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The Four Pillars of CX

The Four Pillars of CX

/ Current Issue, Operations, Strategy, Customer Experience
The Four Pillars of CX

Obtaining modern capabilities by overcoming legacy technology challenges.

Technology is evolving at an increasing rate. In the battle for best-in-class customer experience (CX), keeping up with the latest innovations is key to staying ahead of the competition.

The ability to adapt to and benefit from emerging trends is vital in such a fast-moving environment. Legacy technology, such as on-premise contact center solutions, shouldn’t be allowed to hold your organization back.

Customer demands are constantly shifting and, in today’s digital landscape, it is no surprise that younger customers have a growing preference for self-service, with 51% of CX leaders identifying self-service adoption as a significant challenge for 2024.

Meeting changing customer demands requires flexibility and the ability to adapt. Organizations might undertake a digital transformation to implement new methods, but they shouldn’t be fooled into thinking such digital projects are “one and done.”

The trends of today will quickly become outdated, allowing competitors to win customer share through better CX. Introducing and expanding digital channels represents only partial realization of the capabilities of modern CX.

To fully understand the possible scope, organizations need to focus on the four pillars of CX: What are they, why are they important, and most importantly, how can they be implemented?

1. The Digital Shift

On-premise solutions do not support omnichannel capability. This fundamental shortcoming leads to uneven customer journeys and poor CX from the composite, siloed configurations that emerge when the operators of older technologies need to deliver multichannel engagement.

Moving away from legacy systems and embracing cloud-based digital capabilities is a fundamental part of the digital shift.

In the realm of contact center management, the pursuit of CX excellence hinges on the insights garnered from critical key performance indicators (KPIs).

Among these metrics, average handle time (AHT), first contact resolution (FCR), and occupancy rate allow businesses to identify their technical challenges.

KPIs are not just metrics; they are the compass by which organizations should navigate the seas of CX, guiding the way to heightened efficiency and improved customer engagement.

Viewing these metrics holistically ensures the greatest potential for a digital transformation, rather than focusing on a few key factors.

When the digital shift aligns with well-defined KPIs, it has the power to elevate the traditional contact center, creating a “CX center,” where interactions are underpinned by data-driven insights.

Businesses will not only meet customer expectations but proactively anticipate their needs, using a dynamic blend of innovation and analytics.

2. Intelligent Automation

Once the digital shift begins, the possibilities expand. In contrast to legacy technology, cloud CX solutions are always updated with cutting-edge technology and features.

Intelligent automation (IA), informed by customer metrics and contact center KPIs, supports exceptional experiences at scale, liberating agents from mundane and repetitive tasks.

By seamlessly integrating data-driven insights, IA enables agents to devote more time to what truly matters: interacting with their fellow humans to build trust and create relationships.

In the contact center, IA encompasses any automatic process that saves an agent time during interactions. IA is itself now being augmented by Generative artificial intelligence (AI) to produce faster, ultra-personalized services that deliver unprecedented workforce efficiencies.

It is estimated by Gartner that by 2026, over 30% of the increase in demand for APIs will originate from AI and tools using large language models (LLMs), with over 80% of organizations using Generative AI APIs, or deploying Generative AI-enabled applications.

When speaking with a customer, IA can actively monitor the conversation and instantly present the contact center agent with actionable information on-screen. Thereby removing the need for that worker to navigate information systems or build up detailed knowledge of their own.

The outputs presented to the agent can draw on pre-approved data sources from the organization, reducing drastically the time needed to train new agents.

It’s important to emphasize that IA doesn’t replace the human agent. Instead, it enhances their capabilities and ensures their role is enriched, contributing towards better employee experiences as well as CX.

3. Accommodating Machine Customers

Gartner has estimated that the Internet of Things (IoT) will have the potential to behave as customers by 2026, equating to 1 in 5 customer interactions.

The increase in non-human interactions is being driven by the proliferation of digitally-enabled IoT devices that will trigger a seismic shift in how brands interact with customers.

The data generated by smart technologies represents the foundation for an insights-driven approach, creating an all-around better experience for customers, whether or not they are actively interacting with an organization.

