Leveraging a Design, Build, Deliver Approach to Achieve CX Excellence

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Customer experience (CX) is one of the most critical success factors for consumer-facing businesses. Unfortunately, many organizations’ CX offerings fall short of their customers’ growing expectations, leaving them frustrated, dissatisfied and looking to other brands for better options. In a study from the Call Center Management Association, a third (34%) of surveyed consumers said they believe CX is getting worse, with more than half (53%) admitting to getting angry with an agent.

While evolving technologies like generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) present new opportunities to enhance CX, it’s not uncommon for brands to be overwhelmed with choices and unclear on how to choose the right solutions for their business. An effective approach to consider is to engage with an experienced partner to help design, build and deliver an end-to-end, AI-fueled CX journey. This approach is effective because it enables the company and vendor to align on overall CX strategy and both short and long-term goals, while considering all factors, including budget, timelines, legacy technologies and their existing tech partner ecosystem. It also gives providers more agility to pivot at any stage of the consultation and design, build and deliver phases to address changes and feedback in real time, and fosters collaborative problem-solving and co-innovation.

An End-To-End Approach

At its core, a customer-centric approach places the consumer at the heart of all brand decisions, enabling brands to meet consumers’ needs and preferences effectively.

Design

Designing human-centered, data-driven and AI-fueled customer experiences requires transforming technology, processes and, often, company culture. To do so, organizations must understand user points of view to design an optimal experience that drives brand loyalty, making customer journey mapping a crucial initial step.

Agile design requires constant stakeholder engagement, from customers to CX leaders to developers and C-suite executives. Another factor is mapping the right journeys for the business objectives. Analyzing too much data will dilute the preferences of the core customer base. Lastly, design teams need to consider which business metrics to prioritize. For example, if a business overcorrects to reduce average handle time (AHT), consumers might reach an agent faster but receive lower-quality service, potentially hurting customer satisfaction metrics. Instead, measuring AHT and churn together can uncover reasons customers may leave, such as poor experiences.

Build

By incorporating the right mix of human and technology elements in a collaborative approach, brands can build AI-fueled digital solutions that deliver exceptional CX. Several years ago, market research firm Gartner introduced the concept of the “everything customer” – modern consumers looking to maximize their tech and the brands they access through their tech in one seamless experience. They have high expectations and demands of brands, including always-on experiences, instant access to personalized support, strict data privacy and security standards.

As technologies have continued to evolve, this cohort of “everything customers” has grown from being on the fringe to now representing the majority of any given brands’ customer base. Because their preferences change often, consistent communication is necessary to ensure platform building (and rebuilding) meets their evolving expectations. Moreover, brands would be wise to invest in an omnichannel strategy as “everything customers” want to access their preferred platforms and navigate among them seamlessly. Notably, omnichannel shoppers spend 1.5 times more and exhibit three times more loyalty than single-channel customers.

Deliver

Customer-centric CX delivery comprises smooth launches, ongoing performance monitoring and swift issue resolutions. Rather than broadly launching a new customer channel or chatbot, an agile approach embraces “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns” to ensure continuous improvement under real-world conditions. Agile organizations can scale and evolve any aspect of their CX ecosystem to more effectively respond in real-time, even anticipating their customers’ shifts in behavior.

In the delivery stage, AI-fueled insights and advanced analytics help businesses better understand consumer preferences and deliver exceptional experiences that foster brand trust and loyalty. However, brands cannot rely on technology alone — an LLM needs continuous refinement through a Human-in-the-Loop approach and proper guardrails to be effective. Data-driven insights can also inform priorities and future goals. Recalling the earlier example, if CX leaders correlate AHT and revenue, they can forecast how further investment in CX can lead to improved financial performance. It underscores the importance of having an implementation partner who can parse through the noise and identify the most impactful and cost-efficient route to long-term success.

A successful design, build, deliver approach includes a transparent feedback loop. Businesses can easily identify the source and change the design or build phases if there is constructive feedback upon delivery. Each element must work in concert with the others.

Tackling Challenges to Reap The Benefits of a Design, Build, Deliver model

While the benefits of investing in a customer-centric, end-to-end CX journey are plentiful, there are still barriers preventing some organizations from adopting this model. A Forrester report highlighted some of the obstacles:

  • Arbitrary top-down goals: CX leaders accept top-down mandates and targets that reflect C-suite expectations. As a result, CX goals become arbitrary to satisfy executive expectations rather than reflect the effect of improved customer experiences, which can cause CX to deteriorate.

  • Score obsession: Rather than focusing on improving experiences, CX leaders can overemphasize score targets when looking at performance and setting goals.
  • Assuming constant improvement: Some leaders treat CX metrics as traditional financial metrics, such as sales and revenue, and expect continuous growth despite evidence that new experiences or uncontrollable external factors like global events or employees adapting to new ways of working can cause temporary fluctuations.

As such, a design, build, deliver approach led by one vendor requires an organizational mindset shift, but it’s worthwhile because it pays long-term dividends, including:

  • Increased customer trust, loyalty, retention and satisfaction: A customer-centric mindset delivers what customers crave: high-quality, personalized experiences at scale. In a Gallup Workplace study, companies that invested in CX achieved 25% more customer loyalty and 20% higher consumer confidence.

  • Higher revenues and greater market share: When companies focus on customers and put their needs first, customers return the favor by opening their wallets. Organizations prioritizing elevated CX achieve revenue growth 4-8% above the industry average.

In a crowded market with challenging economic conditions, a design, build, deliver approach represents a unique value proposition and is a differentiator among brands. The goal for any business is to create memorable interactions that exceed customers’ expectations and nurture satisfaction and loyalty. Without a doubt, businesses that invest in a data-driven, end-to-end approach that puts the customers first will reap the rewards and position themselves for success for years to come.

Michael Ringman
Michael Ringman is the Chief Information Officer at TELUS International and has been with the company since 2012. As CIO, Michael remains focused on driving continuous innovation for both customers and team members, and has built his career on implementing technology services, especially developing public and private cloud solutions for retail, government, technology and finance verticals. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and a Master of Science in Telecommunications, both from the University of Colorado.

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