Whether you are a B2C or B2B organisation, customer experience is, without a doubt, the new differentiator. However, not every organisation is set up to deliver on that 24/7. In this episode we explore what it takes to re-engineer the enterprise for experience.
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In episode 3 of The Experience Makers, technology journalist, Gemma Milne, talks to Herb van der Raad, Director of Client Strategy at Cognifide with Nikolai Ueker, COO and Will Parsons, Head of Customer Success at REalyse. REalyse is a technology company that helps real estate professionals stay ahead of the market by providing enterprise companies with smart technology, real estate expertise, and independently sourced data – prices, rents, yields, demographics, market activity, economics, debt and all things in between.
They define what great customer experience looks like for B2C and B2B customers; discuss the key tenets of the experience enterprise; explore how to engineer experience into the heart of a company and look at some of the technology driving those experiences. Here are some of the highlights of their discussion:
Personalisation vs. efficiency
Both B2C and B2B consumers want an exceptional experience when dealing with their brands of choice.
B2C consumers are looking for brands to take the data they have on their customers and enrich their experiences accordingly. Customers are savvy enough to recognize the value exchange between them and the brand and want highly customised digital journeys. They want to feel that these journeys are being created just for them; a real surprise and delight factor.
B2B consumers are largely after ease of use. Value for them is being able to do what they want to do seamlessly.
Simply stated, B2C customers crave tailored multi-channel interactions, while B2B customers largely need simplicity. Brands that shape their digital experiences accordingly will stay ahead of the game.
Customer experience: the new battleground
For traditional industries, such as the property industry, innovation has not always been at the forefront of the product offering. Nikolai tells how the team at REalyse have set out to change just that. Tilting the status quo, they are putting their customers needs at the heart of their offering by giving them the tools to economise both on time and money spent making a decision. By focusing on this promise, they are really setting themselves apart from the pack.
4 tenets of the experience enterprise
Herb defines the key tenets of experience today as people, process, technology and data; all working together to better shape digital experiences.
Traditionally, you launched a new website and the job was done. Today, launching a website is only the first step in the journey to learn how best to serve your customers. Everything your company and the design agency have engineered up until this point is based on assumption, even with good market research. However, every day after launch provides deeper insight into the impact it’s having not only on your customers, but on business metrics and value, whatever your business goal. In essence, if the tenets of experience are in place the next steps in that journey will be testing and optimisation.
Customer focused culture
Nikolai talks about the importance of culture when it comes to customer-centricity. In a startup like REalyse, culture is established from the top, with a visionary CEO ensuring that customer centricity is seen, heard, and felt at every level of the business; one band, one sound.
But what if your leadership team doesn’t operate in this way. Can you still effect change? The answer is, yes. Even if your leadership team doesn’t embody this customer focused agenda you still can. Challenge the traditional ways of operating and put forward new ideas. Herb adds that many traditional companies are now introducing new roles purely to champion this customer-centricity where it hasn’t always been a part of the DNA.
He also emphasises the importance of empathy in bringing about culture change. New ways of working don’t make previous practices invalid. Introducing the new should be done with respect for old ways of working and previous models of success. On an individual level, there needs to be a shift away from task-oriented thinking towards a more holistic approach to the entire customer journey. At the heart of it all, we are employed to serve the customers’ needs, not our own.
AI wins and pitfalls
Inevitably the discussion turns to AI, which is certainly making the customer experience landscape exponentially more exciting. The ability to take data and insights, in real time, and apply them to a particular user journey massively enhances the personalisation a brand can employ. Will talks about the benefit of it freeing employees to do higher level thinking, instead of having to focus on repetitive admin tasks, for example.
However, a health warning! Don’t try to disguise your bots as humans. As soon as a bot breaks the illusion by, for example, not answering a question properly, the brand suffers with immediate effect and the trust is broken. Too much automation misses the mark in an age when we as consumers want to feel connected.
Not wanting to give it all away, tune in to listen to what else Gemma, Herb, Nick, and Will discussed in Re-engineering the enterprise for experience.
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Listen to the podcast series:
Gemma will be joined by Miro Walker, CEO of Cognifide and Naji El-Arifi, Head of Innovation at Wunderman Thompson Commerce as they discuss how commerce is being more content lead and delve into the Future Shopper research report. Stay tuned!
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