Sachin Karweer
Guest Article

Business of experiences: shifting paradigm to customer-centric innovations

It is time to chart new frontiers and take customer experience to the next level with business of experiences, says our guest author.

If you looked back ten years from now, customer service used to be appreciated. However, times have changed and it is not appreciated, but expected from all businesses today.

There is a sea change in the entire landscape of customer service, with a radical shift in consumer behaviour and expectations. Who would have thought that businesses today would be interacting with consumers using advanced technology such as intelligent assistants, artificial intelligence-powered bots and augmented reality? It is safe to say that futuristic fantasy is today’s reality!

Businesses are moving from a traditional product-centric strategy to one that focuses more on the customer. They are being pushed beyond the tenets and philosophy of customer experience (CX). This is the business of experience (BX).

This move from CX to BX requires a change in mindset, which means going beyond the traditional methods of enhancing customer experiences that comprise business and operating models, products and services, delivery models, purpose, value, innovation and employee experiences.

It is not just about optimising a customer touchpoint, but also about a new way of working to create extraordinary experiences for customers.

According to Accenture’s recent Business of Experience report, interestingly, 77 per cent of CEOs have stated that their company will change the way it interacts with its customers by becoming a BX. This means exciting things are waiting to unfold in the customer service segment.

Putting the customer experience at the centre

Service-oriented culture: A company must create a customer service-oriented culture, right from the front line through the back office and management, working as a cohesive unit, empowering employees to feel accountable for customer outcomes.

Individuals in the organisation need to invest their thinking into the customer experience. Just focusing on R&D labs won’t suffice anymore. It is necessary to focus on innovation, and equip employees with the technology and relevant training needed to best serve consumers.

Customer service philosophy: The focus on customer services has gone through a massive change over the last decade, with the advent of modern technology. Today, customers seek speed, convenience, clarity and resolution.

Cultural transformation: Culture is the most important element of any organisation. It focuses on whether the employees’ values and behaviours are aligned with the organisation’s purpose, strategy and business goals. In today’s competitive world, a customer-oriented culture in organisations, can help businesses profit.

Technological revolution: Social listening can be a great tool to respond to customers, listening to their voices in an unrestricted environment. Businesses can maximise the value of customer experience with social CRM. Having a robust CRM system in place can help businesses respond to customers promptly.

Customer comforts: With the customers being at the heart of the process, the focus needs to be given to their needs, experience and satisfaction by actively working on creating better products and services.

Businesses need to be able to take the comfort level of customers to a new level, providing end-to-end support in the entire customer journey, strengthening their bond with the after-sales support, follow-ups and feedback.

In a nutshell, BX is an amalgamation of people, processes, technology and culture.

While most businesses are riding the new wave of the digital revolution to innovate and provide extra value to the customer, some are still not in sync. They seem to be too rigid or moving at a slow pace.

I believe that only those businesses that have a higher understanding of customer needs and problems, will hold a competitive advantage. Businesses can take a leaf out of Netflix’s book and learn from these trailblazers on how to become BX leaders. They have reimagined customer experience by making it the focal point of the entire company, making it an everyday habit and delivering the perfect personalised experience to customers.

It may be challenging to create a competitive edge in a highly saturated market, but businesses need to quickly and effectively pivot to serve changing needs.

It is time to chart new frontiers and take CX to the next level with BX. If done right, it can lead to impactful disruption, market differentiation, significant ROI, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty!

The author is business head, HGS Interactive

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