Heather Cox is a chief technology and digital officer at a Fortune 500 financial services company, and her message for businesses serious about transformation is clear: “The people that know the customer best should be at the forefront of driving a company’s digital transformation.”
Over the course of her career, Cox has become a transformation specialist helping to drive lasting change across a number of businesses within the banking and financial services industry. So much so, in 2017 she was named the No. 3 Woman to Watch in banking by American Banker magazine.
As such, her address at this year’s Sitel Summit was one steeped in first-hand experience in terms of both the challenges and the opportunities companies looking to transform are currently facing.
“What got you here won’t take you forward,” Cox warned the audience. “You have to be willing to re-learn. Companies that have been around for over 20 years are dinosaurs. Our organizations are structured by product and the old-world economy. They’re not focused on customers.”
Too often, Cox believes, they’re also forgetting about data, treating it as something distinct from the rest of the business.
“When you think about digital transformation, digital is a data business,” she said. “For far too long digital and data analytics have been separated. True digital transformation is when they converge. Anything you’re now building in the digital world needs to be purely implemented and driven by data and have real-time collection of data, analysis, and feedback so that you can be predictive in how you build the next iteration.”
This is also why she is adamant about the role customer experience (CX) professionals should have in moving a business forward.
“You have all the [customer] data there to drive the agenda,” she explains. “Platforms are shrinking. That’s good news. The importance of your work isn’t. The intersection of the world you sit in is digital and physical. When that intersection interplays and happens, the human matters. And that’s why your work will continue to be extremely important.”
And, as a number of keynotes at this year’s Sitel Summit highlighted, this importance will remain even as artificial intelligence (AI) begins to recast the concept of CX. Just as Sitel Group’s Global COO Olivier Camino pointed out in his address – The Digital Employee Experience from End to End (link to blog post)- now is the time for organizations to start thinking about what the agent of tomorrow looks like and, more importantly, start developing and delivering the necessary employee training today.
“We have a responsibility to prepare our workforce for this,” Cox said. “We need to get people ready for what’s going to happen.”
Watch Heather Cox’s keynote in full below; to replay Oliver Camino’s presentation on preparing for the employee of tomorrow, visit the Sitel summit website.