Posted by Paul Hagen on March 4, 2013
Even companies that make customer experience a strategic priority struggle to implement major long-lasting improvements. That's because they fail to connect behind-the-scenes activities to customer interactions. These firms need a new approach to customer experience management: one that considers the influence of every single employee and external partner on every single customer interaction. Forrester calls this complex set of relationships the customer experience ecosystem.
Healthy customer experience ecosystems create value for all of the actors in the system. To nurture a healthy ecosystem, firms must balance the needs of and engage all of the parties involved. Customer experience leaders need to:
- Engage employees to meet business and personal objectives.
- Engage partners to drive results for their organizations too.
- Engage customers to create experiences that meet their needs, are easy, and are enjoyable.
To help you drive differentiation with your customer experience ecosystem, we've put together a collection of research that will guide you through the. We call it Forrester's Customer Experience Ecosystem Playbook. It gives customer experience professionals the tools and advice they need to:
- Discover: what a customer experience ecosystem is. Before transforming the experience, business leaders need to understand the complex system that delivers that experience today. We introduce leaders to ecosystem mapping, a process that helps firms uncover and document the hidden dynamics of key customer journeys. Once they have ecosystem maps, business leaders can proceed to uncover hidden relationships, identify opportunities for immediate improvement, and find areas of inherent strength.
- Plan: how to envision a future experience. To guide the transformation of an ecosystem, leaders need a vision of the specific customer experience the firm intends to deliver. A customer experience strategy should embody that intention. We help leaders choose the right customer experience strategy for their companies. This strategy helps all stakeholders in the ecosystem prioritize changes and build a road map for the most critical initiatives.
- Act: how to align and manage the ecosystem. Having envisioned a new ecosystem, companies need to implement the transformation and make sure it sticks. We help firms understand the role of change-agent programs, governance systems, and chief customer officers in directing people, processes, tools, and policies in accordance with the intended outcomes.
- Optimize: how to adapt the ecosystem as markets change. Firms need ecosystems that adapt quickly to new opportunities and threats in today's marketplace. Leaders must understand how to engage existing business process and architecture teams to orchestrate continuous improvement efforts from the customer's perspective.