Despite constant advancements within the technology space, companies often struggle to adopt the latest tools as they become available. Implementation isn’t just costly—it’s also confusing. Leaders might claim their organization remains on the cutting edge of their given industry, but it’s practically impossible to keep pace with the ever-changing landscape. Instead, brands must establish which technologies will help their employees conduct business with maximum efficiency so they don’t spread themselves too thin as they integrate and embrace these practices.
Legacy systems, for instance, pose major problems, as many are obsolete and difficult to work with, often leading to siloed data and integration issues down the line. While the systems comprise critical historical information vital for customer experience programs, these systems might also contain irrelevant customer data and can be inflexible, as they weren't designed with the modern customer journey in mind. Now that customers dictate the discussion across digital touchpoints, companies must evaluate scalable, more agile technologies that can better support desired engagement strategies.
While contact centers are often slower to adopt these new technology solutions, cloud capabilities now act as an essential weapon against these siloed legacy systems of yesteryear, as many brands falter under the weight of old investments that no longer support the customer experience. Because cloud technology allows for greater growth within the contact center, allowing companies to adapt to changes in customer service as needed, cloud applications will inevitably be the key to better seamless, omnichannel customer experiences overall.
Cloud technologies also enable companies to scale new additions up or down as they see fit in accordance with brand and customer needs. From speech analytics, to social media automation, many vendors now allow companies to purchase solutions on an a la carte basis so they need only spend money on those tools they truly require to elevate the customer experience to the next level.
While it might seem ideal to adopt each new CX technology, leaders must first determine what their company hopes to achieve with regard to customer experience. Many tools simply distract from this underlying mission, as they force employees to focus more on the technology and less on the customer. Not all tools are intuitive or useful within the context of the given brand. Leaders must begin by establishing enterprisewide goals, as doing so will guide them down the correct path to tech adoption and integration.
Ultimately, CX strategy should focus upon what customers want from their relationship with your brand. All other business decisions should grow from this factor. CX strategy varies from company to company, so leaders will likely need to do some soul searching to determine what’s necessary and what’s frivolous with regard to tech adoption. Most new tools are designed to facilitate and improve conversations between company and customer, so it’s critical to only tap those technologies that clear said pathways. Some systems might seem innovative and enticing, but if they lack purpose within the context of your business, the added noise will only push customers to the competition in the end.
Companies often neglect to align their decision journey with customers’ needs. Leaders tend to get caught up in what’s trending at the moment without considering the impact said technologies will have internally, in terms of employee engagement, and externally, in terms of customer satisfaction. Instead, companies must take one step back so they can examine the complete customer journey and create an omnichannel approach that takes every touchpoint into account.
Regardless of the specific technologies adopted, true impact and efficiency can only be measured by the success of those tasked with implementing and employing these tools. Leaders must understand that new technologies are useless unless their employees can use these tools to their greatest advantage. Leaders must also realize that CX success requires collaboration across the organization now more than ever. Technology should empower employees at every level to provide the best customer experience possible.
Modern employees seek purpose-driven roles. Individuals at every level want to feel like their part of an internal community, as it connects them to the brand and makes them feel as if they’re part of something greater than themselves. They also wish to help the customer in ways that better their lives, as doing so makes these employees feel as if they’re making the world better. By integrating technologies that enables your team to achieve these personal goals with maximum efficiency, you’ve also empowered them to take all subsequent customer relationships to the next level.
Customer experience success will ultimately depend upon how leaders choose to invest internally with regard to both technology and talent. By providing employees at every level of the organization with the tools necessary to achieve business goals, all members of the company will feel connected to the brand’s underlying mission, inspiring everyone to create the best customer experience possible. After all, customer experience strategy doesn’t succeed simply because the proper technologies are in place. Instead, customer experience excels when employees can use those tools to preserve and promote both satisfaction and loyalty at every touchpoint.
About the Authors
Bill Moore is VP of CRMI. He designs and delivers CEM best practices workshops, as well as CEMPRO employee loyalty, training and retention programs, that result in the increasing customer satisfaction, employee retention, and profitability for CRMI clients.
Tony Santilli is VP, Client Services, for Marketii U.S. Inc., where he oversees the activities of the Customer Experience Operations Team and Professional Consulting Group. His in-depth experience as a service team leader and expertise as a sales leader has led to consistent double-digit growth.