top of page

Celebrate Customer Experience day? Better celebrate Transformations!

Nowadays companies focus on business transformations to leap into result-oriented, market & customer-focused organisation rather than on Customer Experience programs alone. Customer Experience (CX) was a buzz around 5 - 10 years ago, but most companies realized that a full focus on customer needs and feedback is not automatically driving their business forward. Therefore CX is nowadays one important pillar of business transformation projects rather than the sole key focus point.


How did Customer Experience evolve?

Working for one of the largest E-commerce in South Asia as VP Customer Experience, I was part of the Customer Experience frenzy in East Asia evolving around 2015 / 2016.

First international players in banking, insurance and ecommerce brought Customer Experience methods and practices from their home markets and started to establish Customer Experiences teams mainly in retail and service industries. At the same time, there was a hype to change the business and management strategy into customer first programs (triggered by the likes of Amazon / Zappos). During this time companies were testing the water how far they could shift the focus of entire companies on customer needs and customer feedback as a starting point to be more agile and adaptive with products and services in the market.

Startup Party & Vibe
Startup Vibe

This lead to a demand of CX managers, CX Researchers, Data Analyst and even change management specialists, as customer experience was more treated as a culture and mindset change rather than just a new strategy.

More basic information on Experience Management in our blog link.

What are the limitations of a Customer First approach?

Especially in our CX roles in banks and insurances, we soon faced regulatory and risk related issues in wich customer demands or improvements were not possible from a legal or overall risk rating perspective. That lead to a more restricted Customer First approach for only "good" clients and above average customer profiles to minimize the risk and potential negative impact on business results.

In E-commerce on the other hand, there was a race among the international and local competitors in South East Asia to provide the best conditions, payment options, delivery services, product quality, etc. for customers. However they soon realized that E-commerce like many B2B2C tech services had two client sides, the customer and the seller which are equally important for the business result.

Therefore especially at Lazada, we established in 2016 seperate Customer & Seller Experience Teams directly reporting to the CEO to come up with suggestions how to make the life for customers or sellers easier. As you can imagine, being less lenient on the seller side could lead to more customer complaints and more benefits for the customer could lead to an increase in seller complaints. Instead being fully customer-focussed there was a constant negotiation between the proposals of customer versus seller experience to balance the approaches. I am not sure if that was successful, however it limited the cost of CX versus the most customer friendly local seller (Tiki) and provided a more credible customer reputation versus the more seller friendly international seller (Shopee).

How can Customer Experience contribute to business transformations?

First we need to recognize, that customer experience (or seller experience) is just one out of multiple pillars of a business or digital transformation project.

Digital Transformation Pillars with Customer Experience
Digital Transformation Pillars

As in the example methodology above, further topics like Agile Methodologies, Data Capabilities, IOT, AI, Operational Readiness, etc. are equally important to drive a transformation in organisations.

Celebrating the CX Day on 3rd of October alone, we should recognize that Customer Experience methods and cultural impact are now a critical part of every transformation project rather than a stand-alone initiative anymore.

For more information on how to transform your business, please contact us here or on

This blog was written by Carsten Ley, Entrepreneur, Enabler & Project Lead in Customer Experience, Project & Business Transformation leading large scale project implementations in Retail, E-commerce, Banking, Consulting & Experience Management for companies like Deloitte Germany, VW Mexico, Rolls-Royce UK, Lazada Vietnam and H&M South East Asia. He founded 2018 Asia PMO, a consulting firm focussing on getting clients fast and efficient into implementation of company objectives, customer & employee experience improvements to foster a result- and team-oriented environment.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page