If you're faced with a difficult set of CX optimisation challenges, use technology pilots to move toward your goal.
Digital transformation or optimisation of any part of the customer experience typically calls for some degree of innovation; but innovative solutions carry risk and are costly to implement.
As a result, the procurement function, which rightly exists to protect the enterprise from risk and financial waste, can become a barrier between you and innovative new technologies and suppliers, which is why technology pilots can be instrumental in moving forward on CX objectives.
The preferred supplier problem
Preferred suppliers are a common and effective feature of procurement function controls. Technology vendors and systems integrators are typically, understandably, keen to be added to your organisation's preferred supplier lists and they are aware of the challenge this represents to you. As a result, many will be willing to support you with pilot projects.
Pilots let you test the water with technologies, vendors and integrators while limiting risk and expense. By identifying a use case for a technology and approaching an attractive service provider, you can often agree terms for a pilot that avoid the need to seek procurement approval. This will enable you to build a compelling business case for submission to procurement and unlocking the gates to larger implementations.
Learn by doing
Pilots offer you more than just limited risk and expense however. By piloting CX technology you are able to evaluate the latest advancements in technology and thinking from integrators, all without committing fully. As a result you can test your theories as to how to benefit from their application to your challenges without disrupting on-going operations. Lessons learned while building out your pilots can help both you and your suppliers to fine tune system architecture, configuration and delivery, lowing the ultimate cost of roll out. Pilots can, of course, also help you to pull away from investments that turn out to be unwise for any reason, before becoming over exposed.
Technology alone is rarely the solution
Technology is only one piece of the customer experience puzzle, with people and processes nearly always also featuring in the solution. Another benefit of the technology pilot is that you can see how these people and processes will be affected by the introduction of new technology. Where technology, processes and people are highly interrelated, pilot schemes, operated in individual sites or regions, or among constrained groups of customers, can help to assess the potential impact of wider implementation.
What should you pilot?
Understanding what CX technology to pilot is a project in itself. It always begins by identifying your objectives first and these can be better understood by performing a customer journey mapping exercise. Another way is to talk about your CX challenges and objectives. Ideas for innovative solutions, leading to successful pilots can come from a wide range of sources like your internal colleagues, industry peers and vendor agnostic service providers like VASSIT.