I had the pleasure of presenting at Gartner’s 2019 Customer Experience and Technologies Summit in London recently and thought I would share some of the main themes that I picked up from attending the various sessions, plus discussions with event attendees:
(NB - Please note these are my personal thoughts and impressions)
1. A better customer experience starts where CRM ends
It’s no coincidence that this was the title of my presentation at the Gartner CX event. My summary view on this is that CRM is a broad set of solutions covering sales, marketing, e-commerce and customer service.
In customer service, traditional CRM really stands for Call Reaction Management, and that is simply not good enough to deliver great outcomes for either the customer or the organisation providing the service. At ServiceNow, we believe there’s a better way, and we call it Customer Service Management. ServiceNow® Customer Service Management effectively brings together 4 key components on a single, cloud-based platform:
It was great to see the level of interest in Customer Service Management at the event – both from happy existing customers of the solution, and prospects who were really interested in its differentiated proposition. Exciting times ahead!
2. An increased focus on business outcomes
Customer experience (“CX”) is beginning to come of age, and as a result, organisations are asking more and more questions about how the CX directly impacts on a company’s performance, or putting it another way, what is the return from making additional investments into CX.
Time and again, my discussions with organisations are about 5 broad categories of business outcomes or business drivers that are driving CX activities:
But the challenge for everyone is to link these broad areas of focus into tangible KPIs and metrics, and then to directly link them to a business case and financial performance.
Gartner’s analysis shows that 50% of organisations are already using financial metrics to measure ROI on CX improvement projects, with a further 24% using (non-financial) business metrics, and the trend for both categories is increasing.1 If you’re not using either of these to measure the effectiveness and impact of your CX activities, you need to think again, and quickly.
3. What you do next in CX depends on where you are starting from
I call this ‘where are you on your Stairway to Heaven?’:
In the opening keynote Gartner presented ‘nine strategies for CX victory’ which I liked a lot2:
4. Self-service is going mainstream
Self-service solutions are not new, but in the past they have typically been ‘add-ons’ to customer interaction channels like voice, chat and e-mail. But Gartner’s analysis3 seems to me to indicate that self-service is starting to be the primary channel for a number of organisations:
5. As a CX vendor, on which personas/functions in an organisation should I focus on?
Gartner’s analysis shows that CX measures can occur in almost all areas of a typical organisation, but that the ranking is as follows4:
i. Customer satisfaction @ >95%
ii. Loyalty churn retention @ >90%
iii. Advocacy brand reputation @ >70%
iv. Quality operations @ <50%
v. Employee engagement @ <10%
In addition, Gartner’s research shows that CX’s position in the overall business priorities amongst different classes of executives is as follows5:
In order to be successful selling CX solutions, vendors need to go ‘broad’ across departments/functions, but go especially ‘deep’ in the areas of Customer Service/customer satisfaction and Marketing.
6. How important is CX to organisations?
A variety of surveys undertaken by Gartner, covering different functions/roles, highlight the overall importance of the Customer Experience to most organisations.
From the Gartner CIO survey6:
From a Gartner survey of CEOs, 63% say that their companies are likely to make changes to the business model in the next 2 years.
And finally, Gartner’s survey of CMOs showed the following:
7. What’s this AI thing? Is it important or relevant?
AI – Artificial Intelligence – is undergoing rapid growth and being deployed in more and more areas of customer service and the overall customer experience.
And the folks at Gartner have some other predictions about AI over the next few years: which I think are bold about just how much of an impact AI is going to have on both businesses and consumers:
Fascinating to see the whole topic of CX mature, and the discussions focusing more on more on business outcomes and driving real value for both customers and organisations. I am sure many of us will be keenly watching to see if Gartner’s predictions about the rise of AI will pan out.
And of course, it was great to meet so many existing ServiceNow customers at the event, whether currently using our other solutions (predominantly IT and HR workflows) or already using Customer Service Management.
Looking forward to attending again next year!