2016 Readers' Choice Survey: Customer Experience Management
By: John Rossi, General Manager and Global Leader – Consumer Industries Consulting, Wipro
This is an interesting list of companies with many surprises. For customer experience management (CxM), we have the established companies, the funded start-ups, and the agencies that also have software. They cover the spectrum, but one group is missing – the consulting firms that also provide this as a service through their own software and/or partnerships.
Agencies (both traditional and digital) dominated this area for a long time. CxM was their domain. They still dominate, but software firms and software+consulting offerings are making deep in-roads. Many CG companies are most comfortable with allowing the agencies to perform these duties with a few drawbacks. Often the brands decide; hence efficiencies and economies-of-scale are usually lacking since each major brand selects their agency for similar work. Making difficult to change – many agencies use their own proprietary software to perform the services. Many of the Top 10 companies here are breaking down this barrier.
We are also seeing digital decoupling in the CxM space. Third parties are providing the technological services while the agencies are developing the campaigns and directing the consumer engagement. CG companies are realizing that they’re overpaying the agencies for technology services, and the consulting firms are capitalizing on the opportunity.
CIO’s and CMO’s are friends again. A few years back, we heard about the demise of the CIO and how the CMO would control more IT spend. In reality, this hasn’t occurred much in the CG industry. The CMO realizes that the CIO and his/her group provide valuable services related to governance, platforms, data integration and security of data. These are extremely important pieces when CMO’s are developing shopper, consumer and retailer insights. The CIO realizes that “one size fits all” IT won’t work especially in an evolving function like CxM. CIO’s are demanding the proper data security, digital decoupling and customer experience software platforms used horizontally across their organization. Reducing data risks while also creating higher value across the organization is driving these changes.
Mapping the customer journeys and placing strong CxM software platforms are basic digital building blocks of successful CG companies and important investments. Some are ready for DTC experiences, but many are not. By mapping the various customer journeys needed for your organization, you can decide ‘where we want to go direct including e-commerce,’ ‘where we want to collaborate with the retailer and let them provide the sales and fulfillment’ and ‘where we want to market and provide fulfillment, but let our retail partner recognize the sale.’ Each of these scenarios occurs in most companies evolving to DTC. You will have various Customer Journeys for your B2B and B2C segments. The best are making these investments right now.