How Modern Businesses Can Survive In The Age Of Connected, Demanding Customers
In today’s ever-evolving business environment, successful companies are those that are positioned to capture the customers of tomorrow.
This can be an intimidating task in and of itself, as it requires an understanding of the needs and desires of today’s consumer and a knowledge of how those wants and needs can evolve into the future.
Building for Change discusses how businesses must keep up with current trends by taking steps such as bringing their IT department to the center of the business, listening to the demands of “Generation D” (digital natives), and ensuring new IT systems fit both budget and user requirements.
This will go a long way in achieving greater customer engagement and boosting sales in an efficient manner thereby helping to position your business for tomorrow’s customers.
How To Avoid The Customerpocalypse: Strategies For Doing Business With Generation D
It is widely accepted that Generation C, or Millennials as they are often called, have been an unforgiving bunch of customers.
However, it is Generation D, the up and coming cohort of customers, which could spell the end for many companies.
Generation D are unlike any previous generations before them.
They are empowered by their knowledge of the internet and its power to bring groups together to rally against products they don’t like.
Poor service, fraudulent advertising or inferior products compared with competitors will be greeted with an uproar of disapproval.
Targeted by Generation D these companies face a very real risk: a customerpocalypse.
This can be defined as the sudden disappearance of loyal customers due to supposed faults in the product or service provided by said company.
Those businesses that fail to protect themselves from such risks stand at risk of going under in this age of consumerism where customers wield more power than ever before.
The Key To Success: Using Big Data To Anticipate Customer Needs And Satisfy Them
Big Data is a valuable tool for businesses, but only when used thoughtfully.
Too often companies make the mistake of relying too heavily on Big Data and taking it for granted.
Just look at Sony – once the market leader in personal music devices, their products like Walkman and Discman were wiped off the map by Apple due to their failure to recognize changing customer needs.
In contrast, Apple had taken initiative to find out what customers wanted and adapted its technology accordingly.
The lesson learned here is that data can tell us about user’s behaviors but it won’t help you anticipate future desires, hopes or needs which vary from person to person.
To use data effectively, it must be carefully considered and used as part of a – greater strategy rather than taken at face value.
Vodafone provides a great example of this with its “daily specials” approach – combining forecasting with trial and error as they continue to grow in market share.
By Embracing An Outside-In Approach, Businesses Can Meet The Expectations Of The Digital Generation For Ease And Efficiency
Data helps companies win over Generation D consumers, but customer ease is what they want most of all.
Companies need to design processes that suit and support these tech-savvy customers, something many businesses don’t do effectively.
Take BB&T, for example.
They raced to move their account creation processes online thinking it would boost customer satisfaction, but their long process forms and long waits for approval resulted in lower satisfaction rates instead.
Their mistake was the use of an inside-out approach that featured departmentalized processes with firms dividing various services within the company.
It does not provide quick and reliable services like what’s expected of businesses today.
To make up for this error, BB&T shifted to an outside-in approach where they focused on what customers wanted first before designing a seamless process to achieve it.
This enabled them to offer smoother account creations via multiple channels — bank, online or by phone — with automated cues that helped speed up the process.
As a result, back-end costs were cut while applications abandoned halfway dropped by half and customer satisfaction rates shot up towards 90 percent.
Even one BB&T executive remarked that this increase was equivalent to opening 75 additional banks!
So if you want to win over Generation D consumers, design your processes around ease first and foremost by taking an outside-in approach so everything blends together nicely.
To Create Optimal Technological Systems, We Need To Bridge The Gap Between Business Leaders And Developers
Most companies today well understand the value of having an IT system in place.
Yet, the approach many take to developing those systems is leading them down a path of failure.
The traditional approach involves the business owners creating product designs and the IT professionals building them without any real understanding from either party on what the customer or operator needs from the system.
It’s no wonder that these systems generally fail, with some ending up as “zombie systems” that desperately need to be changed but never are due to a communication rift between the businessmen and techies.
In some cases, this leads to manual systems being created as an alternative by frustrated operators – processes that might give a slight improvement in efficiency but still leave much room for improvement.
The issue here is clear – for technology systems to truly deliver value, there must be strong collaboration between business owners, designers and IT professionals so that all parties have a complete understanding of what it is they’re trying to achieve.
As Build For Change asserts, with teamwork anything is possible when it comes to creating effective technological systems.
Reap The Benefits Of Hybrid Vigor: Bring It And Business Teams Together To Create More Efficient, Capable Systems
If you want your business to design digital systems that are successful and efficient, then it’s essential that the IT team and business team come together.
Teamwork between developers and businesspeople is what makes technological systems effective – just as botanists combine two different species of plants in order to create one hardier and better yielding tree.
This is often known as ‘hybrid vigor’,but you can implement it in your own business too by uniting specialized workers from both the business and IT sectors.
When this happens, they can turn ineffective internal processes into highly reliable and capable ones – which can be noted when many businesses have already set up innovation centers with collaboration between the two teams.
You could even appoint a Chief Process Officer (CPO) who would be overseeing all these changes within the company.
As seen in Telstra, an Australian telecommunications company, they had to revamp their executive branch that worked on customer service -through specialized roles for each task such as process-centered activities or customer-focused tasks – helping them craft efficient processes that took into account customer feedback and needs.
This has now led to a 70% decrease in time from order to delivery, alongside increasing satisfaction levels among their customers!
The Build For Change Book offers an important message that businesses must keep in mind: the rise of Generation D is a serious threat and will require businesses to adopt new processes and strategies if they want to stay afloat.
It also provides actionable advice on how to successfully change a business’ culture so that it can handle the ever changing customer’s needs.
The final summary of this book is clear: companies must be flexible, dynamic and always innovative in order to meet customers requirements and adapt quickly in this fast-changing world.
Only those who are willing to adjust their operations and create a team-oriented atmosphere from within will be able stay ahead of Generation D’s expectations.