It wasn’t long before Citizens Bank customers had their accounts overdrawn, Wells Fargo customers missed their paychecks, and Southwest Airlines customers missed their flights — on two occasions. These were terrible customer experiences, and they were all caused by software glitches. But it’s the day-to-day, day-to-day inconveniences that can derail good CX.
A superior customer experience may be everyone’s priority, but technology professionals are often left out of the loop. This is a shame because technologists need to get in front of things, especially as Gartner predicts that in the coming months and years, at least half of companies will screw things up, “by failing to unify engagement channels, which will lead to fragmentation.” And silenced the contextless CX.
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This is a job for techies. According to Gartner analyst Irina Guseva, “most organizations struggle to provide seamless digital experiences on the customer journey,” he wrote in a recent report.
What’s surprising is that while the demand for close customer interaction is high, technology is becoming more personal. “We all hear how technology brings us closer to our customers, but the product and service being delivered can be different in a physical location,” says Andy McMillan, CEO of User Testing. “So technologists face a few challenges when it comes to customer experience, mainly because they don’t interact with customers every day, if anything. They don’t have that much awareness, which can be critical.”
For starters, IT professionals still have a lot of work to do on the back end of things — solving the multiple silos that impede the flow of information and services that are part of CX. In addition, Guseva and her team point out that “monolithic technologies destroy the intensity of experience.” “She advises on developing and implementing an organizational digital experience strategy across multiple touch points in the customer journey. Apply the principles of Total Experience to bridge the digital experience gap by connecting CX, UX, Employee Experience (EX) and Multi-Experience (MX). UX” he calls it.
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More human touch is also needed. Both corporate culture and technology culture can hinder CX efforts, but Macmillan blames what he calls a “proximity barrier” that arose during the Covid-19 years and remains in place. Before the outbreak, “IT service providers would visit customer offices and walk with people, help them with technology if needed and build relationships.” This has changed a lot. Most IT services are now remote. Corporate and technological culture have become virtual cultures.
McMillan’s advice to technologists is to “get out of the data and get it to the right people. I think the key is to get out and get direct feedback from people, that’s the only way to build your customer understanding and move forward. Looking at the perspectives needed to build new products and experiences: Often these Insights can’t be captured by data alone: find people who don’t look like you — so hypothetically, if you’re a product developer building solutions for marketers, go talk. With marketers.”
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“Connect with the people who are facing the challenges your technology is trying to solve,” McMillan urges. They may be “in other departments or your clients’ offices,” he says. “Gain different insights – and use those insights to validate what you’re building and how you’re building it. This leads to a higher level of understanding that you won’t get from a data snapshot. Go out and talk to people, ask questions, hear their responses, listen and learn from them.”