What Your Company Needs To Do To Successfully Manage Customer Experiences

What Your Company Needs To Do To Successfully Manage Customer Experiences

Study after study shows that companies are now more focused on transforming customer experiences than ever before.

Yet few studies uncover what “transforming the customer experience” actually means and how to do it. A new study by IDC, commissioned by Adobe, has found brands that are truly changing the way they manage CX are investing in technology to help effectively manage customer experiences across touch points.

But perhaps the most important takeaway from the study: Clearly communicating the role each business function plays in customer experience management (CXM) is the hallmark of transformative CX.

In 2019, IDC conducted focus groups in Chicago and Sunnyvale, Calif., with senior-level customer experience decision makers from IT and lines of business for this study.

“Many of the companies we talked to said technology was important in enabling the transformation that is happening around customer experience,” said Alan Webber, program vice president for digital strategy and customer experience at IDC, who spearheaded the study.

But there’s still room for growth. According to IDC’s separate “IT Technology Buyer” survey, just 45% of companies have deployed customer-focused data and analytics solutions. Yet 53% of companies have plans to deploy them within the next six to 36 months.

CXM Learning Curve

The majority of focus group participants understand what CXM is on a broad level—the “behind the scenes work of managing the end-to-end CX,” the study states. However, Webber also said that while many parts of the business touch customers either directly or indirectly, not everyone outside of marketing necessarily feels ownership of—nor understands—their roles in CXM. That’s a problem.

Education and consistent top-down communication that clarifies each function’s role in CXM will be key to getting everyone rallied around and aligned on customer-centricity, Webber said.

“One thing that I found surprising was that IT people were actually taking a higher level of ownership than I would’ve expected. However, there were fewer operational functions that were forwardly customer than I thought there would be,” Webber said. “I think that just shows why some of the customer experiences we see are so poor, and it demonstrates why there’s such an opportunity for differentiation based upon the experiences companies provide.”

The finance department, Webber said, was one function that questioned its role in customer experience. “But if a customer receives a bill, and that bill has an error, customer support typically can’t help with that. Someone from finance must get involved,” he explained.

Webber’s advice? In addition to leaders helping different departments better understand which parts of their jobs impact customer experience—customer journey mapping can pay dividends here—they must also make positively impacting CX a strategic priority and KPI across all functions.

But who really owns CX? Who leads it?

“One person is not going to own it all,” Webber said. “I think marketing has a leading role, but I’m not sure they have long-term ownership of it.”