CEO Blog



Oxymorons and Conundrums

Anne Marie Forsyth
17/01/2020

This week, the near collapse of Flybe highlighted the difficulty of decision-making in conflicting situations. On the one hand there are vital carbon emission targets to bear in mind, on the other thousands of jobs and a pressing need to connect regional areas of the UK.

We are faced with these conundrums every day: a neighbour once joked that she needs a new refuse bin just for Amazon packaging. She knows it’s awful and interestingly is environmentally aware in lots of other aspects of her life, cycling to work, reusable shopping bags, solar panels, etc.

Tackling the climate issues seems to reduce fun; travel less, buy less, more inconvenience, which is why, when left to us mere mortals, it can be a constant grind. A bit like any behavioural change, it’s hard work and sometimes we fail and need to get back in the saddle. 

A friend recently gave up smoking, having tried and failed numerous times. She sometimes wished they’d simply been banned totally thus removing temptation and effort on her part. 

There’s a similar argument for some of the things we have been told are bad – why not just ban plastic bags, cheap flights, diesel cars and so on? Of course, it’s complex as so many people’s livelihoods would be severely disrupted if we suddenly become ‘good,’ so instead we live in a hybrid world which at times can seem hypocritical. 

Companies are also trying to coerce customers to switch to cheaper channels of communication and do more for themselves. Depending on how this is sold to us it can have very different outcomes. If there’s a perceived benefit - a smooth, easy-to-use service - then we’ll adapt well; if it’s a clear cost-focussed reduction in service then it’s pretty obvious and will cause friction.

Changing customer behaviours has to be about ‘what’s in it for them’. After a few years of trying to get customers to stop calling and instead use other channels, many brands are faced with increased costs and no reduction in voice. Much of this has to do with a failure to identify customer-led efficiencies, or a reason why it is appealing for a customer to change behaviour. There are examples of success beginning to come to the fore, and equally a realisation by others that they are unlikely ever to meet the earlier transition targets as they have been based on unrealistic expectations of how customers actually behave.

The new CCA Visionaries programme captures this transition and aims to shine a new light on the issue. Previously known as CCA Industry Council, the quarterly programme for Platinum members has been redesigned to include input from business experts and strategists offering a unique perspective on recurring issues. Capturing the latest thought leadership from major brands in the network, participants exchange experiences and take part in meaningful industry benchmarks about the future of CX in a digital age. If you’d like more information on how you can participate, please get in touch.

Have a great weekend!

Anne Marie​


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