Over the past two years during the pandemic, individuals, institutions and enterprises have all had a chance to stop and take stock of how they live, work and serve their customers. The questions on everyone’s lips have been: ‘what will the future look like?’ and ‘what will emerge as the new normal?’

For businesses, the challenge has been to quickly adapt to serving communities in lockdown, and employees working remotely. Online shopping boomed in popularity, virtual services took the place of in-person meetings, and many business interactions moved online. Enterprises and their technology platforms suddenly had to cope with what is likely to be a long-term shift to online service delivery. The challenge in that environment is how to maximise new opportunities.

The key to success

Perhaps more than ever, customer experience (CX) has become the key differentiator for businesses striving to not only survive in this new world – but to thrive. Today, delivering top-class CX means more than updating a customer relationship management (CRM) system or boosting customer service capacity. CX involves many teams right across a company, all of which have to work together from a single source of truth about each customer.

To keep customers happy, employees need complete visibility of individual clients – and understand how they interact with staff. But there is no single path towards achieving this unified approach. Many vendors have excellent point solutions, but there may be challenges with integration.

Choosing one partner for a full suite of solutions may prove easier – but problems could emerge if some components are not delivering cutting-edge performance, or if businesses find themselves tied into long-term contracts.

Here, we examine the key factors that enterprises take into account when deciding their approach to CX – and how that choice could be pivotal to their future success.