The ability to deliver to customers what they want is perhaps the most important task that an organization should work on. To improve customer experience, we need to know exactly what customers really want and we must have the right technology and the skills to deliver it.
The image below shows where an organization can improve or further develop on the cutting edge of customer understanding and technology and skills to deliver.
The green area in the image above is what we need to discover. It is what customers want, what we understand from our customers and for which we have the technology and skills to deliver. The red area indicates unexploited possibilities. The red area shows what customers want, but what we do not understand for the most part and for which we lack the technology and skills to deliver.
Increasing choice and rising customer expectations make it challenging to keep your customers returning. Competitive pressures are higher than ever. Social networking, mobile applications, omni-channel customer communication, customized offerings and e-commerce have raised customer expectations. All these factors mean that every interaction you have with a customer matters. If they walk into an office, contact a call centre, seek online support, or email a sales representative, they will expect consistently high quality, personalized responses to their needs, with a seamless experience across all channels.
Clearly there are tremendous opportunities that require improving customer experience. Companies that understand this are designing experiences that satisfy both rational and emotional needs.
Make it easier for your customers to become loyal by providing interactions that are innovative, information-rich and visual.
To capitalize on the opportunities mentioned above, organizations must not only be able to innovate, but they must also be able to do this quickly and continuously. Very often organizations are constrained by their IT legacy and IT debt in general. In addition, the agility and the ability of the organization to respond quickly to changes are often not sufficient.
Improving the customer experience requires an increase in the possibilities for customer interaction; multichannel transactions, personalized messaging, having an innovative range of products and services and, for example, the automated handling of questions and complaints. This causes an enormous need for information, which in turn generates large system loads. Many organizations are dealing with IT systemsthat are unable to meet these requirements. Because sometimes up to 80% of the available IT budget is spent on the management of these systems, there is (too) little budget left for the innovation of the information-intensive customer processes and the optimization of customer experiences. This will go at the expense of the strategic objectives.
The biggest problem is that these organizations often use many different programs that are not connected to each other, so they are still depending on many manual activities, that are not capable to deal with rapid changes and adjustments. The management of all those systems is extremely complex, and the implementation of adjustments is too expensive and takes too much time. The challenge lies in the application of (new) digital technology to be able to quickly develop applications. That enables more productive collaboration and in which smart connections make it possible to use data from existing (IT-legacy) systems, without having to change or customize these, to deliver what customers want.
Successful organizations innovate their IT to work faster and smarter. They create opportunities for improving the customer experience. And with the help of Digital Process Automation (DPA), an important evolution in the world of Business Process Management (BPM), effective applications are developed quickly.
DPA is developing at lightning speed as a logical follow-up to BPM. This is mainly due to the growing need of companies to quickly automate processes and convert them into effective applications, often as part of their digital transformation. Long-term, expensive projects that focus solely on operational cost reduction are no longer the only priority. We now have the strategic need to become more customer-focused, responsive organizations. Both in terms of bringing new products and services to the market quickly and meeting the changing expectations of customers.
With DPA, organizations are able to take risks in product and service innovation. DPA enables a more flexible, customer-oriented operation at a lower cost. As a result, organizations are having an increasingly strong focus on organizing data, people, and resources to continually improve the customer experience. And in this competitive, 24-hour instant economy, where customers expect speed and personal interaction, this is the key to continuity and growth.
For example, if a new product can be brought to the market quickly and can easily be scaled, this can be extremely profitable for an organization. Likewise, if a product proves unsuccessful, it can be quickly removed without extensive costs. New digital technologies enable a culture of rapid experimentation and automation of processes across the boundaries of the departmental silos.
The cost of not delighting customers, or worse, frustrating them with impersonal services and long waiting times is the difference between having a business that thrives and one with static growth, or worse, a business that fails.
Companies that are reinventing themselves and adapting to this change are increasing revenue and profitability and capturing market share. They are shifting emphasis to customer-driven design over systems and reaching across internal and external boundaries. Interactions must be flexible and ubiquitous, as customers dictate how and when they want to work with you.
Kien helps with digital innovation and uses BPM and DPA, among other things, to quickly deliver smart applications that focus on effective processes that create an optimal customer experience. Contact Kien here.