CxO: A positive customer experience is more than app deep
It is fashionable, nay compulsory, to focus on the customer. It should of course always have been this way. But the economic crisis of 2008 sent most organisations into cost management mode. The knee jerking continues in this era of Covid. Even though innovation and thus an enhanced customer experience is the way forward, many leaders are lunging towards their comfort blanket, ie their 2019 business model. This dying model focuses on cost, and the customer experience is just one of the costs. The preconception of what digital transformation represents is setting businesses up for trouble.
The rise in digital marketing has led to a belief that a digital organisation is in essence one that has really cool apps. So all you need to do is find a bunch of youngsters from an organisation based somewhere that has recently been rebadged with the word Silicon in the new name, eg. Silicon Valley, Silicon Roundabout or even Silicon Hard Shoulder, and get them to do something that would impress your children.
This situation has unfortunately arisen because of a broad lack of IT understanding at board level.
The reality is that the customer apps are just the user interfaces of a value chain that stretches back through your organisation and out through the tradesman’s entrance along your supply chains back to the field, quarry or forest.
And the reality is that each node along the chain and each interface between these nodes is a point of failure or customer disappointment. That needs to be factored into your customer experience investment.
In other words those that are serious about the customer experience will look at the acquisition of some shiny apps in the context of a business transformation programme.
The question for CxOs today is whether they are prepared to start an initiative that will add to the cost burden and worse still, perhaps, will make their successor look like a business hero.
Such a move in my view would be the marque of a true leader.