Moving from Analog to a Digital CX Operating Model

Moving from Analog to a Digital CX Operating Model

Often, the underlying issue behind CX challenges lies in an organization’s current operating model, which struggles to translate new customer-centric strategies into actionable operational tasks. This underscores the importance for companies to efficiently reconstruct or adjust their existing customer experience (CX) operating mode and, most recently, into a digital CX operating model.

Challenges in Analog Service Models

The allocation of resources in customer operations between managing one-to-one and one-to-many interactions is a common concern. Many organizations still heavily invest in traditional, non-digital, or analog communications such as voice calls and written correspondence, representing over 85% of their efforts.

However, there is a noticeable shift towards a more dynamic and digital CX operating model among customer-centric businesses. Previously, companies viewed customer journeys as linear, often starting with direct interactions like calls, emails, or chats. However, in today’s digital landscape, the customer journey begins much earlier within a digital ecosystem.

Sales, service, technical support, and reputation management now involve navigating various entry points like search engines, review sites, and social media platforms. This shift necessitates a reevaluation of CX strategies, prompting the adoption of new operating models.

The emerging model emphasizes AI-driven communication guided by personalized human touchpoints.

Changing CX with Time and Technology

The senior generations are known to typically exhibit greater loyalty, yet technological advancements are shaping their behaviors as well. Across various industries, the concept of superior CX has undergone a significant evolution. Central to this shift is the role of contact centers in meeting customer expectations and fostering brand loyalty.

Traditional CX relied on skilled communications within contact centers adept at addressing customer queries, albeit often accompanied by lengthy wait times and departmental transfers.

Today’s consumers, however, are discerning and expect swift, accurate resolutions upon initial contact. Consequently, contact centers must transition from reactive to proactive and predictive approaches, leveraging digital transformation to stay competitive.

This paradigm underscores the necessity for businesses to adapt to changing consumer preferences driven by technology. This ensures that customer interactions are not just satisfactory but exceptional, thus reinforcing brand loyalty in an increasingly dynamic market landscape.

Omnichannel CX Solutions

Contact centers have evolved beyond traditional voice-only channels, now integrating multi-channel options, such as email, chat, and various communication tools. In the realm of digital transformation, ensuring security and seamless CX across multiple channels is paramount.

Omnichannel integration streamlines operations by consolidating disparate channels into a single desktop interface, eliminating silos. Artificial Intelligence (AI) further simplifies the omnichannel experience by leveraging trained algorithms to assist agents.

AI aids in addressing repetitive inquiries, conducting research, retrieving relevant documents, identifying similar cases, and accessing information from billing or third-party systems. This holistic approach optimizes efficiency and enhances customer satisfaction within the omnichannel contact center environment.

Consider the following two scenarios that vividly demonstrate the need for an omnichannel solution:

In the first instance, a customer faces frustration when attempting to resolve an issue with his hotel reservation refund. Despite initiating a chat conversation through the customer service portal, he finds himself repeating the problem and undergoing account verification. If the issue remains unresolved, he must resort to a voice call, restarting the entire process.

Despite a potential refund at the end of the interaction, the customer remains dissatisfied. Ironically, the company likely ends up spending more resources on multiple agents than the value of the refund in question, exacerbating the customer’s dissatisfaction.

Contrastingly, an omnichannel solution would streamline the customer’s experience. With integrated visibility across all channels, the customer’s chat interaction would instantly reveal his status, enabling the agent to automatically process a refund.

Should the customer have additional queries, AI will conduct necessary research, providing agents with pertinent account insights for upselling and cross-selling opportunities. Consequently, agents become more proficient with AI assistance. In the future, AI may preempt such issues, autonomously crediting the customer’s account and proactively informing him of the refund, bypassing human intervention entirely.

These examples underscore the efficiency and customer-centric benefits of implementing an omnichannel approach, ensuring seamless interactions and preemptive problem-solving for enhanced customer satisfaction.

