Until recently, technology in CX used to be about contact centers and CRM with an added omnichannel thrust. The surge of digital consumerism has pushed customer experience (CX) management to what is known is ‘digital-primed CX’, CX that is powered and enabled by automation, chatbots, analytics, augmented reality, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
The Dimension Data-IDC CX Summit dealt with some thought-provoking issues on the future of CX. The summit threw up fresh research-based insights coupled with industry-leading perspectives from partners such as Cisco, Nice, Active.ai, NovelVox and practical pointers from participating customer management executives.
Kicking off the summit, K.N.Murali, Head- Sales (Solutions), Dimension Data said, “The research shows that digital transformation is not a debate, but a necessity to compete. The Dimension Data CX Benchmarking Report (CXBR) shows a stark realization that CX providers want to move faster and those who do will truly redeem themselves.”
Guest speaker Ramesh Lakshminarayanan, Director, Pragmatix Services outlined the central role of data in getting successful CX outcomes and the technology needed to create a data-centric organization. He cited various use cases where CX efforts were primed using the power of data and analytics. Outlining the essential technology for a data-driven organization, Ramesh said,” The essential technology ‘nuts and bolts’ are open source, microservices, serverless applications, IP, and Spark (an opensource performance cluster computing framework for big data workloads) amongst others.”
The CXBR reveals that the number of customer interaction channels will grow from nine to eleven this year. The top channels that are taking volumes away from traditional ones are virtual assistant (chatbots), IM, mobile apps, video chat, and IoT. Said Murali, “Relevance in the digital age requires connections with customers that not only include multiple channels, but the interconnection of those interactions.”
Designing CX for the Digital World
IDC research reveals that by 2018, 20 percent of industry leaders would allow customers direct control over customer experience. Said Shalil Gupta, AVP- Insights and Consulting, IDC, “Customers are creating their own world, they are creating their own world. You just enable it.” Shalil’s point is that we have to move away from creating or managing CX to enabling customers to create their own CX. This is a radical proposition which requires a fundamental rethink of how CX is handled within organizations. Said Shalil, “For CEOs, this is a bold move— to train organizations to see the world through the eyes of the customer. Customer service is tablestakes, it has to be delivered, but customer operations will have to redesigned.”
In the digital world, organizations deliver digital services and operations. CX has to be designed around three simple principles: simple, immediate, and individualized. Further, if CX is a journey, then it must be consistent through the journey. The principles of digital CX design follows the principles of digital business and therefore translate to the following:
• Designed to disrupt— focus is not to problem solve, start designing zero-base, create new outcomes
• Digital velocity— frictionless and realtime, hyperdigital interactions/ transactions
• End-to-end adoption— seamless experience, personalized, ops and service should be cross-functional (not siloed), create composable value chains
• Scagility– scale and agility, capacity to scale fast without losing agility
CX Benchmarking Report 2017— Key Findings
Pranay Anand, CX Lead- APAC, Dimension Data, opened up his presentation of the CXBR by saying, “The results indicate that the top factors driving digital transformation are to improve CX, closely followed by customer demands for digital. Over 84% can evidence revenue uplifts as a result of improved CX, and 79% report cost savings. Yet, the reality is that organizations around the world are failing to implement effective digital strategies.”
Fewer than 10% of organizations polled, said that they had an optimized strategy for digital business in place, while over half (51%) reported they don’t have any plan at all, or are at best in the process of developing one.
The absence of a connected digital strategy means that even when digital solutions are available, the customer is frequently not even aware of its existence.
To compound the situation, just 36% have appointed a board level executive responsible for all customer experiences. Organizational disconnects means digital solution functionality is not meeting customer requirements, with poorer than envisaged digital adoption levels.
The uncomfortable truth is that high performing companies that have committed to the opportunity created by the digital revolution, are outpacing established market leaders. The benchmark research highlights that top quartile organizations are performing up to ten times better than the typical standard.
Key exhibits from the CXBR:
(All exhibits are from the CX Benchmarking Report 2017 by Dimension Data)