analyst insight: digital customer experience

Digital transformation and the digital customer experience is a hot analyst topic. We look at three reports covering the subject.

1. Forrester: The Future of Business is Digital

According to Forrester, business leaders are rapidly grasping that digital has become central to their business. This is because their customers, products, business operations, and competitors are now fundamentally digital. However, it found that while 74% of executives said their company had a digital strategy, only 16% believe that they have the skills and capabilities to execute on that strategy.

Digital businesses understand that if they are to win in the age of the customer, customer experience is their only differentiator. Rather than treating digital as a channel, enterprises need to focus on delivering digitally enhanced experiences that add value for customers. Forrester suggests three ways to improve digital customer experience.

  • digitize end-to-end customer experience: use journey mapping to find opportunities to create helpful and enjoyable digital experiences, applying digital where it can best enhance value.
  • digitize products and services as part of the value ecosystem: think like software companies, reimagining products and services as digital experiences augmented by the physical world.
  • create trusted machines: trust algorithms to make choices that change customer experiences, relying on human intervention only by exception.

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2. Gartner Predicts 2014: Customer Support and the Engaged Enterprise

Great customer experience needs to be consistent across all mobile devices, as well as social and digital media channels. However, Garner warns that many enterprises have not invested enough in multichannel customer service strategies and continue to use an array of point solutions.

Customer service agents, advisors and the corporate web and mobile sites often fail because they are unprepared when they engage customers. This gap is frequently filled by web self-service and peer-to-peer community software markets that operate in parallel.

Enterprises need to invest in Web self-service applications that support integration or are integrated with peer-to-peer community software applications. This creates a shared formal and social knowledge base that increases the likelihood of customers finding answers online to their questions.

In addition, companies need to develop a mobile customer service strategy as part of their overall customer engagement strategy as a priority.  They need a clear picture of mobile channels and the engagement method, because many customers will only interact via a mobile device.

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3. Altimeter: Digital Transformation and the Digital Customer Experience

Altimeter studied what the most successful companies are doing on the journey to digital transformation to determine out the best practices to prepare for disruption.

Regarding the digital customer experience, Altimeter said digital customer experience needs to begin with research, not guesswork, to study personas, behaviors, and expectations throughout every stage of the customer lifecycle. Once enterprises have that information, they can align people, processes, and technologies against goals and milestones to map a new and effective journey for digital customers.

Altimeter identified five elements to consider.

  • holistic customer experience: move beyond social, mobile or other tech trends to rethink the entire customer journey and experience.
  • culture of innovation: mapping the customer journey can create unexpected product innovations to meet customer demand.
  • internal collaboration: mapping the customer journey can also identify areas for internal collaboration to optimize the customer journey from the inside out.
  • data integration: integrate the data in marketing and CRM systems to connect the dots between touchpoints, business units and customer expectations.
  • “digital-first” mindset: mobile-first initiatives have evolved into “digital first” and the customer experience needs to consider the technology’s effect on behavior and expectations.

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Find out about Orange Business and the digital customer experience: