Digital Transformation & the Customer Experience: Q&A with Guest Speaker Art Schoeller, Forrester Research

Digital transformation is far more than just a popular buzz phrase. It is a powerful mix of technology, strategy, process and company culture that has become a fundamental focus for meeting today’s rapidly evolving customer expectations. Digital technologies are not only changing customer engagement models, they are providing new opportunities to drive business revenue and efficiency.

I recently joined Art Schoeller, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, for a Q&A session on the topic of digital transformation and the customer experience. Art shared some valuable insights from an analyst’s perspective ahead of our upcoming global webinar on June 28th and June 29th: Asset or Road Block: Is Your Contact Center Leading the Way to Digital Transformation?

Forrester has said that high-performance companies achieve their position by becoming customer-obsessed instead of customer-led.  How would you describe what the tipping point is in going from being a customer-led company to one that is obsessed?

Art: The six elements of the Forrester customer-obsessed operating model all need to be in alignment and correlate strongly to customer obsession. These elements are company structure, processes, technology, metrics, culture and talent.  It’s sort of like when the engine is firing on all cylinders, you get the best performance and mileage. If one is off, performance is impaired.

What advice do you find yourself giving most often to companies struggling to deliver on their CX strategy in their day-to-day contact center operations?

Art: There are many elements that come in to play here, but the one key item is organization. We often see digital transformation efforts and customer experience teams not including contact center portions of the customer journey in their analysis.  The complementary side of this issue is that the historical focus of contact centers is on current operations with little to no resources allocated for process improvements, journey analytics, and design.

As the old saying goes, “What gets measured is what gets managed.”  What are the most effective ways in which you’ve seen contact center analytics serve as a rich source of actionable insights to drive digital transformation?

Art: As more and more customer service and contact center organizations have moved to customer-facing metrics like customer satisfaction or Net Promoter Score, there is an opportunity to align their measurement with enterprise-wide customer experience governance and management. But things can get lost when the measurements are too high level. The role contact center analytics can play is to provide the agent-assisted “drill down” into CX measurement for areas for improvement.  These findings are not only limited to improving the agent-assisted portion of a customer journey, but can also point to issues with digital endpoints such as a poorly designed web page or mobile application.

While strategy, culture and process all have a role in an effective CX strategy, what advantages do cloud-based customer engagement technology also bring to the equation?

Art: Research is now emerging that indicates organizations that have moved to the cloud are more agile, able to more rapidly adjust customer journeys and have access to more extensive analytical capabilities.

What are some of the best small steps that you’ve seen CX leaders take to make their contact centers an asset in digital transformation?

Art: The best practice is that this comes from top-down leadership and support, which includes budgeting for comprehensive governance of the entire customer journey.  That may sound like a huge change to make, but there are incremental steps to help drive this from the bottom up. Many organizations can readily identify key “hot spots” in customer journeys when people transition from a digital/self-service touchpoint to an agent-assisted one in the contact center.  These “hot spots” are ones that have an identifiable impact on a key metric like revenue or customer satisfaction. Building a cross functional team around this “hot spot” can help get the organization started on the journey to a full customer-obsessed organization.

Join our guest speaker Art Schoeller of Forrester Research and myself, live on June 28th and June 29th for: Asset or Road Block: Is Your Contact Center Leading the Way to Digital Transformation? We’ll share the latest ideas and strategies to help you maximize the success of your company’s digital transformation. Register today to reserve your seat.