CX is here to stay as a key driver of business value. Consumers are looking to reduce their time searching, buying, using and disposing of products and services to maximize time well spent on the experiences they truly value. These ‘time/cost’ reductions offer opportunities to disrupt existing value chains. (Unlocking the Customer Value Chain, Thales S. Teixeira; The Experience Economy, Pine and Gilmore).
In short, time is the most valuable currency for humans. The pandemic has made us even more aware of this. Just ask yourself:
- Do your employees want to spend time commuting as before?
- Would you go back in line for groceries when home delivery saves the hassle?
- Would you wait for your account managers’ next quarterly visit to get familiar with a new product release?
This crisis has been a pressure cooker and research suggests we want to keep some of the benefits that it precipitated.
Shifting roles for CX teams
There are important implications on the organisational side. CX programs and teams have largely focused on analysing the voice of the customer and continuously improving customer lifecycles and key journeys. This is a slow and painful process for many.
If organisations want to drive real value from CX, they must adopt a more holistic approach. The entire organisation must align itself around the customer experience. This requires a company wide culture that values empathy, insight driven prioritization and long term customer relationships over transactional measurement, command and control approaches and short term interventions.
We are currently involved in helping cx teams make this shift in a variety of industries. Take for example a large international bank we have worked with the past years that is striving to become more customer centric. The work we do with them is not project based and doesn’t revolve around doing insight research and service design work for them. Our joint efforts focus on building a sustainable customer centric capability, including the customer vision, culture, governance model, metric framework, and architecture.
The case demonstrates how the role CX functions and centers of excellence have is evolving. It’s shifting from designing metrics, analysing research results and doing improvement projects, towards building customer centric (service design) capabilities and culture throughout the organisation. This comes with many challenges. However, when successful, the impact can scale across projects, initiatives and programs.
Want to know how we approach building these capabilities in organisations? Read our new whitepaper.
Over the past 20 years, digital design has been predominantly tech-driven, focusing new service development on emerging digital technologies. Often this is done as a parallel effort, alongside and not within, the rest of the business. The pandemic has highlighted the centrality of digital to business – often forcing it to the core of service provision (think not only e-commerce, but video General Practitioner consultations or remote court services). This acceleration has elevated digital, establishing it as a core capability.
The pandemic has shown we need to step up the game. Retailers with poor digital capabilities lost more business than those with high digital maturity. Others painfully discovered customers weren’t using their digital offerings as intended. As a result, they lost business due to poorly designed and integrated digital services. In other cases, customers could not find a digital service at all, causing overflow to other customer service channels. Bells are ringing in boardrooms and CIO offices globally.
Implications for the CIO office
Livework is fortunate to work with many CIOs and their digital leaders in media, consumer products, public sector, insurance and energy sectors. Increasingly, the CIO office is expected to lead, not follow, transformation.
This requires thinking through service strategy, service portfolio and client experience. Front-runners see service design as a way to develop these capabilities and lead by example.
One client in the public sector struggled to meet the needs of their organisation and the public it serves when it comes to accelerating the pace of developing a digital service portfolio and reaping the benefits of digital transformation. Our analysis showed they lacked a coherent service strategy, client orientation and a service design approach that enabled them to not just meet needs, but also lead the desired transformation.
Over the course of a year we helped them redefine their own role as a service provider, co-create a future state digital service portfolio and chart out a strategy and roadmap to make it come true. The shift is fully centered around internal client and external customer/user needs and has entailed the creation of new roles, the adoption of new ways of working, the embracing of new responsibilities, and the development of new capabilities.
This and other projects have reinforced our thinking that redesigning the role of the CIO office, to encompass facilitating IT management, systems change as well as leading digital acceleration through customer centric design and a service mindset, is key to sustainable transformation.
Innovation has been democratised over the past decades. As a result, many organisations have adopted design sprints as silver bullets to innovation challenges. Whilst this is a positive development, our innovation clients in a.o. the manufacturing, automotive and logistics industries notice that it’s not enough: there’s a stronger and continuing trend for innovation to transcend organisations. The true field of innovation is ecosystems. Ecosystem innovation is particularly difficult as its delves into wicked problems, defined by five key characteristics:
- Human: they are rooted in human psychology and behaviour
- Networked: they have many elements related among themselves
- Open: they have no clear boundaries and are based on incomplete data
- Dynamic: they are constantly changing with no clear beginning or end state
- Complex: they are interdependent of many stakeholder needs and actions