Leveraging Digital Technologies to Become More Customer-Oriented

By Anees Merchant, SVP - Digital and Advanced Analytics, Blueocean Market Intelligence

Definitely, today's digital technologies are forcing organizations to become more customer-oriented. As technology advances, enterprises concentrate on a digital transformation journey in the competitive era to become more customer-oriented. Hence, they adopt new technologies that can help them in their digital transformation and interact better with their customers or gather customers' feedback as well.

Creating a culture to become more customer-oriented is the most prominent step for an organizational transformation. The organizations should bring in strategies to create a customer- oriented culture. Every department within the organization needs to align with this organizational strategy or become a part of it. Secondly, organizations should be able to understand their brand position in customers' minds. They must have the capability to measure or benchmark their brand performance and customer experience while developing a better understanding of their customers.

Indispensable Understanding of Customer Journey and Effective Data

With the advent of new technologies, organizations have attained the potential to accumulate more customer data. In fact, customers have various communication channels nowadays to interact with an organization. Usually, they contact either through the call centre, sales team, website, social media or an e-mail, and also provide feedback, which can bring in a lot of information or data to enterprises. If you examine, every customer goes through a specific decision making journey right from identifying the need, to making a purchase and finally post purchase experience. Nowadays, the emerging digital technologies are able to track every customer interaction with an organization at each touch point in the journey. If the organization is able to understand, collect and relate what their customer say and expects, and map their journey, they can clearly perceive how much useful information they have gained regarding every aspect about customer journey and what relevant information they have not gathered. Before they try to fill up these gaps for that information they do not have, they should identify that which areas (low hanging fruits) they need to focus on and solve customer issues to enhance customer experience. This capability of recognizing and addressing these customer issues can definitely help them gain plenty of data to understand more about customer journey.

When it comes to Customer Relationship Management (CRM), the biggest challenge is not related to technology deployment. While taking the CRM deployment into account, it is more about how business users want CRM technology to be for making their job much more easier, rather than a mere deployment. They should get involved with those platforms which can reduce or simplify their day to day operations, and trust them. That's how the organizations can overcome CRM challenges basically. Indeed, it is more about attaining data by means of advanced technology.

Necessity to Ameliorate Customer Experience

If you really look at the trends in India, international companies are coming in with right technology sets and most companies in India have started to think about better way to treat their customers.

As the product differentiation becomes lesser, they need to concentrate on offering outstanding customer experience. Imagine that you are trying to buy a new smart phone by online through websites like Amazon or Flipkart. Certainly, you will get the same phone, however the significant thing which differs is the utmost customer experience. When we think about customer experience, it is not just about only how your website looks or product reviews, package and delivery, however all those factors become a part of the experience. It is an entire end to end experience across the entire customer journey, right from the first customer touch point to post purchase.

In future, there are few key things which are definitely going to change. Primarily, it is about the entire aspect of the overall data. At present, data is more available than earlier and organizations of today are more empowered to deliver better customer experience. Secondly, the phase in which the technologies are evolving. Organizations have to think on text tabs yearly basis and need to evaluate. The timeline may reduce more in future; it may come to months rather than a year. Finally, the customer experience should be seamless and consistent across the entire customer journey. It can't be like an ECG chart. Though the product differentiation is very little, customers have more options and opportunities to obtain improved customer experience in the competitive era.

Furthermore, I expect that technologies like IoT, SMAC, Voice of Customer Program or Digital Experience Management Platforms, are not going to take over one another. Definitely, those platforms are going to evolve along with the technology advancements. Rather than taking over, I foresee the integration of these technologies in the future and becoming seamless. Hence, organizations cannot avoid the potential of these integrated technologies to offer ameliorated customer experience.

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