Q&A With CX Program Lead Analyst:
Jenny Sussin

What’s next for customer experience?

Question 1

Why are you having a Customer Experience Program at Gartner Application Strategies & Solutions Summit 2017?

Improving the customer experience is a top priority of CEOs, CIOs and CMOs. In order for customer experience initiatives to be successful, IT organizations need to ensure the billions of dollars being spent each year on software complements both the front-end customer strategy as well as their back-end customer application strategies. Application leaders are at the center of this challenge.

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Question 2

Why are organizations continuing to struggle with their customer experience strategies?

It is important to recognize that no one department owns the customer relationship — a problem that CRM leaders have known about for years. As a result, there are multiple independent technology and strategy investments across several marketing, customer service, digital commerce and sales departments which exist independently, and often in ignorance, of one another.

Assuming an organization can get a handle on what investments exist, they then need to figure out how to reconcile the technologies and strategies in a way which complements internal policies while simultaneously being in the best interest of the customer. This is a near-impossible feat, and so CX stakeholders across the business and IT continue to seek out solutions which can improve upon existing investments while keeping pace with new technology innovations. Our “CX Strategy” and “CX Technology Foundations” tracks are poised to help attendees get started.

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Question 3

How can I identify areas for improvement throughout the customer journey?

The critical first step in identifying areas for improvement throughout the customer journey is taking an outside-in approach. You need to look at the customer’s journey from the customer perspective rather than from the perspective of internal processes and policies. This sounds basic, but has become incredibly complicated for organizations so absorbed by internal dysfunction that their customer journey maps have strayed from being customer-centric, and are actually company-centric.

Start by identifying specific use cases for customers connecting with your organization: They’re having issues accessing their account, they need to make a return, they’re interested in one of your promotions, etc. Then, try and map the customer journey through that use case considering multiple channel scenarios and multiple emotional scenarios. Identify which scenarios your organization best serves today, and which scenarios need further investment. Our “Designing the Multichannel CX” track is poised to help attendees on their way to improving the customer journey.

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Question 4

What types of CX projects should we look to undertake first?

There is no universal answer to this question, which is why it’s critical that organizations take a look at which CX projects are currently in process and which they want to develop over the next six months, and which they want to develop over the next three years.

Many customers start with listening projects, where they use customer data and analytics to find the voice of the customer and identify where they are satisfied and dissatisfied. Our “Customer Data and Analytics” track will help attendees with these types of projects as well as analytics projects throughout the customer life cycle.

Ultimately, there are seven types of CX projects ranging from listening to re-defining processes to ones focused on altering employee attitudes. The Customer Experience Program at Gartner Application Strategies & Solutions Summit will provide attendees with the insights and methodologies needed to kick off and/or accelerate their customer experience strategies.

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Question 5

What role do individual employees play in improving the CX?

Employees play a critical role in improving the CX, which is why we note that altering employee attitudes is one of the seven types of CX projects our clients seek to take on. Just the other day, I was speaking with a telecommunications client about employees feeling a lack of accountability for customer experiences — particularly in their off-hours. Employees in many organizations have become somewhat disillusioned with their day-to-day jobs, often feeling like a cog in a wheel rather than someone with an opportunity to make a real impact on the CX.

Organizations delivering superior customer experiences will set their sights on empowering employees and making sure they understand how their contribution impacts the customer. They’ll ensure employees not only feel ownership of the experience, but they’ll provide employees with the flexibility in processes to allow employees to surprise and delight customers as opportunities arise.

Employees are the faces of our organization, and throughout the Customer Experience Program, we’ll be noting the critical role they play in ensuring a winning customer experience strategy.

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Get the right answers to your most pressing questions.

Gartner Application Strategies & Solutions Summit 2017
Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV-89109
Starting on
December 4, 2017
Ending on
December 6, 2017
Tap the full potential of new and emerging technologies to enhance customer experiences, drive agility and enable innovation across the enterprise. Build an applications organization with the flexibility to support today’s digital business demands. Empower your entire enterprise to address digital business opportunities and use leading technologies to create and deploy business critical solutions.