Making customer experience a process of continuous improvement

Customer experience (CX) is the next competitive battleground, but it involves more than just gathering data or ensuring good communications with your customers. Designing and delivering great CX is an ongoing exercise and requires a set of strategic processes that evaluate, assess, co-innovate and recommend. Working with the right consulting partner can give you an edge in the short and long term.

When Orange engages with a client on a CX project, we look at CX from a holistic view and start with the customer journey. For example, what are the digital or physical touchpoints? We rely on our industry experience working with many clients across the globe on the business side but also with the IT teams in their organization.

CX is similar to digital transformation in that it is a journey, not a destination. There will always be something else you can do to improve what you are doing in terms of CX and give your customers a continuously improved experience.

We believe that consulting is key to orchestrating your CX strategy, ensuring you don’t waste time and money on things that others already learned or that you don’t need, and maximizing return on investment (ROI).

We take a view that the best route to CX is a roadmap that starts with what you want your CX to look like. This allows us to understand where you are today and how to get there, in other words, execute your objective and ambition. The technologies you need will come later. CX is far from a digital-only play: digital tools are enablers that drive your CX along.

Nine key steps to address along the CX journey

When helping companies improve CX, there are nine dimensions that we focus on:

1. Purpose: We begin by asking the purpose of your CX. Do you have business priorities in a particular order? Do you want to grow new revenues from new customers, increase revenues and loyalty from existing ones? Is it intended to strengthen the relationships you have with partners, or do you want to target transformations at your own employees to enhance CX that way?

2. Strategy: Next, what CX strategy do you presently have in place? At this stage, we work with you to formulate a roadmap that lays out your desired CX target and establishes a process, milestones and tools that will enable you to get there.

3. Governance: A key part of strategizing your CX and getting the right roadmap in place is governance – establishing who “owns” your CX. In some companies, the IT department believes they own it, in others, marketing does. These situations often create different ideas with differing priorities, frequently causing fragmentation. We work with you to assess issues of governance and put an appropriate structure in place. Maybe you need a chief customer officer to oversee it all?

4. People and organization: We help you gauge how to embed your CX strategy into your organization. We also ask the questions about how to do that – do you have the right people inside your company to achieve this? Or do you need to bring in external experts or perhaps subcontract agents from elsewhere?

5. The voice of the customer: This is a vital tool in helping evaluate your agents’ performance and improve your overall CX. We help you pay attention to what your customers are telling you, because within their conversations with you are the hidden trends and patterns that can help you proactively spot gaps in your CX and work to improve them.

6. Customer insights: We help you establish how well you know your customers. What are their buying behaviors and habits? We do this with data sets and analytics tools to give you a good idea of what is likely to happen and what they are likely to do. Knowing your customer is essential.

7. Metrics: You might measure all kinds of things, but Orange helps you identify what your key metrics are, those that will have the most impact on your CX. Visibility and data analytics are the route to establishing what your most important metrics are and how to measure them effectively.

8. Personas and journeys: Playing out scenarios helps you understand the real-world implications of your CX. We help you define and understand your customers’ personas and the sorts of scenarios you want to address and solve with your CX. And when you have established those, how do you roll them out effectively to your customers? A promotional campaign? A QR code? What’s the journey that you will take your customers on?

9. Technology: The digital tools you will use are enablers, not a magic bullet. They help you bring your customers’ CX journeys to life and help you keep on improving your CX. Automation, artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, cloud – all these tools can help transform your CX. But we also factor in integration, training and user adoption. You can have all the cutting-edge tools in the world, but if you have not integrated them correctly throughout your company and not trained your staff to use them, then you have just wasted time and money.

The importance of CX innovation

The Orange philosophy of continuous improvement in CX is based around innovation. The world is always changing and so are customer expectations – so there are always improvements you should make to remain in the lead in customer experience.

Our proven successful methodology – outlined above – covers all key aspects of customer experience. It will help you to understand what needs to be done, and then we make recommendations on how you can do that aspect of your CX better. It might be by automating as much as possible or improving your workforce engagement to serve customers better, and gather better data on a continuous basis.

But to do all this, we innovate with you along the way to decide what a new technology tool might do for you, or what KPIs you might want to focus on. The key thing to remember is that CX is a process of continuous improvement, and it’s a journey, not a destination.

Philipp Ringgenberg
Philipp Ringgenberg

Philipp leads the European Digital Business Consulting and Innovation division at Orange Business Services. His team advises and supports customers in their digital transformation through business innovation and value creation. Philipp has 18 years’ international management experience in consulting, sales, business development and product management roles. He holds an MBA in International Business and Innovations Management and two Bachelor Degrees in Economics and Engineering.