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CX Q&A with Elisa Romm

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Elisa Romm

Executive VP of B2B Marketing
MasterCard

MasterCard is active in more than 210 countries and operates as one of the world’s fastest payment processing options. Financial institutions, merchants, businesses, governments and consumers alike look to MasterCard as an easy and safe form of payment for everyday commerce activities. Executive Vice President of B2B Marketing Elisa Romm and her team focus on creating products and solutions that bring value to their B2B customers, setting the company apart from its competitors and making it a leading pioneer in financial customer experience.

Multiple internal groups have a share in defining MasterCard’s customer experience strategy. The company currently has a consulting division called MasterCard Advisors, which leverages insights to calculate value-added engagements with clients and customers. Romm’s team also uses predictive analytics to understand their clients’ customers, giving their company an extra lead in unlocking different consumer perspectives.

MasterCard’s client relationship managers (CRMs) also work with customers on an ongoing basis in order to maintain a firm understanding of what their customers need. The CRMs feed this customer knowledge into the organization for the marketing team to analyze. After analysis, the marketing team then creates solutions that bring added value to customers.

Technology is one area that presents challenges for Romm and her team when addressing customer service.

“It’s not enough to ‘build and they will come,’” Romm explains. “You have to train your team, and from an organizational perspective, you have to mandate that they learn and use specific tools moving forward. People are adaptable to learning what’s going to grow their business as long as you demonstrate that it’s something that will work well. Training is absolutely mandatory because it’s like using a different muscle than what a company may be used to, and everyone needs to be on the same page.”

Once new technology is adopted, customers can give their feedback on how that technology is working. As a result, the link between marketing and IT is mission- critical for MasterCard to ensure that back office investments are aligned with customer experience requirements.

While Romm feels that they have good technologies in place, their overall adoption across the board has been somewhat inconsistent, and she feels this is an area where they could improve. However, she acknowledges that the space in which they work is different from a typical sale.

“We have the tools, but data is only as good as the people who are populating and using it,” Romm says. "Because sales cycles are a lot slower than with a non-financial company, MasterCard’s information does not get aggregated in real time. It is not like selling a bottle of soda. We’re selling credit cards, debit cards, and consulting and informational tools, and it usually takes a while to complete a sale.”

In the coming months, MasterCard plans to develop a company-wide process that will continue to bring value to the whole company’s customer service strategy on both the B2B and B2C level.

“Larger companies get a different level of interaction than smaller merchants,” she says. “We have different tools for everybody, and some are self-service while others are DIY. Still other tools may be completely customized to a company. Each program that MasterCard deploys is constructed differently to fit the needs of the customer.”