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Thursday, April 02, 2015

Digital Enterprise : Key Tenets Of Success

Digital technology is clearly driving massive change in enterprise and consumer behavior, prompting business and brands to rethink the way they reimagine the ecosystem in which they operate and in their strategies to reach, engage and retain customers. In simple terms, it can be said that the customers expect more from the business that they choose to do business with, thereby putting enormous pressure on the enterprise. The heightened expectation on business translates into pressure on all aspects of the business - marketing to fulfillment and this is a collective reflection of how enterprises value and deliver on the customer experience. As noted earlier, optimized customer experience can effectively help enterprises sell 20x more offers – leading to anywhere from a 30% to 100% increase in conversions and more importantly in a few years from now, the expectation is that customer experience will triumph product, price differentiation across many sectors. Think Netfilx, Starbucks and Amazon experience and project these in the various sectors - that reality could be faster than general expectations. Now there is evidence to suggest that business that provide the best forms of customer experience see a huge upside in their potential and the corollary fact that poor customer experience would drive customers to competition for sure underlies the criticality of investing there. This is both defensive and an aggressive move for success and growth.

This new normal brings with it both abundant opportunities coupled with associated set of challenges.. As a result, enterprises today recognize that their ability to win and retain customers will have to massively leverage the experience and the overall journey that they can offer to their customers. Enterprises genuinely get caught up in getting things done when they have the plans conceptualized well and the plan -action - result gap is always a matter of concern for business leaders attempting to get their enterprise into a leadership position by embracing the best and the upcoming tenets. They are aware of the substantial challenges that they would face in transitioning to an experience centric world. They also very well realize that their organizations need to be glued into a process with strong linkages to system, data , analytics and being able to reach the customers through all the channels. Every enterprise should focus on getting a digital DNA like signature that would uniquely represent their customer acquisition, advocacy, retention and delight plans.

Digital is really on the verge of seamlessly integrating with the core world of business and promising to transform with the proliferation of multiple digital channels . The stage is now set for digital transformation to be one of the most critical initiatives for enterprises and early adopters are clearly reporting huge success out of such efforts I would define digital transformation as the action around digital strategy that focuses on specific business outcomes leveraging various forms of digital technologies can create an edge for the enterprise. Enterprises need to conquer the quest of shifts that are happening in the realms of social, organization and technology. These may manifest as outcomes that include the likes of new business models and approaches to customer delight using digital technologies. Let’s now look at some practical ways where key success factors of digitally led customer experience initiatives can be focussed on inside enterprises. Based on the lessons of the pioneers, who have successfully managed mastery of the opportunity and waded the challenges, it is seen:

A. The marketplace is not homogeneous and customers really demand varied services across the spectrum - digital customer experience must deliver a continual range of interactive experience. Customer experience is not the average of “aha” moment or other moments of truth The sum of all good and bad interactions drive the overall experience across all possible moments of interaction is what matters. Imagine talking in the social media about the good and bad moments of customer experience - then enterprises would realize the need to best and consistent throughout. These businesses have users, customers, devices, or interactions numbered in the hundreds of millions, billions, or more. Countless ways of of interactions and data points, and these in turn, mean that events with only a one-in-a-million probability are happening many times a day. Many enterprises start with focusing a lot on either getting the experience or the back office right - neither is enough of their own. The key leap needed here is to move from engaging to providing experience leveraging analytics by closing the loop. In the digital world, enterprises can track each click, navigation path - points of entry, stay and exit and can gain enormous insights. and enterprises can gain this power by powerful data analysis. Data is king, whether it comes from the outward-facing systems of engagement or inward-facing systems of record. The most effective digital business efforts will enable closing the loop at ease. This must be done by meticulous integration, standardization, analysis and application of data from both types of system covering all processes into business planning and management.

B. Consistent and seamlessly connected experience across all channel of interaction with the customers. Many times enterprises tailor experience specific to channels owing to their operational reasons and internal processes. this flexibility is passe. The more flexibility that we provide for customers to interact in their own comfortable ways - the more endearing the customer experience is going to be. Digital age needs demand cross channel consistency and utmost ease in doing business, this includes laying elegant solutions leveraging common third party services like payments as part of customer experience.

C. Niche, Context & The Ultimate: Superior experience is a tablestake in engaging customers - the real differentiated/innovative value comes out of getting the context right - this means being able to integrate everything from the profile to location to navigation to entity of interest and provide a super personalized manner of interaction for the customer and if we add the dimension of being the best by integrating vertical/niche experience, the game really gets ready to be won by enterprise in winning the customer. Many times, the niche capabilities may force business to leverage their own expertise before the market is able to provide those as affordable common services.

Digitalization is redefining the nature of of competition among industries by easy market expansion - achieved through lowering the cost of entering markets and providing opportunity to scale up and scale wide in impressive ways.Every enterprise will find its own ways and means of delivering customer experience but what has been captured above is a clear common denominator.Of course, enterprises need to carefully calibrate and define their own models of success in the digital age; but they can’t succeed without mastering customer experience, monetization models and platform resilience and, digital business transformation is a journey that takes many years and quantum efforts to stabilize, so the effort requires constant focus to sustain and grow.

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