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Scrumming Around Customer Experience? Time to Transform
Veera Karthik Gonagundla Deputy Manager, Digital & Analytics | July 7, 2020
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‘Thrift’ is what defines the new lingo of businesses today. Foraying into conventional practices has now taken off the track where the new fad lies in customer-centric experiences driving your business scenario besides adding consistency and value.

Let’s admit it, customers define our markets, shapeshift trends, and turn a flipside to business performance and competition. Irrespective of well-defined strategies, major players have witnessed severe downsides for one main reason—blotched Customer Experience. Fast-paced responses, meticulous delivery, follow-ups, surveys, and insights do help, but a well-defined customer experience that precisely defines your business growth is irreplaceable.

Own a great customer experience that adds value? If yes, do you have it rooted in your business or touted as a mere cliché ticking off your metrics for the year? It is high time that customer experience (CX) is transformed beyond the frontline spectrum and a holistic approach is provided for greater business success. CX transformations now have better engagements through Agile principles, and businesses seemingly have tapped into this potential framework, thus reducing erratic outcomes, paving smarter solutions for quicker time to delivery, and bridging gaps between the knowhow and the output.

Fortunately, Agile principles and methodologies are well established, but what lurks on the other side is the challenge of incorporating Agile to transform CX to the best of the organization’s needs, with minimal metrics involved. Most businesses fail to understand that Agile is more of an iterative practice, especially with CX transformation, and not a stimuli-based output. It involves a complete understanding of the business performance, the processes involved, and a universal approach to seep in CX, similar to the best fit block in a puzzle.

Steer Clear when the Sprint is Near

Design matters, but service matters the most. Barging up customers with no value-added prototypes, beta tests, and addendums do not serve the purpose. Focus on ideas or services that actually help connect the product or service with customer values. A few is good, many is acceptable, but a whole lot of ideas that do not add any customer value become disastrous. Employees change, and so do teams! Incorporating CX in a sprint avoids unexpected spin-offs and steers clear of foggy proposals, thus creating a long-time focus on the value proposition offered. Analyze, document, create mind-maps, and do what it takes to stay focused as this will help you align with your customers’ needs.

Bring the Ground Force

Looking to break through? It’s time to bring in the ground force to your Agile bi-weeklies. Aside from focusing on achievements and planning, bringing in your CX experts, the frontline facing your customers, do help resolve priorities for the next Sprint. An expert ingrained in the process having mentored several rookies on the floor can help wade off negative CX, if any, a probable offspring, when targeting a clear goal. They can also avoid negative feedback that may arise as a result of multiple changeovers for the deliverable. Imbibing multifunctional expertise in your bi-weeklies in turn helps the frontline force to handle customer issues effectively and help learning across different teams with ease.

Switch to the Multifunctional Mode

Facilitation is the key. Sparsely using Agile principles across a few teams proves futile, only leaving behind a partial sense of understanding of the actual CX and associated values. Instead, creating multifunctional teams help incorporate CX in learning and development, thus harnessing the potential for adept Agile adoption throughout the organization. For instance, creating a multifunctional team that includes the CX specialists and technical experts at the forefront helps handle the most complex technical huddles with ease. A drastic cut in issue-handling times, coupled with continuous learning on the floor empowers CX professionals with responsibility, helps mitigate risks, and offers more than mere issue handling.

Pattern Recognition

Apart from insights and troubleshooting CX issues, including CX expertise offers a better understanding of customers’ issues that entail indulgent patterns amid chaotic circles. This provides a genuine understanding of CX rather than researching on gaps that have answers in place. Combined with the benefits of a multifunctional team, understanding patterns help work pace faster and resolve issues better, thus achieving organizational excellence.

Break the Resistance

Teams lured to conventional modes of set-game-and-play find it often difficult to transition to Agile. They require compelling needs to switch over to new approaches and a lucrative reason to inculcate a do-what-it-takes mindset in problem solving. Also, teams that solely rely on performance-mode of execution or that work in an anonymous mode face a greater challenge in terms of transitioning to Agile.

Agile involves working together and developing a problem-solving attitude, and employees who cannot embrace this culture need a stronger motivation for the change. Having experts on the floor and helping teams work on complex issues offer tangible results and values, thus aiding Agile transition and enforcing the essence of multifunctional teamwork.

Live Agile

Play it agile! CX is forever evolving, and implementing a fixed strategy is never the key. Teams must transition effectively and adapt to the ever-changing CX scenarios in terms of process, execution, and more. Pursuing pride and a sense of ownership adds value retention and team spirit, thus fostering continuous learning and greater outputs.

CX is forever evolving, and implementing a fixed strategy is never the key.

Sharpen the Axe when Blunt

Do not hesitate to reinvent or reskill your workforce, for this will drive motivation and help face the ever-changing CX paradigm, thus leading to increased competency. There is no one-size-fits-all in terms of creating a positive CX, and depending on your core values and global presence, it is important to equip your frontline force with adequate knowledge or understanding of regional-specific CX values or culture.

Train, deploy, and hone skills when needed and this helps your teams work with better competency, at all times.

Pilot, Train, and Deploy for Exclusive Needs

Identifying dents and bottlenecks and deploying specific solutions help widen the scope to a better CX. Expert CX professionals help identify unique pain points, thus creating better engagements with the customers. Analyze, pilot, and train individuals or teams, and create a taskforce or include them as a part of your existing team to handle specific CX issues. As the curve flattens, the ‘exclusive’ becomes ‘inclusive’ as a part of the process. The solution might seem a little tacky to implement but fostering a unique CX can directly impact the performance as the benefits are quick and visible.

Fostering Agile and a sense of ownership have a common goal– CX transformation for organizational betterment.

Customer-centric values are vital in shaping your business but disowning the haste to supersede the bars in the graph, is the core of CX transformation that leads to business success. Fostering Agile, creating a sense of ownership, targeting CX issues that need specific attention, and more, all share a common goal— CX transformations for organizational betterment.