We all know that the ability to make quick decisions that will positively impact customer experience is critical in today’s ‘age of the customer’. Having a clear understanding of their demands and interests is crucial if you wish to get their mind share. Most companies have invested in big data technologies to help them derive insights to tailor personalized and context relevant experiences to their customers.
“In a Gartner survey of 437 members, the proportion of companies investing or planning to invest in big data is at 76%, 3 percentage points higher than 2014″
But in a recent research done by the Forrester on customer’s experience index – the company grouped 203 brands into categories ranging from very poor to excellent. The result showed that no brands of UK, Germany, and France achieved excellent scores. Around 12% UK brands were able to receive a good score while 14% Germany brands acquired good score.
The survey also shows that wireless providers, TV and internet service providers were categorized as the lowest scorers while retail companies, banks, home and auto insurance providers were amongst those brands that ranged between “poor” to “ok” for their customer’s experience. The assessment conducted by the Forrester’s led many of us into thinking that despite huge investments in big data initiatives to enhance customer’s experience, delighting customers is as elusive as ever.
Reflecting on why this is the case has been the focus of our work. A good framework to understand the flow of information value is Deloitte’s Information Value Loop, as depicted below.
It is clear that organizations investing in Big Data are able to incorporate new infrastructure and partners that can address the Information Value Loop to create, communicate, aggregate and analyse data, to turn them into insights.
However, the challenge to drive action as a result of the insights obtained to improve, for example customer experience, is significant. Where an insight drives a simple digital communication output (think next best offer) the requirements are easily met by today’s infrastructure. But providing new, fresh and improved customer experience is a complex, multi-channel, multi-department activity increasing complexity.
There are three reasons why companies are facing difficulty in acting on insights from Big Data:
1.The first challenge is the telecom provider’s processes and related infrastructure which are rigidly defined and implemented in static ways restricting the way customer’s would interact with the brand. Today’s customer is equipped with digital mobile technology and wish to interact with their brand through a combination of channels. According to a research, customers hop at least three channels before completing a single transaction. If the business owners and stakeholders don’t act swiftly according to the demands of their customers, they lose the opportunity to engage with them and build loyalty. The complexity of the infrastructure serving the customer, namely tools, people and processes, makes adjusting, adapting and learning nearly impossible in practical terms given the multi-year time-frame required to deliver change.
How existing IT infrastructure in silos impedes customer experience, while increasing the costs of customer support
2.Mergers and acquisitions, and the emerging trend of quad play make it difficult for the telecom service providers provide a consistent experience to their customers across multiple channels. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) are crucial for business growth but they also come with their own set of challenges. The IT infrastructure and customer journey strategy of the merged organizations cannot be unified soon enough to ensure a consistent experience. Indeed, most merged organizations are still grappling with diverse IT and processes 2-3 years into a merger.
3.Diverse lines of business within the organization work as SBUs posing challenges of collaboration. The fundamentals of a successful business lie to its people, process, and technology. The multiple organizations that are operating within a company need to collaborate with each other to be able to act on the insights of Big Data that will improve customer’s experience.
What can companies do to build agility faster?
An executive of a telecom service provider comments “the biggest challenge in 2020 will be around simplicity of operations. Right now, most operators are finding it hard to achieve more simplicity.”
Traditional Digital Transformation initiatives to the latest versions of technology will take some time to yield results. However, your customers might not wait for you while you are at it. They are more likely to switch service providers if their expectations are not met and interactions are not contextual to his needs.
There are companies that point the way ahead. Digital companies have had to deal with the issues of scale, direct customer engagement in a diverse product offering, active M&A, and multi-channel/multi-stakeholder engagement. We should aim to apply those technologies and practices that can be transferred across to other industries.
Telecom service providers should federate existing legacy and new age applications to work seamlessly to build business agility and gain market leadership. The ability to use data virtualization techniques allows businesses to quickly work with what they know about customers, anywhere in their organization, and apply it to their customer business processes in order to enhance personalization, relevancy and timeliness in their customer interactions.
For example, when the owners of Facebook acquired WhatsApp, they did not wait to integrate their IT infrastructure to provide a consistent customer’s experience. However, they federated the systems of both the entities to build agility and thus enabled users of Facebook to synchronize their WhatsApp accounts for a dual messaging experience very fast.
Telecom service providers can also use their example to federate their IT infrastructure and work as one unit, allowing the different internal and external stakeholders to quickly act on the insights provided by the big data. Making the experience delivered contextually and localized by ensuring interactions inform one another across channels is essential. For example, a telecom service provider cannot send a promotional offer if a customer has given a complaint about a related service.
Two business use cases that will boost revenues while enhancing customer’s experience include:
- The Omni Channel Customer Experience which connects the gap between physical and digital channels. The Omni channel also known as “multi-channel” is very profitable and provides your customer with a seamless shopping experience. By incorporating the Omni channel, you are likely to reduce the cost of your operational expenses, increase sales, as well as increase customer’s satisfaction.
- Telecom service providers can also imitate the experience provided by Amazon to increase their sales.
Online retailers are also known to a have high score for customer’s experience because they suggest offers that are based on the preference of their customer’s. They keep coming up with offers and discount on the products that have the highest consumption rates and make it easy for their consumers to buy them using the channel of their choice. They provide their online consumers with seamless order management, which enhances their customer’s experience and takes them to the new level while increasing their profits with a large margin.
The ability to act on the insights created by the Big Data will give your business a competitive advantage. The business owners as well as stakeholders who interact with the customers should be swift and clever in capturing market share without making a huge investment. Intense Technologies helps in identifying the areas which can help increase the company’s profits and reducing company’s expenses whilst improving customer’s experience and satisfaction. By collaborating with providers that are capable of driving agility into your infrastructure and customer business processes, you can deliver engaging multi-channel customer experience and boost your brand’s value and revenues.
Contact Intense Technologies today to discover how we can help your business act on insights from big data to build business agility.0