Agile and CX
November 10, 2016 Workforce 0 Comments

The New Qualification for Good Customer Experience? Be Agile

As I explained in my previous blog, improving customer experience (CX) is essential to defusing the existential threats the mainframe faces. A large part of that CX improvement includes adopting more efficient processes like Agile, where customer engagement and feedback become primary sources for producing minimum viable products that answer customers’ most immediate needs. Neglecting that agility prevents organizations from delivering the dynamic experiences customers demand in a digital age.

At a fundamental level, there are three major ways Agile and CX have become intertwined for the digital age:

  1. Agile and CX overlap in methodology
  2. Agile and CX cut across organizational silos
  3. Agile and CX promote digital engagement

Let’s take a closer look at how.

Agile and CX Overlap in Methodology

Today, customers expect early and continuous delivery of solutions that help them meet their immediate goals. That means mainframe software companies need efficient development processes like Agile to increase the quantity and quality of work. But doing the right work requires engaging with customers early and frequently throughout the software development lifecycle.

In this way, Agile and CX enable more rapid ideation and a heightened understanding of where improvements can be made in building a minimum viable product. The more adroit an organization is at leveraging Agile processes to arrive closer to customer ideals, the better an organization will be at delivering good experiences.

Agile and CX Cut Across Organizational Silos

Becoming Agile requires buy-in from every department across an organization. Similarly, CX must permeate product management, engineering, sales, legal, finance, marketing, etc. This is because customer journeys are the sum products of the actions and decisions of individuals and teams across the enterprise.

A development organization can’t be Agile if all of the teams that surround it are slow and monolithic. And similarly, an organization that neglects to create influence-wielding cross-functional CX mechanisms will struggle to deliver differentiated customer journeys.

Agile and CX Promote Digital Engagement

The point of being Agile is having the ability to continuously build, innovate and improve software that meets customers’ most pressing needs. Customer experience also must maintain a digital trajectory with the introduction of digital channels (e.g. collaboration software, project management tools, user-friendly customer engagement portal) that serve as platforms for continuous attention to technical excellence in terms of performance, outcomes and design, and provide a constant pulse on customers’ needs or reactions. Organizations can pursue improvements by monitoring usage, navigation, open rates, response rates and more through digital channels, then respond accordingly to improve the customer experience.

Agile and CX are becoming inseparable as the digital economy advances. Organizations must be capable of developing and delivering solutions to solve immediate customer needs, and this is only achievable through the binding of Agile and CX.

For further insights on the evolving importance of CX in the enterprise, check out these posts:

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David Bernardi

Dave Bernardi is the director of Customer Experience and Customer Support for Compuware. He holds an MBA from The University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
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