Over the past couple of years, many organisations have been almost singular in their approach to achieving digital transformation. At first, plans were accelerated out of necessity thanks to COVID-19. But even as restrictions eased and the world opened back up, many realised that digital transformation really could deliver on its promises. 

The companies that benefited most, however, were the ones that realised that digital transformation isn’t just about building increased efficiency or adopting new technologies, but improved customer experiences.In fact, there’s a case to be made that every transformative initiative taken across the organisation should be made with customer experience in mind. 

What the ideal customer experience looks like is changing all the time too. New technologies, shifts in the socio-economic landscape, and even generational changes all have an impact on customer experiences. As such, customer experience transformation shouldn’t just be an organisational focus right now, but should be the primary ongoing focus for every organisation. 

Competing on CX 

The urgency of focusing on customer experience transformation is only underlined by the fact that customer experience is the number one differentiating factor between organisations today. That means that if companies want to attract and retain customers, their focus shouldn’t be on product and price but on creating consistently transformative customer experiences. 

While this shift has been coming for some time, it’s accelerated dramatically over the past decade or so. In 2010 only 36% of businesses worldwide were competing on customer experience. By 2020, that figure had jumped to more than 86%

That shouldn’t be all that surprising. There’s well-established research showing that customers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. These customers are also more likely to stay loyal, something that’s critical given that up to 65% of a company’s business can come from existing customers. 

But today’s customers don’t just expect good experiences, they are looking for better, more engaging, and connected digital experiences. In order to provide those experiences, organisations need to ensure that they put the right building blocks in place for successful customer experience transformation. 

Building with the right blocks

But what exactly are those blocks? There are, ultimately, three things you need to have in place to achieve real customer experience transformation: a clearly defined goal, a thought-out transformation approach, and technology that can enable that change. 

Putting the first of these blocks in place means ensuring that the organisation is aligned on what kind of experience it wants to deliver. From there, it can translate these expectations into expected business outcomes by laying out the specific changes in customer behaviour it wants to see. 

With the goals and expectations set out, organisations can get to work on their internal processes. That means ensuring that each department understands and buys into the necessity of the experience the organisation is trying to provide and that they are properly equipped with the knowledge and tools to provide those experiences. 

Finally, having the right technologies in place can go a long way to ensuring that organisations achieve real and meaningful customer experience transformation. Ideally, organisations should look for technology that meets their needs and enables transformation for the business. 

A digital experience platform (DXP) can be particularly useful in this regard. DXPs act as an integration hub, bringing together different applications and systems to enable the creation, delivery, and management of digital experiences across the entire customer journey. 

As part of their functionality, they can enable things like self-service (something which the majority of customers prefer) and omnichannel experiences. They also integrate systems across the organisation, making those experiences seamless and accelerating the time to market for new solutions. 

This final advantage is particularly important because, as businesses grow, they must consider how their solutions will expand and evolve as more customers get added in and changes need to be made. 

Reaping the rewards 

For the organisations that get this right, the potential rewards are significant. According to McKinsey, they can expect to see a 15 – 20% increase in sales conversion rates, a 20 – 50% decline in service costs, and a 10 – 20% improvement in customer satisfaction. 

Impressive as those kinds of returns are, the truth is that no organisation can afford not to implement an approach that centres on customer experience transformation. If they’re not doing it, there’s every likelihood that their competitors are. 

Failing to focus on customer experience transformation then doesn’t just potentially mean losing customers but also ground to competitors. 

By Greg Gatherer, Account Manager, Liferay Africa