The business world has aligned on the fact that customer experience improvement is one of the most important things any organization can do to better compete today and position themselves for tomorrow.
It's a brave new (customer-centric, digital-first) world we live in, and there’s much to explore as we move forward. The fact is, undertaking a journey like this requires collaboration between the business and IT like never before. Which is why we believe that those organizations we’ve seen be most successful in making this shift have worked to successfully built solid relationships across the organization.
As CX becomes an end-to-end concern and technology and data become ever more critical elements of successful CX, IT plays an increasingly vital role in shaping decisions across the enterprise. Together, business and IT can partner to:
- Work across organizational silos: In most organizations, IT is unique in possessing a cross-channel, end-to-end view of the systems and processes that customers must traverse as they engage across the enterprise. Partnering with IT to gain a deep understanding of the technology and tools that enable (or hinder) the customer experience is a critical step in improving experience.
- Develop a single source of customer intelligence: Data—and the insights it can drive—is at the heart of the ability to deliver great customer experiences. Aggregating and normalizing the data you already own, then enriching it with second- and third-party data, are technology and IT-driven capabilities. Data consolidation and unification are table stakes, with “next-gen” AI and ML-driven analytics providing the foundation for true customer intelligence.
- Personalize customer experiences: From email marketing and content management to sales and support and journey optimization, cross-channel personalization is delivered where data and content intersect. In this, technology and customer experience are fully linked when it comes to delivering the highly relevant, hyper-personalized experiences that meet customer expectations, drive engagement, and drive customer—and business—success.
- Streamline processes and simplify systems: With guidance from the business, IT is uniquely qualified to streamline customer-facing processes to help eliminate friction and simplify the customer experience. And by streamlining the systems that employees must interact with to support customers, your people are able to be both more effective and efficient, driving operational excellence while also improving customer responsiveness.
- Delivering superior digital-first experiences: As customers ourselves, we all know that customers increasingly demand “digital-first but not digital-only” experiences from the companies that wish to serve them. And while defining those experiences is a customer-needs driven activity, delivering them is an IT-driven and enabled activity. Working together, business and IT can design, deploy, and optimize experiences that scale seamlessly across customers and journeys.
- Move fast: Those that thrived during the pandemic did so with an agile mindset and approach to their business, and the environment. In many IT organizations agile development has been a focus for years, with iterative, outcomes-oriented processes naturally making customers the priority and working across silos. There is a huge opportunity for the business to learn how to operate alongside IT, quickly deploying—then testing, improving, and redeploying—technology to address quickly changing customer needs.
To actually put the customer at the center of the business, forward-looking organizations need to reimagine many of the ways they traditionally think and work. This means reimaging how technology can help them meet their goals, and how customer experience, digital transformation, and operational excellence link together.
Today’s customer experience leaders are reimagining the respective roles of IT and the business, partnering to design and deliver next-level experiences in ways that enable internal teams across the organization to better—more consistently, more systematically, and more scalably—meet external customer experience goals.