Moo – on exploring human service as a differentiator

Purple Square have been speaking to customer experience leaders from top global brands about Reimagining Customer Experience (CX). In this interview our CEO Andrew Addison talks B2B CX, customer insight and personal service with Corin Mills, brand marketing and e-commerce director at quality business design and printing company, MOO.

With nearly 20 years of working in retail design and brand marketing on his CV, Corin Mills has recognised that when it comes to delivering great CX, there are always new challenges to address:

“I’ve learned that you can’t assume anything anymore. There will always be innovation and every company has a different journey.”

This is particularly true when it comes to working with B2B versus B2C companies. While, in theory, the customer-first focus of CX should transcend business practices regardless of the industry, the role of mobile-first marketing is a key area of differentiation between the two. Generally speaking, CX for most consumer brands is nearly always centred around a mobile-centric approach, as the majority of their customers interact with them through their smartphones or tablets.

For a premium B2B brand like MOO, however, it can be less straightforward.

“While our customer acquisition relies very much on mobile ads and social media, the majority of our customers interact with us on their desktops. This is largely due to the fact that they tend to order business stationery and merchandise from their workplace – and while we are growing our capabilities for the mobile platform, most people still prefer the larger canvas of a desktop or laptop screen when it comes to design,” explained Mills.  

This reality can make for a challenging customer journey. We need to encourage people scrolling on their mobiles toward a better experience on their desktop, without appearing archaic or out of touch. This forces us to look at the whole picture of how customers interact with us – from how they find us, to how they navigate through our design and order process. Their journey needs to be spot on and truly customer-led. It can be a big learning curve, but a fascinating one.”

Human navigation with digital support

While the overall objective for delivering great CX is about putting customers at the centre of thinking for business decisions, this means different things to different organisations. Sometimes customer-led thinking can fall victim to a business’s pursuit of the bottom line, especially when it comes to personal customer service.

Providing real human service is a key differentiator for MOO, however.

“When customers come to MOO, they are essentially buying a service,” said Mills. “Rather than seeing providing personal, human service to our customers as a cost, we view it as an investment that helps set us apart from the competition. We don’t just sell business cards, but pride ourselves on helping our clients bring their brands to life through great design.”

This ethos means it is down to MOO to get the experience right for each customer – from SMEs up to large enterprises.

“Sometimes I see products trying to force a customer in a different direction to where they want to go, prioritising what’s right for their business over what’s right for the client,” Mills continued. “I ask myself, is this the right, natural way? With MOO, we always try to put user thinking first, analysing and using data from our contact centres to understand why each customer gets in touch and what they need from us – whether it’s the need to meet a tight deadline for a trade show or extra hand-holding or support through the design phase of an order.”

Championing this level of human interaction does not mean that there is no room for digital support, however.

“Fundamentally, we make data-led decisions, but with human insights based on our learning and experience in brand design. If customers are contacting us for reasons we don’t think they need to, we look at the data try to understand why they have resorted to speaking to someone instead of using our online tools or help. Rather than discouraging them getting in touch, we analyse the data to understand where we have left them unsupported on their journey and use this to improve our CX. It is down to us, not our customers, to make the journey as easy as possible for them,” said Mills.

“We are looking to build in more digital interaction and convenience into our CX, but not at the expense of being able to speak to an actual human when they need to. It is about offering the right balance of both options,” he explained.

Measuring the right KPIs

To achieve this all-important balance between human and digital, businesses need to ensure it is reflected in how they measure success. This is especially true for more complex B2B orders and offerings.

Customer-led thinking is helpful, even when it comes to establishing KPIs.

“You need to be setting the right KPIs and thinking wider, beyond the business from the start,” Mills advised. For example, if you simply measure sales success using the number of leads as a KPI, chances are your marketing will be too general and not filter out people earlier in the process, which can end up wasting their time and yours. By including information like pricing in your outreach, you may get fewer leads, but they will be more qualified ones, allowing you to tweak, change and personalise the customer journey along the way.

“It’s all about balancing between what is good for customers and what’s good for the business.  Always ask – at what cost? What does this mean?,” concluded Mills.

This interview was also featured in a related article on mycustomer.com on 19th April 2023. Read it here.

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