Building long term sustainable businesses that show growth and profitability are the primary goals of every business. Customer experience plays a huge role in achieving all three. In today’s multi-channel environment, customers expect a consistent and positive brand experience across all mediums if they are to remain loyal. Engaging your customer at every step of their journey with you remains critical to ensure that you are able to sell, cross sell, establish loyalty and sustain profitability. To create a seamless experience across all channels – social, email, voice, SMS, web, and the latest mobile application should be utilized optimally for right-time customer engagement strategies. The goal is to send the right message to the right customer at the right time through the right channel to increase response rate. So welcome to 2014 – it’s all about Systems of Record meeting Systems of Engagement to Greet the New Customer.
Over the last three decades, IT transformed the business landscape by capturing, structuring, and automating a growing percentage of the information that businesses require to operate. While this has offered many benefits to companies that have heavily invested in IT, it has had its limitations. It created systems of record, which were transactional, data centric command and control systems. Systems of records are passive, largely focused on providing information to a company’s workers.
Thanks to the rapid social movement, even as I write this I am excited about witnessing a decreasing emphasis on systems of record to a paradigm where everything happens in a collaborative, communal environment in which insights, ideas and nuances are key. SoE is about a huge transformational change that is occurring in IT groups in almost every major corporation around the world. SoE systems are more decentralized, they incorporate technologies which encourage peer interactions, and often leverage a variety of technologies to provide the capabilities to trigger those interactions.
Analytics tools are enabling businesses to deconstruct information and create actionable insights that drive informed business decisions. Technology allows data to be collated from multiple sources and amassed in one location. This then provides access to analyze predictive patterns in the data that provides further insights. Businesses seeking to engage with their customers should have a targeted measure to reach out to the relevant audience. While engaging in the sale is one part of the customer experience process, the crux lies in the ability to leverage the same technology to secure continuous feedback and reach out to the consumers in a timely manner. By leveraging modern digital technologies, you can impact customer experience through:
These shifts are profoundly affecting customer behavior. And they are changing how we must behave as companies to engage more meaningfully than ever before with an ecosystem of customers, partners and employees.
A great example of companies leveraging systems of engagement to make it big is Domino’s. The company saw a whopping 29.2% growth in Pizza delivery business in the first half of the year soon after its transition to a “truly online retailer”. Of these, 27.5% of online orders were taken via a mobile device. That’s up from 17.9% in 2012.
Understanding and treating a customer as an individual rather than a segment has helped Dominos realize the value in its ecommerce and m-commerce initiatives.
With their “truly online retailer” model, they have been successful in enabling a seamless purchase journey be it in store or online. Never have the online channel growth been so voluminous, so overwhelming, so intense, and as persistent as they are now. Domino’s is getting closer to becoming a “customer company” by engaging with the customers, building relationships and giving them what they want, where they want it.
Here is another example of what Tesco did in South Korea in order to become number one in that market by make a strategic move towards systems of engagement.
They zeroed in on an insight: commuters waiting for their train to go home after work had time on their hands. After a long day at work an opportunity to shop while doing something else had a lot of value. Tesco plastered the glass walls of subway stations with pictures of their products, laid out just as they’d be in a traditional shop. The ‘shelves’ featured unique QR codes that could be scanned with the customer’s mobile phone, helping him build up a shopping basket in the few minutes before the train arrived. If the train arrived before the basket was complete, the customer could carry on shopping without the pictures and codes. Deliveries would arrive in minutes or hours, rather than days, so the groceries were in the shopper’s kitchen that night. The application was developed with an advertising and online development group.
From multi-tab browsers to mobile devices, customers hold the power of information in their hands. Hence, the companies that succeed are the ones prepared to dynamically establish customer dialogue and match the conversational context in real-time.
I’ll be exploring systems of engagement in more detail in the coming blogs. Stay tuned.