Reimagining CX: Start With the Customer Perspective
A 2020 McKinsey survey found that 90% of executives believe the COVID-19 crisis will fundamentally change the way they do business during the next five years – and a lot of those changes involve reimagining the customer experience (CX). A recent scan of company strategic plans confirms some bold aspirations in this regard:
- A telecommunications company wants “a complete reset of customer experience” and plans to step up its focus on automation.
- A major bank is eager to “provide customers with one of the best digital experiences of any company globally.”
- A retail enterprise plans to “accelerate digital and improve ecommerce, customer experience, and operating efficiency.”
These are significant, and worthy, goals. Moreover, there has never been a better time to focus on customer experience given the enormous advances in technologies like intelligent automation, machine learning, and advanced analytics. But a word of caution for these companies, and any others planning on digital transformation projects: proceed thoughtfully and carefully. The reality is, as much as 70% of digital transformation projects fail.
Wipro has immense experience applying today’s technologies to the challenge of digital transformation, including the use of intelligent automation to transform the customer experience. Here are three practical steps for enterprises with transformative CX goals:
1. Define and document the current end-to-end experience
Start by defining and mapping customer journeys in the language customers would use as they describe their needs: Get a loan so I can buy a house. Transfer my service to a new address.
Change owner of mobile phone service to my son.
Meeting these kinds of needs requires multiple touchpoints and departments and, for companies that weren’t “born digital,” typically relies on a mix of manual and automated processes that have evolved over time. These tend to be highly people-dependant – which means lots of opportunities for things to go wrong, and difficult to optimise.
Customers don’t care which department handles what; they just want the job done. Mystery shopping, getting customer feedback, and spending time in the contact centre can generate insight into the customer journey “as is.”
As part of this step, benchmark delivery of the experience again from the customer’s perspective. Forget “inside out” metrics such as Average Handling Time (AHT), abandon rate, and first contact resolution. Instead, think “outside in” metrics such as end-to-end resolution time, “one and done,” customer effort, and failure/rework rate. This will strengthen the enterprise’s focus on customer purpose, deepen understanding of key friction points, and increase clarity on customer expectations and business objectives.
2. Reimagine the end-to-end experience from the customer’s perspective
A thorough knowledge of the “as is” state leads to the second step: reimagination. It’s also hugely valuable to explore what “good” looks like across a range of industries, locally and globally; customer expectations are set by their experiences across industries.
Next, take an “art of the possible” approach to reimagine the experience unencumbered by legacy ways of working and departmental boundaries. This is transformative; it can (and usually does) entail a complete rewiring or reinvention of the enterprise. Senior executive support is critical to be successful in breaking down boundaries and ensuring a strong, top-down design approach. Targeting step-change improvements in metrics will often require challenging deep-seated compliance and legal requirements so be sure to gain support from legal and compliance teams early.
Digital will be front and centre of the new experience. This makes it important not to fall into the trap of assuming “omnichannel” means that every channel must support the customer. The best experiences are deliberately designed interactions that “just work.” For example, interactions that start over the phone can be seamlessly shifted to digital channels using interactive messaging. A request to change ownership should lead to a well-designed online form supported by a workflow requiring completion by all relevant parties.
3. Redesign the way the work is done
New experiences inevitably mean redesigning the operating model. They will also generally entail technologies like intelligent automation, machine learning, and advanced analytics in an integrated, well-sequenced way that leads to step-change improvements in revenue, customer experience, and costs.
This may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating: Don’t implement technology for technology’s sake. Some enterprises may feel the pressure to do something – “let’s get some AI into our operations” – but without a clear purpose in mind. The best way for advanced digital technologies to be effective and deliver real value is by having them complement and augment human capabilities, not replace them.
Advanced technologies can deliver transformation – the kind that’s more and more important in a competitive world where CX may offer the most compelling competitive differentiation. So start transforming with a CX-driven vision of the future, and keep the customer in focus every step of the way.
Laura is techUK’s Head of Programme for Technology and Innovation.
She supports the application and expansion of emerging technologies, including Quantum Computing, High-Performance Computing, AR/VR/XR and Edge technologies, across the UK. As part of this, she works alongside techUK members and UK Government to champion long-term and sustainable innovation policy that will ensure the UK is a pioneer in science and technology
Before joining techUK, Laura worked internationally as a conference researcher and producer covering enterprise adoption of emerging technologies. This included being part of the strategic team at London Tech Week.
Laura has a degree in History (BA Hons) from Durham University, focussing on regional social history. Outside of work she loves reading, travelling and supporting rugby team St. Helens, where she is from.
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Chris is the Programme Manager for Cloud, Tech and Innovation
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Sue leads techUK's Technology and Innovation work.
This includes work programmes on cloud, data protection, data analytics, AI, digital ethics, Digital Identity and Internet of Things as well as emerging and transformative technologies and innovation policy. She has been recognised as one of the most influential people in UK tech by Computer Weekly's UKtech50 Longlist and in 2021 was inducted into the Computer Weekly Most Influential Women in UK Tech Hall of Fame. A key influencer in driving forward the data agenda in the UK Sue is co-chair of the UK government's National Data Strategy Forum. As well as being recognised in the UK's Big Data 100 and the Global Top 100 Data Visionaries for 2020 Sue has also been shortlisted for the Milton Keynes Women Leaders Awards and was a judge for the Loebner Prize in AI. In addition to being a regular industry speaker on issues including AI ethics, data protection and cyber security, Sue was recently a judge for the UK Tech 50 and is a regular judge of the annual UK Cloud Awards.
Prior to joining techUK in January 2015 Sue was responsible for Symantec's Government Relations in the UK and Ireland. She has spoken at events including the UK-China Internet Forum in Beijing, UN IGF and European RSA on issues ranging from data usage and privacy, cloud computing and online child safety. Before joining Symantec, Sue was senior policy advisor at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Sue has an BA degree on History and American Studies from Leeds University and a Masters Degree on International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Birmingham. Sue is a keen sportswoman and in 2016 achieved a lifelong ambition to swim the English Channel.
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