Most organizations aren’t ready to deliver great Customer Experiences across all channels. Many of them have invested heavily in conventional methods of doing business, backed by in person or over-the-phone customer experience. This has led to creation of siloed operational structures within companies, where each silo operates individually.
With the advent of digital channels, these organizations set out to use and proffer their services via digital channels. They did this by creating discrete digital-product groups in their existing operational infrastructure. However, their siloed infrastructure falls short of meeting customers’ requirements in terms of seamless communication and interaction across all channels. The reason being:
- Customers’ utilization of multiple channels and touchpoints across Customer Journeys.
- Requirements of personalized services / products by the customers.
- Anticipation of impeccable coordination and communication by the customers no matter how they interact with the business.
This necessitates the businesses to not only provide great Customer Experiences at each channel, but also make the transitions across these channels simple to improve the overall Customer Experience (CX). However, improving the overall Customer Experience isn’t that simple a feat, especially with silo-based operational infrastructures. Providing consistent amazing Customer Experience warrants:
- Creation of a robust operational ecosystem through Transformation of internal operations, to respond quickly to customers’ expectations.
- Meticulous design and delivery of Customer Experiences.
Most organizations understand the significance of Transforming their Customer Experience—however, they lack the direction and support required to realize this goal. Organizational leadership can make use of the Customer Experience Pyramid to guide their CX Transformation.
The Customer Experience Pyramid is an empirical research based framework, which is quite effective in not only improving individual touchpoints but streamlining the entire Customer Journeys. The CX Pyramid entails 2 core dimensions:
- Focus Areas – the organizational spheres that must change to enable provision of amazing digital Customer Experiences.
- Strategic Building Blocks – the strategies that define how this change can take place and made part of the organizational processes to deliver exceptional Customer Experiences.
The 4 Focus Areas crucial in a business to change in order to deliver top-quality Digital Customer Experiences at scale are:
- Vision and Strategy
- Talent Management
Let’s discuss the first 2 individual Focus Areas of the CX Pyramid in detail for now.
Vision and Strategy
Redirecting focus on making Customer Experience a part of the Organizational DNA necessitates creating a Vision statement and Strategy to depict, clarify, and plan out the purpose and objectives of serving the customers. The senior leadership needs to come up with a short and crisp Vision statement. The Vision sets out the foundation that reflects the leadership’s focus, importance the organization gives to Customer Experience, and the high-level objectives associated with the provision of quality Customer Experiences.
Next, the leadership should work on developing strategies to build fundamental competencies within the 4 CX Building Blocks—i.e., CX operations, metrics, CX-centric culture, systems and governance protocols.
Once the Vision statement has been agreed upon, it’s time to work towards carrying out the required actions to produce customer-centric outcomes. The first step in that direction involves linking all employees who work in discrete silos (in conventional structures). To align all employees, there is a need to create a Transformation team and define new roles / CX groups. The Transformation team should train and direct teams responsible for the different stages of the Customer Journey, instill new ideas, and foster desired behaviors in them.
Senior Leadership need to also assign a CX Team to run the CX program. The CX Team has to lay out processes and yardsticks to foster cross-functional collaboration and coach functional units to adopt customer-centric design practices in their operations.
Interested in learning more about the other focus areas of the CX Pyramid Framework? You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on Customer Experience Pyramid here on the Flevy documents marketplace.
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With startups ready to disrupt traditional players, established firms need to form an even stronger bond with their customers instead of waiting for customers to reach out to them.
The traditional Customer Experience model—referred to as the “acquire what we make” model—is characterized by occasional interaction between the companies and the customers, once a customer ascertains her/his needs and looks for products or services to fulfill them. In this model, companies do all they can to offer quality products or services at a competitive price, while their marketing and operations are based only on brief engagement with the customers. Because of the occasional connection with the customer in this approach, the vendor has little knowledge of the difficulties a customer faces to procure a product or service.
With each passing day the tactics that organizations use to connect with their customers are undergoing rapid transformation. Technology and customized digital interactions provide companies the means to build deeper relationships with customers. Organizations pursuing Customer-centric Design, today, are addressing customers’ needs the moment they occur—or even before that by virtue of “Connected Customer Strategies.”
Connected Customer Strategies call for the companies to maintain customer relationships round the clock (24×7). These strategies demand from the organizations to develop an assortment of new capabilities (e.g., invest in Big data and Analytics), connect with the customers on a regular basis, track their activities, and offer customized experiences and offerings. These strategies are not about using modern technology, rather the methods companies should adopt by using technology in creating delightful experiences and long-standing associations with the customers.
There are 4 distinct Connected Customer Strategies that are instrumental in developing exceptional Customer Journeys:
- Fast Response
- Personalized Recommendations
- Proactive Recommendations
- Automatic Execution
Let’s discuss the first 2 strategies in detail now.
Organizational Leadership needs to carefully consider adopting the most suitable connected customer strategy. The Fast Response strategy, as the name suggests, is about prompt and flawless delivery of required services and products to the customers. To adopt Fast Response strategy, organizations need to ascertain the customer requirements carefully and simplify their purchasing process.
The core capabilities needed to implement this strategy include prompt delivery, minimal friction, flexibility, and precise execution. This strategy is appropriate for knowledgeable yet authoritative customers who dislike disclosing their personal information. Using this strategy, a prompt response to a customer needing replacement of a product should be a simple yet accurate, couple-of-click online ordering process and the order should be delivered a few hours later. The aim of the Fast Response strategy is to reduce the amount of time and energy the customers spend on procurement as much as possible.
Organizations using Personalized Recommendations strategy help customers identify their needs by presenting various options to them. The strategy involves active involvement of firms in assisting their customers by offering a menu of customized offerings—as soon as the customers have finalized their requirement but before their decision on how to fulfill it.
This strategy is suitable for customers who are willing to share their data with the company and value advice but still hold the final say. With the Personalized Recommendations strategy at work, the journey for a customer needing a product replacement could simply involve the customer’s visiting a company’s website, automatic suggestions to customer about the correct product based on her/his prior shopping history, the customer ordering the suggested product, and receiving the delivery a few hours later.
Interested in learning more about the other Connected Customer Strategies? You can download an editable PowerPoint on Customer Experience: Connected Customer Strategies here on the Flevy documents marketplace.