All experiences that a customer has with a company or brand pay into the customer experience (CX). In an interview with the website “The Future of Customer Engagement, Experience, and Commerce,” Tilo Freund, Head of the DSAG Customer Experience working group and Agile Coach at IBsolution, explains together with Sven Feurer, Senior Director Product Strategy & Operations at SAP Customer Experience, and Roland Boes, Director Innovation & Portfolio at Sybit, how CX must be designed in order to contribute to a company’s success.
Which companies should definitely be looking at customer experience today? And why?
Roland Boes: Every company has processes for winning customers, whether in sales or service. Of course, every company that works in a success-oriented manner is also interested in optimizing these processes. And that’s what customer experience is all about. The strength of this concept lies, for example, in viewing the service technician as the brand ambassador 2.0. Or to think of sales together with marketing, i.e., to see all customer touchpoints holistically and as a cycle, and to work on them.
Tilo Freund: Sure, it’s called CX today, but at its core it’s all about customer relationships. I automatically offer a customer experience as soon as I have an offer. And this is where the bridge is interesting: a good customer experience is not just a good product, or good service, or good marketing. It’s the total package of everything.
Sven Feurer: Today, the customer is at the center of corporate strategy. Being successful no longer depends solely on the quality of products or services, but also to a large extent on the sustainability of customer relationships. That’s why companies should generally concern themselves with the further development of their business relationships and cooperation within the corporate network.
Do you sometimes observe misunderstandings about what CX is and can do?
Roland Boes: I think the principle that the customer is king and has changed in the way he buys and in his behavior is something that most people have already understood. What is underestimated, however, is not the importance of CX. But rather whether companies as a whole are ready for the corresponding changes. Do they have the internal processes, the data quality, the people, the tools? Certain processes cannot be turned inside out overnight.
Tilo Freund: Exactly. In my view, CX is often seen too much on the surface. Sometimes, this topic is only measured in terms of how the touchpoint with the customer looks. But what processes lie behind it? It is often forgotten that internal processes are just as important and can offer great added value. Order processes are a prime example of this. Something is often done there just because it has always been done that way. But it may create a lot of dissatisfaction among employees. Maybe something looks fancy in the store, but causes resentment behind the scenes. So I also have to deal with my processes internally. These have an impact on the outside.
Sven Feurer: Another misconception is that customer orientation cannot be delegated, but is a team sport. One example: Transactional CRM systems with processes that are aligned with one’s own company are often no longer sufficient to meet the increasing demands of today’s consumers. It’s about understanding customers and prospects holistically.
Read the full interview (in German) on The Future of Customer Engagement and Experience.