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Guest Blogger

By Claire Sporton, SVP, Customer Experience Innovation at Confirmit

Summer is coming…! Or that’s what the weather forecasters promise. Hopefully you have started planning ahead for either a staycation or an expedition abroad. Either way, there is still time to hone the last of the five CX habits that CX Leaders have demonstrated lead to CX success.

So far we have emphasised the need to define goals and business outcomes, put greater focus on innovation and action, listen to more voices and combine more sources and most recently to foster a customer-centric culture.

However, perhaps the most important habit adopted by CX Leaders is that they never rest on their laurels! They keep their eyes on the end game but are prepared to review, redefine and reset, all day, every day.

Habit #5 – Continuously Re-think

Let’s be honest. Just like any other business function, it’s easy for CX programmes to get stale, to stop pushing the boundaries, to get stuck with bad habits. Early on, the drive to set up a programme, deliver results and wow the Board with results, can make CX professionals feel a great sense of achievement. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But as time passes, even for successful programmes, a plateau occurs and routine sets in. And that’s when results can start to plummet.

Interestingly, the ‘Habits of highly effective CX professionals’ research found that the most experienced individuals (those with more than 10 years’ experience) did not necessarily have the most successful programmes. It seems that ‘habit’ really can hamper the ability of even experienced CX professionals to use CX to drive business value.

What might provide the ‘shot in the arm’ that a stale programme needs?

The use of innovative techniques is a logical place to start. The research asked professionals to rate which technological advances they considered were likely to have an impact on their programme in the next five years. It found that Predictive Analytics was seen as most important for CX Leaders, with CX Laggards playing catch-up with Text Analytics.

But what else? We asked what other future trends and technology CX professionals are keeping tabs on when it comes to keeping their programmes fresh.

Mentioned by many:

– Blockchain

– Internet of Things

– Automation (e.g. RPA)

– Behavioural Science

– Digital

– Speech analytics

– Personalisation

Mentioned by a few:

  • Virtual / Augmented Reality
  • Privacy / Trust
  • Communities
  • Next Best Action
  • Geolocation
  • Co-browsing

Looking ahead, there is a real sense that innovations are needed around improved communications internally and externally, collecting feedback, personalisation techniques, and the need to capture more than just text (adding emotions and sentiment for a wider perspective on CX).

Interestingly for a question around innovation, the human factor was quoted a few times. There are clearly concerns among our audience that an increased focus on technology might get in the way of human interactions.

We are certainly seeing a certain amount of pushback from all of this talk about automation and AI. Reflecting our thinking that we need to think “Augmented Intelligence” rather than “Artificial Intelligence”, those surveyed made some key observations:

About Process Redesign:

“There are obvious advantages and efficiencies gained through automation. But we need to consider carefully when this is appropriate.”

“There may be a segment of our customer base that will demand a human touch at specific touchpoints and firms that make that human connection will have an advantage. But don’t underestimate the role automation and AI will have in providing a personal enriching experience.”

And from one of our own data gurus on the topic of Predictive Analytics:

“Data is stupid – it doesn’t know what it doesn’t know. So rather than AI making decisions for us surely it should be supporting human decision making. The data is used to support, understand and tell the story, data should not be the endgame.”

Perhaps the best way to help you refresh your programme is to think about what you would do if you had a CX Magic Wand?

We’ve listed a few ideas about how to achieve programme success and how to improve the use of technology to start the ball rolling.

Programme success:

  • Link to business outcomes • Secure more budget • Secure more resources • Make it actionable • Use better / more data • Achieve greater scale and more visibility • Create a holistic customer view • Drive higher response rates • Reduce silos • Demand greater accountability • Be more personalised • Be more agile

Technology:

  • Achieve better integration between solutions (CRM, VoE, CJM…) • Invest in solutions that are easier / quicker to implement • Deliver more real-time data • Enable more automation • Deliver more innovative feedback • Provide better analytics, including predictive • Enable innovation • Ensure safety • Improved visualisation

It may seem obvious that CX professionals need to keep their focus on innovation in order to avoid getting stuck in the rut. And the reasons might seem obvious as well!

However, in our experience without the right level of innovation and agility, your programme will fail to deliver results in the long term.

Continuously re-thinking will enable you to keep your programme top-of-mind across the business, helping to drive investment and fuelling a culture that continuously focuses on customers and employees. Customer expectations are constantly changing and if you’re in a position to understand and meet them, you’re in a strong position to deliver that much-vaunted linkage between CX and the bottom line.

In short, CX is never finished. Unless you make the mistake of thinking you’ve finished, in which case…well…you might truly be finished!

Join the conversation: Which elements of your CX programme would benefit from a re-fresh? What is top of your list for future investment? What would you do with a CX Magic Wand? Tweet me at @ClaireSporton

Confirmit will be holding its 4th Annual B2B Summit in New York on 5 June 2019. Find out more here.