Successful digital transformation is sum of many things. It can be difficult to know where to start and where to focus organizations transformative efforts. To help with this, KPMG has researched and developed Connected Enterprise method that can help organizations execute digital transformations. Connected Enterprises consists of eight main capabilities that each successful organization possess. In this article, we are focusing on how experience centricity by design is one of the capabilities and is a vital part of digital transformation.
Based on our annual Global Customer Experience Excellence reserch 2021 and our latest Thought Leadership “Wise Investments, Winning Experiences”, organizations that are, and continue to be, customer-obsessed excel in the marketplace and have a significant competitive advantage in comparison to other players. Holistic experience design, ideally including all stakeholders especially customers and employees, allows companies to really dig into what is important for their customers, without forgetting the CX (Customer Experience) economics.
When thinking about how to design customer experience, whether starting from scratch or developing an existing strategy or program, consistency is key. In order for an organization to see real results and create competitive advantage through customer experience, the entire process needs to be looked at from a business impact perspective; i.e. what is the outcome we seek, what is our strategy, and what is the baseline, the current state, we are starting from? We also need to identify the customer’s real needs in order to truly enhance customer experience. Another important early action is to make it clear, from the start, that the experience design must be done for the entire organization, without siloes, and that creating the desired customer experience is everyone’s business.
Harnessing customer data and insights in order to drive true customer understanding
Nowadays, advanced tools and technologies make it possible to harness customer data and insights that truly help us to understand customer preferences, desires and needs, and to predict changes in customer behavior. One of the challenges that organizations face, however, is a lack of connectivity between the customer experience strategy and the business operations. For example, customer journeys may have been designed purely from the front office perspective, and thus have failed to connect the dots between the front, middle and back offices within the designed journey – which can lead to misleading results. In addition, the Voice of the Customer program may have been designed from a purely research perspective, rather than a business impact perspective. In this case – where typically the desired impact and targets have not been the baseline for selecting the CX metrics before setting up the survey – the organization can end up with huge amounts of customer satisfaction data that don’t fully meet the relevant needs and expectations and that may form a customer experience strategy that does not create value and return on investment.
It is also essential to recognize that a true customer understanding is a combination of systematically collected data, feedback received through different channels such as social media, and perceived insights from direct customer interactions. All of this data needs to be collated in order for the voice of the customer to truly be present in everyday business operations and decision-making.
Including the relevant stakeholders to gain customer-focused solutions
Connectivity is also essential when analyzing the data. The best way is to analyze the collected insights together with all the relevant stakeholders that are identified as playing an integral role in business development, including the management and the board. Ideally, the insights should be analyzed by a cross-functional project group that can assess their value and feasibility from the business and customer points of view. Likewise, they should also be assessed together with the customers to ensure that the resulting interpretations are correct. By involving customers early in the development process, we can guarantee that the development work is heading in the right direction.
Whenever valuable needs or opportunities are identified, a cross-functional project group should, by applying various design methods and tools, ideate multiple innovative and novel possibilities to meet these needs. The best way to test their effectiveness in improving customer experience is to design fast and simple mockups and concepts involving little effort and minimal investment. These early-phase ideas and concepts can then be piloted with customers to gain their feedback on what they feel are the most suitable solutions. Thus, the focus of development will be narrowed down and redirected when necessary, enabling different parts of the organization to concentrate their efforts on the most productive and rapid ways of developing customer experience – with a minimum of effort and investment.
By involving customers throughout this process, we will ensure that the key findings and insights collected will be truly transferred into value-building concepts – which can then be analyzed as to their economic and technological viability, their desirability and sustainability. When a concept fully meets the requirements and value propositions formed at the outset, business can kick off full-scale development work, with full confidence that the future solution will be based on customer needs at its heart.
Keeping relevant in the eyes of customers will require constant development
Ultimately, one thing is certain. Customer experience development will never be complete. We need to be prepared to continuously improve or enhance our processes in order to keep relevant in the eyes of customers. In an ever-changing environment, the readiness to constantly predict changes in customer behavior and its drivers, to proactively prepare for these changes and the willingness to boldly create new experiences will be the key to success.
Head of Customer Excellence
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