbound call you want to prevent because the digital content or the digital self-service capabilities should be better.

So that in itself gives you a flag to say, ‘Right, either we just need to develop, some content or we need to develop a new journey’, but that type of insight is really important because then you can see where the journey is breaking down and you can then go and fix that.

And one of the bits of technology that we've invested in recently, that helps to resolve that is answers, which is another Yext product, but it's, on-site search and it allows you to have really good control of what customers get when they search for a particular question or a particular phrase on the site search, rather than just getting a list of blue links.

You get a Google, like response with tabs and,  all of those searches can be customized. So we can customize a response to that. What customers see as a result of the types of searches that are being made and spin up very easy FAQ's and content to help customers to achieve what they want to achieve digitally.

First time, if they're trying to do is get their own,  the self-service capabilities,

Ben Goodey: Uh, Yext. How do you spell that? I'd love to check it out.

Graham Johnston: Y E X T. The best way to see it, though, if you go onto our website three.co.uk and go to the search bar and just type in, a phrase, in our search bar, you will see all of that in its glory, what it looks like.

So normally if you go to a site search on the website, the experience is pretty old fashioned. And almost like Google from the, from the early noughties, it's just a list of blue links that use keywords. Some even use key letters rather than keywords, whereas we've got rarely give you exactly.

Exactly. So what this gives us is natural language. Processing. So you type a phrase and it gives you the answer to that question rather than trying to a walkout by the words you've used, what you might be looking for and drawing up documents from 2013 that are bare, no relevance to what it is that you're asking for.

I'll give you an example. Before we deployed it, a customer, I taped into our site search say, ‘Tell me about 5g’ and it came up with, how do I cancel my contract as the number one result on the blue links? unbelievable. So yeah, needless to say, that doesn't happen anymore. Yeah,

Ben Goodey: That's good. I can see it. So it pops up all the FAQ's and that's really smart.

Graham Johnston: It does. And if you start to feel like, you know, if you just typed in Samsung or something like that, it also brings up all the products. It brings up videos that relate to that. It brings up our Three Live videos. So the historical Three Live unboxing events that we've done that has them there as well.

So it's a one-stop-shop for everything really in a Google-like UX.

Ben Goodey: That's so cool. So coming back quickly to the customer feedback that you collect, how do you make sure that it's actionable? Like, I think we know that the people who leave reviews tend to be the ones who leave one star or five stars, either very happy or very angry. And, and with surveys, just 1% of people who receive services filled them out so how to do you kind of tackle bias so that you can make real business decisions

Graham Johnston: It's a really good question. it gets fed. We have a program called the voice of the customer where we, we look at insights, we'll look at feedbacks and then me and the trends, and then we call customers back,  for those functions.

So if there's a particular issue with online,  there's a particular issue with a contact centre or whatever, then we call customers back. From those, the teams call them back from those departments, not the frontline people, actually, people from, more from the leadership perspective for those customers back and just get the qualitative feedback from them as well and understand a little bit more about some of the issues that are experiencing because there's one thing, looking at data trend. There's another thing seeing it for yourself or hearing it from a customer or,  we use, several, software that sees the types of routes that customers are taken on the website.

So you can see where they're dropping out, where they're facing problems, etc. But there's nothing better than actually having a conversation with somebody to say, listen, we know it's this, can you tell us a little bit about that? But also we have a customer community, and we ask them to what their opinion is on different aspects, whether that'd be a new journey, whether that be products and services or whether that be something else.

We go to that community and get them to feedback to us so that in turn does help us as well. It's a two-way conversation. Good. Not active and empathy as well. And you get a lot, you get a lot more from that conversation than you, you might do pouring over a bunch of stuff.

Ben Goodey: How do you tackle this problem from the contact centre like how do you collect data from the contact centre?

Graham Johnston: Yeah and contact centre transformation is one of my, one of my areas that I'm accountable for and looking at the systems that we have within the contact centre, they are teams that we work with are amazing and they capture verbatim, a lot of the time from these conversations that the customers have so that there's a feedback loop.

They come in from all the channels from retail, from the contact centre, from, the verbatim comments that we get in reviews and feedback loops. So it all comes into one place. And, our quality team looking to the verbatim feedback that the contact centre gives the team leaders will have mostly, do coaching and training with the advisors, from the contact centre, by listening to the calls and understanding where customer advisors could have offered a different approach, but also gaining the insight that's being given to us by customers so that we can take that and have it drive the changes that we make to the customer experience. So it's vital. And it's all strands now. It's and that's why Three Live and Freestyle now are important as well because you get rich feedback from those two channels, as well as calls and chats into the contact centre.

As well as people walking into a retail store, sending us an email, tweet us, all of these different strands coming into one place and being able to analyze and take action as is. I think what the definition of what customer centres are? is that you learn from your customers, you understand, we're not getting, we're not going to get it right all the time, but as long as we listen to the feedback and act on it, that's slightly important to improving.

Ben Goodey: Thank you so much for coming on and talking to me on the podcast, it's been super insightful so thank you very much.

Graham Johnston: Thank you very much for having me. It's been great.