How IT Leaders Can Position Customer Experience Initiatives for Success

Nov 5, 2019, 00:00 AM by Michele Blankemeyer
The push to transform CX creates a leadership opportunity for IT decision makers.

For many companies, customer experience is at the heart of digital transformation (DX) efforts aimed at gaining competitive advantage and achieving growth. That puts IT on the spot to deliver on expectations from various (business) functions and business leaders. Although this can sometimes lead to tension, it also creates an immense opportunity for IT to be a strategic partner and leader.

Customer experience (CX) has overtaken process efficiencies and automation as the top digital priority, according to IDG’s second annual digital business survey. And customer experience technology is a high priority across industries from retail to agriculture to manufacturing.

For many, CX is inextricably woven with digital transfor­mation strategies aimed at driving innovation and competitive advantage. For example, a recent Wall Street Journal article cites Marriott launching in-app airport shuttle tracking so customers know how long they have to wait for a ride to their hotel, and Hilton allowing guests to select rooms from within its app map. Next up for each: Shuttle tracking is on Hilton’s list of future projects, and online room selection is on Marriott’s.

As CX becomes central to DX strategies, the onus is on IT to become more strategically engaged in areas that traditionally have been the purview of front-office functions, such as customer service, marketing, operations, and product devel­opment. Although business and functional leaders may agree with IT on the goal, there may be misalignment on priorities, resources, and the best way forward.

C-Suite and operations ramping up the pressure

Many departments across businesses have a stake in improving customer experience, from sales to service to product development and marketing, and all the way to the top. To better understand the efforts to improve customer experience and the approaches being taken, IDG, in partnership with Comcast Business, surveyed 50 IT decision-makers at companies ranging from small to very large in July 2019.

Most of those surveyed (76%) indicate they are feeling pressure from multiple sources in the organization to deliver digital customer experiences. Operations and the office of the CEO are the leading drivers, according to 46% and 42% of respon­dents, respectively. Marketing and research & development follow closely, both at 35%; sales comes in at 29%.

IT can’t afford to take a back seat in this area. IT has an opportunity to take a leadership role and claim its rightful seat at the CX/DX strategy table by working side by side with the traditional front-office functions to define strategies, remove barriers, and help lead successful transformations.

Download the full report to learn how IT can lead customer experience transformation.

  • How IT decision-makers are prioritizing CX innovations

  • What customer-facing technologies are most important

  • What departments are pressuring IT to advance CX

  • Best practices for minimizing friction in pursuit of CX goals


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