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What impact does the ‘Halo Effect’ have on Customer Experience?

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In this week's episode, Victoria Hamilton, Director of Orange Falcon Consulting joins Matt and Simon to discuss what the Halo Effect is and how it impacts Customer Experience.

Guest Speaker - Victoria Hamilton

Victoria Hamilton

Victoria’s career in customer experience spans 20 years across multiple industry sectors with market leading brands including John Lewis, HSBC, O2, Accenture and GE. This varied background across such diverse sectors means Victoria has rich insight into ‘the good, the bad and the downright ugly’ of customer and people experience strategies, and a clear appreciation of best practice.

Victoria is passionate about the unequivocal correlation between employee and customer experience and has shaped organisational behaviours and cultures to develop cohesive teams built on trust, accountability and a shared commitment to high performance with customer experience at the heart.

Connect with Victoria on LinkedIn.

80% of leaders believe their company delivers a superior proposition. The reality is only 20% of customers agree. And I personally find that disconnect really shocking and revealing and just shows how much there still is to play for in the space of a brand living up to customer expectations.

Discussion Topics

  • What is the Halo effect and can you share some examples of brands that might fall into this category?
  • How do companies tend to get halo brand status? – Is this driven by marketing or as a combination of experience factors?
  • Do companies have to be providing exceptional customer experience to achieve halo brand status?
  • Does a customer’s positive disposition to a brand mean they will likely be more forgiving if the customer experience goes wrong?
  • Can companies leverage the halo effect to over-egg their CX capabilities or is this status more likely to cover up CX frailties?
  • How long do we think the halo effect lasts? Do some companies trade on their former glories?
  • As more companies embrace a marketplace strategy does the halo effect allow companies so pass on a perceived level of CX quality to other products and services?

Transcript

Simon – Welcome to the CX Chat with Matt and Simon, the podcast series where we discuss some of the hottest topics facing customer experience professionals today. My name is Simon Thorpe. And as ever I’m joined by Matthew Dyer. And if you haven’t tuned in before, we like to describe ourselves as two chaps with big opinions and bags of enthusiasm for the CX industry. Let me get him on my co host and someone who’s probably sweltering and dying in this heat, Matty, how you doing? How is the heatwave treating you?

Matt – Well, it reminds me of living in Singapore all those years ago, but with no air conditioning, so yeah, I’m having a bit of a nightmare.

Simon – But you’re you’re really glad you’ve made the trip down south at the moment.

Matt – Well, yeah. And then the fan I have had on I’ve had to turn off for the podcast. So yes.

Simon – So if you go quiet, we know you’ve probably you’ve probably collapse in a slump into your heat. So okay. We’re about to get on with it. The Before we get on to this week’s topic, there was an there was something we wanted to do. And you heard Matt and I talked about our international audience, which is, which is growing every episode, which is fabulous. But we’ve been asking some of the audience to get in touch and say hello. And we have had a couple of hellos this week. So we’ve had Jane from, from Missouri in California and David from Toronto. So Big shout back at you. We said we would, and we love the fact that we’ve got such an international flavour to our listeners. So please do drop us a line and all the usual social places. We’d love to hear from you.

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Matt – Yeah, it’s brilliant as well. We’ve got Martin Schilling, who lives in Berlin. So he’s on the show tomorrow. So yeah, we’re definitely going international, which is great to see

Simon – It really is super exciting. And I’d also on that very theme, and a shameless plug for me. And for anyone that’s listening. We have worked out that the the kind of algorithms of the world of podcasting is heavily driven by how you perform on Apple podcasts. So if you like the show And you want to see it continue, we would love you to go on there and then give us a little review or give us a comment or some feedback in there. You know apparently that all goes into kind of broaden the reach of the podcasts and and lets more people hear from it. So if you get chance, we would love it. So let’s crack on with this week’s episode. And I think this is a fantastic topic and actually something I’m amazed we haven’t covered so far. And that the whole topic came from a conversation we were having with the with this week’s guest, something I think is really going to be actually more and more important as the as the world evolves. So this week, we’re going to be talking about the impact of the so called halo effect on customer experience. Now, I’m not going to jump too much into that because I want our special guest this week to help us frame what Halo brands what that means in the context of customer experience. But I think it’s really gonna resonate so. So rob me waffling on, let’s get our special guest on because We’ve got another fantastic person in the pod booth this week. So like a number of the guests before her she has, well one of the best CVs I’ve ever seen actually. And I think she will make it she may well be one of the first people that we’ve spoken to that’s held senior leadership positions in financial services, retail, outsourcing, telecoms and utilities, so almost a sector clean sweep. So most recently, she was head of operational excellence and contact centre director for HSBC. She has also worked for some of the most recognisable brands in the UK such as John Lewis, O2, Scottish Power, Accenture. A big welcome Victoria Hamilton, how are you?

