December 15, 20215 min read
Over the past decade, researchers and analysts have been asking executives, “Where are you on your digital transformation journey?” far longer and much more often than they’ve cared to hear it. Companies knew that they needed a digital transformation strategy, but, as with any transformation, it requires money, time, labor, and foresight.
Then a global pandemic changed the landscape of how companies do business, and it didn’t matter where you were on your digital transformation journey, you were likely woefully behind. Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, notably stated in April of 2020:
“We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months. From remote teamwork and learning, to sales and customer service, to critical cloud infrastructure and security — we are working alongside customers every day to help them adapt and stay open for business in a world of remote everything.”– Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
A 2020 McKinsey report stated, “Seventy-two percent of companies who were first in their industries to experiment with digital technologies during the pandemic reported having very effective responses to COVID-19.” The pandemic was a tipping point that triggered lagging companies to jump-start their digital-first initiatives. And there is no stopping this trajectory, with the global digital transformation market projected to grow from $469.8 billion in 2020 to more than $1 trillion by 2025.
Digital transformation is no longer enough. Companies have to find new ways to engage, attract, retain, and delight their customers during a time of deep uncertainty. Leaders must connect customers and prospects to their products and services through their preferred methods and channels. Digital transformation was missing an important element: customer experience (CX) transformation.
Earlier this year, Sprinklr commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a research study to evaluate how organizations are prioritizing CX strategies and investments moving forward. Drawing from the data of more than 300 global decision makers, the Forrester study revealed three key findings:
Eighty-two percent of decision makers will prioritize their CX strategy in the upcoming year, but less than a third have aligned their digital transformation strategy to their CX strategy.
Current tools are lacking and prevent companies from optimizing their use of data to inform their CX. Organizations need tools with better features to manage customer experiences more successfully.
Companies are interested in a unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform. More than 60% of decision-makers expect benefits from a Unified-CXM platform, including improving real time CX, data collaboration and integration, and the ability to glean actionable customer insights.
Organizations are well aware that they need to create better, more secure, and seamless customer experiences to drive higher revenue. Yet, many are falling short of delivering the kinds of experiences that create happier customers. Forrester’s 2021 CX Index showed that most brands’ CX was indistinguishable from their competitors, and no brand reported that they deliver an outstanding customer experience.
While 73% of organizations surveyed have a digital transformation strategy and 65% have prioritized CX strategy compared to the past 12 months, only 30% have completely aligned their digital transformation strategy with their CX strategy. Without aligning digital transformation to CX, superior CX is a difficult goal to achieve, and a lack of superior CX can hurt a company’s bottom line.
This mis-alignment raises significant challenges for companies trying to execute on critical CX capabilities. The top-ranked, most important capabilities needed for organizations is the ability to:
Take action and resolve customer issues quickly across all digital channels
Assess, analyze, and act on market, customer, and competitive insights
Prioritize CX improvements to take the “right” actions
Prove the value and return on investment (ROI) of CX investments
When participants were asked to self-rate on their ability to execute these capabilities in an excellent manner, only around 25% claimed they were meeting this benchmark. There is a clear disconnect between understanding the importance of digital and CX transformation and creating strategies that align the two.
For many organizations, CX is highly fragmented. They struggle to address 1:1 customer interactions on digital channels, fail to capitalize on real-time opportunities to improve CX, and are unable to aggregate and use customer data effectively across the enterprise.
The Forrester study revealed that despite significant investments, current tools don’t provide a comprehensive, single view of the customer and more than 90% of the leaders surveyed stated that their organizations are still missing key unifying features from their CX management platform or current CX tech stack. It’s clear that organizations need tools with better features to better manage customer experiences and optimize their data to inform their CX.
Decision makers were asked, “If made available, what would be the likelihood that you would implement a unified customer experience management platform that breaks down data, organizational, and customer management silos?” Nearly 80% of respondents said that their organizations would be either likely or highly likely implement such a solution. Leaders expect significant benefits from implementing a unified solution, including:
Real-time, improved customer experience
Integration of customer data across departments
Actionable customer insights
Organizations can attain these goals by implementing a unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform strategy that connects and aligns their current digital and CX strategies. A unified strategy begins with research, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to identify patterns and trends to generate insights that help brands innovate and take action quickly. Care brings customer service into the digital age by diverting routine customer messages and questions to AI-powered chatbots, routing conversations that need human interaction to the right team at the right time, and equipping those teams with the resources to resolve issues quickly.
Unified-CXM also learns when, where, and how to deliver personalized messages to customers, so that marketing and advertising works more efficiently and effectively. Finally, it connects everything to sales — so teams can capitalize on every opportunity, and customers can get the products and services they want.
Leaders are quickly realizing that digital transformation is customer experience transformation and at Sprinklr, we know that there is a way forward to happier customers. Brands on the path to Unified-CXM will grow faster, lower costs, manage risk better, and win the loyalty of customers. And with the world's first purpose-built Unified-CXM platform using patented proprietary AI technology, Sprinklr is the only partner that can bring it all together.