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The building blocks for digital customer experience

Posted August 13, 2019 - Updated October 13, 2021
Digital cubes meant to symbolize building blocks

Customer experience (CX) is one of the leading justifications for organizations to embark on a digital transformation journey, but becoming a digitally-enhanced, CX-forward enterprise isn’t something that happens overnight.

The process is somewhat like building a house: every component of your company contributes something different to the overall success of the project.

In the context of customer experience, these building blocks also work together to improve your customer care — but there needs to be the right combination of people, processes and technology.

Let’s take a look at how your organization’s strategy, culture, leadership, talent and partnerships work together to achieve digital CX success.

Strategy: The blueprints

All companies strive to stay competitive and outpace their challengers and rivals. But, in order to do this successfully today, they must stay informed about emerging technologies.

According to a survey of over 600 global enterprise executives conducted by Ryan Strategic Advisory, the next 12 to 18 months are likely to see a marked increase in strategic investment in chatbots and machine learning. Agent assist software is also proving to be a popular investment particularly in the UK, Italy and Australia.

Survey results for article-01 (1)

Data from a Ryan Strategic Advisory of over 600 global enterprise executives.

Companies also need to acknowledge that integrating digital technology across business sectors and departments isn’t a one-time event, but rather an ongoing commitment. Replacing print materials with the digital equivalent or swapping out a loyalty card for a mobile app is a great start, but without a clear picture of where these tools can take you and their ultimate impact on the customer experience, you may find yourself veering off course.

Just as you would hire an architect to draw up a blueprint before your construction crew starts raising walls, any digital CX transformation project must begin with a strategy before any decisions are made about adopting new technologies. This strategy will serve as your guide for the short, mid- and long-term.

Culture: The foundation

It takes a lot to run a business — an inspired leadership team, clear objectives, succinct communications, a strong vision and values — just to name a few. But aside from a standout product or service, there is perhaps no greater success factor than your company’s culture.

Think of your corporate culture as the foundation on which your digital transformation strategy is built. Transformation requires change, and your employees are more likely to be comfortable with it if their environment encourages innovation in various aspects of their work.

Invite team members to identify and act on opportunities to incorporate technology into the customer experience. Open your door to conversations about how digital tech can improve customer service interactions and make your agents more productive. When management views digital transformation as the substructure of the company rather than a passing trend, employees are sure to follow suit.

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Leadership: The foreman

On a construction crew, the job of prioritizing duties and keeping the project on schedule falls to the foreman. Your company’s leadership team has a similar function when it comes to honing your digital transformation.

It’s up to your leaders to execute on your organization’s vision to innovate with digital technology, and bridge the gap between a traditional approach to customer service and new business models. With a mandate to future-proof your firm and an eye on profitability, your leadership is your ultimate ally in CX.

Talent: The crew

What’s a construction project without a skilled crew? In the corporate world, it’s your employees who will be on the frontlines as you see your digital transformation project to completion.

Your team will be responsible for incorporating digital technology, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the customer experience. As such, recalibrate your recruitment criteria to ensure you are targeting individuals who have an understanding of next-gen tech. Upskilling should also take place for existing employees so that they’re equally prepared to embrace the technology, both for their benefit and that of your customers.

Most importantly, an engaged and motivated team is more likely to produce a solid and reliable outcome, so prioritize the employee experience by marrying digital transformation with a human connection.

Partnerships: the frame

Throughout the process of building a digital customer experience for your brand, partnerships will prove to be vital to the structural integrity of your project. Here, too, leadership plays a critical role. It will be up to your leaders to evaluate your business’s strengths, as well as to determine how and where select firms can help you deliver superior customer service.

Marrying internal resources with specialized business partners has the potential to elevate your organization in many ways. These relationships can empower your brand to offer digital customer service channels like chatbots and mobile apps. They can also speed up your entry to the market, as well as strengthen your organization’s ability to resolve queries faster and more efficiently. The right partner can make your customer experience stronger than ever.

These five characteristics provide unique advantages that, when combined, can dramatically enhance your digital customer experience. Just like the Colosseum, Machu Picchu or any lasting feat of architecture, an expertly constructed customer experience will stand the test of time.

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