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Customer Experience (CX) and EI

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

(Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening), Robert Frost

In the last two decades, I have seen the world around me moving from P2P to high-speed messaging to building the integration or ESB layer riding the wave of SOA and then in the last decade harnessing the power of modern API’s. An exciting journey so far and with discussions around Gen AI, ML and Process Automation picking up at breath-neck speed. It’s going to be mind-boggling journey ahead.

Cut 2:

Very recently I met one of our colleagues from our consulting side; he gave me a very impressive point of view on ‘Customer Experience leading to Digital Transformation’. He went to quote and played a video of Steve Jobs from Apple delivering at a conference way back in ‘97 “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards toward the technology, not the other way around”. He followed it up with few more very impressive slides of the entire CX to Digital transformation roadmap and I was sold.

The topic my colleague sighted might not be a new topic for many, but it is new and very exciting for me – I had to test it out. Here is a very high-level summary of how story unfolded in last 1 month or so.

Step 1: I took some time out and got my vinewide members involved in ideating on this topic.  

Onset more or less we all agreed CX should be the North Star for digital transformation which most probably but not necessarily include any action on the Enterprise Integration side.

Step 2: I shared this discussion with 2 of my friends from the other side of the fence and at that specific moment they both agreed to explore more – then we dived in.

I will call them Customer A and Customer B

With Customer A, I have been in discussions on platform and vendor consolidation for few months– they use couple of COTs product with 30% of the transactions still P2P bringing all into one single platform as the next step.

Benefits: Having EI strategy implemented before CX, might be costly affair if we have to rework on few areas again to cater back to CX. Visible risk of ending up on reactive mode to customer feedbacks rather than proactively designing solutions which addresses customer’s need right onset. We were almost confirmed on the CX exploration before under taking EI project … and then we came across ‘real world challenges’.

Challenges: Customer has 38+ touch-points and with no one ‘single source’ of truth. Challenges which popped up was primarily on the data side.

  • Fragmented, inconsistent data residing in silos was not giving a holistic view.
  • With EI project budget approved and few projects dependent on its ‘On Schedule Go Live’

We were looking at more than just technical requirements here. We went back to the drawing board couple of times before concluding it yesterday which reminds of famous poem by Robert Frost  ‘The woods are lovely, dark and deep,. But I have promises to keep,. And miles to go before I sleep’

Agreed Way Forward

  1. Pilot Use Case – CX study at one identified use case level – if I take average outcome scenario, we should be increasing the revenue by 42% 
  2. Consolidation exercise will continue as per plan but very happy to say that message has been relayed and appreciated. Goal has changed from Platform and Vendor consolidation to “Establish a robust infrastructure of integrated systems, data, and processes to deliver personalised, seamless, and differentiated experiences to customers, thereby driving loyalty, satisfaction, and fostering long-term relationships”
  3. Full scale CX study across the enterprise in future is taking shape

Customer B is WiP, I have to hold this for sometime – we had 2 sessions so far, and planning to go for a workshop but every session we ideate,… new things I learn,… sheer energy of participants from both sides unleashing What If’s and Why Not’s… I feel privileged to be part of these discussions which promises something new and innovative. This will be a feed for my next topic,… probably…

Two decades of professional journey that kept me thinking ‘The What If’s and Why Not’s‘ and more importantly – How do I make sure my customer neither is a runner up nor a Guinea pig, but an absolute winner!

Ashraf (Bhai)

Name : Ashraf Hossian

Interest : Football Coaching, Growth, Numbers, Mentor, 2048

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