Customer Experience

2 December 2023
Language: Hebrew

Guest: Boaz Keidar, Michlol
In this episode, we speak with the founder of Michlol, as he shares his insights on the importance of providing a quality and personalized customer experience and why we should all start carrying around contact adhesive in our pockets.


Idit: In this episode we will talk about customer experience, and what is it anyway? It's not just another expression of providing good customer service. But all this and more will be answered by our guest and this time we have Boaz Keidar. Boaz is CEO and co-founder of Michlol Solutions of Electra FM Group. The company provides integrative management and operation services and works with strategic global clients. Boaz and I have known each other for 20 years, from my previous workplace. There I was the client and Boaz, in fact, provided the service. Even then, I felt the holistic approach of the special service experience, a real understanding of our needs. Always with a very, very positive, creative attitude that gave a true quality customer experience. Hi Boaz, Thank you for joining us, how are you?

Boaz: Hi, how are you?

Idit: All right.

Boaz: Okay, so first of all, thank you for this opportunity and I'm happy to share with you and the listeners the experience and answer all the questions.

Idit: Excellent.

Boaz: I'm with you.

Idit: So, I thought that for a cool intro, if maybe you can share with us some quote or an inspirational person that influenced you a lot? I would really love that for our listeners.

Boaz: So, I liked the question! I'm happy to share and I always take this as an example of a kind of inspiration to me in a world of service. I'll take it from the world of… Let's call it my youth, when I used to visit my father at the Tadiran Batteries factory. He used to work as a maintenance employee at Tadiran and always had contact glue in his pocket and I asked him why you were walking around with contact glue? And he explained to me that in the factory there are many women who come to work there and walk on high heels. Thirty years ago, probably, the quality was lower.

Idit: The quality of the heel was, let's say, of a very low standard.

Boaz: Yes. And they'd break their heels when they were hanging out there in the factory, and he'd stick it back for them. It wasn't part of his scope, but it was part of his service. And I think that characterized his service consciousness and for me it was a really great inspiration for service consciousness and service experience. So that's how I take this story.

Idit: So it's definitely an inspiring story. So let's talk a little bit about customer experience. What is a customer experience in your eyes?

Boaz: Customer experience is a big concept. It's a concept that I, personally, relate to very, very much because we're dealing with a world of service. I think customer experience is something that can be defined, it happens either in one moment or on the timeline. In the end, a customer experience is also built from a great many events or from a great many, let's call it, services that we receive as customers. And also from that side of how I, as an organization, perceive my clients. And it can be in the aspects of my employees, it can be in the aspects of suppliers I work with. And customer experience, in fact, is something we see surrounding us. Let's call it that.

Idit: Absolutely. How, in fact, were you first exposed to the field?

Boaz: I, who started providing service in my youth, looked at the world like that and said, let's take a big company.

Idit: Some kind of case study like that.

Boaz: Exactly, some kind of case study from a company that specializes in service. And my father-in-law just told me about Toyota, how he always buys Toyota and what an amazing service they provide. And I really delved into it a little bit, I read that Toyota is a company that wins year after year the title of one of the best service providers in the world. And that's how I read about the company, I also read the book "The Way of Toyota", which really gives the highlights and this story of how a company is built and actually positions itself as a leader in service.

Idit: Beautiful.What do you think our customers are looking for?

Boaz: I think that today is like this in this period, if customers used to be looking for price or were looking for quality. I think that today, along with the price and quality, customers are looking for fairness, transparency…

Idit: The partnership, something much more personal, connected.

Boaz: Exactly. A customer wants to feel that if I bought in an organization that preserves the environment, then he is part of the environment. And if I bought in an organization that employs people with disabilities, then I contributed to this as well.

Idit: That's right, that is, to the community, absolutely.

Boaz: So I think that today customers have become smarter, they have become more sensitive, and I think that's the big change that we're seeing today in what customers are looking for.
Idit: Actually, who is our target audience? Who is our end customer?

Boaz: I like to see, especially in organizations that are service providing organizations, that are based on people, let's call it, I see our customers specifically in our employees, specifically in the service providers that are part of us, it can be our suppliers, it can be our employees, and of course at the end, there is also the person who buys the service from us or the employee in the organization that receives the service from us. But I think it's that, let's call it, central legs in the world of service, because if we are the best company with the most advanced services, but we will be with a team that doesn't get its place, let's call it…

Idit: Doesn't feel connected enough with the organization, actually.

Boaz: Exactly. So our service will be less good and I also always say that you can't ask our people to provide service if they themselves don't experience service and don't really have a positive experience, so it's very difficult to demand that they give the positive experience to a third party, to our end customers.

Idit: Beautiful, interesting. A lot of people confuse the concept of customer service with customer experience. Let's try to clarify. What's actually the difference between customer service and customer experience?

