In conversation with Sophie Grugier, Customer Satisfaction and Quality Senior Vice President at Schneider Electric.
At Schneider Electric, the voice of customers is the backbone of what we do. It is the reflection of our business and the guidance to catalyze change and improvements.
Sophie Grugier, Customer Satisfaction and Quality Senior Vice President shares how the voice of customers is the ultimate tool that helps the company deliver a best-in-class customer experience, as well as drive meaningful transformations for the business.
Jenny Nguyen (JN): Can you summarize what Customer Satisfaction and Quality do in three words?
Sophie Grugier (SG): Customer advocate. Just two words [laugh].
JN: What is the position of Customer Satisfaction and Quality in Schneider Electric?
SG: Customer Satisfaction and Quality (CSQ) has a unique position in the organization. We report to the Chief Strategy Officer who reports to Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Schneider Electric’s CEO. Having that direct line to management and not reporting through any specific function is a privilege, as we can stay independent from all business’ interests and operate bias-free to stay true as a customer advocate. Sometimes, when there are targets and key performance indicators that are met internally, but our customers are struggling, we have the position to push for the results to be reviewed with the actual customer experience taken into consideration.
JN: As Customer Satisfaction and Quality is set to create a meaningful connection with customers, I imagine at times there will be challenges that are daunting, even frustrating as well. How does the team keep the momentum of doing a good job on a day to day basis?
SG: We have a fantastic tool in Schneider Electric that is “Customer Voice” (preformed through Medallia). It is where you can find every single customer feedback and open tickets, all negative, neutral, and positive ones.
The reality is we can’t expect no bad news. Somewhere around the world, there will always be a customer who has an issue that needs to be fixed. It can be relating to anything from technical, website, communications, to late deliveries.
When we have a customer request, complaint, or a remark for improvement, we manage the priorities and find a way to fix the issue as well as making improvements. We challenge ourselves; how can we ensure the customers are least impacted and focus on resolving the issue and build relationships with customers?
Despite some challenging areas (still), the overall satisfaction score for our customers is improving.
JN: Do you have a favorite story about CSQ, perhaps one that the team managed to turn a not so happy customer into a happy one?
SG: I can’t pick one. Simply because we have those cases daily. The way that CSQ utilizes Customer Voice and engages with them make those turn around every day.
Today, we have the tendency of celebrating the firemen who put out a fire, more than the one who prevents the fire in the first place. What we want to achieve is reducing those fireman stories because we are able to anticipate and stop the issues from happening. The strongest companies are those who can do that. That is the key transformation we’re heading to.
JN: Can you tell me an exciting project of CSQ at the moment?
SG: We have several transformation projects going on, it’s hard to pick one [laugh]. We just kicked off a project about reliability by design which involved key people from Marketing, R&D, Project Managers, and HR to leverage the design methodology and global technologies. Essentially, this project is to ensure that the new offer we design from now on will align with what we have promised the customers at the beginning of the project.
Another very exciting transformation is indeed around leveraging analytics in several dimensions such as weak signals identification to allow prevention, customer sentiment analysis to avoid survey fatigue and a lot more areas of opportunities!
I also have to mention the Agile methodology deployment which is a unique opportunity to involve our Customers since Day 1 and all along with the project.
JN: How will CSQ be transformed with those transformation projects?
SG: From Customer Satisfaction & Quality to Customer Advocate!
Our fantastic opportunity is to become a Business Partner, from saying Yes or No, to become Coach and Business Enabler. Should we have a unique metric, it would be around “Sustainable Growth”
JN: As customers are more digitally savvy and knowledgeable with information thanks to open accesses and available sources out there, the competition gets harder because everyone is fighting for attention. How can we maintain relationships with our customers, and win new ones?
SG: I think what we have done during COVID-19 is a fantastic learning experience. On the country-level, our Customer Care Centers (CCC) managed to contact our customers before they contacted us. Proactiveness is our competitive advantage. We always keep a lookout for our customers and take care of them. We have plenty of examples in several countries which really made us stand out from the competition during this challenging time.
Moving from being reactive to proactive is such a disruption, yet we aim to continue these practices even after COVID ends. It’s amazing that proactiveness is demonstrated from the top. Jean-Pascal was the first one contacting our customers, followed by our CCCs in countries, our business leaders, and our sales representatives. They all picked up the phone and checked in with customers to make sure they were ok and had the support needed. We put ourselves in the customers’ shoes and try to create the best experience for them.
JN: There are about 8,000 people in the CSQ community, how do you keep such a big team aligned and integrated so there’s a consistency in the way we deal with our customers country by country, function by function?
SG: We have strong network animation, mostly leveraging Yammer (an internal social media). On the global level, we organize webinars throughout the year, either focusing on certain subjects or highlight customer feedback and stories. In the region, there is also strong community animation. The team is super organized, engaged, and incredibly customer-first focused.
It is indeed an exciting time to be in the transformative moments at Schneider Electric. Thanks to Sophie and the Customer Satisfaction and Quality team for being passionately customer-first and tenaciously putting the voice of the customers at the heart of what we do.
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