Hybrid Customer Experience Management (CXM) is the leading term for defining how organisations manage customer journeys and interactions across multiple platforms and channels by leveraging technology to its fullest and most appropriate for each journey to get the best customer outcome.

The best approach to delivering a digitally enabled hybrid customer experience is to start with the customer in mind. Understanding key customer journeys, their personas and what they value will support the creation of an effortless and personalised omnichannel customer experience:

  • Customer Personas
  • Customer Journey Design
  • Voice of the Customer
  • Customer Behaviour Analytics
  • Digital / Omnichannel Maturity Assessment

Leveraging digital from this vantage point will drive the results your customers want and your operation needs

Customer Experience (CX)

CX has become a significant factor in supporting business growth and retention. Gartner studies have long described how organisations will compete primarily based on the strength of their customer journeys, replacing the former battlegrounds of product and price. In a digitalised and globalised world, the experience provided for the customer is a key point of differentiation.

A perfect storm of consumer, technology, and market factors have accelerated the importance of leading in this space:

Customer expectation has grown. Seamless journeys, with multiple options for gathering information, communicating, and transacting, are not just a nice to have. As Forrester articulate, ‘consumers demand Hybrid CX’[i]. Customers are increasingly looking for a consistent Hybrid experience across all channels in preference to a drive for digital only. The overall customer journey is critical and should be able to move fluidly across new and existing channels. Customer loyalty is less of a given with switching services and the ease of testing new providers on the increase.

Technology has moved us forward. Advancements in front-end applications has enabled easy-to-work-with, customer centric customer journeys to be deployable at speed and scale. The best organisations combine this with workflow and decision automation to allow for seamless, rapid responses.

Markets have been democratised. Across industry, we’ve seen age-old established markets be disrupted by digitally-powered customer propositions. New entrants are able to utilise online channels and direct-to-consumer models to gain unprecedented access to potential customers. This is evident all over, from people manging money with Monzo through to buying beer from Brewdog. With established markets becoming saturated, CX has become a key enabler for customer acquisition and retention and we expect this to only grow.

These factors have created an increased need to leverage digital technologies in creating the capabilities that enable organisations to compete in their market. Yet, all too often, Customer Service Centre’s are unable to move forward and meet this demand as they wrestle with legacy on premise technology, poor data structures, inadequate knowledge and manual processes. This subsequently inhibits the delivery of a fast, seamless and personalised experience for the customer.

Compounding these challenges are legacy organisational structures that often remain functional and misaligned to key customer journeys. In turn, this fosters inefficiency and operational underperformance, requiring more time and resource to service customer needs. Nobody wins.

Moving to ‘Digital-First’

Future growth will be determined on how well your organisation tackles the demand for digital-first customer experiences. Implementing Customer Experience Management (CEM)[1] which includes the full breadth of options for enabling a customer to interact with your organisation… to completely self-executed processes, is one step in which an organisation can gain competitive advantage.  Thereafter, improvement opportunities can be explored and targeted to improve the approach to CXM and the resulting benefits to the customer, employee, and the business.

Historically, customer services models have existed within product or operational silos. As customer preferences have changed, and the demand for digital has grown, the way in which organisations service these needs has evolved. Enabling a clear, digitally-enabled approach to provide the right journey for each customer segment and transaction type is critical. This customer-focused approach is how the organisation transitions from traditional customer service models to a ‘Digital-First’ Customer Management Centre.

Organisations need to be asking themselves key questions to understand how to achieve this:

  • Omnichannel: How do we provide the right method of communication and transaction options suitable to the use case, through face-to-face, voice, online, and mobile?
  • Integrated: How do we ensure that these different channels work together to provide a seamless experience to the customer whilst enabling the organisation to have a single customer view?
  • Sophisticated: How do we ensure we invest in the appropriate level of knowledge, advisory skills, emotional intelligence to our more complex processes, and empower our people and systems to support this?
  • Personalised: How do our processes and customer touchpoints enable us to be proactive in personalising the experience they receive?

Technology enables these critical questions to be answered, unlocking the potential benefits for both the customer and the organisation already commonplace for leading organisations. These solutions include a range of strategic changes and tactical deployments to enhance the end-to-end offering:

Workflow Automation: Cutting duplicative, repetitive work out of the equation frees up advisers’ time to work on more important and complex engagements and can enable faster and automated transactions for customers

Hybrid CX: Enabling a seamless and Hybrid experience across multiple channels (such as paper, web, mobile, mail or social media channels) throughout the customer journey

Predictive, AI-driven Analytics: Embedded analytics automatically generate actionable insights will allow advisers to customise and personalise offers to customers mid-conversation

360° View of the Customer: Leveraging all touchpoints, historical information and other relevant data to develop a comprehensive view of the customer, making the relationship experiential rather than transactional

Conversational Experience: Advisers no longer rely on scripts but are digitally enabled and engage through personal, informal conversations in a style appropriate for the channel

Digitalisation: Using digital technologies to make business processes and customer interactions more efficient by providing digital touchpoints for the customer and agent

With advances in cloud based digital technologies and fast changing customer preferences, organisations that adapt to seamless, personalised and hybrid customer experiences will more successfully deliver growth and retention of their customers. This shift also enables the organisations to generate cost efficiencies and enable their people to support customers in complex engagements and key moments of truth.  Therefore, starting with the customer in mind is a prerequisite, to enable a clear line of sight in enabling growth, loyalty and an efficient operating model.


[1] https://www.gartner.com/en/information-technology/glossary/customer-experience-management-cem

[i] Consumers Demand Hybrid CX (forrester.com)

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  • Tony Farnfield
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