Boaz: Customer service is 9-1-1, I call and get service, it's a call center, it's an internet service, it's an app service, it's a call center like that… As its name implies. Service experience It's already a concept, it's been called part of a culture. From truly being able to build and create in that client the value of the experience, something that stays in me, that I come home and I talk to my spouse or my son and I say "wow, today I received amazing service", it's an experience, I don't call…

Idit: It's a kind of feeling that we create, it's something that we're like creating for the recipient of the service, for that matter.

Boaz: Exactly, a lot of times it's something that's more emotional, it's less tangible. And I don't come home and I say "wow, today I called a call center and they answered. How cool, what a call center". But I do come home and say, "wow, today I walked into the store and there was an amazing salesperson there who did everything for me and what an amazing service I received". I think the experience is really about creating something that we talk about or that we remember.

Idit: I also heard a very, very interesting story, speaking of service experience. A company that provides cleaning services, for that matter. So in some particular organization some kind of emotional connection is created, so that the cleaning worker knows the end customer so well and knows, say, that she is allergic or sensitive to some particular substance, so specifically in her office they adapted another material, and it just shows this connection and the special connection that has been created to what extent there is something here, some added value that creates. So, I guess, she, and I heard that employee, that's what she remembers on this work day. That on the day her office was cleaned, she used a special substance that she was not allergic to. So she took it in, it really resonated with her as a really good and positive experience.

Boaz: Absolutely.

Idit: So I also think it's definitely examples for service providers to illustrate this in this way. I guess there is a way to measure and monitor customer experience also, is there any specific platform?
Boaz: Yes, there is a lot of measurement today and in general in the service world, certainly in the world of facilities management, what we read. The subject of measurement is something that has come here over the years through global companies. Today we are familiar with various technological tools. And we, ourselves, developed a tool called ServicesApp, which is a system that also measures response times, you will also call it planning versus execution, SLA compliance, the whole KPI world, that's what it's called. And I think innovation is a tool… Innovation in general has brought very effective tools to measurements.

Idit: In other words, the system is also able to generate data about which you make some kind of insights, some lesson learned, and you become more efficient in therapy based on the data you receive from the system. Alternatively, you also receive the feedback from the client. The customer can rate their satisfaction there…

Boaz: Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely. Today we can see a combination of, also AI capabilities, in our technology. You can see, like you said, we're really putting out insights. I'll give an example maybe to illustrate that. For that matter, an epidemic of malfunctions. You can see trends, you can see epidemics of malfunctions. Whether it's by types of systems, if it's by regions in the different structures. You can see, for that matter, If today I have a new building, and I made a service agreement for air conditioning systems, for example. How many service calls did I have during the year? Do I make a service agreement? Do I work without a service agreement? A lot of insights that end up channeling them.

Idit: Translated into service in practice.

Boaz: For both service and operational efficiency, let's call it.

Idit: Totally, totally. Knowledge is power. I always say, data is an integral part. How do you think Electra FM is working towards this whole issue of providing a quality customer experience to our customers

Boaz: I think that at Electra FM and as part of the Electra FM Group, I think that there are two main focal points, let's call it, the experience that Electra FM provides: One, it's about the treatment of employees. I think this is a company that gives its employees no less than what they receive in hi-tech companies. We are proud to employ people in this group. I think that starts with caring for the individual, through touching the families of the employees, through the worlds of career development, of really investing in human resources. A company that does a lot in this field, and as someone who is familiar with the hi-tech world, I can say unequivocally, that what the company gives to employees, is no less than in hi-tech companies, and this is completely a refreshing change. And I think language is one pillar, which very much strengthens Electra FM. In this aspect of service experience, because in the end, it's satisfied employees, stable employees, who provide good service. And on the flip side, I think all the implementation of the practices, the learning from global companies, the IFM community that's being built within Electra FM.

Idit: To bring the "new normal" to us, the new trends. It's very interesting what you said, because before that you mentioned about the journey of the employees, of yes, they are actually our most important resource. Now, we can't expect them to provide a customer service experience, if we don't know how to adapt, first and foremost, to give our employees a customer experience. And then actually also, expect them, how did you define it as a culture? Which is totally perception and culture, and very, very smart.

Boaz: Culture is the word.

Idit: Unequivocally. What do you think the world of customer experience will look like five years from now?

Boaz: I think it will be really based on quality employees and advanced technology. I think these two things, along with advanced practices, will build an advanced customer experience.

Idit: That definitely seems to be the name of the game. The technology, all that seamless, the simplicity. In the end, what are we looking for? We're looking for some kind of accessibility, a simple service, at the touch of a button, with some feedback back, and as much as we, the so-called, catch up with the technology and the pace, I think it can create what we talked about, as a real customer experience. Unequivocally. Thank you so much, it was what fun it was. Enriching, professional.

Boaz: Thank you.

Idit: And we were glad you joined the program. So thank you very much

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