SYDNEY: Technology is a great tool but shouldn't be considered a silver bullet for improving customer experience, a senior regional marketer believes.

Cameron Woods, Marketing Director for L'Oréal South Asia, addresses this topic at the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) Customer Experience Summit in Sydney.

And she warned marketers against using technology for the sake of it, saying: "We have to think really carefully about how it can enhance and enable a customer experience." (For more, including using data to deliver a valuable customer experience, read Warc's exclusive report: L'Oréal's five steps for customer-centric CX.) 

L'Oréal launched seven different apps before finding a hit: its MakeUp Genius app.

By August 2015, the app had been downloaded 14m times with 4.7m of those downloads coming from China. The app, Woods says, was different because it activated insights about its customers, rather than showcasing technology for the sake of it.

But for L'Oréal, the best customer experience is informed by speaking to the users of their products directly, particularly in Asian markets where beauty ideals can differ markedly from Western markets.

"The richest, deepest understanding and insights cost nothing and come simply from our travels and asking people what they want, what they think," she said.

"It sounds condescending or cliché, but the easiest way to find out what people want is simply just to ask them," said Woods.

Whether the brand is researching one-to-one with its sales reps and customers, or by using focus groups, qualitative or quantitative methods, there is one insight Woods holds up above all else: "I've heard people say a lot of things through researching, but I've never had anybody ask for more complexity in their lives."

Data sourced from Warc