Photo of CMSWire DX Summit attendees with headshots on listening to a speaker in the innovation garden.
It's time to listen to fellow digital experience practitioners on challenges and goals. PHOTO: Robert Levy

Digital customer experience practitioners have a lot on their minds between data, governance, qualified leads, omnichannel experiences and more. With these thoughts come a fair share of challenges. Just look at these customer experience industry numbers that illustrate some of those challenges like resources.  What's on the mind of DX practitioners? We caught up with some of them at the recent third annual CMSWire DX Summit in Chicago.

Inside DX Minds

Niketa Jhaveri, Global Head of Ecommerce User Experience, HERE Technologies

headshot of Niketa Jhaveri, who is a user experience designer.
Niketa Jhaveri

Jhaveri sees digital experience through the lens of user experience (UX) and design. The challenge she faces? Getting UX and design thinking at the leadership and corporate level. "It's always a battle," she said. She often finds companies thinking about artificial intelligence, machine learning and other emerging technologies but they fail to put users at the center. "Thinking about design and user experience is kind of a given," Jhaveri said. "You should have that already." 

However, she added, user experience is often an afterthought, taking a backseat to investments in things like agile methodologies. "Having a UX project manager work with the product managers from the beginning will help facilitate cross-functional teams better." 

Carolina Ramirez, Digital Governance Lead, UNICEF 

Headshot of Carolina Ramirez, a digital governance lead at UNICEF
Carolina Ramirez

Ramirez's focus as a digital governance practitioner is GDPR, or the European Union's pending General Data Protection Rule. She finds most people are not paying attention and those who are will have a "competitive advantage."  Ramirez said the GDPR is actually a good thing for her organization because it will emphasize the recognition that there are people behind data collection. Their privacy requirements matter, she said.

Outside of data protection, Ramirez's large, global $5 billion organization faces the challenge of brand voice. With all its diversity, locations and thousands of stakeholders, it needed a digital governance program. One action can affect your brand, Ramirez said, and UNICEF relies on its brand. "That's what opens doors," she said. The effort to create one voice is a cultural issue that can be aided by technology, though Ramirez recognizes technology's blind spots. "Technology won't solve the problem," she said.

Bill Zak, Director, Customer Experience, Quality Transportation Services

Headshot of Bill Zak, director of customer experience.
Bill Zak

Zak works at a third-party rail logistics company. Its services include railcar tracking and management, fleet administration, freight procurement and auditing. He's been there 26 years. It's a very hands-on business, Zak told CMSWire. "To disconnect a current industrial railcar from another railcar," he said, "a human being has to walk up to the place it needs to be disconnected and lift the lever. It's the only way it works." Zak and his company still recognize, though, the need for superior digital customer experience technologies and strategies. And as the customer experience director, a large piece of that falls on Zak himself. "We’re trying to mostly understand what is important to the customer," Zak said. "Each one of them has a little different spin on what they do." 

Although digital analytics are going the way of predicitive and AI-based technologies, according to Gartner, Zak said his high-level stakeholders want simplicity from their digital analytics. "The really high-level folks — all they want to to do is look at graphs and charts," Zak said. 

Zak's big challenges? Getting analytics out to customers in a more timely fashion. Most of them say they want "canned analytics," so Zak's team's working on that. They also want a mobile app. "You can run our website on your cell phone but it isn't too good," Zak said. "We just need the information delivered in a more convenient fashion."

Jonathan Bikowski, Senior Product Manager, Customer Mobile, Dick's Sporting Goods

headshot of Jonathan Bikowski, mobile app experience leader at Dick's Sporting Goods
Jonathan Bikowski

Bikowski is charged with improving his sporting goods company's mobile app. The focus for him heading into 2018 is not just ensuring the ecommerce functions are working, he'd like to build on personalization efforts within the Dick's mobile app. Currently, they have a gamification process that rewards loyalty-program customers and mobile app users for healthy activities like walking and running. The app syncs with data from devices like the Apple Watch and Fitbit. "We want to get into that one-to-one relationship and bring in other content that’s more than just commerce," Bikowski said. "Bringing in content that really gets the customer to come back rather than forcing product right in front of them. So it's being able to serve up a unique experience that’s personalized." 

The big goals are to incorporate rewards into the mobile app that go beyond just steps and miles. For instance, a Crossfit trainer earns rewards for trips to their local Crossfit gym.

Bernadette Jonker, Senior Manager, Digital Transformation Strategies, Dormakaba Digital

Headshot of Bernadette Jonker, digital strategy and transformation leader
Bernadette Jonker

Dormakaba offers solutions and products for secure access to buildings and rooms. Jonker sees the space as "business to influencer to business." It's massive, operating in 72 countries. A typical scenario? Working with an architectural firm in London and a construction company in Saudi Arabia on a project taking place in China. Think they've got digital experience challenges? They do. They needs to — and wants — integrate robotics, AI, 3D printing and virtual reality into traditional manufacturing environments. "I'm thinking of digital transformation strategies," Jonker told CMSWire. "We're trying to find new ways to find new business models through digital."

One of the ways they're meeting challenges is by creating virtual showrooms. The company was challenged by having to access expensive, high-end, architectural showrooms in global settings. "We replaced physical showrooms with digital showrooms using virtual reality so we can have those parties technically in multiple-player mode in an architectualy designed digital showroom," Jonker said. They can now input local product portfolios into the global settings and have collaborative meetings. 

The company is also working with augmented reality technology. The ultimate goal? "Consistency across all our channels," Jonker said. "We're not 100 percent there."