Many companies are trying to collect, store, understand and personalize the multiple online and offline customer touchpoints with their brands for existing and prospective customers as part of a digital transformation initiative.
The question is how to achieve digital convergence across channels and business units to deliver a great customer experience irrespective of it being online or offline in the physical world.
The paradigm shift is that the boundaries between the digital and physical world are starting to converge where internet of things technology helps to digitize the physical world with connected IOT devices, processing power and data stored on connected devices – taking us one step further to seamlessly connecting the digital and physical world.
Is there such a thing as one platform that covers all customer and business needs end to end for an eCommerce, IoT and physical world scenario?
Not likely – and that is probably not something we should strive for as business and IT leaders. There will likely be strategic platforms and best of breed solutions that only in combination of its sum will provide the competitive edge you are looking for. That is not even talking about IT supported solutions, but also ancillary technology solutions the CIO’s peers have invested in that need to be pulled into the fold of a digital customer experience hub to deliver a cohesive customer experience.
Ultimately the consumerization of technology is bringing business executives and IT leaders back at the table where every C-level executive also needs to be a technologist to take advantage of digital and IoT advancements where omni connectivity opens up new business opportunities and business models.
The digital puzzle pieces that need to be orchestrated in a digital customer experience hub include but are not limited to:
- Omni Channel Campaign Management/ Omni Connectivity/ Customer Engagement Center/ Contact Center Infrastructure/ Customer Self Service
- Social Engagement: Listening, Management, Social Engagement Apps and Voice of Customer Solutions
- Digital Commerce: Platform/ eCommerce, Web Content Management, Deep Cloud Processing, Edge Device cloud processing
- Analytics requirements: Web Analytics, Customer Interaction Analytics, Journey Analytics, Real Time Decision Framework, Digital Personalization/ Rules Engine, Real Time Pricing Optimization
- Disconnected data silos along the spectrum of the customer journey
So how can we build and analyze end to end consumer experiences that are tied to strategic objectives pulling all these puzzle pieces together in a cohesive fashion?
The answer to that question needs to be seen both from a business and technology angle.
From a technology angle there is a growing range of agile, flexible and scalable integration requirements: application-to-application, B2B, cloud service, API, micro services, mobile app and, increasingly, Internet of connected devices integration.
The explosion of the data points in a connected world is visualized in this timeline created by Bell Labs with connected everything and conextual automated experiences that digital customer experience hubs of IT systems need to address:
In my recent post: The Digital Customer Insights Platform I am referencing a possible architecture that integrates components from the customer presentation layer to the integration and analytics layer for a customer experience hub that can streamline data ingestion and processing irrespective of what the solution is.
To addresses the need for agile, scalable, repeatable and controlled integration of customer information and technologies a digital mesh of enterprise integration architecture needs to be put in place utilizing cloud APIs and micro services in combination with a capability to ingest different types of data including streaming IoT data into a data landing zone for big data analysis.
From a business perspective the invisible glue to these technology architecture components are held together by a pervasive digital strategy, process integration and organizational alignment, namely:
- Planning out customer journeys and assessing them against current technology capabilities and future technology needs with technology and business convergence in mind
- Setting up a digital transformation council that includes stakeholders from IT and business representing the value proposition for your customers from every angle identifying cross department collaboration opportunities
- Establishing a pervasive integration strategy that includes technology and non technology components such as a business driven product strategy for managing and monetizing your APIs to the outside world
- Building a company wide sense of continuous and fluid change for the digital transformation supported by effective change management that aligns the changes with strategic business goals, assesses the magnitude and scope of impacts, setting and managing expectations and finally is build upon profound executive involvement and support.
- Establishing performance measures that are aligned with strategic business outcomes like sales increase, cost reduction, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, customer advocacy supported by traditional analytics and voice of customer analysis
For a digital customer experience hub of IT systems to be successful both business processes and IT capabilities need to be aligned with a flexible and scalable enterprise systems integration architecture being the digital fabric that ties seemingly disconnected technology components, data silos and processes together with the focus on cohesive and positive customer experiences that lead to additional sales and creating and nurturing loyal customers.