Introducing a 3-dimensional approach to improving the customer experience
Improving customer experience requires a 3D approach. Cognizant commissioned Forrester Consulting to identify the most impactful thinking regarding Experience moving forward.
By Mark Taylor
Posted on 03-16-2021
The term “Experience Economy” was coined in 1998, and since then billions of dollars have been spent on improving experiences. But have these investments paid off?
Eventually, the experiences that companies provide for their customers, their employees, and their partners will be predictive, precise, valuable, and clearly tied to business outcomes. But we are not there yet, and some of our fundamental assumptions about experience should be critically re-evaluated. Toward that goal, Cognizant recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to identify the most impactful thinking regarding experience moving forward.
This research looks at how organizations can build market resilience by investing in the experience ecosystem. Customer experience is not one dimensional and so requires a multidimensional approach. Cognizant views experiences as three dimensional where the dimensions that define experience are:
- Horizontal: The horizontal axis defines the experience itself and how it flows for the customer across channels, touchpoints, and contexts. It is here that the value between the consumer and the brand is identified. The analysis of customer signals, market context, and behavioral drivers supports the ability to build new propositions, segmentation schemes, personas, and (perhaps most importantly) “signature moments”: those moments when the customer’s mindset undergoes a significant shift, the make-or-break moments in building life-long relationships.
- Vertical: The vertical axis focuses on how the experience is enabled through the operating layers of the organization. It is important to understand and support the delivery of signature moments by aligning the operational layers that enable them. From employees and the resources, they use to data and the underlying business processes, every step matters and getting this right requires a forensic examination of how these layers are aligned, how they operate together, and how they might be optimized. How the experience is enabled is the experience.
- Depth: The third dimension looks at time, or the temporal context of the experience. This dimension does not represent a single point in time; rather, it considers the duration of engagement. The need to have a complete view over the entire life of the experience is true both in the sense of how your customers, employees, and partners engage with you over time as well as how your operational layers are conceived and optimized as a unified experience operating model rather than a series of disconnected point solutions.
This view provides the critical information that the organization needs to direct CX-led investments and encourages management to focus on solving the most impactful underlying issues. Problems may present themselves in several ways: poor process alignment, broken processes, employee focus that does not support the vision for customer experience, content needs/mismatches, and many others.
The ability to orchestrate multidimensional experiences defines leaders and followers
Thus far we have looked at what organizations need to know and the framework that should be used to create the optimal experience. The next step is to orchestrate these activities. Orchestration is essential to ensure that every part of the organization is both optimized and aligned to delivering an excellent outcome that inspires loyalty. This process also makes it possible to scale up personalized experiences that meet both the overt as well as the unarticulated needs of the customer.
Connected CX-led orchestration also delivers several other important benefits that support next-generation experiences. Among the most important are the ability to:
- Make more accurate, quicker, and more informed decisions, driven by repeatable, documented metrics, not only to enable short-term success, but also to close the gap between current activities and the desired state.
- Identify how current investments in technology can be leveraged to deliver the greatest return.
- Support the corporate goal to break down operational silos and foster better alignment and collaboration across operational teams by setting a single set of common goals that work across various business units’ individual efforts.
- Improve organizational speed and ability to adapt to changing expectations, with documented processes that also support scalability.
Defining the strategic imperatives to deliver a multidimensional experience
The competitive advantage that comes from getting it right is monumental. For this reason, the next question is how to create the “go forward” plan. Forrester’s research identified the most important activities that will deliver the desired benefits and form the foundation for the future. Three important activities surfaced quickly:
- Investing in CX enablement: New investments that are focused on enabling the next-generation CX will yield the business results that organizations demand as quantified by any number of financial metrics. The vision should be: “Improve CX and the results will follow.”
- Aligning the employee experience to CX across the business ecosystem: Put simply, customer and employee experiences must align. When employee tasks and workflow create and support customer delight, employees feel empowered and valued, simplifying retention and recruitment. This is true for both customer-facing and back-office staff. According to the Forrester research, 44 percent of firms that are CX leaders have a vision for enabling employees to better support CX. The same research shows that nearly half of these firms are focusing on delivering the right technology and customer data to make this happen.
- Aligning strategies and metrics across the customer, employee, and partner experience: Too often these three groups are considered separate entities. Ensuring that CX, EX, and PX are aligned, have common/comparable/consistent metrics, and are all part of one vision is the foundation of any success in transforming the organization.
Cognizant is partnering with Adobe to meet the challenge of delivering multidimensional experiences. Cognizant is an Adobe Platinum Solution Partner and has invested substantially in this strategic global partnership, with over 2,000 resources trained on Adobe Experience Cloud solutions. They have executed over 200 projects spanning the entire Customer Experience lifecycle on the Adobe platform. Cognizant’s process expertise and expert skills provide the planning, deployment, and operational support organizations need. Adobe’s advanced solutions such as Adobe Experience Platform and Adobe Experience Cloud provide the digital foundation for these efforts. For more information, go here.
Topics: Adobe Summit, Productivity, Insights & Inspiration, Events, Experience Cloud, Digital Transformation
Products: Experience Cloud, Experience Platform,