When I started in the software industry, l worked for the largest provider in the world. I was handed, on my first day, a ‘dictionary’ of acronyms that was 50 pages- typed! I was quickly indoctrinated into the culture and was convinced that no other vendor could do what ‘we’ could. That I was completely accurate when I told a customer we could do whatever it was they needed. It was a huge disappointment when I realized that we couldn’t and an even bigger disappointment when I learned that, regardless, we continued to say it. When I moved into the partner ecosystem, I aligned with partners that only provided services for that platform. Thus, staying within the bubble.
Over the last 10 years there have been incredible advances in technology and amazing solutions that have taken advantage of those. Many, smaller companies, that, due to their size, have been able to act quickly and develop solutions at breakneck speed to make a true impact on the market. That has been a game changer for me.
When I was asked to take the role of a Customer Experience company CEO, my one condition was that we be agnostic from a platform perspective. I didn’t want to ‘boil the ocean’ and offer every single solution out there. I wanted to lead an organization that leads with strategy. That considers the needs of the customer and the experience that not only the market says they need, but one that takes advantage of the amazing technology available to provide a seamless experience that reflects their industry, customer, and business needs. One that is seemingly tailored for them, with minimal customizations and not force fit solutions because they’re the only ones in my bag. This does not diminish the quality of offerings of the Big Boys. We will always leverage them-when they are what’s best for the customer. This opens a whole new world. With this focus, we have been able to vet small solutions that have big impacts, the go-to’s in various industries and the large companies with stellar offerings. We have come to understand what works best where and why.
So, what does that look like? When the world is your oyster, what is the first step?
A typical example of an engagement is engaging at the point of strategy. When you know you need to map out your Customer’s Journey. When you need to consider the needs and wants of the business and pair that with your IT teams understanding of what can be accomplished with your technical footprint and current architecture. That can look like a two-day workshop or a three-month assessment, and lots of options in between. The outcome is really an understanding of your customer’s current journey and an example of the optimized customer journey that we have determined is reflective of all the key stakeholders’ inputs.
Next, as experts in technology and Customer Experience related technologies, as well as the back end your company is using and the other related solutions, we propose a solutions footprint that will enable the journey we envision. This step will introduce you to the journey you imagine, enabled.
As a follow up to the technology footprint, we provide a project roadmap. This is reflective of the size of your company, your tolerance for projects, alone or concurrent, and dates that reflect the needs of the business, the industry, and things like holidays, etc.
This may not sound very different from the engagements you’ve had in the past, from a framework perspective. The difference can be as simple as the fact that we are not working with one vendor. However, that small difference can create a world of opportunity. What would you do if you could choose what’s best instead of what’s available? Is really the question.
Over the years I said many times, ‘if only I could position Solution X. It’s really the best tool for this scenario’. And many times, I said, ‘I am so excited about this project. We have just the answer this customer is looking for and needs. Experience led Customer Experience means I can provide what’s best. Whatever that may be.