Digital is reshaping customer experience in almost every sector. Digital first attackers are entering markets with radically new offers, disrupting the ways that companies and customers interact and setting a high bar for simplicity, personalization, and interactivity.
To not only stay in the game but capture new sources of value, incumbents will need to reinvent their customer experience. That begins with bringing in data and analytics-based insights about what really matters to customers and how best to deliver it to them. Some companies fail to capture the full benefits of their improvement efforts because they concentrate on optimizing individual touchpoints rather than tackling the customer experience as customers actually experience it—a complete journey that cuts across multiple functions and channels.
The other imperative for companies is to explicitly tie the reinvented customer experience to their operations. If they focus only on the front-end experience and don’t change the back-end operations that support it, the new experience is unlikely to be sustainable. Changes will be needed in both underlying processes and the way employees work.
- Start with a clear understanding of what customers value and use it to decide where to focus and what to deemphasize.
- Guided by these priorities, simplify and streamline your underlying product and services; if you don’t, you’re likely to digitize existing complexity.
- Link customer value to the operational drivers that underpin it, then design a new operating model based on these linkages, working back from the customer and using digital tools to streamline or automate your processes in line with what customers care about.
- Tackle the most important customer journeys one by one and support the effort with operational changes to improve efficiency and speed.
- Embed agile, cross-functional ways of working and reengineer your management system to support continuous improvement.
Organizations that take these steps can turn customer experience into a source of delight for customers and a new and sustainable source of differentiation for themselves