Are your customers demanding and want only the best? I guess the question is redundant. Customers are always demanding and we must deliver to top those expectations. Besides the usual suspects of value for money and best deals, it’s the unique experience that drives today’s customers.
Blake Morgan, Customer Experience Futurist, makes her point in the Forbes article Five Trends Shaping the Future of Customer Experience In 2019. According to her, “customer experience (CX) is now seen as a key business strategy for every brand.” In a customer-obsessed business culture of the likes of Amazon, customer experience is the game changer and no one can afford to ignore it.
So if the future belongs to customer experience, how ready are you? Who is in charge of customer experience in your organization? How do you ensure security and privacy while personalizing the customer experience? How does your customer experience strategy fit in your organization’s digital transformation strategy? If you have not considered these questions before, it’s time to ask them. Whether you sell toothpaste or cars, customer experience is the key business driver you need to focus on.
While discussing the five emerging trends, Blake Morgan insists that customer experience is not a function of any individual or a specific team. It involves every employee from every facet of the business. Needless to say that such organization-wide participation cannot rely on a point solution for limited use. Customer-first mindset needs customer-first organizational infrastructure to deliver the best experience at every stage of the customer journey. Modern enterprise-wide customer data platforms with Customer 360 present a real-time single customer view to all the business teams to ensure consistent omnichannel customer experience.
You also need to appreciate that the unique and consistent customer experience is not something static, or a design-once task. It is an ongoing activity, constantly responding to the changes in market and customer expectations, new products and services, and technology evolution. Successful organizations are always willing to transcend and continuously re-evaluate processes, products, and business models. Blake notes that transformation triggers like digital growth and a changing economy can dramatically impact customers and completely change the face of customer experience.
Can your business then quickly adapt to these rapidly changing expectations from customer experience? Can you discover, validate, and scale innovative use of existing and new data-sets to deploy products and services faster? Are you able to maximize the ROI of customer experience by continuously unlocking the value of data relationships across people, products, locations, devices, and other newly added data-sets in an increasingly complex digital and regulatory landscape?
The answer is YES if you master data on ML & digital ready data platform with rapid data on-boarding via a flexible data model, to integrate customer data at scale across web, mobile, digital, and in-store touch-points in real time. The highly responsive platform delivers rapid data relationship resolution and data discovery via graph and machine learning technology with Google-like search and visualization of all data objects and their relationships.
In one recent survey by Gartner, 87% of senior business leaders affirm digitization as a top priority and in many cases a do-or-die imperative. The urgency is natural as a Harvard Business School study shows digital leaders posting a three-year average gross margin of 55%, in a sharp contrast to just 37% for digital laggards. For digital transformation to be effective, Blake points out, it must be long-term, continuous, and involve every employee.
If the digital transformation doesn’t have an end date, then is your data platform able to scale infinitely to support your long-term, evolving customer experience? Can it continuously collect and correlate all customer data from internal as well as external, public, and social media? Not just personal data, but all interactional and transactional data across all possible channels? Can your data platform ensure access to the full customer data at all your customer touch-points to fulfill operational responsibilities and provide a delightful customer experience? Can it manage not just the scale of data but the agility and complexity that comes with it? Not just now but in the future, too?
It’s a tall order, especially for team-specific partial solutions designed to deliver only customer experience. Fulfilling every challenge of customer experience across the entire journey and involving every employee is possible only with an enterprise-wide Customer 360 solution.
With a firm handle on managing data across the entire enterprise to continuously refine the customer experience, the next question to ask is if you are leveraging modern technology to achieve it. As Robotic Process Automation (RPA) gains ground, and Machine Learning (ML) makes deep inroads in enterprise systems, the customer experience of future will be fully technology-driven. In this scenario, can your data platform deliver the goods? Can it easily integrate with your ML and AI initiatives as well as upcoming technologies, to automatically uncover customer insights, relationships, and the context of the business they are doing with you? If not, it’s time to switch.
While businesses routinely get hit by disruptive technologies, your customer experience must not. Top companies are investing in future-ready enterprise data platforms to ensure that they can tackle the technology leaps and disruptions. With enterprise-wide Customer 360, they are already reaping the benefits of machine learning to derive actionable insights and weave them in their strategy of delivering the finest and most exciting customer experience.
Blake’s vision of the future of customer experience is strongly rooted in ethics. You must have experienced the rigorous regulations for customer data privacy including GDPR. With the explosion of data in the current times, partly voluntarily given by individuals and partly collected digitally from various sources, protecting customer data is fast becoming critical for organizations. While you need to collect customer data at every touch-point to get a complete profile, you also need to ensure that customers have control of their own private data. Do you have fail-safe processes to guarantee security of customer data? Do you have a data platform that organically lets you capture and comply with how your customers want to engage with you? Does your platform do it in a manner compliant with the ever changing data privacy and regulatory requirements?
A enterprise-wide Customer 360 solution makes it easier for organizations to comply with regulations, by creating a single source of customer information blending profile, interaction, and transaction data from all sources, complete with data governance and trace-ability to meet all compliance needs. With integrated workflows to manage customer change requests and data updates, you can efficiently maintain rights and consents to get a faster time to compliance.
Blake Morgan articulates in her timely and relevant article that “we’re entering a time of great transition in customer experience.” The future belongs to customer experience, and you must take a long-term view to fulfill all future mandates of customer experience. Successful customer-centric companies focus on establishing a data fabric that syndicates the data to every function impacting customer experience, with a strong data foundation that can integrate, harmonize, and organize customer data to drive contextual insights and personalized recommendations.
Time to drop the incomplete and incompetent solutions and invest in a scalable, agile, sustainable Enterprise Data Platform that can deliver the most engaging, truly consistent, and highly personalized customer experience throughout the entire customer journey. Today. For Future.