Being fueled by the latest wave of technology: advances in artificial intelligence, data analytics, robotics, the Internet of Things, and new software-enabled industrial platforms, digital disruption is changing how businesses are being conducted worldwide. Boardrooms across the country are today dominated by conversations of transformation, as the data driven economy increases competition.
Organisations of all shapes and sizes are sitting at crossroads, as digital, cloud and emerging technologies flood the market. As disruption is taking place everywhere, with change comes opportunities.
The question is, how do you embrace this change and make the most of the opportunities?
- Think about the customer
For business, it’s time to raise the game to meet customer-centric requirements and the best way to begin challenging these disruptive insurgents is by digitising their operational processes that help incumbent players rise to the challenge posed by platform-based pricing models and remain competitive. They also need to seize the value-generating opportunities that the application of new technologies delivers.
Customers are now more accessible than ever across a range of platforms, meaning there is unprecedented potential to connect with them. For customer-facing businesses, it’s, therefore, crucial that digital innovation is geared towards enhancing the customer experience. There is little point in investing funds and resource into technological change if the front-end experience isn’t also improved or refreshed. Businesses need to ask themselves: how will this technology not only improve internal processes but deliver our services in the best way to our customers? What brands like Uber have done is bring a new level of convenience to customers, as well as revolutionising the whole taxi-booking process.
- Keep up with start-ups
The advantage that start-ups have is they can learn from the lessons more established brands had to learn the hard way and can enter the market at an accelerated pace. Customers are empowered and adaptable and have the power to switch between brands and businesses with ease. Incumbent businesses are at risk of losing customers if they do not respond quickly to keep up with challenger brands. But marketers of long-standing businesses have the advantage of leveraging their existing status and refreshing the experience they offer customers.
- Empower employees with the right technology
Of course, businesses have a bottom line to maintain and limited budgets within which to invest and execute change. Too often, skilled, highly engaged marketers are let down by the technology they rely upon to do their jobs. Marketers need to build a relationship between the business and the customer, by delivering a great experience which keeps them happy and loyal.
- Get the basics right
Behind every innovative leap forward towards digital transformation should be a solid back-end system that contains customer data in a consolidated and easily accessible way. Businesses need to break out of the silo mentality and think of the customer experience as one that is consistent across all departments. This means all customer-facing teams (sales, marketing, customer service and so on) need to have the right tools to identify their customers amidst a sea of data. Having complete control of customer data and confidence in how to decipher it will all help to deliver a seamless customer experience.
We’re living at an exciting time, with digital innovation transforming how we connect with the world. For businesses, the first step towards transformation is having the right mindset and infrastructure to enable disruption. Marketers need to be open and agile to change to not only keep up with their competitors but lead the way in their industries. I look forward to seeing more industries shaken up by brave businesses forging a new path for customer experience.