At Oracle’s recent Modern Business Experience (MBX) event in London, virtually every business in attendance agreed on one thing: it’s never been more important to ensure both your corporate culture and approach to technology lend themselves to a constantly evolving customer experience.
It’s become critical to align every platform people use to interact with them, and this requires a single view of their customers across all channels and touch points.
Peoples’ expectations of brands are constantly changing, becoming more sophisticated and demanding. We expect services and products to be delivered in a way that is digital first, on-demand and relevant. We expect a flawless, consistent experience that seamlessly blends our online and offline activity.
Both B2B and B2C brands at the show understood that it’s become critical to align every platform people use to interact with them, and this requires a single view of their customers across all channels and touch points.
With customer demands getting more sophisticated and brands’ service mix only becoming broader and more complex, the job of keeping the customer experience relevant is never finished. Today’s pace of change requires companies to make transformation the norm if they want to survive.
“The job of keeping the customer experience relevant is never finished. Today’s pace of change requires companies to make transformation the norm if they want to survive.”
As Oracle CEO Safra Catz said in her MBX keynote: “Transformation never ends, you are constantly changing because everything around you is constantly changing and you can either use that as a positive or you can get left behind. You’ve got to be meeting customer needs, at scale and doing it faster and beating the competition.”
Keeping up with change doesn’t need to be a daunting task, nor does it require a frantic approach. There’s no need for a traditional “rip and replace” of a brand’s technology platforms or a dramatic change in direction. Even if consumer behaviors evolve quickly, they rarely develop a completely unanticipated tangent.
Brands have access to the customer and market data they need to plot a path to the future. In addition to extrapolating current trends in how people interact with them – more mobile integration, greater personalization, the blurring of the online and offline experience – they can get an even more granular understanding of the people they serve to analyze what different groups and demographics will expect from them over time.
“Technology will only take brands so far, however. They ultimately need a workforce and culture that are predisposed to the constant pursuit of improvement.”
To act on these insights quickly, brands need a platform and infrastructure in place that gives them the flexibility and scalability to keep innovating and adapting the service they offer. The approach they are taking today may not ensure their success tomorrow. Or, as MBX keynote speaker, Professor Brian Cox so elegantly put it: “Certainty is the enemy of science”.
Once again, this is a continuous process, and models will need to be constantly tuned to shifts in customer activity. Brands must constantly challenge the status quo.
Technology will only take brands so far, however. They ultimately need a workforce and culture that are predisposed to the constant pursuit of improvement. They need teams who understand how evolving trends and consumer behaviors need to be reflected in the company’s strategy, and they need to empower employees to act on this knowledge. We are all customers after all, and nobody is better positioned to understand your audience than the people who can put themselves in their shoes.