The people behind Davies: New Consulting Director, Phil Michell shares his experiences from decades in CX consulting

23rd May 2022

  1. What excites you most about joining the consulting team at Davies?

It’s probably the fact that Davies are able to blend thought leadership in customer experience with the power of experienced practitioners that have “been there and done it”. This means we’re able to add significantly more value than a traditional consultancy.


  1. You have worked with leading brands across a spectrum of industries for over two decades. Is there one project that stands out to you the most over the span of your career and why?

I struggle to choose just one which is probably a factor of experience rather than indecision! If I could pick two, they would be separate pieces of work that I did with Tesco and adidas towards the beginning of my career.

At the end of the 1990s Tesco made a strategic decision to be “as strong in non-food as in food” (can anyone remember when they were “just” a supermarket?). I led the design and delivery of Tesco’s World Non-Food Sourcing operation which has enabled them to source and sell clothing, electronics and other non-grocery products on a scale that has dramatically reduced costs and given customers a great deal.

In the early 2000s I led adidas’ “Customer First” programme which was a fundamental cultural shift in moving the UK business from being very product centric to being focused on their immediate customers –retailers such as JD Sports. Bringing true customer thinking and measures enabled the business to achieve a step change in performance – and seeing David Beckham and Jonny Wilkinson train together at their head office was an added bonus!


  1. What would you say are the main missed tricks when it comes to organisations and their customer experience (CX) operating strategies?

It’s probably one of the simplest things – few organisations fail to look at themselves and their processes from their customers’ perspectives and don’t actually walk in their shoes. As a consequence, many are surprisingly difficult to do business with and require a significant amount of customer effort. The situation is compounded by senior executives being treated as VIPs when they do interact with their own company – creating a rose-tinted view of the world.


  1. What misconceptions do you usually come across when talking with clients about CX technology and what are the risks if these new technologies are not leveraged?

Simply put, it’s that technology alone will solve their problems. Over the years I’ve seen many organisations attracted to the latest “shiny hammer” technology solution – and then see every problem as a nail! Furthermore, transformation usually requires a combination of technology and effective change, which can encompass processes and people. This requires organisations to understand why the change needs to take place and what needs to change in the broader eco-system, such as how people are measured and rewarded.


  1. What do you think effective CX will look like in the next 10+ years?

Whilst I think there will be new channels such as the metaverse, I believe that effective CX will feel effortless. Organisations will continue to enhance their use of data to predict and proactively resolve customer issues – benefiting both customers and themselves through lower operating costs.

Furthermore, organisations that fail to do this will suffer through customer attrition and the need to discount their products and services to compete – compounding the negative impact on their bottom line.


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