“How do you define customer experience (CX)?” This question has elicited different answers over the course of the past decade. However, lately, following the COVID-19 outbreak and associated momentum in digitalization, the answer is more dynamic than ever. Driven by a drastic change in consumer behaviors and expectations, CX now corresponds to many rapidly-evolving factors like disruptions, policies, data regulations, and demographics.

At MAST Consulting, we perceive this to be a “great reset” not just in terms of the pandemic but in terms of CX too. Brands are currently running the risk of creating discord between customer experiences and expectations. So, CX naturally warrants more attention. And what happens if brands afford this focus? If history is any indication, during the great recession in 2008, companies that prioritized CX realized three times the returns(1) compared to the companies that did not. Here are our recommendations for brands hoping to rewrite their CX rulebooks.

Bridge the silos; collaborate across departments
While organizations might have strategic differences, one aspect that finds overwhelming consensus is the need to enhance intra- and inter-departmental collaboration and break down silos if any. These efforts are largely top-down, requiring active participation from leaders and the c-suite. The first order of business is creating an organizational CX vision that truly encapsulates how the brand wants to be perceived by its customers. For example, Toyota could work towards delivering superior driving experience, while Microsoft could be more inclined towards developing UI. Regardless of the nuances, organizations cannot downplay collaboration. At MAST, our client CXOs are partnering with in-house data and marketing teams to monitor changing customer behaviors and customize their campaigns accordingly.

Quantify customer perceptions, measure progress of CX initiatives

The current dynamism in the CX space calls for agility, consistency, and hyper-personalization. Such multiple objectives can be accomplished if brands can quantify how customers are interacting with them. This, in turn, necessitates brands to shift their disproportionate focus from conversion-related KPIs like average order value (AOV) and revenue per visitor (RPV) to more CX-centric KPIs like Net Customer Value Growth (NCVG), which is the difference between the number of new customers added in a given period minus the number of customers lost during the same period. Even referrals from existing customers imply the success, or the lack thereof, of CX strategies. These parameters can be used to measure progress, subsequently.

CX and EX are two sides of the same coin

In recent years, and especially following the pandemic outbreak, employee experience (EX) has generated substantial research. Organizations are increasingly focusing on employee wellness and engagement, driven by reliable studies linking them to many positive outcomes. By one estimate(2), companies that actively engage employees have customer loyalty rates 233% higher than those that don’t. It is therefore unsurprising that HR technologies have witnessed substantial uptake lately, especially after remote working became a norm, requiring HR professionals to increase their dependence on digital collaboration tools and in-house communication apps for better engagement.

Data is crucial; data security, more so

Big Data is the centerpiece of every tech-driven CX strategy. But cookie-cutter strategies in the use of data and analytics can do more harm than good. Present-day customers are well aware of the vulnerability of their data. Data transparency and accountability are therefore pivotal for successful CX planning and implementation. In a survey(3), 63% of customers said they are willing to share more personal data with a company that offers a great experience. Such findings led the MAST Consulting Group to build a dedicated Cyber Security Lab — because, to quote Brand Strategist Bernard Kelvin Clive, “In a digitally connected world, a byte of data can boost or bite your brand.”

All the aforementioned factors will, in themselves, be crucial to post-pandemic CX transformation. But all the factors are interdependent, and if achieved as part of a holistic CX strategy, they can lead to a collective, positive impact. If, however, one aspect is compromised — say, data security — it could undo all the CX success that the brand has achieved thus far. This is the approach that we took in the development of the MAST Consumer Happiness App, a comprehensive solutions suite where customers can get a host of services like e-warranty, product support, maintenance, etc., while brands get consumer intelligence to create impactful CX strategies.

All in all, customer-centricity will continue to remain the primary prerequisite for a successful CX. But what moves the customers and resonates with them will be dynamic. Brands that keep pace with the dynamism will always find opportunities for product/service differentiation, which can help them gain a competitive edge in crowded markets. With digitalization proceeding at a breakneck pace, and with customer-centricity being a corollary of digitalization, superior CX will be the holy grail for every brand going forward, regardless of business models and touchpoints.

 About MAST Consulting and MAST Consulting Group

MAST Consulting is a technology advisory and consulting firm headquartered in the UAE, with unique expertise in driving the end-to-end digital transformation of businesses, across sectors.

MAST Consulting services are crafted to offer Consulting and Advisory Services on Critical Infrastructure and Risk associated functions of the organization, with their service coverage area starting right from IT Infrastructure all the way to Data Center, Business Application and a secure computing environment. The company offers end-to-end solutions to enterprises focused on Digital Transformation , Customer Experience, Enterprise Risk management (People, Process & Technology), Data Center Infrastructure (distributed and hybrid), Cloud adoption, Sustainability governance and more.

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Original Post : Leading the right organizational CX transformation (linkedin.com)

 

Abhay Pandey – CEO ​

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