Forrester’s CX “Plateau” And How To Get Beyond It

Can you believe that in just a few weeks the big ball will drop in Times Square, signaling the start of 2019? With the dizzying pace of change, growth and technology advances, it’s a good time to reflect on 2018 and look at the road ahead in 2019.

Topbox plays in the CX analytics space, an exciting, challenging an enigmatic space – mainly because the concept of CX is still relatively immature.  Yes, CX was a hot topic in 2018 but to describe the evolution of CX so far, “lots of wood chips flying but not a lot of fallen trees.”

Harley Manning and his team at Forrester state in their recent report Predictions 2019: Customer Experience that CX maturity is stuck on a plateau.  Despite a lot of lip service at the executive level, the work being done in organizational silos hasn’t risen to the appropriate level for true change and progress.

As mentioned in a previous post, CX programs are often started at the grassroots level and have a ceiling on what they can truly accomplish without executive support. Ownership at the executive level is crucial to transformative change.  An institutionalized program will enable the culturalization of CX-centric decision making throughout a company, and that is the essence of transformation.  While some companies took the step of creating an executive-sponsored CX program in 2018, many still haven’t.  Why?

The plateau that Forrester describes is caused by organizational complexity.  The concept of CX touches every area of a business from brand to products to business support functions. For this reason, C-suite sponsorship and engagement in CX is the linchpin. It’s highly likely that there are multiple groups working on CX within a company’s silos.  In 2019, how does the C-suite pull those groups together to harness their collective power and move forward toward transformation? As is often the case, technology must lead the way.

Silos exist because the technology used to assess and manage CX is fragmented.  Siloed teams use preferred customer communication point solutions to analyze and report on CX, but each point solution only tells a fraction of the story. That’s dangerous.  Important data-driven business decisions rely on a complete data set.  Until recently, the technology hasn’t existed to pull together all of the disparate insight-rich unstructured data created by these point solutions.

Forrester uses the term “agnostic aggregator” to describe Topbox.  The solution’s ability to pull together the output from the point solutions, normalize and uniformly classify the comprehensive data set creates the vehicle for CX transformation.  Having the ability to analyze data from phone calls, chats, emails, surveys, product reviews, SMS, in-app channels and web feedback in conjunction with customer data is a CX game changer.  Imagine every area of an organization working with the same, COMPLETE data set.  This kind of technology will be the catalyst for many companies to move off of that plateau in 2019.   Those that don’t will find themselves even further behind the competition when the big ball drops for 2020.

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