How you engage with your customers can determine how likely or not you’re to be disrupted. Are you fully, digitally-engaging your customers?
Disruption is inevitable in this fluctuating, advancing environment; no organisation is immune. “We are at the precipice of unbelievably powerful advancements driven by technology. We no longer have to ask if we can do it, but if we should do it, and if we do, how do we do it responsibly,” says Eric Boyum, Managing Director, Technology & Communications Industry, Aon. But did you know that your customer-experience shortfalls can cause the disruption of your whole company?
Disruption doesn’t typically come from a business already operating in your industry, but from another business attempting to offer their customers a better experience. For example, in 2007 when Apple released their first smartphone they probably didn’t expect to transform the transportation industry by incorporating a GPS unit. This one strategy to improve an iPhone user’s customer experience cracked open a vast amount of commercial applications, which were inconceivable to the original inventors.
How is your customer involved?
Millions of businesses around the world are attempting to anticipate their customers’ needs, which is resulting in innovation and unexpected disruption. Uber, for example, wasn’t developed with the idea of disrupting the transport industry, but with the idea of creating a better customer experience for travellers without reliable transport.
But, before you can make a move to improve your customers’ experience you need to know what your target market are looking for. Data is the key to your direction change, the more you know about your customer the better you can determine what customer experience you can improve.
To gather this data offer your customer the option to review or rate your services and products. This will help you link directly with what they want from you and what they are expecting from your business.
“How do companies in other sectors take the data they’re generating from the customer interaction and translate that?” asks Boyum. “Increasingly, as companies seek to improve their customer experience, it’s our role as a partner to focus our innovation efforts to help them achieve those goals. Doing this effectively differentiates those who provide strategic advice from those that sell products.”
What do you do if you find yourself on the other side of disruption?
“If people plus infrastructure equal disruption, then digital innovators plus digital infrastructure equals digital disruption. Massive digital disruption, at a scale and pace most are simply not prepared for,” says James McQuivey, Forrester.
Disruption isn’t all doom and gloom, if your business is digitally disrupted this gives you the opportunity to realign to meet the new expectation of the future customer. It gives you a chance to improve your systems, incorporate more digital technology and essentially re-establish yourself in a stronger position to gain more insights, and meet and exceed customer expectation. This transformation will then put you in the position to disrupt others with your new and improved customer experience.
“It took 30 years to connect the first two billion people to the internet. It will take less than seven to connect the next two billion,” says McQuivey. “Four billion people will live in a connected world by 2020. While no one can predict how disruptive this exponential increase in connectivity will be, we can expect to live in a profoundly different world.”