• July 31, 2017
  • By R "Ray" Wang, founder, chairman, and principal analyst, Constellation Research, Cindy Zhou,

The Future of CX Is Orchestrated Engagement

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And there is an additional problem: Customer expectations and customer experiences are often misaligned. This happens for a number of reasons. Customers expect organizations and brands to know what they’re thinking about; they also want their privacy respected. Customers expect tons of choices; they also want low prices and instant availability. Customers expect products to work out of the box; they also underestimate the level of technical sophistication they need to use them successfully. And customers expect brands to keep them up to date on new rules and policies; they also want updates only when they need them.


Orchestrated engagement can improve CX capabilities across the business by making these seven advancements possible:

1. Sales-directed marketing. Sellers want to engage prospects and customers with relevant information at the right time. Marketers can assist sellers by providing views into the level of prospect engagement, including the volume, score, and products/solutions of interest to start. Orchestration exposes relevant insights such as the velocity of prospect activity or whether the prospect engages with a competitor. At the advanced level, orchestration provides sellers with the ability to move prospects in and out of marketing journeys or move customers in and out of cross-sell and upsell campaigns.

2. Marketing-directed sales and service. The handoff points between marketing and sales are blurring. Increasingly, marketing leaders are expected to deliver revenue and, Constellation’s research reveals, a growing number of inside sales teams are being absorbed into marketing. Marketers need to be able to assist sellers in nurturing mid-funnel opportunities if the level of seller engagement dips; provide salespeople with recommendations for content; and develop sales plays with recommendations on next best actions. With more influence and insight into the entire deal journey, as delivered by orchestrated engagement, marketing leaders can function as the “voice of the customer” and oversee the transition from sales to service.

3. AI-ready analytics. The shift from gut-driven to data-driven decisions leads to embedded analytics across customer journeys, channels, and business processes. Technology systems orchestrate operations to capture data from every interaction with customers, with the goal of not only delivering recommendations but predicting outcomes and preventing risks. The ultimate goal: AI-driven capabilities built on a self-learning neural net.

4. Journey-centric delivery. Companies seek the flexibility to personalize their customers’ journeys, craft new offerings, and customize offerings with ease across a plethora of systems. Orchestration enables organizations to reorganize to accommodate a journey-based approach that breaks functional fiefdoms and existing silos. The long-term goals are to bring silos together, align horizontal organizations, and deliver a customer-centric approach.

5. Master data management. In the past, CX-focused master data management (MDM) centered on identifying the master customer or account record. With global organizational structures, the master record has inherent complexity, featuring items such as in-region subsidiaries and changes driven by mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. Data is now accessed, not owned. Orchestration of data management systems ensures the integrity of data across systems in real time. Data quality is paramount to the goal of a single view of the customer to accurately measure the customer’s level of engagement. The need for improved MDM extends to the customer’s broader ecosystem of channels, partners, and influencers.

6. Human-centered design. Customers expect a consistent user experience despite disparate technology systems, multiple channels, and differentiated roles. Orchestration can help organizations carry context across systems, form factors, and interfaces. With relevant context, user interfaces can deliver customized and consistent user experiences based on customer preferences.

7. Micro-services-driven agility. Rapid change often requires a micro-services approach. As modern technology systems reshape to deliver reusable services, customers expect companies to be able to address new business models, create new offerings, and react to competitive threats without ripping and replacing existing technology investments. Micro-services lessen a company’s risk by improving the ability to build on existing code to innovate faster.

R “Ray” Wang is the principal analyst, founder, and chairman of Constellation Research. He is the author of the business strategy and technology blog A Software Insider’s Point of View. His latest best-selling book is Disrupting Digital Business, published by Harvard Business Review Press. Cindy Zhou is vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research, covering digital marketing transformation and sales effectiveness.

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