Q&A with CVM People, 3radical’s Newest Partner

/ 23 October 2020

We recently sat down with Karl Dixon, FRSA, Director at CVM People, to learn more about 3radical’s newest partner.

3r: What type of clients is CVM People serving that 3radical would be a good fit for?

Karl: CVM People is split into two offerings, serving different clients. The main CVM People offering is focused on delivering end-to-end transformation across customer strategy and decisioning technology into consumer facing blue chips and multinationals – we deliver the design and build of new commercial and technical solutions, then help the client recruit the leadership and operational teams needed to ensure they can take ownership of the “new world” effectively with in-house resource, rather than relying on managed services etc.

The second offering – The Experience Works – is focused on helping smaller, more agile organisations – often scale ups and challenger brands – develop sophisticated customer experience strategies across sales, customer service, and marketing. We believe Customer Experience is the best plane on which such companies can compete with market leaders, using their agility to affect change quickly and out-maneuver larger entities by creating a more joined-up, personalised, and compelling experience for customers.

It is these clients for which we see 3Radical as a vital partner.

We are in discussions with organisations across retail, utilities, telco, real estate and others – both B2B and B2C – all of whom have the same problem: How do they make their customer bases more profitable in an increasingly complex environment?
With many of these companies, this often comes down to two questions. 1. “How do we generate the insight we need to truly understand our customers?” 2. “How do we translate this insight into strategies and tactics which are both commercially sensible and focused on delighting our customers?”

The first question requires new thinking as people increasingly recognise the value of the data they provide (and because global legislation is – rightly – forcing the issue), therefore we need to create mechanisms for generating insight through mutual value exchanges – whilst the collecting of this “earned” data  involves a little more effort, it’s worth it as, when done right, can provide extremely valuable and focused data points on each customer.

Likewise with the second question, we need to help companies cut through the noise of the “same old” risk averse thinking which dominates most customer interaction, and to help them understand that, whether B2C or B2B, they’re ultimately having a conversation with a person – with all of the emotional and contextual opportunities and pitfalls this entails. We can use this to create moments of resonance – injecting positive emotion into otherwise neutral (or negative) experiences, which ultimately promotes loyalty and a positive relationship between brand and customer. 

Delivering this kind of change requires both external and internal evolution, and we are confident that 3radical are the right partner to help us tackle both of these. From embedding a culture of collaboration, socialisation, and learning within customer facing teams, to creating compelling and exciting environments in which our clients can interact with and serve their customers in a way that builds an emotional bond.

The design principles and psychological mechanisms of gaming are central to The Experience Works, whether these manifest in an obvious form, e.g. a gamified app, or are more subtly woven into interaction tactics and journey design, they are a key part of our thinking, and how we solve challenges because, being huge gamers ourselves, we know they work!

3r: What trends are you seeing in the industry that your customers/prospects might be looking for an earned data/gamification solution?

Karl: I think we’re seeing a sort of paradox where customers are both wary of how much data they’re leaking every time they use their phone or go online, but also continue to raise their expectations around convenience and levels of personalised service.

Whilst we see companies trying to solve both of these issues, they are often seen as distinct, rather than two sides of the same problem. We believe that earned data and gamification can go a long way toward solving both sides of this issue.

The amount of data gleaned from online has been a boon to marketing but has also led us to undervalue data on each person. Regulations like GDPR, California’s CCPA, Singapore’s PDPA, as well as Google’s phasing out of 3rd part cookies, they all show a very clear direction of travel, and for companies to stay ahead of the curve, they need to develop and embed the mechanisms necessary for fair value exchanges with customers if they want to continue to benefit from the kind of rich insight that powers truly great experiences.

We believe gamification is great way to solve this challenge but, more than that,  it’s also a great way to harness emotion in a controlled way – offering the chance to play, win, get prizes, and feel a sense of excitement or accomplishment. This emotionally enriched interaction environment better facilitates both contextually targeted messages and the creation of optimal “in-the-moment” customer experience.”

3r: What attracted you to partner with 3radical? 

Karl: Funnily enough, we’d designed a high-level gamification strategy to support loyalty for a prospective client – we were looking at the outputs thinking “how long would it take to build this whole thing? This is too ambitious for where they are”. The next day, we stumbled across 3radical through an old connection from our Associate Principal, Jeremy Williams’ time working with Alterian [where David Eldridge was CEO] at Experian and discovered that you guys had already built everything we’d thought of…and more!

Right from the off, it seemed like a good fit.

3r: Why does 3radical fit with CVM People’s business model?

Karl: We’re a small outfit with a fairly flexible model and engagement style so, for us, it’s more about philosophy than business models fitting together – and, on that front, I think the fit works predominantly because both companies have a deep belief in what they do, based on experience of seeing what a difference it can make and an ethic of going above and beyond for customers to unlock real, meaningful value.

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