Q&A: Aurélien Dubot, VP of Marketing, Critizr
Aurélien began his career on the IT and technical side, before moving into strategy and marketing roles in the European teams of companies such as Microsoft, Bazaarvoice, Quantcast and Zendesk. He joined Critizr in 2020 to lead the marketing team.
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I’ve worked in a number of marketing and technology roles, particularly seeking out companies that push the boundaries and are focused on innovation which is my main area of interest.
Tell us a bit more about Critizr?
Critizr is Europe’s leader in Customer Interaction Management. Our platform Critizr Connection is used by an increasing number of leading retailers to transform the way they interact with their customers. We’ve created technology that helps brands build stronger customer relationships across the increasingly complex customer journey, connecting their physical stores to digital and social channels. It’s also a platform designed to embed at every level of the business, from local store teams to HQ, to help drive customer obsession across the whole organisation. Everyone at Critizr is aligned around the founders’ ethos: that businesses need every member of their team to be engaged with customers to create proximity and drive loyalty if they are to thrive in the future. It’s very rewarding to work for a business that helps retailers achieve that goal.
What’s are the latest innovations at Critizr?
In January we announced the acquisition of retail customer experience and messaging start-up ServiceDock. This innovative Dublin-based startup created some of the most dynamic tech solutions for retailers and physical stores on the market today, completely aligned with Critizr’s goal of building stronger relationships between brands and customers. Integrating their ‘instant messaging’ technology, which pulls-in all customer conversations across web, mobile, and social messaging into a cohesive interface no matter what the channel is, will give our platform even greater omnichannel conversation capabilities. And amongst the many pressing priorities for retailers in 2021, investing in ways to engage quickly and personally with customers in their favourite channels should be near the top of the list.
Why is instant messaging important for retail businesses?
Our world is becoming increasingly message-centric. Messaging and social media now shape the customer experience, with shoppers using these channels as a convenient, familiar way to exchange messages with businesses, just as they would with their friends. It’s also how they’ve been communicating with online businesses like Amazon for years. So even if a retail business doesn’t support messaging, whether via text, WhatsApp or Google’s Business Messages, customers expect that it does. And they feel increasingly disappointed when they can’t personally connect with a business in this way. It leaves them thinking that the business is a rather remote and faceless entity.
Can you explain a bit more about these challenges?
The messaging landscape is fragmented and prone to regular change. Businesses struggle to keep pace, and to handle a rapidly increasing number of customer interactions across a variety of disparate channels. This is particularly the case for businesses with a network of physical stores. How do they manage this more complex, digitally weighted customer journey that moves from online to physical back to digital and is fronted by in-store staff who are not as richly equipped with technology at work as some of their customers?
There’s also the urgent need for retail businesses not to lose sight of the importance of human connections. Research shows that, despite it being an increasingly digital world, people still want to deal with people. Businesses need to find ways to have real time, personal conversations with customers in their favourite channels. This personal interaction is what leads to emotional engagement – and that in turn builds customer satisfaction and long term loyalty, which all businesses urgently need more of at the moment.
How will these new additions to the platform work and how do you measure success? Today there’s a huge opportunity for all retailers to integrate messaging apps like WhatsApp and Google’s Business Messages into their customer communications channels. It’s a way to connect customers to their local stores and staff so that they can better serve their needs. ServiceDock’s technology will enhance the Critizr Connection platform, in particular by connecting customers with local staff to deliver a blended physical and digital customer experience. It will bring the results and benefits that we see regularly with retailers using Critizr Connection: greater customer satisfaction scores and improved loyalty, which will ultimately bring a positive return on full business results and the bottom line. We are convinced that for companies to compete and thrive in the future, they need a seamless customer experience supported by the staff who deliver that experience every day.
What is on the horizon for Critizr in 2021?
There’s still a lot of uncertainty as to how retail will look in the next few months, let alone years, across the physical and digital landscape. But what we know from working with our clients is that every retailer needs to be ready for a dynamic next wave of interactive and personable customer interactions. We keep focused on innovative ways to help retailers provide great customer experiences: empowering staff, connecting customers and rallying businesses around the drive for customer obsession throughout their business.
To find out how Critizr can help your retail operation, click here.
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