Why a solid CX still challenges companies and what to do

By Calton Nhando, digital consultant at IndigoCube.

Johannesburg, 18 Jul 2019
Read time 3min 00sec
Calton Nhando, digital consultant at IndigoCube.
Calton Nhando, digital consultant at IndigoCube.

I hear many people say things like, “We are customer-centric and want to improve the customer experience,” but that intent often doesn’t materialise in any meaningful customer-facing changes.

There are many reasons.

A lot of employees aren’t empowered to develop the customer experience nor even understand it. But they should be because, ultimately, every employee impacts the customer experience in some way or another. One of the issues may be that employees, and their KPIs, are still driven by a revenue-first approach. It’s the way businesses have always worked, so it can be a challenging and time-consuming process to change it.

The traditional approach hamstrings a lot of innovation. For example, divisions and business units still operate in silos. There’s no integration, no sharing important data, and therefore no knowledge of how customers touch other parts of the business.

Related is the fact that many companies don’t yet have the digital tools they need to be able to get the customer and associated data to determine the customer experience. They have no idea what’s going on, so they can have no idea of what to change or how to improve it. By contrast, others have the tools but they’re swimming in data without the capabilities to derive actionable – a key element – insights.

Understanding forms a large part of where people still fall short of getting properly in touch with the customer experience. Some businesses still rely on satisfaction surveys to determine how customers feel about the business but also what their experience is. Customer surveys are good, important even, but they focus too intently in one area. Forrester’s 2017 report on the customer experience suggests some enterprises used such techniques to tackle the low-hanging customer experience fruit to get some quick wins. But those are proving insubstantial in the long run.

Caught, perhaps, on the backfoot by the speed of the digital revolution, many companies have found they must use industrial-age executive structures as they try to deal with information age challenges. One of the results is that many companies, with employees and customers who feel left behind, end up copying whatever their rivals do.

In other cases, companies still prioritise quarterly, biannual or annual revenues. Transformational growth must unfortunately transcend such short-term notions. Someone will have to take the knock but executives are understandably loathe to volunteer. They’re under pressure to perform, deliver the results, but they’re being pushed to figure out how to deliver the short-term wins their careers depend upon while simultaneously setting up their successors to take the credit for their vision.

In addition to that perplexing challenge, they must somehow overcome skills shortages so they can dig much deeper into the real-time customer data bucket and put it to strategic use.

Organisations are going to mature by getting the essentials right then honing their edge to increasingly automate customers’ abilities to self-solve their biggest challenges – and that’s where the power of integration and smart automation are going to play the most intense roles.

Those are key points of departure. Integration must absolutely precede automation, which will in turn alleviate the human resources necessary to overwhelm the remaining challenges.


At IndigoCube we use our in-depth experience and expertise in combining of skills development, process transformation and leading-edge technology to enable an appropriate level of business agility that allows organisations in the fast-moving digital age to adapt to market demands more efficiently. We focus particularly in the areas of Lean Agile Transformation, DevOps Optimisation, Lean Product Management, Business Analysis 3.0, and Automation to boost productivity and long-term return on investment.

Editorial contacts
Scarlet Letter Michelle Oelschig (083) 636 1766 michelle@scarletletter.co.za
IndigoCube Ziaan Hattingh (011) 759 5950 ziaan@indigocube.co.za