Victoria – Well, I’m feeling fantastic after that glowing introduction. Thank you so much.

Simon – You’ve just done so much.

Victoria – Yeah, it does sound like a varied background when you put it like that. So I thank you for sharing some of the sectors I worked, and now it’s giving me give me such a build up a lot to live up to now.

Simon – Not at all. I was thrilled that you could, you could join us. I mean, we’ve we’ve met and I’ve only recently connected with you we met through one of these, these, you know, ever popular kind of virtual coffee type events that seem to be springing up all over the place through COVID. And you’ve really been using those kind of environments to broaden your network. I’ve seen social stuff done.

Victoria – I really have I think I was up until fairly recently who I would classify a LinkedIn lurker and someone who likes to vote in the background, excepted requests from people only if I kind of knew them and since locked down, and I guess I’ve recognised the need to optimise more than my interaction and engagement on LinkedIn. And it’s been such a fascinating experience, just the number of people that I’ve met, you and I Simon connected through a webinar that one of my other new connections hosted a couple of weeks ago. And we had a we had a great conversation just a couple of weeks ago just to look at shared background and experience. And it then led to this opportunity to come and join you and Matt today. But yes, my whole activity on LinkedIn has really, really changed kind of 180 degrees in the last few months. I think that’s what lock downs done to me. But it’s been a fascinating experience. And I think I’ve gained about 600 new connections and LinkedIn just in a couple of weeks, so just shows you there’s a real appetite I think out there for people to connect and share experience and best practice and just really help each other through these difficult times.

Matt – Yeah, and I think Victoria looking at your CV, I think a lot more people will be reaching out to you to get some insight and some feedback and your take on it. So looking at your your CV, you’ve probably worked in every vertical and I guess our listeners would probably love to get your take against the CX approach taken in the different verticals. Is it pretty formulaic in terms of approach Or is it kind of more distinct for each vertical? What would you say?

Victoria – Yeah, I mean, I’ve definitely had the benefit of being able to compare and contrast different approaches, different cultures, different priorities that are set for customer experience, I guess you could say I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. I think some people have any nervousness about moving across different sectors. And that’s not something I’ve ever really ever really faced. I’ve always just taken the view that any company, whether it’s in financial services, and retail or utilities, it’s all about its customers, its people and its processes. So I’ve I’ve always taken that, that outlook, it doesn’t really matter so much about industry experience. It’s about going in with a curious mindset, and being confident and courageous to ask the right questions. And sometimes silly questions are the questions that are not actually that silly in the long run, because people that have worked there for so long, have maybe just taking things for granted. And I think that this perspective is really great to to have and to bring into that situation. I’ve worked in some businesses, which I think are really synonymous with customer and people experience. Probably some of the ones I would call out would be GE where I first worked when I left university I was on their graduate European management programme and a great opportunity to gain exposure across different parts of, you know, a massive beast of an organisation. And I can still remember their strap line 20 years down the lane, which was completely satisfying customer needs profitably. I’ve worked with so many different organisations since then I’d probably be hard push to remember other strap line is clearly but the one at GE just really stuck and resonated across so many different parts of their business. So whether you were in an aircraft part of GE, whether you worked in refrigeration or modular space, everyone knew that the ethos was about satisfying customer needs but doing it in a profitable way. further on in my career, I’ve worked in telecoms with O2 And I think I worked with O2 a time when it really truly recognised the connection between happy people and happy customers. So the mindset was if we can turn our people into fans of the business, or people will turn our customers into fans of our products and services. So that was a really exciting culture to work in. And I would say to this day, one of the call out examples of a company that really got it right in terms of top down consistency of messaging, and equal ownership of customer experience across different parts of the business it wasn’t just seen as something that’s not within customer service, or something that marketing was accountable for. Everyone had some skin in the game, and every function understood that the customer truly was at the heart of what was done, and latterly I would probably call out my time with John Lewis. So I spent just shy of three years with John Lewis heading up the outsource contact centre operations, a fascinating brand to work with and a brand that has always been really intriguing to me, given my background and experience. And, and you know, I found their whole approach to customer really insightful, again shared with O2 I think that passion across different directorates what was really interesting with John Lewis was when something went wrong. That was when you saw the whole John Lewis partnership ethos really come to light. And it was almost like a sports team was sweeping from across different teams in the business to fix whatever issues customers would be saying, and I don’t think I’ve really ever experienced that intensity of focus on fixing problems, as I’ve seen, John Lewis, so yes, lots lots of experience to draw on. I don’t think there’s a kind of one size fits all within each industry sector. I think across all sectors, businesses are recognising the need for focus on customer and to truly put the customer at the heart of their decision making, and I think the recent pandemic is obviously throwing the rulebook up in the air for a lot of organisations. And I think that return to truly understanding customer needs and shaping your business and priorities around them will become ever more important.

