Sponsored by: IBM
One of the major changes we saw this year was that while larger enterprises were still evident at the show, on multiple occasions, the limelight was stolen by up-and-coming companies and start-ups. This isn’t news, and yet some companies are having to get accustomed to the fact that they’re sharing a market with organizations a fraction of their size. Being a mature company in either telecommunications, or media, just isn’t enough anymore, and there’s a very good reason why.
The industry calls it digital transformation, and it’s brought about a roller coaster ride within our industry, with companies that haven’t been able to buckle up, taking a fall. Digital transformation is, essentially, a technological shift – but we at IBM like to add that it’s also about fundamental changes in the philosophy of how customer relationships should be managed – because digital transformation that doesn’t enable a better customer experience (CX) is not only money thrown away, it’s often money used to create detractors. Changes in customer preferences, driven by improved CX, have put an end to companies, large or small, being forgiven for getting it wrong.
It’s the new reality of 2017. Done well, CX improves your ability to quickly service your customers, it improves data capture capabilities, improves customer insight and your ability to solve customer problems. Rightfully so, it’s every company’s dream to do this for each consumer. But the flipside is disappointment – and it’s still a much more common occurrence. The top reasons cited by customers for a poor digital experience include:
- Something not working as expected
- Inconveniences in usage
- Difficult or poor usability
- Confusion over navigation / offers
And in the context of CX, we’ve come to call this the ‘experience revolution’. While ‘revolution’ might sound historical or like a dystopian future, make no mistake – this revolution is happening now. Agile is what today is all about – and it’s not just a buzzword. Properly used, agile methodology for development and management of CX has given market entrants flexibility and rapid reaction times. Lean organizations make for easy shifts, and these digital-ready companies can excel at CX. So it’s ultimately no surprise that more and more start-ups are on the scene nowadays.
Where words such as ‘maturity’ and ‘market fit’ meant palpable facts in the years building up to now, you shouldn’t let yourself be fooled into believing that business has remained the same. TM Forum Live! boasted dozens of companies that explored customer centricity as part of this paradigm shift, with everyone on an equal playing field. IBM included.
While in Nice, IBM showcased what digital transformation means to us, and what it means to our clients and business partners. In short, we kept reiterating that just being knowledgeable about the new threats the industry faces won’t cut it – you must act, and you must have your customer’s best interest in mind if you want to keep him or her. CX in 2017 means a lot of things, it can manifest through apps, mobile payment, location personalization, voice command, VR and AR – to name a few.
Do these things sound familiar? They should. It’s the reality of today – where ‘first to market’ doesn’t count any more. The winners of today and of tomorrow are those that delight and surprise their customers. It’s time to sunset legacy systems that get ‘just enough’ done – and make sure you work towards making your clients your friends.
Digital is about building new experiences today, and doing it in such a way that you delight your customers and let them become fans.
Today is about The Experience Revolution.