According to a 2019 Forrester survey around business priorities, business and technology decision-makers across North American and European enterprises rated customer experience (CX) as the second most important priority after growing revenue.*

At the same time, CX in the U.S. is stagnating, with 65 percent rating their experience as “okay.”**  So where is the disconnect?

It boils down to the fact that customer expectations are continually on the rise, so meeting that demand gets increasingly harder and calls for aggressive CX efforts. For business-to-business (B2B) support and services organizations to truly tackle the climbing CX expectation, they must take an honest look at how they work. More specifically, they must look beyond the typical scope to help ensure that they are addressing the people, processes, and technologies that will create the desired CX.

Many organizations are not internally equipped with all the right tools and talent they need and cannot tackle this challenge on their own. Partnering with like-minded service providers that can provide them with an expanded set of expertise and solutions to accomplish a substantial CX improvement is crucial to delivering superior CX. There are three steps to accomplishing this.

Putting Together the Right Team Structure

When thinking about the teams an organization needs,  it must be considered what each partner can individually bring to the table. It is important to select the right set of service providers with varying areas of expertise to create the desired experience for customers. While many hands make light work, organizations cannot work with an infinite number of partners, so it is imperative that they choose those that bring the knowledge and skills needed to accomplish their goals.

Depending on the nature of an organization’s work, a few select partners working with a focused internal team can work best. If the size of the group expands beyond this, it is better to split into smaller working groups that can then be replicated to scale out. Integrating smaller entrepreneurial teams, which can help creatively and nimbly influence the technology, with larger firms possessing broader capabilities often provides the best combination for success.

When selecting a set of partners, organizations also need to think about the various elements that are important to the project. For a well-orchestrated program to take shape, they should select technology providers that offer a suite of solutions and integration to the most important complementary applications, and service providers that have a proven track record of working with them.

Addressing Necessary Services to Ensure Simplicity

Delivering superior CX is no easy feat, but there are a few important considerations when integrating various services to help ensure simplicity:

  • Innovation services to envision a future that is human-centered yet business-focused
  • Business model consulting to think through what should be included in a basic CX and what could be monetized
  • Advisory and architecture services to plan business process changes, including the introduction of automation and human augmentation to improve quality and efficiency
  • Technical guidance to plan integration between systems and data management and to future-proof the system architecture.
  • Innovative solution development to create differentiating experiences
  • Implementation services to quickly realize value
  • Change management to help through successful transformation

Ensuring Seamless Collaboration to Reduce Complexity

Once organizations assemble their teams, they must establish clear roles, responsibilities, and accountability across the group and continue to invest in ongoing partner engagement to help ensure seamless collaboration. With that comes the need for a digital platform for managing the end-to-end CX, as the customer will hold the brand owner responsible regardless of the channel they are using to engage and which entity in the value chain is delivering that part of the experience.

The delivery of the entire experience all culminates from a collaborative effort, one that has engaged the right people, followed a shared set of processes, and used the right technologies. Ultimately, it is about having the right set of hands to carry out the desired work and jointly deliver the best experience for the customer.

Deliver superior CX today — learn more at www.sap.com/services.

Nancy Callahan is global vice president of Strategy and Growth for SAP Digital Business Services.

*Forrester, Global Business Technographics® Business and Technology Services Survey, 2019
**Forrester, The US Customer Experience Index, 2019