In the quest for new experiences, customer journeys are expanding from traditional multi-channel touch and feel interfaces. We see simplification of interfaces and the complexity behind experiences coexisting. Fundamentally, we see experience innovation happening on three fronts for digital customer experience transformations:
- Continue enhancing the touch points to create better micro-experiences for the brand
- Enhance brand affinity by integrating the context of the user to the experience
- Establish a larger connect with customer with a stronger support model with the brand.
Brands are strategizing to always connect with the customer across contexts in order to anticipate users’ demands and engage them quickly at any point of interest. Conversations become a critical lever and we see experiences increasingly embedding context-aware conversations.
Emotions become the epicenter of personalization. The reality is that brand affinity can vary at every point of engagement. The understanding of emotion and adapting to emotion comprise the foundation for adaptive experiences. Personalization grows beyond knowing a customer; it becomes understanding and adapting to the mental model of the customer.
Trust of the brand is enhanced beyond the core support models. Trust is also about integrating elements of consistency across channels and across any touch points that connect to the businesses. A consistent any-channel experience is becoming a critical consideration for success stories.
There is a significant challenge for customer engagement platforms to realize these experience expectations. To align to these necessities, customer engagement platforms (or even customer experience [CX] platforms) should enable continuous engagement by connecting, learning, and adapting to the customer. The content and holistic workflow over these platforms must converge to this necessity for customer experience. The power of cognitive computing and artificial intelligence is enabling fire power to customer engagement platforms. CX platforms have more flexibility to connect experiences, touch points, data, intelligence, and systems of records to create a single, holistic actionable view for customer.
The key CX platforms creating maximum customer impact are:
- Digital commerce realizing B2C/B2B commerce
- Customer management enabling sales and service engagements
- Content and marketing management enabling content to reach the right audience sets
- Smart processes provided by business process management (BPM) and robotic process automations (RPAs).
A CX transformation will involve one or many of the above via a digital integration strategy to realize a singular view of the customer. The following sections cover how the CX platforms are shaping up for the next-generation experiences.
Digital commerce platforms tend to enrich their core capabilities in B2C and B2B capabilities. There is a focus for being modular and integrated with multiple systems. This provides services capability for the platform that enables powerful CX implementation. Cognitive or artificial intelligence platforms provide digital intelligence to CX platforms to enrich interaction and empower data to make personalized recommendations.
Some of the key CX expectations for digital commerce platforms are:
- Simplified and engaging experience
- Predictive search, merchandizing, and recommendations
- Integrated commerce by channel integration (social, online, in-store) and capability integration (CRM, service, marketing and content)
- B2B experiences in quote-to-cash capabilities almost like B2C
- Flexibility to create advanced custom experiences with headless and micro-services-based channels
- Ability to tailor to a sector by modular approaches.
Customer management platforms enrich their focus on service workflows. The ability to get self-service extended to businesses enables effective, friction-free connection with customers and becomes the key recipe for success. The sales workflows enable more analytics and predictions for accelerating the sales, the focus on B2B sales acceleration tend to realize a vision of global marketplace.
Some of the key CX expectations for customer management platforms are
- Customer self-service experiences knowing the customer context for B2C and B2B scenarios
- Prescriptive advices for lead management
- Cognitive approaches for augmenting sales processes
- Preventive and predictive service support systems
- Journey analytics for optimal touchpoint selection.
Content and marketing management platforms take personalization as the central theme. Content, offers, experiences, self-service, etc., are aligned for personalization with a marketing data warehousing strategy that allows omni-channel visibility and analytics.
Some of the key CX expectations for content and marketing management platforms are:
- XD principles based impactful micro experiences
- Digital intelligence-driven personalization
- Empower B2C/B2B self-service with more catalogue capabilities
- Decoupled rendering with headless and template approaches.
Smart processes create experience delight by bringing the process agility for customer touchpoint-rich workflows. The ability to collaborate with multiple systems and provide rapid modelling without compromising on experience becomes the main stream strategy for business process management systems.
Some of the key CX expectations for smart process systems are:
- Enable more collaborative workflows on the move
- Engage with customers with more conversational processes
- Learning, sensing, and recommending become a critical part of augmenting humans
- Low code, rapid processes with no compromise on experience.
Analyzing the expectations on CX platforms lead us to key focus themes for CX transformation:
- Use case journeys are continuously refreshed providing simplified experiences
- Cognitive experience in natural interactions as well as automations boost CX in multiple dimensions
- CX responsibility gets delegated to a portal tier by wide adoption of decoupled rendering , headless architectures, and micro services
- Use cases get enriched by collaboration and integration of multiple platforms ( CRM, marketing, commerce, content, marketing, etc.)
Customer experience transformation is an intersection of multiple elements coming and working together in a cohesive way. While multiple platforms enrich their capability in being best-of-breed in their segment, a careful customer engagement platform [CX platform] strategy to bind all the digital themes together is essential for the success of the transformation programs.