Effective customer experience begins with optimisation of operations


Haydn Townsend | Managing Director | Interactive | Accenture Africa | mail me |

Many leading brands find that the operational transformation journey is more challenging, costly, and resource-demanding than expected.

Organisations must unify their people, processes, and technology around the common goal of digital excellence to succeed. This is true whether your organisation is made up of multiple entities or functions as a universe of channels reaching out to customers in new and expanding markets.

Regardless of business’ size, industry, or market, one must address the three essential areas of people, technology, and processes to operationalise your customer experience.

An enormous 93% of high-performing organisations and 67% of all other organisations say optimising operations for dynamic execution across channels is critical. Why do they hold this view and what makes optimising operations critical, and why is it so important to high-performing organisations?

Start with people

Empower your employees with knowledge. Customer experience (CX) is the growth engine of the future, dependent on collaboration and knowledge-sharing across the artificial borders organisational silos create.

Your people can’t create superior, personalised experiences for your customers without a real-time, comprehensive view of who those customers are and what they care about. It’s no surprise then that 52% of business decision-makers cite horizontal silos between departments and lines of business as one of the biggest impediments to operational coordination. This is also critical to delivering a superior CX at the speed of digital.

With the ability to share and access relevant customer insights, results, and current conditions, your individual teams can make real-time changes to replicate successes and avoid disasters.

But what does it take to make all this happen, and who should lead the way? High-performing organisations have a designated leader – usually the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) – who owns CX and drive excellence. These leaders work to pull in and share the most relevant knowledge across departments and build a culture that will sustain this practice.

One of the leader’s priorities will be integrating all operational work that touches customers into a centralised system. The system should provide visibility into customer experience objectives, delivery, and real-time collaboration in a way that can be accessed easily across teams, touchpoints, and operational processes in real-time.

This initiative is critical not only for visibility into processes but also for fostering an empathetic customer relationship culture built on authenticity and action.

Enabling business relevancy with process automation

Standardising and automating the work processes that create, adapt, and deliver CX is the key to unlocking sustainable growth from a consistent and loyal customer base.

The benefit of automating these processes is three-fold:

  • First, automated processes free up resources by removing repetitive, manual cross-department process tasks from your employees’ to-do list.
  • Next, your people can instead shift their focus to continually improving and innovating these adaptations.
  • Finally, automation drives the rapid execution of these high-quality customer experiences, putting you ahead of competitors and in sync with customer expectations.

According to Accenture’s Relevance: the Beating Heart of a Living Business report, 1 in 4 customers say they would simply stop doing business with a company that isn’t relevant. When organisations constantly evolve to meet customer needs, they become hyper-relevant and ultimately transform into Living Businesses.

Living Businesses are loyal to their customers and prioritise relevancy to their customers’ needs above all else. They also realise that irrelevancy is costly and detrimental to their success in the short- and long-term.

Connecting people, processes, and data through technology

One of the biggest challenges for experience and digital leaders is designing a superior CX that is in sync with current conditions.

Market expectations evolve and accelerate at a break-neck pace while customer data comes in never-ending waves. Disruptive start-ups are shaping new patterns for user experiences while titans such as Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, and Google redefine market expectations through innovation and experimentation powered by their tremendous capital and market leverage.

One of the most prominent challenges (and opportunities for success) is data fragmentation and disconnected systems. Data from multiple touchpoints must be integrated so you can uncover key correlations to inform a multi-dimensional, holistic story of your customers. Through agile integration and work management technology, you can create connections between your customer data and experience work points, allowing you to uncover and harness unique insights.

This technology encourages your organisation to shift toward solving previously uncovered customer issues and delivering real value to your customers.

These best practices will help you connect data and work in your organisation:

  1. Gather data points from your customer experience at every stage of the journey.
  2. Allow your people to use the tools they need and rely on your work management platform to stitch them together and accelerate processes.
  3. Prioritise solutions that provide codeless connections to your enterprise platforms so you can build flexible integrations.
  4. Analyse data on employee practices and internal inefficiencies to improve your output for customer experience.
  5. Select a work management platform that allows employees to access the necessary data with ease to enable engagement, productivity, and efficiency.

As you work through connecting data and the work of your organisation, focus on your customer experience vision and the data and tactics that will help you achieve it.

Effective CX begins with optimisation of operations

A customer’s experience with your organisation will stay with them beyond even the product or service purchased. Customer expectations have never been higher or more rapidly changing than they are today.

Organisations that are willing to commit to transformation, innovation, and relationship-based strategies have a unique opportunity for deep customer loyalty and engagement.

Achieving this requires a steadfast focus on people, technology, and processes. These three areas must be in step to successfully operationalise your customer experience.



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