Simon – I think that’s, that’s really I hope our listeners and particularly those that might be going through career changes at the moment or or looking for the next role, I hope that gives people some some good inspiration that you shouldn’t have to feel pigeon holed or or in a box, you know, you’re facing, yeah, the regulations might be different, the products might be different, but, you know, fundamentally, we are working in a, in a people centric type function and, and those challenges and, and, and common goals and things that you’re aiming for. You know, it’s nice to hear from you, Victoria, that they tend to be quite, quite similar. So, hopefully this will give some, some people some inspiration to, you know, maybe think broader than their usual sectors that they’ve they’ve operated in.

Victoria – Yeah, absolutely. I would say to anyone who’s listening Thinking there, maybe you’d be ready for a change and really to experience a different sector and don’t be scared of it, you know, yes, you might not have that detailed industry knowledge. But actually, that can be a real strength of you if you have that growth mindset because it allows you as I see, to win and ask the seemingly obvious questions, which sometimes when people struggle to answer them, you see that they’re not that obvious. And they maybe haven’t been asked in a while. So yeah, I would say to anyone, go for it and very happy to connect with anyone who maybe wants to understand how I’ve navigated across those different industries. I’d be happy to share my experience.

Simon – Fantastic. Right, shall we? Shall we get on with this week’s topic? Because I’m really excited to get your, your take on it, Victoria. Particularly, because of the kind of companies that you’ve been at. So let’s start with with a bit of a definition or a perception, shall we say, Victoria in your view, what is a halo effect? In the context of brands and customer experiences, can you share some examples of organisations that might fall into that category? I mean, we’ve suggested a couple, but maybe broaden that out for us.

(What is the Halo effect and can you share some examples of brands that might fall into this category?) 

Victoria – Yeah, sure. So it’s a really interesting term, the halo effect. And I think it actually was first coined 100 years ago by a very eminent psychologists, Edward Thorndyke, who was looking to establish the process that human beings went through to base opinions and judgements on people. And he recognised that we have a tendency to see people as either all good or all bad, just based on one small aspect of their personality or appearance, which I think is really interesting. So he fast forward a number of years and then look at how the halo effect then translates into marketing and brand halo effect. You can then see that it’s essentially about a customer’s favouritism towards a company’s products or line of services, which is based on positive experiences with other products or services they’ve had with that brand. So I would almost describe it as almost like a positive affinity that customers will have to a brand. And it’s all about how the reviews of that brand are infectiously affected by previous or perceived experiences of what that brand stands for.

Simon – And it’s, I mean, that’s a brilliant definition. you’ve, you’ve, you’ve looked it up, which is fantastic. So thank you for doing that. I mean, it’s a this is a fascinating topic, I think on so many different levels psychologically, as and how different companies can kind of lean on you know, this this effect. I was doing a little bit of homework on this before, before we recorded and I found a stat which was staggering matter, you even have a view on this. So apparently, due to their kind of Halo brand effect of people’s perception of Subway versus McDonald’s. Apparently, if you eat 1000 calories in a subway, you feel like you’re eating 21% less in a subway than you would if you’re eating 1000 calories in the McDonald’s. Therefore, you’re likely to buy 339% more calories in a subway, just because you’ve got this kind of false impression that you’ve created, that I’m sure were proliferated through, you know, the healthier choice and all that sort of thing. Which means you get to the end of the line with the tuna sub and you go Yeah, I love that full pack of cookies. Fascinating.

