Customer Experience is the new battleground. Irrespective of the industry you are in, your consumers and employees expect you to deliver them personalized, easy and unified experiences similar to those provided by Google, Facebook, Amazon, WhatsApp, Apple. These companies born in the digital age are reshaping consumer expectations. These expectations are not limited to digital channels and expect the same convenience across channels. They expect to be recognized, treated as an individual. They are expressive and expect to be heard. This shift in consumer behavior is both a huge challenge and a big opportunity.
The key to competing in this new battleground is co-creating customer experiences. This is the only sustainable way to continuously innovate and deliver new experiences. Facebook leverages the content generated by its users to engage other users. Google leverages its user’s usage patterns to rank the usefulness of content thus enhancing experience for others. Amazon uses its users buying patterns to increase the relevance of its product recommendations. In each of these cases, these new age digital companies are listening to their consumers, analyzing their inputs and reshaping the experience.
To compete and win in this new world, business must learn to co-create experiences by
- Proactive Conversations – Proactively engaging their customers by initiating contextual conversations about their experience across the customer journey.
- Real-time Action – Responding to each conversation in a coordinated and meaningful manner.
- Continuous Improvement – Draw out insights from the conversation to improve existing experiences or design new products, services or experiences.
CIOs will need to build and deliver a new platform that will enable business to realize this. The platform should consist the following components:
- Conversation Designer to enable business users to design and launch conversations with customers and employees on a continuous basis.
- Multi-channel Conversation Engine to enables customers and employees to respond using their preferred channels – SMS, Emails, Call Center, IVR, Chat, Kiosk, Stores, Social, Website or Mobile.
- Integrated Action Management intelligently categorizes, assigns and notifies to the right person. It provides them with an integrated view of all conversations that require their attention. It enables them to collaborate across organizational boundaries and take the necessary measures.
- Real-time Intelligence Runtime analyzes the conversations in real-time to generate actionable insights. These are then used to respond to conversations in an automatic or assisted manner. These insights help identify areas of improvement in existing experiences and also help identify new opportunities.
In order to deliver these new capabilities, CIOs will need to address the following challenges:
Security and Compliance
One of the biggest challenge that the CIOs will face in enabling seamless conversations between customers and the organisation will be security. Cyber security risks are increasing manifolds. At the same time, regulatory compliance is becoming more stringent. Cyber security is a complex and fast evolving space. It requires a dedicated security team that can putting in place the required security processes to identify, protect, detect, respond and recover from security threats. To facilitate conversation with customers, respond effectively and analyze the information, organisation will be required to increasingly leverage cloud, mobile, social and external service providers. The security team enable the organisation to leverage these new technologies and providers in a trustworthy manner.
Customers expect conversations to be contextual. This requires information from transactional systems to flow seamlessly into the the conversation engine. The information is also required by the employees to respond to customers in an effective manner. Several integration challenges must be overcome to enable this seamless flow of information. Most businesses prefer file based integration as it is simpler to implement. However, this overtime leads to several point-to-point interdependencies making the systems and these integrations fragile. CIOs must ensure that all applications are designed in a manner that they can be receive and share information in real time. Businesses must invest in an integration infrastructure that enables loosely coupled integration.
Analytics and AI
Conversations generate large amounts of data. This data is made available in large volumes in a structured or unstructured format. To mine valuable insights from this data CIOs will need to leverage analytical and AI algorithms. However before this can be done, CIOs will need a strategy to bring together all data together, cleaning it up and structure it. Getting integration right is key to enabling free flow of data within the organization and first step towards AI.
To draw out insights from this large volume of multi-structured data, CIOs will require to develop a cloud strategy. This is allow them to put an flexible infrastructure that can process the data in a pay as you use model. Most cloud providers are also making available easy to plug-in advanced analytics and AI tools that can further accelerate the process.
Getting the right customer experience will require testing out new ideas and ability to rapidly prototype. CIOs will require to put in place people, process and systems to enable rapid prototyping. This will help accelerate innovation and enable the organisation to create new experiences.
How applications are developed, deployed and managed is rapidly evolving. Customers expectation is rapidly changing. Digital channels are key to customer engagement. Business expects changes to be rapidly incorporated into these applications. Traditional methods of development, deployment and management are no longer sufficient. CIOs need to encourage their teams to adopt DevOps tools and techniques that can help in faster delivery.
“Customer experience is the key agenda for a customer-centric CIO. Delivering on the customer experience promise requires new ways to design, develop, deploy and manage the underlying technology infrastructure.” Manish Srivastava, Co-founder/CTO, LitmusWorld
LitmusWorld is an enterprise SaaS platform that delivers dramatic improvements in business processes by enabling contextual conversations between businesses and their stakeholders. The platform delivers actionable insights across touchpoints to Measure, Act and Improve the overall experience, mainly, Customer Experience (CX) and Employee Experience (EX). This helps business leaders drive the customer centricity agenda through an agile approach. Over 2 years of driving business transformation across 125+ brands, we’ve built meaningful relationships between businesses and their stakeholders, that allows them to be more competitive and profitable, one touch point, one conversation, one relationship, at a time.