Forrester Identifies Five Factors to Supercharge CX Enablement
Advancing customer experience to the next level will require business leaders to develop tools that make employees smarter, more agile, and more contextually aware at moments of truth with customers, Forrester Research principal analyst T. J. Keitt concluded in a recent report.
In the report, Keitt identified five enablement practices that CX transformation leaders should adopt to encourage innovation.
The goal, he said, "is to avoid the fate of social media, which is, in theory, a powerful force to connect people in ways that foster new ideas, but really only reinforces the status quo."
The five practices that CX leaders must adopt to foster innovation are the following:
1. Invite diverse perspectives into the experience delivery design process.
Organizations with homogeneous workforces or rigid processes that lead to groupthink make worse decisions, he said, noting that inclusive cultures produce broader value and inclusive organizations are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial goals, three times more likely to be high performing, and eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes.
2. Create fluid, free-forming, problem-oriented teams, pulling expertise from different places into work groups to solve specific problems.
"Shifting to a fluid, problem-solving organization requires more autonomy for project teams," Keitt said.
3. Curate a large body of information, insights, and best practices.
"The good news is that it is easier than ever to collect data about customer interactions, especially for digital touchpoints," Keitt said. "The challenge is to turn this deluge of customer and business intelligence into actionable insights for employees."
Keitt recommends that CX transformation leaders use recommendation engines and artificial intelligence to help employees navigate large data repositories. At the same time, CX transformation leaders must help their businesses make knowledge sharing the norm.
4. Empower teams to learn through experimentation.
CX transformation leaders should help their company set policies that give employees the freedom to innovate in constructive ways that benefit the company.
5. Train the business to identify and act on promising concepts.
CX transformation leaders must help their leaders build the infrastructure to quickly develop and implement new discoveries, according to Keitt, who points out that the first step in this process is helping the business systematically identify emergent behaviors. The second step, he added, is ensuring that knowledge of these behaviors gets transferred across the CX enablement ecosystem.
Keitt also recommended that CX leaders should invest in tools that do the following:
- Automate mundane, repeatable tasks;
- Focus employees on high-value experiences. With mundane tasks automated, CX transformation pros can help employees focus instead on building and delivering higher-value services;
- Reduce employees' cognitive load; and
- Expand employees'; concepts of colleagues, including integrating partners and customers into experience delivery teams.
Keitt also recommends four places to start CX enablement initiatives. They involve the following areas, where he says concepts can provide early results:
- Motivate high-turnover workers with high-value work, with data showing that highly empowered information workers are far more likely to show loyalty to their employers.
- Create new types of jobs to better use workers' talents.
- Give employees and partners ownership of key processes, leveraging new communication channels and feedback loops.
- Include customer advocates in CX delivery, allowing them to offer improvement ideas and augment delivery teams.
Rather than eliminating customer experience jobs, these moves will create new roles for CX pros. Forrester foresees new employee experience (EX). jobs that blend CX with other departments, including the following:
- Human resources, with talent management processes like performance management and learning management aligned with the business' CX vision and strategy.
- IT, which will need to lay out a technology roadmap flexible enough to allow CX delivery innovation. CX professionals will take up residence in IT teams to ensure the company's technology plans align with current and future customer journey maps.
- The project management office to scope out and place guardrails around the initiatives.