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Following on from my earlier post on the importance of customer obsession and seizing sustainable competitive advantage in today’s hyper-connected digital economy, in this blog post, I will cover a high-level introduction to ECS’s CX Value Chain Assessment.
This assessment is designed to help clients take a customer-centric and pragmatic approach to understanding their organisation’s ability to effectively sense (predict) and respond (proactive, personalised) to their omni customers with branded goods, services, and product experiences.
It can also help our clients master the three fundamental competencies of achieving true omni-CX.
Before we dive deeper into the CX Value Chain Assessment, let’s take a quick look at the concept of a Value Chain and why ECS prefers to employ this approach.
The value chain was developed by Michael Porter nearly 30 years ago, it’s a powerful tool for disaggregating a company into its strategically relevant activities in order to focus on competitive advantage.
According to Harvard Business School’s Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness “A company’s value chain is typically part of a larger value system that includes companies either upstream (suppliers) or downstream (distribution channels), or both. This perspective about how value is created forces managers to consider and see each activity not just as a cost, but as a step that has to add some increment of value to the finished product or service.”
ECS leverages the principles of a holistic strategy and value creation in Porter’s value chain tool and applies them to the generation of activities that are performed by businesses to manufacture a base of loyal customers. In this process, activities are designed to maximise the customer’s experience. Outputs are measured in a number or percentage of happy, satisfied, and loyal customers. Outcomes are defined in terms of a base of (consistently revenue-generating) loyal customers (also known as customer equity) that become brand advocates, who not only stay with the brand and spend more but promote the brand to others at their own free will.
A company’s CX value chain is a set of strategically relevant people, process, and technological activities that are executed consistently and in perfectly dynamic harmony to deliver to its target customers the desired branded experience.
The below diagram shows the CX value chain and its key components that all service organisations – large or small – must take into consideration when aspiring to deliver branded experiences to their customers. The model may look a bit different for non-service industries e.g., product manufacturing, wholesale distributors, mining, etc. but the main principles of the value chain will continue to apply i.e., there will be a set of primary activities the businesses must execute to deliver the value proposition to its customers and there will be supporting activities that will help facilitate and enable the production process.
For the service organisations, the key focus will be to follow the journey of the customer from the customer’s lens, identify the key primary activities that must be performed in executing the experience delivery, map the capabilities required to execute those activities effectively and efficiently, and develop mastery on the combination of those so the organisation becomes competent in delivering the desired experiences to its target customers on a consistent basis.
Note: the cloud in the above diagram credits the rapid development, transition, and growth of cloud-based technologies – we see more and more organisations moving their businesses to the cloud in the future.
ECS leverages its cross-discipline expertise to baseline your ‘as is’ position from a business, CX, and technical perspective. Consultants then produce a pragmatic step-by-step digital transformation roadmap, agile operating model practices, and tactical and strategic recommendations that enable you to effectively service your omni-customers.
Recommendations leverage best practices in design thinking, AWS, and Amazon Connect capabilities, enabling you to reach an end-state where effective use of AI lets:
At ECS we help our customers in the mastery of the following three key Omni-CX competencies that in our experience, are critical for any organisation aspiring to deliver an epitome of great and enviable CX.
Broken down, each stage enables you to affect positive change across the whole value chain:
The key question: How well do you know your customers?
Getting to know your customers’ whos, whys, and hows can help brands create products and services that customers feel emotionally connected to, love, and tell others about. When you know your customers better than themselves, you are destined to beat the competition and cultivate a loyal customer base. This is why ‘the customer’ is the starting point for all ECS consultations.
Although, do it with taste. According to Gartner, more than half of customers report that they will unsubscribe from a company’s communications – with a further 38 percent saying they will stop doing business with a company, if they find personalization efforts to be “creepy.”
The key question: How well do you deliver an omnichannel experience?
“Companies that provide a consistent service quality across multiple channels retain 89% of their customers, whereas companies that do not provide a consistent quality are only able to retain 33%.” Aberdeen Group.
The omni-customer is a reality and brands – regardless of their size and vertical – are pressed to develop their customer engagement capabilities to fit their customers’ context. This is no easy feat. Omni-customers are far more sophisticated than they have ever been. They expect service to be delivered to them at their channel & touchpoints of preference when and how they want. This is the second priority area and is an opportunity for ECS to step into the shoes of your customers and remove friction they face when interacting with your brand.
The key question: How well do you continue to improve, innovate, and deliver CX?
“71% of CX leaders expect greater agility to translate into improved customer experiences.” West Monroe Partners.
This competency is about setting you up for repeat success. It’s about setting up practices and operations that enable and empower you to design, develop, launch, and continue to innovate products and services that are adored by your customers. From a technology perspective, it’s about adapting and embedding agile practices and leveraging the power of data & analytics, ML, AI, and automation.
To learn more about the ECS CX Value Chain Assessment, to get a copy of the brochure, contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zaheer Gilani leads the ECS CX Business Consulting proposition – he is an experienced Customer Service and CX industry veteran with over 20-year experience working and consulting for FTSE 100 brands globally. Zaheer is the author of Customer Journey Mapping Workbooks and has developed and launched CX Industry’s first Customer Experience Casual 3D Mobile game.