Indeed, Gartner’s 2018 CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey found IT to be the third-highest business priority among respondents.
Current IT Discrepancy
And yet, despite the growing trend of digital transformation, according to Gartner’s 2017 Customer Experience in Marketing Survey: Greater Expectations, Greater Challenges, which was refreshed on April 9, 2019, only 8% of respondents said IT owned their CX strategy budget, compared to 59% who answered marketing. Additionally, according to the research, “For each building block of a CX program, more than 32% of respondents indicate that marketing solely leads — this is a management model that could inadvertently create problems.”
The report highlighted the downside of such an approach: “CX outcomes tend to be diminished when marketing or any other single department attempts to lead and execute CX by itself.”
Companies are realizing that CX strategies can’t operate in organizational silos. “Working cross-functionally is the number-one best practice you should focus on,” said Leon Papkoff, founder and chief strategist of The CXApp, a SaaS mobile platform business in Pleasanton, Calif.
But IT’s role should extend beyond mere implementation partner. According to Miser, “It is crucial that there is a process in place to have IT integrated throughout the strategy, ideation, conceptual and development phases of CX initiatives.”
AI and Other Channels for Growth
IT investment in artificial intelligence (AI), for example, lets companies really raise the bar on customer interactions, said Kevin O’Dell, CTO of Stratifyd, an end-to-end customer data analytics company in Charlotte, N.C. “Even just basic applied AI is taking tasks that humans were doing and automating them to get done faster, better and more accurately,” he said.
AI also impacts important business metrics like customer satisfaction and churn, said Ravi Puvan, VP of product management at Intouch Insight, a customer experience management company with headquarters in Fort Mills, S.C, and Ottawa, Canada. “AI can help organizations uncover insights faster, driving faster ROI,” he said.
But it’s not just AI. Add to that augmented reality, biometrics, chatbots, facial recognition, geolocalization, IoT, machine learning and wayfinding. High-tech tools and trends in the CX space continue to evolve at a dizzying pace.