Rethinking Customer Experience in the New Normal

October, 2021

Rapidly changing consumer behavior has forced companies to deploy new customer engagement channels with 61% of enterprises exploring new delivery models. COVID-19 has created demand for hyperpersonal, data-driven experiences across multiple channels. But these new customer experience (CX) strategies pose challenges including siloed data, a need for better change management, and picking the right platform. Service providers are responding to these challenges with tailored, industry-specific solutions and a design-led approach.

These emerging trends are covered in Avasant’s Digital CX and CRM Services 2021-2022 RadarView™. The report gives organizations a view into the changing landscape of customer experience, the role of digital technologies in responding to the pandemic, and it helps in identifying the right service providers that enterprises can partner with to reshape customer-facing functions.

Avasant evaluated 38 providers using three dimensions: practice maturity, partnership ecosystem, and investments and innovation. Of those 38 providers, we recognized 22 as having brought the most value to the market during the past 12 months.

The report recognizes service providers in four categories:

    • Leaders: Accenture, Capgemini, Cognizant, HCL, IBM, Infosys, and Wipro
    • Innovators: Atos, Deloitte, NTT DATA, TCS, and Tech Mahindra
    • Disruptors: Birlasoft, Coforge, DXC, LTI, Mindtree, and Zensar
    • Challengers: Jade Global, Mphasis, Stefanini, and UST

Figure 1 from the full report illustrates these categories:

MoneyShot Digital CX and CRM Services 2021 2022 RadarView 1030x687 - Rethinking Customer Experience in the New Normal

Marie Smith, distinguished Avasant fellow, congratulated the winners noting, “There is an increasing need for enterprises to build an integrated CX strategy and use CX to create a competitive advantage. For this, a service provider must be fully engaged across the end-to-end customer journey.”

Some of the findings from the full report include the following:

  1. Enterprises must engage providers fully along their customer journeys.
    • As digital customer journeys become crucial to enabling end-to-end CX, businesses must build an integrated CX strategy and use CX to create brand differentiation, improve customer loyalty, and increase overall customer value.
    • End-to-end CX programs are a priority. Engaging with providers across the complete CX value chain, including CX strategy, experience design, and technology implementation, will lead to greater value.
  1. Service providers must focus on selling CX services to top-level executives.
    • Traditionally, customer relationship management (CRM) is viewed as merely a technology solution. Such services are typically sold to marketers, commerce experts, and customer service departments. As CX becomes more strategic, providers must focus on getting buy-in from executive leadership.
    • As enterprises take a more strategic approach to CX transformation, the role of providers becomes pivotal. They must solve enterprise challenges related to CX ROI, data silos, and outdated technology.
  1. Carefully evaluate needs when selecting the right CRM platform.
    • Organizations need to be careful when selecting a CRM platform and choose one that fits their needs in terms of customization. Smaller or less capable organizations should favor solutions that, despite their more basic features, require less effort from the organization to get a good ROI. Enterprises must consider industry-aligned CX cloud solutions to drive business outcomes. SMBs should take advantage of low-cost software-as-a-service (SaaS) options.
  1. Implement change management strategies to drive effective CX.
    • To support successful deployment of customer experience initiatives, businesses must continuously measure customer feedback (voice of the customer), set the right key performance indicators (KPIs) tied to business outcomes, and get leadership buy-ins, including the setup of a CX council.
    • The true potential of a CX rollout is realized when different groups like product, brand, channel, and operations share a common vision. Change management is critical for driving CX transformation.

“Organizational and operational silos and unclear ROI are top challenges that interfere with the success of customer experience initiatives. Enterprises must embrace partners to accelerate CX transformation.” said Shwetank Saini, Avasant research leader.

The full report also features detailed RadarView profiles of the 22 service providers, along with their solutions, offerings, and experience in assisting customers in digital CX transformation.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of the Digital CX and CRM Services 2021-2022 RadarView (click for pricing).