Required managerial roles and competencies for digital customer experience

Unpacking digital customer experience

Customer experience refers to the quality of all of a customers encounters with an organization’s products, services, and brand.1314 Improvements in the quality of these encounters is linked to benefits such as improved customer acquisition, improved customer loyalty, improved revenue growth, and improved profitability. Perhaps it is for this reason that optimizing customer experience has been a strategic priority for organizations from as far back as the 19th century; and today, industry leading brands such as Ritz-Carlton, Mirazur, and Singapore Airlines revolve their management strategies around customer experience optimization.1'' As with transformations of customer engagement and stakeholder engagement, digital technology advancements are changing the nature of effective customer experience management. The drivers of this change include more and more customer encounters with an organization’s products/services/brand shifting to digital channels, a proliferation in digital channels (e.g. different search engines, different social media platforms, different payment platforms, different website management platforms, different computing and mobile devices, different mobile apps, different virtual/augmented/mixed reality platforms, different loT platforms, different online video platforms, different television platforms), and significant differences in customer interaction requirements across channels. Irrespective of the digital channels they choose or their location and timing, customers want access to organizations' services and products in the most convenient way possible."’ They are put off by having to repeat themselves from one channel to another or from one customer representative to another. They hate process and visual inconsistency across channels, as well as having to perform actions that waste their time. And they are far less patient on digital channels than they are in traditional channels (e.g. a study found that waiting 10 seconds for a page to load can result in half of customers terminating their encounter).17

Digital customer experience is the aggregate quality of all of a customer’s encounters with an organization’s products, services, and brand across all digital channels, touchpoints, and contact moments.18 It also refers to the process of optimizing these encounters (e.g. having the right technology/platform/application infrastructure, having the right

Customer engagement and customer experience 85 process and people, and having the right policies). By having the right supporting technologies, the right platforms/applications, the right management processes, and the right people, organizations can ensure they are available and effectively serve customers in their preferred channels, at their preferred times, in their preferred locations, and in ways that respect their time (i.e. save them all possible effort rather than externalizing more effort to them due to the organization’s shortcomings). Digital customer experience optimization strategies typically focus on enhancing reachability (e.g. customers being able to use the channels available to them to interact with or about the organization, customers being aware of all of the organization’s available channels), enhancing digital channel flexibility (e.g. enabling customers to switch between channels without losing context, having consistent information across channels, and ensuring customers do not have enhancing service to repeat themselves across channels), enhancing service convenience (e.g. access to clear, up-to-date information, access to quick/live support, ability to receive end-to-end support rather than being bounced across channels), enhancing purchase convenience (e.g. ability to conduct end-to-end transactions, broad payment options, ability to subscribe to new products/services, clear and up-to-date information), simplicity and ease of use (e.g. intuitive interface design, simple and guided journeys, simple and intuitive navigation), and personalization (e.g. recognizing customers as a unique individuals, having customers’ personal preferences automatically met, designing experiences suited to the customers’ unique context).19 Organizations can leverage a wide range of digital technology platforms and tools to achieve these digital customer experience optimization objectives. For example, using omnichannel support platforms (e.g. Pega CRM, Five9), organizations can track, centralize, and tie together/orchestrate all interactions across channels (e.g. face-to-face, email, phone, social media, live chat), so that a customer’s digital experience is integrated and smooth rather than fragmented and conflicting.

New or enhanced managerial roles and competencies required for digital customer experience

To effectively lead or participate in digital customer experience optimization efforts, hospitality and leisure managers can play roles such as setting/clarifying/communicating the organization’s digital customer experience vision and strategic objectives, championing availability of the organization’s offerings and support services across as many channels as possible, helping select the right combination of digital technologies/platforms/tools to maximize digital customer experience across customer preferred channels (e.g. right technologies/platforms/ tools, right configuration and integration of technologies/platforms/tools), promoting and instituting the right supporting mindsets/attitudes/behaviors to maximize digital customer experience, and encouraging their direct reports to participate in different digital channels in order to better empathize with customers’ experiences and needs in those channels. Hospitality and leisure managers can also ensure analytics dashboards are built that leverage and integrate digital customer experience data from all channels, they can ensure hiring/developing of in-house experts across channels, and more. To play such roles, managers need to have sufficient working knowledge of digital customer experience objectives, strategies, processes, and practices. They need to have strong working knowledge of customer journey mapping, customer journeys, and the key moments of truth in journeys across platforms. They need to have working knowledge of different digital channels and of how multichannel works. Finally, they need the digital leadership skills to enable them to develop, continuously upgrade, and realize value from digital customer experience optimization efforts.

