November 4, 2013
I am a new senior analyst on the customer experience team, based in London, and I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and share some thoughts about my first report. My areas of expertise include digital customer experience, measurement, strategy, customer understanding, and design. For my first report, I have decided to tackle a topic that occupied a lot of my time as a customer experience (CX) practitioner, namely technology.
As a former customer experience practitioner, I found myself gravitating between the driver seat, the passenger seat, and the backseat when it came to technology decisions — part buyer, part advisor, and part bystander. I worked closely with IT on digital CX and had some very fruitful interactions with IT colleagues about customer experience in general — and customer journey and ecosystem mapping, in particular. I also experienced firsthand the fragmentation of IT spending as more business owners spend more from their own budgets on IT in order to win, retain, and engage with customers. And of course, as many of you, I witnessed IT projects derail or gain a life of their own, to the detriment of the customer experience. Technology is everywhere, every business is now a digital business, and customer experience professionals are facing a tsunami of technology choices as the tech industry enters a period of unprecedented innovation and more and more vendors align themselves with the customer experience buzz. In this first report, I want to explore:
- How involved are customer experience professionals in technology decisions? Are they in a position to influence these decisions?
- How are customer experience professionals coping with the tsunami of technology choices they face?
- How are customer experience professionals successfully influencing long-term technology strategy and planning to ensure it supports the path to customer experience maturity?
Why is this important for CX professionals? According to IBM’s global study of 4,183 C-level executives from around the world, execs see customers as a critical influence on their company’s strategic vision and business strategy; in fact, they rank technology factors above all other external forces in shaping their organization’s future. George Colony and Peter Burris’ recent report "Technology Management In The Age Of The Customer" points out the importance of customer experience as a common language for IT, business technology, and customer-facing groups to build successful customer experiences. These are key trends with huge repercussions for the customer experience professional! Which is why I want to know — where are you on the technology spectrum? Have you been focusing on success without IT projects? Are you too busy fire-fighting to devote any time to technology planning and deployment? Or are you fully invested in the technology transformation at your company? We would love to hear from you wherever you are on the technology spectrum.
I'll be speaking about customer experience strategy planning in my track session presentation at Forrester's Forum For Customer Experience Professionals EMEA, November 19th and 20th in London. Hope to see you there!