A new study shows that, for a company to implement a successful digital customer service experience, change must be embraced at the very top of the organization.
Specifically, the study – which was carried out by international research company Forrester Consulting – found that chief executive officers must welcome and encourage a clear digital vision before their organization can successfully implement the best possible digital customer service experience.
The study involving more than 400 senior business and technology executives found than roughly four in ten organizations with a successful digital strategy recognized that their CEO was a trend-setter when it came to digital vision and strategy. In other words, a company is more likely to succeed in transforming its customer service strategy from offline or purely physical to a comfortable blend of the physical and digital service, only if its top leader is a voice of change.
In comparison, Forrester Consulting found that companies with leaders less enthusiastic about the digital customer experience – and focused more on profitability improvements and reducing overall costs – often struggled to implement digital customer service initiatives.
Aside from having a CEO who embraces change, Forrester Consulting found that having a clearly defined digital customer experience goal in mind were most successful in transforming their approach to customer service.
Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM (which commissioned Forrester Consulting to complete the study) believes the study shows just how important it is for companies to adapt to consumers’ rapidly changing expectations when it comes to customer service.
“Customers’ expectations of service and experience are increasing across the board, and every business is under pressure to improve their game,” Augustin said. “A modern [customer relationship management] program provides a platform for all customer-facing staff to share information and work collaboratively across all communication channels, both digital and human channels, to provide the best possible experience.”
Forrester’s final report reveals that the customer experience must be the “North Star” for today’s forward-thinking organizations. In other words, only the companies that are virtually obsessed with building the best customer service experience will be able to meet the evolving needs of their digital-focused customers.
The good news, according to Forrester, is that all companies – even the smaller ones – can be successful in this space if the management team focuses on building a clear and realistic plan for implementing the best digital customer service experience.
“Customer journey maps and business capability models can help prioritize scarce resources and better understand how to bring value to customers,” Forrester notes in its report. “Digital leaders should begin to break down functional silos by assigning staff to customer teams pulled from across the organization. Build a hyper connected leadership team by using shared goals and customer-oriented success metrics for all.”