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Customer experience tops IT priority list
by Paul Davenport Paul Davenport on

IT organizations that focus on delivering exceptional customer experience (CX) enjoy greater success in nearly all key metrics than those that don’t, a recent Rackspace report finds. Not only is brand awareness 1.6x higher for these companies, but employee satisfaction jumps by 1.5x and customer retention doubles.

The trouble is, becoming a CX-focused IT organization doesn’t happen overnight (or even over a few nights). Half of the 1,420 IT decision makers surveyed say it can take weeks to gain consensus before implementing technology, including deploying new applications or launching a transformation project. For 42 percent of those decision makers, gaining consensus can take months.

“This lag in consensus building negatively impacts time to market. If teams can’t move agile and fail fast, they’ll be beaten to the punch by competitors who can move through concept, development and release faster,” the researchers report.

Not surprisingly, the top barrier to launching a CX-centric organization is legacy IT, which was cited by 26 percent of those polled, while budget (24 percent), skills gap (22 percent) and expertise (18 percent) were the ‘usual suspects’ holding IT teams back from positively transforming their organization.

“Organizations recognize that technology is needed to improve the customer experience but are still nervous about changing the existing customer experience by implementing new technology,” the survey reads. “Despite the push to innovate and transform, respondents are aware that the learning curves of customer experience improvements can cause friction.”

Fortunately, the top priorities for IT leaders polled indicate that any fears of embarking on a new transformation are being assuaged when confronted with the potential losses to the business that could come about as a result of hastening transformation. After all, CX is a main strategic priority for 48 percent of those polled, ahead of security and compliance (45 percent) and IT strategy (41 percent).

So what does a CX-driven IT strategy look like?

Sixty three percent of respondents are looking to automation technology to help drive efficiencies, for instance, while 51 percent are seeking IoT and cloud native initiatives to help improve CX. This goes to show that improving CX isn’t just about overhauling or streamlining the channels that customers directly interface with for success, but the back-end infrastructure that delivers these experiences in the first place.

By optimizing the internal infrastructure supporting work across the organization through automation and “smarter” tools, IT can start stacking up efficiencies across their workflow that add up to improved CX down the line. This starts with giving IT a clear line of sight across all of their network connections out to the teams that serve customers.

Ensuring that contact or call center experiences are smooth, for instance, is a key activity that will ensure the face of your business out to customers isn’t associated with bad connections that paint a negative picture of the larger business.

Depending on the nature of the business, goods and services may actually be delivered digitally out to customers: IT teams need to have visibility across the entire delivery path, whether that’s from a corporate data center out to an end user or the cloud out to a customer.

Gaining this comprehensive network visibility will be key in helping IT prioritize the transformation initiatives that will have the greatest positive impact on customer experience. From there, teams can actively leverage this visibility to ensure stakeholders across the organization aren’t overly, negatively impacted by disruptions throughout.

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Filed Under: industry insights

Tags: customer retention, IT priorities, call center, contact center, UX, user experience, CX, customer support, customer experience, enterprise network, cloud, enterprise IT, network performance monitoring, network management, network monitoring

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