Consider an Industry-First Approach To CX Tech

Industry customer experience solutions are a hot topic these days with companies looking to get quick value from their tech investments while adhering to specific industry requirements. Our data at Forrester Research backs this up: Industry solutions grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 13.9 percent, faster than horizontal CX tech.

Why industry CX solutions? Because the types of questions and issues that a retailer must address from its customers are different than what a healthcare provider must address, or a retail bank, or an insurer.

What are industry CX solutions? They are cloud solutions that offer end-to-end workflows, user experiences, data models, language models, artificial intelligence, and analytics purpose-built for the needs of a specific industry vertical. They also offer packaged connectors to core industry back-office systems, like core banking systems or electronic health records like Epic and Cerner. They also support regulatory compliance requirements specific to a particular industry, like payment card industry compliance for retailers and Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) complaince for healthcare.

Industry CX solutions are powerful and deliver benefits over many dimensions. These solutions do the following:

  • De-risk cloud migrations. Many companies still use homegrown legacy CX or industry-specific CRM systems designed for on-premises data centers. Industry CX solutions provide out-of-the-box core processes, industry data models, AI, and packaged adapters to back-office systems that provide a clear path to modernization.
  • Reduce the burden of regulatory compliance. Industry data models connect CX to a broad ecosystem. Compliant infrastructures guarantee that data is protected, processed, and stored according to industry regulations. Together, these address the problems of systemic risks that most organizations face with security, regulatory, and compliance.
  • Drive better software adoption. Forty-four percent of CRM deployments struggle with poor user adoption as workflows and experiences must be customized to add value to each front-office worker. Industry CX solutions provide experiences that have been battle-tested for a particular vertical. An example would be how to best display a set of upsell options to a customer service agent so she can quickly understand and navigate the choices with a customer.
  • Create value at every step. Industry CX builds on top of horizontal CX, and companies can start with what they initially need and adapt as they grow. Value compounds when more product is adopted. For example, a manufacturer can start by deploying workflows to monitor asset uptime, followed by capabilities for preventive maintenance and depot repair. This allows the manufacturer to modernize in stages, realizing a return on investment at every stage.
  • Focus the front office on value-added work to better serve customers. Industry CX guides the front office through predefined workflows, like credit card onboarding or adding family members to subscription plans, while automating common user tasks. This reduces errors, shrinks internal costs, and allows the front office to work on higher-value tasks. These workflows also capture data that was previously too labor-intensive to extract. It enables organizations to mine broader and more reliable data sets to reveal new insights.

Industry CX solutions are not equally mature for each vertical. We find that financial services, insurance, and healthcare have the most verticalized solutions. This means that each company must navigate the decision of when and how to adopt industry solutions, weighing cost savings and agility gains against core requirements.

Kate Leggett is a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research.