Victoria – The psychology behind it all is really, really incredible, isn’t it? And I think, you know, it just shows you how much customers behaviours can can be influenced and how it can actually just almost affect common sense. And to some extent, I think in terms of what Halo effects mean, for companies, you know, it’s, it’s so far reaching in terms of high expectations, tolerance, forgiveness, loyalty, advocacy, they’re likely to potentially spend more or recommend products and services repeat business. So you can see that there’s some really strong business impacts through the creation of a brand halo effect. Therefore, you can see why it’s such a good thing for brands to look to cultivate and create and also the other product lines and diversification opportunities, that opens up for organisations as they’re looking to grow and develop.

Matt – I’m just going to say I think Apple is a great example of that. I think the did a lot of business on their iPod, rather than the other products we probably think about. I think there were like 10 million kind of iPods sold following year went to 42 million iPod sold, but the reality was it only made up 39% of their sales. So the pull through effect from the Halo, I guess product, kind of you can see the numbers there. Absolutely staggering effect.

Victoria – I think If you’re looking at a premium brand that’s nailed the halo effect Apple would have to be first remained, you know a brand we associate with really cool products but also products which come at a premium price. And that iPod is you say was absolutely their trigger for that transformation and change. And I think despite the relatively team markup for the iPod, they were absolutely able to grow the revenue opportunities across another suite of products such as you know, IMAX, Mac books, etc. So they really were able to execute the halo effect and Phil Gloria thing in terms of the dramatic increase in sales and market share. And also I think what’s really interesting about the apple example, they had very little brand marketing investment in the other products and services during the time of the explosion of the iPod and iTunes. So I think that really goes to show just how effective and how deep the cut through was with the halo effect off the back of the successful iPod launch.

Simon – It is staggering. I mean, as you both said that was, I think that that was the start of it one that the understanding of this kind of halo effect, but how, how do companies get there? I mean, if if we if we’re thinking more in the lines of, of the industries working in customer experience being at the front of that, how do you get there? Is it is a halo effect cultivated by marketing? Is it product? Is it customer experience? Is it an all of these things stitch together? Can you can one thing exists without the other?

(How do companies tend to get halo brand status? – Is this driven by marketing or as a combination of experience factors?

Victoria – Yeah it’s a really is a really interesting question. And obviously, I’m in preparation for today. I was anticipating that our conversation might go through and I’ve undenied on so many different aspects of the discussion. But I think for me, ultimately, you have to have a strong initial product or proposition that’s compelling for customers to sign up to in the first place. But then your distribution in your fulfilment your service teams, only to be aligned with that initial hype and be equipped to deliver on that experience and promise. So I think for me the term, you’re only as strong as your weakest link would come to mind here, work if it all works. So strong initial product and proposition may open that door to bring the customer on board. But then customers, you know, are much more likely to vote with their feet these days. Therefore, it’s important that those same expectations are met and addressed at different stages in that that customer experience and that value team. And ultimately that really comes back to the prevailing culture and the values and the mission of the organisation. So how effectively are leaders incorporating mission values brand promise into daily decisions and communications, or marketing providing clarity and core messages behind brand campaigns and sharing that messaging with internal teams before going to market and something I’m very passionate about have engaged a customer service teams have equipped to the to deliver on that mission and the values in terms of who they communicate resolve issues provide assistance to customers. And increasingly, obviously, customers are not just interacting through traditional telephony, customer service teams, but through digital channels, reflected in those interactions where there’s not so much human to human opportunity for contact. So I don’t really think it’s any one thing, I think the product and the proposition can open up the initial door. But then ultimately, I think it’s a combination of factors and different functions have their role to play, and really fulfilling the expectations of that brand and realising that halo effect again, if you look at the apple example, you know, the first to market with a strong product that was backed up with sophisticated marketing and then really passionate engaged employees who were such advocates of the brand. So it was at every every stage. That experience and that lifecycle, and everyone had a role to play in supporting that.

