Businesses today have reached a new era of customer experience. Customers have never had so many brand choices and high expectations for speed and quality of service. And never have customers been able to fire a brand so quickly without looking back.
As a business leader, your customer experience systems can’t just be “adequate,” or you’ll fall behind, likely losing customers—and possibly market share and shareholders as well. Because in 2023, your CX needs to be exceptional—and a competitive differentiator.
To illustrate this point, here are some digital transformation perspectives and insights from Senior Director of CX Management & Consulting Kate Jones, Vice President of Voice of the Customer (VOC) Product Strategy Jackie Potts, and Leader of Concentrix’s Global Analytics Practice Reagan Miller.
Digital Transformation in 2023
As one of the buzziest of buzzwords, digital transformation is a broad topic. Even within the narrower context of CX, it has many meanings and implications. Asking what kind of investment to make in 2023 is the wrong question. Instead, you should ask: what kind of experience am I trying to deliver to my customers, and what’s the competitive landscape? If we just focus on customer interaction journeys, what should CX leaders focus on over the course of the coming months—and two to three years?
Kate Jones’s Take
The reason digital transformation buzzy is because it’s top of mind for everybody. We’re certainly seeing an increase in digital enablement investment. Everest Group recently reported 40% to 45% growth in conversational AI investments.1
Companies run into problems, with projects stalling or falling apart, when they go digital for the sake of going digital—without thinking about the customer experience that they’re trying to deliver. First and foremost, you need to start from the customer perspective and determine what they’re trying to accomplish, and then use that as the goal post with technology as the enabler.
It’s not actually about the technology. It’s about the customer. It’s about their experience. It’s about making CX effortless and effective, and driving the intended emotional response. You must be thoughtful about how the ever-evolving capabilities in the technology space allow you to accomplish these goals better.
The last thing you want is to automate a bad process. You’d be surprised at how often that happens. Automation is not the goal. Better experience is the goal.
We saw a company deploy a virtual assistant with the goal of containment. On the surface this made sense, but their NPS tanked overnight because of a failure to understand what’s going on before that touchpoint and after that touchpoint. Once they took a step back and gained a broader view of the end-to-end journey and experience, they were able to orchestrate something better. They achieved a 19-point NPS gain in two to three months, which is pretty significant in a short period of time.
This illustrates the importance of viewing the entire journey—not an individual channel, not an individual touchpoint, and not an individual piece of technology.
Which raises the question: how do you drive digital adoption in the right ways for the right reasons, and how can that be done while maintaining customer loyalty, sentiment, and strong scores with feedback from customers about the way they feel about the brand?
Jackie Potts’s Take
In this article, Harvard Business Review took a look at how digital adoption impacts digital transformation success. It cited that, of the $1.3 trillion in digital transformation initiatives spent globally in 2018, 70% of those dollars spent were considered failed investments.2 The article then unpacked reasons as to why that happens.
Number one is failing to recognize what customers really want and what they expect with their digital experiences, which ultimately yields poor adoption. Another point of failure was not recognizing your employees’ fears of being replaced through digital transformation. So, as we think about adoption, your employees have to get onboard with digital initiatives, along with customers, to ensure that how these processes work end-to-end is accounted for.
As you plan how to invest and how to transform, especially through digital technology, it’s important to pay attention to how employees feel about this effort and the impact to the employee experience. Bringing employees along with you is critical to enablement and adoption of those initiatives moving forward.
Reagan Miller’s Take
To achieve success with digital transformation you really need to start with the end, and the customer journey, in mind. We recommend that you then apply a design, build, run continuum to create these optimized experiences in digital formats. Too many companies start with building a solution without properly spending time on identifying what problem they’re trying to solve and then designing a solution that specifically addresses that topic.
Engineer Data and Intelligence to Drive the Right Outcomes
In a world changing at lightning speed, keeping pace with evolving customer needs and behaviors is immensely challenging. Without meaningful data and insights to point the way, it’s nearly impossible. We arm you with intelligence to make the right data-driven decisions that will yield the outcomes you need to achieve your business goals—to inform, question, and direct actions across your organization. We draw upon the best available analytics technologies and business intelligence (BI) platforms to accelerate insights and data-driven outcomes, and deliver measurable value. By integrating modernized data architecture, visualization, self-service analytics, and data science methods, we give you the insights to problem-solve, strategize, manage, and optimize.
For more digital transformation insights, watch our on-demand webinar, Five Goals to Improve Business Outcomes in 2023.
1 “Conversational AI – State of the Market 2023,” Everest Group, November 16, 2022.
2 “Digital Transformation Is Not About Technology,” Behnam Tabrizi, Ed Lam, Kirk Girard, and Vernon Irvin, Harvard Business Review, March 13, 2019.
Senior Director of CX Management & Consulting
Vice President of VOC Product Strategy
Global Analytics Practice Leader