Composable CX: Becoming Agile and Flexible
By Mandy Reed, Global Head of Marketing
Anyone involved in the customer experience (CX) space has likely come across articles, research, and discussions around composable CX. This concept is all about being agile and flexible to deliver better results even when faced with uncertainty and rapid change. It’s certainly no surprise that composable business jumped to the forefront in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, it was one of the main themes of a virtual Gartner conference I attended in November 2020.
Over the past two years, composability has become a key discussion point for many organisations looking to take a more agile approach to their customer experiences. In an August 2021 webinar, Impact CX with the 3 Building Blocks of Composable Business, Gartner shared the prediction that 60% of mainstream organisations will identify composable business as a strategic objective by 2023. The analysts broke this approach down into three areas:
- Composable thinking starts with the belief that anything can be made composable. It enables employees to better respond to rapidly changing customer needs with empathy and emphasizes the sharing and seeking of ideas from both inside and outside of the organisation.
- Composable architecture is all about unleashing innovation at scale by creating a resilient application experience through the use of APIs, microservices, and event streams. It allows for both innovative and traditional customer experiences in order to respond to disruption with agility.
- Composable technologies, including low code, data mesh, composable platforms, and contextual intelligence, offer the needed guidance and flexibility for customers and employees.
During Argyle’s CMO Leadership Forum earlier this month, composable CX was the focus of a panel discussion. Panellists shared insights based on their experiences working with organisations to develop and implement CX strategies as part of a composable approach.
One of the key takeaways from that session for me was the importance of, and value in, making composability a companywide effort. Maximising the benefits of an investment in this approach requires it to become part of the company’s culture. There needs to be collaboration across departments and from the C-suite on down.
The panellists also stressed that just because composability enables you to do something, that doesn’t mean your organisation should do it. You must still be thoughtful about how you approach your CX strategy and solutions, being sure the decisions you make will bring real value to your customer relationships.
Perhaps not surprising, chatbots were raised as an example of a solution that a company may feel pressured to implement because ‘everyone is doing it’ but may not be the best choice for all businesses. Panellists also used chatbots to illustrate the importance of selecting the right technologies for composable CX. Basic chatbot solutions do not deliver the same benefits and flexibility as sophisticated conversational AI platforms.
If you are considering adding a new CX tool or contact channel, such as a chatbot, you should first evaluate if and how that will enhance the overall experience. Using composable thinking, ask yourself:
- Will my customers use this type of tool or solution? Are my customers already using this channel, app, etc. and interested in engaging with our business there?
- How will my customers use this tool or channel? Will they expect a personalised experience? What other systems, channels, tools, etc. will need to be integrated with this new solution to meet customer expectations?
- Can we deliver a positive experience with this tool or channel? Do we have the right resources and technology to create the solution we need? Are we prepared to properly maintain and update this solution for long-term success?
Composable CX is all about being agile and flexible. It is about being able to create and deploy solutions quickly but doing so in a way that responds to customer needs in a thoughtful and empathetic way.
Even if you’re tempted to write off composable business and CX as just the latest industry buzzwords, don’t ignore the concepts and approach behind them. Organisations that are stuck in their traditional, siloed ways of working are going to find it increasingly difficult to compete with competitors that have invested in becoming more agile and flexible.