Changing market trends and the disruption of a global health crisis have placed unprecedented pressure on customer service operations. As a result, we are seeing more organizations standing up a Customer Experience (CX) Center of Excellence (COE) to drive long-term value and deliver service experiences that surpass that of their competitors.
A COE is a centralized (sometimes virtual) unit of dedicated people within an organization that acts as a reliable, go-to source of information for everyone within the company for improving all things CX. Whether an employee is in Marketing, Operations, or Product Development, in San Francisco, London, or France, they will know where to go to find new CX process protocols, metrics, and important customer data.
Why Centers of Excellence Make Sense
- You’ll gain much-needed access to subject matter experts: Beyond leading technologies, access to expertise remains a challenge for many organizations. A 2018 study conducted by McKinsey found that companies that move top talent to high-priority initiatives are 2x more likely to outperform their competitors in the form of returned shareholder value.
- You’ll be able to innovate and adapt to changing conditions faster than your competitors: This access to expertise will enable your organization to innovate much more rapidly. In a recent survey, 80% of companies that expected to implement AI by 2019 failed due to lack of access to data scientists. Meanwhile, according to PwC, 61% of companies say the solution to reaching strategic goals is collaborating more across functions with greater expertise.
- The stronger your focus, the stronger your output and achievements: According to Gartner, 95% of organizations that establish a Cloud Center of Excellence will deliver measurable cloud success through 2021. Research from McKinsey found that 60% of top-performing companies in advanced analytics have a “center of gravity” to drive their analytics efforts forward. In a separate study, Gartner found that 50% of organizations with more than three AI projects will establish a Center of Excellence for AI by 2022. In short, establishing a COE works.
Examples of CX Centers of Excellence in Action
- Think of your marketing department. You’ve got your Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), your Marketing Manager, your Social Media Manager, various product marketing managers, your customer service executive and more. You may have these heads of various marketing and service-related functions gather in a COE to establish best practices for social and digital or live customer care, serving as a go-to source of information for relevant customer data, shared customer history, and different types of customized content that can be used across other departments for upselling and delivering better service.
- You may create a centralized portal that is accessible to every person within the organization regardless of location. This kind of CX Center of Excellence can include formulas for calculating whatever it is you’re looking to improve on (ex: cost-based effects of efforts across different business functions). Over the course of weeks or months, you’ll begin to see gaps of where data was previously missing across different business functions or office locations. In this way, the CX COE can act as the single point of access for every office to source all change direction, internal and external communications strategies, and all the templates and instructions (employee training materials) needed for driving change and improvements.
- You can hire an end-to-end, consultative technology specialist to act as an external centralized unit of dedicated people for your organization. s
Signs of a Great CX Center of Excellence
- Your organization will actively improve CX and create new operational efficiencies with recommendations on best practices, emerging technologies, and shared services in a continuous improvement model.
- You’ll be able to revitalize the role of your customer service/contact center by ensuring timely access to accurate information while maximizing the experience of your employees.
- You’ll be able to more quickly address complex challenges that impact the experiences of your customers with access to the right data at the right time, and better collaboration with key stakeholders organization wide.