Google and reflect

Digital Capability

Common Terminology

Digital customer engagement

Customer engagement, digital customer engagement, digital loyalty program, online brand community, digital customer engagement platform, customer co-creation, brand fan page, LiveChat platform, consumer-generated advertising, consumer buzz, customers’ online brand related activities (COBRAs)

Digital stakeholder engagement

Stakeholder management, stakeholder engagement, digital stakeholder engagement, organizational legitimacy, social license to operate (SLO), corporate social responsibility (CSR)

Digital customer experience

Customer experience (CX), digital customer experience (DCX or Digital CX), customer experience management (CEM or CXM), customer experience program, customer sentiment, customer satisfaction score (CSAT), customer effort score (CES), customer delight, brand advocacy, customer lifetime value (CLV), voice of the customer (VoC), Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES), customer experience design (CXD), customer journey mapping, digital touchpoint, digital customer experience moment of truth (MoT), omnichannel strategy, digital customer experience platform

Discussion questions

  • 1 How is digital customer engagement different from traditional customer engagement?
  • 2 Which managerial role in digital customer engagement is the most critical to building and maintaining that capability? Why?
  • 3 Which digital customer engagement competency is likely to have the greatest positive impact on a hospitality and leisure managers career?
  • 4 How is digital stakeholder engagement different from traditional stakeholder engagement?
  • 5 Which managerial role in digital stakeholder engagement is the most critical to building and maintaining that capability? Why?
  • 6 How is digital customer experience different from traditional customer experience?
  • 7 Which managerial role in digital customer experience is the most critical to building and maintaining that capability? Why?
  • 8 Which digital customer experience managerial competency is likely to have the greatest positive impact on a hospitality and leisure manager’s career?
  • 9 Which of the capabilities discussed in this chapter is the most important to succeeding at digital transformation and digital business?

Notes

  • 1 Sashi, C. M. (2012). Customer Engagement, Buyer-Seller Relationships, and Social Media. Management Decision, 50(2), 253-272. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251741211203551
  • 2 Hueffner, E. (2020). How Digital Customer Engagement Can Boost Your Business. Retrieved June 3, 2020, from Zendesk website: www.zendesk.com/blog/digital-customer-engagement/
  • 3 Sashi, C. M. (2012). Customer Engagement, Buyer-Seller Relationships, and Social Media. Management Decision, 50(2), 253-272. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251741211203551
  • 4 Klein Wassink, B. J., & Santenac, I. (2019, February 11). How a New Digital Engagement Model Attracts and Educates Customers. Retrieved June 3, 2020, from Ey.com website: www.ey.com/ en_gl/insurance/new-digital-customer-engagement-model
  • 5 Ebrahim. S., Rabbani, U., & Rosenberg. R. (2015). Making Digital Customer Engagement a Reality. Retrievedjune 3,2020, from McKinsey & Company website: www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/ marketing-and-sales/our-insights/making-digital-customer-engagement-a-reality
  • 6 Ebrahim. S., Rabbani, U. & Rosenberg. R. (2015). Making Digital Customer Engagement a Reality. Retrievedjune3,2020, from McKinsey & Company website: www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/ marketing-and-sales/our-insights/making-digital-customer-engagement-a-reality
  • 7 Hueffler, E. (2020). How Digital Customer Engagement Can Boost Your Business. Retrieved June 3, 2020, from Zendesk website: www.zendesk.com/blog/digital-customer-engagement/
  • 8 Eigenraam, A. W., Eelen, J., Van Lin, A., & Verlegh, P. W. (2018). A Consumer-based Taxonomy of Digital Customer Engagement Practices. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 44, 102—121.
  • 9 Hueffler, E. (2020). How Digital Customer Engagement Can Boost Your Business. Retrieved June 3, 2020, from Zendesk website: www.zendesk.com/blog/digital-customer-engagement/
  • 10 Eigenraam, A. W, Eelen, J., Van Lin, A., & Verlegh, P. W. (2018). A Consumer-based Taxonomy of Digital Customer Engagement Practices. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 44, 102—121.
  • 11 Eigenraam, A. W, Eelen, J., Van Lin, A., & Verlegh, P. W. (2018). A Consumer-based Taxonomy of Digital Customer Engagement Practices. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 44, 102—121.
  • 12 Eigenraam, A. W, Eelen, J., Van Lin, A., & Verlegh, P. W. (2018). A Consumer-based Taxonomy of Digital Customer Engagement Practices. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 44, 102—121.
  • 13 Borowski, C. (2015). What a Great Digital Customer Experience Actually Looks Like. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved June 4, 2020, from Harvard Business Review website: https://hbr. org/2015/11/what-a-great-digital-customer-experience-actually-looks-like
  • 14 Meyer, C., & Schwager, A. (2007). Understanding Customer Experience. Harvard Business Review, 85(2), 116.
  • 15 Klaus, P. (2014). Towards Practical Relevance - Delivering Superior Firm Performance Through Digital Customer Experience Strategies. Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice, 15(4), 306-316. https://doi.org/10.1057/dddmp.2014.20
  • 16 Hyken, S. (2018). Customer Experience is the New Brand. Forbes. Retrieved from www.forbes. com/sites/shephyken/2018/07/15/customer-experience-is-the-new-brand/#le586acf7152
  • 17 Borowski, C. (2015). What a Great Digital Customer Experience Actually Looks Like. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved June 4, 2020, from Harvard Business Review website: https://hbr. org/2015/11/what-a-great-digital-customer-experience-actually-looks-like
  • 18 Borowski, C. (2015). What a Great Digital Customer Experience Actually Looks Like. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved June 4, 2020, from Harvard Business Review website: https://hbr. org/2015/11/what-a-great-digital-customer-experience-actually-looks-like
  • 19 TTEC. (2020). Digital Customer Experience Strategy: Six Key Areas to Focus Your Efforts. Retrieved June 5, 2020, from TTEC website: www.ttec.com/articles/digital-customer-experience-strategy-six-key-areas-focus-your-efforts#:~:text=A%20digital%20experience%20strategy%20 requires ,service%20interactions%20is%20not%20sufficient.
 
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