Closing the cultural and skills gaps in digital customer experiences

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Tech projects are always straightforward roles — lead, design, build, troubleshoot, more troubleshoot, and stay on top of new technology announcements. Oh, and more problems. But the time has come to get as far as possible for automation and cloud providers, and to reconsider the role of technology and technology leaders.

It is time to open them up as more strategic supporters of business transformation. Businesses realize that this is necessary. It’s a matter of adapting the company culture, and finding or developing skills that can advance.

This is all fueled by the rush to digital that began in the spring of 2020, which made technology professionals almost overnight become advocates of customer experience.

“In the last two years, technology experts have evolved their skills to deliver resilient, transformative customer experiences,” said Chris Rittler, vice president of CX product management for Cisco. “Working together closely, the technology team has implemented an efficient process to reimagine how they create, capture, and prioritize customer experience to keep pace as business priorities shift.”

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The expanded role of technology professionals is necessary as organizations rely on the digital customer experience for their bread and butter. “Today’s technology professionals are responsible for bringing personalization and automation to customer experience solutions,” said Venu Gooty, senior vice president of digital strategy and transformation at HGS.

The key is to build the strongest bond between technology and business. “When technology professionals can share their data with marketing, sales, and customer-facing departments, it’s easier to define the changes and developments needed to support a better customer experience,” said Sharad Varshney, CEO of OvalEdge.

CX and user experience (UX) design approaches — such as low-code, no-code tools, prototyping, and wireframing tools — “enable business analysts and business owners to demand a better consumer experience from the technology team, which in turn helps the technology team. , like developers, to better appreciate and understand CX needs,” says Gooty.

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This extends to hiring patterns — the need to “integrate, develop, and hire talent according to their needs to meet demands for customer experience skills,” Rittler said. “Skills are fundamental to digital transformation success, as they account for nearly 40% of successful transformation investments.”

As with most things, this change in focus requires a change in culture. “Implementing an effective customer experience strategy is about more than just the technology you implement; it’s about investing in a culture that prioritizes building resilient, adaptive, and transformative technology,” says Rittler. “To grow, people who work in the technology industry must be involved in digital learning platforms to help today’s learners become tomorrow’s experts.”

Another opportunity is the fact that, “There is still an ‘old guard’ in the business and technology world who are blocking progress, who see technology as a hindrance,” says Varshney. “It’s an obstacle, but it doesn’t have to be.” Instead, technology and business leaders should have equal status within the company.

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As part of the culture change, there is continuing “segregation between the business team and the technology team,” Gooty said. “Different geographies, different departments, or different reporting structures — [this separation] is still an impediment to delivering excellent customer experience. A redesigned team structure is required for success — this requires a combination of technologists, business owners, experience designers, testers, and project managers to work together.

Ultimately, it comes down to empowering business users with technology as much as the technology professionals themselves. “When organizations present a united front committed to developing a better customer experience, driven by technology through tools and training, technology teams can hone and implement these measures,” said Varshney. “Ultimately, transparent and accessible governance within an organization can support collaboration between different groups, and data governance tools can be used to directly impact user experience.”

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