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CX Insights from Matt Watkinson, Skills Consulting Group, ACC & TRA

A light bulb

A room full of smart people was always going to generate lots of interesting light bulb moments and big questions. 

So, we asked the attendees at our Citizen Experience conference to write them down. In fact, of our smart conference attendees hit the jackpot by asking our guest speaker, CX thought leader, Matt Watkinson a question that he had never been asked before. Not bad, considering Matt is a frequent speaker on the global stage and recipient of many questions. Go Wellingtonian marketers! 

The light bulb moments referenced many of Watkinson’s 10 Principles of Customer Experience and the idea of the ‘forgettable zone of tolerance’ captured a few people’s imagination. I’m not sure why this seems like such a surprising concept, but that is how it strikes most people on first hearing. Perhaps it touches a nerve because a lot of effort often goes into CX design improvements in the zone of tolerance, whereas it is much more productive to invest in below expectation areas and anything that happens at the end. 

The peak end rule for CX clearly hit home, with the most frequent light bulb moments relating to the making of memories. People commented on taking control of the memories that their experiences create rather than leaving it to chance. The quote of the day on this topic goes to “we are not creating experiences we are making memories.” Now there’s a challenge to rise to. 

For those working in consulting or services, another light bulb learning from Watkinson was about asking the right questions from the outset. Before starting any CX project for a client, Matt asks two questions: “What are your expections?”, and “what matters to you most about the project?” The answers, he said, are never what he expected, and help you set expecations, and in turn, be able to exceed them.  

The conference talk by Karin Glucina of TRA, and Helen Carter of Skills Consulting Group, on Employee Experience as a driver of Customer Experience also triggered its share of light bulb moments. Their survey data clearly tapped into some passionate feelings about employee wellbeing and the concept of genuine care was a light bulb moment for many. “It’s so easy for everyone to do, but rarely done – what a wasted opportunity?” It certainly is because investing in CEx while not investing in EX is under optimised investment. 

The easy, effortless ask of ACC’s “Have a Hmmm” campaign, presented by Rebecca Whiting, sparked a lightbulb moment: “How can we drive compliance or behaviour change and make it feel effortless?” It’s about meeting people where they are on the behaviour change continuum, and approaching them with the right tone – hence why the “Have a Hmmm” campaign seems so poised for success: it’s funny, and it’s asking people to simply pause and have a “hmmm” before embarking on a risky action. 

And my favourite light bulb moment of the day: “Reciprocity is key”. Why? Because the session was a great example of people sharing their insights, open discussion, collaborative workshop – lots of give and take creating a shared learning experience.  

Colleen Ryan
Partner at TRA
Colleen has a curious and strategic mindset fueled by 40 years of experience in business across Europe, North America and APAC countries. With a fascination and deep understanding of what it is to be human, specifically applying principles from cultural sociology, social psychology, behavioural science, and cultural analysis, she brings breakthrough insights to brand strategy, creative development and customer centricity.

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