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Customer Experience: The Key to Digital Success

Jayajyoti Sengupta, APAC Head, Cognizant, and Swami Nathan C, Director, QE&A Technology Centre of Excellence, Cognizant | Dec. 12, 2016
Thriving in today's fast-moving digital age is about building businesses around the needs of customers.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

CX

Thriving in today's fast-moving digital age is about building businesses around the needs of customers. Staying competitive and relevant is increasingly about meeting heightened customer expectations for hyper-personalisation and instant gratification. Digital technology advancements have enabled customers to more effectively interact with brands, search for information, try products, communicate with other customers and, perhaps most importantly, buy in real time. Today's well-informed customers are spoilt for choice and ensuring a seamless and differentiated customer experience has a direct bearing on their purchase decisions and on ensuring that they keep coming back for more.

The game has clearly changed. When it comes to delivering a consistent, personalised and seamless customer experience digitally or in-person, businesses are under mounting pressure to excel. Rather than compete just on product quality, 90 percent of businesses this year will also compete based on customer experience. This is a substantial jump from previous years - 36 percent in 2014 and 58 percent in 2015. IDC Asia Pacific describes this as customer intimacy at scale, predicting that by 2018, 80 percent of B2C and 60 percent of B2B organisations will overhaul their "digital front door" to support 1,000 to 10,000 times as many customer touch-points as they do today

With power in the hands of the connected customer, the business landscape is set to rapidly evolve, accelerating the efforts of consumer-facing companies to ensure end-user delight. Companies that fail to redefine their customer experience journeys will jeopardise their competitiveness.

From banking to utilities to healthcare, the tendrils of technology have permeated every industry. Customers can now choose from a wide array of products and applications, transaction channels and influencers before making their decision. Meeting the expectations of digitally empowered customers requires IT teams to not only quickly build software solutions, but also ensure these systems are of the highest quality. The stakes are high, as all it takes is one great digital experience to win customers from the competition, or one bad experience to lose them forever.

Yet, in a comprehensive research study of 500 organisations globally, Forrester found that while many companies today embrace the importance of digital in theory, there is a big gap they need to fill when it comes to converting that recognition into a hard focus on ensuring software quality and speed.

The terms 'user experience' and 'customer experience' are often used interchangeably, which can confuse IT teams mapping out the customer journey. User experience is typically confined to an individual's interactions with a product, whereas customer experience encompasses the entire customer lifecycle.

 

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