Who is responsible for your customer experience?
Delivering the best customer experience has never been more critical to business success. And it has never been more complex. The growth in the number of channels involved, increasing customer impatience, greater competition and a need to be able to scale are amongst the factors that organisations have to take into account when designing the best experience for their customers.
Much of the customer experience relies on digital technologies. Touchpoints – from mobile and social media to the web, email and web chat all have an IT aspect if they are to be deployed successfully. CIOs therefore need to become involved and work with other stakeholders to underpin the customer experience.
Speaking at a recent Forrester CIO forum analyst Nigel Fenwick shared his research into how the role of the CIO is changing in today’s customer centric world. He pointed to five elements shared by companies and IT leaders that successfully use technology to improve the customer experience:
IT needs to work with the customer experience team on user interface (UI) design, ensuring that applications are scalable as well as simple to understand and use.
Companies need to encourage their IT employees to help deliver the customer experience, empowering them to provide suggestions on how it can be improved.
Systems need to measure all aspects of the customer experience, down to the most granular level. And this must cover every touchpoint, measuring the experience in detail and at a higher level. Companies that understand and implement the technology necessary to do this are benefiting both from greater knowledge of their customers and increased efficiency.
The days of the monolithic IT department are over, to be replaced by a team-based structure. Forrester believes that organisations need to split off enterprise architecture and customer-facing applications into separate teams. That way, IT staff have a holistic view of the customer journey, across all applications and technologies and can make the right decisions to deliver improvements.
As Forrester recognises, the customer experience is part of everyone’s role in an organisation. But given the importance of a joined-up, integrated approach, comprehensive reporting, high levels of reliability and trends such as Big Data, it is vital that the IT department is supporting the customer experience across the organisation.