Customer experience is everyone’s job

By Adobe communications team

Posted on 11-11-2020

This blog is part of our series “Adobe CQ Presents: Making the Modern Leader.”

The pandemic has upended how organizational leaders approach customer experience, from how data is translated to meaningful insights on customer behavior, to how they nurture a culture that prioritises customer-centricity and creativity, and even the skills they value in their teams.

In today’s disruptive landscape, delivering innovative experiences is more important than ever for driving customer loyalty and business results. But according to Adobe CQ, just 43 percent of business leaders excel in doing so. The greatest area of opportunity is in breaking down siloes and facilitating greater input from across teams into moulding the new customer experience.

Leaders with a high Adobe CQ are confident and proficient in navigating and connecting the various elements that enable creativity, like data, technology and skills within the organisation, to deliver experiences that are greater than the sum of their parts.

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This week, in Adobe CQ Presents: Making The Modern Leader, we speak to Johanna Lowe, director, marketing and communications at University of Sydney and Suzanne Steele, managing director at Adobe Australia and New Zealand, about how they drive creative thinking across their organisations, and what’s next when it comes to customer experiences. Here’s what they had to say.

Insight 1: Customer experience is a collective responsibility

Creating innovative customer experiences isn’t just the obligation of select teams. Instead, it should be a collective focus throughout the organization. Lowe says business leaders should be able to pull the common thread through the different siloes, functions and disciplines across the organization to ensure they come together to deliver. Creativity is about problem solving and comes in many forms, be it in finding ways to draw on other teams’ strengths or knowing how to bring the right expertise into the conversation at the right time to solve customer challenges. Hence, everyone should play a role in constructing a creative and frictionless customer experience.

Insight 2: Creativity requires courage

Companies have had to reimagine the customer experience from the ground up to navigate the ‘new normal’, and this takes not just creativity, but courage as well. Leaders must now foster a culture of empowerment to think differently and be able to provide their teams with the psychological safety to experiment and learn with agility. Steele also cites employee diversity, especially in terms of experience, as an important factor in driving a lift in creative ideation and problem solving within the organization. Another area of opportunity is in using tech solutions to perform mundane, everyday functions, so leaders can free their teams up for creative thinking and other tasks that require uniquely human skills.

Insight 3: Customer expectations won’t go backwards from here

The pandemic has heavily altered consumer behavior and reduced in-person interactions, and resultantly raised the bar for what constitutes a good customer experience. Organizations not only need to think about how to meet these elevated expectations, but also think about where they go from here as the business landscape begins to inch towards post-COVID normality. In the future, those that can creatively reinvent what they can deliver and use data to reimagine how they approach customer experiences will see positive business results.

Insight 4: Empathy is key

Lowe observed that one of the key challenges to creativity thrown up by the pandemic is having to navigate remote working arrangements. Leaders must be mindful of how personal circumstances have affected each team member differently in order to empower them to think creatively and deliver their best work. Steele adds that empathy is crucial to everything the organization does: “Data without empathy is meaningless. We need to be able to put ourselves in the shoes of our customers’, our students’, and our citizens’ shoes if we’re to deliver exceptional customer experiences.”

For more insights from APAC enterprise leaders pushing the boundaries of creativity in their organization, be sure to follow the Adobe LinkedIn page and access all episodes here.

Topics: Leadership, Creative Inspiration & Trends, Creativity, Adobe Creative Quotient, Creative Cloud, APAC