How can organizations win the battle with CX as the differentiating element?

By Rupinder Goel, Group CIO, Tata Communications Limited

Customer experience has been gaining traction and criticality over the past few years and this is further accelerated by the over-arching digital penetration and enablement that customers are experiences in all walks of life. Some of the key trends in customer experience are:

Empowerment of Customers – complete transparency is the mantra of today.

Customers will showcase both their ‘delight’ and ‘disdain’ transparently in the digital space which is visible to all. The fact that switching is becoming easier owing to ever increasing competition, further aids this trend. Even best of players, like Apple will have to constantly reinvent customer experience to remain market leaders.

Segment of 1 – One size no more fits all. Customers viewing themselves as ‘unique’ are increasing multifold. The experience needs to remain consistent across the value chain of marketing, commerce and service (post sales)

Democratization of Technology – is bringing in unprecedented changes with the power in the hands of end users who are very quick to adopt and reject initiatives. Adoption is becoming a key aspect for measuring success of any initiative and this is true for both B2B as well as B2C industries

New Competition – Over The Top (OTC) concepts are beginning to apply to all industries and digital competitors are constantly engaging to reimagine the way of working and thereby, innovating the user experience. Thus, customer experience is becoming increasingly competitive space considering ‘freshness driven by technology’ as a critical element of services and/orproduct usage. This in turn leads to formation of new partnerships for delivering of customer experience.

Customers are more likely to recommend a brand that offers a simpler& uniform experience. So what does it take to deliver a unique and engaging customer experience in today’s world?

This can be imagined by looking at 3 critical elements –

Delightful multi-channel experiences – focused on delighting customers across the lifecycle and across channels. This started in a big bang manner for B2C centric industries such as banking & insurance, but has slowly crept into the worlds of B2B organizations as customer demands and expects simplified, elegant and relevant services (& products). Trend of emerging B2B2C industries further amplifies this element.

Business Operating Model – needs to be revamped and thrashed out in alignment to customer experience strategy. Whether we look at enterprises like Twilio or Paytm or Apple, the operating model has undergone multiple changes to align around “What customers want & expect”. Digital tools and technologies provide ample opportunities to be able to do this. With the constructive application of analytics, social platforms and mobility, many businesses have undergone operating model transformation and many more are on the process of transforming

Scalability with Agility – enterprises need to invest in building robust, scalable platforms for enabling business and operations. These platforms need to be able to deliver unique customer experiences in an optimized manner and fit for purpose for the industry in consideration.

These considerations and elements are the underpinning pillars for execution of successful customer experience for any enterprise that envisions excelling in this subject.

Enabling the vision for a global coherent customer experience:

Any organization nurturing a vision for consistent, cross-channel, coherent customer experience needs to have a centralized mechanism to capture what its customers are stating. Moreover, this needs continuous monitoring across touchpoints and transactions. Digitally enablement of customer experience across the lifecycle helps build up the operational customer experience and enables right from the first interaction and covers the customer journey in entirety to provide Omni-channel experience across structured as well as unstructured formats.

Some of the point benefits that an organization can realize through such enablement are:

  1. Real Time access to Customer experience

Automatic measurement of customer experience periodically across channels (web, email, mobile, SMS, IVR etc)

Harmonization of customer experience processes across the enterprise, centrally

Real time access to customer experience trends with ability to drill down.

  1. Ability to correlate and analyze business metrics

Track promoters and detractors

Correlate customer experience and its impact on sales funnel

Identify chronic issues (what cannot be measured, cannot be fixed!)

  1. Initiate, Track & Close the loop

Close loops of customer experience (voice) to ensure accountability

  1. Deliver consistent customer experience initiatives

End to end enablement of customer experience across customer lifecycle (all touchpoints, events/triggers, transactions etc.)

Ability to benchmark customer experience performance and plan interventions

As a summary, innovative customer experience is no longer a matter of choice, but a matter of priority in a long scheme of things that enterprises need to focus on. However, the impact is positive as soon as an enterprise chooses to become “Best in Class” by innovating in Customer Experience.

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