It’s Time To Get Serious About CX Data And Technology
Poor Data And Tech Approaches Leave CX Teams In The Dark
Great customer experience (CX) correlates to desirable customer interactions and, ultimately, to financial rewards. But our CX research shows that few companies do CX well. There is a gap between the experiences that firms deliver and what their customers actually want. Most CX practices don’t have access to the right data to empathize with customers and their experiences — which is needed to close the gap. They:
- Lack a joint approach to data and technology. Most CX teams rely on multiple technology tools for understanding and managing experiences, but these tools are most often used in isolation. Also, there’s an overreliance on certain types of tools (e.g., Excel and survey tools) at the expense of others (e.g., experience analytics and speech analytics tools).
- Don’t use all the relevant data assets available in their organization. Modern enterprises have a lot of technology that collects a tsunami of experience data. This tech not only resides within the purview of CX teams but also within partner teams that support marketing, product, service, and customer support activities. Most CX leaders lack the technical approach and partner relationships to access the CX information that lives in other parts of the business.
- Rely too much on customer opinion versus other data signals. CX professionals have grown up on a diet of customer opinion and feedback, elicited via surveys and other customer feedback techniques. But many CX pros ignore the plethora of other types of CX data — such as behavioral and engagement data — now available. The result: Most firms know what customers think about experiences but are unable to link this to how customers react and behave, so they only have part of the picture when they initiate programs to improve CX.
Learn From The Best To Develop Your CX Technology Portfolio
Forrester’s research shows that 7% of organizations are excellent at using technology and insights processes to inform all that they do. By doing so, they’re able to outpace the competition. We call them insights-driven businesses (IDBs). One of the secrets of IDBs’ success is that they have more complete CX technology portfolios, allowing them to meld insights with customer experiences. This helps them deliver relevant experiences more often than their competitors. CX leaders must take the lead from IDBs and develop a more holistic CX technology portfolio in these ways:
- Assess a diverse range of technology within your portfolio. Modern CX practices use a range of tech, from products that gather customer feedback and opinion (e.g., survey and/or social listening tools) to those that observe behavior (e.g., CX analytics tools). Some of it is managed by the CX team and some within partner teams such as marketing, digital, and customer service. Within your portfolio, take account of a range of capabilities spanning tech assets within and beyond your direct control.
- Agree with partners to reconfigure your CX tech investment. As you assess your existing tech portfolio, you will find redundancies (e.g., marketing and product teams use different customer survey tools) and gaps (e.g., experience analytics tools aren’t being used). Plan your roadmap around smoothing out these inconsistencies. But remember that a lot of CX technology sits within partner teams, so CX leaders must agree on both the vision and the plan — including investment needs — with the leads of these partner organizations.
- Aim to build an integrated platform. Look to integrate the technologies within your CX portfolio wherever possible. Valuable insights can be gleaned by bringing together data from qualitative and quantitative tools — for example, by merging customer opinions from the survey tool with customer behaviors from your experience analytics platform. Integrating the tech that the CX team uses with partner tech will help distribute experience insights and make them more actionable (e.g., feeding behavioral insights from your experience analytics tool into your e-commerce cloud personalization engine).
I’m pleased to announce the publication of my recent report on the topic, “How To Build Your CX Technology Portfolio.”