Innovative systems equipped with AI, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and Big Data analytics streamline contact center operations, benefiting customers, companies, and agents alike. These advanced technologies empower agents by providing research, suggested answers, and insights from similar past cases, reducing research time and enhancing efficiency.

Additionally, automated case routing ensures inquiries are directed to the appropriate experts swiftly, while offering relevant resources, further reducing research efforts on the agent’s part. Consequently, this digital transformation allows enhanced customer experiences as well as allows companies to transition from reactive to proactive engagement.

By leveraging AI, organizations can proactively reach out to customers with personalized offerings, revolutionizing purchasing behaviors. This shift towards AI-driven solutions marks a significant evolution in how contact centers operate, leading the way toward a digitally empowered workforce and enhanced customer engagement.

The proliferation of mobile technologies and social media has expanded customer interaction options, presenting both opportunities and challenges for businesses. While advanced communication modes are gaining prominence, voice remains paramount in contact centers.

Integrating new omnichannel solutions seamlessly with existing voice platforms, whether through APIs or standalone integration, poses challenges for legacy voice providers in adopting the latest technologies. On the other hand, restricting customers to specific communication channels causes friction.

Digital vs Analog CX Operating Model

Setting Up a New CX Operating Model

Creating an effective digital CX operating model isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Companies must define decision-making processes across key design dimensions. While many undertake initiatives across various functional units to enhance CX, the challenge lies in ensuring these initiatives seamlessly integrate to deliver a cohesive experience across all touchpoints, online and offline.

Despite initiatives often originating from separate cross-functional teams, the lack of transparency in ongoing operations and outcomes can lead to siloed projects. This disconnect results in misaligned activities, inefficient resource allocation, and incorrect prioritization.

While supporting the cross-functional approach to CX initiatives in principle, the reality highlights the need for enhanced management oversight to ensure alignment and synergy among initiatives, thereby maximizing the impact on overall customer experience.

A dedicated CX team should oversee individual initiatives, while leadership takes ownership of the company-wide CX strategy. This entails orchestrating the entire customer journey, transparently communicating project objectives to senior management, defining functional responsibilities for each touchpoint, and managing finances.

Management can prevent redundant efforts and resource wastage by understanding the impact of each initiative and project on the overall customer journey.

Data and Systems in Digital CX Operating Models

Effective data management is imperative for organizational success in today’s digital landscape. While the importance of data is widely recognized, its true value is realized through strategic governance and technological infrastructure.

Data governance establishes protocols for generating, processing, and leveraging data to derive meaningful insights, fostering collaboration, and ensuring data quality and accessibility across the organization.

However, several challenges hinder effective governance:

  1. Data Silos – Disparate data sources within an organization hinder the creation of a unified data ecosystem.
  2. Incentivizing Data Owners – Without proper motivation, data owners may be reluctant to share their assets, impeding data utilization.
  3. Data Quality Management – Inadequate measures to maintain data integrity undermine its reliability and utility.

To address these challenges, organizations must invest in scalable, adoptable customer data platforms (CDPs). These platforms serve as centralized repositories for customer data, facilitating seamless access and utilization across functional domains. By implementing efficient access protocols, organizations can unlock the latent potential of their data assets along the customer journey.

Ultimately, the success of CX initiatives hinges on the availability of reliable information and insights. Data governance lays the groundwork for CX optimization by standardizing processes and ensuring data integrity.

By prioritizing user enablement and fostering clear ownership, organizations can cultivate a data-driven culture that drives value creation and sustains long-term competitiveness.

Introducing digital transformation and digital experience (DX) to enhance CX in established companies is challenging. It involves not just implementing new technologies but also streamlining existing systems and reshaping corporate culture. Achieving holistic CX improvement requires intricate strategies that prioritize customer-centricity throughout the organization.

Facing traditional obstacles is common and overcoming them is feasible. Transitioning from heuristic to data-driven approaches or from on-premises to cloud-based systems may appear daunting. However, a successful roadmap to integrating a digital CX operating model entails setting achievable goals and securing quick wins to garner support from teams and stakeholders.

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