Business Transformation Strategies for Better CX and EX
- Business transformation strategies. Software impacts organizational models.
- Customer experience transformation. Siloed operations hinder unified views.
- Tech insights. Unchecked technical debt erodes efficiency.
I am a big believer that business and operating models form the foundation of an organization’s customer experience. Dated models equal a dated customer experience.
Let’s take a look at business transformation strategies as it applies to customer experience and employee experience.
Strong Processes Define Brand Customer Experience
Whether it’s the restaurant that can’t quite get mobile ordering right, the retailer that can’t quite keep count of on-hand inventory or the telco that doesn’t take customer loyalty and lifetime value into account when raising rates across the board, strong organizational processes and models correlate to a brand’s ability to deliver a modern and satisfying customer experience transformation.
Conway’s Laws Shape Martech’s Future Direction
I was reminded of this when I read Scott Brinker’s recent blog post: Conway’s Law vs. Inverse Conway’s Law and the future of build vs. buy in Martech. This piece contemplates the forward path of commercial versus custom software apps — and the impact it will have on organizations in the future. The article defined two laws, with their premises below:
- Conway’s Law: “The design of a software app will reflect the way the company that built it works — its organizational structure, beliefs, culture, and philosophy.”
- “Inverse Conway’s Law” (coined by Scott): “Adopting a commercial software app often requires a company to adapt the way it works to fit the design of that software app” or if we swap the words around from Conway’s Law premise: “the design of a company — its organizational structure, beliefs, culture, and philosophy reflect the way the commercial software apps they use work.”
Related Article: How Is AI Changing Digital Transformation?
Inverse Conway: Buying Software, Gaining Business Transformation Strategies
And as Scott goes on to comment — adhering to Inverse Conway’s Law isn’t always a bad thing — particularly if a company needs to adjust the way it works to adapt to new changes in the market. He then says, and this is really the foundation for this argument — “you’re paying for software, but what you are really buying is business transformation.”
Related Article: Digital Transformation in Customer Experience and the Butterfly Effect
Software’s Role in Shaping Business Transformation Strategies
Now here’s the thing — some organizations need software to infuse business transformation strategies, broad modernization and wholesale change — and others don’t. I want to focus, though, on the impacts that Inverse Conway’s Law has on the experiences that organizations provide.
Specifically, I want to investigate this question:
If you don’t have modern, well-designed commercial software and organizational structures — what are the impacts on the customer and employee experience?
Siloed Operations Hinder Unified Customer Experience Transformation
Siloed Business Operations. Increasing the focus on customer experience is the No. 1 priority to organizational marketing strategies over the next 12 months, according to Forrester’s 2023 B2C Marketing Challenges and Priorities Report. And yet most customer experience strategies at organizations are still very immature. In fact, 37% of respondents from the report still cite challenges around creating a single view of the customer across channels and interactions for marketing execution.
Related Article: The Real-World of Data Analytics and Digital Transformation
Channel Silos Disrupt Seamless Customer Experience
A single view is imperative for customer and employee experiences to thrive. Unfortunately, this smacks of the pervasive organizational software and structure problem we have seen for so long. When companies are organized by channel, software operates by channel and people communicate by channel.
Let me provide some common examples:
- Calling into a contact center and the service rep not being aware of recent digital interactions or price hikes you as a consumer have incurred.
- Receiving an email or social offer for a product you just purchased on a physical channel.
- Interacting with an in-store sales agent who is not aware of any past purchases or service concerns on digital properties or at other physical locations.
Siloed business operations and siloed data repositories result in a siloed customer experience — and with a lack of orchestration across the customer journey, experiences suffer. This results in the immature customer experiences we encounter so frequently today.
Dated Systems Stifle Martech Innovation Potential
Limited Internal Innovation Opportunities. When organizations are stifled by dated software and structures, the path to innovation can often be long and treacherous.
Why? As martech evolves into the era of “Platform Ecosystems” it moves away from hardware, channel or database-specific applications within a stack.
Companies need the ability to create and/or integrate a variety of applications in a customized manner to accomplish more advanced and often custom use cases that consumers often require. Dated organizational software and structures don’t work well inside of this platform ecosystem framework, resulting in brands having a hard time fostering the integration or custom development needed to reach this new level of innovation as they mature. As AI is now maturing and providing a backbone for this new level of custom development and innovation, modern and well-functioning apps have become a prerequisite.
Siloes Sour Employee Experience and Output
Poor Employee Experiences. Departmental siloes and processes consume time, money and resources. They make seemingly simple tasks difficult to get done, time-consuming, more tactical in nature and leave little time for strategic, innovative thinking.
As a result, employees become disenchanted, frustrated, and apathetic — harboring the feeling that they can’t be high-performing contributors or impact innovative change for the better of the organization. While this can be hard to quantitatively measure, it’s commonly seen in employee churn numbers at organizations that operate with dated software and organizational structures still in place.
Unchecked Technical Debt Erodes Experience, Efficiency
Compounding Technical Debt. As martech complexity and sprawl continue to increase while perceived utilization decreases, it may seem like now is the best time to “hold” on any new purchases that stymie modernization and business transformation strategies.
However, unattended technical debt (the hidden cost — financial and otherwise — of maintaining a legacy system or technology that appears to work fine today) can have a very long-lasting impact on both the customer and employee experience. The total cost of ownership (TCO) of maintaining technical debt can only be avoided by perpetual monitoring and auditing of software and systems as the organization matures.
Proactively advancing your technology resources to meet the objectives of the business is critical to long-term organizational growth.
Final Thoughts on Business Transformation Strategies
As your organization matures, modernizes and innovates — consider the organizational software and structures you have in place. Understanding these systems and processes is critical to business transformation strategies— to support the needs of employees and customers and sustain the growth you may be currently looking so hard to find.
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