Machine customers, or digital customers, are internet-connected devices that act on behalf of consumers and organizations to provide key insights without the need for human intervention.

Working responsibly with the data generated from digital customers has the potential to transform the CX of entire industries.

Examples of digital customer applications already in use today include monitoring patients in virtual Wards through connected medical devices and supporting utilities customers through automatically-generated smart meter data.

Businesses across all sectors should ensure they understand the potential of digital customers and the impact these will have on the efficiency of their CX and their market.

Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications will take interactions with digital customers one step further, eliminating the friction that can occur when digital signals are met by out-of-date infrastructure.

For example, organizations specializing in vehicle insurance can receive machine customer data notifying them that a vehicle has been involved in a crash.

The machine customer would automatically generate communications from the insurer’s contact center to the driver. Thus allowing the insurer to optimize operations and manage resource allocation, avoiding potential silos.

4. Meaningful Customer Insights

While CRM systems have enabled businesses to manage customer data more effectively, the expanding realm of data-driven insights and demand for hyper-personalization are paving the way for a new standard of data management: customer data platforms (CDPs).

Brands that are able to effectively personalize interactions are 60% more profitable, reports Deloitte, than organizations with subpar personalization.

Using CDPs, businesses can fully unlock the power of the omnichannel stacks and create personalized customer recommendations based on a holistic understanding of their customers’ journeys and behavioral history.

CDPs go beyond the current confines of CRM systems to work as data aggregation layers. These sit above multiple existing systems, consolidating data from across a range of omnichannel touchpoints e.g., voice, SMS, social media, chatbots, and email, to create unified views of each customer.

The digital shift is not just a trend but a testament to the unwavering pursuit of customer-centric excellence.

The CDP technology reduces the complexity of an organization’s IT environment: which can otherwise lead to inefficiencies and inaccurate reports through traditional CRM software.

Unlike CRM systems, CDPs allow brands to create 360-degree customer profiles that encompass customers’ previous interaction histories, behavior, and interests.

They empower businesses to deliver precisely what customers want, when they are most likely to want it, through the engagement channel of their choice.

CDPs take customer insights to the next level by enabling hyper-personalization, which involves analyzing vast amounts of data from many omnichannel sources to create tailored experiences. These can be combined with data from customers’ IoT-enabled devices, such as their smart meters, to offer bespoke insights.

The shift from CRM to CDP represents a strategic evolution from a system of record to a system of action.

The ability to analyze data across multiple touchpoints and create hyper-personalized experiences has become a key differentiating factor for businesses aiming to stand out in competitive markets.

Cracking the Legacy Code

Migration to the cloud helps businesses leave behind outdated and no-longer-supported on-premise technology and deliver first-class CX whenever and wherever.

Leaving behind legacy platforms, omnichannel cloud contact centers support cohesive integration between different channels, without requiring additional systems or clunky interfaces, allowing interactions across multiple channels.

Whether through phone, email, chat, social media, SMS, or other forms of engagement, businesses need 24/7 omnichannel availability, via the customer’s communication channel of choice.

The flexibility of cloud solutions means that businesses ensure that customers’ demands for future channels of engagement can be met.

Regular updates allow businesses to adapt to new interaction methods, such as integrations with AI chatbots, and asynchronous messaging channels such as WhatsApp and voice notes. Thereby helping to maintain a seamless and modern customer journey.

The digital shift is not just a trend but a testament to the unwavering pursuit of customer-centric excellence.

Overcoming the hurdles of legacy technology leads to scalable, reliable, and integrated communications between customers and organizations. Customers benefit from seamless CX with reduced wait times, while organizations profit from AI-assisted efficiencies and hybrid working capabilities.

Martin Taylor

Martin Taylor

Martin Taylor is the Co-Founder and Deputy CEO of Content Guru, a leading global cloud communications and customer experience technology provider. Its resilient cloud-based solution, storm®, is trusted by the world’s largest organizations to deliver mission-critical, first-class customer experiences quickly and accurately. Martin’s responsibilities include product innovation and strategic market development.

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