Simon – Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that was they did that so, so very well. And I think you’re right, Victoria, it’s, it’s so many a combination of many things. Do you think do we think that this halo effect I just wonder how long it will last? I mean, I’ll give you an example. And this is this is no way to say anything negative about them. But I when I joined the customer experience world or customer service world of contact centres back 15 years ago, I used to do lots of benchmarking work and insight work and, and it was very, very apparent that first direct were, you know that just the best in terms of financial services, and you will have known them well Victoria through your your time at HSBC. And so I moved all of my banking to first direct because I just love the ethos and I’m from Leeds originally, so I kind of like that, that side of it as well. You know, the fact I could get through straightaway, you know, just seemed like everyone I spoke to is brilliant. But I just wonder, you know whether, I mean actually, they’re still pretty great. Now they’re not quite as good, but they’re still pretty great. But I just wonder how long you can kind of trade on that halo effect. And I think I’ve probably apologised for first direct a bit over the years you know, I because I’m a I’m an advocate of the brand. You know, when things on occasion and it’s very rare have gone wrong. I’ve probably given them far more slack than I would other companies. And I just wonder how long you can trade on this halo brand perception?

(How long do we think the halo effect lasts? Do some companies trade on their former glories?

Victoria – Yes. Another Oh, sorry, Matt were you gonna say something?

Matt – No, I’m just gonna say quickly interject there from from my perspective, I think there’s a lot more disruptors a lot more innovative companies coming to market so I guess when I would look at is boozy is a good example for speakers. Now when you talk about speakers you probably think about Solar, Beats by Dre, or even the kind of the iPods people are going to use If you get disrupted is then hard to kind of keep that Halo brand and people the loyalty that people used to have to brands like John Lewis, or this, that, and the other is probably not where it used to be. And so I don’t know.

Simon – It’s a good point. Totally agree. Mattie. What about you, Victoria, you were about to say something?

Victoria – Yeah, I think it’s important just to perhaps make the distinction that being a fan of a brand and rounds of Halo effects, it doesn’t mean that their customers don’t think that these brands are capable of mistakes, but they have such faith in them and belief that if something does go wrong, they will make it better. So I think you know, that means being easily contactable, being listened to engage with your customers, respecting them taking ownership of issues and ultimately doing what you see, you’re going to do. But I think when you have that moment of truth when something’s gone wrong, I think customers also have very, very high expectations that you’re going to quickly swoop in and fix that issue. And put things on the right track again. And I think that’s the potential for customer dissatisfaction to slip in not that an issue has been made in the first place. But perhaps brands aren’t responsive enough to respond to that issue and get things back on track. And that was something I saw John Lewis do exceptionally, exceptionally well. Obviously, they operate in a very challenging retail sector, a lot of increased online competition. And but ultimately, what kept John Lewis customers coming to john lewis was that reassurance and that trust in the brand that if something goes wrong, I trust you to do the right thing. And I trust you to fix it. So something’s out of warranty, I don’t care I want to replace I want more. That’s why I bought it from you, which you know, sometimes can be a bit of a double edged sword, but it was interesting just to really see how John Lewis who don’t lose customers, made those purchasing decisions and the faith that they had in the brand to do do the right thing for them. But I think ultimately, you know, how long does a halo effect last I think you know, you were asking earlier and I think that’s a real million dollar question. And the mission for every brand must be to surely create customer lifetime value. We know it costs less to retain existing customers than it does to attract new ones. But I don’t know that I could set a general limit or time threshold as to how long it lasts, or At what point in 10 years, does that Halo start to tarnish and start to slip. But I would, however, estimate that the time threshold now in 2020, is much shorter than it would have been in previous years. I think customers have access to so much more information than ever before, have access to tools like trustpilot to share your experiences with other customers. So we’re much more informed as, you know, a customer population these days and we’re able to vote with our feet more more quickly if we need to. So I think those days of companies perhaps being able to dine note on historical glory and legacy performance, i don’t think those days don’t for companies anymore, companies are being judged on what they’re doing now and what their plans for the future are. I also think it’s interesting to look at the life span of a company so if you were listed in the SNP5 1935, the lifespan of a company was 90 years, today it’s about 15 years. And that’s before we were taking the raging effect of COVID into account so i think that’s quite startling and the message for companies was pretty clear to stay close to customers and really changing and or not being around for the next 15 years and not being able to guarantee that future success and halo effect lasting effect and customers have fairly short memory these days and for them to become more informed and make new decisions about where to take their business.

