How COVID-19 has redefined the CX skillset


Capgemini's Scott Turton shares three hot skillsets that will be critical to businesses in every sector as they adapt their CX to the (post-) COVID context.

8th Dec 2020

The pandemic has had a profound effect on people. We’re serving a customer that has been financially impacted by COVID-19 and who has changing priorities, attitudes and lifestyle. We need to adapt our customer experiences (CX) accordingly to stay relevant.

CX remains the primary way to differentiate our brand and take advantage of any opportunities that emerge from this crisis. How businesses go about attracting, retaining and serving customers will go a long way to determining their post-COVID fortunes.

In simple terms, the skills we really need to succeed in this environment are about understanding our customers better, conceiving experiences that are relevant and compelling and then getting them to market faster than the competition. Our CX talent needs to be capable of making this happen; to experiment, learn and pivot and to challenge accepted norms.

Here are three hot skillsets critical to businesses in every sector as they adapt their CX to the (post-) COVID context.

1. Design

Many businesses have had to quickly stand up completely new channels, products and services to address new needs. Some are selling online for the first time or offering brand new delivery services, for example. 

For this to be effective, profitable and for it to scale, the CX needs to be well designed. Design covers a broad spectrum of skills, here. Service Design builds user insight through research that identifies opportunities and pain points around which we can create great user experiences that work for the customer and your business. Design Thinking unlocks those opportunities through the generation of great ideas to solve human problems. 

Traditional UX and UI design ensures new online and offline journeys (across web, mobile, social, in store etc.) are frictionless, joined-up and intuitive. All these design capabilities can be used to drive costs out of business operations as well as growing the top line. Great design is also critical to positioning your brand’s purpose and offer in a clear and consistent way across all touchpoints – so important to connecting with your customers’ changing attitudes.

2. Digital product management

Product-mode delivery is typically at the heart of any business that is winning in digital. 

As your designers help you understand how well your digital offerings are meeting customer needs, your product teams (i.e. those looking after your website or mobile app, for example) should be ready to act against that insight immediately. Great product owners have a strong handle on the metrics that matter to the business and the experience elements that matter to the customer. They conduct the delivery orchestra – such as designers, developers, and content authors – to deliver very frequent releases of enhancements to the product and then test those changes and adapt accordingly. 

This constant agile optimisation enables your online offer to out-perform that of your rivals. 

If you have limited product owner and product manager skills in your business, you run the risk of working hard delivering the wrong things. And that risk is greater than ever in such changing times as these.

3. DevOps

It’s a much used and abused term, but broadly speaking, devops helps product teams to get their changes to market fast. With a focus on speed and automation, devops engineers create the “pipeline” for continuous testing and deployment of code so that business teams are no longer waiting for that next quarterly release. 

As the name suggests, devops approaches bring the traditionally separate IT domains of development and operations into combined agile teams that look after all aspects of a digital product. Good devops engineers are much sought after as they combine technical prowess with business awareness and act as catalysts for modern ways of working across product teams.

In summary, it’s never been more important to spend time and effort really understanding your customers and designing around their changing needs. Reconciling those needs with the KPIs of your business and setting direction for your customer experience is key. Then getting those great, game-changing experience ideas to market quickly will allow you to stay relevant and competitive in these strangest of times.


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