Usermind is hosting the CX Innovators Dinner Series, a six-city gathering of senior Customer Experience and Digital leaders across the USA and Europe. The purpose of the series is to debate and discuss the future of customer/digital experience and to share challenges and best practices for scaling experience-focused teams in the enterprise.
We’re ⅓ of the way through our series, having heard from leaders across various industries: Financial Services, Retail, Travel & Hospitality, Telco & Utilities, and Healthcare, and we wanted to share 3 early takeaways from our dinners in Minneapolis and New York City.
1. All industries are all facing similar strong headwinds
We’ve heard that CX leaders are dealing with a triple-threat of challenges making the need to differentiate on customer and digital experience existential. First is the oft-covered notion that customer expectations are radically changing as their customers are now accustomed to interacting with digital native, best-in-class experiences. It’s not enough to compete solely on price and product. Instead, it’s the experience itself that wins the race.
Second, all industries are facing heightened competition from traditional competitors, newer upstarts disrupting markets with digital-first offerings, and platform vendors moving into markets in which they wouldn't normally compete. Third, the fast-paced emerging technology landscape is paving the way for new disruptive business models and increasing the overall pace of change in the market.
2. Customer journeys are increasing in prominence, yet the maturity across organizations varies
Companies are adopting new technologies, processes, and org structures to get back on equal footing with rising customer expectations. And instead of reacting to negative customer feedback or dissatisfied outcomes, leading CX organizations are shaping their journey and proactively guiding customers to their ideal outcome.
As a result, businesses are increasingly adopting and managing customer journeys as they would any product, and journeys are becoming strategic to the customer’s experience of a brand—as important as the product itself in providing a competitive advantage.
With that being said, we’ve seen a wide spectrum of journey maturity. Some organizations are early in socializing the value of journeys, others have mapped journeys, and advanced organizations are moving from journey maps to operationalizing and optimizing journeys out in the wild.
3. The rise of agile and design thinking in CX
The innovators are embracing agile as a key part of their experience transformation and applying design thinking along the way. Rather than taking a traditional, multi-year, waterfall approach to experience improvements, some organizations are building nimble teams to rapidly test and prototype journeys and only bring the most impactful initiatives to market.
While a majority of initiatives don't make it out of the design phase, the ones that do are well vetted, customer-approved, and primed to make significant business impacts. The end results of the agile process is a test and learn culture with faster time to value and pace of innovation to stay competitive in today’s CX landscape.
We’re looking forward to the next few dinners in Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, and London in the coming months. Stay tuned for more learnings and insights.