Simon – That’s amazing. I think that’s a great, great stat. We must have a have a look at that, Matty. I think I think you’re absolutely right, Victoria, I think you’ve really, really got to be on your toes. And I just wonder whether we’ve talked to fair about them fair amount about this in the podcast of the different shows. I wonder if how companies kind of earn that Halo will start changing as consumers have different expectations of brands, you know, we’ve talked about the younger generation coming through and having greater focus on how a company’s kind of socio economic footprint looks, you know, what their values are, all those sorts of things. I wonder if that will start creeping in and having a greater influence over over the halo effect that a brand can win or lose?

(Will the younger generation have a great influence over the halo effect? Can a brand win or lose?

Victoria – I think you’re absolutely right there. And I think the whole Corporate Social Responsibility agenda, I think has got more of a spot Light being shown on it no than ever before. And there’s obviously been some brands that have fallen casualty to this. And that the news recently, if you look at the recent fall over Pretty Little Thing and the alleged issue, which staff were treated during lockdown, and the potential lack of protection that was offered to employees, you know, stock price plummeted the rider supply chain implications with next and esource, dropping the Pretty Little Thing, stock. I think customers are absolutely much more sensitive to that entire ecosystem in the value chain. And really, the questioning what do individual brands stand for? And I do their values align with my own personal values?

Simon – Matty, question for you, because I think this is quite impactful to some of the things that you brought up on the podcast of like this idea that companies are moving more towards this kind of marketplace model. So Victoria already mentioned this, John Lewis and the partners, you know if something goes wrong, they’re phenomenally good at kind of putting things right and working as a group. But we also know that Halo brands talking about the iPod and how that’s rubbed off on the many, many products and services that Apple have launched over the years. Surely the halo effect has a key part to play in companies being able to pivot to a marketplace site model. So you could argue is never been more important. And if you see that moving more and more in that direction, have you thought about that at all?

Matt – I think from my perspective, I look at it as a good opportunity for organisations. So if you’re a brand that’s got a good Halo brand, and then you start to partner with another organisation that is seen as a halo brand, by the virtue of being, I guess, a powerhouse, you’re probably going to be able to amplify your kind of your story and your message. So I guess Starling Bank probably quite a good idea. Example coming out of COVID in comparison to Monzo they seem to be doing a lot better. And I wonder if it’s the partnerships that are kind of their building has enabled them to kind of grow as an organisation to become maybe the halo brand for finance currently in Britain.

Simon – What do you think Victoria are you paying close attention to these, these kind of digital disruptors in the financial services world?

Victoria – Yeah, I think I’m just speaking more generally the growing importance of marketplaces and can’t be understated. I mean, we’ve seen phenomenal growth in terms of the percentage of global online transactions that are accounted for by marketplace players. And I think it’s an interesting it’s an interesting model actually, because looking at customers who transact via marketplace, ultimately, the buying of I suppose the brand I would look at with the Amazon Buying a brand from Amazon and their Amazon, amazon customer, not a customer of the individual brand. And the brand has access to the Amazon platform and the amazon customer base. but crucially, it’s Amazon’s customer base, not the individual brands, I think, the halo effect and the impact of customer loyalty and how that will come into play. And this marketplace setup is really interesting to see how that might work. And I guess from Amazon’s perspective, the brand benefits are all around simplicity, convenience and trust. And the marketplace players will almost have those benefits reflected on them by osmosis. You know, they’re kind of by association with Amazon. But for those brands that are looking to create that lifetime loyalty, that’s going to be fairly challenging because the customers loyalty is going to be with Amazon. So I think that’s going to be really interesting to watch. And in terms of financial services, it’s obviously a really critical time. I think in terms of different startup brands reaching that next stage of their maturity, I know Monzo have had a fairly fairly challenging team, as you touched on other brands like Starling bank have, have continued to do well. But I think there’s another stat I read recently that I think the rate of digital adoption in the week COVID has increased by the equivalent of 10 years in the space of eight weeks. So those brands that are operating in the digital landscape and digital environment aren’t you know, as a real opportunity for them in terms of customers who’ve not been comfortable or not really had needs to transact in a digital way. Now almost like the real boots been ripped up, and they’ve got access to a whole new new segment of customers. Older customers have perhaps been scared of digital technologies and their comfort in using them and I think it’s gonna be really interesting to see how that pans out. I think the one thing that’s a certainty in the week of COVID, Is that you know, you have to have a digital presence. And you have to be engaged in the space to really future proof your business going forward.

