CloudJune 22, 2021

Is it time to rethink customer experience? (part 2)

In the first part of this series, we presented three trends redefining…
Avatar Pierre Leroux

In the first part of this series, we presented three trends redefining Customer Experience. In this post, we will review four approaches recommended by to rethink the customer experience in a more holistic way. We will also examine how a business and innovation platform can play a key role.

1. Obsess About Customer Needs

Customer needs evolve over time, sometimes in unpredictable ways. To uncover unmet needs, companies use different methods – market segmentation, historical data analysis, focus groups, etc. Although helpful, this does not capture people’s behaviors in a timely fashion – i.e. what they intend to buy versus what they ultimately buy.

To close the gap, companies need to put together a unified view of the customer. This view should be fed by all kinds of different data sets and infer with a degree of certainty what a customer will likely do (or purchase) next. For example, what category of goods or services has this customer browsed recently? Has he been asking questions in communities? This is an on-going process and it must be done at speed in order to pivot quickly to meet customers’ new demands.

2. Make Experience Innovation an Everyday Habit

The customer experience is still improving, but the resulting improvements are getting more incremental: A slightly better web store experience, a slightly better way of targeting customers, etc.  Accenture recommends rethinking the experience as three layers of innovation: feature, service, and business.

Feature innovation is about optimizing the touch points. For example, my favorite outdoor brand knows I prefer digital receipts and automatically emails me when I make a purchase from their store. A service innovation example would be aligning different internal processes so I can order online and pick up the purchased good myself at the nearest retail store in a few hours. Business innovation would be a disruptive change to the experience itself, such as what Dollar Shave Club did by creating a new business: shaving essentials as a service.

3. Expand the Experience Remit across your Organization

This is about bringing customer-facing (marketing, sales, support) and back-office (supply chain, finance, HR, etc.) together. Functions with separate leadership, touch points, budget and data pools lead to experiences not optimized for customers. To be truly customer-obsessed means experience thinking must be pervasive across the organization and beyond (partners and supply chain).

This shift in culture is already underway. According to Accenture, 57% of leading companies are likely to say that they have already established this ability across their organization vs. just 25% for their lower-performing peers.

4. Sync the Tech, Data and Human Agendas

Reimagining business and operating models requires having technology, data and talent integrated into one infrastructure. As customer expectations rise, companies feel the pressure of meeting them while preserving their margins.

This suggests the need to focus on investments that provide customer centricity at scale and agility to adapt to future demands. It implies alignment of technologies, tools, data and processes. This starts by building a more agile infrastructure, preferably on the cloud. Next comes data to understand your customers. Finally, data will also help drive staff behaviors by measuring the customer experience success or lack of:  53% of the leading companies are more likely to measure the return of their digital investments compared to just 26% for their peers.

How can a business and innovation platform help transform customer experience?

1. Channel Your Customers’ Enthusiasm and Initiate Co-creation Activities

Customers are keeping in touch with brands they love via communities and social networks. This is where a platform like 3DEXPERIENCE with its strong collaborative capabilities can help. For one, it offers any company – startup to large enterprise – the ability to create virtual communities and connect enthusiasts willing to share their passion and help their peers.

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform also allows for smaller virtual spaces that let customers be part of the innovation process itself;  specifically clients and enthusiasts using the product or service can participate in co-creation activities. This is aligned with what Gen Y and Z want and reward: 65% are more likely to buy something from the company that asks for their input.

2. Unite Your Organization around a Business Experience

A business and innovation platform aligns all the different stakeholders: not only employees from different functions, but also external ones like existing customers and partners. I4CP’s research found that high-performance organizations are 1.5 times more likely to adopt technology platforms that connect workers and allow for better collaboration.

Any collaboration app can connect you to your colleagues, but can it help you easily go from conversations to concepts to prototypes in the same environment? Does it includes a single, common data model that pulls together critical product and project information shared with all stakeholders? If the name of the game is to bring technologies, data, people under one system for the benefit of fulfilling the customer expectations at speed, then the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is the solution to consider.

3. Change The Way You Conduct Business

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform – by virtue of the 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace – offers the potential to change the way you conduct business with your business network: your partners and buyers. In other words, you can innovate and create entire new businesses and services like Dollar Shave Club did.

Through our unique position serving 11 industries, the 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace connects ecosystems of qualified industrial actors in dedicated domains and professions. It connects these different groups together to facilitate collaboration and expedite transactions. In addition, 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace services are also integrated into Dassault Systèmes’ other solutions. The result: a complete lifecycle loop from inception to design to creation to transaction, reducing friction along the way and allowing for new ways of doing business.


As customer expectations evolve rapidly, companies have no choice but re-evaluate the way they engage with their buyers. New engagement models such as co-creation are on the rise and put pressure on companies not able to quickly align technologies, tools, data and processes, preferably under a unified business innovation platform that makes it easy to quickly innovate in entirely new ways.

Read part 1 of Is It Time to Rethink Customer Experience? 

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