Do you remember when ‘the customer is always right’ was the staple of every business? Well, while the verbiage has evolved to reflect a more reciprocal, mutually beneficial relationship, the concept has stayed relatively the same; to best serve the customer. However, as modern conveniences such as smartphones and tablets have become an integral part of our everyday lives, consumer purchasing behavior and the way businesses interact with consumers has made a dramatic shift.
The Age of the Customer
Consumers no longer have to use the yellow pages to research products and services, or go into brick and mortar stores to purchase items. Instead, they can access all the business, product, and service information imaginable at the touch of a button. This, in turn, has created a new competitive landscape for businesses. With so many options available to consumers, and convenience being a major driver behind today’s purchasing decisions, businesses have been forced to adopt more omnichannel-centric strategies in order to stay relevant and competitive.
Consumers are now in control of their interactions and engagements with businesses, and as such, modern enterprises have had to shift their focus from using traditional business practices to leveraging social, mobile, analytics, and cloud computing (commonly referred to as SMAC) platforms. Through these digital channels, organizations are able to gain insight into what, when, where, and how consumers are buying; ultimately improving their ability to attract, win, retain, and satisfy customers.
How to Survive in the Age of the Customer
The customer experience is at the heart of digital transformation, and this sort of detailed visibility into the habits and preferences of consumers has become a key contributor to the success of organizations adapting to this digital revolution. However, turning those insights into intelligence and applying it to a business’s overall strategy is what allows enterprises to thrive in the age of the customer.
Through digital and agile transformation, organizations are able to improve their ability to effectively support consumer demands and expectations, as well as the internal initiatives of other departments. Although heavily reliant on the IT department, IT transformations require enterprise-wide adoption and support in order to truly enhance the customer experience. Whether it involves adding or enhancing mobile capabilities, improving the online experience, or improving cross-channel customer experiences, organizational alignment is absolutely critical to surviving in the age of the customer.
How to Achieve Digital Transformation While Maintaining Agility
While it’s widely understood that having a digital strategy in place is necessary to staying competitive, some organizations have struggled to accommodate such transformations due to the growing need to maintain a nimble structure. With that said, many enterprises have turned to third-party solution providers in an effort to fill the gaps and manage the drive for transformation. With the ability to preserve internal resources, reduce time-to-market, increase profitability, and overcome gaps in digital capabilities, third-party solutions enable modern enterprises to facilitate digital transformation without having to employ additional resources in-house.
Digital transformation and improving the customer experience is not something that can be achieved over night. It is a complex process that requires alignment, adoption, and support from all departments and teams within an organization. In order to achieve true digital transformation, organizations must foster a culture of constant evolution and cross-functional collaboration. IT sourcing advisors, like Windsor Group, are well informed on the challenges IT organizations face in the age of the customer, and have the knowledge and insight to help enterprises take the necessary steps to transform their organization to better adapt, and compete, in the modern marketplace.