Instrument for a humane digital future
Only the human being can be the starting point for shaping a new digital and humane future. Strategic Design and Customer Experience (CX) offer a mindset and methods for this: a deep understanding of the wishes and needs of the customer becomes the pivotal point of strategic and business creation. This provides the opportunity to symbiotically combine social responsibility and commercial success.
Customer Experience Transformation
International studies show that a majority of the boards of directors of international companies recognize the purpose and value of CX. Nevertheless, the successful implementation of a CX Transformation is a serious challenge, especially for large companies. Organization and processes are designed for continuous optimization and sustaining of the existing business, target systems for short to medium term financial goals. Since measuring ROCXI is also a challenge, CX transformations are often approached only half-heartedly and do not get the necessary priority, resources and visibility. However, CX is not a project that is completed after a certain period of time but represents a new way of thinking that needs to be anchored in a sustainable way.
A key requirement is the clear prioritization of the topic. The following indicators show the actual and lived importance of the topic:
- The function reports directly to the Management Board or has direct top management support.
- The function is provided with sufficient resources.
- CX is regularly discussed in board meetings.
- The CX vision is communicated internally and externally by the Executive Board on a sustainable basis.
- Clear structures for coordination and decision-making are created on the topic of CX.
- CX specifications are part of the requirements catalogue and are taken into account in the product process.
- CX becomes part of the target and bonus systems.
An unambiguous prioritization forms the basis for a successful implementation of the change process necessary for this transformation.
Customer Experience Strategy (CES)
Different models of stages and methods exist in change management. However, the starting point for a realignment is a clear and inspiring vision for the future customer experience. This motivates and sets the direction towards which everyone is working together. Especially by anchoring a vision of the future with social relevance, it has a meaningful effect and has the potential to become the guiding star for all activities. The starting point for development is a deep understanding of human needs.
Companies that get confused, that think their goal is revenue or stock price or something. You have to focus on the things that lead to those.
Such a strategy can be extended by standardizing elements. Standardization can be applied on several complementary levels. From basic principles for designing experiences, to interface standardization and technical aspects. This is particularly useful if a company has an ecosystem approach to the convergence of its product and service portfolio.
Customer Experience Management (CEM)
The realization of early and tangible improvements plays a central role in every change process. They create trust and increase the motivation to persevere. In the context of a CX Transformation this is one of the core tasks of the discipline Customer Experience Management (CEM). Step by step, the most important problems for the customer are resolved and finally the developed visions are implemented. There are two basic models of procedure:
Vertical CEM aims to work together with existing departments, e.g. customer service, to solve the customer’s biggest problems. Due to the use of existing structures the expected resistance is lower and first results can be achieved faster.
A horizontal approach is used to implement a vision holistically and with long-term sustainable success. A cross-functional team develops an implementation concept, if required without including the status quo (green field approach). Here, resistance and time spans, but also the impact to be achieved are much greater.
In practice, a hybrid approach, adapted to the circumstances of the corporation, is usually recommended. In this way, the advantages of both approaches can be used to generate momentum as quickly as possible without losing sight of the holistic impact. A clear roadmap of initiatives is advisable here and supports communication and implementation. However, the speed and scope of possible measures also depend significantly on the IT infrastructure. Complex and non-transparent legacy systems slow down implementation or block it completely.
In today’s era of volatility, there is no other way but to re-invent. The only sustainable advantage you can have over others is agility, that’s it.
Because nothing else is sustainable, everything else you create, somebody else will replicate.
A further central task of CEM is the integration of a measurement system for CX quality. The introduction of clearly defined goals in a healthy mix of hard performance indicators and soft factors for a pulse check is a central prerequisite for the long-term success of every CX Transformation. There are two basic directions to consider:
Voice of the Customer
The first important component is the collection of customer feedback, often referred to as the „voice of the customer“. This is done by setting up an automated system that uses a variety of heterogeneous data streams to produce a detailed view of current customer satisfaction and key issues. Performance data from products are used as well as evaluations from social media or customer service channels.
CX as standard requirement
The second component is the development of concrete quality criteria, which can be directly incorporated into product development and CX approval. These requirements will be integrated into the product development process in the same way as technical, legal or other standard requirements.
The implementation of such systems is complex and is not only a challenge in terms of content and technology, but usually meets with great political reservations. There is therefore a risk that this step is skipped in order to achieve quick results. In the long run, however, this endangers the success of the entire CX Transformation.
Despite all the challenges, customer experience is a topic worth fighting for and there is no alternative to its introduction.
Let’s connect and start something new!