Industry Stories — 2 August 2016

Top tips for making customer adaptive technology investments

For companies that are implementing a customer experience program, there are lots of different tools and systems available right now. But according to Kim MacGillavry, Vice President of Customer Experience at DHL Freight: IT integration, and the ability to be customer adaptive, is the most important thing an organisation needs to get right, if the systems and tools are going to have a measurable effect on the customer and the business.

Before jumping in head first with technology investment it’s important to understand the essence of Customer Experience Management. In my experience, customer experience is a product of three things:

  1. Getting the interaction between managers and employees rightIt is the role of the leadership team to build a customer centric organisation around your company’s brand. A prerequisite for customer centric behaviour is that employees are engaged at work. So, it is important managers listen to their staff and invite feedback continuously from everyone in the organisation.Most companies resort to employee opinion surveys to capture the mood and derive improvement measures from them once a year or so. To really be on the pulse of your people there needs to be a much more frequent and informal two-way flow of communication between employees and management. Building tools and applications that capture the Voice of the Employee and facilitate those processes will help leadership teams create a more engaged workforce and with it a more customer centric culture.
  2. Getting the interaction between employees rightBeing truly customer-adaptive means that everyone in the organisation is clear about the value the company aims to create for its customers, and that everyone works towards delivering that in everything they do.Most business tools and systems have been developed to serve the needs of a specific department and a particular task. This creates silos that are detrimental to collaboration and ultimately to the customer experience.

    The more collaboration in a company, the higher job satisfaction and customer satisfaction tends to be. By connecting systems and tools, employees get more visibility and greater transparency across the organisation which helps foster a more collaborative environment. Ultimately, this leads to better experiences for your customers.

  3. Getting the interaction with your customers rightTypically there are many different touch points between customers and the company they do business with. And as customers expect to interact with companies whenever and however they want, from the channel of their choice, it is increasingly difficult to manage relationships well.Getting the entire customer journey right, end-to-end means that your company has the power to manage, react to and intercept all interactions along the customer journey. To do this, the customer’s entire interaction history needs to be available to every employee – at all times, regardless of customers’ preferred channels of communication. Full customer transparency and visibility is essential to service customers properly.

The technology challenge

Being customer-adaptive isn’t about investing in the latest and greatest technology on a case-by-case basis. It’s about picking the right technology in the context of all the other systems and applications your business is using, to add value to the three components of Customer Experience Management.

The biggest contribution IT will make going forward is to integrate all the different systems and tools across the company to create a consistent view of the customer, and visibility of the end-to-end customer journey connecting all employees in the organisation.

To hear more about DHL’s journey to the cloud take a look at our IT Hero interview with Kim MacGillavry, available here.

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