CIOs Are Critical to Improving Customer Experience

Forrester vice president Kyle McNabb advises CIOs to take a central role in improving customer experience and outlines what it takes to reclaim that role.

You can't miss how technology alters people's engagement with companies. Technology has empowered customers to wield greater influence over the brands with which they interact. They expect things to work the way they want. If an experience disappoints, they make their dissatisfaction known. That can affect your bottom line.

Many of your CEOs respond to this technology empowerment by demanding customer experience improvements. Unfortunately, those demands were probably handed to one person--your call center VP, or your chief marketing officer, but not you. The result? The organization perceives the customer experience as someone else's problem and little has changed.

Your customers' experience is based on their interactions with your enterprise, its channels and its business processes, all of which are embodied by your technology. Improving the customer experience requires technology change, and that's why it is your problem.

To deliver this change, your teams need to get closer to your customers, rethink delivery processes, and revisit your development portfolios. Forrester recommends you:

  • Embrace customer experience methods such as persona design and journey maps.
  • Reinvest in design skills. Cultivate creative developers that can implement and maintain good design.
  • Move to continuous delivery, using iterative processes to help you change with your customers while engaging your business peers.
  • Don't neglect development portfolios. Complement them with business rules, business process management suites and mobile tools to improve your responsiveness.

It's simplistic to think you can empower your tech-challenged marketers to take over the customer experience. Only when consumer technology innovation stops will customer experience demands cease being a moving target. Improving the customer experience takes a team, and you and your teams play a central role.

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