With most executives now aware that the Customer Experience is a key differentiator in today’s marketplace, organisations are increasingly making this area a strategic priority.
However, only companies that enjoy seamless internal communications will be able to deliver the level of CX that can rise above the rest.
The value of Customer Experience is underscored by the recent findings of PwC’s Global CEO Survey, which highlights that, against a backdrop of growing public distrust of businesses, institutions governments and NGOs, peer-to-peer influence is wielding the most power.
Across areas as disparate as insurance, hospitality and manufacturing; adapting to feedback and providing a highly personalised buying experience have become key factors in building brand loyalty and securing those crucial personal recommendations and glowing reviews.
With tech-savvy buyers monitoring, evaluating and sharing their experience, companies must – at the very least – offer a seamless multi-channel delivery of their product or service. However, this view of customer service is not limited to simple interactions and requires significant technologies to achieve it: sellers need both reactive and proactive capabilities to ensure their brand is always front of mind for consumers in their marketplace, and indeed to stay one step ahead and predict customers’ preferences and needs.
This level of customer engagement is a game changer which is set to transform the approach, culture and ecosystem of all businesses. But many leaders who already recognise this – and should be gaining valuable first-mover advantage, are seeing their organisations fall short in the absence of a suitable ecosystem that delivers such outcomes.
One of the barriers is often technological. Although it is now clearly unacceptable for front-line staff not to have key customer details at hand when interacting with a given person, there is a world of difference between this level of connectivity and one where all employees across the organisation are able to view and act upon service-relevant information.
While companies will inevitably have built up a variety of platforms and formats to deal with the arrival of each new customer engagement channel, the good news is that these don’t have to be the most expensive or extensive available in order to build a cohesive approach. One strategic option is to put in place a single enterprise information platform, which brings all front-line systems together, offering connectivity to any legacy ‘back office’ systems that staff are still using.
Such a system can hold an organisation together like glue, but it will only really be effective in terms of Customer Experience if the internal user experience is equally good. We all know that happy employees deliver a better, friendlier and more compelling service. To achieve this, the process for finding and using data needs to be easy and intuitive.
Therefore, the connected business needs to think of its staff much as it does its customers, ensuring a seamless experience, by providing suitable training and an easy to use interface that will facilitate all their work. This approach should extend beyond the technology and into the culture of the organisation – indeed it has been argued that the very concept of ‘back office should be consigned to history.
Once organisations have aligned and integrated all systems, geographies and platforms, the bright future of monetisable Customer Experience beckons. Advanced data processing, bots and AI can help business leaders leverage enterprise content management strategies – backed by the expertise and deep knowledge of highly skilled and motivated staff.