When digital channels are often the primary, or only way customers engage with an organization, it’s no wonder digital experience is keeping the C-suite up at night. No industry, region, or business size is immune to digital disruption, and the threat of competition is very real. To thrive, businesses are now having to deliver wow moments through their digital experience platforms. But how are they approaching this and who is driving these strategic changes?
A recent Digital Clarity Group research report, Digital Experience Platforms: Buyer Trends, Preferences, and Strategies, examines the ways in which companies are investing in digital experience platforms (DXP).
This is no small task, since digital experience platforms span data, engagement, cognitive, digital process, content, e-commerce and contextual profile platforms.
The goal? To deliver exceptional digital experiences across the entire customer relationship lifecycle. Practically speaking, this involves multiple departments, different technologies, varied stakeholders and a broader cultural change, focusing on a customer-centric approach to business.
“Leaders must interweave the organization’s DX strategy and the assembly of its DXP into this big picture – otherwise, the DX initiative risks becoming yet another IT project that may produce business value but will not be transformational.” (p. 28).
Increasingly, organizations acknowledge that digital experience transformation requires not only executive sponsorship but a clear company-wide strategy. The report emphasizes the need for enterprise leadership, with insight into end-to-end processes and experience managing time-critical, large scale, big-budget projects.
Customers interact with an organization through many touchpoints. Delivering a great customer experience is an enterprise-wide undertaking that involves many departments:
- Customer support
But from a customer’s point of view, each of the touchpoints represent the brand, and all build on the experience. Disconnect in the customer experience often reveals the lack of communication and coordination between internal kingdoms. So who leads?
Transformative leadership creates focus and operationalizes the process across interests. This demand for leadership has given way to new roles with a specific mandate of transformation, such as a Chief Digital Transformation Officer, Chief Digital Officer, Transformer in Chief and so on.
Big job, big job requirements
The rise of these c-level positions points to the need for authority over implementing end-to-end customer-centric processes. It requires building an enterprise-wide commitment to understanding and serving the needs of customers.
Transformation involves achieving internal operational efficiencies that reduce costs and increase innovation. It entails meeting or exceeding customer expectations by delivering across customer touchpoints.
The skills and proficiencies for this job post need to bridge the gap between technological requirements and business process change. Just to name a few:
- Making digital an integral part of strategy and technology investments
- Establishing cross-functional groups and processes and enabling communication
- Architecting the business problem/opportunity with solutions across technologies and disciplines
- Influencing short-term improvements and long-term value
Ultimately, the role and the process entail balancing agility, sustainability and change.
From the report, “…initiatives led by the C-suite have an added advantage of driving organizational change at the executive level and having the clout to implement end-to-end customer-centric processes. By putting the right leadership team in place, the DX strategy stands a much higher chance of differentiating the enterprise in a continuously disrupted digital economy.” (p. 29).
I encourage you to download the Digital Clarity Group report to dig in deeper to the broader survey results and recommendations, which also take a look at best-of-breed versus single-vendor digital experience platforms, strategies, technologies and selection criteria.