4 Ways CIOs Can Create A CX-Focused Enterprise

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By 2025, an estimated 463 exabytes of data will be created each day globally. That’s the jaw-dropping equivalent of 98.5 billion DVDs.

Just capturing and managing all of that data is a huge undertaking. New data streams, such as intelligence regarding COVID-19, are being added all the time. The crucial next step is the ability to make sense of it and use it for customer experience management (CXM).

This is where CIOs in EMEA play a critical role. After all, who is better at ensuring their organizations position data at the heart of their processes than the person who knows most about it?

“Data is the foundation of all CXM. No company can deliver a world-class customer experience without living and breathing data,” says Steve Allison, head of product marketing, audience and platform technologies, EMEA, at Adobe. “The CIO knows firsthand how to use data, how to govern and share data, how to explore data, and how to use it to derive the insights that underpin every customer interaction.”

Here are four ways CIOs can lead their organizations to take advantage of this tremendous resource and create a CX-focused enterprise.

Turn information into insight

It falls on CIOs and their teams to implement technology that identifies the information that matters most and enables marketers and product developers, among other functions, to assess the quality of customer experiences. Technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning can do a lot of the heavy lifting, leaving humans free to focus on analysis and gain a holistic view of previously siloed data.

To that end, CIOs and their teams can focus their time on building the infrastructure, using cloud-based data warehouses and integrated data lake repositories, to bring all of that data together into a single location. This allows the lines-of-business to analyze this data and turn it into useful insights by using cloud-based analytics and business intelligence.

Case in point: When electronics distributor RS Components wanted a better understanding of its B2B customers across 32 markets, its IT division implemented a solution that measures attitudinal data to bolster the behavioral data already collected by its CX platform. This provided all teams across the organization with a unified picture of where customer experiences and journeys were falling short in terms of website functionality. This led the company to make improvements to its product feedback form. One successful test led to a 75% increase in the number of clicks and a 2% increase in average order value. Once changes were implemented, RS Components experienced a 450% uplift in form submissions from customers.

Support broader collaborations

As the roles of data and technology have grown in importance to a business’ success, so, too, has the role of the CIO. Today CIOs and their teams are helping to shape their organizations’ business strategy, not just its technology plans. When the CIO works with the CFO, CMO, CEO, and other leaders to ensure they have the tools and data to power collaboration, great things can happen.

According to Gartner, 50% of organizations will benefit from increased collaboration between their business and IT teams during the next two years. In these close partnerships, joint participation—and a more agile approach to development—is already leading to the iterative creation of services that deliver great CX.

Across the pond, for example, collaboration between CarMax CIO Shamim Mohammad and CMO Jim Lyski and their respective departments was crucial to the used-vehicle retailer’s CX and digital transformation. “We wanted to move faster than we had been and start thinking like a digital company,” Mohammad said.

To achieve that, Mohammad and Lyski formed multidisciplinary, product-centric teams focused not on ticking off tasks but enabling business outcomes. They embraced agile product design and development processes. IT embraced the public cloud to host the development of customer-facing systems. As a result, the two organizations function as a fairly cohesive unit, delivering customer-centric innovation at greater speed than ever before.

Build internal labs

Companies can go even further when it comes to cross-department collaboration by fostering an internal research and development environment. Leading blue-chip organizations have built internal labs, where new ideas for great CX can be tested in safe, sandboxed environments.

These labs allow companies to turn development into a proactive process, giving IT staff the opportunity to showcase their work to others across the business and hone their products to develop experiences that customers love.

Internal labs can involve customers, too. Major organizations find regular user-testing sessions create crucial first-person data. If you bring customers into your labs, you’re going to have much better insight into how they really use your products and services—and how these products and services could be improved.

Adobe Summit Sneaks is a great example of lab-created innovations that give the company’s customers a sneak peek into emerging tech and ideas that may eventually make it into products. Every year Adobe lets its engineers, data scientists and UX teams showcase what they’ve been working on.

Put personalization at the heart of business

While big data can help executives identify key business trends, CIOs should also ensure insights can be pushed out to customers across multiple channels in the form of targeted, personalized, and real-time content. The cloud is the CIO’s crucial ally here because it allows digital leaders to scale services as customer demands flex and change.

Guided by IT, telecommunications firm SwissCom used AI-powered analytics and personalization technology to create customer profiles that help them market more effectively to different audiences by delivering highly specific personal content through different channels. By investing in AI-powered targeting, SwissCom managed to boost customer engagement by up to 40% by uncovering and generating insights that cannot easily be gained manually.

In good hands

The amount of data continues to rise but that needn’t be overwhelming. By working across the organization to develop an integrated approach to big data, CIOs can ensure enterprises are well-placed to understand their customers’ needs and to deliver great experiences.

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