SAP CX Live and SAP SAPPHIRE NOW allowed me and some 30,000 friends to get a sneak peek into the way this global organization and their many partners view the world of the future. Enterprise software giant, SAP, hosted two remarkable, concurrent events in May and I was lucky to be a part of them, thanks to partnerships with SAP Litmos and SAP.
It’s important enough to consider, where SAP goes, so goes the world.
I spoke to an audience of learning and development (L&D) leaders at CX Live on the Litmos stage. Litmos, a well-known Learning Management System (LMS), became a part of SAP’s ecosystem through an acquisition in 2018. Naturally, I shared with this group of leaders the connections between learning, development, training, and hiring to customer experience. While it may seem obvious, it’s often not easy in siloed and process-oriented organizations.
Just think about what we’re asking all our leaders to do in any organization. We are requesting teams build bridges and cooperate on behalf of the customer experience. If the organization is not set up for this type of cooperation, leaders have to step up in extraordinary ways to find their own partners.
This type of extraordinary collaboration is needed not just within the walls of your organization, but well beyond it to serve the customer. That theme came across loud and clear throughout the rest of the SAP CX Live and SAPPHIRE NOW events.
Here are just a few ways collaboration is what’s next in customer experience, whether or not your organization is ready for it!
Customer Focus Means Cooperation, Even with Competition
The blurred lines between competition and partner are getting blurrier! Many of those we consider competitors have realized to serve customers, they must cooperate.
Remember when Apple and Microsoft were so distinctly different, you couldn’t run Microsoft programs on your Apple machine? Those days are over, and they need to be to serve the customer.
Customer Focus Means Understanding Your Customer’s Ecosystem
In a fascinating fireside chat at SAPPHIRE NOW, supermodel, philanthropist and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss (@KarlieKloss) shared a vision of the future with Alicia Tillman (@AliciaTillman), SAP’s Global Chief Marketing Officer. Her vision tapped into how technology is there to solve problems creatively, but acknowledge what’s already happening in your customer’s life.
As a young model, Kloss used social media to share “behind the scenes” life at runway shows. She was reprimanded and told the whole idea of fashion was about being exclusive and elite.
Kloss made the argument about representing herself as she was – a young person using social media to build a fanbase – plus who her fans were. They expected technology to bring them directly to these events. There was no question about it to them.
Exclusivity and elitism were not considered positives to this group, they wanted inclusion and equality. Using technology to solve problems means really understanding what your customers actually define as a problem– not what you might think it is.
Customer Focus Means Operations AND Experience Excellence
A repeated mantra at CX Live was “X and O” as shorthand for “Experience and Operations.” While enterprise software has long been used for operations data, integrating and leveraging that data with experience data is critical.
A demo of how an airline might use it was a powerful example of how this type of integration could empower organizations to deliver better experiences. An in-flight dashboard for a crew that combines real-time data like the social media complaints of an individual passenger with their latest Net Promoter Score (NPS) would help solve problems in ways that are thoughtful and efficient.
The service recovery model could also help actually build loyalty. Comparing that data with other operational data, even considering things like the width between seats, can lead to better, faster insights to create better experiences for customers and employees alike.
Customer Focus Means Focusing on Diversity
A final theme from these events, as well as several others, is how important it is to design for diverse audiences. We still sometimes take for granted that our approach to the world is the “right” approach, without considering how our own history, experiences and worldview impact our experiences. Considering how technology and the experience design we do may impact everyone, we need to consider diversity as a “must have” in our processes.
Whether we are designing experiences or technology, we need to stop. Collaborate and listen. (I couldn’t help myself…maybe Vanilla Ice was a CX Nostradamus?)
What I saw at these events was an overwhelming desire to serve the customer better, but an acknowledgment that it’s more complex and complicated than ever before. The good news is focusing on the customer will always be a way to win, now and into the future.
More Insights from SAP CX Live
Looking for more insights from the event?
SAP has shared selected keynote replays here.