Customer Experience a Digital Winner’s 2019 Playbook

Winners know how the game is played. When rules change, so do their game plans. In this article I have created a customer experience playbook on what it will take to win in 2019.

1. Information dominance is a key goal. Throughout history conquerors gained by capturing territories, bridges, resources and key cities. Today’s conquerors gain with data insights that can be applied to customer experience.

2. Combinatorial data is key to understand customer experience. Data gathered from many different sources then combined and analyzed will provide unique insights into patterns, activities and behaviors invisible to competitors without.

3. Operational blind spots are a minefield for businesses. Blind spots must quickly be replaced with visibility through all kinds of data capture – automated data capture, surveys, digitization, sensors and RPA (robotic process automation).

4. It takes an “Optimized Information Logistics Systems” (OILS) to compete today. Friction in data movement and antiquated processes must be removed to support real-time digital and mobile interactions with customers. Winners combine more sources of data to optimize customer experiences, which requires more data processing and optimization to be effective.

5. In the experience economy – advantages in speed, operational tempos, process automation, analytics and information logistics are massive competitive advantages when utilized for customer experiences.

6. Businesses that can “analyze data, uncover insights, automate decision-making and execute with speed” will soon dominate those that are slower.

7. Future-time operational tempos are required to compete successfully in customer experience. Future-time support predicts future actions, events, needs, preferences and requirements and makes recommendations that can be acted upon in a moment.

8. Advantages lead to more advantages (Ax2). When you have the advantage of being out front with new innovations, products, services, experiences, etc., you can collect and analyze data not yet available and visible to followers. That 2nd advantage in Ax2, is that you can make decisions and take actions that followers cannot yet anticipate or understand. Advantages lead to new advantages.

9. Accurately understanding reality faster than a competitor can enables organizations to eliminate inefficiencies and operate at a lower cost, and with increased productivity. Visibility enables actions to be taken based on fact rather than guesswork, incorrect assumptions and conjecture, saving time, resources, opportunity costs, bandwidth and money.

10. As digital interactions increase between customers, vendors, suppliers and partners – so too will the demand for more and faster digital processes, expanded digital services, more data visibility and better digital user experiences. It is a digital transformation avalanche. The sooner organizations understand this unstoppable reality the more prepared and competitive they can be.

11. Digital experiences can only be as good as the philosophies, designs, systems and data behind them.

12. Processes are only as good as the people, data, systems and algorithms involved.

13. The more data and data sources that are captured and analyzed, the greater the accuracy of analysis, which equates to greater economic value to the organization.

14. Data has a shelf life, and the economic value of data diminishes quickly over time, so organizations must be agile and nimble enough to capture the value immediately.

15. The economic value of information multiplies when combined with real-time context, right-time delivery, association with specific processes, and the capability to respond instantly.

16. Winners will operate an agile business that can align with fast changing customer behaviors and desires – faster than their competitors.

17. Winners will capture and understand the true actions, desires, feelings and attitudes of their customers and prospects better than their competitors.

18. Winners will have leadership teams, organizations, culture and technology platforms that allow them to respond to new data faster than their competitors.

19. Ultimately economic winners in 2019 will be those that can innovate by offering personalized and frictionless business where friction previously existed. They will deliver incredible user experiences; automate decision-making based on capturing the right data, excite customer loyalty and execute better and faster than competitors through the implementation of artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation.

These rules not only help organizations to understand how to compete and win, but they can help enterprises develop their digital transformation doctrine. Why is a doctrine important? In a large survey we conducted a few years back, the participants identified the need for a clear digital transformation strategy as critical to success. Digital transformation strategies grow out of and are shaped by first having a digital transformation doctrine (DTD).

We define doctrine as a documented way of thinking, a common frame of reference across an organization, which provides an authoritative body of statements on how the businesses should approach digital transformation. It provides a common lexicon for use and a framework for developing strategies. The DTD is a necessary first step before digital transformation strategies and tactics can be developed and implemented.

Digital technologies do not just enhance and extend existing processes and models, but they open doors to all kinds of new innovations, opportunities, businesses processes, business models, strategies and even new industries. An organization’s DTD must be capable of leading them successfully through these massive and accelerating changes.

An organization’s DTD should influence all their strategies, how they operate, and the tactics they employ to compete. In our research, we found most companies recognize digital transformation is happening, but few have a guiding doctrine to lead them through this chaotic journey.

Without a DTD, organizations lack a unified understanding of why they are engaged in digital transformation and the role transformation plays in helping them compete successfully.

Executive teams must determine how their organization should think about and respond to digital transformation. The DTD should be front and center in every program, project, campaign, product and service within the company. An example of a DTD follows:

The digital transformation of our marketplace is changing the behaviors of our customers and the nature of our competition. We must anticipate and embrace permanent flux by employing digital technologies and strategies, and by creating an agile business and a digitally-transformed enterprise. We will achieve information dominance by investing appropriately to develop and maintain an optimized information logistics system. We will restructure our organizations for business agility, speed and real-time decision-making. We will develop a culture that encourages collaboration, innovation, speed and creativity. We will embrace the concept that no matter what products and services we offer, our customers’ experience is our true product.

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Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict serves as the Senior Vice President, Solutions Strategy, at Regalix, a Silicon Valley based company, focused on bringing the best strategies, digital technologies, processes and people together to deliver improved customer experiences, journeys and success through the combination of intelligent solutions, analytics, automation and services. He is a popular writer, speaker and futurist, and in the past 8 years he has taught workshops for large enterprises and government agencies in 18 different countries. He has over 32 years of experience working with strategic enterprise IT solutions and business processes, and he is also a veteran executive working with both solution and services companies. He has written dozens of technology and strategy reports, over a thousand articles, interviewed hundreds of technology experts, and produced videos on the future of digital technologies and their impact on industries.

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