Building a robust digital customer experience

Global customer experience management evangelist at OpenText discusses the roadmap to delivering customer experience for the future

Too many organisations are still suffering from a disjointed approach to customer experience as they look to digitise their businesses, OpenText’s CX expert claims.

The enterprise software company’s global principal evangelist of customer experience management, Roger Lee, said companies need to own the end-to-end journey in terms of digital experience if they have a hope of meeting customer expectations. He acknowledged digitising every aspect of a business, as well as harnessing the data that comes from it for customer gain, are imperatives if organisations want to survive over the next five years.

“Everyone owns the customer experience…. At every touchpoint of the organisation,” he said, defining customer experience as the culmination of people, process, technology and strategy.

“The customer experience is finding ways to deliver an interaction to your customer at whatever channel of communication they choose, but also ensuring there is consistency, accuracy and ease of effort for that consumer.”

OpenText's Roger Lee
OpenText's Roger Lee


Lee caught up with CMO while visiting from the US to discuss how marketers can position themselves to deliver an exceptional customer experience in a time of rapid digital transformation. First up is the importance of providing the customer with the right information at the right time on their preferred platform or location.

“Price is not going to be the deciding factor for many of our organisations, and many of our buyers. It is going to be about the experience,” he said.

OpenText is looking to position itself as a key CX support partner and is investing into building capability across all aspects of digital experience, from direct engagement through to predictive and intelligence analytics and governance. The most recent addition is a customer experience management unit for delivering enhanced products that ideally helps customers down the path of digitisation, as well as improved processes internally for employees.

On the product front, the vendor’s latest effort, Release 16 Enhancement Pack 3 (EP3), then aims to boost a company’s customer experience by delivering analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities via OpenText Magellan, enhanced user experiences and third-party integrations, as well as advanced capabilities for the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and information security across OpenText's EIM platform.

Dangers of a siloed approach

Lee has seen many organisations succeed - and fail - on their digital transformation and customer experience journeys. While many organisations have a great strategy, the problem is they oftentimes lack appropriate procedures and process around the execution side.

“I wouldn’t say companies are struggling, but from a maturity level, it will vary,” Lee said, acknowledging many organisations are suffering from a “disjointed approach”.

“Some organisations are siloed in that regard of owning the customer experience,” he continued. “One area is taking information and then passing it to another area, but never understanding whether or not the other party or organisation has completed a part of providing the experience.

“Organisations have to focus their efforts on improving and coming together as one group.”

Another metric companies need to embed as part of a customer experience scorecard, which is sadly overlooked, is employee effort.

“Employee effort is important because if you’re providing an environment where employees are able to deliver on that experience, it is easy for them to get at the information in order to provide you with an answer your inquiry, or to process a particular problem,” Lee said. “Then you have done what you needed to do, and sent out a positive customer experience, but also a memorable experience for the end consumer.”

A key way of aligning teams has been by finding ways to measure customer effort. “I think is important as well as looking at the traditional NPS scores as well to see how they can drive that experience forward,” Lee said.  

Pursuit of personalisation

It’s through personalisation that strong CX is best achieved. A key vertical for OpenText is the financial services sector, and Lee claimed there are already notable advances in terms of tools and services that deliver an enhanced customer experience based on personalisation. One key way has been by creating and tailoring apps that allow consumers to do their transactions via a range of mobile applications.

“I have also noticed how many organisations are trying to take all of the analytics, and gather all the information they have about their consumer as well as their competitors, to understand what they need to do to drive the experience moving forward,” Lee commented.  

As a way of illustrating more advanced personalisation, Lee cited efforts undertaken by US-based cars.com, which is pushing the concept of customer experience to a new level by offering comprehensive vehicle purchasing information online.  Customers can research online all aspects of a vehicle purchase including price, benefits, and features, eliminating the need to visit to the showroom.

“What cars has done is take it to the next level from a marketing experience, giving you, as the consumer, a better idea of that individual you are dealing with, at a dealership level, or if you are doing research, and whether it is a new or used vehicle,” he explained. “The company is trying to do more by making sure that you, as a consumer, have a better personalised experience with whatever dealership you decide to purchase your vehicle with.”

Meanwhile, growing focus needs to be placed on the emerging Generation Z, predominantly the kids of Generation X, and on creating a personalised experiences that resonate with them, according to Lee.  

“When we market to this generation, the big push for them is going to be self-service and mobile applications where they are going to be able to do things on their own, and less interaction of people on that brand,” he claimed.  

But as the same time as “understanding and adjusting” based on consumer demographics, marketers need to be careful about abiding by rules and regulations that come into play and impact the way companies market to consumers. Lee cited the general data protection regulation (GDPR), as an example, an EU-based regulation that impacts businesses that have consumers in the EU.

What is clear is today’s chief marketing officer has access to a wealth of data that can make personalisation a reality. What they need to do more of is take the time to consider it, Lee said.

“I’m not saying overanalyse it to death and wind up in analysis paralysis, but analyse it well enough so you can make decisions and understand what you need to do based on that information,” he advised.  

“And take action with it. It isn’t just analysing, looking at it and socialising it, but take action. Then try something new with the consumers. Pilot certain things you think are going to be set up for success. If it isn’t successful, move onto the next opportunity. But don’t just sit there and look at data.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

 

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