Simon – I couldn’t agree more. It’s a it’s a fascinating time. And you’re right, we had Kate Russell on who spends a lot of time on the BBC click, and she was talking to us about the rates of digital adoption. And she’s staggering, absolutely staggering. And we’re gonna have to start wrapping up the podcast, and although, as ever, we could talk long into the afternoon on this theme, and we should probably maybe do a follow up on it, but I just wanted to finish off with with maybe it’s slightly contentious, but can this halo effect cover up Sins of a company? Now this is what I mean by this and I’m gonna pick on first direct again, and it’s not this isn’t a sin, but this hopefully articulates what I mean, years ago, and I used to be involved in running a water programmes and I’m pretty sure and I can’t validate This but I’m pretty sure first direct were awarded a celebrated financial services Award for Best ATM or cash machine customer experience or something like that. And the laughable aspect of that was the first direct have never had cash machines or it seems they’ve effectively won that award on the strength of that Halo brand effect and that they must just be brilliant in that sort of thing. Now, that’s a kind of, you know, a fairly funny, you know, laughable situation, but I just wonder whether the, the, the halo brand can cover up six deficiencies, and whether companies, you know, can kind of use it to, you know, iron out any frailties that they may have. What what what, what are both of your perspectives on that?

(Does the halo effect cover up Sins of a company?

Victoria – That example on first direct, it’s just really crazy, isn’t it, it shows you the halo effect on math. And I think of companies that are looking to essentially leverage that halo effect to cover up are sort of overshadow any deficiencies elsewhere in their business. I think that approach would be really short lived. I think customers are engaging and interacting with brands these days across a plethora of sometimes really public channels. So it’d be a really dangerous strategy to over-egg your capabilities and then not deliver on them. And I think you’re not just being find out quickly in perhaps very publicly. And I read through all my LinkedIn interaction, I recently read a consulting report entitled The service delivery gap. And that highlighted a really shocking stat that below 80% of leaders believe their company delivers a superior proposition. The reality is only 20% of companies agree. And I personally find that disconnect, just really, really shocking and revealing and just shows how much there still is to play for in the space of a brand living up to customer expectations.

Matt – Yeah, I think from my perspective, we’d like to think If they’ve got to Halo status, that they’d be having the data and everything else ever joined up storage. I think you talked about Victoria the organisation’s you’ve worked for everyone’s under understood the ethos, the mindset, the goals, etc. And therefore we’re driving in the right direction. So by fact that I don’t think these sorts of organisations personally are covering up stuff. That’d be my take on it.

Simon – Yeah, absolutely. Right. It really is a fascinating and ever changing topic. And, Victoria. Well, I’d love to get you on again. And yes, I think the weird situation and environment we’re in now I think we’ll have a big part to play in which companies we’re where we’re giving this tag to and maybe the short term times to come so Hey, Victoria, a massive thank you for for joining us on here. I think there’s there’s two things I want to say about you being on one, you know, thank you so much for giving us your take on this halo effect and customer experience and sharing your experiences, but also at the top of this podcast, I think that confidence and encouraging, you know, to let people know feel like they can broaden the horizons across sectors is equally valuable. So thank you for coming on. You said at the start, you’re comfortable with us putting your LinkedIn on there and inviting people to connect and say hello, and maybe picking your brains. Is that all right?

Victoria – Absolutely. Yeah, I mean, thank you. Also, for my perspective, I really loved my first podcast experience. And it’s been a really interesting topic to just talk through and consider from different angles with you. So thank you for that. And absolutely very happy to connect with with anyone who wants to join networks and happy to share experience and maybe any hints or tips on how to make that leap from one sector to another.

Simon – Brilliant. Thank you, Victoria, Matty, this is something that I almost felt when I was doing a little bit of homework on this that I could go back and read really dig into this topic. It felt like exploring like a university thesis or something like that.

Matt – That’s really good Victoria has given some things to look up as well. So I’ve taken quite a lot from this podcast Victoria, thank you so much for that.

Victoria – My pleasure. It was a great discussion.

Simon – Great stuff. Well, thank you both as ever, sadly, we never have enough time. But the world of podcast defines about a 40 minutes rule. So we will, we’ll have to leave it here. But and for everyone that’s listening around the world, we genuinely really appreciate you taking the time to tune in as ever we’d love to hear your feedback. And you know, thoughts on future topics, questions or anything like that, but for now, thanks again for listening. Stay safe and goodbye.

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