CX is a strategic differentiator
This year’s results show there’s significant support for CX at a strategic level: almost nine out of ten organisations see CX as a competitive differentiator, and continue to attribute trust, loyalty, brand identity, and commercial performance to CX.
CX transformation has centred around the increased scope of CX, and the capabilities presented through mega trends in social media, mobility, analytics, cloud, automation, and artificial intelligence.
However, certain findings point to the difficulty of translating strategic goals into successful CX outcomes: only 10.9% report receiving promoter-level CX ratings from their customers.
To remain relevant, organisations need to commit to a CX strategy, change, and continue to adapt to a changing landscape. Siloed towers need to tumble. Integrated design thinking will win.
Organisations focused on a deep understanding of their customers are retaining and growing the value of their customer base. CX automation is front of mind, challenging traditional plans and thinking.
Make it easy, make it personal
CX is a core differentiator only if you can make it happen. Recognising and stating its importance at a strategic level is necessary, but you need to create a culture that can take it forward.
Given the now widely accepted links between CX, customer loyalty, and commercial success, we can see why there’s so much attention being paid to using CX.
How can you reduce customer effort at all stages of the customer journey, not only when people contact you with queries? How do you make it easier for customers to find you, buy from you, use your products and services, and then choose you again?
To answer these questions, everyone in the organisation must be tuned in to what customers are saying to you, either through direct feedback or telling behaviour. Reactive, silo-based operating structures will not facilitate this kind of culture.
Build digital capability
Digital capability is fast becoming the lifeblood for engaging with customers.
In last year’s report, we talked about how the world had formed a ‘digital skin’. Now, the convergence of how we work, live, and play, combined with the emergence of digital market places, is changing behaviours. Digital is now the lifeblood of customer engagement. Concierge services offering personalised, on-demand CX across customers’ platforms and channels of choice enable increased engagement – so long as customers are digitally enabled to make use of these services.
Reimagine CX for the digital age
Digital technologies offer a foundation for displacing legacy technologies and processes. More profoundly, they’re challenging our legacy thinking.
We can now imagine and design CX processes that are essentially digital, with human interaction being brought in to play a high-value role at appropriate points.
This requires a reimagining of every element of CX, from evaluating the role that the contact centre can play in a digital world to determining where skilled human agents would be best placed alongside robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to add value to a customer interaction.
It also requires bringing all those elements together to work in a united way. If not, the result will simply be further fragmentation and those strategic CX goals won’t be met.
Delve into data
There is too much competition out there to ignore the potential of - and need for - data-driven analytics in customer management and CX.
Creating personalised CX goes beyond giving customers what they say they want: you must provide next best actions they were not even aware of. This explains why the ability to harness customer analytics is a top strategic focus in the CX industry.
Organisations are starting to appreciate the value of data in helping them understand what it takes to engage with customers digitally. It’s now possible to analyse literally trillions of data combinations and scenarios to be proactive, improve performance, reduce costs, and increase productivity.
Data is also critical to improving the adoption of CX initiatives. It can boost CX as a priority throughout the organisation by showing its value, impact, and return on investment as a transforming capability.
Advance your analytics capabilities
Analytics capabilities are growing well beyond the rudimentary tools used to simply collect and collate information.
You now have access to sophisticated algorithms that analyse speech and text to assess customer sentiment and recognise intent. Conversational AI creates more natural conversations between humans and machines across many platforms, while advances in robotic process automation and AI offer knowledge from a variety of sources and channels to affect interactions in real time.
Neural networks will help you group and categorise data, identify patterns, and detect anomalies – all of which brings you closer to understanding and improving the customer journey, not to mention identifying opportunities for new products or services, workplace productivity, and cost savings.
But before rushing ahead to be first to market with the latest CX technology, assess whether it really is fit for purpose, or if you will be doing more harm than good in deploying it. Quality over quantity is key: the risks of poor implementation cannot be underestimated and must be managed tightly.
Align the organisation to your CX strategy
From this year’s results it’s clear that organisations are finding it difficult to achieve digital maturity and CX execution while having to deliver challenging operational improvements.
CX ambitions may be undermined by poor organisational alignment. A cohesive approach is required to transform business culture, strategy, levels of CX, and the way technology enablers are managed.
Executive sponsorship and an effective operating model to land and sustain CX transformation initiatives are a necessity. Yet, just 30.4% of organisations say they have accountability for CX at board or executive level.
Collaboration between channels and organisational functions must take place to create successful customer journeys that deliver value. While 34.0% of organisations are now saying they have a centralised CX function, 33.0% still operate in silos when designing and operating CX: a recipe for failure in an environment that demands integration.
Redefine the way you define CX
Human interaction and even traditional contact centre channels still have a significant role to play in reshaping and transforming CX. The key is knowing when and how to integrate these with an environment that’s increasingly digital.
And the key to knowing that lies in building CX from the outside in. This is what industry ‘disruptors’ are keenly aware of. To make CX work, they revolutionise customer engagement to change the way they think and work, creating an entirely different organisational culture.
They start with trying to design the service, fulfillment, and marketing elements with a CX strategy that’s focused on being human less, but where human interactions are brought in at the point where they’ll add the most value to the experience.
Having an optimised CX strategy that targets and displaces legacy processes and operations will help to achieve this transformation – sustainably and profitably.
CX transformation infographic
See the top CX transformation trendsDownload the infographic
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