by   |    |  Estimated reading time: 5 minutes  |  in Business Transformation, Customer Experience, IFS Cloud   |  tagged , , , , ,

A recent Customer Survey Software infographic from Gartner®1 has caught the attention of many leaders engaged in digital transformation. They are moving the idea of “customer surveys” back to the center of the discussion in a compelling way. Given some 300m workers will have left the workforce by the end of the decade, it’s a timely topic to reflect on.

Let’s start with a quick look back on customer surveys’ evolutionary journey. According to Gartner, first, from around 1994 on, we had old-school email surveys.  Remember them? Then, around 2006, we discovered Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM). From 2011, Voice of the Customer (VoC) solutions took hold. Now we can thank Gartner for the infographic which crystallizes a critical step in the evolution of Customer Experience. How from January 2022, VoC evolved into XIM: Experience Insight Management.

XIM essentially seeks to turn often siloed feedback data about a business into actionable insights a business can use and manage. The goal with XIM is more ambitious than VoC. It’s not just to improve experiences for customers, but also improvement for all of the other critical stakeholders. Including company employees, partners and even suppliers and vendors.

And if you’re going to improve those varied stakeholders’ experiences, a good start is making sure that you understand them. Also, this should be now and every day as changes ripple through your business.

The timing for this change couldn’t be better.  Virtually every company and brand is considering, or has embarked upon, a digital transformation journey. Many fueled by the pandemic’s far-reaching changes.

Whether this involves transforming ERP, EAM, Field Service, capabilities such as scheduling and optimization, or internal services for employees, these digital transformations bring massive change for every stakeholder of the enterprise. No responsible leader would march ahead with change on this scale without a robust view of the health of those relationships.

So, is this XIM label a genuinely new concept? Is this the new Holy Grail? Well, having cut my teeth founding a very successful digital approach to Voice of the Customer alongside IFS, I have a few thoughts.

Customer Experience management can no longer be a bolt-on

Nearly the entire field of technology companies offering Experience Management are freestanding software businesses. Where these businesses are having nothing to do with the very much larger technology platforms. Where these platforms actually power the enterprise. This puts them too far from the beating software heart of the business to be an integral part of it.

Moreover, one of the interesting things about IFS is that, as a top-rated cloud enterprise software provider, we’re at the center of operational data – ideally positioned to marry it with XIM data. This can include feedback about your supply chain, your distribution channels and, crucially, your customers and your employees. The mechanism and the insights are already there, right under the hood, within every implementation of IFS Cloud.

If we want companies to do better in the future, it’s important to be honest about what happened in the past. The fact is that since the term “Customer Experience” first came to the fore over 20 years ago, the majority of Voice of the Customer initiatives and investments bolted-on to companies’ operations have underperformed, if not just outright failed. Attaching Voice of the Customer software with sticky tape in the hope that it will reveal if a transformation is effective simply will not work.  It must be baked in at the operational level.

IFS experience management. Your best insurance for digital transformation

Understandably, boardrooms are demanding value from any Voice of the Customer solution. Now, for IFS Cloud prospects and customers at least, I believe IFS integrated experience management will quickly emerge as a ‘no brainer’ digital transformation insurance policy for major projects seeking to turn organizations around within IFS Cloud.

Here are 5 reasons why looking for embedded experience management should really matter.

  1. Digital transformation is big change. And that big change isn’t in a static world. Countless factors are driving customer and employee sentiment. Hence, if you are a market leader embarking on a digital transformation, you need accurate, timely instrumentation telling you how all of these stakeholders are reacting. Do you want to be the bull charging blindly in a China shop? Or the dolphin using sonar in a pod? The choice is yours.
  2. Customers are becoming more demanding by the day. Hence, it’s not enough just to have a survey or data. You need an approach that elevates the culture of the company to be more customer centric. The postman to publisher approach with IFS experience management delivers uniquely high-quality feedback. This, coupled with the ability to automate and share powerful storytelling, allows organizations to bring employees along emotionally on this journey.
  3. I’ve already talked about the very real consequences of ongoing employee churn in another blog post. Therefore, as organizations navigate the challenges and fears of digital transformation, they need an insurance policy against that, and experience management is a powerful defensive play.
  4. Acquire qualitative and quantitative feedback as early as possible. Delivering the first high fidelity experience management data insights within just 8 weeks, IFS experience management enables you to baseline several experiences. These include, your customer experience, vendor experience, employee experience, etcetera before you start an 18-month transformation. Realizing that a new productivity quota could result in 20% of your best technicians walking could be good to know sooner, rather than later.
  5. Switching IFS experience management live within IFS Cloud is a negligible cost uplift. Typically configuring the full capability, and effectively insuring against unforeseen transformation consequences, will represent just 7-8% of the annual cost for IFS Cloud software costs.

See how you can embed customer experience management as part of your Business Transformation –

  1. Source: Gartner, 2022: Infographic: The Evolution of Customer Survey Software — A New Market Emerges

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved

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