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Thriving in the new experience economy

Why blending experience and process innovation is not optional

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Experiences hold great power. In our digital economy, customers, employees, and partners have more choice and higher expectations. It's never been more essential to create experiences – across the front, middle, and back office – that secure their loyalty.

Although world-class experiences are a differentiator today, they'll soon be the new normal. And, customer-facing teams are no longer solely responsible for delivering them.

"Businesses traditionally think about experience in terms of user interface," says Dave Cowing, experience leader at Genpact. "But exceptional experiences are enabled by seamlessly connecting people, processes, and technology across an entire organization. Business leaders who understand this can improve experiences across all touchpoints."

Seize the opportunity

Connected, personalized, and intelligent experiences don't just lead to happy customers, employees, and partners, they also unlock new business models and increase revenue and market share.

In fact, technology giant SAP says that experience is now the organizing principle of the global economy, and solving the experience gap is a $1.6 trillion problem.[1] Clearly, this opportunity is too big to ignore and has serious consequences for those who do.

Although end users are rarely aware of what's happening behind the scenes, they don't keep quiet when things go wrong. Almost every headline-grabbing report of a poor business experience is linked to a disconnect between the front, middle, and back office.

Whether they realize it or not, businesses are competing in a new experience economy. To thrive, they must connect experience innovation with process innovation to transform their organizations.

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Introducing experience-led transformation

Experience-led transformation can help. From user-focused digital strategies to experience design and engineering, experience-led transformation provides a holistic framework for looking at digital transformation through a human-centric lens. When you adopt this approach, it's much easier to improve the processes that underpin exceptional experiences.

So, how can experience-led transformation prepare your business for the new experience economy? Here are three practical steps to get started.

1. Begin with the user
Experience-led transformation begins with understanding end-user needs. Through rigorous qualitative and quantitative research, you can make informed decisions about how to connect experiences from the front to back. Without these insights, experiences run the risk of being fragmented.

For example, take a consumer-packaged goods business. As its front and back office processes are disconnected, its customers struggle with a lack of visibility and on-time fulfillment. As a result, sales managers spend half their time trying to find workarounds rather than closing deals. But there is hope for the future. Through experience-led transformation, this business is researching the experience of every sales manager to eliminate pain points and improve both the employee and customer experience.

2. Bust silos with service design
Service design is an essential part of experience-led transformation and plays a critical role in connecting experiences to process. Service design breaks down organizational silos by getting diverse teams to work together in innovation workshops and ideation sessions. Rapid prototyping brings key concepts to life through a test-and-learn approach that helps identify new and better ways of working.

Service design also creates a roadmap showing businesses how to connect and align people, process, and technology to continuously improve experiences.

Organizations that don't work in this way may find that they're fighting a losing battle. Analyst firm HFS Research suggests that breaking down silos and ensuring a seamless flow of data and communications will eliminate distinctions between the front, middle, and back office. The result is a unified organization and integrated experience infrastructure focused on user needs.[2]

3. Measure and predict
Through user research and service design, organizations can identify and agree on the most beneficial ways to integrate digital technologies, like artificial intelligence and machine learning. These technologies can measure experiences and identify improvements in real time.

Predictive analytics take this a step further. When your data flows seamlessly across functions, you can spot correlations between processes and experiences. Then, it becomes far easier to make informed and proactive decisions to continuously enhance the next-best experience for the future. If you can get this right, you can uncover what your customers, employees, and partners need before they know they need it.

Bridge the gap

Ultimately, if you don't find and correct the disconnects between experience and process, people won't hesitate to point them out. The good news? When you bridge this gap, the benefits can be felt across your organization.

“To compete in a digital-first world, drive better outcomes, and unlock new business models, businesses must be able to drive transformation throughout an organization - from experiences through to operational processes," says "Tiger" Tyagarajan, president and CEO, Genpact. “In the next two years, the fusion of experience innovation and process innovation will become table stakes as organizations look to reposition themselves in the market."

With so many competing business priorities, experience-led transformation might not be top of mind. But as experiences increasingly align to business growth, it's never been more important to prioritize. When you put the needs of people first, profits follow.

Learn more about customer experience and Genpact’s agreement to acquire digital consultancy Rightpoint.

Visit our experience page for more advice on how to thrive in the new experience economy

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