Customer Experience

Insights /Redesign the Customer Experience /Customer Experience

Customer Experience Q&A with Forrester Research

NTT DATA Services sat down with Nigel Fenwick, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, to discuss key questions related to customer experience.

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What role do you see customer experience (CX) playing in the digital transformation agenda?

Creating world-class customer experiences is one of four core rules of digital business that Forrester has identified. There are two facets to customer experience that are essential to understand:

  • The digital customer experiences we all have every day shape our expectations of what’s possible through a digital medium. Because our expectations are being continuously raised, it’s now impossible for a company to sustain customer value unless it’s continuously evolving the experiences it delivers to customers. This is best represented by the formula I mentioned in the webinar:

    Experience / expectations = perceived value

  • Digital capabilities give companies the ability to engage with customers in an intimate and highly personalized manner – meeting customers in their moments of greatest potential value. The degree to which a firm can use digital to shape positive emotional connections with customers will dictate lifetime customer value and therefore revenue growth. Not all digital customer experiences have value. Look at all the apps in the app store that at first glance appear to be a great experience, but they don’t really get used. I have dozens on my phone. Ultimately, it is the degree to which a particular experience delivers an outcome the customer values that dictates the winners from the losers.
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Who currently "owns" CX in most firms?

  • Based on recent survey data, in the majority of firms (~40%), customer experience reports into marketing. Where a company has a separate digital team, you will find CX roles inside the digital team.
  • About 30% of companies have CX reporting into sales or customer service. There are also about a few firms that have IT responsible for CX – we see this in some B2B firms that lack a marketing team for example.
  • And there are approximately 5% of companies that have a dedicated CX team reporting to a chief customer officer. But because of the increasing role of digital in CX, IT leaders are being asked to partner their teams with marketing and CX teams to deliver CX improvements. As a result, customer journey mapping, touchpoint analysis and design thinking are all new skills IT leaders must bring to their teams.
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What are three ways customer insights are being used in IT decisions today?

  • IT teams are starting to weigh the prioritization of tech investments based on their customer impact. This is a big shift from a time when all tech investments had to be measured based on operational efficiency. 
  • Tech leaders use insights from journey mapping to identify the low-hanging fruit ¬– the quick tech changes which can have the biggest customer impact – to drive short-term investment decisions. Quick hit projects with high customer impact are used to highlight the benefits to the bottom line of improving CX. 
  • IT teams use touchpoint data that shows real-time digital experience performance to pro-actively identify design flaws as well as network and architecture problems. This allows IT teams to prevent technology from getting in the way of great customer experiences. Such data also gives designers insights into the challenges of scaling high performance experiences.
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How can IT leaders help CX efforts improve and scale? 

  • Ensure the tech team is well-versed in journey mapping, design thinking and touchpoint analysis.
  • Record the right data from every customer touchpoint – data that can be used to gain insights as to the value the customer gains from the touchpoint.
  • Benchmark today’s customer experiences with metrics you can use to measure improvements against. Beware: not all metrics indicate customer value. For example, measuring the time to resolve a call in a call center may give a measure of operational efficiency, but plenty of companies have discovered that such metrics encourage agents to rush calls without ensuring the customer is satisfied. Similarly, in digital touchpoints, measuring how many people load a web page or app doesn’t measure how many people found the page valuable.
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What can IT leaders do over the next six months to improve CX?

  • Put CX metrics into IT team performance measures. Ideally use a company-wide CX metric. Hold the tech team accountable for its influence on CX because tech now firmly underpins all CX. 
  • Ensure all tech employees spend at least one day a quarter working with real customers (e.g. listening in on a call-center, going out with salespeople, or going on service calls). This helps the team remember why they come to work every day.
  • Physically embed tech employees inside marketing and CX teams.

Want to learn more?

View this on-demand webinar, “Five Ways IT Can Help Win and Retain Customers, Employees and Partners — See Why Experience Matters”, with Join Nigel Fenwick from Forrester Research and Matt Leach from NTT DATA Services.