• Julio Hernandez, Leadership |

Customer experience continues to climb the leadership agenda as a strategic priority and differentiator for most businesses that genuinely desire to engage their customers in an enduring manner. Against the backdrop of the pandemic, there were significant amounts of change including digital acceleration, new ways of working, supply chain disruptions, new competitive threats, and the increasing need to meet customers on their terms.

In a recent KPMG survey conducted by Forrester, 8 out of 10 senior executives cited customer centricity as a top organizational priority for the new year and the primary focus of their digital strategy efforts.1 It is apparent the battle lines around customer experience are set to become even more important, reinforced by IDC forecasts that spending on customer experience technologies will reach $641 Billion in 2022. With both the increased CX focus and investments, it is our perspective that organizations now more than ever need to commit to focusing their attention on execution, proactively curating the right experience for its consumer.

KPMG International has launched its `Orchestrating Experiences' Global Customer Experience Excellence research for 2021 which showcases global CX leaders from surveys conducted with over 88,000 consumers across 26 countries, regions, and jurisdictions rating their experiences with almost 3,000 companies, to identify the organizations that are best in class. The research revealed that to design and deliver compelling customer experiences requires a high degree of orchestration across the business. This orchestration requires breaking down complexity and making the experience as simple as possible for the customer, taking steps to ensure the business is completely aligned based on a deep understanding of the customer, their needs, the marketplace, and the individual organization.2

There is no `one size fits all' approach for organizations to adopt on the quest to provide the right customer experience, however the `The Six Pillars of Experience' against which organizations in the research are measured have consistently acted as a guide to what others are doing to consistently to deliver excellent CX.

We believe that the orchestration of compelling customer experiences requires companies to begin with the customer and work backwards taking an outside-in perspective to reverse-engineer and shape what the experience should be; then, they should adopt an inside-out view to define how the experience should be delivered. This should be an interactive process that ultimately aligns across all functions and technology enabled to deliver experiences, as well as both internal and external talent trained to deliver profitable and compelling experiences. Although CX shines a spotlight on the customer, the employee experience should not be overlooked as there is an undeniable link between both experiences. Organizations can't improve one without improving the other and must pursue a tandem journey and use both experiences together to understand how to become more efficient and remain contextually relevant.

Success is no longer predicated on a great product or service, or even a passably good experience; it is based on how the customer is engaged over their life cycle, how firms remain present in their customer's lives and how technology makes all of this happen. In this new reality, the balance of power has shifted in favor of the customer who has evolved to become the center of where business is conducted. In this evolutionary process organizations must curate the entire experience and ensure the business is aligned to deliver technologically inspired experiences that are faster, more personalized and relevant than ever against the backdrop of ever-changing customer expectations. This means synchronization across all channels to deliver a perfectly orchestrated customer experience ensuring a consistent experience irrespective of where and when the customer wishes to engage.

As businesses adjust to this new reality, they must treat CX as a vital muscle, key to driving business growth. The customer experience arena has changed and will continue to do so with success now firmly rooted in holistic thinking, that takes an end-to-end view of the experience a customer has. Review the findings from our latest research for details on how leaders across key sectors are reorchestrating their CX experience.

Visit out website to read the Global Customer Experience Excellence report 2021.

Footnotes:

1 A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of KPMG, July 2020
2  Orchestrating Experiences' Global Customer Experience Excellence research 2021