(Guest Blog)

By: Connie Moore
Senior Vice President, Research
Digital Clarity Group

** Part 1 in a two-part series. View Part 2.

At any given time, C-suite execs are busy working to capitalize upon or avoid mega trends rippling through the global marketplace. These mega-challenges may be as sweeping as how to drive more creativity across the enterprise, as daunting as how to embed technologies and reinvent products that have existed for more than fifty years and entice customers to buy them, or as tough as how to break down functional silos across the enterprise that have been around for over a century and focus instead on 5-6 major, end-to-end processes.

Right now, some large number of enterprises is wrestling with these two challenges as senior execs go about their daily work in the C-suite:

  • Protecting the enterprise and its customers from major data breaches that put both the company and its customer base at extreme financial, personal and even criminal risk. Recent high profile breaches at Target, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, and other companies illustrate the problem. In fact, this analyst was one of the many customers whose data was compromised at Anthem BCBS. It is a frightening feeling to read an official letter saying your personal data has been hacked and that your social security number may have been part of that compromised information.Why? Within minutes of being hacked, a customer’s data can be immediately sold through the deep web to criminal elements in Russia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, China, the US or anywhere else around the globe. An individual could lose all their financial resources, be the victim of break-ins or physical assaults and even have their children targeted. This is a scary, nefarious world and thank goodness someone in the C-Suite is dedicated to eradicating this scourge from impacting global commerce.
  • Providing unparalleled customer experience across all physical and digital channels, making sure customers can engage in a delightful way with a company using the modality of their choosing. Customer service has always been a holy grail for companies that are dedicated to pleasing customers (like Costco, Apple, Target and USAA) but about 5-6 years ago the ante was raised. That’s when disruptive forces crashed against the walls of the enterprise, threatening the competitiveness and usefulness of the organization unless it accommodated customers and offered many new digital channels. Very quickly, chat, social, web, virtual assistants and many other technologies were added to provide omni-channel engagement. As foot traffic in stores decreased in favor of web purchases, and as the need for direct salesmen plummeted, executives realized that the permanent landscape was shifting right before their eyes, and that a customer experience management strategy was called for immediately.

View Part 2 where I will conclude by looking at two distinctly different corporate approaches – the fortress versus the customer experience concierge — and how collaboration across departments and digital risk management must come into play.